Gruesome for Stephen Kerr

Scottish Tory MSP Stephen Kerr has claimed that the 2014 independence referendum campaign was “gruesome” and that the next referendum is going to be even worse. There are indeed many things about the next independence referendum campaign which are going to be gruesome, not the least of which is the appalling prospect of having to deal with more of Stephen Kerr on our TV screens. However he is right in one sense, the 2014 independence referendum campaign was indeed gruesome for British nationalists like Stephen Kerr because despite their early confident predictions that they’d achieve a No vote in excess of 70%, by the time that the vote came around they very nearly lost, and next year’s independence referendum will be even more gruesome for British nationalists because they are going to lose. I suspect however that that is not what Kerr meant.

British nationalist Brexit supporting Tories like Kerr like to wring their hands about how “divisive” the referendum supposedly was and how it divided families, communities, and towns, because Scottish people are apparently so immature that they are incapable of having a democratic debate without getting out the pitchforks and torches dipped in tar. It is funny how Kerr and his Conservative colleagues did not have similar qualms about Brexit and decided to press ahead with the most extreme form of Brexit possible despite the narrowness of the leave victory in the 2016 EU referendum. They were none too concerned about healing divisions then.

Likewise the Anglo-British nationalist parties were not too bothered about reconciling the 45% of Scotland’s voters who voted Yes in 2014 to the No victory, something that they could have done by ensuring that all the promises and commitments made to Scotland by the Better Together parties during the referendum campaign in an effort to secure a victory for the No side were properly fulfilled both in spirit and to the letter. Instead the Better Together parties competed with one another to reduce to a minimum the extra powers promised to Holyrood and then the Conservatives went even further down the path of duplicitous mendacity by using the Brexit that Scotland didn’t vote for in order to unilaterally undermine the devolution settlement and to make changes to devolution without even pretending to seek a democratic mandate from the people of Scotland in order to do so.

Had the Conservatives and their Better Together allies kept all the promises that they made, people like me would still be arguing for Scottish independence, however the steam would well and truly have gone out of the independence movement and we would not currently be looking at a second independence referendum in 2023. Stephen Kerr and his British nationalist fellow travellers have only got themselves to blame for that.

Of course the “divisiveness” that the likes of Kerr is really upset about is that the referendum campaign of 2013 to 2014 overturned the apparently cosy unionist consensus in Scotland, it normalised the idea of independence amongst the wider Scottish public and in Scottish political discourse and meant that Anglo-British nationalist supremacists like Stephen Kerr could no longer mouth off in the golf club bar about how incapable and hopeless they think Scotland is without their assumptions being challenged.

You can bet your last penny however that following a Yes victory in the next independence referendum Kerr and the Scottish Tories will be loudly screaming about the need for the winning Yes side to make huge compromises in order to placate and reassure the losing No side.

It is also very noticeable that the Conservatives and their allies never acknowledge that the only violence which resulted from the independence campaign in 2014 came from British nationalist extremists who went on a rampage after the result was announced, attacking and assaulting peaceful independence supporters on the streets of Glasgow. To its eternal shame BBC Scotland reported this ugly outbreak of British nationalist violence as “clashes between supporters and opponents of independence” as though there were a moral equivalence between British nationalist thugs and the peaceful victims of their unprovoked attacks. This time it is vital that Police Scotland make it clear that the violent entitlement of sectarian British nationalists will not be tolerated.

The next independence referendum however will be uglier because although the anti-independence campaign was characterised by its negativity, threats and scaremongering, the Better Together campaign was able to proffer some carrots in the shape of Gordon Brown’s now infamous Vow. That is not a trick that they will be able to pull off in the next referendum. Scotland has learned the hard way that promises made to Scotland by anti-independence parties in order to secure a No vote in an independence referendum are not worth the breath it takes to utter them, and that goes double for anything that issues from the mouth of serial liar and treaty and law breaker Boris Johnson. We all know that it’s only the threat of another referendum which prevents Johnson from abolishing any meaningful powers that Holyrood has, and that the second a No vote is secured the Conservatives will strip the Scottish Parliament of anything that runs counter to Westminster’s wishes and will reduce it to a toothless talking shop.

Equally Better Together 2.0 cannot deploy the tactic it used in the 2014 campaign, framing the debate as one between a parochial and backward looking Scottish nationalism and an internationalist outward looking non-nationalist unionism. Brexit has exposed the true and ugly nature of British nationalism in all its xenophobia, reactionary nostalgia and flag waving hypocrisy. It is Scottish independence which now promises true internationalism and deeper and more meaningful ties to our European neighbours.

All that the anti-independence parties have left now are threats, scare stories and intimidation tactics. The next independence referendum campaign will indeed be gruesome for Stephen Kerr because in that campaign all the consequences of Conservative lies, deceit and British nationalist hypocrisy will come home to roost. They have nothing to offer Scotland except continuing decline, more lies, and a Westminster that can never be held to account. That is why they are going to lose.

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61 comments on “Gruesome for Stephen Kerr

  1. Welsh_Siôn says:

    If the honorable (aye, right) gentleman (ditto) takes part in an interview which is widely seen as a complete disaster, is the interview known as ‘a kerr crash’?

  2. You are on a high,Paul.

    Anneliese Dodds, Aberdeen born, privately educated, Oxford grad, who represents a constituency in England, and who wants a second referendum on Brexit, was on the laughably titled ‘Politics Scotland’, today, telling us all what Scots think about Indyref 2. 70% don’t want it.

    She was on sun drenched College Green, along with Christine Jardine, LD, who somehow disagreed with democracy if it were Scottish voters who were exercising it,. This frantic little person was allowed yet again to talk over Kirsten Oswald’s response to David Porter’s banal question on yesterday’s Indyref 2 starting gun speech by NS.

    Porter apologised for the non appearance of any Tory spokesperson..they can’t even be bothered facing the Scottish Public now.

    If a Tory puppet had turned up, it would be BBC 2014 all over again.

    A Unionist broadcaster chairing, 3 Unionist Bitter Together Brit Jocks, talking over the SNP politician and lying ,without challenge by Porter, about what the Public in Scotland want and think.

    Jardine is to Liberal democracy what Boris Johnson is to fidelity in marriage.

    Earlier Murdo Fraser, and a wee lad I have not noticed before warming his back side in the Labour ‘branch office’ in Edinburgh, Paul O’Kane, took centre stage, with Siobhian Brown SNP and Ross Grer of the greens sidelined..After all, they are only Scottish Government representatives, elected to govern.
    Murdo The Queen’s Eleven 8 times electoral failure, and Paul O’Kane rehashed the same old same old…I’ll not bore Paul’s readers here with the Bitter Together junk.

    Greer succinctly explained to Lynsey Bewes anchoring, that the people have spoken..Scotland shall have a Referendum in 2023.

    It’s democracy, stupid.

    Earlier, Ruth Wishart and Alex Massie were the warm up act.

    Massie who looked like Ben Gunn after 3 years marooned on Treasure Island trotted out the usual tired old rubbish about once in a generation..the Scottish people spoke in 204, and on that day, democracy died for his fellow Scots.

    His long matted hair and Dubliners beard were a sight to see. Benn Gunn had a fixation for cheese in his exile. Ruth Wishart argued tha Massie had a fixation with Nicola Sturgeon, and traducing her every week for English gold.
    Massie was churning out this junk 7 years ago.

    Andrew Kerr has been demoted to Greek chorus status.

    Bewes is now anchor, while Kerr provides Yoon biased summaries to what he thought the Massies, Frasers, Dodds and Jardines of the Brit pack were actually saying.

    Kerr (are they related, Paul?) closed by perpetuating Professor Sir John Curtice’s fatuous conclusion; that ‘Boris’ would refuse a S30, ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ (they are all blaming Nicola Sturgeon for bitterly dividing the country, or rather, Scotland the Northern Territory, and Nicola Sturgeon will be forced to resort to the Supreme Court, so the October 2023 date for Indyref 2 would be impossible, and a UK GE in 2024 would see Kier, or is it Keir,? Strarmer would be PM, and we’d have to crawl on our bellies to beg for his permission to hold Indyref 2.
    Even I am astonished by how swiftly they have all crawled out of the woodwork.
    The games afoot, or as we Europeans know it, 0,30 cms.( give or take)

  3. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Great Piece Paul very well written.

  4. yesindyref2 says:

    So basically speaking if you were to crowdfund a citizen’s referendum about Independence, it would, at 2014 prices, cost £15.841 million for the referendum itself, and about £1.2 million for something like Scotland’s Future.

    and some breakdown for each LA:

    We might want to make this international – though contributions outside Scotland might (or might not) be limited.

  5. yesindyref2 says:

    This is actually quite handy, and some totally contradicts the notoriously bad and still uncorrected study by Edinburgh university which stated men were 53% YES but to achieve the actual result of YES 44.7%, NO 55.3%, 8 times as many women would have had to vote as men to compensate.

  6. malkymcblain says:

    You sound reinvigorated Paul like all of us. great to get your words everyday many thanks for your efforts.

    PS just popped a wee something in go fund me. We need you on the case.

    Independence is coming and I’m coming home in October 23 to help you all celebrate 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  7. Dr Jim says:

    Most of the problem we have in Scotland is with the folk who *think* they live in a union governed by democratic principles, and if there’s one thing these folk need to educate themselves on it’s this

    How can Scotland be part of a voluntary union if any decision by Scotland to leave that union is left to the whim of one man/woman not elected by Scotland and not a constitutional and or legal right ?

    There can be and is no union under this regime, this is colonialism, and Scotland and Wales exist in the same terms as any British owned territory throughout history

    In over 50 years no matter how Scotland voted the same political parties of English government would have been elected therefore Scotlands votes made no difference, and they make no difference because that’s exactly the way England designed their fake union so that both Scotland and Wales could never make a difference to England governing

    • Bob Lamont says:

      As stated umpteen times before, a referendum is a non-binding polling mechanism widely used to garner public opinion, it has NO automatic effect.

      Those “who *think* they live in a union” are entitled to their opinion, they are NOT entitled to prevent others expressing theirs.

  8. barpe says:

    Debate Night, on BBC last night, really cheered me up!
    The panel was balanced (3 Indy, and 3 antis, when you count the Host !!), and the prize moment for me was when Lesley Riddoch nudged Hoy and asked him to wake up! From then on she ‘owned’ him!
    The posh English wifie was, as expected, strident.
    The SNP and Green both spoke well, and refusing to be spoken over.
    All told, I may start watching this programme again, if this ‘balance’ can continue (but I really don’t see the BBC complying!!).

    • Bob Lamont says:


      • Alex Clark says:

        I’m hoping for a lot more like that, get the truth out there.

      • barpe says:

        Just noticed, was Lesley’s chair higher?
        She certainly was ‘speaking down to him’!! Brilliant.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        THAT is what journalists should be doing……

        Clearly if HE states NO we’re NOT then ….off the top oh his head….he cannot NAME a LOWER country…..he is LYING.

        Well done Ms Riddoch…..

        Also Sick of politicians and ordinary peeps declaring Scotland has THE worst NHS, worse Education etc BUT not expanding on how or why….just declarations / statements with no substance…..

        Craig Hoy is a REGULAR guest on Tory channel GB News….where he is comfortable in the knowledge he will NEVER be challenged like this……and on many other channels too…..

        She caught him a beauty…..

    • Tam the Bam says:

      I think its always dangerous to speculate on a tv hosts’ political persuasion.I’ve had my fingers burned in the past making a wrong assumption.
      Stephen Jardine….yoon or indy ……I’ve honestly no idea.


  9. James Mills says:

    The Independence camp must offer ”A Vow ” to the No camp in order to bring them onside in the referendum .

    In the event of a”Yes ” victory :

    1. Turdo Fraser is guaranteed that he will still be rejected by the electorate in any Scottish election .

    2. Mags Curran will still be permitted to visit her relatives in the South – whether they want her to or not !

    3.BBC Scotland staff will be still be allowed to traduce their country on a daily basis – but will be required to produce FACTS when broadcasting these views .

    4. The Labour Party Branch Manager will still be allowed to be a hypocrite when addressing wage rates in his businesses and those demanded by an ethical employer .

    5. Alex-Coal Scuttle will be given media coverage commensurate with his support in the country – one hour every evening on TV when Halleys Comet is in the sky .

  10. Dr Jim says:

    There are a couple of by elections about to take place in England that could effect changes in the whole of the government in England, areas that were previously Tory might go Liberal Democrat leading to possible earth shattering results for the PM and the Tories in that country

    Now if we in Scotland had a similar situation it would make no difference whatsoever to anything because the three party union of the English ruling unionists all exist within Scotland to achieve the same end and that is to keep Scotland exactly where it is now, even if half the country had a mental breakdown and voted Liberal Democrat in Scotland absolutely nothing would change in regard to the governance of Scotland, we’d still be governed by whoever was elected in England by the voters in that country

    The situation we have now is that Scotland is being told that even if the SNP had secured every single vote in the last elections the future of Scotland can and would be still governed by the selection the voters in England make, and given that they have the three union parties in England as their choices that automatically means Scotland doesn’t get a look in ever

    If you’re a voter who believes changing from Tory to Liberal Democrat or Labour or any combination of the three will make a difference constitutionally to Scotland then you’ve been led up the garden path by each of those parties

    It’s not just Scotland who suffers from this engineered democratic deficit, Wales has the same problem, those folks invariably vote Labour but what do they get? whatever England votes for unless by coincidence England votes the same way
    Northern Ireland has none of these three England union parties but nevertheless who are they governed by? whatever the voters in England choose

    Devolution was never meant to be a real exercise in democracy it was a paint job to satisfy a set of circumstances, a newly painted over sign to conceal the underlying reality, Scotland and Wales only look a bit like countries for the uninformed and tourists, underneath the writing is still there and it says *Colony of England*

    The union parties are panicking threatening to boycott the upcoming referendum or to prevent it happening, why? because no matter what the legalities or experts or courts and the three union party cabal say, laws don’t ultimately govern countries, people do because people make the laws so can change them

    People power in Scotland can apply the pressure to politically make the difference, so when they tell us this referendum will make no difference because because because (and they will) they do it to put people off voting in it, don’t be fooled, it will count and it will make a difference

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Absolutely brilliant comment Dr Jim.

      Look at how they are acting at the prospect of the Tories potentially LOSING two seats in England in the by elections coming up…one they surmise to Labour and the other one to the Lib Dem…YET here in Scotland they IGNORE the SNP winning elections time and time again….they care NOT a jot about who we, in Scotland , choose to elect via A majority…..indeed they revolt and deny against seeing it as voters here giving the party(s) we elect a mandate to do ANYTHING.

      “Devolution was never meant to be a real exercise in democracy it was a paint job to satisfy a set of circumstances, a newly painted over sign to conceal the underlying reality Scotland and Wales only look a bit like countries for the uninformed and tourists, underneath the writing is still there and it says *Colony of England* “…..You are absolutely spot on there ……

      Hope you have a lovely day….


  11. Alex Clark says:

    Professor Ciaran Martin was the constitutional advisor to David Cameron between 2011 and 2014, he was interviewed last night on The Nine.

    He believes the Scottish government will not win in the Supreme Court, which is debatable. but that even if they did win, then Westminster could simply change the law and overturn the decision.

    Maybe he’s right but the political case for a 2nd referendum is a very strong one, that’s my opinion, not his, I don’t believe it matters much if they were to lose in the Supreme Court. There wouldn’t be much point in starting this fight if you were to give up just because the Supreme Court says NO.

    Is it sustainable for Boris Johnson just to keep saying No?

    “We’ve always been, sort of, told to understand that the Union of the United Kingdom is a union of consent rather than one held together by law, but at the minute the government’s strategy is, the UK government strategy is to hold the United Kingdom together by law and to refuse to set out any path to a referendum and any path to Independence. Whether that’s sustainable in the long run is a matter for politics, not law.”

    • If you want to ensure the union cannot survive, then blocking an iref is how you do it.

      Scots can just vote in thr next election for indy jf they can’t do it by referendum. What’s the solution then, stop Scots elections?

      If the UK government went down this route, history tells us that as night follows day, unless you accept how people are voting, you must stop them voting, with boots (English in our case) on the ground if needed.

      If Scots want indy, it can’t be stopped by any English law. Only by sufficient violent force to put it down and keep it that way indefinitely. That can be a hell of a lot of costly, bloody force, as putin is learning.

      Look at what happened in Northern Ireland and most there actually supported the union. Can you imagine what the troubles would have looked like if the majority had backed reunification?

      • Dr Jim says:

        Labours Lisa Nandy supports deploying the British military to put an end to Scotlands democracy in a similar way Spain did in that country

        Total insanity of course not only because the circumstances are completely and entirely different but it indicates the position of all three parties of the union to prevent any kind of democracy breaking away from Englands ownership of what they consider their property

        England refuses to recognise Scotland as any kind of country, to them Scotland is a possession

    • grizebard says:

      Martin is of course a Tory, so he would hardly claim different, would he? No doubt when he was advising Cameron, they all thought a “no” result was a shoo-in, so they were willing to concede the issue anyway. (And thereby created a precedent.)

      I’m not so sure though that the Supreme Court would deny a consultative referendum, if asked. In previous constitutional judgements, the court made it clear that its view of such matters is that they must be settled politically, not juridically. (This is a very non-interventionist body, quite unlike the American one.) The only viable political solution in such circumstances is a referendum.

      To try to prevent such a referendum by Westminster dirty tricks would make a mockery of every democratic pretension of the English Empire, cast every Unionist politician in Scotland into popular contempt, and take the whole UK into very dangerous waters indeed. Want another Ireland on your hands, England, on top of all your other troubles?

      • Alex Clark says:

        “To try to prevent such a referendum by Westminster dirty tricks would make a mockery of every democratic pretension of the English Empire, cast every Unionist politician in Scotland into popular contempt…”

        I agree and this would happen with the rest of the world looking on. It is not sustainable to simply deny the democratic rights of the people of Scotland to be governed by a government of their choosing. If the route to a referendum is blocked by a decision of the Supreme Court then the battle for our democratic rights will continue on the International stage.

        It might need pressure to be applied from the likes of the EU, the US and the UN before we have our referendum but I have no doubt that there will be one. If Westminster wants to be known as a dictatorship and pariah state then they are going the right way about it.

    • Golfnut says:

      Westminster can’t lawfully prevent Scotland from withdrawing from the Union. We’re not a colony and we are going to here lots of the stuff. This is more about voter suppression than vote prevention. There will be a referendum and Westminster will be bound by the decision of the SCOTTISH electorate.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Purely coincedental of course #kevinhaguelookalike,

  12. barpe says:

    FMQs – Nicola is back to her campaigning mode, making mincemeat of Dross and Sarwar! And that’s only 20 minutes in!

  13. Alex Clark says:

    Lord Geidt’s resignation letter has just been published on the BBC website. The second part of the letter shows Johnson was purposely intending another breech of the ministerial code on a policy related matter. The specific issue is not stated but his letter pulls no punches in stating exactly what he thinks of this.

    This week, however, I was tasked to offer a view about the Government’s intention to consider measures which risk a deliberate and purposeful breach of the Ministerial Code. This request has placed me in an impossible and odious position. My informal response on Monday was that you and any other Minister should justify openly your position vis-a-vis the Code in such circumstances. However, the idea that a Prime Minister might to any degree be in the business of deliberately breaching his own Code is an affront. A deliberate breach, or even an intention to do so, would be to suspend the provisions of the Code to suit a political end. This would make a mockery not only of respect for the Code but licence the suspension of its provisions in governing the conduct of Her Majesty’s Ministers. I can have no part in this. Because of my obligation as a witness in Parliament, this is the first opportunity I have had to act on the Government’s intentions. I therefore resign from this appointment with immediate effect.

    Johnson’s response just shows that he couldn’t care less. Nothing to see here!

    • Capella says:

      Johnston has just survived a No Confidence vote so he will be confident that he won’t be challenged again. Hopefully he has misplaced his confidence along with his morals.

  14. Capella says:

    This Scottish Independence 2023 video from April last year gives a good analysis of the constitutional situation. It points out that legal opinions bought by the UK government are not reliable. There is no reason why we can not have a consultative referendum.
    Deconstructing the Union. Why it Doesn’t Work for Scotland and How it Can be Challenged. 35 min.

    • Dr Jim says:

      More and more I believe we’re going to see the union party attempt to deny the vote and employ the tactics of boycott

      Let them go ahead with that one all they like, it’s not a good strategy to depend on when you’re pretending to be a democracy, it’s not working out well for the DUP in Northern Ireland doing this, the public don’t like it

      • Capella says:

        You could be right. It would split the unionist vote though and they can’t be certain their voters will comply. Turnout will be important. Nicola said in FMQs that 30% of Labour voters and 20% ? of Lib Dem voters wanted a referendum (which probably means YES )

  15. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Caught this Tweet from a former Labour MP

    “The ECHR runs like a thread through the 3 sets of devolution legislation in the UK as well as the Good Friday Agreement. Would require substantial changes to the devolution settlements if the UK left the ECHR”

    So who and what is the ECHR :

    The ECHR powers include reducing inequality, eliminating discrimination and promoting and protecting human rights. The focus of their regulatory role is to help organisations achieve what they should, not catch them out if they fall short…….

    The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protects the human rights of people in countries that belong to the Council of Europe. All 47 Member States of the Council, including the UK, have signed the Convention. Its full title is the ‘Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’

    Originally proposed by Winston Churchill and drafted mainly by British lawyers, the Convention was based on the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was signed in Rome in 1950 and came into force in 1953…..( sourced this paragraph from Google via Q – Who proposed ECHR….)

    Some Tory MPs are demanding Boris Johnson withdraws from the European Court of Human Rights……so that THEIR government can currently enforce a policy that clearly abuses the human rights of desperate people fleeing from wars, oppression and NO human rights in own country they fled from….to send them TO a country they , Tories, formerly challenged on their record on ….HUMAN RIGHTS….Indeed Johnson himself stated on Rwanda that they had a “dismal’ human rights record” …AND to implement this policy they will be paying Rwanda MILLIONS…first INITIAL payment will be £120 Million but cost could escalate…so to put into perspective £20 Million for another Indy Ref seems less of a shock to some of those currently calling it a waste of public money when one sees the despicable abuses Tories are willing to waste money upon to implement THEIR policies….£20 million seems cheap for chance to ESCAPE it all…..

    The UK is still a participant in the ECHR, and UK Human Rights cases can still be heard by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The commitment was established in 2019 in a political declaration between the EU and the UK.

    So Brexit has allowed a government and some Tory MP’s to try to IMPOSE and try to ENFORCE policies that contravene this body they are STILL a participant of ……..and the suggestion that the UK withdraws from it to satisfy some Tory MP’s who want to see their government dictate and control all powers within THEIR UK to replace everything that existed pre Brexit is disgusting….they also care NOT a jot on any impact that this should have on devolution settlements….THAT IS THE REALITY OF THEIR CURRENT UK AND VERY MUCH NON UNION… what’s to LIKE about staying in this NON Union….apparently NOTHING.

  16. Hamish100 says:

    My goodness, some on SGP willing to go with the Independence proposals.Good news and is -positive.

    As for the troll independista de scotia I think the poor dear needs some counselling. Beyond redemption I fear lol🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • Dr Jim says:

      When all around is changing and all that’s left is the self gratification of previous bitterness, that emotion turns to destruction, ( translation: if ye ken ye cannae win F**k everybody else up )

      Marcus Aurelius,

      Could’ve been written for all unionists

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Alas Hamish…. I fear that particular miscreant is beyond redemption

    • I thought it was ‘ye gonnae’ in scots rather than ‘ya gonna’.

  17. Hamish100 says:

    The so called National Archives sent an email today.

    This caught my eye. Even a Tory might raise an eyebrow as to how they were viewed at times by the English. Note not south British. Could this article be just coincidental?

    “John Wilkes is one of the most scandalous and fascinating figures of late 18th-century politics and no instance in his life is more scandalous than the infamous publication of The North Briton number 45.

    Wilkes founded The North Briton to attack the government of the Earl of Bute, Prime Minister and favourite of the recently ascended George III. Bute was Scottish, a north Briton, and Wilkes used his paper to claim that the Prime Minister’s Tory government was a Scottish takeover of the English government.”

    The inherent racism against the Scots didn’t stop at the common folk.

  18. yesindyref2 says:

    Sturgeon, apparently, about fusion energy as opposed to fission:

    There is an awful long way to go before any of us fully understand either the risks or indeed the opportunities that technology might present.

    It is probably decades before we could see any plants operating and a lot of understanding needs to be built along the way.

    We will not close our minds but nor will we jump to conclusions while that work has to be done.

    In terms of traditional nuclear energy, our position is well-known. We have massive renewable potential and this government is going to focus on making sure we fully realise that.

    It’s remarkable that the usual student rebel, CND, anti-nuclear. anti-NATO, anti-monarchy has as First Minister found an almost complete ability to set aside person, and be the position – something very few politicians are able to do. I can’t see any of the current Unionist leaders in Scotland being able to do that.

    But there are fusion plants that have operated, and the Ardeer proposal is not a donut tokamak, it’s shaped like a coreless apple, for a much more compact and efficient (and less costly) design. And this design is not new, it was trialled in the 90s (I forget the name) and this was actually upgraded in about 2012 having proven itself at Culham,

    STEP wouldn’t just produce fusion, it would actually be attached to the grid and could produce net energy by the 40s (more if more money is invested).

    And it’s clean – it would be interesting to compare a model with any existing background radiation we get in everyday life.

    For my view – fission for energy has had its day, and part of its purpose should have and still can be, to bring in the next evolution – fusion. Though in its day I supported a Hunterston C not far from me, nowadays I wouldn’t. Time to move on, just as we have done from lung unfriendly coal.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      “earlier” if more money was invested. We’d have fusion on tap now if the money had been invested – same as CCS. Too many short-term motivated politicians at Westminster, with no ability to work for the future.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        How do you reconcile with regard to fusion “There is an awful long way to go before any of us fully understand either the risks or indeed the opportunities that technology might present” with your “We’d have fusion on tap now if the money had been invested – same as CCS”

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I’ve followed fusion since the 70s, and knew a couple of people at Culham, plus accidentally meeting some Dutch people involved with fusion in the 80s while away in Austria on my own for a change for a weekend, getting to grips with the black slopes. Plus being almost involved with Daedalus except being freelance I gigged all over the place.

          But most people know nothing about it, so I’m a bit of a rare bird who got the early worm.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Accepted, but the question remains unanswered. No ?

            • yesindyref2 says:

              Maybe. I’m a proponent if that’s the right word, of fusion, not just for the clean energy, but for space travel as for instance in:


              as mankind leaves behind an envorinmentally knackered planet and goes around the rest of the universe cleanly (or pollutes it).

              But it would need balance, and since most people with knowledge would probably be pro, it needs people to have knowledge and oppose it, or at least argue against it without confusing it with fission.

              Sturgeon would perhaps be in the role of “referee”, making decisions as to whether to grant planning or refuse it for the likes of Ardeer. She knows that and it’s a huge step forward for the cause of fusion in Scotland, so we don’t be left behind.

              Think Space – even in our solar system there’s resources and money, and Scotland can be at the forefront of that.

    • grizebard says:

      If anything in the field of technological development illustrates the point that not everything can be accelerated just by throwing more money at it, it’s nuclear fusion. Progress so far has been littered with false dawns, from Stellarator onwards. For a long, long time, it wasn’t even certain that the Lawson criterion could be met, let alone energy release could be turned into anything like a practical proposition. (Even if there are now Elon Musk-style privateers entering the field.) While the former has now been reliably achieved, there’s still a long way to go before fusion can be turned into a power-producing process that truly pays its own way, which (as you know) has never happened with fission. Personally, I believe it’s promising, hopeful even, but for the future, and we have real and pressing needs that can be met with renewables right now. Not least tidal power, where, after a puzzling dearth of funding bequeathed us by London ever since the Thatcher years, a considerable surge of financial support would reap immense rewards very quickly indeed.

  19. Tam the Bam says:


    Paul..I noticed an article in todays National re “BBC BIAS”.

    Just to remind me..I played “London Calling” again for old times sake.

    Wondered if you’d maybe give a thought to putting pen to paper on the current situation.

    Its summer!…I think a wee 4000 strong visit to Pacific Quay might be just what the doctor ordered!

  20. yesindyref2 says:

    Em….listen Spock…no offence intended but can we keep oor eyes on the prize?

    Of course Tam, always:

    Click to access 00526537.pdf

    There were 963,400 people working in STEM related sectors in Scotland in 2016 (APS, SIC defined).

    This represents an increase of 70,500 (8%) from 2010 levels, double the overall increase in employment in the Scottish economy (4%). It represents a
    37% share of to tal employment, higher than the Great Britain average
    of 32% (the proportion for England was 31% in 2015, and 33% for Wales).

    Mmm, 963,400 YES votes up for grabs with leading edge Science and Technology, enabled of course by Engineering and Maths. AND high value jobs too.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      That’s actually another reason I long wanted Independence – to be able to reverse the brain drain, where high achievers had to emigrate.

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