Expat groundhog day

Can we not lay this one to rest?  Jayzuz, here we bloody go again.  The Sunday Times is claiming that Alex Salmond has acted illegally by denying the vote to expat Scots.  Because it’s behind a paywall, and wild horses would not drag me to give money to Rupert Murdoch, I had to rely on third party reports so am unclear on what grounds the Times can make its allegation.  Though they’re probably along the lines of “See that Alicsammin, I hate him hate him hate him.  He’s smelly and racist against English people.  Did I mention I hate him.”

Onieweys, for the umpteenth time, and for the benefit of very small children, the joined up thinking challenged, and dumb as soup Times journalists, expat Scots cannot vote in the referendum for many reasons, none of which have anything to do with Alicsammin and his eevyle desire to install himself as our alien lizard overlord.


And by the way, it’s expat, no hyphen, because it’s short for expatriate, which comes from the French expatrier “to banish, exile”.  It’s not derived from ex-patriot and doesn’t contain the ex- meaning former.  An ex-pat is a Patrick who’s had the operation and is now called Marina.


Neither, by the way again, do the real reasons expat Scots cannot vote in the referendum have anything to do with them deciding not to live in Scotland.  It’s common practice in many countries to allow expats to vote.  UK citizens living in other EU states retain a vote in UK General Elections for 15 years.  Spain, France, and the USA organise ballots for their citizens who live abroad.  When Latvia recently held a referendum on whether to grant the Russian language equal constitutional status to the Latvian language, a ballot of Latvian citizens in the UK was organised by the Latvian embassy in London.

Amongst the large Scottish diaspora, of which I was once a part before returning to live in Scotland, there are many many thousands who did not actively choose to leave Scotland.  A great many did so only reluctantly, because it was the only way to get a decent job.  That is one of the reasons we are campaigning for independence, because the economic policies of the Union prevent Scotland from offering livelihoods and opportunities for all Scots, and forces our children and siblings to leave.  Scots who were forced to move south or move overseas because of the neglect and deindustrialisation wreaked by successive Westminster governments are victims of the Union’s ill effects on Scotland, they are not dirty stop outs who chose to leave and by leaving surrendered their voice.

Of course expat Scots have a right to a voice.  But they don’t have a right to a vote in the referendum, and they can’t have the right to a vote.  The real reason is very simple.  So simple and obvious it is overlooked – even by supporters of independence.

The reason is that Scotland is not an independent country yet.  Since Scotland is not an independent country, there is as yet no legal definition of a Scottish citizen.  You cannot legally be a citizen of a state which does not legally exist.  And if you cannot define who is or is not a citizen of Scotland, then how do you define who has the right to vote in the referendum?

The Scottish Parliament has no legal authority to hold any sort of ballot outside of Scotland.  That’s a power reserved to Westminster.  So the only body capable of organising a ballot of expat Scots to allow them to participate in the referendum is the Westminster Parliament.  However that would mean that the Westminster Parliament would have to determine some basis for deciding who would be a citizen of an independent Scotland – but that is not something that Westminster can decide.  Only the Parliament and constitution of an independent Scotland can define who is a Scottish citizen.  Tory MPs from Surrey don’t have that right, not even if they’re Michael Gove.

The only way in which the Westminster Parliament can pass the necessary legislation would be after consultation with the Scottish Parliament.  But the current Scottish Parliament doesn’t have the legal authority to determine who would be a Scottish citizen.  Westminster could negotiate with the current Scottish Parliament in order to reach a provisional agreement on who might count as a Scottish citizen for the purposes of the referendum.  But that would mean prenegotiating Scottish independence, and the Westminster Mob have already made it clear that as far as uppity Caledonians are concerned they don’t do negotiations, whether of the pre or post variety.

So if you are an expat Scot in say, Woking, who is aggrieved that you cannot vote in the referendum, then write a stiff letter of complaint to your local Conservative MP, demanding that Westminster opens negotiations with the Scottish Parliament forthwith.

However Scotland might insist that Westminster adopts the fitba rule, and anyone with at least one Scottish grandparent could qualify for the national team.  That would mean Davie Cameron would have a vote and he’d no longer have any excuse for not debating Eck.  You can see why he might not be so keen.

0 thoughts on “Expat groundhog day

    • Ummmmm. the fact is the only way Scotland could gain independence is by breaking free militarily…. but I don’t think they even have their own military… I hope you don’t think that the rest of the UK would defend you…lol

      • Not entirely sure what makes you come to the conclusion we could only become independent after a war. You may be interested to know that what you say is not a fact, it’s merely uninformed speculation. But hey, if you want to post comments about things you know nothing about – knock yerself out love.

        • It’s a fact that the country of Scotland voting for its independence is an oxymoron…..instead of spending money on this ridiculous vote, why not spend money on innovation and invent things to keep jobs in Scotland…… the whining is sad….

          • That is precisely why we need independence so that we can do so. All the British want to do with our money is blow it on submarine-launched geopolitical penis substitutes and bling for the centre of their universe.

  1. I think we’ll start hearing more of the Establishment trying to destabilise the referendum by throwing rumours around about the illegalities of it… ‘A Yes vote doesn’t mean you’ll get independence’ … that type of thing. Simple fact is they want the oil and Faslane, and they’ll try to use any means possible to keep them.

    • Oil, Faslane, tax take and budgetary contribution, net export figures contribution, energy production and renewable energy generation figures, access to sea lanes and fishing grounds, crown estates, cross border trade, seats at ‘big tables’… etc, etc

      Yeah we’re just a whinging anchor apparently. They lose that and we lose… apparently people and businesses that don’t want to be here anyway because its all so uncertain. Oh, we also lose a shitload of debt if they stick to their currency guns.

      Fair trade. 🙂

  2. Ex-pat… Outstanding. 😀

    Aye they’re in a bit of a pickle over vote entitlement, but even being completely and fully aware of the reasons doesn’t stop them from raising the issue every five minutes to mix the odd bit of faux outrage into the stew. Yet another example utterly dishonest campaigning. Westminster and the meeja could have laid this to rest themselves a couple of years ago. It simply suits their narrative to continue stirring the pot.

  3. I am a Scot living in Holland, an expat. I firmly believe that the vote should be limited to the people who live and work in Scotland.

  4. I’m one of the Scots that chose to stay, for many reasons but mostly because money is not my god. I have two university degrees and a lot to offer. I earn 14K a year working in a shop because its the best I could get up here in the highlands. I think for that reason I have a better right to vote than my brother (with a pHD) who lives in Michigan….Who earns $$$$. There are better jobs up here in the field I previously worked in (Ecology and wildlife conservation) but most of these jobs here in the highlands are held by, you guessed it! People from the ‘south’ who work and live here because its nicer than the place they came from. They have a right to vote in the forthcoming referendum and guess how they’ll vote… Very frustrating.. Never voted Tory, didn’t pay my poll tax and will continue to think of myself as only Scots whatever happens in September.

    • ” People from the ‘south’ who work and live here because its nicer than the place they came from. They have a right to vote in the forthcoming referendum and guess how they’ll vote…”

      Don’t know, how do you think they’ll vote? I came from the South, live here because I love it, and work from home as I used to in England. Because I love it so much, I and lots of other English, Polish, Indian, Irish people will be voting… for Scottish Independence.

      • I have to agree. My other half is English, and he’s been a supporter of Scottish independence for a very long time. He fully intends to vote yes. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a majority of English people resident in Scotland vote yes.

        • Stranger things have happened!! Although my home town which in the past twenty years has filled up with people ‘fleeing’ the south is very split on the referendum. I know this because I spent Saturday handing out YES leaflets on our high street and received some very rude comments and ‘bodyswerves’ from our new ‘southern’ neighbours. I know where there origins lie because I serve them at work and without sounding like i’m stereotyping they are only interested in what our lovely area has to offer (clean air, low crime rate, cheaper houses) and not what the ‘locals’ want (The locality has been a SNP stronghold since time began- It also has the highest unemployment rate in the Highlands). I started to feel like I was handing out leaflets for the BNP- rather than trying to ensure that my children will have a future in the area…

  5. Although I agree many Scots have been forced to become economic migrants ( 80% of the new jobs in the UK over the last two years going to London would be an example ), many have also had the wanderlust. So anecdotally I would have had to wait for a medical job in the 70s, but it was also exciting to move to London with most of my Aberdeen mates ( for whom it must be said there was no local option as they were engineers ).

    • I was the same Yerkit. I went to the old Aberdeen College of Commerce in the 70’s and did a four year course in IT at age 25. At that time there were absolutely no jobs in Scotland so 6 of us ended up in Zambia with our families. Since that time I spent 30 years going all over the globe. Now I am back in Bonnie Scotland and I have a VOTE on the 18th September. YES

  6. Found this on the BBC news website:

    “Could expatriate Scots living in Europe have a say in the independence referendum on September 18? That’s certainly the opinion of an EU law expert quoted in the Sunday Times who says Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond acted illegally by denying them a vote.

    Barrister Aidan O’Neill QC tells paper the decision had “good prospects” of being overturned in a judicial review on the grounds that it violated the rights of an estimated 1.15m Scottish expatriates’ to freedom of movement under European law. He says he is sending the legal opinion to Mr Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron.”

    Checked up on Aiden O’Neill and apparently he first stated this in Nov 2011 in the Telegraph. Don’t know if this is the BBC recycling old fears or what. However, it is a bit late in the day to bring it up again.

    • Aidan O’Neill knows his stuff. But if he is restating a position from 2011, which it it is reasonable to assume has been considered elsewhere already, and he hasn’t got anything new to add, then I’d say having read the Dug’s arguments, that it might be a small PR gift to the YES campaign to see a very late attempt to gerrymander the ballot go astray.(If reported).

  7. First time here, but not the last. Ex-pat, ha ha.

    I have to admit that up to now my first reaction to ‘ex-pats’ bleating about not having the right to vote No is, Oh dear, what a shame, never mind, now f**k off. But perhaps after reading this I’ll be slightly more kinder…

  8. We’re told (ad nauseam) that Westminster is sovereign. The franchise for the Scottish Parliament was decided by Westminster. The franchise for the referendum was, therefore, decided by Westminster, and further endorsed by Westminster when the Edinburgh Agreement was signed.

    If anyone has a problem, take it up with the UK’s sovereign body.

  9. Expats can vote. Like anyone else, all they have to do is move to Scotland. I can’t remember the deadline for registering for a vote but it is quite late in the day. I do hope it is not too late. Problem solved?

    • The irony of this is he is on the Russian payroll (RT Russian television)…. and we all know now what what Russia thinks if countries….

  10. Scotland did not give up its sovereignty when it entered into the Acts of Parliament and Union. England have over centuries diluted their sovereignty so much its almost non existent but Scotland retained hers. If you are born in Scotland you are by birth a Scot. There is no such ‘country’ as the UK, this is not the US, its not a collective of states formed into one country, a union is a differing concept entirely. So for that matter you can define a Scot by birth.

      • You don’t understand the difference between “a country”, and “an independent state”. Which is a bit alarming. Not to mention ignorant and stupid.

        Now run along and get back to your expat bar in Spain with the rest of the Daily Mail readers dear, donde os podeis quejar, sin ninguna ironia aparente, de los imigrantes que no aprenden el idioma. The grown ups are talking.

        • Very intellectual to name-call…complete physiological sign of desperation…..another sad Scottish story….you’d do well to focus more on studying international law and history and less on grandiose speeches….but I’m sure you love to hear yourself speak..

          • I do dear, I do. But I don’t love you. So I’ve banned you. Now fuck off.

            Does that help allow you to portray yourself as a victim of evil Nats? I do hope so. Happy to be of assistance.

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