Don’t let Scotland down now

It’s only lunchtime and I’m still trying to catch up with the events of this morning. The gods alone know what will have happened by teatime. The only thing that I’m sure of is that it’s looking increasingly likely that the UK’s tea is oot.

There was a fun morning in the European Parliament. For once Sky News and the BBC actually showed the debate going on there. If they had done that before on a regular basis it’s just possible that we might not be in the situation we are at the moment. But really they were only transmitting the show in order to broadcast Nigel Farage’s grandstanding.

First up we got to see Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian PM and currently the president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament, pointedly congratulating Boris Johnson on becoming the Prime Minister of the dual kingdom of England and Wales. It was a sign that things in Europe are not necessarily going to develop to Nigel’s advantage, but that they very well might develop to Scotland’s.

Nigel, as you might expect, gave a speech in which he proceeded to insult the rest of the European Parliament, displaying that peculiarly British nationalist arrogance which holds that normal rules don’t apply to the United Kingdom, or rather, to England, because it’s a special snowflake. Nigel is the English football team in political form, the same arrogance, the same sense of entitlement, the same sourness when things don’t go his way, and the same deep rooted belief that everyone else ought to make allowances for him. Poor Nigel, he still thinks that Britannia rules the waves even though it lost to the crew of an Icelandic fishing trawler.

After serially abusing the entire European Parliament, Nigel then demanded that the UK gets a special deal from the EU to allow it to get all the bits out of Europe that it wants to keep but to reject the bits it doesn’t want. Nigel is one of those who thinks that British citizens should have freedom of movement in Europe, but EU citizens shouldn’t have freedom of movement in the UK. His speech was received with boos and heckles.

Next up was SNP MEP Alyn Smith, who was accidentally broadcast by a BBC which thought it was broadcasting yet more racist sub-Dad’s Army ranting from Nigel. Alyn made an impassioned speech, reminding the EU Parliament that Scotland had voted by a large majority to remain a part of the EU. Scotland has not let you down, he said, and pleaded with the Parliament, do not let Scotland down now. There was a standing ovation from MEPs from across the continent and across the political spectrum. The contrast with Nigel was very clear. Scotland has friends and allies in Europe. We’re not alone, we are going to receive a very sympathetic hearing from the EU, and I get the feeling that the rest of Europe is going to bend over backwards in order to find a way of accommodating Scotland. Meanwhile what’s left of Britain is Nigel gurning like Billy No-Mates on the naughty chair in the corner.

Closer to home, the Labour party is still without a shadow Scotland Secretary. We’re in the middle of the biggest constitutional crisis in Scottish history, and Westminster Labour have nothing to say and no one to say it. That’s dereliction of duty. All Westminster Labour is interested in is the attempt by the Blairites to remove Jeremy Corbyn. It’s very clear where Scotland figures in their concerns – nowhere. If Scotland wants someone to stand up for it, we’re going to have to do it ourselves, because there’s going to be bugger all help from the Parliamentary Labour party.

The Labour party in Scotland are having one of their existential crises. Certain prominent Labour figures have said that they will support a yes vote to independence in a second referendum if that is the only way to ensure that Scotland can continue as a member of the EU. Their support is to be welcomed. However the party leadership is pinning its hopes to a fantasy that in a fully federal UK Scotland will be allowed to remain a part of the EU even though the rest of the country has left it. That’s going to depend on the consent of Westminster, and the consent of Brussels. Neither of those is likely to be forthcoming. Labour has to work through its stages of grief. Currently it’s at stage 3, bargaining. That will be followed by depression, although to be fair it’s always depressing when you have to listen to James Kelly MSP, and will be followed by the acceptance of the inevitable. Independence.

However the Labour party, along with the Lib Dems and the Greens, is supporting the motion put forward by the Scottish Government which will be debated in Holyrood this afternoon. To their credit, and I never thought I’d say this, they’re not letting Scotland down now. The motion calls on the Scottish Government to negotiate with the EU, the British government and anyone and everyone who can help to assure Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU by any means. It makes no mention of independence, it makes no mention of another independence referendum. The fact remains that it’s looking increasingly likely that that’s what it’s going to take if Scotland is to preserve its EU membership. It’s also looking likely that we’ll get the support of the EU to do so. Indyref2 is going to be a very different affair from indyref1.

Ruth Davidson has put forward an amendment to the motion that the Scottish Parliament will be debating this afternoon. Ruth wants to strip out the contents of the entire motion and replace it with one saying that the Scottish Government will respect the Brexit majority in the UK as a whole, will do what Westminster tells it, won’t consult with anyone except the UK Government, and won’t seek another independence referendum even if that’s the only way Scotland can remain in the EU.

So that’s the Tories for you, going full on Loyalist. While Alyn Smith is pleading with the European Parliament not to let Scotland down, and getting the support of what seemed to be a clear majority of MEPs from across Europe, Scotland’s own Tories are letting Scotland down at home. Sure, say the Scottish Tories, we’ll fight Scotland’s corner, but only if Westminster says it’s OK, we blindfold ourselves, tie one hand behind our back, and stand on one leg jumping up and down when Boris tells us to. I wonder if her constituents in Edinburgh realised when they voted for her that when she said she’d be holding the SNP to account what she really meant was that she’d be doing her utmost to ensure that the Tories in Westminster couldn’t be held to account.

Ruth’s motion is going to get flushed. And so, sooner or later, but probably sooner, is the Union. The United Kingdom is broken Ruth, your party broke it. It’s your Tory fault. Scotland is leaving and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

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0 thoughts on “Don’t let Scotland down now

  1. Like everyone, I’m having trouble keeping up with the pace.

    Thanks to you Paul, and Wings of course, we are are aware of the momentous issues and the opportunity presented to us. Let us seize the chance with both hands.

    Saor Alba.

  2. A good summary, Paul.

    After the Brexit result, I looked at that map and could not imagine a situation where Scotland would not be independent. However, I’m now starting to worry that things might not be a clear cut as we imagine.

    One thing that’s becoming clear is that the money doesn’t want the UK to leave the EU. Big business, the rich, the city. And that money runs the Conservative party. And it almost always gets what it wants.

    So I wouldn’t be surprised if they do try everything to derail Brexit. The only way to do it vaguely democratically is to have a second referendum on some other “terms of the deal” type situation. Hey, so the EU are playing hardball. What do you think, Brits? Let’s show them how resolute we are. I know we’ve just hiked taxes massively to pay for Brexit, I know you can’t get a doctor’s appointment, I know we’ll need to accept immigration, but we all knew that was on the cards and we accept it – now is the time to stay the course. The vote would be for Remain.

    But then Brussels might not give the UK that chance.

    If Brexit is derailed, I worry that Scotland would remain shackled to a country that is going to explode. Brexit was like a cap you turn to release pressure from a steam boiler. We’d be screwing that cap down again. UKIP and other extreme parties would rise all across England. It would be hell.

    So who knows?

    • My guess would be that WM´s best option for now is simply to delay for as long as possible, with a view to eventually ignoring or overturning the LEAVE vote, e.g. when the great English populace finally realises what it´s just done. ¨We weren´t told about all this stuff¨ they´re beginning to scream with increasing shrillness. Also many of the promises they were sold Leave on seem to have been just a wee bitee economical with the truth. And surely when you enter into a contract on the basis of misinformation … well there must be an EU directive about that?

      Anyway if Nicola gets her skates on there´s a decent chance that we´ll escape the UK cesspit while the English are still working through their whole, ¨Och, I didna mean it, A wis upset, ye ken?¨ scene.

      BTW the Welsh are looking indywards now … who´s next?

  3. I’m manager of a charity shop, filled with Tories who seem to like volunteering (must salve their conscience).Even they are moving towards Yes albeit they may hold their noses while voting. Would never have thought such a momentous shift was possible.Keep up the good work Wastemonster, you’re doing our job for us.

  4. Pingback: Don’t let Scotland down now | speymouth

  5. I don’t have TV but, in a friend’s house, watched our Highland MEP Alyn Smith raise the EU Parliament roof. Lots more of that please!
    We HAVE to be on our way now.

  6. There’s a bit of news I’ve heard, but haven’t been able to corroborate, is anyone able to help?

    “Juncker enacting a Presidential ban on contact with UK officials until Article 50 triggered.”

  7. As I said on a previous thread, I am very concerned about second Indy ref, our large southern neighbour is about to go down the tubes and it looks to me like the EU parliamentarians are putting the boot into England and giving them no quarter. No matter what happens they are not getting back, which leaves Scotland in a very dangerous position, England needs Scotlands wealth and resources and will do any dirty trick to keep it so.
    Somehow or other I feel we have to break free now with the help of the EU without another ref. If we had voted yes at the last ref we were told that England would be the successor state. England via the brexit vote have now declared themselves an independent state. Scotland is now the successor state. No second ref needed.

    • I thought myself Wullie but am not sure of the legalities – the SNP would need to get some legal eagles on the job exploring this possibility. If feasible I suppose it would be hammered out in the deal the EU do with the UK once Art 50 is triggered – if it ever is!!

  8. Top notch dissection and good grief but the speed of current events is mind boggling. You turn away for even a second and some new twist or calamity has occurred.

    Big news of the day for us though has to be the Holyrood debate and the show of support from the chamber in Brussels.

    I fully agree. Indyref2 is going to be an affair of a different stripe altogether. A referendum where it appears some of the media may be singing a different tune, big business may be in support and more importantly the EU may be more forthcoming with some serious vocal support.

    That it took such a constitutional and economic crisis is sad beyond words, but not unexpected by many during indyref1. Anyroads, we are where we are and there’s nothing quite like catastrophic negligence and arrogance on the part of Westminster to focus a population’s minds on what is truly important.

    Get plenty of rest folks. We may be about to get busy.

  9. Thanks for an excellent bulletin in fast-moving times, Paul.

    Ironically, it’s Ruth the Mooth who is obsessed with independence: the debate was supposed to be about keeping Scotland in the EU. As one sage has said already, she’s speaking in the wrong parliament.

    Farage was an utter disgrace, and if I were English, I’d be deeply embarrassed by his dreadful manners, let alone his foul and abusive language after Alyn Smith’s speech.

    Looking at all the smiling MEPs behind AS was a marvellous contrast. I’m really hopeful that sympathy for Scotland will grow into unequivocal political support which will say, “If you win Indyref2, you will be the new 28th state.”

    Would love to be a spy in the camp when the FM meets J-C Juncker. He looks seriously beelin’ with the Tories.

    A nice bottle of malt from Nicki S should do the trick….

    • Only thing that’s brought a smile to my face this week. Mrs M was convinced I was coming down with something. Claimed she hadn’t ma kisser in that shape for two years. 🙂

  10. For once, the continentals on mainland Europe, we are island Europe, geographically speaking and EU speaking after the EU referendum, see us as Scots and not English! ABOUT TIME.
    When in Germany in the late 60’s I wad constantly telling friends I was Schotte and not Engländer. Answer was always that we are all the same, we call the island England etcetcetc.
    If the Westminster government, if one can call it that, don’t invoke Article 50 soon, the EU are going to get nasty with Engerland and its Welsh sidekick.
    I wonder what her Britannic majesty is thinking about her kingdoms? After the celebrations and the faux praise, what next?
    Is the Saxe-Coburg, morphed into Windsor dynasty about to change or be downsized?

  11. On a Facefaff Yes page, someone posted that France had veto’d the TTIP… I can only find 2 sources about this and apparently if one member state gives a veto, that’s it finished… Can anyone confirm? Love yer work by the way, keep it up ’cause we’ll need it!

  12. Let’s step back a bit and look at what’s really going to happen. The London/New York financial elite and the Westminster/Washington political elites do not see the UK leaving the EU as being in their interests. As a result the UK is not going to leave the EU at the end of the day – referendum or no referendum.

    A way will be found to negate the result of the EU referendum, and to placate the irate English Leave voters a scapegoat will be needed to divert their anger on to someone other than the Westminster crew. Guess who just might be in their cross-hairs?

    Scotland and the Scots are not all that highly regarded by many south of the border anyway so there shouldn’t be too much trouble in lining up everything Scottish to take the ‘blame’ for thwarting the democratic will of the English electorate. EVEL etc. from the last outing will be like a picnic beside what is likely to come our way.

    I’m not putting this in writing out of fear or to join in scaremongering. Better to be aware of the possibility that we could be used as I’ve said and to act in ways which will make it more difficult for those who would harm us to succeed,

    If this thought seems far-fetched, simply answer a simple question – Why is it that in the past few days the mainstream media, en masse, have abandoned all ‘SNP Bad’ comments and are actually putting forward Scotland’s pursuit of independence as being quite reasonable? We know that they are controlled from Central HQ, so as usual they are faithfully carrying out their orders. Why? What end are they trying to achieve?

    Even a fully independent Scotland would find life very difficult if our Southern neighbour ten times our size had it in for us. This is a possibility we must head off if at all possible.

    • So you’re suggesting that 4 million UKIP voters plus a some extreme right wing groups will all sit back and accept quietly that the UK government will change it’s mind and not leave Europe ?

      I don’t see that happening, not with whats been going on since the vote. If what you describe happens, I think there will be some extreme civil unrest.

      On top of that you would see the demise of the Tory Government pretty much immediately as a vote of ‘No Confidence’ would trigger a General Election. That General Election could easily see the UKIP vote share rocket to over 10m.

    • No disrespect, mate , but population size is irrelevant. The size of England( in terms of mass) is not 10 times the size of Scotland and thats the most important element of a country. Finally what you do with your industries, resources and how competent your government is with these and how they treat their people goes a very long way indeed. I mean look at Belgium for size and country mass. Look at Switzerland, too. Smaller than Scotland in mass (not including north sea) but with a larger population and doing very well within their means. Scotland has been malnourished for decades( in many more ways than one) by Westminster to keep it from becoming a competitive threat to England (london) rule Am no exactly shaking in ma boots( I doubt our government in Hollyrood is either) about what wee high and mighty England thinks it can do to anyone, real or hypothetical, especially with that bunch a weans desguised as politicians in Westminster. What’s happening right down their in that parliament tells you all you need to know.

      • to tartanfever and Squall Cloud.

        I’ve no disagreement with either of you. My message was ‘Don’t be feart, be clever!’

  13. Farage quoted on BBC website as saying, re. his performance at European Parliament today, “I happened to be the pantomime villain of the day.” Your panto, Nige, and you certainly aren’t Prince Charming.

  14. Watched the debate this afternoon. Better Together reformed.
    Unelected chancers like WATP Tompkins (racist, moi?) Anas Sarwar and wee Ruthie saying we should wait and see what an ultra right Blue Tory government negotiate for us . Aye, right. WE sit on our hands for two years? Jackson Carlaw is a rotund florid arch Tory. No point in the initiative.doomed to fail. Arrogant patronising toady. Kezia, like an ant in a puddle, way out of her depth.
    What can you say about Wullie?
    All three banged on about another Referendum,which was dead air as it was not part of the debate.
    Oliver Mundell is a political Dolly the sheep.

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