The bucket of crabs

Britain is continuing its not so stately descent into madness. The thing about collective madness is that when everyone else around you is behaving like a crazy, then that legitimises craziness. That’s how you end up with a situation where Boris Johnson is tipped as next Prime Minister, Nigel Farage is a respected elder statesman, and the Parliamentary Labour party thinks that it can ditch Jeremy Corbyn as a leader and expects the grass roots membership not to immediately vote him back into office again. Polls strongly point to ordinary Labour members doing just that, meaning Jeremy will lead a party where almost 80% of MPs and Labour’s entire cohort of MEPs have voted to get rid of him.

The most surprising thing about this entire disaster is that there are still people who honestly and sincerely believe that Scotland is best served being governed by Westminster. Collective insanity strikes again. Seriously, in a crisis who do you want to govern you? Someone who is trying to find a path out of the crisis, or people who are preoccupied with internal party politics while the country goes to pot around them and the economy goes down the tubes? It’s such a no brainer that even a single celled organism ought to be able to grasp the point.

We’re now several days on from the UK pushing the big red Brexit button, and we’re still no wiser about what’s happening to the country. With the exception of the Scottish Government, no one has a plan for Brexit, and there’s still no prospect of either of the two main UK parties having a plan for Brexit any time soon. Meanwhile the UK media is doing all it can to rubbish the Scottish Government’s attempts to seek some clarity in the mad Boris fog into which the UK has been plunged. The UK has turned into a giant bucket of crabs and the Unionist media will do all it can to pull Scotland back down and keep us at the bottom of the bucket.

Over in Europe, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is naturally indulging himself in his usual sulk at the possibility that an independent Scotland could end up as a member of the EU. It has been reported in the press today that Rajoy has stated that the EU has no right to negotiate with Scotland, and that if the UK leaves the EU then Scotland must leave too. This has been reported by the usual suspects as a massive slap in the face for Nicola Sturgeon, which is a bit like claiming to be surprised that Dracula refused the vegetarian option at brunch.

If Rajoy concedes that a Scotland which is still a part of the UK, and which hasn’t held an independence referendum and decided to leave it, is able to negotiate its own EU membership with Brussels, then he opens the door to Catalonia embarking on its own negotiations with the EU. He’s never going to permit that. If the EU enters into formal negotiations with Scotland under current circumstances, then any sub-state entity could formally negotiate with the EU irrespective of the attitudes or policies of the state to which it belonged. That counts as meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

Much as it pains me to say it, Rajoy has a point here. The EU cannot negotiate potential membership with a Scotland which is still a subsidiary part of a UK which has voted to leave. We cannot be regarded as a potential member state as long as constitutionally we remain a part of another country, moreover a country which has just voted to flounce out of the EU in a massive anti-immigrant huff.

What this means is that if the preferred option of Kezia Dugdale and Wullie Rennie is to come to pass, a Scotland which remains a part of the UK while also remaining a part of the EU, then we’re going to have to rely on a Boris dominated Westminster and a Parliamentary Labour party in meltdown to negotiate that for us. We’ll be held hostage to the fortunes of Westminster parties which are more concerned about their short term party positioning than they are about the fate of the UK. Scotland’s fate comes a very very long way down their list of priorities.

The only potential way in which it could come about would be for a reinvigorated Labour party to fight and win a snap general election on a platform of retaining freedom of movement within the EU even though most of the UK has left Europe. The Tories aren’t going to do that, and the Tories will not concede a Scotland which is inside the EU while the rest of the UK has left. It’s going to be a nasty and bitter general election, and it’s quite likely that a resurgent UKIP will hoover up Labour votes in the working class communities of the North of England and South Wales which voted heavily in favour of leaving the EU during the referendum. We could find ourselves with the nightmare scenario of a UK government formed of a coalition between the Tories and UKIP, with Labour reduced to an ineffective minority, although how different that will be from the ineffective minority they currently consist of is a moot point.

Rajoy’s statement that if the UK leaves then Scotland leaves is more of a threat to the aspirations of those who want a twin track UK half-in, half-out, than it does to those who want an independent Scotland. If Scotland leaves the UK before the Brexit negotiations are concluded, then Rajoy’s objections no longer apply. Scotland will be in the unique position of being a country heading for independence which is already an EU member.

The only option for Scotland to ensure that we retain our EU membership is for us to hold an independence referendum and vote for independence before the UK pulls the Brexit trigger. Then, and only then, will be be able to make our case heard effectively in the corridors of Brussels, and then and only then will Scotland be able to argue that we should be treated as the continuing state in the same way that England and Wales would have insisted they were the continuing state had Scotland voted for independence in 2014. Then the question of vetoes from other EU member states will not apply, although I’ve already argued why Spain would not veto Scottish membership even if we did find ourself in the position of applying to the EU as an entirely new state.

In times of uncertainty it’s vital to act decisively. Westminster isn’t going to do it. Only Scotland can. As the Borisfog lingers, a second independence referendum is the beacon which illuminates the way out.

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0 thoughts on “The bucket of crabs

  1. Rajoy just guaranteed that indi/ref 2 will take place this year, not his intention I’m sure, but he has his own problems and I doubt strongly has said this by way of a favour to Westminster. Our media are stupid, the more they ramp up these false set backs, the sooner we get indi/ref 2.

  2. Pingback: The bucket of crabs | speymouth

  3. It makes one cringe to hear the yoons claim we are better off in the UK after the referendum for leave or remain.
    The Tories one can understand their approach; post colonial mentality and all that. But the libdems have more to gain in an independent Scotland than as a fag end in UK politics.
    They just don’t see it.
    Mind you, they have a block in the mind re Carmichael.
    Still, they will make that transition as the UK parties implode.
    What the seem to deny is the democratic mandate the Scots have for remaining in the EU. They are anti- Scottish and not true democrats.

  4. Good piece! Check this paragraph though, 5th from the end “… a Scotland which remains a part of the UK while also remaining a part of the UK, then we’re going to have to rely on a Boris……”

  5. Whilst I agree that what is happening to Corbyn is really bad I think the reality is that Labour know middle England will never vote for him.His colleaugues are doing what politicians do best looking out for themselves. With the first past the post electoral system for uk elections Labour cannot win if he is leader.They are no use to anyone if they cannot win uk elections no matter what party activists want. The longer the fiasco with the Labour leadership continues the more damaged the party will become. The thought of Boris becoming PM terrifies me Teresa May might be better but I remember the last women PM only too well and not in a good way. I just hope Scotland has the bottle to grasp a second chance at Independence and vote yes this time.

  6. This bit below comes with the standard health warning of needing to check other sources. I’m not on twitter but one of my lads is. Apparantly some City journo or other called Ben Jurdeh is tweeting that a deal is being prepepered in the two big Euro capitals which if this is true will have some serious consequences.

    It goes like this:

    The Germans are looking to offer a Norway minus type deal offeringacess to the single market, free movement and loss of passporting for the City of London.

    However, Hollande is preparing a different deal. Access to the single market for UK businesses, no free movement – giving the outers what they want on border control and immigration – and no passporting for the City of London.

    What this means in practice is that in return for border control and business access to the SM, Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam get all the current City of London Banks along with the associated tax revenues. The word muppets to describe the Conservatives by the City of London bankers is just one of the polite words being used.

    At a stroke the Tories are put in the position of accepting a poisoned chalice where if they accept the immigration control, no Poles, they and the entire UK, lose the Banks, their business and tax revenues to France (which helps Hollande to see off Le Pen next year,and the Germans and the Dutch (who use the business revenues and tax gains to ward of EU exit votes in their own backyard).

    This would devestate the UK economy which is now dominated by financial services based in the City. There would be more cuts, more austerity and more poverty. You need to get out now.

  7. Spain has just publicly stated that no discussion can take place between Scotland and the EU about EU membership because Scotland has not yet regained its independence. This clearly suggests that Spain will not now oppose discussions when Scotland does become independent again. IndyRef2 has become even more likely thanks to Spain.

  8. I don’t really care what we’re offered and by whom. I want independence for Scotland – nothing more, nothing less.

    Let’s go for it immediately.

  9. All the FM can do at this stage is wave the saltire and remind Europeans Scotland exists and is not going anywhere, along with giving some history lessons on the nature of the 1707 Union.

    The rest is up to us Scots, when Nicki fires the starting-gun for Indyref2.

    We are about to have two years of political chaos, possible civil disorder and the usual monstering of the Scottish people by the BBC and MSM.

    In other words, a perfect battle ground for final victory.

    PS: heard Call Me Dave asking Corbyn to go for the sake of the national interest: this
    from the man which has set England on the road to meltdown. He obviously also wants to shut JC up before Chilcot. If you remember, the Tories were frightfully keen to bomb the Carmichael out of someone, anyone.

    Almost as much as Blair.

    • Speaking of Blair. Some fella on the twattersphere posed an interesting question.

      Which was: ‘You don’t suppose the Blairites are more worried about Jeremy still being the leader after Chilcott is released?’

      Now as motives go for this madness, that one has to be in the top five. 🙂

        • I suspect its one of many motivating factors Alex, but probably not chiefest among them. What it should do when released is leave a stink that shames ALL of Westminster government. However in the middle of the current crisis there is a danger of its impact being trivialized or sidelined.

  10. Rajoy also missed a golden opportunity to say to the Catalonians that the only reason the Scots are even talking to the EU is because the member state is in the process of leaving the EU. Therefore, the only way Catalonia would be able to do this is if SPAIN has a referendum, and votes to leave. Does anyone seriously think Rajoy and the PP are going to want that, given the aftermath of Brexit?

    Rajoy turned what could have been a slap at the Catalonians into kickstarting independence for Scotland, as well as being seen on the wrong side of European sentiment.

  11. In the surreal world of post Brexit politics at Westminster, Kezia Dugdale, as reported in the Guardian live, wait for it… had just offered to be his Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland in the Shadow Cabinet!!
    A few days ago she was lambasting him saying if she had lost the confidence of her colleagues at Holyrood she would stand down!!
    It’s nae real!!
    Clueless as ever!
    Does that mean that she supports Corbyn? Or does she not know?
    (S)Labour are really in a mess!!

    • oh dear she can offer him a b–w j-b but it still wont work cos shes no a MP apologises for the truly distasteful comment i am truly remorseful things just go to pot when i mention the Labour party so sorry .

    • Hi John. Saw that too. Not surprised. She also wrote a piece in the Gruan slagging off Ruthie Tank Commander with faux outrage. As you said, she was telling Corbyn to go yesterday. Doesn’t know her arse from her elbow. Still, I suppose having been kicked out as “Opposition leader” at Holyrood she’ll be desperate to have some grown-up role to play in the “big” world. Pathetic.

  12. That’s pretty much how I see it Paul. From the SGs perspective I’d say the FMs visit has pushed all the right buttons and sent people thinking down the right path. Those ‘other’ options are so fraught with difficulty as to be all but impossible to achieve. The UK state’s historic hatred of federalism and the Spanish govts. self interest may have actually done us a favour and the reaction of Brussels so far to Scotland’s plea has been quite pleasing to see. 🙂

    Back on the home front, it appears that Labour seem bound and determined to utterly self destruct. WOS posted a good dissection earlier with what I believe may be an all too likely outcome:

    Labour, if its not careful, may be heading for an irreconcilable split between membership and PLP. Bad and bad enough that Parliamentary Labour have decided that a time of constitutional and economic crisis is just peachy timing to launch a leadership coup, but a coup with such a risk of damaging the party almost mortally? This can only be viewed by the general public as irresponsible and negligent on a galactic scale. They’ve literally abandoned their constituents, their population, to selfishly indulge in party power politics.

    Sheer insanity.

    As I’ve said before, through some quirk of fate our own electorate have lucked out on the government and leadership stakes. If there was any doubts by some before, there should be few left in any reasonable person’s mind by this point. The actions of our government and First Minister over the past week in this time of crisis, have been as close to exemplary as its possible to get IMO.

  13. Paul, you write: “… Labour’s entire cohort of MEPs have voted to get rid of him.”

    Is this true … or did you get it from the BBC?

    Labour MEP Julie Ward responds to a Laura Kuensberg tweet which stated that Labour MEPs call en masse for Corbyn to go. Ward says: “I have not called for Jeremy to go. Your info is incorrect & you mislead others. Stop stirring.”

  14. So Paul, when you say:

    “The only option for Scotland to ensure that we retain our EU membership is for us to hold an independence referendum and vote for independence before the UK pulls the Brexit trigger”,

    Are you talking about, ‘before’ the UK invokes article 50? Or are you talking about anytime in the 2 years once it’s been triggered?

      • Much obliged, 🙂 what sort of time scale do you envisage, baring in mind that the UK gov aren’t in a hurry, but the EU want to get on with it asap? …. Or am I asking ‘how long is food bank queue?’

          • word in europe is that the EU won’t wait much beyond October. Expecting the new PM to be a Brexiter and trigger Art 50 the day after his/her inauguration i.e. 10th Sept.

            If the British Govt doesn’t trigger art 50 by the end of the year max – I suspect it (or something else) will be triggered for them.

            hope ms Sturgeon explained very clearly that British =English and that the scots and N. irish were sorta different and put upon!

            Apart from anything else – England isn’t flavour of the month in the EU (and never has been) and the EU has to contain demands for referendums from other countries

          • Partly the reason they probably agreed to meet her tbh? Just to ‘piss off’ the UK gov. Chances are they just had tea and put on a good show. But Hey!… It’ll start tongues wagging wondering what on earth are they up to? 🙂

  15. Go for it, now. The SNP in both Parliaments are the voice of authority – the motion by Pete Wishart in the Commons was maybe mischief, but it struck a chord with many in England. Probably quite a few of the Leavers too who voted on an anti-establishment ticket. The London media are in a frenzy – having read the latest tripe from the Guardian and the BBC, I’m thinking there will be turquoise giraffes dancing Swan Lake on the moon tonight.

    Go for it. Build a big wall across the border when you’ve finished and a bridge across the north sea.

  16. Sarah Smith and Glen Campbell, arch Right wing Unionists, have painted themselves into a corner hounding NS throughout her very successful day trip.
    We’ll need a second Refrendum they shrug.
    Then second Referendum it is, me boys!
    The BBC is already in Project Fear warp.

  17. I read last night that JP Morgen have issued a note to clients saying that they expect Scotland to be independent (with its own currency) before Britain leaves the EU in 2019. This seems to be in line with noises coming from some quarters in Germany.
    According to news channels in Denmark (where I’m based) Scotland is heading for independence before Brexit.
    I have to add that the news and spin in the UK since the Brexit vote is completely out of line with what’s being reported in the foreign media. Seen through the media lens in Europe, Britain is in the naughty boy corner. Europe seems united, and determined that there is no way back for Britain. There seems to be an undertone (without it being said directly) that Britain will be made an example of.

    • Quite a few of the high heid yins in the EU have made it very clear that there’s no way back for the UK, even though Article 50 is yet to be invoked.

      They’ve also made clear that negotiations will be tough and now (I’m typing this on Sunday morning) that UK cannot enter trade negotiations with *anyone* until Brexit is complete.

      That’s going to make life very difficult for them.

  18. I wonder what would happen if all the stateless nations of Europe took this opportunity to make a joint approach to the EU — an EU that´s just had a serious shock and is perhaps open to reform. (No, much to my surprise the really are jittery following Brexit). In other words has the time at last come for the much vaunted ¨Europe of the Peoples¨?

    Alternatively, how much prevarication will the EU take from the WM clown troop before they throw up their hands in despair and declare Nicola to be the UK rep, solely on the grounds of her leading the only sane delegation from this wayward isle 🙂

  19. During the scottish independence referendum there was a legal debate if, should the Unions of Crown and Parliament be dissolved in mutual agreement, both rUK and Scotland should count as equal sucessor states. Does this argument not apply anymore? And would there be a political constellation in which the UK Parliament with majority voted for said mutually agreed separation of these Unions??

    • Good point, and one worth pursuing. I’m sure the Holyrood government has it in mind. But all is still uncharted water.

  20. A good start would be to Royaly piss off the Tory government by not refusing but just not implementing their will in Scotland first being if it hasn’t happened yet the family from Australia who are due to be deported, sorry I am not up to speed with current events on that one,ignore requests for information keep them in the dark be a bloody pain in their arse with a promise of more to follow if that doesn’t work make the place ungovernable this lot only react to strength being nice doesn’t work

  21. Huv a look at The Canary blog.
    Blairites planned six months ago to oust oot Jeremy Corbyn
    Aye nae wunder yir heeds explodin. Boris the Morris dancer is runnin oot thank ffffk

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