Breaking the impasse

In the most recent findings from the Panelbase poll commissioned by James Kelly of the Scot Goes Pop blog, a massive 63% of the Scottish public would support a plebiscite election on independence should the British Government refuse to concede to a Section 30 order. This would be an election where the pro-independence parties are not standing on a manifesto of asking for a mandate for an independence referendum, but rather are standing to ask for a mandate for independence itself.

I am especially pleased by this finding, as it’s something I’ve been arguing for for some years. At some point the intransigence of the British Government will have to be confronted head on and in my view a plebiscite election is the best way to achieve this. It’s perfectly legal. It doesn’t require the permission of Downing Street or anyone else. It’s entirely controlled and directed within Scotland. And the British nationalist parties can’t boycott it.

There are other ways to overcome a blanket refusal from Westminster of course. Most obviously there could be a referendum without a Section 30 order. It’s worth repeating here that anyone who tells you that a referendum without a Section 30 order would be unlawful is not citing a legal fact, they’re giving you a political opinion. The only legal fact about a referendum without a Section 30 order is that its legal status is unknown. There are good legal arguments both for and against the lawfulness of a consultative referendum on independence without a Section 30 order. There is currently a private action wending its way through the courts which aims to test this. We can only watch with interest.

The biggest difficulty with a referendum without a Section 30 order is that the British nationalist parties may decide to boycott it. That would make it very difficult for the referendum to attain the legitimacy it needs to provide a mandate for negotiating independence with Westminster. One thing you can be sure of is that the overwhelmingly anti-independence media in Scotland will do its utmost to ensure that people don’t turn out to vote, undermining the referendum and making it more difficult for us to achieve a yes vote that would represent a convincing victory even if the British nationalist parties had participated.

None of this is an issue with an election where the pro-independence parties are asking the electorate for a mandate for independence itself. It can’t be boycotted by the anti-independence parties because if they did so they would have zero representation in the Scottish Parliament. It doesn’t require the permission of anyone in Downing Street and is perfectly legal. But most importantly of all it puts the anti-independence parties at a major campaigning disadvantage. They’re going to be put in the uncomfortable position of arguing that Scotland is a valued and respected member of a union while at the same time having to defend the actions of a British Government which by its repeated refusal to respect the mandate for a referendum given by the Scottish people to Holyrood has shown nothing but contempt for the democratic will of the people of this country.

A victory in this election for the independence parties would have to be a victory in both terms of seats won and of share of the vote in order to be incontestable. However recent polling has already shown that the pro-independence parties are on course to do this, and it’s a goal that could be even easier to achieve if the Labour party in Scotland splits into pro and anti independence factions.

What the recent poll conclusively shows is that the Scottish public would support this strategy as a means to bringing about a vote on independence if Westminster refuses to agree to a Section 30 order. 63% of those who expressed an opinion said they’d back it. However there are additionally a large number of don’t knows. With don’t knows included the figures are 49% support the idea, 29% reject it, and 22% don’t know. This is why it’s so important to ensure that the Scottish Government bends over backwards to achieve an absolutely impeccable mandate for another referendum that cannot be questioned or doubted by any reasonable person. We have to ensure that the 22% don’t knows break heavily in favour of support for a plebiscite vote.

Yes, I can hear you say, the Scottish Government already has piled up mandate after mandate and we’ve got nowhere. And you’d be perfectly correct to point that out. I share your frustration. However as this blog has repeatedly argued, the likes of you and me are not the people who need to be persuaded. It’s the 22% who don’t know whether they’d support the idea of turning an election into a de facto referendum. If the SNP and other pro-indy parties do manage to achieve a decisive and resounding victory in the next Scottish elections, and the British Government still refuses to agree to a Section 30 order, then it’s highly likely that the 22% don’t knows will come round to the idea of supporting a direct vote. That increases the legitimacy of the vote, and makes it far more likely that the international community and the British Government will be unable to ignore the result.

There has been some dissatisfaction with the comments of the SNP Deputy Leader Keith Brown to this poll finding. He merely reiterated the existing Scottish Government policy of pursuing a referendum that’s going to be recognised. Some people were unhappy that he didn’t enthusiastically embrace the idea of a plebiscite election, but it’s important to note that he didn’t rule it out either.

What he actually said was : “The process by which we choose Scotland’s future must be capable of actually achieving independence.” A plebiscite election which produces a majority for yes would do that. “It must allow majority support to be expressed clearly and unambiguously.” A plebiscite election where there’s a majority in both vote share and seats won for the pro-indy parties would do that. “It must be legal. And it must have the recognition of the international community.” A plebiscite election would be perfectly legal, and the international community would recognise the result as it would be a vote carried out within the legal and constitutional structures of the UK. It’s not like a Catalan vote where the Spanish Constitution expressly prohibits parts of the Spanish state asking directly about independence.

Finally, it’s important not to confuse a plebiscite election with UDI.  It’s a very different proposition.  A successful outcome in a plebiscite election would give the Scottish Government a mandate to negotiate independence with Westminster.  That means that independence would be achieved with the recognition of the British state, which is crucial if other states are to recognise the independence of the new Scottish state.

However the Scottish Government isn’t going to rush to embrace a Plan B right now. They’re still on Plan A. They’re still trying to ensure that those soft voters and undecideds are persuaded. On this blog yesterday someone left a comment to the effect that we need to stop pandering to undecided voters. That’s precisely how to lose a vote. It’s only by ensuring that undecided voters break for yes that we’ll win independence. And that means, frustrating as it is, bending over backwards to get them on board with us.

However we all know that at some point the intransigence of the British Government is going to be confronted head on. This poll gives us a little more confidence that there’s the public appetite to break the impasse. And that in turn, combined with a resounding victory in the next Holyrood elections, will help to boost the resolve of the Scottish Government to respond to Westminster’s obstinacy with some obstinacy of its own. One thing is for sure, we’re in for a roller coaster ride.

A friend phoned me in tears this morning as she’d heard via FaceBook that the dug had died. I’d just like to reassure everyone that Ginger is fit and healthy – albeit a bit stiff from his mild arthritis. I’ve not been able to track down the FaceBook post that gave her the idea that the dug was dead, however this happened once before and it turned out to be a perfectly innocent misunderstanding. However if you have heard recently that the dug has died, you can take it from the dug’s mouth that he’s perfectly happy and well.

Annual Dug Funder

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66 thoughts on “Breaking the impasse

  1. “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated, it’s a Wuff life…”

    Another excellent summary, but your central point of the plebiscite has already gathered momentum after the poll outcome. Many a sharp intake of breath will have taken in the Jackass and Never-Hurry community..
    Pension in, Paypal out, all the best…

  2. Excellent writing and thought as usual, Paul.

    If Holyrood passes a Scottish Independence Referendum Bill and bolts this onto the Referendum framework legislation already in place then, if passed, this will go to HMQ for Royal Assent and then we DARE WM to challenge it in court. However, with the Referendum framework legislation in place, then the IndyRef2 Bill can be passed as an executive order from our Parliament and not as primary legislation which means IF WM does challenge the IR2 Bill then it will be heard FIRST in Court of Session and any ruling given under Scots Law. It would likely favour our right as sovereign Scots to ask ourselves any damn question we like. WM would then refer it to the Supreme Court which will merely have to look and see if the CoS judges erred in Scots Law (unlikely) and so would also have to find in favour of our right to ask ourselves any bloody question we like.

    So, challenges won, the Bill gets Royal Assent. If WM (for whatever Machiavellian reason) decided NOT to challenge the IR2 Bill from ScotParl then it gets Royal Assent from HMQ. It is then a LEGAL Bill and, more importantly, a LEGAL INDYREF. So long as it’s legal, we don;t have a problem and the British Nationalists in Scotland can boycott it all they like–the result will be legal. The same thing happened in the Border Poll in NI in the 1970s when the Nationalists boycotted the vote. The result stood.

    But it’s defo getting to the crunch. This impasse MUST be broken one way or another because, lest we forget, an almighty Brexit juggernaut has its headlamps fixed right on us. Something has to give–and pretty damn soon.

    • An excellent strategy, as Alex S remarked, more than one way to skin a cat. I think we also get tied up with the notion that the international community is going to sanction or condemn Scotland for taking matters beyond what the UK state determines as ‘ legal ‘, the ICJ recognises that Independence is never likely to be achieved by adherence to State law. Even so, our position as a partner in a political union by Treaty rather than subjugation makes our position different and I believe that point is much more relevant than its currently portrayed.

        • I disagree, Sovereignty can’t be removed, bought or sold, it can only be loaned. The Queen is Sovereign in England, her sovereignty is loaned to Westminster only by convention, it is not a Statutory transfer.

      • Indeed we are. And if HMQ doesn’t sign the IR2 Bill, we will remove her as our enemy and replace her with another Head of State who will sign the Bill. Cuz as Scots we can do that. Cuz we’re sovereign and our Head of State answers to us.

  3. Country or colony, that’s pretty much the decision folk need to make, there’s no such thing as living in the country of Britain because there is and never has been such a country ever and the folk who say there is are not telling the truth, it would be like saying the European Union is a country, it’s not and never has been, like Africa is a continent not a country, because contained therein are a whole bunch of countries

    The UK is a political Union, the British Isles a geographical point on a map, British is an invention of English propaganda to contain control and own everything within

    Where do you live, can that be made better by deciding how it could be by those who live there
    Why do we have local councils if not to reflect the views and opinions of those who live in that catchment area and can vote out their local politicians if they don’t do a good job, nobody complains about local councils having the power to do stuff in their local area because they know they have the power to vote them away

    The current system of government in England means Scotland can’t vote them away, because the truth is we never voted them there in the first place, sure we can send 50 MPs from the SNP but there are 600 sitting there from England who overule them every single time just because they can, and they desire superiority for England over all others because that’s what their voters in England voted for

    55 million people in England outvote Scotland 10 to 1 on every issue they want, that makes Scotland a colony just as Jamaica or anywhere else run and owned by England was

    We can decide who we vote in and who we vote out if they do or don’t do a good job in our own parliament in Scotland just like they do in England, why resist the idea of being as equal as the citizens in England

    A couple of quid on the way Paul, good luck and thanks for all you do

  4. We don’t need another mandate, we’ve got mandates coming out of our ears. We do however need another section 30 demand made to the UK gov that will undoubtedly be refused. Yes, we need to emphasise the undemocratic nature of this union to both our own citizens and the International community. We cannot afford nor can we risk waiting for a UK General election. Austerity, asset stripping, the NHS sold off to America etc cannot and must not be allowed to happen.
    If the section 30 is refused then the Holyrood GE is our last best hope.

  5. Paul, Thank you for all you do. I have attended about 4 or 5 of your talks and I read you every day . I did give to your funding. My wee old cat has arthritis too and she’s with Harley Street and I am NHS . Bless the Dug and you. !! Mgt C

  6. Thanks for all your brilliant work!! Donated Paul. Got to keep WGD going now more than ever! Snuggles to Ginger!

  7. Forgive me for being cynical about the latest figures about a majority of Scots favouring independence , aye it’s just over the horizon , its been just within touch for what seems like years now. How exactly does this change things ? .
    Progress ? Please remind me of how it is going in case I missed it .
    So what’s next ? .
    Johnston says fk off remedy ? , or plan B , oh plan B has been dropped
    Paul has said how to break the Impasse who knows because I haven’t a clue ,does anyone here have the answer ? .it might help if we could see movement, any movement , even just a little bit . A whole movement parked up and wondering what exactly the direction of travel is , or even meant to be, Leadership ? . Missing.

    • The section 30 order is not law, it was an agreement between the Westminster Parliament and the Scottish Government. The agreement was if Scotland chose independence the break-up discussions would be amicable.

  8. Are we to believe that everyone in the Scottish government is so focused on covid that there’s no time to even talk about indy?
    I’m not the only one who feels like we’ve been led up the garden path a few times now by Nicola.
    I wish I could share in the optimism of so many out there but looking at the amount of squandered opportunities just in the past few years and what we face in the next year or two I just can’t.
    Too many times I’ve heard there’s an ace up our sleeve. 2 years ago we were treated to a front page in the national saying get ready for indy ref 2.
    We’ve not made any inroads, not even a challenge in the courts to protect our human rights and specifically the one that says we’ve a right to self determination.
    I think most fare minded people would be proud that we had a leader protecting ALL of our human rights. It would no doubt be a vote winner too. Further highlighting our subjugation and further getting the message out there!
    The tories are ploughing ahead with their brexit and Nicola puts indy on the back burner. Why?
    Day one of brexit they will start dismantling Scotland. They will probably start the asset stripping here first because they know we will at some point/first opportunity leave the UK. We’ll have to buy back our NHS, parliament will be closed obviously. There will be no Scottish elections next year. We’ll have to wait until the next general election in 5 years time.
    There will be nothing but the bones left by that point. Am I the only one who sees the danger here? I know I’m not!

    • “”The tories are ploughing ahead with their brexit and Nicola puts indy on the back burner. Why?””

      I should imagine that it has something to do with the pandemic that is raging at the moment.

      Any overt campaigning for independence at this time would be akin to James IV charging down that bl**dy hill at Flodden.

      The Scottish Gov occupies the high ground so not the time to squander it.

    • “The tories are ploughing ahead with their brexit”

      The reason for that is that the Tories are going to use the disastrous mess that is the Coranavirus is causing to the lives of ordinary people throughout the UK to hide the even more disastrous mess that a no-deal Brexit will cause.

  9. Pingback: Breaking the impasse | speymouth

  10. The next Scottish Parliamentary election is in May 2021. It would then follow that in order to make that the “plebiscite election” you propose, there would have already been the refusal of a Section 30 order. The request for the Section 30 order should therefore be made sometime this year. Can you see that happening ?

  11. So does this mean we have to lend a vote to the SNP again in the hope that, if they win a majority, at some point thereafter, they will call a plebescite election to gain independence?. Anything up to another 5 years from now? Meantime they will be in unoppsed power in Holrood and can vote through any whacky legislation that they like? There must be a very big brief case in Bute House to hold all those mandates. If they don’t make the 2021 election such a plebescite election I can see me not bothering to vote for the constituency seat but giving my list vote to the new independence party. I’ve had enough of the Labour style stringing along and being taken for a mug. I’m too old to wait any longer.

    • The next SNP manifesto, imo, MUST contain a clear road map (steps & dates) as to how the people of Scotland will get to vote on their own future with OR WITHOUT Westminster’s agreement (S30). The SNP have had more than enough mandates. WM has already said it won’t play ball with SNP’s Plan A – BoJo has refused to agree S30. Given that, it now becomes incumbent upon the SNP to explain what their Plan B is and, more importantly, why we should vote for it. It MUST guarantee the people of Scotland will get a say on our constitutional future and give a date for it and to hell with Westminster.

      If no such clear and unequivocal road map to decide our post-Brexit constitutional future is present in the next SNP manifesto then, as far as I’m concerned, I’ll be staying right at home in 2021.

    • I would say no to your proposition. I am in a quandary. Do non supporters of the snp wish the tories , labour or Lib Dem’s to win?

      Of course you could have a 3rd Independence Party but it seems even that is fraught with personalities. The main issue is who are they?

      Of course if you do not get over a certain vote threshold your vote it could be argued is also wasted.

      Wacky legislation as you describe can only be voted through if there is a majority in Holyrood.

      Still how is the “ mother of all parliaments” doing? Brexit going well? Covid?

      Brings us back to the snp and getting the vote out.

      • But pretty pointless if the SNP are going sit back, revelling in their glory while WM strips us of everything. They need a kick up the arse.

    • Yes, Wee Chid, this time interval is also partly my concern. Unless Holyrood 2021 is made a plebiscite election, our next chance will probably not be until the next Westminster election, in the normal run of events the best part of five years from now. God knows how much damage might be done to us in the interim. Also, the longer the UK is out of the EU and diverging from EU protocols, the harder it will be for an Indy Scotland to re-join.

      A plus side of the plebiscite election route, not mentioned in Pau’s article, is that if we do not win one, another opportunity will present itself at the next election. The threat of this keeps Westminster in some degree of check, whereas just now, they think they can go on denying us a Section 30 Order for ever, and continue to ignore us and mock us indefinitely.

  12. To me the good thing about a plebiscite election is that if we lost it we can do another next time. The only time limit will be the parliamentary diary.

    Whereas with a referendum if you lost it could be ages to get another. However if the court case on going just now to legally test if Scotland can hold a referendum legally binding on WM to negotiate then that would mean if we lost we could have another sooner.

    Fingers crossed that the 63% figure holds up.

  13. We really do need independence now regardless of which incompetent shambles of a party is running the remnants of the British Empire. The SNP Leadership need to recognise this and bring independence about we can’t wait any longer.

    • It is quite remarkable that indy is ahead in the polls, we’re on course for a stonking pro-indy majority in Holyrood next year and the British Govt is destroying what little credibility it had left yet there’s so much woe woe and thrice woe from some indy supporters.

      It’s a very Scottish characteristic to look upon a field of flowers and only see the shit.

      • Paul, you almost convince, but for the l’éléphant/ olifant/ elevant /elefant/ ελέφαντας /eilifint elefantessa/ słoń /ailbhean/elefante in the chamber / kamer / zimmer / δωμάτιο / seomra / camera/ Pokój / rùm/ habitación.

        The elephant in the room.

        Brexit No Deal will happen 31st December 2020.

        Are we really to just sit back and let it happen without a fight?

        Once out of Europe on a No Deal US Trade Deal basis. The English Parliament will set about destroying Scotland, from New Year’s Day.

        By May 2021 we could have lost everything; our health service, Education and Policing, at the flick of a WM switch.
        Does what it says on the tin: ‘Take back control’.

        I cannot imagine the SNP and Greens, and probably ‘Scottish’ Labour going into the May 2021 election not declaring that this will be a ‘referendum’ on Independence. It is unthinkable that the SNP would prevaricate yet again. A vote for ‘us’ is a vote for Independence NOW, in May 2021.

        But there is a very real risk that England will have burnt the fields, slaughtered the cattle and poisoned the wells by then.
        The fight starts now, even during the pandemic.

        • If you need proof of how quickly Westminster will act, no matter what assurances or Vows head our way, you need look no further than Cameron’s announcement on the 19th of September,


      • When you’ve been dominated subjected controlled and manipulated for hundreds of years it’s easy to see why there are always some who’ll always look for the rain even when the sun’s splitting the sky, and of course there are always those loving taking advantage of that trait and making it seem worse by feeding on the fears of folk looking for the best outcome and not the worst

        That’s another wee trait that’s common amongst people, and it’s not only a Scottish trait, it’s fostered and festered from far and wide, usually amongst those who claim to be phychics and mind readers of the First Minister, and who come to all the conclusions that their own minds invent, usually with no evidence or understanding of the person they’re talking about, but rumour and suggestion’s a wonderful tool

        Bad news like a bad smell is easy to sell or we’d never have been stuck with Nigel Farage who sold the English the same garbage packaged up as *always make them think the worst*

        I hear there’s money in that or SKY the BBC and newspapers wouldn’t be selling it too

  14. Lest we forget; this is the ‘power grab’ which awaits Scotland on January 1st 2021.

    Agricultural support – Policies and regulations relating to income, market support, agriculture, productivity and maintenance grants.

    Agriculture, fertiliser regulations – Common standards for compositional ingredients, labelling, packaging, sampling and analysis of fertilisers.

    Agriculture, GMO marketing and cultivation – Standards for marketing and cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

    Agriculture, organic farming – Regulations setting out standards for organic production certification.

    Agriculture, zootech – Rules on breeding and trade in pedigree animals and germinal products in the EU and the treatment of imports from third countries.

    Animal health and traceability – EU rules and standards that aim to maintain animal health and allow their movement, including policies covering prevention of disease, control of disease surveillance movement of livestock, pet passports and veterinary medicines.

    Animal welfare – On-farm issues, movement of livestock and slaughter.

    Chemicals regulation (including pesticides) – Classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures; the placing on the market and use of biocidal products; the export and import of hazardous chemicals; the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals and plant protection products.

    Elements of reciprocal healthcare

    Environmental quality, chemicals – Regulation of the manufacture, authorisation and sale and use of chemical products .

    Environmental quality, ozone depleting, substances and F-gases – The UK has international obligations under the Montreal Protocol to phase out the use of ODS, phase down hydrofluorocarbons by 85% by 2036, licence imports and exports and report on usage to the UN.

    Environmental quality, pesticides – Regulations governing the authorisation and use of pesticide products and the maximum residue levels in food, and a framework for action on sustainable use of pesticides.

    Environmental quality, waste packaging and product regulations – Product standards including for packaging (e.g. ROHS in Electrical and Electronic Equipment, Batteries and Vehicles) in order to manage waste.

    Fisheries management and support – Rules relating to the sustainability of fisheries (quotas), access to waters, conservation measures, enforcement and financial support.

    Food and feed safety and hygiene law – Food and feed safety and hygiene; food and feed law enforcement (official controls); food safety labelling; risk analysis; and incident handling.

    Food compositional standards – Minimum standards for a range of specific food commodities such as sugars, coffee, honey, caseins, condensed milk, chocolate, jams, fruit juices and bottled water.

    Food labelling – Requirements on provision of information to consumers on food labels.

    Hazardous substances planning – Land-use planning, including: planning controls relating to the storage of hazardous substances and handling development proposals for hazardous establishments.

    Implementation of EU Emissions Trading System – This directive area establishes the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme for greenhouse gas. The Scheme sets a maximum amount of greenhouse gas that can be emitted by all participating installations and aircrafts; these operators then monitor, verify and report their emissions, and must surrender allowances equivalent to their emissions annually.

    Mutual recognition of professional qualifications – Directives that create systems for the recognition for professional qualifications and professional experience throughout the EU. Allowing EU professionals to work in regulated professions in other EU states on either a permanent or temporary basis.

    Nutrition health claims, composition and labelling – Nutrition and health claims made on food; food for special medical purposes and weight control; food intended for infants; the addition of vitamins and other substances to food; and food supplements.

    Plant health, seeds and propagating material – Import and internal EU movement of plants and plant products, risk assessment of new plant pests and outbreak management. Assurance and auditing of policies across the UK to protect plant biosecurity. Requirements for plant variety rights, registration of plant varieties and quality assurance of marketed seed and propagating material.

    Public procurement – The regime provided by the EU procurement Directives, covering public procurement contracts for supplies, services, works and concessions above certain financial thresholds awarded by the public sector and by utilities operating in the energy, water, transport and postal services sectors.

    Services Directive – Directive that seeks to realise the full potential of services markets in Europe by removing legal and administrative barriers to trade by increasing transparency and making it easier for businesses and consumers to provide or use services in the EU Single Market.

    We have already witnessed WM ‘Public Procurement’ scams during PPE buying. A single tender contract to a pet food outlet with a turnover in the £thousands, worth £18 million.

    If we wait until May 2021, there will be nothing left to govern in Edinburgh.

    • That is a devastating list, and I mean that as applying to Scotland. It is really looking as if we need to have a referendum, probably without a Section 30, before the end of the year.
      Time is tight but not impossible if we have the will.

  15. The section 30 order is not law, it was an agreement between the Westminster Parliament and the Scottish Government. The agreement was if Scotland chose independence the break-up discussions would be amicable.

    • That’s an interesting point. It’s hard to imagine Westminster doing anything other than acting in bad faith in independence negotiations, whatever the standards they agreed to up front. (And in 2014 the EU and US would have backed them to the hilt, though that might be different now.)

  16. The YES movement gained a highly creditable 45% of the vote in the 2014 referendum and they won’t have changed their minds – quite the opposite! I believe that about 40% of the Scottish electorate are firmly opposed to dissolving the union. This would leave the ‘undecided’ faction at about 15%.

    These are the voters the independence parties need to target.

    If it was an English election, these are exactly the people that Cummings would be aiming to ‘persuade.’ And whatever you think of him – he wins important mandates.

    Cummings would also know that this 15% would not be the sharpest tools in the box. If they’re undecided after everything that has happened since 2014, then they haven’t been paying attention.

    He would know that these voters would best be persuaded by ‘what’s in it for them.’ They’re not conviction supporters of independence like the 45%.

    The ‘better together’ advocates used up all of their big guns in the last campaign – even the doubters will know that they are serial liars. They are a spent and discredited force.

    It will not be hard for the independence parties to go on the attack and remind them that ‘remain’ means more austerity, hard Brexit uncertainty, a wrecked economy, massive job losses, loss of the NHS and the lowest pensions in the developed world.

    The SNP have already discussed implementing a universal income and bringing Scottish pensions into line with the EU.

    The prospect of a guaranteed income of say, £200 per week for everyone over the age of 16 and a pension in the order of £450 per week at the age of 65 would, I believe, lead to a landslide victory for the independence parties.

    • “The prospect of a guaranteed income of say, £200 per week for everyone over the age of 16 and a pension in the order of £450 per week at the age of 65 would, I believe, lead to a landslide victory for the independence parties”
      Just paint that on Miles Briggs’, the outrageous List Tory Liar, generous rear end and parade him through the hospital wards to face the staff whose dedication, professionalism, personal sacrifices and in some case lives, to look after their fellow Scots whom he disgracefullt trashed today.
      This giant pear shaped excuse for a human being was allowed headline airtime on BBC Distorting Scotland to declare that over 900 patients had contracted Covid in hospital and over two hundred died, and that it’s all Jeane Freeman’s fault.

      Monica Lennon, the Red Tory Nobody, and wee Willie Winkie, backed up the lies, and got air time too.

      The Better Together BBC Scotland Formula.

      Lies blasted on the Screen threefold, and a brief rebuttal by Freeman, with Glen Campbell and Andrew Kerr Bad SNP summarising, throwing in a Nike SNP as Murderers quote from the fat wee chap, the Lone London Red Tory pet Jock.

      What a pathetic insult to the NHS staff in our hospitals dealing with this unprecedented crisis.

      What Briggs was saying was that the staff in hospitals were that sloppy that they let hundreds get infected on the wards, and hundreds subsequently died.
      Jesus H Christ!

      What are we waiting for when Better Together has begun the lies and treachery now?

      Imagine Monica Lennon, Willie Rennie, or Miles Briggs leading the fight against Covid?

      It is just too ridiculous for words, but not for Glen Campbell or Andrew Kerr who imbued their EssEnnPee Bad nonsense and lies with some sort of validity tonight.
      The campaign starts now.

      • BBC news at 6:30pm reported everything Tory Miles Briggs said as fact despite every word being an assertion and clearly pointed out on STV news at 6pm by Colin McKay
        The BBC also claimed the Nike conference was a secret cover up that they had exposed

        The BBC are engaging in an abuse of news reporting now

        • The interim Chief Medical Officer dealt with the Nike conference issue very well yesterday. He used science to debunk the lie.

          Just scroll through the video to his statement. Any further speculators on this issue from the red or blue Tories should be referred to his statement.

          Watch and scroll

          • Just caught up on yesterday’s briefing this morning…
            Clearly BBC didn’t get the Memo if they’re still parroting the Nike nonsense hours later..
            That announcement from Gregor was a joy to listen to, and amazing work by the scientists in advancing understanding of this dreadful virus.

            However, this only underlines yet again how far this anti-SNP cartel are prepared to go, even the QEUH “scandal” gets pulled out of the drawer for an occasional airing, and not a day passes without questionable assertions being platformed by the BBC or other outlets…

            The UK is way beyond “normal” politics and media, even if England remains wedded to the myth of benevolent Toryism be it blue or red, the small mafia pulling the strings grow increasingly malevolent, and at some stage it will cause a riot.
            It’s high time this “normal” was ejected from Scotland, we have seen what CAN be done from this crisis without all the controls an independent nation would enjoy.
            “Take back control” might have mileage in it yet…

  17. As the Treaty of Union is just a treaty between the Scottish and English Governments, then why not treat it like a legal Divorce case. The Scottish government goes to Court of Session citing insurmountable differences, (the many times the terms of the treaty were broken) and ask that it be declared invalid. No doubt the result would be referred to the Supreme Court. At the least it would give temporary legal protection, and allow Scotland to hold a referendum without Westminster input. I am also of the opinion that waiting until 2021 for the Holyrood Election, is a mistake due to what Westminster can do in the months after Brexit, including possible closure of Holyrood, and\or payment of funding to local councils to not open polling stations.

    • That is a worry. They certainly don’t want to cede 30% of their landmass and their military bases in Scotland as well as tax revenues and plentiful resources that Scotland provides to the UK. You cant put it past Johnson/Cummings – if the writing is on the wall for this union – to announce a state of national emergency and close the devolved parliaments and bring all control back to London. The SNP seem oblivious to this risk or, at least, disbelieving it could happen. Have they not been paying attention?

      • Yes, the English Establishment will fight tooth and nail to subvert Scottish efforts to gain independence. Scottish independence would be a severe blow to England and would have massive implications, psychologically and practically :

        – England alone outside the EU will be a very isolated, weakened state

        (already we have seen Britain’s pathetic efforts in trying to bully Ireland during the EU Brexit negotiations fail miserably as Ireland leveraged the strength of the EU in support of
        EU member-state Ireland – whilst simultaneously the London Govt. totally ignored Scotland’s mandate to remian in the EU. This alone should help convince any Scottish doubters as to how crucial it is to have their own independent state within the EU.)

        – England will find it increasingly difficult to operate as any kind of “Global player” and will struggle economically as the full impact of Brexit takes effect

        – England/Britain could very possibly lose its Permanent Seat at the UN’s Security Council

        We have witnessed the Fall of Apartheid South Africa, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, amongst óther global milestones, and now history beckons the long-overdue end of the British state known as the UK.

  18. I don’t believe the treaty or any legal document stating anything legal can be a legal document when those documents from the UK government are headed *Her Majestys government*
    The monarchy has no constitutional authority so is not in charge of any government, but if the UK says the monarch is in charge then the UK cannot be a democracy

    So which is it, Monarchy or Democracy, it can’t be both

  19. I think the next Hollyrood election should be conducted in the way that Paul suggests. Is there any way of bringing the date for it forward?

  20. Your take on how we ultimately disentangle ourselves seems credible to me Paul. It may indeed be the path taken. We obviously can’t know definitively until it all pans out in the fullness of time but it seems to me to be a rational possibility.

    Timing is going to be critical but that does not mean imposing a timescale on it that arises out of impatience, or fear of lost opportunity. Every important idea has its time. Trying to bring it about prematurely is simply a recipe for failure. We need to exercise extreme patience. I have no doubt that when the time is right the door to a better future will swing open without meaningful resistance. Who predicted the fall of the Berlin wall? Who predicted the timing of the end of the fascist regime in South Africa? Who predicted the timing of the Brits being ejected from India or the Yanks out of Vietnam? etc. etc.

    I am interested that your thoughts seem to have sparked off some fearful reactions. Are they real or contrived?

    I understand that you might feel a bit disappointed at some of these reactions Paul but it is definitely not a Scottish trait to look on a sea of flowers and only see the shit!!

    In some of these comments I smell John Bull shit, which is of course a British characteristic. It smells of the tiny corpses they have ingloriously left littered around the world 🌎 . Imagine what it must be like to take pride in working to perpetuate that.

    • I can assure you Arthur, mine are real. Mostly the perception of threat is by its very nature subjective, though some will feel it more than others, it should never be dismissed out of hand, rather it should be addressed. Jack Collatin took the time to detail some of the powers westminster removed from Holyrood, powers that will be utilized, powers that will affect the very fabric of our lives including our rights, our liberty, the health of our nation and land. Timing is important but its important to recognise that we don’t have much to waste.

      • Thank you for taking a moment to respond to my comment Golfnut.

        I am highly aware that, except for myself, nobody really knows my motives – any more than I can know theirs. That being the case, I can only proceed on the basis of assuming that some people will be genuine in the comments they make and some may be disingenuous. As I see it, it is inconceivable that the Brits are not enmeshed in the Yes movement to destroy it. Perhaps surprisingly, I don’t see that as a threat. I just see it as a pathetic irrelevance. Those of us who are genuinely committed to independence – and I am happy to believe that you are as committed as I am – are immovable. Ultimately achieving our goal depends on a majority of Scots being similarly immovable. We are not going to be sidetracked or dissuaded by John Bull shit. We are going to agree/disagree on how best to move forward; we are going to get irritated/angry/anxious/upset etc. about the pace of change and tactics BUT we are never, ever going to give up and we are never, ever going to recommend giving up.

        As with others who have commented here, I fear for the impact specifically of Brexit on Scotland and the impact of the Brit idiocies in general. My heart bleeds when I think about it. But I don’t see the answer lying in embarking on an overt public campaign at this time.

        The Vietnamese didn’t rid themselves of the Americans by coming out into the open and charging into a hail of missiles and a downpour of napalm. Their country was being laid waste by a traitorous regime and a free enterprise crusade but they beat it in the end. They did it ultimately by a series of small victories, adopting tactics that favoured them rather than their tormentors. Metaphorically speaking, that is how I see us proceeding. The day will come when we will get out of our lockdown, as the Vietnamese got out of their tunnels and front up the opposition. We have to wait for the right time to do that. It seems inconceivable to me that the middle of a pandemic is the time to do it.

        That is my view but I definitely do not assume that I am right – it’s just my perspective. I absolutely respect the different perspectives of others and I am comfortable that the expression of those perspectives is helpful to taking us forward. I hope that those who take a different view on appropriate tactics can see that our diversity is our strength. Nothing is ever going to derail us but intolerance may delay us.

        • Despite the fact that the british nationalist parties and the media are already in full anti SNP, anti Independence propaganda mode, I agree with you, now would be a bad time to start a campaign. I do however believe it will start soon.
          Stay well.

  21. Hahaha, watch them bray, snort, neigh, gibber, grunt, cackle, roar, squawk and bleat in the Commons and then bide your time and see their clucking wee chickens coming home to roost.

    Yes we know (some of us) of the abysmal treatment that’s been meted out to black individuals who have been enslaved, however what about the big coverup of hundreds of thousands of white faced Scots and Irish people who were enslaved over time? Said to be the most enslaved grouping of people worldwide. So just a wee reminder of the Tory mindset. As Boris has supported exterminating us, Jewish like, one of his wee smug, smart ersed lackeys would also like to put the Scots in their place. We’ve all seen this before but it’s raised its, their, ugly head again.

    • Throw their heads back in faux horror at the memories of black slavery but talk about the deportation of Scots to be sold as slaves in order to get rid of them is hilarious

      Today the BBC runs a story about the *British* army that turns out to be the English army, and if other nationalities don’t go along with the Nazi agenda their lives are made a misery

  22. Vote out all the unionists. There will be no one to object. There will be another IndyRef within five years. Demographics.

    The UK cannot leave the EU. The majority want to stay. Demographics. The Brexit mess and shambles.

  23. In other news, the Leader of the ‘Welsh’ Liberal Democrats has attempted to resusictate the notion of a ‘Federal Britain’.

    Representation in Wales of the Liberal Democrats?

    Senedd/Welsh Parliament: 1* MS out of 60
    House of Commons: 0 MP out of 40
    Local Councils controlled: 0 out of 22
    Local Councillors: 63 out of 1 254

    *NOT the author of the article.

    Clutching at straws or what? Anyone like to reinforce the situation in Scotland? Or for her to receive a dose of reality – THERE IS NO APPETITE FOR FEDERALISM IN *ENGLAND* – THE LARGEST ‘PARTNER’ BY A COUNTRY MILE IN ANY SUCH FEDERALISM?

  24. The logic used by Westminster for refusing a S30 is that only that Parliament is sovereign. Therefore the next Westminster election is the best bet for a plebiscite election, with independence and a confirmatory referendum being negotiated by Scottish MPs.

    MPs don’t need a S30 to call a referendum

    Re the Dug. Get Galliprant from your vet. Works wonders for arthritis

  25. We keep getting told that an S30 is merely an agreement that after indy is voted for, Westminster will negotiate “nicely”. Which implies that if we went ahead without an S30 they would not negotiate “nicely”.

    Is it just me that thinks that, regardless of an indy vote, Westminster will ‘play dirty’, anyway?

    Hence why do we concern ourselves with an S30 when the resultant negotiations will be bad, anyway. England will never let us go (willingly) as we are propping up their economy, they will fight to the death to prevent our independence. So we should just go for it, the ensuing ‘fight’ will be the same anyway.

  26. We keep getting told that an S30 is merely an agreement that after indy is voted for, Westminster will negotiate “nicely”. Which implies that if we went ahead without an S30 they would not negotiate “nicely”.

    Is it just me that thinks that, regardless of an indy vote, Westminster will ‘play dirty’, anyway?

    Hence why do we concern ourselves with an S30 when the resultant negotiations will be bad, anyway. England will never let us go (willingly) as we are propping up their economy, they will fight to the death to prevent our independence. So we should just go for it, the ensuing ‘fight’ will be the same anyway.

  27. Beware the folk who shout demandingly about *get us our Independence*
    Independence will only come about when the majority of Scots definitely want it and that’s the judgement the FM and SNP must make because the last thing anybody wants to happen is that the people don’t go along with it, it must be consensual or that in itself will cause even more trouble

    The last few polls have shown that a majority would vote for Independence but the FM has to be sure that support is solid and that she’ll win a referendum
    Nicola Sturgeon is on reacord several times saying she doesn’t just want to hold a referendum she wants to win it, some of the demanding folk aren’t being terribly genuine about the consequences of losing such a referendum

    We won the last one at the second attempt, hopefully the next referendum will give us the same outcome, everybody has seen how carefully the FM has negotiated her way through this pandemic and how competently she’s done it and if that confidence in her ability to govern continues it’s very likely she’ll push the button when she’s able to begin the campaign to divorce Scotland from its abusive owners

    Beware the noisy demanders they’re not always what they seem, and some of them are definitely on the opposing team

    • With you there, Dr Jim, and I suspect you, like me, and many, many others who have been waiting for many decades for our fellow Scots to catch up, want it done right, with the bulk of the country sending the message out loud and clear, “This is it. Don’t dare mess with us.”

      Folks who think that a mere 51% yes on a less than massive turnout will do it, are living in cloud cuckoo land. The armies of homegrown naysayers with the assistance of their media lackeys, many of whom have a lot of clout down south would ensure that our country failed and would help to drag out negotiations for years until the economy collapsed. And the Govt of England would ensure that. Have no illusions what we’re dealing with here – the British Establishment at bay is not a pretty sight. It’s dangerous, nasty and very devious. They need to be telt good and proper and ultimately only the Scots themselves can do that, not any particular political party, at least until the time finally arrives for tough negotiations and a firm stand.

      This is not negativity – just common sense and many decades of observing how the ‘Brits’ work, not only here but around the world.

  28. Serious question: was Mike Rumbles drunk at FMQ today?

    I pose this as a question rather than a statement given his boorish behaviour, allowed to continue by Ken Mackintosh could easily be because he is an objectionable sober little Nobody.

    The presiding Officer let this audible grumbling to continue as Rumbledore shouted over NS’ response to his WHO one meter distance query.

    At least we found out how long it’s been since he actually did any work. He referred to his question on WHO social distancing on the 6th of May.

    Money for Nothing; I’m sure we’d all drink to that.

    Carlaw Rennie Leonard and Johnstone, really are churning out the same tired old nonsense now, using the televised opportunity to EssEnnPee Baaaaad in barber shop quartet disharmony.

    Where’s Patrick Harvie this weather?

    And Cole Hamilton, with his best ironic ‘it was only politics’ smirk, having to apologise for lying about a Care Home Death and causing distress and upset, so publicly…Lib Dem gold.
    Perhaps some rapper will remix his apology and it will go viral like Clegg’s Tuition fees lie.

    It’s time Ken Mackintosh stood aside and a proper arbiter be appointed.

    Will somebody give that Dick Leonard lessons in reading out loud and sounding natural.

    Like Cole Hamilton he read out an anonymous list of acusations on PPE, for which he was properly skelped by our FM.
    Carlaw is just an alarming bag of hot air now.
    And willie Rennie can only scream ‘we’re doomed’ now. He hasn’t a clue..about anything. But we all know that, and always did.
    Willie Rennie, Cole Hamilton, and Tipsy Rumbles. Quality.

    Get the Independence Guns trained on Brexit, now, for starters.

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