Support for independence is only going to rise

With independence enjoying a 7% or 8% lead in the opinion polls, you might think that it would make our Conservative overlords in London realise that they have to change their ways. Although of course you’d only think that if you have spent the entirety of the past six years hiding in a cave and rocking gently back and forward against the cave wall while singing that song that your mammy used to sing to you to get you back to sleep when you were a wean and woken up with a nightmare, which coincidentally is also what Ruth Davidson does whenever she’s avoiding difficult questions from the press.

After her car crash performance at FMQs yesterday the Scottish Tories’ soi-disant big hitter must be wishing she was still in the cave. Even her cheerleaders in the Scottish press were forced to admit that her performance was a disaster. Ruth’s problem is that after organising the sacking of the man who replaced her after he won a democratic vote amongst her own party members, Ruth then took a seat in the House of Lords. She’s now left herself an easy target and destroyed her own credibility if, as she did yesterday, she attempted to criticise Nicola Sturgeon for standing by her colleague John Swinney and lecturing the First Minister about accountability. Naturally Nicola replied by remarking that Ruth Davidson of all people can’t lecture anyone about loyalty to colleagues and then followed up with a reminder that – call her old-fashioned – she preferred that politicians should be accountable to the voters. Even in the press offices of Ruth’s pals in the media, you could hear the mic drop.

Yesterday the news was rightly dominated by the tragic rail accident near Stonehaven, and by the continuing fall out from the SQA results. So it was easy to miss the news that the UK Government’s business minister Alok Sharma had at the last minute decided that he wasn’t after all going to show up and give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee about the British Government’s white paper for a proposed new post-Brexit internal market. There have been repeated claims from the Scottish Government, claims which are well founded, that the Conservatives intend to use their new internal market as an underhand means of undermining the devolution settlement.

(You can read the Scottish Government’s response to the British Government’s white paper on the UK internal market here :

So you might think that any sensible British Government minister, aware that support for Scottish independence now enjoys a substantial lead in the polls, would be bending over backwards to ensure that no one in Holyrood could accuse the British Government of ignoring Scotland’s concerns and to make the case for their new internal market in order to assuage any Scottish disquiet. That’s what a sensible politician who understood and cared about the political consequences of their actions would do. The Tories however, don’t give a toss. Arrogance is their default position, even while support for the UK in Scotland melts away more quickly than what’s left of Ruth Davidson’s reputation. The Committee’s convenor, MSP Bruce Crawford, told fellow committee members that he had been given just 30 minutes notice that Alok Sharma was not going to appear.

Appearing before the Committee, the Scottish Government’s constitution secretary Mike Russell described the British Government white paper as an outrageous power grab. The proposal would give Downing Street a veto over all the competencies which are being returned from Brussels once the UK exits the EU transitional period in December. He added that the white paper reveals the real attitude of the Conservatives to devolution, hostile and opposed to Scotland and Wales exercising the rights they achieved under the devolution settlement.  We know that the Tories have never liked devolution, and so they are determined to hollow it out from within. This white paper is their latest step in that process.

Westminster had set up four days of consultation on their internal market plans. The last of those four days was the meeting at Holyrood. At the very last minute and without giving an adequate explanation the Conservative government minister responsible cancelled that meeting. So yet again there will be no Scottish input again into a policy which concerns all four nations of the UK and has a significant impact on the devolution settlement.

It’s Brexit and the coronavirus response all over again. It ought to be clear to everyone by now that this is not accidental. This is not oversight. This is not coincidence. This is a clear and consistent pattern of behaviour designed to marginalise Scotland within the UK and to ensure that the Scottish Parliament has no input or influence in the formation of UK policies which directly affect Scotland. What was that about lead us don’t leave us? What was that about stay with us Scotland and be a loved and valued partner in a family of nations?

Yet nowhere are there any signs that the Conservatives propose to address how their own behaviour is the major driving force behind the surge in support for independence. According to the Tories, it’s all the fault of Thatessempee. This week in the house magazine of the Conservative party, the Spectator, Scottish Tory journo and martyr Stephen Daisley is yet again banging on and trying to make Scotland in Union’s buzzword “Scexit” a thing. His proposal to solve the Scottish question doesn’t recognise that the British state in general or the Conservative party in particular has done anything wrong which it needs to address. It’s all the fault of those vile nats stirring up trouble. So he proposes to trash the devolution settlement, strip the Scottish Parliament of even more power, and deny the people of Scotland the right to decide their future for themselves. Scotland can’t be trusted with democracy.  His proposals have rightly been met with a combination of derision and contempt.

The real reason that support for independence is increasing is because the UK that Scotland was promised it could be a part of in 2014 is not the UK in which we live. The fault for that lies squarely with the party which has been in power in Westminster during the past six years. That would be the Conservatives. They themselves are the drivers of independence, and they will not be able to prevent it by doubling down on the behaviour which has already turned Scotland into a land where a majority support independence. Yet they give every indication that that is precisely what they propose to do.

All that Conservative intransigence and arrogance will achieve will be to consolidate Scottish support for independence even more, and makes the end of the UK more likely. In 2014 those of us who supported independence warned that we could either win Scottish independence the easy way, in that year’s referendum, or the hard way. We’re going to have to do this the hard way, but the outcome will be a Scotland which is far more decided and resolved on the question of independence than it would have been if independence had narrowly won in 2014. Support for independence is going to rise even higher. The Conservatives have only got themselves to blame.

You may have heard that there’s a crowdfunded initiative to test the lawfulness of an independence referendum without a Section 30 order. Taking on a legal case of this sort is eye wateringly expensive but it’s a worthwhile cause as it could establish once and for all whether the Scottish Parliament can go ahead with a referendum without the need for a Section 30 order. Or if the case fails and it’s ruled that a Section 30 order is required, it tells us that this so-called union is not a union at all, because Scotland would not be a free member of it which can decide to remain or to leave according to the will of the people of Scotland. That would deprive British nationalists of their claim that Scotland is a voluntary member of a union of nations. Either way, the independence movement ends up with either a legal argument in its favour, or a political argument in its favour, and we would have more clarity than we do just now.

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109 thoughts on “Support for independence is only going to rise

  1. Although the MSM have been quite happy to ignore Ruth Davidson’s lies, backstabbing, inconsistencies, the person that railed so hard against Johnson then accepts a peerage from him, the people nor the SNP will ignore them.

    We will remind her at every opportunity of her bogus authenticity, how she ran away from an election because she knew she was going to be thrashed under a fictitious claim of family first, only to return in under a year, the quickest nurturing in human history,

  2. Thank you for carrying the crowdfunder link forward. You have a strong following and your promotion helps a great deal.

    As for the Unionists continuing their arrogant treatment of Scotland and the Scottish Government…I don’t see a downsides!
    I hope people remember that the Labour and LibDem Parties accept this treatment. In fact the fight to allow this treatment to continue.

    We are here because of Better Together lies. We are here because Labour Politicians, activists and members lied for the Unionist cause.

    We should be angry about the Tory arrogance but never forget the support Labour provided their Tory club members.

    • ”Thank you for carrying the crowdfunder link forward. You have a strong following and your promotion helps a great deal.”

      It would be good to see it being posted elsewhere too, Julia, such as on a site where the blog owner has made a big deal, over time, about this very issue being tested in Court.

  3. Regarding the internal market, after independence, it would be an external market. I expect they would still require our gas, the two separate countries would still trade by agreement, instead of dictatorship

  4. As the UK of England tries to rid itself of Nicola Sturgeon Holyrood and the SNP because they are the clear and present threat to their control of all things Scottish Welsh and Northern Irish, for the SNP are the real threat to all of this and if Scotland removes itself from the England UK control Northern Ireland will likely swiftly follow, with Wales yelling loudly from just behind, the divisionists in Scotland fill the internet up with screeching demands that Nicola Sturgeon *dae sumthin* about the thoughts that occur in the minds of the British Nationalists

    On the one hand they accuse the FM of not really wanting Independence for Scotland because she’s secretly in league with the baddies while at the same time refuse to accept that the UK government, the media, the pollsters all accept that Nicola Sturgeon is the threat to the Union

    These divisionists can’t have it both ways, you can’t say you support Independence for Scotland while at the same time demanding to get rid of the only person who can make that happen and that the opposition fear or they wouldn’t be going to all this trouble to get rid of her

    If the goal of the divisionists is to get rid of Nicola Sturgeon in support of some fabricated nonsense they have cooked up about her not wanting Independence because *it’s a secret* or they don’t like her then that is the end result of what the UK government are bending over backwards trying to achieve, so why are the UK Unionists and the divisionists not the same thing

    The psychic divisionists are now demanding that Nicola Sturgeon be pyschic and head the UK off at the pass while at the same time claiming she doesn’t want to
    Scotland has always suffered from people like this who are either paid to subvert or they’re just idiots making unsubstantiated claims because they enjoy preying on the fears and anxieties of the more vulnerable minded

    The UK of England is moving heaven and earth to rid themselves of the one person who can scupper everything they’re planning and we can all see it, so to claim that Nicola Sturgeon is somehow co-operating in her own removal to further her ambitions of her own removal is just farcical childish and a disingenuous lie, and they can’t claim it’s because she just wants to be the manageress of Scotland because why would the UK government want rid of her altogether in that case if they were indeed co-operating with her, surely they’d want to keep her on if she was their best mate

    • You can sum it all up by us all addressing this point, Dr Jim, ”so why are the UK Unionists and the divisionists not the same thing”, by saying that they probably are one and the same.

      It stands to reason that it’s not just BritNat politicians and journalists that want to scupper Independence. The British Establishment will pay and / or coerce key people to support their Machiavellian aim. Money will be no object when comparisons are made about the amount of money forked out to a quisling / s in contrast to England being ”dispossessed” of Scotland’s resources. The US too will probably be involved due to the Trident issue. We also know that they have the 77th Brigade and SiU members infiltrating online sites. Then there’s the run of the mill individuals taken from over 60 million people living in the UK, and of course beyond, that don’t want to see the UK break up, such as OO types, Labour, Tory, LibDem supporters and so on.

      I’ve got issues with the SNP that I feel can be addressed after we get our Independence, however at this moment in time they are the ONLY political party capable of getting us out of this dysfunctional Union and being led by Nicola Sturgeon an extremely effective, trusted and popular leader. More popular in fact than Alex Salmond ever was. As you say, and most of us know, it’s clear that Nicola Sturgeon is a real threat to the Union so the minute that I see anyone constantly trying to undermine her (you know who you are) and calling for her to go I see a ”red (BritNat) flag.” The latest on one particular pro-independence site was ”posters” calling for John Swinney to go now. Pro-Independence site? My ass.

      • Petra, the Tony Blair’ Brit Nats spent 100’s billion’s and slaughtered over 1 million Iraqis in partnership with their ‘Special relation’ Bush’s USA to bring ‘freedom and democrcay’ and access to oil, to that wretched beleaguered nation.

        They will shell out 100 billion to bring the rebellious Scots colony to heel.
        Ruth Davidson has been handed the Golden Ticket.
        In ten months time she will join McConnel Reid Robertson Goldie and the rest, her future ‘income’ clouded in ‘secrecy’ that she was unable to avoid Up Here.

        £50,000 for a twenty minute speech at a JP Morgan Do? She’ll miraculously be a ‘millionaire’ within the year, and doubtless ‘chairing’ the UK Internal Market ‘Committee’ closing down Edinburgh Cardiff and Stormont.
        WE are living in a colony of England. There are plenty of Scots willing to sell us into perpetual slavery. Davidson is one of many.
        It has come to this.
        It is about to get very bad indeed any day soon now.
        A giant fucking Butcher’s Apron in the heart of our capital city, and our loaves of bread wrapped in that symbol of oppression,

        Next week, Kirsty Wark will do her darnedest to blacken NS via the Salmond Sex Pest rerun..
        We are in a serious conflict now.

        • I can just see it Jack, as we all know that her sole focus has always been about lining her own pocket in conjunction with doing nought.

          ”£50,000 for a twenty minute speech at a JP Morgan Do?”

          I can just envisage this too with her running down the vandalising Scottish thieves to peals of BritNat laughter. Let’s get out of the dysfunctional Union and give her, and them, something to greet about. And with Independence and our own MSM expose her for the charlatan that she is. On a positive note it looks as though she’ll be moving to London to sign in to the HoL’s daily and walk away like Moan with £300 in her pocket to do her shopping. Or more than likely just sit in the taxpayer subsidised bars and restaurants stuffing her you know what face.

    • The small clique of posters on Wings who now shout down anyone who argues with their destructive rants is dreadful.

      They are more focused on the destruction of the SNP than Independence.

      I would advise all to avoid that site completely. I still admire the Rev for the quality of his work during the run up to 2014. However the negative rants are unbearable.

      • Professor Poultice has laid it out pretty well as to how Independence can be achieved, and it’s not as if he’s famed for being on our side, but he says what I’ve been banging on about for ages now that in the 2021 Holyrood election it’s the amount of votes for the SNP that will lead to Independence not the possible one or two extra list seats for any other so called Indy party that counts, because the SNP like Westminster count votes not seats when it comes to Scottish elections, because every vote for the SNP records a pro Independence vote as though it were a referendum on choice, a vote for another party, pro Independence or not is just a vote for another party giving Westminster the opportunity to claim the people of Scotland no longer support the main party of Independence and their support is wavering

        When people like Prof Curtice are saying it’s basically a con to diminish SNP votes to try and force plan B options when plan A is absolutely the right way to win then you have to pay attention as to why other people keep demanding the diminishing of the SNP vote just to get themselves maybe one or two list seats that will mean nothing, except to the folk who got themselves a bit of wood to park their bums on in Holyrood and a good wage to boot, and what will they have achieved for Scotland

  5. Pingback: Support for independence is only going to rise | speymouth

  6. What was that about lead us don’t leave us?

    Aye, whit aboot it, Federal Broon?

    The Tories’ unreconstructed malevolent motives are readily visible to any sentient being, but what about Labour’s leadership past and present? Now lurking in the shadows of the Tory power grab, despicably complicit both past and present in the impending attack upon even the miserable shreds of autonomy that we currently enjoy, and not a peep from any of them except to whinge about the SG.

    Where is that long-neededed outspoken public disavowal of the utterly contemptible escalating betrayal of everything you promoted back in 2014, Federal Broon? Are you a coward or are you complicit?

  7. All this avoidance behaviour of all dealings with the Scottish government from the Westminster gang clearly has a pattern. 1) the don’t like being shown up (hence calls to stop Nici giving sterling performances on good government 5 days a week) , especially when Blondino looks so bad in comparison (his ego). I think also there is a fair chance they will push measures through Westminster to a) ban a referendum for 30 years b) strip power from Holyrood, so they need to keep dehumanising the SG so they can convince themselves its worth it. So yes, we are going to have a hard time of it, but, as you point out, it is only going to push the Indy vote up. I personally think we should be thinking hard at plans B and C now, not to be flat footed when the urges come for their pound of flesh next year, after Brexit is fully borne out upon us.

  8. Currently watching the Unionists at Holyrood frothing with anger at not getting the head of John Swinney. Better Togethet alive and well.

  9. Thanks for the link to the Daisley article, and see also the Fabian version that he links to, here :
    These should be taken very seriously as warnings of how the mainstream UK parties hope to neuter Holyrood. I’m very wary of the divisionists within the Indy movement, see them all shooting their mooths af over on Wings, but at the same time it’s easy to sympathise with their impatience as they see Scotland potentially encircled. But then again I can only really sympathise with Nicola. I don’t envy her position … talk about having her hands full … so let’s all wish her the best of luck and strength, she surely needs both and all the support and guidance she can get.

    • I included a link to the Scottish Fabian article in the post I did on Monday and also discussed it.

      I agree that these pieces give us an indication of what line the British Govt is likely to go down. However I think that they’ll only end up having the opposite effect to what the British nationalists hope and will boost support for independence rather than dampening it down.

      • The line the British Govt is likely to go down may well boost support for independence.
        But what is Scotland going to do once Brexit is accomplished, transition is ended and Holyrood is neutered?
        How is Scotland going to get her Independence?

        • We’ll get our Independence Ben and hopefully without one shot being fired. Paul by the way has pointed out a number of ways to achieve our aim and I’m sure that Nicola Sturgeon (with her constitutional experts) is aware of all of the routes available to us too.

  10. To the WM Tories Scotland is just some small, irrelevant backwater of little consequence. A nuisance. They’re the power in this island and, by God, they will make sure we know it.

    Tories NEVER learn from history. It could teach them much but like all idiots, they are destined to repeat the mistakes of Tories past. They really believe the people of Scotland will simply roll over and meekly accept WM rule, even after they have turned Holyrood into a carcass; we’ll just accept it and roll over.

    Will we fuck!

      • And so the Tories ARE indeed ‘world beaters’.

        In their levels of incompetency, nepotism and hypocrisy. In their levels of mismamagement at all levels. In the numbers of deaths (by any yardstick you wish to mention – only ‘bettered’ by the USofA.)

        They are indeed ‘world beaters’ – and I hope the rest of the world is paying attention and taking notes.

    • So would the 58 be all the Tories,Labour and the Fib Dems then or did any of the Greens have an ego trip and join the dark side?

    • Yet another posturing waste of an afternoon by the Brit Nat Third Division Never Weres.
      We are in the greatest crisis Scotland has had to face since WWII and Leonard and Co wjinge from the sidelines.
      Nice work if you can get it. They must be exhausted. They’ll sleep tonight.
      On Day Onje of independence, we must ditch D’honte. 58 wasters clogging up Scotland, for English Gold.
      John Swinney is and Honest Man.

      • Check out the typos. I am ragin’ at these barstewards. An obscenity blighting true democracy Davidson Rennie and Leonard; an obscene waste of time and valuable resources.
        May the hairs on their heads turn to drum sticks and beat them senseless.

  11. Alex Massie weigh’s in in this Spectator article:

    Alex Massie
    Here’s Nicola: can Boris Johnson stop Scottish independence?
    Saying ‘no’ to IndyRef2 is not a strategy for the long term
    From magazine issue: 15 August 2020
    Here’s Nicola: can Boris Johnson stop Scottish independence?
    Text settings

    Boris Johnson is far from being the first prime minister to holiday in Scotland. David Cameron used to slip off the radar at his father-in-law’s estate on the Isle of Jura, and plenty of other Conservative premiers have enjoyed a Scottish August on the grouse moor. But Johnson may be the first to holiday north of the Tweed as a matter of political calculation and convenience. He comes to Scotland to show his commitment to what he calls the ‘magic’ of the Union.

    About time too. At last — at long last, Scottish Unionists might say — the cabinet has recognised it has a problem in North Britain. Indeed, the problem is that fewer and fewer Scots believe they should be inhabitants of Britain at all; opinion polls suggest that if an independence referendum were held next month, Scotland would vote ‘yes’. The saving grace for Johnson is that there will be no such referendum this year or next.

    In normal circumstances, next year’s Scottish parliament elections would be very challenging for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. The party has been in power for 13 years; long enough to exhaust voters’ patience. This week, Sturgeon’s government performed perhaps the greatest U-turn in the history of the Holyrood parliament, reversing course on the allocation of exam-substitute grades that saw thousands of pupils receive poorer results than predicted. Results that were last week deemed ‘credible’ if unfair are now, by Sturgeon’s own logic, fair but incredible.

    Education, not independence, is notionally Sturgeon’s no. 1 priority. She has asked to be judged on her record, knowing full well that she will not be. Scotland has a five-party political system but one of these parties, the SNP, commands the loyalty of nearly 50 per cent of voters. Sturgeon could shed a fifth of her support and still dominate the political landscape.

    Ostensibly, the practical arguments in favour of independence are weaker now than when the question was put to the Scottish people in 2014. Some oh-so-clever Tories suggested Brexit might put Scotland in a box from which there was no palatable escape, that the prospect of significant trade barriers between Scotland and England — to which more than half of all Scottish exports are sent — would make independence more daunting. But if Brexit can represent the triumph of sovereignty over economics — a respectable position — then so can Scottish independence. Separatism is a sensibility, rather than a fully costed set of detailed policies. It’s not the economy, stupid. Not any more.

    Viewed from the pro-independence perspective, that is just as well — since the early years of the new Scottish nation would be much like the final years of the old, pre-1707, Scottish nation: damnably difficult. The SNP have not, as yet, formulated convincing answers on matters of finance, currency, and much else besides. In 2014, the nationalists claimed Scotland could have it all: more spending without the inconvenience of increased taxation. That was an illusion then and it is now an impossibility. Oil prices have more than halved.

    The future will not be oil-powered, but it will be expensive. Scotland’s deficit, always far higher than the EU demands for new member states, will be even higher now.

    But in the Union, there is no such thing as a Scottish deficit: if there is a gap between what Scotland spends and what it raises in tax, that is filled by HM Treasury. The argument that Covid-19 has underlined the extent to which Scotland benefits from the broad financial shoulders of the United Kingdom has not yet proved persuasive. It might be true, but it is simply not believed. It is also true that the SNP’s 2014 independence plans would have led to ruin — a central bank, as it turns out, is an important institution. But, as with Brexit, most independence supporters trust that in the end everything will turn out for the best. Unionists are slowly realising, to their horror, that it doesn’t matter how strong the maths is. The financial counter-arguments don’t work.

    The catalyst — what has turned public opinion in Scotland into a small but fairly consistent majority for independence — is Covid. Sturgeon has performed well. Her public health responsibilities, plus the platform afforded by her daily press conferences, mean that she has been put on a near-equal footing with the Prime Minister and that has allowed direct comparisons. Where he has been a mess of conflicting messages, she has been measured and consistent. Scots have gained the impression that the quality of their government is just, well, better.

    Viewed dispassionately, Scotland has not had a good coronavirus crisis. Although new infections are now running lower than the rate seen in England, overall Scotland’s excess death rate remains among the worst in the world. The steps taken in England — locking down later than other countries, shifting elderly patients from hospitals into care homes — were also taken in Scotland, at the same time. For much of this crisis, the differences between Edinburgh and London have been of style not substance.

    But politics, like football, is local. In the national football team’s happier days, it was nice when Scotland defeated France or Spain but beating England really mattered. As at Hampden or Wembley, so now at Holyrood and Westminster: success is not measured in absolute terms but is relative to whatever is happening in England. Hence this curiosity: the Scottish nationalist movement tirelessly congratulates itself on doing just a little bit better than a place it sees as not very much better than a failed state. One day, perhaps, Scots will be more ambitious than that.

    Just over three in five Scots voted against Brexit, and the fact that it’s happening anyway has led many Remainers to rethink their wariness of independence. Coronavirus has reinforced that trend: the feeling that the UK is in the hands of Brexiteer chancers who cannot run a country — and that Scots could do better on their own. Just 21 per cent of voters in Scotland think Johnson has done a good job handling Covid-19, whereas 74 per cent think Sturgeon has done well. Even Scottish Tory voters, by a margin of 44-38, give the First Minister a passing grade. Communications, and not making unforced errors, are crucial.

    In such circumstances, it is little surprise that the SNP are on course to win a thumping victory at next year’s Scottish parliament election. Sir John Curtice calculates that, on current polling, the nationalists will take 74 of Holyrood’s 129 seats. If so, with the Greens winning nine seats of their own, almost two thirds of the next Scottish parliament would support independence.

    Even Alister Jack, the Secretary of State for Scotland, has intimated that an SNP victory in next year’s Holyrood elections could pass for a mandate for a second referendum. The Tory campaign will have little choice but to argue that a vote against the SNP is a vote to stop IndyRef2, so the logic of a result such as that suggested by the current polls would be that the people of Scotland will have voted for that referendum.

    Boris Johnson is duty-bound to ignore any such demand, not least since the available evidence suggests he might very well lose that referendum: he would hardly wish to be the man who delivered Brexit but presided over the dismemberment of his own country. But saying ‘No’ is not a strategy for the long term. At some point, the political and moral pressure to concede a fresh plebiscite on independence will prove irresistible. The longer the question is delayed, the more reasonable it appears.

    Poll-reading is an increasingly gloomy business for Unionists. According to a recent Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times, two thirds of voters under the age of 34 favour independence, as do a clear majority of voters under 54. Independence is not inevitable, but the idea it may be is powerful. Each year the Scottish electorate becomes a little less British and a little more Scottish. It is a question of identity, not economics. As such, it’s hard to argue or campaign against. It’s harder still now the Tories no longer have Ruth Davidson as their main campaigner. Her successor, Jackson Carlaw, has already fled rather than face the coming battle. Douglas Ross, the latest Scottish Tory leader, isn’t even in the Scottish parliament (he sits for Westminster).

    So viewed from a purely Unionist and non-partisan perspective, a Labour government would be welcome. Half of Labour’s supporters in Scotland at present favour independence, and the Labour vote is the crucial demographic that might yet determine the UK’s fate. A Labour party that is electable in England is the Labour party best placed to recover in Scotland too; it might help persuade left-wing and working-class Scots that independence is not the only way to get rid of the Tories. But such a revival is a long way off.

    The chief threat to Sturgeon’s future does not come from the crippled opposition at Holyrood. Nor is there much to fear from the present UK cabinet. Instead, her largest non-coronavirus problem is her predecessor. This spring, Alex Salmond was acquitted of all 13 charges made against him. He has since vowed to avenge himself on those he believes have wronged him. Sturgeon is at the top of that list. Salmond believes he was the victim of a dirty-tricks campaign designed to thwart any prospect he might have of returning to front line politics.

    A Holyrood inquiry is charged with exploring the detail of the Scottish government’s own investigation into complaints made against Salmond, and some of those close to the former first minister believe Sturgeon repeatedly misled the Holyrood parliament about what she knew, and when, about the Salmond affair. Would Salmond really risk doing untold damage to the movement to which he has dedicated his life, at a time when its prospects of ultimate success have never been greater? Remarkably, the available evidence suggests that he would.

    This is a thin — and, frankly, tawdry — straw for Unionists to clutch. But right now it may be the best straw available. The SNP seems politically immune to its own failings on Covid and public services, but it is vulnerable to itself. For just as this mess is of the British government’s own making, so the SNP’s internal divisions may do the nationalist cause more damage than anything Sturgeon’s outside opponents can throw at her.

    Enjoy your holiday, Prime Minister. – Alex Massie on the threat to the Union.

    Alex Massie
    Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator.

    “the feeling that the UK is in the hands of Brexiteer chancers who cannot run a country — and that Scots could do better on their own.”

    – a pretty accurate assessment of Johnson’s government. I’d add angry, arrogant, delusional and intolerant of dissent – and that’s just describing Dominic Cummings.

    “Even Alister Jack, the Secretary of State for Scotland, has intimated that an SNP victory in next year’s Holyrood elections could pass for a mandate for a second referendum.”

    – so far Alister Jack, David Mundell, The Daily Telegraph, and Iain Martin in The Times have all said that Johnson could not ignore an SNP majority which was gained on a referendum 2021 election manifesto pledge. And now, Alex Massie makes the same point:

    “Boris Johnson is duty-bound to ignore any such demand, not least since the available evidence suggests he might very well lose that referendum: he would hardly wish to be the man who delivered Brexit but presided over the dismemberment of his own country. But saying ‘No’ is not a strategy for the long term. At some point, the political and moral pressure to concede a fresh plebiscite on independence will prove irresistible. The longer the question is delayed, the more reasonable it appears.”

    Johnson’s hole is opening-up in front of him. At this rate, the Tories will be able to blame him for:

    – Inflicting Brexit on the U.K..
    – The bungling of the U.K’s Covid-19 response.
    – Losing the U.K. Union.

    He will be a memorable Prime Minister, just not in the way he wanted………

    • Alex Massie straining every mental sinew in an effort to appear not a Tory, and if only Michael Gove hadn’t slipped up and said “Scotland can be Independent when the oil runs out” he might have made a dent

      Oil is always a part of the British Nationalists argument, it used to be no good, then it was the wrong oil, now the oil’s running out, because they keep equating oil with motor cars and the need for electric or other powered vehicles but they don’t want to mention that oil will still be required for manufacturing for many years to come even after electric vehicles are the norm and the Chinese have run out of Cola bottles to recycle into television sets

      They should have a slogan *Scotland, the only country in the world that should be worried about having oil” even Patrick Harvie couldn’t sell that as his plastic soled shoes mount his plastic saddle on his rubber handlebarred bike, maybe once we can make all these things out of Raffia and Hay grass the notion might stick that oil can be dispensed with overnight as we switch off our plastic light switch and set our plastic clock to the right time to wake up in the morning

      Oil will be around for quite a while yet, and other countries will need to buy it I think

    • Christ, Massie is a right blowhard.
      Here’s the precis of this overblown pile of Brit Nat Project Fear Doo Doo.

      Too wee too poor too stupid. Broad shoulders of England is saving us. The oil is finished. Labour will rally and Scots will revert to the Red Cause..

      What a fucking joke of a long winded argument FOR Independence.

      He really is an arrogant Brit Nat apologist, isn’t he?

      I doubt that anyone read past the 3rd paragraph.

      Oh, and Sex Pest Salmond gets an airing.

      Any news on the senior Tory MP rapist allegation yet?

      We ‘sepraratists’ can do murky sex scandal junk and name calling with the best of them.

      Massie being Massie.

      A crashing bore of a script full of Brit Nat Goebbels strength lies and delusions of England Uber alles grandeur.

      Massie is a perfect little pet Jock of a man.
      One of Edinburgh’s finest collaborators.

    • every now and then Alex Massie can see what the problems are and can see the danger to his precious Union. But even then, he can’t say it and desperately clings to the “fleg” in some hope something will come along and save his union.

  12. Scotland has 25% of Europe’s renewable energy potential.
    England has only a few percent of spinning reserve in order to keep the lights on.
    A generation company in the South of England is PAID to supply the grid. In Scotland generation companies have to pay to access the grid.
    Oil is a small part of the grip on Scotland. England has no power, they have no fresh water and they do not want to pay Scotland for it.

  13. Despite all the evidence to the contrary the Scottish Labour and Lib Dems who argued for ”Better Together” in 2014 have ignored the increasing lack of respect , if not downright contempt , that has been directed towards Scotland and its people since the referendum .

    One can only assume that they are in full agreement with the constant belittling of Scotland and , indeed , may be said , by their silence , to be complicit in the framing of upcoming Westminster legislation which is intent on neutering the devolution settlement .

    Where is the condemnation of Westminster’s actions since 2014 from the ”heavy hitters ‘ of Scottish Labour such as Gordon Brown , who never hesitates to berate the SNP ?
    Where is the support for the Scottish Government at this time from these ‘Proud Scots ‘ when clearly Westminster’s aims are to reduce its effectiveness ?
    Where is the constant stream of criticism from Labour’s only Scottish MP , Ian Murray , who never fails to find something to carp about when it involves the SNP , yet is completely oblivious to the harm being inflicted on Scotland by the Westminster .

    I will not hold my breath waiting for these spineless ‘fellow travellers ‘ of the Tories to support their OWN country and not a foreign one !

  14. So I can stay poor by remaining a Brit Scot or even poorer as a Independent Scot so they say.

    Such lies have been outed long ago.

    Ask Ireland, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Estonia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, India etcetera.

    England need us that’s why they will put everything in their way including the use of the security services.

    We just need us.

  15. Julia Gibb.
    Absolutely right about WoS. A lost cause it seems. While folk on this and other blogs are abused By the WOS contributors they also suffer a special form of myopia and deafness when arguing for an -Independence Party for the list vote.

    How many do we have already? how many more will there be on the closure date for parties? All splitting the 2nd list vote. Who benefits? The unionist parties.

    It basically shows that those on the fringes cannot agree even amongst themselves to have 1 Independence Party. I’ll stick with the SNP

  16. 😱 Oooooh the Brits are coming to get us!!! 😱 Ooooooh there are mock Jocks coming to get us tae!!!

    Do I give a fcuk?? Not a chance. They are as irrelevant as each other. Added together they don’t have a shred of honesty. Added together they have so much intelligence that the sum total of their expert analyses as to how to extinguish Scotland is ……. wait for it ……… to put the combined efforts of every warped institution of the British State, plus their uncle toms ……. to get rid of Nicola Sturgeon!!!!!!

    That wee Scottish woman has got them all spinning. They HATE her and they can’t get over the fact that as each day passes increasing numbers of Scots LOVE her. If it was playing out in a film the audience would be saying “gaun hen, get intae they bastirts”. Every time Ruthless came on the screen their would be a collective growl and mumblings of “that f….ing b…..”

    Nicola has got their measure and they know it. All their Machiavellian plots are doomed to failure. Their world beating attempts at destroying all that is good in front of their contorted faces will come to nought. They don’t know who they are dealing with.

    Anyone remember that big tough guy called Ghandi? Anyone remember that big hard man called Mandela? Anyone remember how they were super poker players who had instant answers to every atrocity that was thrown at their community? Anyone remember how they had 100% support at every twist and turn as they worked tirelessly, day in day out, to free their people? Remember how the Brits and the white supremacists tried to destroy them because they knew how dangerous they were?

    And be certain that there were Indians and black South Africans who were working assiduously to support the regimes that were holding down their own people. Just as there are in Scotland. Scotland is by no means unique in that respect. Virtually all independence movements faced the same stuff – and overcame it. And that is what we are going to do.

    We are winning. Throw off the doom and gloom. It was always going to be excruciatingly difficult to break the chains of generations of abuse of our people and culture. Against ALL the odds. Against an adversary that is prepared to plumb the depths of depravity – an exaggeration? – read the history of the Brits. We are winning and we are going to win.

  17. You’re totally right, we are literally fighting our opponents now. We’re fighting for the hearts and minds of fellow Scots to persuade them of the merits of Scotland being an Independent country.

    We are opposed in this pursuit by the political power of the UK based in Westminster, we are opposed in this pursuit by everything that keeps them in power. Their media, their civil service, their intelligence services, their business organisations and every other government establishment in existence including all the so called think tanks.

    We are also opposed in this pursuit by those that fight against Independence from their base in Scotland. The uncle Tams, the religious bigots and the landed gentry.

    So it wasn’t going to be easy, we have a huge fight on our hands. But we are winning and that has them worried. The immediate goal now is easy to say but harder to achieve, we work even more at increasing support. That’s my goal anyway, try and persuade one more, just one and then I’ll try another. Something we can all do really.

    • I see a video of Ross Greer on the link that you posted, WS, basically calling the Scottish BritNat politicians a bunch of hypocrites.

    • I laughed my head off at the Tories not knowing the difference between *effect* and *affect* as they attempted to draw our attention to our really really bad SNP education crisis, which is pretty funny really considering they represent the country that thinks it invented the English language and we moronic badly educated Scots speak English *wiv an awfool saanding accint*

      I could’ve written that in one of Scotland’s original languages but was afraid I could be killed for doing that like we used to be in this ever changing law making power grabbing English rule dictatorship we live under

  18. Not sure the 2014 indyref would have turned out ‘the easy way’. Ireland voted for independence in 1918 and ended up fighting a war of independence for two and a half years followed by partition.

  19. Stay committed, stay connected, stay calm–we have them panicked and running.
    Who would you rather read (and read we must for “foreign” intelligence), Daisley, a total Franco-phone phoney…….or Alex Massey, a Tory-member-of-the-gang?

    I have followed Massey for some years(among others) and have found his arguments reasonable–even affable at times. Now……he is in despair and panicked. Read his latest. He has gone from amiable condescension to realise his side are playing a game whose rules elude them.
    Who should Scots trust? The Boris team, who advocated “lockstep”?
    Sturgeon, who has faced the flack from the contemptible Brit Nat media day in day out, telling the truth, or……. Boris, an “Absentee landlord” in the old tradition?

    Alex Massie knows Scotland’s answer, which is why his language and manners have deteriorated so.

  20. Imagine doing a policy U-turn on exam results, that pleases:

    The soon – to be eligible to vote – youth; their parents; their grandparents.

    Imagine being paid by the SGA to administer an algorithm of – one potato to bin1 two potato to bin2 etc. And being overuled.

    Over simplification? I know, but in my final years in work as a Chartered Engineer, returning to Scotland I found young engineers gazing at computer monitors,accepting it’s output, and with little practical “feel”, for judgement, for the elegance of engineering.

    Is the SQA lacking in practical “feel”?.

    Thumbs up for the SNP in displaying a practical feel and judgement. And commendably, no political grandstanding, simply, gently, displaying a compassion for Scotland’s youth.

  21. Ireland ‘voted’ for Independence 1918. If Ireland had waited 5 years. Ireland would have voted for Home Rule/Independence. A Home Rule Bill was due to go through the Commons. A few weeks after the 1WW started. It was delayed. Irish Nationalists fought in 1WW. They were not allowed to join Irish unionist battalions. They had to form their own.

    Captain Crawford used the 1WW to smuggle arms into NI, illegally. One vessel passed Port Glasgow. It was nearly discovered. The Nationals started to stockpile weapons to a lesser extent. Less funding.

    Universal Suffrage 1928. Illegal Partition 1923. Easter uprising 1916.

    Mass campaign for Home Rule/Independence. Led by Protestant Landowner Charles Stuart Parnell. 19C Catholic’s had no rights.

    Catholic’s were denied the vote in parts of Belfast in the 1960’s. Denied public housing rights, denied public jobs. The illegal Masonics DUP. Blackballing people. Illegally. The DUP flaunt UK Law for unionist votes at Westminster.

    Ireland could vote to reunite demographically.

    £Billions spent on the Troubles caused by Partition. Lloyd George. Liberal.

  22. I notice the bbc news press review has the usual telegraph reviewer. If it is not the torygraph then usually the spectator will do.

    However the ground breaking news is the new part time Tory leader Ross has declared that all projects will have the butchers apron adorning All billboards or projects.

    Interesting that in my area during elections no posters etc are allowed to be displayed. Basically the tories don’t have the support to put them up so it is banned helped by labour.

    Come the election next year all Tory propaganda should be removed.

    • I reckon that the Butcher’s Apron being splattered all over Scotland will surely register with the non-political Scots, Hamish, resulting in a .. “Whit’s goan oan here?” … and totally scunner them. May also lead to them delving into who’s actually paying for what which would be a real eyeopener for them. One thing for sure, as Paul’s latest article highlights, is that the arrogant Tories with their sense of entitlement just don’t “get” Scotland and the Scots. Let them carry on and do their worst as we try to expose what’s going on behind the scenes, such as the power grab. One thing for sure is that they ain’t going to win this battle no matter how many ridiculous ideas emerge from their crazed brainstorming sessions.

      • Perhaps one of us should write to the German Blahs pointing out that the Brit Government is flooding Scotland with the Butcher’s Apron to stamp England’s Imperial control of their colony, just like wot the Nazis did with their version of fascism, the swastika, when they marched in to the Sudetenland and Austria, pointing out to modern Germans that the Aldi and Lidl chains have plastered the Jack over everything from bread to ready made Lasagne?

        I still can’t get my head around why any EU company would insult 54% os Scots ,and counting, this way.

        The Brit Nats know what they are doing.

        The message, like Massie’s long winded pile of Garbage?
        England owns you Scotland.

        The chinless wonders and Her Maj are up here shooting wild animals for fun in a fifth of their Northern Colony laid waste for the purpose for the next 4 months, and there is nothing you native Jocks can do about any of this.

        Back in your servile little boxes.

        They are taunting us deliberately of course, in order to create impatience and create splits in the ranks.

        I haven’t a clue what WoS is up to. He is churning out ego trip garbage now, and shows all the signs of a personal crack up.

        Next week, when Wark, Garavelli, (?) the BBC Northern Stockade, and the Jock Brit Hackery led by Tom Gordon, go to town on crucifying Salmond again,and dragging NS in to the mire, I intend to reprise every Brit Nat sex scandal, and name names on every outlet which will let me.

        You know who you are, Brits.
        All the gory details…This I promise.

        It is time, scots. Now’s the day.

  23. The Scottish Government is about to have the ability to invest in business and capital expenditure projects removed. They won’t have the finance to help specific industries or sectors, infrastructure or much else. Basically, even the small amount of influence they currently have to help or bolster the Scottish economy when the combined effects of Covid and Brexit hit will not exist. Instead, we’ll have Westminster, using our own money plastering union flegs on vanity projects like a bridge to Ireland ( it will never be built ), while the media tell us how lucky we are, Johnson will piss up our legs while telling us its raining.

    • I’d imagine that there are some who may make it their business to rectify any Brit Nat emblem which includes the butcher’s apron; I’d imagine, but totally condemn any such vandalism.
      No really…

      The Scotsman reports yesterday that Salmond’s own lawyer called him a ‘sex pest and a ‘bully’.
      Speaking of, whatever happened to ex Tory MP Ross Thomson?

      Kirsty, I’ve started, so I’ll finish. More to follow.

    • Well. it’s about time the Scottish Government grew a pair. If this spinelessness goes on the voters will eventually grow discouraged and desert them. Either they are the Scottish Government, or “a glorified County Council” – they will have to decide. If it’s option 2 we can all just forget it.

    • Yes, that was BBCs James (I’ve seen the email FM) Cook
      Remember the email between the French ambassador and Nicola Sturgeon that never existed, the one that got Alistair Carmichael taken to court for lying, that James Cook, and nobody ever got to take him to court for lying, the BBC sent him to America till the dust settled

  24. Johnston will be voted out. The Tories will be voted out in Scotland. Who wants the poisoned chalice? The Brexit mess unfolding. Liars always get found out. There will not be many left. They have to drag them off the street to stand. The dregs of society. Vote Tory to die younger.

    A bunch of useless, incompetent imbeciles. Never have so many be promoted beyond their capabilities. Parasites out to line their own pockets. They are passed their sell by date. Trying to sell out the people and society.

  25. Scotland has to waste money on HS2. Journey times in Scotland take twice as long. The rail lines have not even been electrified. Historic underspending in Scotland. Scotland has asked for the powers for years and been declined. Improving journey times in Scotland would make journey times less throughout Britain. To rival flight times.

    Taking £Billions from Scotland for Westminster to waste. Illegal wars, tax evasion, financial fraud. Hickley Point, HS2, Trident. All a total waste of monies that could be better spent.

    The rail services in the North and Scotland need improved. Not another line to London. There are plenty of services already. The North/South divide. The South totally congested. Taking resources and revenues from Scotland to fund London S/E. Illegally and secretly. The Barnett Formula,

  26. Regarding Golfnut’s post above. We need to be cautious regarding whether the blame lies solely with Railtrack and the U.K. Government. Perhaps Matheson knows something we don’t? Rail accidents are seldom the result of only one ‘mistake’. The exact cause of the incident hasn’t yet been made public. Everyone seems to have decided that the train hit a landslide, but from the pictures of of the wreckage, I cannot see much evidence of same. The fact that the front power car and the first two coaches are so substantially damaged would indicate that the train was travelling at considerable speed, and if this was the case, the instructions given to the driver regarding proceeding and at what speed will be crucial.

    • Those are very good points Alastair and thanks for the insight. Similarly the comments in the link are well worth some attention. However the assumption of cause being punted by the media is the landslide, rightly or wrongly, and it is being used to implicate the SG while ignoring the UK gov. That the BBC has so readily, with despicable disdain for the pain it may cause to the relatives of the deceased, jumped at the opportunity to use this as an SNP baad story is the point of post.

    • If that is the case who would have told train to proceed.i presume that would have been the area signal centre. Are staff there employed not employed by Network Rail

  27. The Alex Salmond case continues! If you want to read about it?

    ”1/2 I was going to put this out on Monday night before Kirsty Warks hatchet job on Alex as the poisonous alphabet women once again get to attack an innocent man from behind a cloak of anonimity. However,I am informed that Dani Garavelli is doing a podcast about it tomorrow so.”

    Previously unseen in the MSM.

  28. Right now on LBC a London based radio station with a U.K. Wide audience is presently giving Nicola more Air Time than she could afford to buy.

    The verbal sumesaults and gymnastics English commentators are going through in order to avoid any even grudgingly agreeing with the way the Scottish government are handling Health ,Welfare ,Education is really embarrassing Bawjaws government , Just as Foulks said AND THEY ARE DOING IT DELIBERATELY

  29. It will come out in the Inquiry. Illegal accusations. The gutter Press. In demise.

    Alex Salmond did more for Scotland than anyone. The McCrone Report. AWPR, renewables rail lines, road improvements. Education, SNHS, MUP. The list is endless.

    One of the greatest statesman Scotland has ever had.

    The malice of the Westminster Press Office and civil service in Scotland. Trying to ruin the Scottish economy.

    • Tom Gordon’s headline in the Herald…Salmond almost as unpopular as Johnson.
      Whit the feck?
      How did Salmond’s name get on toa YouGov poll in the first place?
      He is no longer active in politics.

      But there ye go. Tom Gordon, the Go To Brit Man. Gave him something to write about, I suppose.

      Salmond is no longer active in politics, he was found innocent of all charges…but there will be a Sex Pest Feast next week…I can’t wait.

      Anonymous witnesses will be able to repeat their lies they must be, surely, or have I got this wrong? Didn’t actual evidence prove their testimony to be ‘false’.
      Why no perjury charges?

      Will we find out who the unnamed Celebrity Dinner Guest was? Will we know the name of the drunken Bute House journalist caught with his trousers down, and the butt of jokes ‘below stairs’ ?

      I’d lay money on their identity being protected by Wark and the whole MSM Pack, as Salmond is dragged through the streets in chains in sack cloth’ and ashes, to sell ‘papers and garner viewers for BBC North |Korea, and, oh yes, trash the SNP, and the Independence Movement.
      And Nicola Sturgeon…ah. she KNEW….

      Surely it cannot be justice that these women are allowed to repeat these accusations on the telly, while a doleful piano clinks away in the background and Kirsty nods sympathetically to camera?

      Is there no justice, if we support Independence. We are the enemy. and the ‘normal’ rules do not apply?

      You have been warned Kirsty…we are going for the jugular next week.

      • None I converse with have commented other than this is blatant propaganda to blacken the name of Salmond on behalf of ABC by Wark et al, and those include English.
        Propaganda Quay and Tom Gordon have finally reached their nadir, desperate to preserve the pretence on which they rely for their existence, ignoring an increasingly angry public north and south of the border.
        Tusk’s comment “there is a special place in hell” for some reason echoes of late, but at least om Gordon will be kept warm….

      • You can bet your bottom dollar they intend having a ‘Sex Pest Feast’ next week.
        I assume Wark & Garavelli have consulted with their briefs regarding how far they can push the boundaries here so as to avoid contempt issues?

        • Timed to coincide with the Parliamentary enquiry. I wonder if it could be construed as contempt towards Parliament. It’s possible they are so terrified of the man that even the threat of him leading another Indy party has triggered this panicked effort to blackened his name, or perhaps just sheer malice. This is Wark of course, so the latter can’t be discounted.

  30. I hope all you moaning Jocks are enjoying the lovebombing the English establishment are showering on you now with Charlie visiting the Stonehaven crash site previously visited by the Tory transport minister Grant Shapps ,We all know its just for show they couldn’t give a toss about the people who died

    Sincere condolences to the people who died in this accident ,politics really shouldn’t have any place in the commenting and reporting of this tragedy but as ever the tories do what the tories do and it won’t go unnoticed their performance so far is getting them deeper and deeper into the cesspool that party inhabit

  31. Todays Covid briefing heard a *journalist* informing us of Scotland being a devolved nation
    Once again that’s not true, the Scottish government is a devolved government due to its level of authority and competencies but a neither a country nor a person is devolved

    A person isn’t decentralised or transferred or delegated to to a lesser level because of where they were born or live even though the UK of England might like to have it that way

    • The Hack Pack behaved like the spoilt brats who still buy their Rags. Why didn’t Nikla Sturgeon warn those poor holiday makers?
      Why didn’t she warn the spoilt brats who flooded the pubs, got pissed, pub crawled, that they might catch Covid?
      The gathered Hackery today…Jaisus, we all know why Aberdeen and the NE of Scotland got it bad….Lots of young Brits out to fuck up lockdown, and spread the disease?

      Likewise the cluster in ‘North Lanarkshire’
      No shit, Sherlock.
      That Landlords are shovelling drink down their throat until they are fall down drunk, might have a lot to do with it too.
      I speak for the 5 million plus of us Scots…I have no sympathy or time for this selfish Underbelly in our society.
      If you are on a holiday flight to Europe tonight, because, to quote Sally Magnusson and her colleagues, ‘well it is perfectly understandable’, then woe betide you.
      I am beyond patience with the lot of them.

      • We see the odd one or two of them in our supermarkets behaving in some sort of bold defiant manner as though it demonstrates their loyalty to the Crown of England to possibly infect and kill their own grannies

        They talk of the SNP dividing Scotland but omit the fact that sectarianism and racism has divided Scotland for a damn sight longer, the SNP are trying to unite us against the English government that placed the division there in the first place, like they placed division in every country they ever got their hooks into in order to divide and rule

    • Dr Jim. Yip, apparently we are all devolved nations unlike England, well, because its England and bigger. So there. Bbc mindset U.K.= England = !

  32. Do they not see the semantic difference between ‘English visitors’ and ‘visitors for England’?

    But, hey, since when have facts got in the way of a good (i.e. SNP baaaad) story?

    Further, I’m sure if you look up older stories, you’ll see the same ‘newspaper’ (eh, what?) proclaiming the PM of New Zealand for doing a marvellous job in protecting her fellow citizens by closing her country’s borders to anyone entering NZ. But, hey, this is Scotland. You don’t expect to be treated fairly by Grub Street.

    (I’m also confused by the photo and the fag end paragraph which links my country to this poll.) ,

  33. You say “That would deprive British nationalists of their claim that Scotland is a voluntary member of a union of nations.”

    But if the tories don’t actually care about that and decide to tough it out, then we have gained no advantage really. If the case fails we have to have a back-up plan, such as, as a consequence, tearing up the Act of Union.

    • The Tories in Westminster may or may not care about that (my belief is that at least some of them do) however the Tories in Scotland most certainly care about it. As I have said before, if the Conservatives were so confident in their ability to say no forever to Scotland, there would not be the persistent and credible reports that there have been that they’re panicking about the rise in support for independence. You appear to have more faith in the Tories’ ability to deny Scotland democracy than the Tories do themselves.

      As the world’s only polling expert (according to the BBC at least) John Curtice has pointed out, letting Boris Johnson know what the plan B is at this stage is a recipe for failure.

      In any case, you can’t “tear up” the Treaty (not Act – which implies Westminster sovereignty) of Union without a democratic event to give independence legitimacy.

      • The tories in Scotland don’t count for anything in Westminster – they are not needed for Cummings’s plans. And of course your last sentence is correct, but unless tearing up the treaty is considered as an option, action won’t be taken to make it a possible one.

  34. Prof Curtice.

    “If you want to maximise the pressure on the UK Government you don’t want to tell them what your Plan B is,” he said.

    Precisely. Shame that there are so many who just don’t get that.

      • It shows you have reservations about plan A if you reveal there’s a plan B or C or D which is what the opponents of the Scottish government are attempting to use to divide the movement for Independence, the same tactic they used against Scotland in the run up to 2014, we can all remember how the opposition and the media kept banging on about “what’s the plan B then” in order to remove confidence from the people that plan A was a dud

        The Internet is full of people doing it now in their attempt to undermine the FM before we even get there

        • Nonsense. Having alternative plans is only a sensible precaution. It does not imply that you have doubts about Plan A. It just takes into account, as the generals say, that “no plan survives the first encounter with the enemy”.

          Furthermore, having 2 or more plans does not imply division – it only implies that you have a fall-back position if necessary – nothing more. It does not have to be disseminated – it just has to exist.

          Your faith in the FM is touching, but faith is no substitute for a well-thought out plan which has alternatives where these might be needed. Only a fool does not plan for setbacks, and we don’t want to be fools. Or at least that is my assessment.

      • Then all that will happen is that the Tories will demand to know what it is.

        It also legitimises a refusal from Johnson by conceding that he has the moral right to ignore Scottish democracy.

        • I am incredulous at the amount of people being taken in by this plan B nonsense, nobody in any walk of life tells an opponent how they’re going to go about the business of winning a contest or a boxing match, could anyone seriously imagine a football manager sitting down with the opposing team’s manager to inform them of their tactics, Nicola Sturgeon will not make that mistake, she knows how to keep her mouth shut, the one thing she isn’t is a blabbermouth
          If a burglar intends to rob you he does’nt phone you up and tell you how and when he’s going to do it so you can stand behind the door with a hammer to smack him on the head

          The squeals and cries from the opposition to reveal something they know the FM will not reveal is more a reflection on them and their purpose in demanding that she does

          If you know it’s going to rain you take an umbrella so why should the FM tell them what the weather forecast is

          • There is no ‘Plan’; A, B, or otherwise.

            Project Fear had a field day last time ripping into the Scotland’s Future document.

            Iain Davidson even chaired a Scottish Referendum Committee plugged full of Brits with the combined resources and budgets of the English Civil Service to lie through their teeth about how poor, defenceless, weak, politically isolated we Scots were.

            Davidson was the man who looked forward to bayonetting the wounded Nats; the man who wanted a codicil in the BAE Frigates order that shipbuilding would move from Scotland to England if we voted Yes.

            The man who is presumably now sitting living on his fat index linked MP pension, while 320,000 Scots children starve in no small part due to his lies and bullying, and downright opposition to the country of his birth managing its own affairs.

            We forewarn them of nothing.

            They know it is coming.

            Given Johnson’s plan to slap the Butcher’s Apron on walls bridges and the like, will the Herald, Scotsman, Courier, Record, and the lesser Dead Tree Scrolls plant the Jack on their mast heads?

            We tell them nothing.

            No TV debates this time.

            No sitting back while Better Together London types are bussed in to Scotland, speak to a dozen or so of the faithful and hightail it back to the Mother Country, their ‘will say’ lies and threats covered by the Brit Nat Jock Rags and BBC Planation Quay’ This time we rabid Nats will seek out their secret get togethers, make our presence felt, and make Scottish Self Determination the story, not ‘You Can’t Use The Pound’ Press Releases shite trotted out the last time.

            I doubt that Murphy’s Irn Bru crate will be on the road this time.

            We are fighting back. No more Mr and Mrs Nice Guy.

            Last time, we meekly allowed them to flood our land with Brit Nat lies and threats, reproduced by the Jock Collaborating Rags..

            Not the next time.

            Tell them nothing.

            Hit, leave, hit, leave. Keep them guessing.
            God, am I up for the fight.

          • In the run up to 2014 the BBC and other media were allowed to set the entire referendum agenda right down to when and who would be debating with who and on what, they, the media decided how the referendum was to be conducted and it was allowed to proceed in that manner

            The BBC is a British organisation, none of the media involvement was Scottish so showed Scotland in the light of being somehow a guilty party in desiring its own freedom thereby leading to Scotland having to defend that position, with the UK government and the media asserting that Scotland were in fact doing something it shouldn’t

            All of this was allowed to happen, and if memory serves totally against all guidelines of the UN on the conducting of such referendums about the exclusion of the so called host country’s interference in such referendums, 2014 was supposed to be Scotland’s referendum but it turned out to be the UKs referendum with Scotland as the accused in the dock and being prosecuted and judged by the UK ,I was furious then and I’m furious now as to why no legal complaint was made to the UN, no request for independent arbitrators and observers and no complaints about the media’s constant arrangements of alternative debates and discussions with selected people they chose to represent the UKs agenda

            David Cameron and the UK according to UN guidelines had no business whatsoever directly interfering in Scotland’s referendum, neither did the thousand celebrities he engaged to stand in Trafalgar square for the BBC and other media to portray as them begging Scotland not to leave them, along with nightly programming of *experts* presenting the UKs opinions and rubbishing all things Scottish, while always reminding themselves they had to tell us they loved us before the programme ended

            This was no way to conduct a free and fair open democratic referendum in a country and the problem was that everyone accepted the UKs propaganda that Scotland was not a country and was attempting to leave the invented notion that the UK was one unified country instead of a political Union of countries

            When it comes down to it the UK government are terrified of Nicola Sturgeon because they know that she will not allow that load of shenanigans they got away with last time, they know she’s the real thing and serious when she says she’ll do it when she can win it because last time in 2014 they knew they were going to win before a ball was kicked, this time they don’t have that luxury, this current First Minister will not afford the UK any of the movement they had before

          • I hate to be repetitious, but what will the Scottish Government do if Johnston and his (probably imminent) successor keep saying no to a referendum. It’s all very well saying that the pressure from Scotland will be irresistable – but what happens if this proves not to be true? This just can’t be left as an open goal for unionists, or a way for Westminster just to dig in its heels and ignore reality – this government has a great deal of practice in ignoring reality.

          • You want an answer you’re not going to get.

            This is politics. It’s about creating impressions, about building public pressure, and about gaining legitimacy to take further steps. If you don’t do it in the correct order, you’ll lose.

  35. There is no plan B. That has been explained many times by International lawyers. There is only a campaign for another Ref, which can be won and Independence. It is a gradual mission. No one can stop it.

    One campaign step at a time. Even then the negotiations will be made. It might take a few years after the vote. People have to vote for it. At Holyrood, Westminster. There will be no Tories to object. If they get voted out.

    The Tories delayed Devolution for twenty years. The people in Scotland support it. Where would Scotland be now without it. At the mercy of an incompetent, useless Westminster Gov.

    People in Scotland are now increasingly supporting SNP/Independence. So it will happen. Through the Courts or otherwise. The Tories getting voted out. Holding the balance of power. Or other means. Scotland is going its own way in any case.

    Andrew Tickell explained it in a podcast. Alyn Smith said the same.

    Sir Curtice supports SNP/Independence?

    • So what do you do if Plan A – i.e, asking for permission for a referendum, is either denied as far into the future as we can see, or possibly alternatively, permission is granted but with conditions which make it un-viable? Because the present tory government is not amenable to either reason or even reality. They are stupid but solid reality-deniers.

      It is an unavoidable fact that all independent countries in the world either took their independence by mass popular demand and mass action on the streets, or created conditions where it was otherwise irresistible, sometimes by force – which category do we fall into? Neither, I would say. We have to recognise that a) Westminster will never ‘play fair’, b) if they don’t see an action as in their interest they will never take that action no matter what the pressure, short of a nuclear attack, and c) pleas for a favour are seldom granted – demands which are irrisistable often are. We have to make independence irrisistable.

      • As I have previously remarked, you appear to have considerably more faith in the Conservatives’ ability to keep refusing Scottish democracy than the Conservatives do themselves.

        • And you seem to have considerably more faith in the tories inability to follow the example of the Spanish government than would be indicated by their previous record in right-wing practices.

          • If the Tories were so supremely confident that they could “do a Spain”, then why are they now panicking?

            If I were a Tory PM who really believed that I could keep denying Scotland a referendum, then I wouldn’t be currently sending all my ministers up to Scotland for visits, planning to stick union flags on everything, and there would be no one leaking to the press that there is panic in the cabinet.

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