Shifting the goalposts

There is now some certainty in the Scottish political landscape. It’s a certainty that Scotland is now a country where a clear majority of people support independence. It’s a certainty that among people under retirement age that majority becomes substantial. It’s a certainty that among young people that majority is overwhelming.  And it’s a certainty that given this knowledge the British nationalists will attempt to pauchle the franchise just as they did in 1979 in order to boost the chances of the result of the next referendum being to their pleasing.

Of course it was entirely predictable that now that support for independence enjoys consistent majority support in Scotland, British nationalists would be demanding that the goalposts be shifted. There’s an unholy alliance on social media with George Galloway and the BBC’s Andrew Neil amongst others tweeting that anyone born in Scotland resident elsewhere in the UK must be allowed a vote in an independence referendum. Michael Gove piped in to remark “interesting question”.

There’s your literal blood and soil ethnic nationalism right there. British nationalists want people defined as Scots on an ethnic basis to be allowed to vote, and then they accuse independence supporters of ethnic nationalism, of identity politics. Yet it’s the independence movement which is proud to recognise that those eligible to vote should be everyone, no matter what their background or ethnicity, who has done Scotland the honour of choosing to live here, build their lives here, and contribute to Scottish society.

It’s terribly unfair, according to British nationalists, that foreign citizens resident in Scotland can get a vote, but not someone who left Scotland at the age of 18 to go and live in London and has never returned to live in Scotland. Because apparently people who left the land of their birth for better opportunities elsewhere and who very well may have no intention of ever returning to live in Scotland are going to be dreadfully affected by Scottish independence. Although how they’re going to be affected exactly, they never seem to explain.  They will still be able to come back to live in Scotland if they so choose.  Unless the British state decides to change its citizenship laws following Scottish independence, they will remain UK citizens with all the same rights and obligations that they currently enjoy. They will not become “foreigners” in the UK unless the British Government makes the decision that they should be.  Perhaps they ought to ask that British Government for reassurances instead of demanding that they be allowed to influence the futures of those of us who chose to remain in Scotland or chose to come and live here while they themselves remain in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Note that the British nationalists only want Scottish born people resident elsewhere in the UK to get a vote, and seem to have forgotten about Scottish born people resident anywhere in the EU. Since it’s the UK’s decision to leave the EU despite the objections of a majority in Scotland which is one of the main causes of the rise in support for independence, the omission is telling. Far less have British nationalists suggested that Scots born people resident elsewhere in the world should also get a vote.

It is equally telling that the likes of Michael Gove and his Brexity Tory pals think that it’s an “interesting question” whether Scottish born people resident elsewhere in the UK should get a vote in a future independence referendum irrespective of how long they’ve lived outwith Scotland. Michael Gove was a senior member of a Conservative government which in the EU referendum denied the vote to UK citizens who had been resident in EU countries for more than 15 years. The double standard couldn’t be more obvious, and we all know why British nationalists are currently bleating about how unfair it would be not to allow Scottish born people living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland to vote in a Scottish indepedence referendum. It’s because they believe that Scottish born people who live elsewhere in the UK would be more likely to vote against independence, while they believed that UK citizens resident in EU states would have been more likely to vote against Brexit. This isn’t about democracy at all.  It’s not about fairness.  It’s simply a blatant attempt to fix the vote in order to make a No vote more likely in a second referendum.

There are several reasons why this latest act of desperation is a non-starter. Firstly, it is not for the British state to prejudge the citizenship qualifications of a future independent Scotland. That’s for an independent Scotland to decide. While it is highly likely that an independent Scotland would offer the right to Scottish citizenship to anyone born in Scotland, no matter where they now live, those people may choose not take up the offer and be content with their current citizenship status. It is unfair on those of us who do live here that people who have no interest in becoming Scottish citizens and who don’t live in Scotland be given the opportunity to vote on the futures of those of us who do reside in Scotland. The constitution of an independent Scotland will decide who counts as Scottish, not a Conservative Government in Westminster that Scotland didn’t vote for.

Secondly, there is precedent. A Scottish independence referendum is not an unknown quantity in British politics. There was already a referendum and the British nationalists were perfectly happy with the franchise decided at the time. The only reason that the suggestion is being aired now that they change it is because they are afraid that they’re going to lose.  They were happy with the terms of the franchise in 2014.  The only thing that has changed is that opinion polls now show a majority for Yes.

Finally, and most importantly, a referendum on the future of Scotland must be made in Scotland if it is to have any legitimacy. A referendum whose terms are decided by the British state lacks that legitimacy, it would not be a Scottish referendum but a British one. It is for the Scottish Parliament to decide upon the form of the question, the franchise, and the length of the campaign, not a British Government which has proven that it cannot be trusted where Scotland is concerned. The terms and conditions of the referendum must be decided by the Scottish Parliament to which the voters of Scotland have given a mandate for another referendum. The Scottish Parliament, and only the Scottish Parliament, is the body which has the democratic authority and legitimacy to hold the referendum. It cannot be contradicted, gainsayed, or have conditions forced upon it by a British Government which seeks to gerrymander the franchise in its own favour.

After all, we are only now where we are, with majority support for independence, because the British Government has acted in a mendacious and deceitful manner, traducing the promises and commitments that it made to Scotland in 2014. The Westminster parties can assert all they like that they’ve fulfilled those promises, but the electorate clearly doesn’t believe them. If voters did believe them then they would not be turning to support independence in such numbers. The crucial defining feature of a democracy is that the voters get the last word, not the politicians.

The Tories can bugger off. This is Scotland’s referendum, not theirs.

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187 thoughts on “Shifting the goalposts

  1. Pingback: Shifting the goalposts | speymouth

  2. The tories don’t care about fairness. We know that. I wonder if Labour and the Liberal Democrat’s believe in the vote rigging proposed by their unionist pals.

    Anyone living in another country should not vote on Scotland’s future direction. Even if your mother was a Scot Mr Trump you are not allowed nor if you live in Bath , England or anywhere else.

    If this is an ethnicity vote then all foreigners be they French, English, Irish, Welsh, Polish, German etcetera would all have to be excluded.

    This would be wrong. Current residency rights in Scotland are clear.

  3. Can’t disagree with any point made but can’t help thinking these numpties are further normalising the notion of Independence by keeping it on the front burner. If the numpties had applied any degree of thought before raising this preposterous “ethnic” voting concept, they would have realised that they have no power to dictate the terms of the referendum for all the reasons you state.
    The Timór-Leste independence referendum which was conducted on “ethnic” grounds was agreed by the new President of Indonesia, Habibie, because it suited Habibie to rid Indonesia of an entity which was costing more to militarily occupy than it was ever going to return.
    Tellingly, Gove et al simultaneously tell us that we’re economically dependent on the UK while frantically trying to scupper independence.

  4. Raises the question of where one is born determining eligibility to vote in the referendum .
    Presumably anyone living in Scotland at the time of any future referendum not born in Scotland could not vote ?

  5. I have no doubt whatsoever that the Tory strategy in the next referendum will be to try and dictate the terms under which that referendum will be held. I also think that they will be on to plums.

    For the 2014 referendum, there were just two terms that were Westminster requirements and that the Scottish government agreed to. These were the date and the number of options on the ballot, in fact, they were a main part of the Section 30 order.

    “5A.—(1) Paragraph 1 does not reserve a referendum on the independence of Scotland
    from the rest of the United Kingdom if the following requirements are met.
    (2) The date of the poll at the referendum must not be the date of the poll at any other
    referendum held under provision made by the Parliament.
    (3) The date of the poll at the referendum must be no later than 31 December 2014.
    (4) There must be only one ballot paper at the referendum, and the ballot paper must give
    the voter a choice between only two responses.”.

    So there you are the timing of the referendum and that the ballot paper wouldn’t allow a third option, i.e. “Devomax” so only a binary choice was to be allowed. I think Alex Salmond played a blinder on the question of a third option, he knew fine well that “Devomax” scared the Unionists more than Independence as there was a greater chance that Scots would opt for that than the chance of choosing full Independence. He knew it would be refused and used it as a bargaining tool.

    At the end of the day, it was the Scottish Parliament that decided the franchise for the referendum and that’s why 16 and 17 olds got the vote and that’s why EU citizens resident in Scotland got the vote.

    In my opinion, there is no chance of Westminster picking and choosing what the franchise will be in a second referendum. They will try but they will fail, the international community will be watching, particularly the EU and they will be on our side. Some might have you believe otherwise, they will have there own reasons for doing so and it won’t be because they support Independence so can be ignored.

  6. “ Although how they’re going to be affected exactly, they never seem to explain.”

    If an independent Scotland rejoins the EU they’d be affected by getting freedom of movement rights to live and work in 27 other countries… 😆… the London Scot yoons haven’t thought this through obviously!

  7. Oh here we bloomin well go again, groundhog day. We had all this daft argument in 2014, same old shite. If you don’t live in Scotland,pay taxes in Scotland why in the name o the wee man should you be entitled to vote in OUR referendum. You’ve made your home elsewhere in another country, you cannot expect to be given a vote when you have no intention of living here.

    Gove and Galloway, eh, whit a pair of pompous brainless eejts. Playing to the britnat gallery again. Well boys, it’s nane o yer business, keep yer neb oot. We the Scottish people and parliament will decide the franchise, not you.

    Bugger Off indeed, Paul well said.

  8. I think when david Cameron brought out EVEL the day after the 2014 referendum he put on statute that the people that LIVE And VOTE in england would decide on what effects those living in thereby conceding that the people that live in scotland would decide through the scottish parliment.They cant change that now.but expect a lot of shrill bleating from Galloway and his ever decreasing band of house jocks.enjoy the melt down ..

  9. Just as no MPs living in another country should be making political decisions about Scotland’s future…the same has to be upheld for people who dont live here voting on our future…it would be like letting the EU MEPs have a vote on brexit

  10. As far as I know Scots born and resident in the country at the time of the 2014 referendum voted to end this Union,
    I accept the SNP government at the time wanted to be fair and inclusive allowing everyone resident whatever their birthplace and actually that made it harder to reach an Yes majority ,

    If Unionists and the English government want to duck about with the goalposts ok

    I believe it’s accepted in most countries in the world that on such a important issue such as this ,as a example a lot of countries bar the purchase of land and property by foreigners, thus only people actually born and resident in that country are given the right to vote on substantive issues

    Over to you Mr Cummings as he seems to be controlling the English government , this unlawful pish is used time and again about a independence vote countries wishing to end a union such as ours doesn’t have to abide by the law of the state they wish to separate from if they did no country in the world would ever have removed themselves from England’s grasp example being the USA .

    As I said your move Bawjaws or your puppet master Cummings carry on boys yer doing the job for us as usual, stupid is as stupid does .

    • I doubt your first assertion. In theory, folk not born in Scotland could swing the outcome of a referendum if the margin of victory was close, but 10% isn’t really that close. If you can provide proof of your first assertion, I will stand corrected.
      An academic (incidentally) from an English university (can’t remember which) did some work that (they claimed) proved that a majority of Welsh born voters rejected Brexit. The Brexit vote in Wales was 52:48, so close enough to be swayed by those not born in Wales. Ten percent of folk in Wales are “not indigenous”, this is apparently quite a high figure (higher than in Scotland?). A sizeable portion of the 10% are apparently retired Gammons from the Home Counties seeking their rural idle (and inflating house prices), so the academic’s work may be accurate.

        • I was born in England and have lived for 7 years here in Scotland, I voted yes in 2014 as did most of the English born people living in Scotland that I know, im not saying we are representative of all English born people living in Scotland but there are a canny few of us (especially those of us from the North East of England) that believe that independence is the best thing for Scotland, would Scots born folk prefer that we didn’t also have a say in any future referendum?

          • The only assertion being made here is that Westminster don’t get a say on who gets to vote, its Westminster stirring the pot, not Scots.

          • Well said, the answer is an emphatic no.
            Until such time there is a recognised Scottish citizen in a legal sense there is nothing beyond being on the electoral roll which defines being Scottish.
            It’s a state of mind and a sense of place which is important, long may that prevail.

          • Wendy, I don’t think that’s what anyone means. You are resident here, so you are perfectly entitled to vote in the referendum. In 2014 we all know that there were a good few English people did vote yes, quite a few did not. The EU citizens who were resident in Scotland at that time, also had a vote unfortunately many of them believed the better together rubbish about not being allowed into the EU, it was a lie, sadly many of them bought into it. No such problem this time round.

            When the next referendum comes round you will be entitled to vote, please do so, especially if you are going to vote yes LOL.

          • I am yes forever and this time when we vote my husband and youngest daughter will also be here to vote yes alongside me. I have always been made to feel very welcome living here in Scotland and when people try to convince me that the Scots hate the English I can always say with my hand on my heart that that is simply not true, like me, many Scots hate Westminster.

          • The late Bashir Ahmad of the SNP, who was the first Asian MSP in Holyrood, once said “It isn’t important where you come from, what matters is where we are going together as a nation.” That’s a sentiment which is widely shared amongst people who support Scottish independence.

          • But you should have been living here for at least 5 years, maybe more. Also no holiday home owners living elsewhere should be able to vote as happened last time.

          • The 5 year rule you suggest …I’m not sure about.

            I agree on the ‘holiday home owners’ suggestion though.

    • Denmark being a case in mind.
      You cannot buy a holiday home in Denmark unless you are resident in Denmark.
      Same goes with any property, sure you can buy a house, but you have to live in it and pay the appropriate taxes.
      Denmark managed to wangle this deal on joining the EU through fear of the Germans buying up all the ‘summerhouses’.
      My eldest sister married a Dane and has lived, worked, paid her taxes for 50 years and raised family but she is not allowed to vote in General Elections, only in local council elections. But her children can as they are Danish citizens.
      As you say, a lot of countries adopt the same rules unless you have taken out citizenship.

  11. I think its a pretty poor argument, and it clearly is an interesting question, given that you have written an article about it, and that is has become a topic of debate today.

    I have a brother who has lived outside the UK for many years, but he is scottish as f&%k. You can’t say to him that he shouldn’t get to decide on something this important to his own country. Yet some Romanian big issue seller that’s been here for a couple of years does get to decide? sorry but that is total nonsense!

    How lacking of a sense of national identity must one have, in order to sell it off so cheaply?

    You appear to suggest that Scots who live in England will not be affected. I don’t think you have thought that through very well. Firstly, they will likely have a lot of family in Scotland of whos livelihood and opportunities they will care a great deal for, but more importantly, what about all the people in Scotland, from England, who are only transient here? They will presumably be far less affected, but they get a vote sure.

    • Your brother doesn’t live here. The Romanian person does. It’s really that simple. I notice you go straight to the xenophobic trope of a “Romanian Big Issue seller”. That’s pretty telling about your attitudes.

      I have friends and relatives in Spain who I care about deeply. By your logic that means I should get a vote in Spanish elections.

      If you think this is about national identity you have spectacularly failed to understand the point of Scottish independence. It’s about decisions which affect Scotland being made in Scotland and those in power in Scotland being accountable to those of us who live in Scotland.

    • If your brother lives outside of the U.K. is his problem. No vote I am afraid. It is folk who live and work here including a big issue seller. Good on him

    • I live in Spain and much as I would love to be able to vote in the indy referendum, I totally accept that it should only be people (of any nationality) who live and pay taxes in Scotland who vote.

      I imagine that this time round EU citizens who live in Scotland will vote yes, with a view to getting back into the EU. It’s certainly in my interests to be back in the EU.

      • I’m in a similar situation to you Anne, and of exactly the same opinion. I’ve been living in Ireland for the last three years. I would love to be able to vote in the next referendum as well but accept that I have no right to because I don’t live in Scotland just now.

  12. If you’re not a registered tax payer with an address in Scotland then no vote, that’s democracy, no taxation without representation means the same in reverse, no representation without taxation
    This attempt to muddy the waters will never see the light of day, Gove Galloway and Andrew Neil are just having a wee stupid troll to themselves, they’re the Murdo Frasers of England, they’ll be tweeting about the Queens eleven next they’re so stupid

    Of course we’ve got to hope they keep doing it, because every time they do they just piss off even more people in Scotland and direct them towards the ever increasing queue to vote for Independence

    • Post Scottish Independence England could go right ahead and have English votes for English people of course, they could have drop down boxes on the Internet of who’s not allowed to vote in the new England regime, insert ethnic minority here (………..) if other than original white born Englishy sounding or similar

  13. Whose to say that ex-pat Scots wouldn’t on the whole be in favour of Indy? Many might indeed be fervent Nats. At the very least it would be risky for London to assume they’d mostly be agin it.

    • You mean Scottish immigrants living around the world? I always cringe at the phrase ‘expats’.

      I live in Japan and have permanent residency here. I accept that I should not have a vote in any future independence referendum. I don’t live in Scotland. What happens in Scotland, literally has no impact on my life in Japan (other than giving me the option to return to Scotland with my Japanese wife – which the Tories won’t allow atm).

      I’m settled in Japan and happy here. I have no wish to return to 18c summer weather (no offence).

      I’m accustomed to the disciplined society here. Too many things annoy me about Scotland. The litter, the horrifically poor diets (despite fruit and veg being far cheaper than in Japan), the dog mess on the streets, the poverty etc

      Despite every that’s wrong with Scotland, I still love the place. Scotland is in my heart. I can say bad things about Scotland, but I’ll never let anyone else say them.

    • You’ve got to laugh at them all, Alex. Scots who have chosen to live in England who are however absolutely determined to stick their extremely influential beaks into our affairs.

      Andrew Neil as an example has homes in New York, London and the South of France and rarely sets foot in Scotland, nor contributes to our economy at all.

      ”I don’t go back to Scotland much at all nowadays – only to see my brother. I feel that the place has changed a lot and I don’t really like the overt nationalism that prevails.”

      He’d rather put up with English nationalism if it means making a buck or three and you can bet your bottom dollar he’s got a bolthole in Scotland (certainly not Glenburn) to ensure that he gets to vote in our referendums.

      • When I visit Scotland, the only nationalism I have to put up with is the Brittnatery from some members of my family. I actually don’t know anyone in Scotland that is overtly pro-Indy.

      • People leave their country of birth for many reasons , some leave permanently some for a short time
        Some don’t intend to ever return but then something changes and they do return

        There is no perfect answer

        So many situations can arise

        It’s good that people living in Scotland get to vote

        But if you have only been living here a day should you get to vote ?

        If you have been living here a week and intend to leave next week never to return should you get a vote ?

        It’s tricky, there is no perfect solution but I say let’s do what was done in 2014 that keeps it simple

  14. In a couple of months we’ve moved from ‘ you can’t have a referendum, ever, never ever, especially if Nicola’s still alive, too senior Tories telling Boris he’ll have to allow one, now it’s deciding who gets to vote. At this rate, probably next week, well be negotiating how to divide up the assets.

    • Johnson’s already been advised by senior Tories and grandees of the party to *allow* a referendum ASAP and fight it rather than wait, because they know the longer this goes on the less chance they have of fiddling the result they want, plus if Johnson loses the senior Tories and grandees of the party get what they want which is the removal of Boris Johnson because he was only brought in to *get Brexit done* they know he’s of no use at actual Prime Ministering

  15. If only this was the sum of their intent to oppose, delay, frustrate, hinder, obstruct etc, etc

    We all know what is coming.

  16. I would love, love, love to vote (YES) in the referendum. However I don’t at present live in Scotland so understand why I can’t.
    I will be VERY happy when I am able to get my Scottish passport though. Will be so proud when travelling with it.

  17. Brian Taylor
    Gordon Brewer
    Andrew Kerr
    Glenn Campbell
    Sally Magnusson
    Douglas Fraser
    John McKay
    Colin Mackay
    David Henderson
    Andrew Kerr
    Gary Robertson
    Hayley Millar
    Gillian Marles
    Martin Geissler
    Ken MacQuarrie
    Donalda MacKinnon
    Tom Harris
    Magnus Linklater
    Catriona Shearer
    Sally McNair
    Andrew Marr
    Alex Massie
    Severin Carrell
    Tom Gordon
    Paul Hutcheon
    Andrew Neil
    Kirsty Wark
    Laura Kuennsberg
    Paris Gouteratis
    David Clegg
    Iain Macwhirter
    Alison Rowat
    Alan Cochrane
    The Hon Sarah Smith (and her Mammy and Sister)
    Dani Garavelli
    David Leask
    Kezia Think Tank

    and there-Born Again Tony Blair Cool Britannia Red Tories
    Kevin McKenna
    Iain Macwhirter

    The list is not exhaustive, but every one of this lot want Scotland to be a militarily occupied colony of England, and we Scots governed by a fat big womaniser and his fascist gang no matter how we vote.

    The Scottish Brit Mafia.

    I demand that the SNP refuse to take part in any media farce during Indyref 2.
    Let them talk among themselves, with Glenn Campbell telling the wold what he thinks Nikla thinks.


      • Read some of his most recent stuff, Paul. he’s hedging his bets…as outlets for his work and world view shrink.
        Same with Macwhirter.
        As to your observation that one on My List is pro Self Determination, I recall Dr Johnson being pulled up for a mistake in his 10,000 word English Dictionary.
        The dowager demanded that he explain his error.
        ‘Ignorance, dear lady, sheer ignorance.’

        I plead similar ignorance, Paul.
        If you like, I’ll seek out recent offerings from Macwhirter and McKenna upon which I assert a U turn.

          • Paul, this from KMcK’s 15th August piece…

            “When your life is in danger you attach less importance to more mundane matters such as education and the handling of the economy. In time, though, these will cease to be mundane and we will resume our close scrutiny of them.

            The state of emergency has also revealed how enfeebled the opposition to Ms Sturgeon and her administration has become. The Scottish Tories have been forced to jettison one leader and are currently being led by a part-timer who sees her future beyond the reach of democracy in an upper-class, private drinking club.

            The Labour Party in Scotland meanwhile is led by a poor chap who looks like he is about to cry every time he takes to his feet. Their support has been reduced to those who plough on for old time’s sake. Between coronavirus and Europe’s most ineffective political opposition the SNP are governing Scotland free of scrutiny. In such circumstances 53% support for independence is the very least you should be expecting. Such circumstances won’t prevail when a live referendum is unfolding. And I’m not convinced the party is anywhere near fit enough to fight one any time soon.

            On the three most pressing matters which will come to govern a second referendum the SNP don’t appear to have made any progress in the six years that have elapsed since the last one. There is no plan for joining the EU and no acknowledgement that such a process could take anything from two to five years. There is still no position on what currency an independent Scotland would use and no workings for settling the border issue with England. Indeed, the only body making the running on what an independent Scotland could look like – socially, culturally and economically – is Common Weal, the independence-leaning think-tank and advocacy body. But according to Stewart McDonald, the SNP’s spokesperson for defence at Westminster, Common Weal are to be regarded with disdain. ”

            The opening paragraph above takes the breath away.
            He argues that Independence is on the up because we Scots are terrified of dying of the plague, and therefore don’t give ashit about our money or children’s education, so we cuddle up to Mammy Sturgeon who will make Bad Things go away?
            Aye right.
            Then of course, the plug for Common Weal, who have all the
            answers…No, let’s not prolong this. He is a Labour man in tartan trews.
            It’ll take 2 to 5 years to get back into the EU? No, I must have missed that one…

          • I’ve always found in ex Labour folk who now concede that Independence is the better option for Scotland is that the reason they seek Independence is to return the Labour idea that they had in the first place that never worked for them anyway in the bad Union that they now want to extricate themselves from
            They always seem to want to ring in the new to replace it with the old, but with fingers crossed double this time, because it should work, it really really should and we’ll keep doing it wrong over and over again till it’s still wrong

            Ideology instead of adaptation

          • Tam, she was supping with the Harpies..buying into the Guilty As Hell OJ Simpson shit..she is out to destroy Salmond, then Sturgeon, then….she is a hack, selling her body of work to the highest bidder…listen to her broadcast, then get back to me.
            Kevin McKenna actually declared in the piece that I quote above that the SNP have had a free ride with no scrutiny for the past 13 years..
            You couldn’t make this up.

            Garvelli is a bought and paid for Establishment Hack. Again review her archive..

          • Ah, the Games People Play, Paul?
            Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis.
            The ‘Now I’ve Got You. you SOB’ game. I am left to conclude, that your aim is to make me feel that ‘I’m not OK. as a sexist, but you are OK?

            There is nothing sexist in describing female Hacks baying for Salmond’s blood as ‘Harpies’, I’d contend.

            I’m Ok with that.

          • Paul. we are not going to fall out over this.
            I invoke Occam’s Razor here.
            I describe the three women as ‘Harpies’, in the context of them slurping down pasta and discussing Salmond in the most egregious terms.
            Smith’s contribution was particularly offensive.
            The simplest explanation, the most economic reasoning, is that I do not refer to ‘women’ as ‘harpies’, just these three, at that moment, and not for all times, but merely in the context of this deplorable put up job, as, ‘harpies’.

            You will never win over 55 DKs to the cause if Kevin McKenna and Robin McAlpine Socialist Dawn is the Vision for Future Scotland.

            Is McKenna longing for The Good Ol’ Days of Frankie the leering Pieman, Purcell and his £400,000 Golden Parachute, and Matheson’s George Sq Folly.

            Lusting after schoolgirls, drink and cocaine addiction and consorting with criminals, and illicit sex in a car park. Ah, the Good Old Days before Salmond the Sex Pest.

            Kevin is a Sellick Man, he never tires of reminding us, as are Lord John Reid and Brian Nuke Is Good Wilson the Blair New Labour Carpetbaggers.

            He pines for the Old Days of Tammany Hall Glasgow?

            AUOB would fragment and die if this My Golden Socialist Nirvana nonsense were allowed to stifle our Unified Goal; Self Determination.

            Last week, Macwhirter wanted John Swinney’s head on a platter, that is,until England Wales and NI U turned on grades.
            John Swinney? Jesus. Until Paul Hutch rifles through his dustbin and comes up with porn mags, Swinney seems to be an Honest Man. a citizen of Scotland. He gets my vote over Miles Briggs and Alex Rowley, of whom, more later, in another blog.

            There is a drip drip rumbling in the bushes, Paul.
            It’s getting too close for comfort for some of these so called Pro Independence hacks.

            My turn to cook. Omelette?

            I still love you, Paul, honest.

            So; Tam the Bam: Are you saying that the coordination of the Wark witch hunt, in which Garavelli features, Dani Girl’s radio broadcast, and the beginning of the Holyrood Enquiry, where Coal Scuttle Hamilton and Total Political Failure Murdo Fraser were allowed by Glenn Campbell to repeat on the Six O’clock News the tittle tattle that women were not allowed to be alone in the room with Salmond, is not the product of a coordinated collaborative attack on Salmond, Sturgeon, the SNP and the Yes Movement?
            What colour is the sky in your world, Tam?

            As you can tell, Duggers, I am getting fighting mad.

          • The BBC’s Maurice Smith was also at the table in the now-infamous lunch scene, but for some reason the Jacks of the world can only see the three “harpies”.

          • Hail, Glamis, Thane of Cawdor.
            He was there sure enough, but for ‘balance’ I sense. He lists his Profile as journalist and TV producer now.

            Working for Wark and Hubby?

            But you are probably correct.

            I am a hairy arsed ‘openly heterosexual’ potential rapist ‘cos I’m a man sexist Clyde side chauvinist Judeo Christian woman hater.
            Will that do, ‘keaton’?

            I’m in the book if you want to elaborate yet maintain your anonymity..

          • I heard her broadcast on Radio 4 Jack but your conflating the issues..I dont intend to spend time unpicking the numerous flaws in that broadcast but that was on the subject of the Salmond trial..#me too ..etc.,

            Why do you think the subject of her broadcast necessarily negates the possibility that she supports Indy?

            Its like saying there are no Indy supporters working @ Pacific Quay…but there are!

          • How facile. You should go and have a lie down Jack, your comments read like a man who should be watching his blood pressure.

          • Dont they?

            That says more about you than me Jack.

            Incidentally…I concur with your comment that the Wark/Garavelli broadcast was not coincidental….The Beeb knew damn well when The Parliamentary enquiry was commencing.

            On that at least..we can agree.

          • Neil, Tam, ah, the games people play.
            ‘Cleaners and tea ladies don’t count, Tam’, was my attempt at subtle irony.

            I’d venture that none of the Big Beasts on Pacific Quay is wandering about the building with a big YES badge in their lapel.
            Perhaps there is a secret Rebel Sect meeting in the catacombs?

            It is of note that I can randomly produce a list of the Jock MSM and the only rebuttal is that one of them is a closet Nat.

            Voila; Ce Qu’il Fallait Démontrer

            Quod erat demonstrandum.

            Neil, I am prepared to engage with you or any other socialist on dialectical thinking, in order to arrive at some common ground, where ‘international socialists’ acknowledge that your ‘Weal’ is not as ‘common’ a held political stance as you postulate, and there are myriad viewpoints, I’d argue the vast majority of AUOB campaigners, whose immediate goal on Day One is not to take over the means of production, force Ra Wurkurs to join a TU or walk, or slap a wealth tax on my hard earned wee but ‘n’ ben.

            My blood is boiling, but in a good way.

            I miss Smallaxe’s calming influence, mind.

          • Oh FFS you’ve created your own spaghetti western, any more of this and the linguine will be developing a complex….

      • You mean the three hour (yes Three Fucking Hours) daily phone in to BBC Radio Jordanhill..
        “Phone in and let us know whether you have furloughed your nanny, or sent her back to the Philippines during lock down.
        Dinner Parties; can they still be a success during Sturgeon’s curfew?
        Education: How big a bastard is John Sweeney really? First caller; Iain from Finnieston.”

        You mean THAT Kaye, with an E.

        Eeza Good, Eeza good!

  18. And if we boycotted such a rigged election the result, natch, would stand.

    But if ever we hold a legal ref (without S30) & it is boycotted by BritNats, they will decide that the result is void.

    I’m beginning to see how this works.

  19. Bravo Paul, desperate stuff from the Unionists all right, “Shifting the Goalposts” was never a more apt and appropriate title…
    Gove’s “interesting question” betrays his prior knowledge if not direct involvement in developing this wizard wheeze, guile is his middle name….
    Your ultimate point is on point, F-off with short jerky movements to any place you choose, but F-off all the same…

    I’ve spent over 20 years abroad and lost the right to vote on UK matters in places where that right is writ in stone for nationals no matter where they reside, and I look forward to that being normalised in an independent Scotland irrespective of ethnic background.
    How very dare they float this abomination, but when you’ve got bugger all else to offer…..

  20. If they insist on a ‘Scots born’ solution, then double down and say “Only if non-Scots born folk North of border do not qualify”.

    I’m not suggesting this sincerely. I just know they would argue that one too. As you say, they shift the goalposts. What’s the supposed threshold for Indy now?

    60 MPs
    130 MSPs
    66.7% of the … electorate

    Maybe we should throw in a cuddly toy too. Indyref2 – The Generation Game 😀

  21. George Galloway on his RT programme a year or two ago was quite clear that he didn’t support Scottish independence ‘because my mother was Irish’. That was it. No explanation of what his mother’s background had to do with the future of a nation. There’s very little logic to any of their pathetic arguments except that now that they are Anglo-Scots they think they’ve got some sort of special entitlement to rubbish the country of their birth and be well paid to do so by their hosts.

    • If Galloway’s mother was Irish does that give us the option of sending back over the water ?

      My mother was Irish so I would not impose that blowhard on the Irish or anyone outside the Metropolitan area of his chosen home .

  22. What is the difference for a Scot living in the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc etc.

    If you live in Scotland have a Scottish tax code, registered on the electoral role etc etc then you vote.

    England is simply another country like the other 200 when it comes to this vote.

    • It is rather odd that voters identity and the address where they actually live is never confirmed using existing data such as tax records such as Scottish tax code or where you are registered with a GP and when you last attended or where you work .
      The system has been criticised for being too lax

  23. Maybe we should get the English independence lot stirred up as a distraction. They’re not that far off a pro-indy majority, last I heard.

  24. Off topic.

    The Scottish Government has just withdrawn from the Forward as One legal case regarding our right to have a referendum without a section 30 order. This is causing extra legal costs which we the taxpayers have to pay.

  25. George Galloway seems to have a particular hatred of the SNP and of Scottish independence. Andrew Neil once quibbed out loud to a politician on his daily Politics show, (when told that he was Scottish by a English guest politician) that he’d (Neil) lived in England for over 25 years now, as if being Scottish was some kind of terrible disease.

    Of course it’s been touted that if Johnson does finally consent to a S30 order, that they’ll be so many caveats added in with it, that it will be totally unworkable from a Scottish point of view.

    I’m hoping that the same one question will be used as in 2014, however in my opinion the Electoral commission is a captured body, the lack of real action on Tory dark money by them leads me to believe that.

  26. Do all 16 and 17 year olds in Scotland have a Scottish tax code, and are they all registered on the electoral role? Can you have a tax code even if you haven’t yet had a job?
    I can’t remember back to when I was 16/17 with regard to tax. And no doubt things have changed since then anyway.
    Is registering to vote compulsory or automatic? If not, is there a campaign to get all these independence keen teenagers registered?

    • You need to register to vote. If you are not working at 16 you will at least get a National Insurance Number as proof that you are obliged to pay N.I and taxes when working. Remember there are people over 18 who have never been able to get a job

    • You can register to vote at age 14
      Not all 16/17 year olds have a tax code because you only get one if you have a taxable income
      Recently councils sent letters to households ( not to every occupier ) the householder had to declare who lived there the letter contained a code for reporting occupants using a new online system called which is apparently administered from its head office in south of England

      • My letter came from local Electoral Registration Board here in Scotland and is addressed to the occupier. It is up to an individual to make sure you are Registered to vote. Whilst you can register to vote before 16 birthday your date of birth is on the electoral register so Polling Staff which I have been employed as many times will not give you a ballot paper until you are 16 for Scottish Elections or 18 for uk ones On my letter the website you mentioned has an address that ends in dab/vjb which means entries go straight to to dumbarton and argyll joint valuation board who administer the electoral register on behalf of my council and two others

  27. Just in case anyone is under the impression my previous comment on Scots born only allowed a vote ,
    it wasn’t a anti English or a anti anyone rant ,
    What I was getting at it was if the Tory government attempt to move the Goal Posts then adopt the International Norm that’s used in many countries on a citizens right to vote or purchase land or even companies , then they the Tory government can’t object, its not a domestic matter it’s a international matter just as the Treaty of Union is , that’s why Bawjaws government are so reluctant to challenge it .

  28. Brilliant piece, loved it. But its no surprise really that they would try this. The Bain principle it seems has infected the entire unionist movement, right down to the media. They will adopt any position that is the opposite of the SNP, regardless of where it puts them. They are now inhabiting a space were the likes of Farage (who is now channeling Roderick Spode) and the Paul Nutnalls of the UKIPS usually reside. A movement that once unironically called itself “Better together” now adopts the positions it once accused the SNP of holding. They absolutely will push a race card in a last ditch effort to save this wretched union. We should absolutely fight this in an effort to win back the people who switched because of the vow and win over those who would be silenced and those moderates who would appalled at the idea of the union being racist to its core.

  29. As a Scot living in England and active in campaigning for Scottish Independence; I would love be able to vote for Inndependence. I am of the opinion that it’s my right as a Scottish born citizen to be able to influence the outcome of the next Independence Referendum in favour of Independence. I have no interest whatsoever in voting for anyone else. I work hard to promote Scottish Independence both here in England and in Scotland. I will come home to an independent Scotland and I want to play my part. Agree with rest of your piece.

    • That’s all very nice Marion, we’ll take your word on all that. You pay your taxes in England, that gets you a locally elected representative.

      When/if you return to Scotland, you will pay your taxes here, register to vote, get your representative.
      It’s dead simple, and has already been decided by Scottish Parliament.
      It’s grossly unfair to give you a vote on our country, no matter how committed you are.

      Stay safe!

      • The start of your reply is somewhat patronising and uncalled for. I understand why I can’t vote. You take care now too! In solidarity for an Independent Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  30. The way things are going, I’m going to be deprived of a (YES) vote in any referendum for Scottish and Welsh independence as I live in neither country. I accept that.

    But it won’t stop me from campaigning for indy for both countries until the joyous days arrive. Then I might have to decide which newly-minted nation I’d become a citizen of.

    Yours sever,

  31. Watching the film Gandhi. Interesting to see how India gained, sorry took its freedom from the Brit empire.
    Non violence, raising public awareness by marches and of course soul searching beliefs and attitudes.

    Famous phrases? too many but the mirror image for the battle for equality in the USA with Martin Luther King and others is worthy of thought.

    How to take independence.

    Still I smiled when I heard the bit in the film where he states “.. I have friends who keep telling me how much it costs them to keep me in poverty”.

  32. Far from being despondent because the Tory government are attempting to “move the goalposts ” it’s actually quite a step forward the fact they want to in Paul’s words ” move the goalposts ” means that they have conceded there will in fact be a game ,

    If our side propose unreasonable terms to benefit a YES result the Tory government will no doubt insist on the only back stop available to them and that is to adopt international standards verified by the UN .

    I don’t think the Electoral Commission should have a role as its a Predominantly English based Domestic institution and wouldn’t have a place in any international situation such as a referendum to question the dissolution of a international treaty ,

    That’s when the smart Lawyers move in to resolve the different viewpoints
    This time around outside influences and Media particularly English based could be in serious trouble because of the obvious interference that can be easily demonstrated by their previous actions in 2014

    The garbage that was used in 2014 won’t work Twice nor should votes be allowed to leave the country for counting by third parties with any kind of link however tentative to any political party

    • A simple analysis from a simplistic point of view from an Englishman who thinks the UK is a country and Independence is all about dislike of the Tories

      *Allow* a referendum *give* a referendum These are the type of phrases that cement some of the reasons for Independence that make you want to build a big Trump wall, apart from the ten to one voting system that England enjoys leading to Scotland never having had any direct influence on whichever political party is voted in as the governing party of the UK since 1955 or even the consideration for one second that the Brexit vote was applied to the UK as though it were one country knowing beforehand that at the very least Scotland would vote against such a proposition which it did and its vote was duly ignored

      And that is just a couple of the things wrong with the way anybody who’s not from Scotland doesn’t understand hardly anything, because if you begin from the point of view in your mind thinking that the UK is a country then everything that follows will be wrong

      • This Guy Phil on his video blog needs to do more research. He states that the 2019 GE the SNP did not have indyref 2 on its manifesto! I stopped listening at this point. He seems like a nice guy but is typically poorly informed or research lazy when it comes to Scotland. I much prefer James O’Brien in LBC on this topic.

        • I picked up on that as well Malky…bear in mind he probably gets most of his info from…….you know where and what.

  33. What organisation will count the votes, where will the count take place. Where will the postal vote go so that certain people can see them. Will idox be involved again. . How tightly an Scotland control the process without interference on as grand a scale as last time. Will we be as helpless and defenceless as before.

    • All good points. IndyRef2 will have to be supervised by the UN and the EU, otherwise it will be rigged by the Tories

  34. What can you say?

    ”RESPECT MP George Galloway has said that he would support Northern Ireland’s exit from the UK as he believes in “united countries”.

    The Scots-born MP for Bradford West was speaking at the Assembly Rooms ahead of an appearance in Edinburgh for the latest date in his Just Say Naw speaking tour.

    Saying he would welcome a united Ireland, Galloway said: “I don’t believe in breaking countries up as I think we have too many countries in the world, not too few.

    “The Irish people were denied their right to unity and independence. The Scottish people never have been, and could have voted for independence at any time that they liked in the whole era of universal suffrage of nearly 100 years.”

    Mr Galloway, who was expelled from Tony Blair’s Labour Party in 2003, was met in the Scottish capital by two rival protests.

    These included representatives of the left-wing Radical Independence group, opposing the Union, and the right-wing Scottish Defence League, opposing Mr Galloway’s ties with religious minorities.

    Local police kept the demonstrators apart while he spoke at the Assembly Rooms.

    Mr Galloway declared his support for a united Ireland despite recently campaigning to convince Scots to vote against an independent Scotland in the referendum.

    “People say that they want Scotland to have self-determination but they have self-determination, and always have, and will exercise that self-determination again in September.

    “If it chooses to become independent then it will become independent, but I think it would rue the day.”

    He added that he would prefer “a real Labour prime minister of the whole of Britain” but said he would “fancy being prime minister of Scotland” if it votes for independence on September 18.”

  35. ‘Landmark poll reverses 2014 Indyref result.’


    ‘BBC Scotland must report 55% Yes poll – or be damned.’

    …”The BBC claims it doesn’t report on individual polls in isolation and instead waits for patterns to emerge in polling and report on that instead, in accordance with their guidelines.”..

    ”Note: The National has previously pointed out that the BBC has broken its own editorial guidelines on single polls 27 times, they just have not done so when it comes to independence polls.”

  36. ‘Unionists in utter disarray as second poll of the day shows a sizeable pro-independence majority.’

    ..”Well, there have now been three firms (Panelbase, YouGov and ComRes) that have shown a Yes vote of 53% or higher over the course of the summer, and four firms (Panelbase, YouGov, ComRes and Survation) that have shown a Yes vote of 50% or higher over the course of the year.”..


    ‘Wedged: the looming problem for Boris Johnson.’

    ..”This requires, however, the government to keep in touch with these voters’ values, and not to allow that voter base itself to become split on a question of values. And here the government has a potential problem coming down the track.

    The SNP’s poll ratings are sky-high. They surprisingly* failed to secure an overall majority in Holyrood in 2016, but they look much more likely than not to get one next year with a mandate to hold a fresh referendum on Scottish independence. Boris Johnson is going to need to decide whether to acquiesce.

    Either way, the question is likely to be central to the next few years’ politics. If the British government were seen to be thwarting the democratically-expressed wishes of the Scottish people, that would be incendiary in Scotland and in all likelihood the decisive estrangement between the Scottish people and the UK government. British politics would reverberate with protests, civil disobedience and a chaotic constitutional crisis all the way to the next election.”..

  37. So the once redoubtable George Galloway, (when he risked life and limb for the oppressed Palestinians, and brushed away a backlash and brought a young Iraqi girl to Scotland for medical treatment, paying for it out of his own pocket, when feelings over Galloway’s indefatigable chum Saddam Hussein were still running high, has recently compared Scotland’s FM to Hungary’s Viktor Orban.

    I once had a lot of time for Gorgeous George, as he liked to be referred to secretly I imagine, now especially on Scottish independence, I fear he’s become nothing more than a British nationalist gadfly at best, pity that.

    “In a bonkers letter to the Spectator, co-signed by fellow Alliance for Unity chief Jamie Blackett, Galloway attacks the media for its alleged pro-Sturgeon bias.”

    • And another embedded in your article RoS.

      God I’ve heard it all now. Here we go Better Together again with SiU thrown in by the looks of it.

      ‘George Galloway says he will work with Tories to ‘get the SNP out.’

      ”George Galloway has said he is prepared to work with the Tories at the 2021 Holyrood elections to stop the SNP receiving a mandate for independence.”..

      ”He told the Sunday Mail he’s “against the SNP more than I’m against anyone else”.

      ”“Whoever wins next year’s election should form a national coalition government whose first purpose is to repair relations between Scotland and the rest of Britain.”

      ..”Galloway refused to reveal who else would be joining him as an Alliance for Unity candidate – but claimed it would include “senior ex-Army officers, farmers and senior legal professionals.”


      Devi Sridhar getting a wee taste of what it’s like to be living in Scotland and seen to be on the side of the SNP.

      ”I sit on Royal Society DELVE group feeding into UK SAGE, have attended UK Cabinet Office advisory meetings, work closely with WHO & UNICEF & on Scottish Govt Advisory Group (from April). But media only picks up that last role & not the others.

  38. ‘First Minister says she was not aware of female civil servants being advised not to work alone with Alex Salmond.’

    …”The First Minister said she was “absolutely committed to abiding by this committee’s processes” and had already submitted evidence to the committee, but suggested Fraser had already made up his mind about the outcome of the inquiry and that he was not prepared to follow the committee’s processes.

    She said: “Murdo is, as I understand it, already or about to be a formal member of this committee and within hours of it having its first evidence session he issued a political press release accusing me of not being forthcoming and giving the impression that he’s anything other than independent and neutral.

    “And I think he should perhaps consider that himself before he asks me who intends fully to respect every aspect of this committee’s work.”,first-minister-says-she-was-not-aware-of-female-civil-servants-being-advised-not-to-work-alone-with-alex-salmond


    Worth a read. Pete Wishart’s take on the People’s action on Section 30.

    • I’ve said many times I’m wary about using the law in pursuit of Independence because the law is never that easy, the law is often mistakenly believed to be a route to justice, oh that it were that simple, the law is and was and will continue to serve the creators of it and the more ordinary Joe public attempts to manipulate it to the cause of serving justice the more the lawyers will confuse and confound that desire so that it doesn’t

      The law serves itself or everybody would be doing it like happy Americans on the telly and especially any kind of the antiquated upper class full of confusion Britishy law that’s been created within this benighted Kingdom

      The trouble with the law is even if you’re right and your case is just, once you’ve taken that path you could be walking down it for the next rest of your life trying to obtain a judgement from a system that doesn’t want to answer the question and are delighted that the opposing council keep throwing up obstacles to delay that judgement for even longer, and if a judgement of retaining the status quo can be arrived at so much the better, and it’s Amen to everybody because you just got stuck with it and made things worse

      Not at all saying that’s going to happen but the law is the law and the scales of justice wummin wears a blindfold for a reason

      • It seems to me that the Wishart Doctrine of never challenging anything about the status quo, just in case it might possibly “fail”, is never going to deliver anything of worth. This is merely another manifestation of The Cringe. People just won’t respond to a “leader” who continually fails to lead. Oft times it doesn’t even matter if you supposedly “lose” because it makes a situation more concrete for all concerned, and it can actually galvanise your support to try even harder next time. If you doubt that, just look at the reaction in the wake of IR1. Did we say “well, we tried, but now we’re just going to give up and shut up”? Did we hell!

        You can’t win a war by continually running away. You have to be prepared to fight battles, and some of them you are inevitably going to lose. But it’s the visible struggle that matters, that brings people together, through thick and thin. You don’t earn support by hiding in a cave praying and waiting for better times to come along by magic.

        Oh, and the “scales of justice wummin” (on the Old Bailey at least) doesn’t wear a blindfold.

      • The problem with “ The Law “ is that laws are not always fair and seeking justice.
        A lot depends on who made the law and why
        What was their intention ?

        Sometimes you cannot trust the law to deliver fairness and justice because it was not designed to do so

    • Petra.

      This from Martin Keating of Forward As One makes an interesting read I think.

      “Update on Peoples Action on Section 30

      By way of an update on the Peoples Action on Section 30, we have hit a small roadblock.

      Be advised that this roadblock will not cause any delay to the first hearing on the 30th of September as scheduled.

      As you are all aware, there were originally three “defenders” in the case. The first is the UK Government who the dispute exists concerning Section 30 being necessary.

      The second is the Lord Advocate who represents the Scottish Parliament and the third was the Scottish Ministers AKA the Scottish Government.

      Both the Lord Advocate (Scottish Parliament) and the Scottish Government were convened (that is to say named on the summons) for any interest that they might have in the case. To invite them into the court proceedings for anything they might want to say. This is an established procedure as regards previous cases of this nature.

      Also, let me be abundantly clear on this important point (because several politicians have said otherwise) that neither the Scottish Parliament nor the Scottish Government had to participate in the case if they did not want to. They chose to participate. They were not dragged into it.

      Let me also make another thing clear. This process we are using is not “incorrect” nor is it a “flawed approach”. The process we are using is the only proper procedure for cases of this nature. We know this for several reasons. Firstly, it was the same process used in two previous cases. And secondly, our senior legal counsel and solicitors pretty much wrote the book on this type of public law in Scotland. Not least cases like the Wightman Article 50 case and Joanna Cherry’s unlawful prorogation case. Check the records and you will find that their counsel is, for the most part, the same as ours.

      To also respond to a comment made by a politician the other day, I would like to say that the defenders, that is to say, the Lord Advocate, the Advocate General or the Scottish ministers have not framed anything in these proceedings “by accident”. These are some of the most highly trained lawyers and legal professionals in the country and they do not put anything in a document “by accident”. Such language is designed only to cover certain people politically. Politics has no place in the courtroom. No law professional drafts a response in any serious constitutional argument that they did not intend to be there.

      These are just matters of politics which I wished to address before addressing the little roadblock we have.

      I had intended to seek to have the closed record made public. To re-iterate, the closed record is the combined record with our submissions to the court and the responses from all of the defenders in the case, then our responses to them and their responses to ours….etc. These responses and adjustments back and forth are collated in one massive record and laid out in a very organised fashion during the 8 week adjustment period we just went through. This “record” is called the “open record”.

      When you get to the end of the 8 weeks and everyone has said what they want to say, that record is sent to the court as a finalised document and the court writes an order called an “interlocutor” which says that they have taken possession of that record and at that point, it becomes a “closed record”. The case is then put on the court roll. For us, that occurred a few days ago and the first date which was set was the 30th of September for us.

      At this point the Scottish Government suddenly decided that it wanted to withdraw from the proceedings and filed a motion to seek the court’s permission to do so, we did not object. At that point, we simply thought that it was a simple case of removing entries from the Scottish Government from the document. However, because both the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government were represented by the Lord Advocate, as we read the record, we can see that it is more interwoven than we thought. Remember! This “record” has both our submissions and their responses. But it also has our responses to their responses and their responses to ours. That means that if we remove a chunk of information from the submissions from the Scottish Government (which we have to do), we also have to then look at our responses to what they said and modify them so they don’t refer to what the Scottish Government said. After all, that means that when the record is made public we’d be referencing something which we are no longer allowed to reference (their defences) because they are no longer a party to the case.

      I understand that sounds extremely complicated, but I would like you to imagine it this way.

      Imagine a thread on Facebook. Someone makes a post and the angry person in the group goes on a tirade. Of course, all the members then respond to that person angrily and a huge thread balloons in size. Now imagine that what that angry person had said was private information and the court orders all references of what he says to be removed from social media and so all his angry comments are removed. Now you look at the thread and all you see is the responses to him with no context. Which makes the thread non-sensical! But still, you might be able to get the gist of what he was going on a tirade about by reading all the replies to him. So! The court orders that any comments which could reasonably identify what he has said are all re-written.

      It’s kind of like that, but the court doesn’t need to order it, it is simply done as a matter of course. What we thought would be a simple case of just deleting the words “third defender” has turned into having to effectively re-write large chunks of the closed record to make it compliant.

      This will not mean a delay to the proceedings on 30th September, but it will, unfortunately, mean that it will be quite a bit of time before we can publicly release the case arguments because it has to be re-written and checked and re-checked to ensure that it doesn’t act in bad faith towards the Scottish Government.

      As soon as we know it can be made public, I shall inform you further.

      I just thought I would let you know.”

      • I’ve read it already RoS and posted on here previously that they shouldn’t have got involved in the first place. Now? Who knows? Maybe something has come to light and they’ve had to follow legal advice? And not to my liking? I don’t really give a damn one way or another, although I donated to it and promoted it on here. We’ll win Indyref2 with or without it. I’ll also add that I feel that Mr Keatings has let himself down somewhat with let’s just say his ”tone.” I’m a bit disappointed with that.

        • I noticed Mr Keatings said directly to the Scot Gov…’ITS NOT ABOUT YOU’..(his capital letters..not mine).

          Actually Mr Keatings..its becoming increasingly obvious to me ….IT IS ABOUT YOU (my capital letters).

  39. Absolutely, Paul.

    Your final paragraph, is to mind, the final answer.

    I don’t recall the EU setting the parameters of the Brexit vote. The world would have been deafened by the howling of Britnats if they had even dared to do so.

  40. Nobody would know where Wales was 😀? What a nasty wee ignoramus.

    ”YesCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 “This is end of empire stuff isn’t it… Welsh and Scottish people also pay taxes. So the idea that everything is a gift from outside just isn’t true… The Empire is over. Park it!” Siôn Jobbins, YesCymru Chair.


    Check out Ann’s latest links on the Indyref2 site.

    • Such is the arrogance of those who think they created the universe and brought their kind of *civilisation* to the underlings
      Different language? Funny colour? not one of us by Jove, we shall have to civilise you Johnny Furriners

      • Dr Jim,

        I leave you to peruse your dictionary and see the etymologies of ‘Welsh’ and ‘Wales’.

        Truly, we are the first – and likely to be the last – of England’s colonies.

  41. Well, you sure got that off your chest Jack Collatin. I’m pleased you did, to remind me of the severity of the accused behaviour of Frankie Pieman, Purcell, Mathieson, and of the “diligence” then of investigations into their behaviour, and so compare with investigation resources applied on the Alex Salmond accusations.

    Meantime, back in the jungle – showing my age – Dani Garavelli has tweeted “reluctantly’ of her distress over the comments directed at her and two chums concerning the Warp BBC documentary fiasco on the Salmond case.

    So Paul what do you call a female person who behaved as Garavelli, Warp and Smith have behaved, particularly on the BBC Warp show, to effectively describe their behaviour – If not witches, or harpies, in order to spare their feelings?
    Fallen angels?
    The fairer sex, in tenderness and equity?
    Misguided amateurs? – …forgive them, they know not what they do.

    Lest we forget. The jigsaw women, were intent on having a man, without any criminal record, despatched to jail for the rest of his life.

    And all because, for one of the complainants,

    ” He touched the hair on my head, in an elevator”.

    • You use words that you would also use for men. It’s really not a difficult concept to grasp.

      Your other comment ended up in the spam folder. I’m not retrieving it. I am sick of people using the w*ke word. If you want an off topic rant about the GRA there’s another site where that sort of thing is welcome. I don’t welcome it here.

      And no, I am not apologising if you feel you’re being censored.

      Maybe you ought to reflect on the fact that you want to use insulting words which only apply to women while at the same time you claim to be standing up for women’s rights.

  42. Well I think we’ve all missed the real news here. The fact that Gove calls it an “interesting question” indicates that the referendum is absolutely on the cards. WM’s official line is still very much “it’s not going to happen”. If that were indeed what they expected, then this would not be an interesting question, but a non-question.

  43. I am sorry Wee Ginger Dug but this post is mega verbose and could be summed up accordingly…
    Ex-pat Scots are allowed to vote in an Independence Referendum and this inclusion means that Scotland becomes independent when the resident Scots vote to remain part of the Union. That would be a bit of a balls up.

    Highlights that only residents of Scotland should be voting.

  44. Paul, I am resolute defender of the rights of female dignity and privacy. Sexual identification I chose not to comment on nor discuss. At birth, or prior, we didn’t have the opportunity to choose our sexuality, end of for me.I didn’t devise the expression w..e , it offends you,excuse my unawareness.

  45. Paul, are you really certain that simply mentioning GRA, not discussing, justifies censoring?

    And I have many descriptive offensive words towards men when meritted.

  46. ”Paul, I am resolute defender of the rights of female dignity and privacy.”

    If so, you could be putting up a real fight to get something done about the horrendous posts on another site that you frequent where people seem to think that it’s alright to defame people, including the FM of Scotland, in the most hellish of ways. And you would have to be ”resolute” right enough as the blog owner seems to think that this kind of behaviour is acceptable, more so seems to encourage it. Check out the most recent example with Hughsie at 11:06 pm.

    • Hughsie ?

      I check out Wings daily Petra to inform myself of the latest conspiracy etc., and have also noticed a ‘surge’ in names not familiar to me (nor you I suspect)….I cant believe Stuart Campbell isnt awake to the fact his site is now subject to an attack of fake indy supporters…love him or hate him…he aint stupid..but to date displays no attempt to block/shut them down.
      What do you make of it?

      • ”What do you make of it?” He knows exactly what’s going on. He and whoever else is involved created the situation after all.

        • I noticed Mr Keatings said directly to the Scot Gov…’ITS NOT ABOUT YOU’..(his capital letters..not mine).

          Actually Mr Keatings..its becoming increasingly obvious to me ….IT IS ABOUT YOU (my capital letters).

          • I know you support the application Paul…I dont.

            For once…I think Pete Wishart got something right.

          • legal case apart, something no quite right about keatings, i had heard a few mutterings in the past about him in fife and recently from others

            this is from his latest outburst

            “I’ve been told that there is a standardised email floating around between MP’s/MP’s You’d think by now they would realise – I HEAR EVERYTHING.”

            I’m also assuming that HQ soiled its pants when it saw my tweet about “go big or go home”

            he is fast turning into a very sovereign pound land version of sean clerkin.

            mark my words….

            the cows are coming home to roost

          • Some rant for sure, and I admit I’ve had a couple of run ins ‘re his terminology and I think its the wrong kind of legal action. However, if the action is successful, its another notch on the post while failure is not a failure for the SG.

          • Well, we could subject anyone and everyone who gets involved to unsubstantiated rumour and innuendo, but I’m not sure to what purpose. Making a comparison to Mr. Loudhailer Clerkin seems a bit low.

            No doubt the SNP in full Wishart mode is ambivalent at best about this demarche, but they should recognise that where they have left a vacuum, someone else will be tempted to fill it. Joanna Cherry achieved real success in her legal efforts which inspired many, yet look how much of a pariah she seems to have become within the party apparatus. No wonder people are becoming restive.

            So good luck to Keating with this initiative. It’s high time someone exhibited some self-belief and ruffled a few Union feathers.

  47. I don’t live in Scotland and I’m a fervent Nat. I wouldn’t expect a vote. I don’t live there so how can I expect a vote. I will however say that I reserve the right to support independence in every waking hour with all of my heart and indeed with my money. I contribute to the cause not least via a few quid going to Paul for his blog and wise council as well as a contribution to the crowd funder for the court case. But I don’t expect that that buys me the right to have a say. Yes I left my homeland for selfish economic reasons way back in the dark days of Thatcher, who wouldn’t have if they were lucky enough to find the escape hatch.
    I would also suggest that many if not the majority Scots born people living abroad would if they had the chance vote yes for Independence. It’s a truism that the Scots who live abroad and hanker for home are in someways more Scots in mind than many who live in Scotland. I am just a few years from retirement and my Aussie born kids are marrying and having their own children so that keeps me here in Sydney. However I will, if I live to see the day, be in George (Freedom Square) on Independence Day celebrating with all of you who voted yes. At that point I will sell up and look forward to retiring in Perthshire to see out the rest of my days in my independent homeland.

    • Great stuff I think you will see that day for sure .
      Many many Scottish people I would even say the majority , who left Scotland to work elsewhere did so because they had to , they couldn’t get a job or see a future here because of Westminster political decisions in Scotland , so much industry shut down needlessly, it caused great harm and distress, people left to find their future elsewhere .
      As you say Scotland is still in their hearts and minds they shall return especially for Independence Day, what a day that’s going to be.
      All the best to you MalkyMcblain

  48. ”I would also suggest that many if not the majority Scots born people living abroad would if they had the chance vote yes for Independence.”

    I reckon that you are right about that Malky so the next time that Galloway, Gove et al think of including Scots living in England we should just hit them with stating that it will be opened up to all Scots worldwide. Make it a worldwide event whereby millions of eyes will be on them and their biased media 😀.

    ”However I will, if I live to see the day, be in George (Freedom Square) on Independence Day celebrating with all of you who voted yes.”

    Looking forward to meeting you in the next year or so Malky and no doubt someone on here who lives in the Perthshire area will point you in the direction of a real bargain 😎.

  49. Thanks Petra. I look very much forward to perhaps meeting you and other regular contributors to Paul’s blog when I come home for the celebrations. The time difference means that I get Paul’s posts early in the morning Sydney time. It has become a regular thing to have my breakfast whilst reading the blog and all of the comments from start to finish it’s a great way to start the day. Once we know when Independence Day is then I will post here to try to arrange a meeting and a dram to celebrate.

    Peace and happiness to all 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  50. So sad to hear of Smallaxe passing, my condolences to his loved ones and I deeply regret never having had the honour of meeting him.

  51. Smallaxe, Nan and Peffers were the names I always looked for on Indy threads when I first started actively supporting the cause, and I’m distraught this morning to hear of Smallaxe’s passing.

    A true , gentle, gentleman!

  52. With a heavy heart I totally agree that the 800000 Scots in England should have no say in a future referendum and it should only be open to those People resident in Scotland at this time. However it doesn’t stop us supporting the independence cause any way we can whether that is finiacial or even to counter the ignorance shown by people around as to why Scotland wants independence! Part of the real tragedy of the Union is it has forced many of my generation from the 80s to leave as there was absolutely no way to earn a living or the opportunities that England has available! I really had no choice . When I started secondary school in 80s Lanarkshire I was told by my teachers there was no point working hard and passing exams as there were no jobs anyway! Mr Gove May be surprised to learn that many of us exiled Anglo Scots detest his government and everything they have done to the country we were forced to leave and would vote for Independence in a heartbeat. I would urge everyone resident in Scotland today to vote for the freedom for their children and grand children to have a real choice to stay and prosper in Scotland and not have to leave.

    • Well said John.

      We in the diaspora can’t vote but we are with you at home. You hold many dreams in your hands please do all you can to unite for independence for our sakes too.

  53. Sad news about Smallaxe, we used to exchange music links on off-topic on Wings (as did others). Met him once at Glasgow Green by the Wings stall, I was putting faces to posting names “Who are you?”. He pointed at his badge.

    It’s sad he didn’t see Independence, though he did see the polls at plus 50% consistently. When Indy comes there should be a Roll of Honour for campaigners such as him. I’d nominate him, but there are others like Alex who have more right than me to do that.

    • Yeah he loved his music and posted something at one time that was absolutely brilliant. So brilliant that I can’t remember the name of it now 😀. Anyway it was more of a very long speech and I’m sure that I’ll come across it again one day. Meanwhile he’ll not be forgotten.

  54. Barpe
    Glad you mentioned a few well known Indy supporters not sure Robert Pefers has passed or simply gave up arguing it would be good to see his input again, anyway you mention a lot of people who were denied the joy of inevitable change that is unstoppable now ,it’s about ” when ” now we have passed the ” if ” point ,we know it and this Tory government know we know it , a Donald Rumsfeld type comment but you get the gist. The games up all that’s left is the haggling and gnashing of teeth .

  55. Well there you have it, the UK’s chief negotiator in the post Brexit deal with the EU David Frost, has said in the latest round of discussions on a trade deal with the EU, that very little progress has be made.

    With time fast running out to broker some sort of trade deal, its becoming increasingly evident that as many have previously suspected, that a no deal is the most likely outcome, which will further damage our Scottish economy.

    However, as the saying goes, nothing is finally agreed until it’s all agreed in trade deals.

  56. A bit o/t
    But as the qualification to Vote has been mentioned a few times , I never really saw any explanation of the missing votes during the 2014 vote ,if you remember in the weeks leading up to the 18 th great efforts were made to get people to register to vote even to the point of quelling the fears of the ones who never registered to vote because Councils were trolling the voters roll to identify people who evaded paying the Poll Tax ,
    with all the surge in registrations I believe this never transferred into actual votes , any questions about the way the whole vote was conducted were quickly dismissed as sour grapes ,
    The work done in Bute regarding the postal voting returns was stymied because all the records were inexplicably destroyed , very convenient that eh , just as unmarked cars and vans arriving at the Count in Glasgow , we all watched as unaccompanied vehicles were arriving and no one seemed to be verifying where they actually came from and if their route was verified or escorted by the police . A gold standard vote aye depends how low you set your expectations I suppose.

    • …with all the surge in registrations I believe this never transferred into actual votes ,

      Too damn true, but not because of alien ballot box abductors from Planet Union, but because when it came to the crunch, too many people in places like Glasgow who had a direct interest in helping create a new society for themselves couldn’t be arsed enough to get off their bums for a few minutes when it really mattered, take a short walk and put a cross on a wee bit of paper.

      If we keep on conjuring up absurdist false alibis for why we lost last time instead of addressing real issues like turnout, we are going for another fall. It’s not nearly enough to get potential supporters to register to vote (though Lord knows, that should be automatic anyways) – on its own all that achieves is to make the turnout figure worse – we need to energise everyone whose interest would undeniably be served by an independent country. Promises of Nirvana from armchair theorists won’t hack it, though. As it is, too many are instead all-too-easily demotivated and diverted by self-serving self-appointed “tribunes of the people” like Georgeous, Dicky Leotard and Baroness Boughtup, readily assisted by their fellow-travellers in the biased media.

      Thankfully, though, the performance of the SG in dealing with the current crisis and the exposure it has been getting from a reluctant media (not to mention the contribution of a determinedly nihilist partisan opposition) has opened many eyes, not least of those who are accustomed to vote. It’s not just the virus that can be catching – hope and self-belief can be too.

  57. One Unionist this week tried to debate me on the premise that an indyref2 should absolutely be denied as he was reliably informed { he indicated that he was involved in loyalist circles relating to NI} that there would be ‘blood on the streets’ in the event of a YES vote, to the extent of paramilitary action taken by loyalist extreemists and that this was the only way to protect innocent lives. Pretty scary stuff. I didn’t engage much as it was a chilling take on things, but one that I think we all have to face could come to pass from a few nutters.
    My response was that there is that possibility but the no matter what threats are made, or how that translates into illegal or terrorist activity, democracy should not be put on hold in the face of threat.That is for the police and security forces to deal with.
    I was pretty shocked to be confronted in such a matter of fact way though.

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