Features

Why an SNP surge at Westminster could mean the end of Britain

Scotland’s political earthquake isn’t over, and the rest of the UK doesn’t yet understand the consequences

28 February 2015

9:00 AM

28 February 2015

9:00 AM

Anyone seeking to understand the strength of the SNP should look to those parts of Scotland where the party is supposed to be weakest. At the last election, the nationalists took just under 10 per cent of the vote in the Scottish Borders. This year, Tory canvass returns suggest the SNP may treble its share of the vote in one of the most staunchly unionist seats in Scotland.

For months, opinion polls have made unremittingly gloomy reading for unionists. The nationalists are heading for a victory on a scale still not fully comprehended in England. The polls suggest the SNP could win as many as 55 of Scotland’s 59 seats, up from six at present. No one can quite bring themselves to believe an earthquake of such magnitude is about to strike Scottish politics. Bookmakers’ odds forecast a smaller SNP landslide, but winning even 35 seats might be enough to prevent Ed Miliband from winning a majority. Without its Celtic base, Labour would struggle to govern Britain — unless a deal is cut with the nationalists.

Far from finishing the SNP, the referendum campaign has left them stronger than ever. Indeed, the SNP is no longer just a party, it is a movement — and one boasting, per capita, more than twice as many members as the three main unionist parties combined. One in every 50 adult Scots has joined the SNP since the referendum. Nicola Sturgeon’s party has more members than the British army has soldiers.

Scottish elections have rarely made much difference in Westminster. Indeed, at the last election, nothing changed north of the border: every Scottish seat returned the same result in 2010 that it had in 2005. Scotland’s election was a quiet affair, untouched by change (or enthusiasm for David Cameron). This year, in contrast, England’s election may be inconclusive while Scotland will be the scene of a political insurrection.

Neither Cameron nor Miliband are in any position to shape the outcome of the election in Scotland. Each is curiously powerless. They sit in London, anxiously awaiting the news from the north that may determine their fate. The SNP, which has been polling at more than 40 per cent for four months, holds a significant structural advantage. Unlike its rivals, it has a cause which motivates an army of supporters — and a cause is a fiercely powerful thing. Stronger, certainly, than anything offered by a weak and divided unionism. Who else, the SNP says, can be trusted to put Scotland’s interest first?

The unionists try to pretend this isn’t happening. In Edinburgh last week, David Cameron claimed the constitutional question has been ‘settled’. No one in Scotland recognises it as settled, however, and if the Prime Minister thinks it is he is deluding himself. Unionism’s complacency remains a problem second only to unionism’s inability to recognise that it has a problem.

Every device intended to kill Scottish nationalism has ended up making it stronger. Devolution succeeded in killing Toryism north of the border, but only at the expense of fertilising nationalism. Labour’s hegemony in Scotland needed an opposition and the SNP was happy to fill that void. The independence referendum made the idea of secession seem a plausible reality. An alternative future was glimpsed and sold with commendable, if heroic, optimism. In the circumstances, it was little surprise that 45 per cent of Scots thought it a risk worth pursuing. In the long-term, this bodes ill for unionism and, if nothing else, the SNP is adept at playing the long game. It need only win once; unionism cannot afford a single defeat.

So, far from the Scotland issue being settled, it looms larger than ever. In terms of domestic politics, it is the greatest challenge to the authority and confidence of the British state since 1918, when Sinn Fein won a landslide victory in what, in the end, became the Irish Republic. For obvious reasons, the SNP dislikes comparisons with Sinn Fein. Nevertheless, its aim — the dismemberment of the British state — is the same. And this, in turn, makes Ed Miliband’s reluctance to rule out a post-election deal with the nationalists utterly baffling. The SNP likes the idea of being kingmakers but its true aim is to be wreckers. If Miliband genuinely wants Britain to stay together, why even consider joining forces with a party whose central aim is to tear Britain apart?

The idea of a weak and limping Miliband government dependent upon Alex Salmond’s support — albeit on a confidence and supply basis — is a useful second prize for the SNP. But the gold medal-winning result is another Conservative-led government lacking ‘democratic legitimacy’ north of the Tweed and Solway.

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A second term for Cameron will add weight to the SNP’s claim that Scotland and England are such diverging polities that it makes less and less sense for them to be part of the same political union. The SNP’s agenda is to sue for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

Here we may perceive a difference between the SNP leadership and its newly swollen membership. The lion’s share of SNP voters (and, for that matter, Scots) prefer the idea of an SNP-dependent Labour government. In other words, the Tory argument ‘Vote SNP, get Labour’ encourages Scots to vote for their preferred outcome. This is worse than a dubious political strategy for the Conservatives to pursue — it is a reckless one.

Then again, Labour’s ‘Vote SNP, get the Tories’ warning is little better. It is intended to revive Labour’s vote in its besieged west of Scotland heartland, inviting Labour defectors to remember how much they hate the Tories. But this rendition of an old tune — one trotted out at every election for decades — shows little sign of persuading Labour-supporting ‘yes’ voters to return to their ancestral fold. According to one recent poll, just 8 per cent of ‘Yes’ voters plan to endorse Labour candidates in May.

And why would they return? What’s to return to? Jim Murphy, Scottish Labour’s new leader, claims a vote for Labour is a ‘patriotic’ vote but this, like so much else in Scottish politics, merely reminds voters that Scotland’s political weather is made by the SNP. Murphy appreciates that Scottish Labour must be more than just London Labour’s northern branch office, but almost all of Scottish Labour’s brightest and best — a relative term — are in London, not Edinburgh. Even Murphy only became leader in Scotland because he’d been passed over by Miliband in London.

 

The referendum campaign necessarily divided Scots along the line of the national question; the future of the country is plainly a greater issue than any differences over the NHS, education or even economic policy. This being so, no one should be surprised by the nationalist surge. The logic is chiselled from granite: if you voted ‘yes’ in September, why would you vote for a unionist party in May?

Moreover, if the election contest is framed as a battle to secure greater powers for the Scottish parliament (or ‘For Scotland’, to adopt the SNP’s shorthand) then voting SNP is the surest, perhaps only, way of ensuring the Scottish Question remains high on Westminster’s agenda. Even Labour voters accept that the SNP is best-placed to secure more powers for the Scottish parliament. Given that the nationalists may well become the third biggest force in a hung parliament, there will be ample scope for mischief.

If this infuriates English voters, so much the better. Alex Salmond will, in effect, be dispatched south of the border as Nicola Sturgeon’s ambassador to London’s television studios. His role is to run a guerrilla campaign, fomenting discord and division. Resisting his provocations will not be easy, not least because so few English Tories, whose arrogance is matched only by their ignorance, are aware that Labour is merely the opposition, whereas the SNP is the enemy.

The Scottish Tories see matters more clearly. In Edinburgh and Glasgow and Aberdeen, cities where the SNP is challenging Labour, there is considerable anecdotal evidence supporting the suspicion that many Tories are prepared to vote Labour, the better to thwart the nationalist advance. They would rather risk a Labour government than an SNP landslide that might put Cameron back in Downing Street. A Miliband administration is a misery that need merely be endured for five years. A nationalist victory, by contrast, risks a second independence referendum which might break the Union forever.

To the SNP, the next general election is just a staging post. Winning a majority of Scottish seats would be an excellent start, but influencing the governance of the UK is of relatively minor importance. Any deal with Labour — or even a stage-managed week of negotiations — will be conducted with the 2016 Holyrood elections in mind. An SNP majority next year would bring the power to call for a second referendum. And if a majority of Scottish voters call for one, through an SNP (and Green) vote, how can Westminster reasonably say no? This is why so many Scottish unionists will vote tactically in May: it is crucial that the nationalists’ momentum is checked now.

Then comes Europe. Should Cameron lose the election less badly than Miliband and earn a second term, he is committed to a referendum on EU membership. While Scots are more Eurosceptic than the SNP allows (a third say they would vote to leave), the English are still far more likely to vote to leave the EU. If they do, and Scotland votes to stay in, the thirst for independence might prove unquenchable. (Equally, how would England react if Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish votes determined the outcome of the EU referendum?) Cameron’s European difficulties are another opportunity for the nationalists. And a reminder that the Union can be lost in London as well as in Scotland.

It is depressing that so many English Tories are plainly more exercised by ‘threats’ from Brussels than from Edinburgh. As one Cabinet member puts it: ‘Scotland really is, now, another country: I’ve given up understanding it.’ Many have given up caring, too. It is clear that a good proportion of English Tories would accept a notional bargain in which Scottish independence was the price of levering the rump UK out of the EU. That leaves Scottish unionists, especially right-of-centre unionists, as the forlorn last-believers in a faith long since abandoned by everyone else — including those they mistakenly reckoned as their co-religionists.

Scottish votes could well determine the outcome of this general election, but the matter of Scotland — that is to say, the battle of Britain — will not be resolved this May. This is just a preliminary skirmish for the other, larger, battles that lie ahead. David Cameron would be wrong to think that his mission in May is to sneak over the finish line: his fight will have just begun. So unionists are entitled to feel a deep and heavy sense of foreboding. This election is going to be a disaster.


The era of stable governments is over

lpJoin us on 23 March for a Spectator discussion on whether the era of stable government is over with Matthew Parris, James Forsyth, Jeremy Browne MP, Vernon Bogdanor and Matthew Goodwin. The event will be chaired by Andrew Neil. In association with Seven Investment Management. For tickets and further information click here.

Alex Massie is The Spectator’s Scotland editor. 

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Show comments
  • Andy Ellis

    Alex (as usual) makes the intellectually lazy and evidence free claim that the SNP would prefer a Tory “victory” to a Labour one. The fact is most SNP supporters, particularly the large number of new supporters who are overwhelmingly ex-Labour voters, want to see a Labour minority administration which has its feet held close to the fire by a large SNP bloc at Westminster.

    Barring a fairly large shift in the polls, neither Labour or the Tories will gain enough seats for an outright majority. Indeed, it seems unlikely either will get more than 300 seats, probably closer to 280-ish each. In that situation, a large bloc of SNP MPs are in a win-win situation. The two major parties have no majority without them, and the SNP have already ruled out any deal with the Tories. If Miliband (or his successor?) rules out any deal with the SNP, the party will be committing electoral seppuku. Refusing to compromise on delivering “real” home rule for Scotland, cancelling Trident and changing course on austerity, will simply lead to a short lived Tory minority administration, and an early second General election.

    The electorate are unlikely to be impressed with either Labour or the Tories deliberately provoking such an election in a fit of pique with the SNP, but it would doubtless only increase the SNP’s support in Scotland. The unionists have only themselves to blame. Scots who want at minimum devomax or home rule have realised that the way to maximise the chances of it happening is to ensure the return of a large bloc of SNP MPs to Westminster. A second referendum and independence look increasingly likely, and the regressive forces of British nationalism have only themselves to blame, much as was the case a century ago in Ireland.

    • Ed  

      Don’t panic, folks. Quebec has been electing separatists, and rejecting referenda, for 50 years. I expect the Scots are just as canny.

      • Andy Ellis

        Time will tell, won’t it? I doubt you can use the Quebec experience (or that of any other recent pro-independence campaign) as a direct read-across of what will or will not happen in the UK. Good luck with your comfortable complacency though! 😉

        • Ed  

          Quebeckers have given this stuff a lot of thought. I doubt the Scots are doing any less.

          • Andy Ellis

            You are correct; hence the growing support for independence (recent polls now show it above 50%), the huge increase in SNP membership, and the imminent electoral wipeout of “Scottish” Labour. the more people think about it, the more they realise the only realistic route towards their desired end is independence, because the britnats can’t and won’t deliver on their Vow promises.

          • gerontius redux

            I don’t recall making a vow

          • James Morrison

            Is that you Gordon?

          • sandie

            Hi!

          • RolftheGanger

            Oh how cute. The two last stragglers of the Red Tory walking disasters, saying “Hi” to each other in the wilderness of the collapse of their self centred greed and entitlement mindset.

          • gerontius redux

            Could be couldn’t it!

          • James Morrison

            Any chance of an apology?

          • gerontius redux

            Ha! Ha! Ha!

          • Helena Brown

            How is it going with Tesco in Kirkcaldy, I always said your level was a councillor.

          • gerontius redux

            OK The games up – I’ve never been to Kirkcaldy – where is Kirkcaldy?

            PS Waitrose if you don’t mind

          • Helena Brown

            Oh it is a wee town in Fife where they still make Mamoleum or Lino to you and Gordon Brown still has a small interest. He used to be their MP, but he decided to give it all up for his final salary pension which he has denied to the like of us.
            Tesco want to shut their small store in town with 180 staff.Crash as we fondly (not) call him has persuaded the Labour Council to give them a tax break of a million pounds to keep the store open. Now Asda and Sainsbury and Morrisons will be happy with that and not forgetting the small businesses who may be struggling. You can perhaps see why the SNP are the biggest party and most likely to succeed.

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ fun-time freddie

            I have no idea what this particular remark is about but, since you mentioned my favourite supermarket, I’m giving you an upvote. Don’t worry: this shouldn’t compromise your tax status or anything ; )

          • gerontius redux

            Upvotes are always welcome, well you know how insecure men are (I check mine daily).
            Kirkcaldy is Gordon Brown’s seat and destined, I gather, to fall to the SNP. I don’t fully understand the Tesco reference, but when dealing with Scots you have to wing it a bit.
            I pop in to Waitrose several times a week – relaxed and friendly shopping, but I don’t buy my meat from them, mostly that come from the farmer’s market – Kevin the farmer/butcher (he can do firewood and straw as well) and Girl, who runs a stall for Franklins of Thorncote: I’m a sucker for a girl who can present her wares with confidence.

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ fun-time freddie

            I don’t fully understand the Tesco reference, but when dealing with Scots you have to wing it a bit.
            Giggle!

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ fun-time freddie

            I’m a sucker for a girl who can present her wares with confidence. Mmm, it’s a feature of intelligent men that they like women with authority. Could be authority about parsnips; doesn’t matter: if she knows her business, he likes it.

            I used to enjoying doing the rounds in my village: a bit of banter at the butcher’s, a giggle with my friend in the post office, then on to the general shop to chat with ‘Mr Bourne’ even though the shop (as I found out eventually) was actually named for the previous owner. Lovely people. Ah, England, will we ever meet again?

          • gerontius redux

            Sadly our shops and post office have gone. There is only one pub left and that has turned into a “gastro pub” ( there used to be about five pubs, but that was before my time) People drink in the cricket pavillion mostly. We still have a village fete and a church. I’ve sent you a couple of pictures. Off stage to the right at the fete, a fiercely competetive kiddies donkey derby is in full swing. The thatched building is the pavillion. On the skyline, just to the left of the flagpole you can see a chimney stack – that is chez G.
            The church is, well, the church, and the Morris Minor convertible is highly desirable.

          • http://www.ajbrenchley.com amandastarspangled

            That last clause gave me a bubble of laughter! (I would have said chuckle but it was a bit more than that.) I’ll have a look when I’ve done with my Jane Austen reading and my yogini workout : )

          • Andy Ellis

            Indeed; sadly for hapless britnats the unionist parties all splashed their spectacularly ill-considered Vow all over the pages of the press in their existential panic a few days before the indyref. Looks like it’s kind of blown up in their faces. Awkward.

          • sandie

            No, not really.
            The awkward bit comes when Sturgeon (or is it guppy? kind of moves her lips more like a guppy) is asked to explain why oh why they signed up to a document they are now assuming to disown, just like the ad hoc oil schpeel, will all come out in campaigning, in TV debates.
            You feel betrayed?
            The SNP did it to you, they have no choice but to stick to what they agreed else they will be crucified.
            And besides like Massie says we will vote tactically if need be.

          • Andy Ellis

            Betrayed, no. I knew they’d never deliver on their faux promise. The SNP will I imagine pocket what they can get, and then politely point out when they hold the balance of power what their terms are. Not rocket science really.

          • sandie

            The timescale for the proposals isn’t ‘up’ yet.
            Even the SNP will say that if forced, they are leaving to the likes of yourself to say these things, sowing a bit of ‘confusion’ they think will come in handy for them.
            For now, anyway.
            See Sturgeon on QT?
            How out of her depth she was?
            Wait until the scrutiny tightens in the GE run up.

          • Andy Ellis

            If it isn’t up, how come the britnats are loudly proclaiming the Vow has been delivered then? Of course you would say that about Sturgeon, wouldn’t you? Plenty of others thought her performance principled, brave and streets ahead of the other panellists. you pays your money and takes your choice. I didn’t fancy yours much TBH.

          • sandie

            No one on the (sigh) ‘britnat’ side is saying they have been delivered more they are saying ‘nothing has been broken’, which is hasn’t.
            Show me where it has then you will be making some sense!

          • Andy Ellis
          • sandie

            Yes I know. And?
            There is much more to the Smith proposals than that, much of which will come to light after the GE and we get a majority Labour govt.
            And the SNP are deliberately hocusing you and others by insinuating ‘promises have been broken’.
            Truth is they would rather side with the arsonist SNP councillors who decided before the ink was dry that it wasn’t good enough anyway.
            Well their lot signed up to it, they really ought to work with it, not against.

          • BOBMAC

            oh dear intransigence becomes you

          • Iqabove2

            Why would anything become clearer after the GE?
            Labours proposals on the smith commision are there for all to see.

          • Helena Brown

            Woudl be nice if there were anything to work with, Labour’s proposals were weakest of the lot, says much about that party.

          • Charles Patrick O’Brien

            As an SNP member of many years I find your assumptions come from reading too much Britnat propaganda.

          • Helena Brown

            Bitter, now I have been discussing that with a Tory Supporter who thought she was well versed with her brief, I smell Labour here, stupid and venal.

          • BOBMAC

            hehehe swallowed the hype against someone who has huge audiences everywhere,maybe you should listen to the message

          • sandie

            Huge audiences everywhere?
            Who?
            Elton John or something?

          • Helena Brown

            Well that last conferences for the Unionist Parties could have got by in a Telephone kiosk. Nicola filled the Hydro in Glasgow to capacity, I doubt another politician in the UK could do that.

          • Helena Brown

            Good luck with that. You realise that will end the Labour Party.

          • Charles Patrick O’Brien

            Using insults belittle your point which I could not find in any case “so caller “What is your point?”

          • gerontius redux

            Who wants leaders who can’t hold their nerve

          • Ed  

            Funny. the PQ said much the same thing, through the 70s. This all smells so familiar.

          • Andy Ellis

            Yes, of course you are right. Quebec is exactly the same is Scotland. And Scotland is exactly the same as Catalonia. No…wait….

          • Helena Brown

            Indeed Andy they forget we were actually a Nation and shall be again.

          • Barry Scarfe

            Someone needs to tell this simple fact to SNP nutters. There is no law in existence which states that be a nation you have to be a state.

          • Helena Brown

            Nutters, so a whole load of people are nutters are they, well sunshine, don’t want to rain on your parade but that shower of Nutters will show you a clean pair of heels. Please explain your rather convoluted statement, Scotland was a Nation State which got into a UNION with another Nation State by treaty and it can be ended.

          • Barry Scarfe

            Surely both you and we lost our statehood when we both entered into the union? No unionist to my knowledge from the Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party or the Conservative and Unionist Party has ever said that just because you don’t have your own state anymore that Scotland doesn’t exist as a nation. We were nation STATES before the United Kingdom came into existence in 1707 but we both gave-up our separate statehood and formed a new state/country called the Kingdom of Great Britain which later expanded to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and has subsequently shrunk to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

          • Ed  

            Well, Catalonia does resemble Scotland in one way – Brussels doesn’t bloody want to hear about it.

          • Andy Ellis

            Yeah, that’ll continue to be the case until indy becomes inevitable, then they’ll be falling over themselves to welcome either or both into the EU – they can’t afford to do without 2 new states that would be net contributors.

          • Ed  

            Hm. I think you overestimate Brussels’ welcome, and underestimate the political pressures at play in that place. Look at how they’re making an example of Greece, to dissuade Spain and Portugal. If you don’t think Brussels is willing to strong-arm people, ask the Italians about their Prime Minister.

            I strongly suspect that Brussels (and Paris, and Berlin, and Madrid) would be perfectly comfortable making an example of an independent Scotland, to dissuade Catalonia, the Basque Country and the Northern League.

            Certainly, that’s not a risk on which I’d be comfortable betting my job, my savings, and my country.

          • Andy Ellis

            Perhaps. Thing is the EU and other national governments will be adept at saying one thing now, and another when and if independence happens. Catalonia and Scotland aren’t Greece or Portugal. An EU without either would be a considerably lessened entity, particularly if the little Englanders wrench the rest of the UK out.

            Fair enough if you think the risk isn’t worth taking. More and more of us are however convinced that the risks of the status quo are worse. I’d far rather be in an independent Scotland within the EU than a unified UK outside of the EU.

          • Ed  

            “I’d far rather be in an independent Scotland within the EU than a unified UK outside of the EU.”

            I don’t think that option is on the table.

            International law is no more and no less than what Brussels says it is on the day.

          • Andy Ellis

            Nah. You don’t know what options will be on the table. Brussels doesn’t dictate international law, even if that law was generally accepted or enforceable…which we all know it isn’t.

          • Ed  

            Brussels doesn’t dictate international law? Brussels thinks it IS international law. Scots aren’t naive. I’d be shocked if they were that trusting.

          • Andy Ellis

            Nonsense. Just an evidence free rant. It controls EU law, not international law. You’re dangerously close to woo-woo conspiracy theorising!

          • Ed  

            Hee hee. I’d suggest you ask the Italians about the detailed legalities involved in the recent changing of their Prime Minister, if it’s that airy-fairy.

            Seems to me it’s already happened.

            Scotland – the next Italy. Lovely image.

          • Andy Ellis

            If we can have their weather and cuisine I’m in! 😉

          • Ed  

            Very good point. I entirely agree. Can we leave out some of the corruption and fiscal insanity, though?

          • Andy Ellis

            Honestly…you’re best shot is trying to compare Holyrood and Westminster and highlight the supposed corruption of the former? It is to laugh! 😉

          • Ed  

            Ahem.

            I never said either Holyrood or Westminster weren’t corrupt. I just said Rome is, only with nicer weather.

            What’s inaccurate?

          • RolftheGanger

            Your wee scare story omits that there is an obvious and rather more appealing alternative iScotland does what Norway and Switzerland have done and stays out of the EU, but in the common market. “Europe” is not one all encompassing agreement.

          • Ed  

            It’ll be interesting to see how the McPeso does in its first few months of existence.

          • Mark Kilby

            “then they’ll be falling over themselves”

            I’d think again if you think the EU and its 500m inhabitants bends to being driven by the desires and priorities of a population of 5m.

            Aside from this is the question of the extent to which the EU would wish project Scotland to become a beacon for further fragmentation across the continent. The top table is already a crowded place.

      • Abie Vee

        Yeah but no but yeah… The Canadian Constitution does not allow for a universal declaration of independence by any one province (that is to say, unless all ten Canadian provinces also agree).

        Which is not the case in the UK. You are comparing apples with oranges.

        • Ed  

          I wasn’t talking about the law.

          What would have happened constitutionally had Quebec voted yes was a very large, and unanswered, question.

          I was talking about voting. I doubt Scots are much less canny than Quebeckers.

        • Andy Ellis

          It’s arguable (to say the least!) that a pro-independence majority in Quebec would be rendered void by a veto from one or 10 other provinces. Self-determination isn’t a privilege or a gift bestowed by the “central” authority, it’s a fundamental right. The rights of the majority of Quebecois, Scots or Catalans to have independence if they vote for it outweigh the wishes of the Canadian provinces, rest of the UK or rest of Spain to prevent it.

          • Abie Vee

            That’s where you are wrong. A “fundamental right” would be enforceable at law. SD isn’t enforceable. Therefore, it isn’t a right at all, but an aspiration.

            The move by the ICJ to regard SD as a principle, rather than a right, was inspired by the dawning realisation that while it was unproblematic to to think of a “right” to SD to support de-colonisation, the post-colonial world would require a different approach.

            Most emphatically, the ICJ does not regard SD as a passport to cessation, and the subsequent dismemberment of nation-states against their wishes. It is their expressed view that the territorial integrity of existing nation-states overrides the “right” to SD.

          • Andy Ellis

            Yes, but there are authorities who disagree with the ICJ and your view that the territorial integrity of existing nation states over-rides the right to SD, hence the break up of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Kossovo etc. Insisting on strict adherence to the ICJ as the sole determinant doesn’t really get us anywhere, since as you say elsewhere the system is a mess.

          • Abie Vee

            It isn’t the “sole determinant by a long way”. Bombs often have a say. And it’s true that International Law does not fully spell out all of the implications of SD (which, as I have already noted, are ludicrous if followed to their extreme).

            However, the ICJ is where most disputes eventually end up. I’ve no doubt at all that someday the UK and Argentina will go there over the Falklands.

            As regards the Balkans, the Badinter Commission looked into this on behalf of the EU, and reported that “SD does not encompass the right to secede, and amounts to little more than fair treatment of minorities: a safeguard for human rights.”

            The UKHR Committee fully embraced this narrow version of SD. For that matter, unapologetically, so do I.

          • RolftheGanger

            UN Right to Self Determination

            The core Article, transferred to the UN form the Atlantic Charter. You know the War Aims, for which millions fought and died. Including the Scots survivors who subscribed the 2,ooo,ooo signatures of the Scottish Covenant in the immediate post War years.

          • Abie Vee

            Tsk tsk.
            Articles One and Two of the UN Charter were, (like it or not) aimed at post-colonial reconstruction. It had (has) no relevance outside of that paradigm. Of that I can assure you.

            To suggest otherwise is specious baloney.

          • Andy Ellis

            You’re REALLY not clued up on this at all? It is a matter of moments to research online. There is considerable academic debate about this issue, with many eminent experts in international relations and constitutional theory and law disagreeing with your rather stolid and conventional standpoint.

            In fact it is your viewpoint that is entirely specious; you assume a certainty and definitive-ness which simply doesn’t exist. The “problem” of independence relating to self-regarding entities like Quebec, Scotland, Catalonia, the Basque country which are parts of first world “liberal democracies” is the subject of much debate. Your tendentious claim that SD under the UN charter does not apply because they are not in a colonial situation, or as some claim that there is no oppression or violence involved, is simply not accepted by many authorities. To claim otherwise just makes you look intellectually dishonest.

          • Abie Vee

            Well just who are these mysterious “authorities” of yours? And by what right do you imagine their opinions outweigh those of the ICJ and others?

            The “problem”, as you call it, does not lie with so-called “independence” or Self Determination, it lies with secession! And International law expects that SD will be exercised within the framework of existing sovereign states, and consistently with the maintenance of of the territorial integrity of those states. I could point you in the direction of dozens of autonomous or semi-autonomous regions like the Basque region in Spain, or Sicily, or Xinjiang in China, or Nunatsiavut in Canada. There are scores more examples around the world.

            Sadly for you and other misguided people of the same ilk, SD is not what you think it is, it is not what you want it to be. And that, my friend, is whether you and your unnamed “authorities” like it or not!

          • Andy Ellis

            What did your last Google monkey die of? It’s hardly a big task. The Spectator comments section is probably not the place for a detailed academic debate about the issue, but your continual bluster that the matter is closed and there is somehow consensus about it becomes no more convincing for its constant repetition.

            From the tenor of your posts, I certainly won’t be taking any lessons from you about what you erroneously think are slam-dunk arguments about what SD is, rights of secession, the ICJ or indeed anything else.

          • Abie Vee

            Tsk tsk. It is hardly a “detailed academic debate” to say that a “right” that is not enforceable in law is actually not a right at all, but a mere aspiration.

            Your cognitive dissonance is your problem. And SD is not going to save you from whatever bogeymen it is that are haunting you.

          • Abie Vee

            So your final answer is that , rather like the Climate Change debate, SD ” is the subject of “much debate”. Is that it? Good grief… I had hoped for better.

            You can debate all you like (although in your case you haven’t even started), but sooner or later you will have to come out with some proof. I have mine. You have yet to disprove a single one of them. References to mysterious “others” or “as some claim” (all as yet unspecified) will simply not do. That isn’t debate… it’s denial.

          • Andy Ellis

            Not denial at all. Are you actually denying that there is academic debate on the subjects we’ve been discussing? The Spectator comments section is only marginally better suited to making out your case, or indeed mine, than trying to do it in 140 characters on twitter.

            I’m not sure posting links to detailed articles and discussions would help, or would be of particular interest to most casual visitors here. Similar to those who make evidence free assertions on her about Shetland or Northern Isles independence or remaining with the UK, you make lots of assertions, provide no proof, and then have the front to accuse me of having no “proof”.

            We can all see who the one in denial is here Abie Vee, and it isn’t me!

          • Abie Vee

            Debate? Hardly. Denial, definately.

            Your sweeping generalisations, unsupported assumptions and uncorroborated and unreferenced assertions do not make for a debate… it’s more in the line of a a statement of how you would like things to be. If only they were, eh?

          • Andy Ellis

            But you aren’t interested in debate, just repetitively making evidence free assertions that your faith position is the correct one. Such “truthy” certainties are no more valid than those you accuse me of having sadly. If you weren’t so transparent you might be funny. as it is you’re just tiresome. We’re done here. Go and troll someone else.

          • Abie Vee

            Good grief. “Evidence free”?

            How dare you! I have quoted verbatim from ICJ rulings; the Badinter Commission; The Canadian Supreme Court; a Boston University study of the UN Charter; and a post war US Secretary of State.

            Whereas you have, er…. nothing. Nothing but hearsay.

            You’re a fraud are you not (however, I’ll give you full marks for Chutzpah).

          • Andy Ellis

            You made a few references to these things, hardly chapter and verse is it? I’m sure both of us can cut and paste detailed references to academic articles supporting our respective views. What I pointed out, and what you were (and continue to be) guilty of is an unwarranted claim that your position is the correct one. The Canadian Supreme Court decision IS the subject of considerable debate. Of course people who think as you do will interpret it to suit your faith based position. You honestly think a random quote from one post was US Secretary of State, or the findings of the Badinter Commission are somehow definitive, ex-cathedra statements, allowing for no alternative interpretations or differences?

            Your interpretations of the UN Charter provisions (which anyone can refer to as you did – the issue is the interpretation) are of course just that; your interpretations. ICJ rulings are not definitive or exhaustive, nor are they much help in the situations under discussion.

            I think it’s pretty obvious who the fraud is; you’re the debating equivalent of the sore loser who takes their ball home when they’re behind in a game. There’s a lively academic debate on issues which you keep insisting are somehow authoritatively decided, whilst offering embarrassingly little in support.

            I’m done with you now; it’s like trying to debate the theory of evolution with born again intelligent design advocate.

          • Abie Vee

            Ay? “support” your views? Good grief, you are shameless. You have been threatening to do so all along. I note you can’t be bovvered. And you’ll really have to pull out all the stops to trump the opinions of International Court of Justice. Maybe you know of a higher (temporal) authority?

            However, if you want chapter and verse, I’ve told you where to look. Come back when you know what you’re talking about. Because at the moment you haven’t a clue. Your feeble protestations are pathetic.

          • Abie Vee

            “Evidence free” you twatter. Then when I provide some sources, you come back with “cut and paste” sneers.

            It seems that you like to have it, ahem, both ways, do you not? Clearly you’ve really nothing to say. It’s obvious that you’re simply idling your time away by playing simple semantic and sophist word-games.

          • Andy Ellis

            But you singularly HAVEN’T provided sources, even if this were the place for cutting and pasting detailed links and bibliographies, which it patently isn’t! Which part of this do you find hard to understand? You made a few passing references to the UN, ICJ, Badinter Commission and a random quote you say was from a post war US Secretary of State: big whoop! Not one of these is definitive. Not one of them proves anything much, still less what passes for your point.

            You clothe yourself in the invisible mantle of “sources”, whilst spinning furiously on the head of pain to avoid addressing the issue that there is considerable debate about your interpretation of SD, then you greet about it when people point and laugh at your intellectual nakedness.

            Well done you! Time to retreat back under your bridge. We’re done here.

          • Abie Vee

            My original opinion (which you have completely lost sight of) is this: The UN Charter and its clauses on SD are a total mess… a complete dog’s dinner, a dog’s dinner, moreover, open to considerable wilful misinterpretation by secessionists and populist frauds (of which see earlier).

            It is some of the most poorly drafted guidelines you will ever encounter (I prefer to use the word “guidelines” specifically because, as I have repeatedly said, the “right” to SD is not a right at all, since it is not enforceable at law). In fact within the UN legislation concerning SD there isn’t a single definition of what they mean by “people”!

            Now if you can puncture those twin assertions of mine go right ahead.

            Oh yes, there is “debate” all right. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So, plain and simple: provide one example to back up your assertion that SD is a “fundamental right” will you. Go on, you have over 70 years of case-history to pick from, so off you go!

          • Abie Vee

            Waffle, evasion, hearsay, speculation and anecdotal “evidence”: all uncorroborated!… the equivalent of Vicky Pollard.’s, yeah but no but yeah but, debating technique.

            I am entitled to ask, where’s the beef?

            Indeed the ICJ rulings are definitive. That is exactly what they are. No more, no less. Exhaustive? Certainly, at least for the cases which have come before them. They are a great deal of help. It’s called precedence, old chap.

            A “random” quote? How can it be “random”? Is it a quote or not? Did it not address the topic from the US State Department’s view? Or have you researched his full opinion and found a loophole? We will never know, will we. Do you imagine he was simply thinking aloud? Your proof as ever and always is non-existent. You deal entirely in hypothesis.

            You are, as they say in Scotland, a balloon.

          • RolftheGanger

            That is a distortion of the truth. The reinstatement of the 14 countries occupied and subjugated by Germany in WWII had zero to do with “decolonisation”

            You just doge, weave and weasel in true Westminster fashion.

          • Abie Vee

            Indeed not. And neither they freed from the Nazi yoke by recourse to the UN Charter. They were freed by the military destruction of Nazi Germany.

            I really don’t think you people have the faintest grasp of just what the UN Charter on Self Determination actually is.

      • Hyphen

        Canada is a properly constituted system of federal states. The UK is a ramshackle aglomeration of bits and pieces. The comparison isn’t very enlightening, except to show how badly the UK is set up.

        • Ed  

          “Canada is a properly constituted system of federal states.”

          Haven’t spoken with many péquistes, have you?

      • Charles Patrick O’Brien

        Let us ask those in Quebec if they are Canadians because at present Quebec is a state not a country I wonder why we have to keep pointing out the obvious to some folk ? are these folk thick or just lack concentration.

        • Ed  

          I dare you to say that to a Quebecker, even one named O’Brien, and come away without a bloody nose. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

    • victor67

      Spot on, the best outcome for working class people all over Britain is a Labour party forced leftwards by the SNP.
      Labour on its own would make little difference to the plight of the poor.
      They support the punitive benefit sanctions that resulted in 49 deaths.

    • Som Trivedi

      You have to make a distinction between SNP supporters and the leadership.

      While the supporters do prefer a Labour govt at Westminster, the party’s separatist and Scotland-is-a-victim cause is furthered by a Tory government in Westminster with no (or 1) Tory MPs north of the border, hence Massie’s assertion.

      • RolftheGanger

        It is crap.

    • sandie

      The SNP want to work with Labour?
      Were they not ‘quislings’ mere months ago?
      What’s with this horrible ‘feet close to the fire’ imagery?
      Didn’t Salmond say that the day after the ref (when he felt bwave enough to emerge after ‘running away’)?

      • Andy Ellis

        It’s a turn of phrase, get over it. Only an SNP bloc at Westminster will keep the odious New Labour project honest. They certainly can’t be trusted to be progressive on their own, as 13 years of Blair & Brown showed, and Scottish Labour eloquently demonstrated during the indyref.

        They will work with them to the extent necessary to get what they want. That’s what the electoral arithmetic dictates. The Tories did much the same in Holyrood when the SNP were in a minority; they frequently voted against the SNP on issues, but neither they or the other parties voted the minority SNP administration out.

        I can see you don’t really like the potential outcome, but hey…that’s democracy..what are you going to do? 😉

        • sandie

          Me like loads of others will vote tactically to wipe the SNP out.
          What then are you going to do?

          • Andy Ellis

            Laugh when it doesn’t happen? Of course a few frothing britnat ultras will vote tactically to keep the SNP out. Who knows, they may even make an impact in a few seats. We all know however that despite Alex Massie’s pious hope, it won’t significantly alter the result. Even in Gordon, the LD won’t be able to rely on enough Lab & Tory voters to overturn the huge swing to the SNP that the polls tell us is on the cards.

            Talk of wiping the SNP out given current polling and betting odds takes you into tin-foil hat wearing territory.

          • sandie

            Oh no the folks in Gordon will keep him out.
            Recent polls were based mainly in Yes voting seats, so a bit unrepresentative really.
            I ain’t so much as Britnat as a BritScot.
            As were you, by birth (I assume).

          • Andy Ellis

            The odds are still with Big Eck I think you’ll find. Not enough Labour voters will be able to stomach voting for the Tories or LDs to make a difference. Even in the unlikely event they succeed in that seat, it won’t save them in the huge number of Labour seats where the SNP will gut them. The Ashcroft figures for more “No voting” seats might not be as dramatic, but they’ll still show a huge swing to the SNP. Recent polls even put Carmichael’s seat in Northern Isles in danger.

            You assume right. Looking forward to a Scottish passport though. 😉

          • sandie

            Malcom Bruce held his seat there for two decades (I think).
            He must have been trusted by the locals, and he will be advocating his replacement big time.
            Close to the GE, people will lift themselves out of the fug of times past (ref) and concentrate on the here and now, not the there and then.
            The passport you have right now is precious to many all over the world who risk life and limb, forfeit family and culture to hold one.
            Please remember that.

          • BOBMAC

            so we should follow england into syria,and ukrain to be precious i dont think so,why dont you move to england they need stupid followers of the media,we dont

          • sandie

            Not happening.

          • RolftheGanger

            Denial is a useful method when abut to go to the dentist.
            It becomes minor lunacy when facing impending electoral meltdown.

          • Andy Ellis

            I doubt the Bruce effect will save the seat, but time will tell. The LDs are now as toxic in Scotland as the Tories. Get back to me when this britnat recovery starts…. they’re leaving it kind of late aren’t they?

            People who want a British passport are welcome to them. Nobody is advocating they be taken away. I would never contemplate having anything other than a Scottish one, as soon as they become available. I’ll look back on my British passport fondly as a relic, much as an Estonian would on his USSR passport, or a Slovenian on his Yugoslav one.

          • Helena Brown

            Andy, those Estonian’s I have met don’t look on their USSR passport fondly. I cannot wait to discard mine, in fact that day dawns I shall have a burning party.

          • Steve Bowers

            British passport holders would do well to remember that if they are every involved in a terrorist incident, the first thing they should do is get rid of said passport, it makes them a instant target !

          • sandie

            I bet you have used yours recently, for your own pleasure.

          • Steve Bowers

            unfortunately not, I would like to point out that I have no choice to have a Scottish one. Did you know that oil companies up here in the north east tell their staff that in the event of a “terrorist situation” to say that they are Scottish not british, cuts down on the odds of being shot or kidnapped

          • Helena Brown

            Over heard in a bus in the now Defunct Yugoslavia that I had an English Passport. I want that gone. I agree with you that the best thing is to become a stateless citizen, on the 19th September that is what I felt like. Sandie should be happy but somehow I feel a certain shabbiness with them.

          • BOBMAC

            oh yea i have been free scotland since i was 14 , 50 years ago,my father was a miner,and 100% labour who now sadly have given up honesty and social attitudes,
            lets keep nuclear weapons,privatise the nhs ,charge students fees ,and let ian duncan smith put in universal credit,,,,,wake up

          • Helena Brown

            Hen or Son take it from me you are not Brit Scot you are a traitor to your country.

          • Helena Brown

            Well it will obviously work with some seats, and then what do you do, there is an already sizeable chunk of the population against you, the Tories are just about finished and Labour and the Lib Dems are presently hanging by their finger nails. I trust you are not a Labour member, because most would be expelled for suggesting that in my Party which is at least honest.

    • Gwangi

      The analogy with Ireland is only ever made by SNP bigots and English-hating racists like you. It is an utterly false argument.

      • Andy Ellis

        Well, no; to be fair the original analogy with Ireland pre WW1 was made in Massie’s piece. I’m neither an English hater or a racist, but I think we can deduce your mindset from the hysterical tone of your rantings on here. Neither Alex Massie or I claimed the comparison with Ireland and the problems posed by Irish Nationalist MPs pre WW1 was direct, but it is instructive. It is certainly also arguable that the flat footed political response of the britnat elites and establishment is “of a type” with their meltdown and total failure to deal with and adapt to the situation in Scotland with a large SNP bloc of MPs.

        Do at least try to play the man instead of the ball. You’ll look less of a hopeless, unreasoning troll that way?

  • flippit

    Can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Moving forward now to an English Parliament and federalism. No bitterness. Fairness all round. But let’s get it going. The only real argument made for the Union was an emotional one and that didn’t stand up.

    • Som Trivedi

      Hear hear.

      I hope the Tories give up on the fudge that is (the highly watered-down and ineffective) EVEL and promise us a proper English Parliament, a federal UK and a greatly reduced part-time HoC.

      • Andy Ellis

        Won’t happen; no appetite in England for true “federalisation” of England, and a federal solution involving the 4 current units would be inherently unstable and unworkable. An English parliament with a big majority constituting 85% of the total federation could never accept being over-ruled at federal level by the votes of any one or combination of the 3 smaller units. It’d be chaotic.

        • Som Trivedi

          “It’d be chaotic.”

          Any more chaotic than the situation we’re likely to have if the SNP emerge as kingmakers in May (or indeed future parliamentary elections) and are able to decide England’s laws fo them?

          • Andy Ellis

            Only as chaotic as the britnats make it. Confidence and supply to allow a Labour administration is quite feasible. Agree to cancel Trident and make concrete moves to deliver full fiscal autonomy and all things are possible. I don’t see an upside for the unionist parties provoking an early second GE, but it would be unlikely to harm the SNP, who would simply gain more support by pointing out they were being reasonable, but the britnats weren’t having it.

          • rod robertson

            Second GE same outcome, then what?

          • Andy Ellis

            The outcome may be the same, or it may not. Last time something similar happened it didn’t make a huge difference in the voting pattern. I’d say the odds would still be on a hung parliament, but that either the Tories or Lab would pick up more seats in a second GE. Which one it was might hinge on which was seen as most culpable for picking around scoring political points off the SNP rather than making good faith efforts to form a government? Just a thought of course…! 😉

          • William Gruff

            There can be no ‘second GE’. The term of a parliament is now fixed at five years. Should a coalition fall apart its successor would be determined by which party leaders can form another, not by a general election.

          • Andy Ellis

            Wrong. A two thirds vote in p.ment or 14 days after an incumbent losing a no confidence vote with no government formed suffices. If neither Labour or Tory can form an administration capable of carrying on, a second GE is all but inevitable even under FTP Act.

            Sorry to burst your bubble!

          • John M

            Why should we in England dance to your tune? You Scots had the opportunity to vote for independence and declined; it is now time to put up and shut up.

          • Helena Brown

            Well sunshine you should really have a word with the Big Three who promised some people the earth, 45% of us were not believing one word but many did. If there had been no interference and this continues to this day. Well let us say the result would have been very different. They the Establishment should be ashamed of themselves frightening auld folk.

          • sandie

            Direct me to where people of any significant numbers voted ‘no’ because of ‘the vow’.
            I am pretty sure as Yes supporters are the most keen to be heard there would be at least a ‘web page’ dedicated to it.

          • dmurdo1

            Pensioners don’t really do webpages. The demographics of the vote clearly point to this. 6% is all that was needed. It ‘s inevitable and will happen. The auld nawbag brit scots will die off and the true Scots will prevail.

          • sandie

            I take it you have lived all your life as a ‘false Scot’ going by your outlook.
            Odd.

          • Andy Ellis

            Irony is a foreign concept to you isn’t it Sandie. Have you been in the USA for decades perhaps…?

          • sandie

            There is nothing ironic about what you posted, only the sad restrictive chip on the shoulder that ‘ironically’ you relate to somehow having sense of identity.
            Born in Scotland 42 years ago, still here, save the odd stint down South.
            You don’t like Scotland being part of the UK?
            You have no choice, it is what we voted for.

          • Andy Ellis

            ..and no discernible sense of humour either? Stun us with another. Care to go for the britnat hat-trick and entertain us with a braveheart reference or brigade comparison? No chips on my shoulder bud – just a lack of tolerance for people supporting a regressive and deeply repugnant system.

          • sandie

            And running off to create a new system solves what?

          • Andy Ellis

            It gives the people in Scotland who have a desire for positive change and a more progressive system the chance to do just that, and thereby solve the problems they see facing their society. If we can’t hope for progression a UK wide level (indeed the recent past suggests the opposite) then we’ll do it in Scotland.

            The unionist establishment has had decades to reform itself and the cracking, crypto-medieval UK system. It neither can nor really wants to. The only rational choice when the current system isn’t fit for purpose, and cannot be rendered fit for purpose, is to have a new system.

          • sandie

            ‘A more progressive system’.
            Meaning?

          • dmurdo1

            Sandie, Very poor comeback , your support of bankrupt political and sporting institutions is so blinkered you don’t know what being Scottish means. The idea that voting to stay in a country as a subservient cash cow for a Westminster elite makes you Scottish does it? Stick your kilt wearing, cap doffing, no country, no principles, no clue, parody of a real SCOT where the sun don’t shine Jock.

          • Steve Bowers

            according to Lord Ashcroft’s poll conducted 5 days after the Ref it was 25% of no voters. I’m sure you’ll be able to find it online.

          • sandie

            Dependent on sub categories of voters, which pollsters will tell you returns notoriuosly tenuous results.
            Anyway Eck’s big fat oil fibs have put paid to a ref any time soon.

          • Steve Bowers

            My understanding of these things is that it’s usually around a 2% margin of error, but hey, don’t let the other 23% get in your way, head back firmly shoulder deep in the sand, off you pop.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            Which means that Scotland is part of the UK and has every right to have a voice in the UK government. Did you really think we would act like a colony and humbly tug our forelocks, bobbing a bow? Forget that.

          • Mark Kilby

            “Which means that Scotland is part of the UK”
            Sharp as a knife you is.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            Sadly, the same can’t be said about you.

          • Andy Ellis

            I didn’t hear too many little Englanders complain when Scotland and the north of England had to dance to the tune of the Tory shires. It’s called democracy m8; no use greeting about it now, and threatening to take your ball home because you know you’re going to get hammered. The indyref was about independence; the GE is about forming a UK government. Since all the britnats were so desperate for us to stay, they can hardly complain if our elected representatives exert their influence in Westminster, can they?

            As for putting up and shutting up…tight back at you. If you don’t like the democratic result, then campaign to change the system +/or work to introduce a better system. Until then, suck it up!

          • Ragdoll

            Because that’s how Westminster ‘democracy’ works. And if your lot hadn’t put the thumbscrews on thousands of frightened old-age pensioners we might have had a different result. You are the authors of your own misfortunes. The Scots are coming after your ‘democracy’ – be very afraid!

          • Mark Kilby

            “might have” “could have”. Eighty years to prepare and yer fluffed it.

          • Barry Scarfe

            Yes. Over EGHT decades to prepare the case and they comprehensvely faled to produce any decent cogent arguments. That s surely the measure of the ’cause’!

          • Jimmy Jim

            the 45% has grown look at after may election and see how much it has grown Scotland now sees it can go and become independent we no longer believe that its England that help us to stand now we know it Scotland that hold up England

          • Barry Scarfe

            Doesn’t matter whether t has grown or not. You ARE NOT gettng another referendum so you had just better behave yourselves and get over the fact that the MAJORTY voted stay.

          • Ian Mac

            We are putting up. We’re putting up candidates in every Scottish seat in the GE and when those candidates become MPs, they’ll do a deal with Labour to govern Britain in the way we want it governed.

          • Mark Kilby

            “they’ll do a deal with Labour to govern Britain in the way we want it governed”
            Good luck with that.

          • Barry Scarfe

            Ever heard of a ‘grand coalton’ lek the Germans have? There is no reason why Tory and Labour couldn’t form a government to freeze the whinging constant trouble-makng, anti-Englsh and ant-Brtsh SCUM of the SNP out.

          • Mark Kilby

            Cometh the hour cometh the silent majority. Let nationalism do what nationalism does.

          • Mark Kilby

            Trident is staying put – independence or not – that will be the price of joining NATO boyo. It’s in Scotland’s best interests don’t ya know. So ‘suck it up’ as they say.

          • Ed  

            “Trident is staying put”.

            True.

            This week.

          • Andy Ellis

            Nope. Trident is a dead duck. NATO won’t be bothered, as the vast majority of members are non-nuclear. Spain is a useful precedent as they insisted on US nukes being removed from their territory when they joined. Polls suggest most Scots disagree with you, and even most brits if the question is posed giving them alternatives to spend the oodles of cash on.

          • James Morrison

            You mean like how English MPs make Scotlands laws?

          • John M

            No, they vote on UK-wide laws. Scottish MPs are still allowed to vote on England-only matters.
            But that will change, one way or another, and you had better get used to it.

          • Andy Ellis

            Most of us are, as the SNP don’t vote on English only matters. you probably need to take that up with the other parties though? Mind you, there won’t be many non-SNP Scots MPs at Westminster post GE the way things are going! 😉

            Feel free to come up with a workable federal system before Scots lose patience and vote for independence. we won’t be holding our breath!

          • Dickybeau

            It’s worth pointing out that there are few laws that only impact on England. Take the example of English Student Loans. With interest subsidy calculated by IFS at £17k per student. 300000 students in 2012. Average debt £45k and David Willets MP estimating 45% won’t be repaid. That’s a significant contribution to the debt due from Scottish taxpayers while the same taxpayers she’ll out to support Scottish Students. Of course we shouldn’t mention the cost to the Scottish taxpayer of ‘National’ projects like the London Super Sewer, Crossrail, M25&26, HS2&3, aborted nHS England IT project etc (none of these included in the Barnett calculations) What is really needed is a devolved English budget allowing effective English democracy and allowing decisions to be made within the context of a defined annual budget. That would let the UK Parliament MPs have time for their moneymaking schemes without needing to visit Parliament too often.

          • JoeCro

            Scottish MPs at Westminster don’t vote on Scottish Laws decided in Edinburgh either.

          • Steve Bowers

            So now you have a problem with democracy ! Westminster used every dirty rotten trick in the book, from ” you’ll have to drive on the other side of the road” and “it’ll cost more for groceries” right through to “you can’t use the pound” to frighten the population up here. what they didn’t reckon on was the reaction to Davy Cameron walking out in front of number ten on the 19th and spouting EVEL. You wanted us, you got us, we’re coming and we’re coming in BIG numbers. Live with it !

          • John M

            Wow aren’t you the rabble-rouser!
            Happily the English are still allowed to vote, and time will come when we get sick of the Scots tail wagging the English dog.
            Time for England to have a say – and that will mean good riddance to Scotland.

          • Steve Bowers

            Why do you think Westminster wanted so desperately to hold on to Scotland, it wasn’t altruism, it was money. Imagine if they had to actually tell you the truth

          • Ragdoll

            What do you mean, ‘Time for England to have a say’? They’ve had the ‘say’ since the union – but that is obviously not enough for the jingoistic English who would rather have control than democracy. Shame on your ignorance!

          • William Gruff

            This is a persistent Scotch fantasy. You’ve never understood the ‘union’ except as Scotch access to England and English resources, however, the truth is that the English have been as much under the British boot as the Scotch, the Welsh and the Irish, perhaps more so since our few complaints are ignored when they are not drowned by the constant flood of Celtic whining.

            Shame on your ignorance.

          • Steve Bowers

            Ha ha ha ha ha brilliant, “shame on your ignorance”, yet you use the word “scotch” three times, deliberately of course to get a bite but it does make me laugh when you chuck in the last line. I’m only surprised that you didn’t use Welch and Micks as well

          • Jimmy Jim

            he says that to teach us Scots that he dis not care that how his mind works its hard to understand how his mind works I put it down to bigoted racist hatred for anything Scots

          • Steve Bowers

            terribly sad isn’t it Jim, I’m married to a lovely English girl and have great fun with her family and friends yet these little Englanders and their bile filled hatred do their best to hammer in wedges. He’s probably a ukip voter though, shame, poor thing.

          • HJ777

            Are you not ashamed of your ignorance?

            You really should be.

          • david trower

            please do, I wish we could go too!

          • Jimmy Jim

            whats England got not a lot it has the financial sector and very little else and the EU want to move that out of the UK to an European country so London would be left with nothing and take what revenue England had please go England but leave Scotlands money a lone

          • HJ777

            Scotland has, proportionately, a bigger financial sector than England.

            Do try to keep up.

          • Ed  

            “Proportionately”. A large slice of a tiny pie is just that – tiny. Remember – Scotland is smaller than Toronto.

          • HJ777

            That’s why I said proportionately.

          • Jimmy Jim

            Most major Financial Firms in London have made plans to move out of London if the UK leaves the EU some are thinking of relocation to pay less tax and rates most are looking to Dublin to move as Ireland is the fastest growing of all the EU countrys in the financial sector as Scotland has strong trading links with Ireland and vice versa England stands to lose out big time and the Westminster Government knows this

          • HJ777

            Like I said, do try to keep up.

            The finance sector is about 11- 12% of GDP in England. It is around 8-9% in most European countries.

            It was said that firms would move out of London if the UK didn’t join the Euro. In fact, they have moved in. Switzerland has a strong financial sector. It isn’t even in the EU, let alone the Euro.

            Finance firms would rapidly move out of Scotland because the separatists have no coherent answer on currency. England would be the beneficiary, although overall we would all be worse off. It would be especially tragic for Scotland if the separatist fantasists ever got into power – cold reality would bite very quickly. You can’t just vote for economic success.

          • Jimmy Jim

            They have actually bought property in Dublin and vacant land outside Dublin to build offices my transport firm is in partnership with an other firm from Dublin as we both haul fresh produce to the continent ie meat lamb pork then bring back fruit and veg and his depot is near where the have bought the land there are big signs up with the firms name on them

          • HJ777

            If you don’t mind, I’ll not take the view of a truck driver as gospel on the subject of financial services.

          • Jimmy Jim

            Truck drivers how do you get your cornflakes and milk in the morning do you drive to collect the milk or the corn to make your cornflakes or all your weekly shopping it because of them truck drivers Me I own 14 trucks all artics all under 3 years old paid for and mine that what driving trucks gets you and Scottish values help I have both Scots and English drivers as my firm is on the border and all get along

          • HJ777

            I’ll certainly listen to a truck driver on the subject of haulage.

            But not on the future of the finance sector.

          • Ian Mac

            And that’s exactly what we want. Thank you.

          • JoeCro

            England would be greatly diminished in the eyes of the world if she were to lose her northern province (Scotland)

          • HJ777

            Don’t be stupid.

            Nobody said anything about which side of the road to drive on.

            Nobody said a seceded Scotland couldn’t use the pound – that is nationalist myth. What was said was that you can’t force what would have been another sovereign country to enter into a currency union.

          • Steve Bowers

            You are badly misinformed, Rory the Tory ( the daft bugger who built the cairn of friendship at the border, you know the one, no one turned up ) was widely quoted in every newspaper telling us we’d have to drive on the other side of the road in the event of Indy, he claimed it would lead to chaos at the various border crossings. Also, the first line in most Better Together leaflets for the last three months of the campaign was ” An Independent Scotland would not be able to use the pound” I myself had a stand up argument with my local Tory MSP in the town square where I accused him of lying in his literature and scaremongering , he stood by the first line in the pamphlet. I noticed you missed out the food prices and by the way , my points are a tiny few of the many many lies we were told, we were going to be invaded from space according to Lord Robertson, ( he also claimed that an Indy Scotland would ” unleash the forces of evil”. Phone calls were going to cost more, mobile charges would go up, Margaret Curran ( labour MP) said her children in london would become foreigners ( like “foreigners” were less than a smear on her shoe). Take your “Don’t be stupid” and jam it my friend, we all saw the lies and the literature supporting it.

          • HJ777

            You are badly deluded.

            Some fool says that Scotland would have to drive on the other side of the road and that constitutes a threat? What sort of naive child are you?

            An independent Scotland would not be able to use use the pound WITHIN A CURRENCY UNION – which was the SNP’s stated policy. The problem is that they didn’t bother first to ask the other party which would be involved whether they’d agree to a currency union.

            The comments on supermarket prices came from supermarkets. They simply pointed out that they currently charge the same prices UK-wide (as they are obliged to) but that distribution costs are higher in Scotland. They would be perfectly at liberty to reflect the higher costs in prices were Scotland to be independent. Do you oppose their right to act differently in a seceded Scotland? I thought that was what you wanted?

          • Steve Bowers

            So now you agree that it was said , well at least that’s a start ,
            Now the leaflet, it did not say “in a currency union” it was just a blunt, “could not use the pound”.
            The comment from the super markets came after Davy had them round to Downing st for a wee chat.
            I have no problem with any company acting as it sees fit in Scotland, just as long as they pay their tax, people will decide if they wish yo use their services, it’s up to the individual
            So far you’ve called me stupid, and deluded, you are perfectly representative of the bully culture that exists in Westminster, thank you. I’m off to work, have fun,

          • HJ777

            Using the pound in a currency union was the policy promised by the SNP. A policy it had no power to deliver (despite its threats).

            Using the pound outwith a currency union was inconsistent with other SNP policies, such as higher public spending. That’s why the SNP didn’t propose it – indeed, they ruled it out.

            Pointing out inconvenient economic facts is not “bullying” – it is confronting people with the reality of the situation. Adults can accept this, CyberNats apparently cannot.

          • Steve Bowers

            wow, impressive deflecting, I never mentioned a currency union I stated that Better Together literature said ” Could not use the pound” ( among other lies ) good try, no points to you, Anyway, I’m not going to bother with a keyboard warrior like you any more, you won’t even use your name. this of course will give you the opportunity to crow , enjoy.

          • HJ777

            The SNP’s own currency commission rejected using the pound in anything other than a currency union.

            Clearly, this was a response to the SNP’s currency union policy.

          • Ryan

            What are the other 600 MP’s doing while the SNP are ‘deciding’ these laws all on their own?

          • James Morrison

            Working as Lobbyists for the Banks and Markets?

          • William Gruff

            A coalition government consisting of Labour and the SNP will do all it can to please the Scotch, so that it can stay in power and the Conservatives will be in opposition, with all the other parties, so their votes will count for nothing even were they to put the interests of their English support before those of people who will never vote for them.

            Should the Conservative and Unionist Party, led by Scot David Cameron, actually win a working majority, or form a coalition, few England MPs (more than a hundred of whom are Scotch) care at all about England and those that do will obey the whip every time. That notwithstanding, Cameron’s pre referendum promises for post election Scotland ought to make it clear that it’s party time for Scotland, again, with England paying the bill, again.

            Let’s all hope for a huge and expensive English funded SNP blow-out, with the people of England determined to kick Scotland, and Wales and Northern Ireland, into touch as soon as possible.

          • ian beith

            please refrain from calling us scotch,william gruff,we are scottish,is your ignorance as bad as your grasp on reality,scotland can and will be a prosperous country without you lot hanging on to our apron,it is we who are paying for you ,scotland sends more than it receives from your english parliament,which by the way is corrupt and to blind you & your countrymen & women they blame everybody bar themselves and you english fall for it everytime,remember last year it was the bulgarians,year before the romanians, well this year its the scottish peoples fault,take back control of your own country before you start moaning about mine

          • Mark Kilby

            Keep the money and the oil flowing, my Jag needs another service and it’s hungry of scotch hydrocarbons.

          • Barry Scarfe

            would prefer to call you what too many of you actually are evl ant-Englsh SCUM. The SNP are just a scummy party. ndeed ts leader n the 1940’s wanted to set-up a puppet regme under Adolf Htler.

          • DarkScot

            The Nazis were a far right wing party so if any parties are gonna be related to them its the likes of the Ukip not the SNP a left of center party and what you refer to in WW2 Douglas Young’s opposition to the conscription into the army for the war effort where young activists were “vilified as undermining the British war effort against the Nazis” but as we know the fact was many British troops were executed by our own army because they deserted or broke down mentally so its easy to see why some would reject if you actually thought about it…also on a more personal note i am an SNP supporter but I am as far anti-English as the actual party is being a half English-Scot, I am however anti-Westminster so dont judge me because a few idiot SNP supports as i could do the same for you regardless of your party choice

          • Ed  

            Whoops. The national socialists were just that; socialists.

          • Ed  

            I’m disappointed in your complaint. I love scotch.

          • rod robertson

            It is no different to the situation Scotland has always been in where England and its votes decide Scottish governance.
            Dare I remind you we in Scotland have one Tory MP ,yet we have yet another Tory PM and government

          • Barry Scarfe

            No we have a Tory/LD coalton government – one that at the last election had more of a share of the vote than the anti-Englsh SCUM SNP party had. The Tories had 16.7% of the vote n 2010 whch was just 3% less than the ant-Englsh SNP SCUM party had.

          • Helena Brown

            You may be better off but that is not the intention.

          • Charles Patrick O’Brien

            Well for 300 year the laws have been decide by England over the other 3 parts,was that fair? Remember there was no conquest of Scotland it was a Scottish king that united the crowns,which is different from the political union,many don’t seem to understand there is a difference.The political union was a manipulation of some families who wanted a complete union,not the majority of the people in Scotland and the people are sovereign in Scotland different again from England.Its the political union that we want severed,really we can and most likely will still be in cooperation with many laws and trade.Just now the manipulation is still going on,with trying to break Scotland’s production of electricity,Longannet power station is being forced out,read about and see what you think.England’s laws for them no we wont be it will be the United Kingdom government in Westminster that will decide the laws for England,that is the part you have not thought about,it was fine when England ruled the roost but the rest of the UK should also get a chance at running things,may suit better than blatant Capitalism,because we care about each other.

          • Mark Kilby

            The UK and the population within it rules itself. You’ll find people from all over the UK running the UK. The system was put to the test recently, it received its first democratic mandate. What you read in your history books is now out of date, sorry.

          • Ragdoll

            Then you might get a taste of what we’ve had to put up with for years.

          • William Gruff

            In the long term an SNP government of Britain is the best thing for England. Stoking up anti Scotch feeling here is the only way to rid ourselves of the burden that is the little countries of the ‘union’.

          • Tim Morrison

            How would th SNP holding the balance of power be any different to what happened with the SlimSlaps? – We have had plenty of experience of minority government in Scotland and know how to make it work.

          • JoeCro

            Not convinced that is the case, even if the SNP win 50 seats, that still leaves 600 non-SNP seats.Take Trident as an example, Conservative and Labour MPs would join forces to vote it through- it is a policy they have in common amongst many others.

        • Helena Brown

          Well you have just confirmed everything prejudice I have had about Federalism and England. Much prefer to dominate don’t we. For gods sake get out of the middle ages. Why can we not just cooperate over things that we need to?

          • Yvonne & Barry Stuart-Hargreav

            I think the over represented Scots minority will not be missed. I am heartily tired of all the Scottish radio announcers, TV hosts, Union officials , business leaders and politicians. Funnily enough there are 5 million Scots and 5 million in the Westcountry ,but when did you last hear a west of England accent other than badly imitated on Broadchurch or Little Britain?

          • Helena Brown

            Gee now you know how it feels for us, Patronising clap trap not withstanding.
            By the way I never watch any of these things, I am not standing against people in Cornwall being Independent or if the people of Devon have a grievance, You have a Parliament a proper Parliament, use it. I have been booed by English people who should have been better behaved, not your actual football crowd. So why did the Westminster lot fight so hard, we could have been gone by now, and a goodly number of English people who supports us and live here also.

          • Tim Morrison

            SO you would be banning Scottish people working in England too – would you expel people from the other ‘colonies’. – I suspect you have ‘selection bias’ – you notice all the evidence that matches your view and disregard the others.

          • Barry Scarfe

            Yes, why not? Why would we not want to expel anti-English pig-headed SCUM ie SNP supporters?

          • Yvonne & Barry Stuart-Hargreav

            No banning.Just stop pandering to this chippy vociferous little nation and allowing them a bigger say than they merit. Lets stop discriminating against English regional accents from Birmingham , Norfolk or wherever simply to be “inclusive” of Scots and Welsh and Ulstermen.

          • CyberNat

            ^^^verge of tears

          • PaddyMcLogan

            Do you not all realise that you’ve all been trolled by Barry & Yvonne, come on your all better than that

          • Col McGillveray

            Do you both agree about every thing, or just how much you hate the dirty jocks? Any hoo I am sure both of you are rather sweet, albiet a wee bit Royston Vasey..

          • Derick Tulloch

            Helena
            This is merely a matter of numbers. A federal UK where one state in the federation has the vast number of the population of the total could only work if a) English votes were down weighted in the federal parliament or b) England was broken up into smaller states. Mercia come back all is forgiven.
            a) is undemocratic
            b) I would suspect would be unacceptable to the English – why would they want their country broken up to accommodate Scotland?
            There is no logic to the UK any more. It has done it’s time and now it is almost done. Scotland hasn’t voted Conservative since 1955. Sixty years. Enough!

          • HJ777

            Er, it is not usual for any winning party in the GE to get half or more of the English vote either. So what is your point?

          • JoeCro

            @HJ777, it is very unusual for any party in a UK election to get 50% of the vote, I dont think it has happened once since the second World War. Thatcher and Blairs landslides were on less than 50% of the popular vote.

          • William Gruff

            I can make no sense of this incoherent babble except that it seems to be rabidly Anglophobic.

          • Tim Morrison

            well co-operation requires an agreed starting point – some kind of mutual recognition and thats the kind of thing the unbalanced UK state makes very difficult – if we had a system like the US one it would work better – and here I am thinking about how the Senate is constituted,

          • Helena Brown

            Can you see this happening when you read some of the comments here. I cannot, I never have been able to. I think England who cannot thole the EU which makes sense as the world forms into trading blocs, will never accept what they see as inferior countries being the equal of theirs.

        • JoeCro

          For federation to work you could not keep England as a single political entity. Split England into a Northern, Midland, Southwestern and Southeastern Provinces plus London, give each a Provincial capital, Flag, an anthem, Sports teams etc Add Norn, Scotland and Wales as equal partners- job done!!

      • rod robertson

        That is the only way to stop the inevitable end of the union.
        However one only has to look this week to the rantings of Rifkind and Straw to see the arrogance and blind greed of the British ruling elite at Westminster to know they will never reform on their own.
        The HOL thwarting the will of the elected Scottish Government on the question of votes for 16-17yr olds is yet another example of the true nature of our so called democracy.
        How dare unelected toadies be allowed to decide anything.

        • davidofkent

          Population of Scotland 5.3 million. The rest – approximately 60 million. How disgraceful that the Scots think they can thwart the will of the majority of people in the UK. How dare a minority be allowed to decide anything.

          • Andy Ellis

            Seemed to work for the Tories in 2010. It’s called democracy buddy; suck it up.

          • William Gruff

            It only seems to be called ‘democracy’ when it’s the Scotch tail wagging the British dog. Otherwise it’s that age old Scotch whine ‘it isn’t fair’.

          • Andy Ellis

            Ah Yes… the ungrateful “Scotch” whine meme; go on, scratch that atavistic itch… wow us with a Braveheart or Brigadoon reference…tell us Big Eck is fat and oil is a burden….or that old favourite “too wee, too poor, too stupid”? *sighs*

          • HJ777

            Why do SNP supporters keep telling Scots they are “too wee, too poor, too stupid”?

            They’re the only ones who ever say this.

            It says all anyone needs to know about the contempt the separatists have for most Scots.

          • Kieran

            Wow, just; wow. You are aware that we are paraphrasing better together propaganda? It’s okay buddy go off to school now, today you have a very important English class. *facepalm*

          • HJ777

            No, you are fabricating things that unionists have never said.

            You make insulting statements about Scotland and then falsely claim that they are your opponents opinion. They are not – they are yours. However, Scots are not stupid enough to be taken in.

          • Tim Morrison

            either we are part of the UK or not – if we are – then yes our votes in a marginal election will be decisive – as of course will those of the Midlands or Wales – or don’t those places matter.

          • Ragdoll

            Of course they don’t matter, Tim Morrison. As long as they keep the sheckels flowing into the south east so that they can maintain the standards of living that they aspire to becoming used to, then of course we hicks don’t matter.

          • HJ777

            By any measure, they flow out of the South East to fund the rest of the UK.

          • RolftheGanger

            Only by sucking the money into the SE in the first place. A statistical con job.

          • Jimmy Jim

            And what happens when the financial sector leaves London because that will happen what has the south east got nothing

          • Tim Morrison

            ah of course – my mistake

          • Helena Brown

            You’re the sort of English Person I like.

          • CyberNat

            You seem upset 🙂

          • Ragdoll

            How disgraceful that Westminster can steal from and lie to Scotland and expect that the Scots wish to continue being victims of a complacent and uncaring regime in the south.

          • HJ777

            Lying is the province of the SNP – it does it systematically.

            Does anyone think it wasn’t lying on the currency question, on the costs of separation, on EU membership (where Salmond was proven to be a liar) and on Scotland instantly being richer if independent?

            And what form does this supposed ‘stealing’ take when Westminster funds Scottish public spending to a much higher degree than it does in England? I have always thought this perfectly valid (on account of the fact that it costs more to provide public services in Scotland because of the geography) but stealing from Scotland it is most certainly not.

          • Benbecula

            The SNP’s policies make the Greens seem coherent.

          • HJ777

            The same policymaker is moonlighting.

          • speedyreidy

            Name one.

          • TheInnocentBystander

            How you kid yourself on. There was no lie from the SNP on currency; the treasury admitted currency union was the best option for everyone in an interview with the FT in January 2014. Please repeat the lie you claim about the costs of separation because I am unaware of one. What lie about EU membership? Only the EU could give a definitive answer and would only give that answer in response to a direct question from the British government. Guess why the BG would not ask for such an answer and publish it loudly and proudly. Please tell us who where and when made any claim about Scotland being instantly richer? And Westminster ‘funds’ Scottish public spending, does it? Westminster has no money except that which it raises in taxes etc from the British population and businesses. Per capita there is a greater revenue from the Scottish side of the border than from the south (according to the Treasury and one assumes they should know). Even though there is greater per capita spending in Scotland, there is still a net gain to the British Treasury of £600 per year for every man woman and child in Scotland. This does not even take into account the enforced contribution from the Scottish budget to the cost of the London Olympics and HS2. Of course in terms of lies you seem to have forgotten how we were told how little oil there actually was but two new fields were announced within weeks of the result, their discovery having been conveniently hidden for some months. We were told our security was much safer as part of the Union, a Union that had to phone up France and the USA when a foreign submarine was detected in the Clyde. We were told that the NHS was safer within the Union but the perilous state of the NHS was top discussion at the Labour party conference within a month of the result. We were told that navy contracts would be lost because they could not go to a foreign power, yet such a possibility was considered with weeks of the referendum. Our pensioners were told that they would lose their pensions, a blatant scare mongering lie. Our European workers were told that they would lose the right to live in an Independent Scotland, but such a decision would only lie with the government of the Independents Scotland. We were told that we could not use the pound until Darling finally admitted the lie during the second televised debate. We were told that this was a final and irrevocable decision but who gave the NO campaign the authority to speak for future generations or limit the power of a future government of an independent Scotland to welcome in union people from the North of England, or Wales or Ireland (North and/or South).

          • HJ777

            Come off it.

            Salmond was proven to have lied on his supposed legal advice on EU membership.

            The Treasury made the position perfectly clear on a currency union. A currency union is not the same as ‘using the pound’. I used US dollars last week but I wasn’t in a currency union with the US.

            Swinney promised that the SNP would publish its estimates of costs of separation – no more was ever heard.

            Yes, if you include oil revenues, Scotland does (or rather did) contribute more per head in tax revenues – but it receives even more than that in extra public spending per head. Had you forgotten that little detail?

            Scots were told that if they seceded, the UK Treasury wouldn’t pay their pensions (why would it) – a Scottish government would have to. That is correct.

            The stuff you come up with is pure deluded fantasy.

          • Barry Scarfe

            The SNP and the separatist wankers have to lie because even the most cursory examination of their so-called ’cause’ reveals it has lots of holes n t to anyone wt

          • TheInnocentBystander

            Notice: abuse and no countering facts produced. I wonder why?

          • Jackie Dawson

            Nonsense……….

          • speedyreidy

            Oh dear, another english brit natz biggot.

          • Mark Kilby

            Wow, the crib sheet goes from strength to strength, does one come free with every SNP welcome pack?

          • daivdhf

            As opposed to Tory/Labour/LibDemUniionist Wankers, who lie for a living, fiddle their expenses, engage in illegal Wars/Dodgy Dossiers and are kiddie-fiddlers.

          • Mark Kilby

            Hey there slow down, that’s a slur on separatist wankers.

          • JoeCro

            No point rehashing the arguments from the referendum debate. The SNP have a powerful message- ‘We will stand up for Scotland’- that is clearly resonating with a lot of voters. This presents quite a challenge to the Unionist Parties.

          • TheInnocentBystander

            You accused the SNP of lying on the currency question. What was the lie? Currency union? Using the pound or what?
            Still nothing on your claim to being instantly richer on independence.
            You original claim was that it lied on the costs of separation and now you are claiming that they did not publish the costs (and that is now the lie). Make up your mind. And tell us when Swinney made this claim.
            I did not claim ‘using the pound’ was the same as currency union. I was trying to clarify your false claim.
            Of course the oil revenue is included. Why wouldn’t it be? would you exclude tourism income from the English contribution to the communal purse?
            In fact the Treasure said it would be liable for Scots pensions (see the FT in January 2014) but the SNP said am independent Scotland should take them on (along with a share of the debt) if there was a fair sharing of assets in return (same FT article).
            I notice a complete lack of response to the unionist lies.

          • HJ777

            Just how mad to you have to be to believe the guff you write?

            and now you are claiming that they did not publish the costs (and that is now the lie)

            Point me towards where I can see the costs they supposedly published.

            Currency lie: “It’s our pound and we’re keeping it” – Alex Salmond, neatly forgetting that he has no power to promise a currency union with what would be a separate country.

            If you read what the Treasury said on pensions it is quite clear. Why would a UK government agree to tax its population to pay for pensions in Scotland, while taxpayers in Scotland no longer had to pay UK taxes? Do you think the UK taxpayer would do this out of charity?

          • TheInnocentBystander

            I think more than anything else you need a good course in English. The bit you have quoted to ‘prove’ the currency union promise lie makes no reference whatsoever to currency union and neither does it contain a promise. It is merely a statement containing two facts: 1) It’s our pound – ie it is the BRITISH pound not the ENGLISH or UK pound and 2) That we (ie the SCOTTISH) could continue to use it if we so desired. Having lived in countries that use the US Dollar without any official currency union (look at parts of South America) I can assure you that this is a common enough practice.
            You tell me I need to read what the Treasury said about pensions. I did and I even referred you to where you could read it from an unbiased source ie the Financial Times but you can also research the DWP where it said the same as did David Cameron. It is not a question of the taxpayer and charity; it is a question of a binding legal agreement. Scots in an independent Scotland would have had the same status as currently as retired Scot living in Kenya, Australia, Canada, etc.
            I notice you are still unable to respond to the unionist lies; but then again as the above shows your are intent on propagating them yourself.

          • HJ777

            I admire your delusion.

            It must take considerable effort to keep it up.

            It’s not about who receives the pensions it’s about who pays for them. What you seem to think is that Scots could just opt out of paying for them and the population of the rest of the UK would be prepared to pay more as a result.

            By your argument, taxpayers in England could equally opt out of paying for them and argue that Scottish taxpayers should have to pay for pensions in England. Two can play at that game.

            You really do want (and expect) a free lunch, don’t you?

            As for the currency, everyone who has the slightest understanding of the situation has pointed out that the SNP policy was in tatters. You can close your eyes, stick you fingers in your ears and should “la la la” all you want – it doesn’t change the fact.

          • TheInnocentBystander

            Yet again you produce a twisted version of what was actually said. At no point did I refer to people opting out of paying UK pensions; those who opt out could not expect to receive, I accept that. However, those currently in receipt of a UK pension would still be entitled. So opting in our out was never part of my argument, only your delusion of what was said/written.
            And on currency when you are proved wrong, you opt for abuse rather than countering facts.
            And you are still unable or unwilling to respond to the unionist lies.

          • HJ777

            You have changed your tune. The UK government would not be responsible for paying Scottish pensions were there separation. Scottish taxpayers alone would have to pay.

            On currency I am, of course, completely correct. The SNP’s own white paper explicitly ruled out using the pound outside a currency union (and to do so is incompatible with many of their other policy promises). So when they talk about ‘using the pound’ they mean as part of a currency union – their policy but one which they could not deliver.

            Either you are deluded or a liar yourself.

          • TheInnocentBystander

            No I have not changed my tune. You seem incapable of understanding basic English. The UK (or rUK if you prefer) would still be responsible for existing pensions.
            You still have proved no lie with the currency union, only your interpretation, which is far from the mark of what was said. There is no explicit ruling out of using the pound outside of currency union. At the time of the writing of the white paper, currency union seemed to be accepted by both sides, as it was when the Treasury spoke to the FT in January of last year. It was an issue created to cause panic.
            You still have not responded to any of the unionist lies and will respond no further until you do.

          • HJ777

            The UK would not be responsible for existing pensions for all Scots, were Scotland to secede. To believe so is self-delusion.

            You have conceded the argument on currency at last – thank you.

            Nobody has ever claimed that anyone couldn’t use the pound outside a currency union – people do all over the world as there are no exchange controls.

            The Treasury never accepted a currency union – it explicitly pointed out that for a currency union to be stable all sorts of things would have to be in place, such as fiscal transfers – but it said that the ultimate decision was one for politicians (which is precisely correct).

            You keep blathering on about ‘unionist lies’ but cannot furnish one example.

          • TheInnocentBystander

            As I said, you cannot read. I furnished six or seven examples of unionist lies in my very first post. I have ‘conceded’ nothing on currency, except your lies and twisting. You obviously have no idea about how state pensions work or function. The NO campaign consistently said an Independent Scotland could not use the pound until Darling was confronted on television. Again I refer you to the FT where the treasury admitted the pensions debt. You are only continuing to make yourself look foolish.

          • HJ777

            I can read, but I can’t stop you posting nonsense. You have furnished no such examples.

            We both know that you are talking nonsense about the currency. Bluster all you like, it doesn’t change the fact. That was the Salmond tactic (inventing plans B, C & D on the hoof in debate – try that one with the financial markets) and people saw straight through it.

            Unlike you, I know exactly how state pensions work – they are paid for out of current contributions – there is no fund.
            If you think the Treasury said otherwise and said that the rest of the UK would pay for Scottish pensions with no contribution from Scottish taxpayers, provide the reference.

          • TheInnocentBystander

            As I said, learn to read. Here are the lies quoted in my first post

            Of course in terms of lies you seem to have forgotten how we were told how little oil there actually was but two new fields were announced within weeks of the result, their discovery having been conveniently hidden for some months. We were told our security was much safer as part of the Union, a Union that had to phone up France and the USA when a foreign submarine was detected in the Clyde. We were told that the NHS was safer within the Union but the perilous state of the NHS was top discussion at the Labour party conference within a month of the result. We were told that navy contracts would be lost because they could not go to a foreign power, yet such a possibility was considered with weeks of the referendum. Our pensioners were told that they would lose their pensions, a blatant scare mongering lie. Our European workers were told that they would lose the right to live in an Independent Scotland, but such a decision would only lie with the government of the Independents Scotland. We were told that we could not use the pound until Darling finally admitted the lie during the second televised debate. We were told that this was a final and irrevocable decision but who gave the NO campaign the authority to speak for future generations or limit the power of a future government of an independent Scotland to welcome in union people from the North of England, or Wales or Ireland (North and/or South).

          • HJ777

            So you can make incoherent and patently false claims about ‘lies’ while lying yourself.

            Learn to write something coherent.

            And on this currency issue, how would a currency union be stable without an agreed fiscal union? Can you explain? The Greeks would like to know.

            Salmond made an utter fool of himself in that debate concerning the pound. Only deranged Nat idiots thought otherwise.

          • TheInnocentBystander

            Try and answer the questions about unionist lies with resorting to abuse. If I have lied, state the lie and how it can be shown to be a lie. Or are you just a setting out to be obtuse and insulting?

          • HJ777

            Let’s give one example, shall we?

            “We were told that the NHS was safer within the Union but the perilous state of the NHS was top discussion at the Labour party conference within a month of the result.”

            The labour party always argues that the NHS isn’t ‘safe’ under the Tories. But more is spent on the NHS in Scotland and this is under SNP control already.

            And the SNP claimed that the NHS would be disbanded and privatised in Scotland by Westminster- neatly forgetting that these decisions are made in Scotland, not Westminster. That’s what I call lying.

            We were told that we could not use the pound until Darling finally admitted the lie during the second televised debate.“.

            No, you were told that a seceded Scotland couldn’t demand a currency union and wouldn’t get one. It suited the SNP and Salmond to confuse this with ‘using the pound’ because most people don’t understand the issue of a currency union – and this is why he shouted Darling down when he tried to explain the issue.

            Nobody has ever said that anyone isn’t free to use the pound – it’s an internationally tradable currency – just that they aren’t free to do so within a currency union with all that that implies.

            Now you will kindly explain to me how the SNP’s economic plan was compatible with using the pound outside a currency union? Remember their own work on the issue ruled it out.

            So you can claim these things are lies

          • TheInnocentBystander

            So, despite what you claimed, what I said was not incoherent after all?
            TTIP would have overruled Scottish control of the NHS. That decision would not have been made in Scotland. (The argument about the NHs being devolved is also spurious as the overall budget in terms of income is not controlled by Scotland but from Westminster via the Barnett formula which Westminster also lied about in terms of the income from oil, thus robbing Scotland of approx. £30,000,000,000 over a period of about 25 years).
            I accept we were told that Scotland could not demand a currency union but we were repeatedly told we could not use the sterling pound as our official currency without a currency union. Darling finally admitted that this was incorrect. Neither did he challenge that the message given had been that we could not use the pound. Factually any country can use any other country’s currency without a currency union. I have lived in countries that do.
            The unionist propaganda on these issues were lies.

          • HJ777

            You’re wrong about TTIP and what it is.

            Regardless, TTIP is being negotiated by the EU. Salmond insisted he wanted to stay in the EU – and Scotland would have no veto on TTIP.

            He can’t have it both ways.

            And, of course, he lied about his legal advice on EU membership. That is not in dispute – he was forced to admit his lie (after spending £20k of taxpayers money trying to cover it up).

            The Scottish NHS is already better funded (but is not better than) the English NHS via the Barnett formula. Salmond has chosen in recent years not to pass on the additional funds to the NHS – NHS spending in England has risen faster) – he has spent them elsewhere.

            On currency it was very simple – Scotland couldn’t leave the UK and have a currency union with it. This was the only option put forward by the SNP – using the pound without a currency union was explicitly ruled out by Salmond’s own advisors in published advice. Darling never admitted he was incorrect for the simple reason that he wasn’t. Salmond was just trying to confuse people who don’t understand what a currency union is.

          • TheInnocentBystander

            TTIP could have involved negotiated exclusions. Tories wanted no exclusions. An independent Scotland could have negotiated its own exclusions. It is possible to be in the EU and to have negotiated exceptions.
            I did not say that Darling admitted HE was wrong. I said he admitted the claim, put out by NO campaigners, that Scotland could not use the pound was wrong. There was never the specific exclusion you keep referring to. And Salmond did give two other options in the same debate. It is available on youtube if you want to check.

          • HJ777

            Come off it. TTIP will be signed and sealed soon.

            Scotland wasn’t going to get a series of exclusions if it remained in the EU – and the legal position on EU membership is unclear, as Salmond was forced to admit that he hadn’t taken legal advice (after lying by saying he had).

            It was the YES campaign that said that Scotland couldn’t use the pound without a currency union (Salmond’s own experts ruled it out as feasible option), but insisted that there would be a currency union.

            Darling simply pointed out that anyone can use the pound, but that there wouldn’t be a currency union. It was Salmond who admitted in that debate – for the first time – that he couldn’t deliver a currency union. That’s why he came up with his comments about “Plans B, C & D”.

            You do understand what using the pound without a currency union entails? Salmond’s advisers did – that’s why they ruled it out as incompatible with the SNPs other policies.

          • wiley789

            so you think it would be acceptable that they would retain the pensions of Scots after separation, so the little fact that those pensions had been paid for is allowed to be swept under the carpet, typical from bigots who see the law as only pertaining to others and only used when it suits them. Fine keep the pensions, we will keep trident and sell off all the subs and nukes, who do you think will come out the best. stroll on you uneducated (maybe went to school but to no avail) moron.

          • HJ777

            State pensions are paid for by current taxpayers – there is no fund.

            You propose that Scots would stop paying taxes to the UK government but that UK taxpayers would continue to pay pensions to Scots, paid for by UK taxpayers (but not Scots).

            Do you believe in free lunches?

            One of us is certainly an uneducated moron. Have you a mirror?

          • Mark Kilby

            “Fine keep the pensions, we will keep trident and sell off all the subs and nukes, who do you think will come out the best”

            A man with a plan. I like that.

            Problem is, the pensions funds are not paid from a big pot of gold. They are a liability, paid for through pension contributions / taxation, bit confusing I know. So I (and you – if you are working) are paying for the retirement of today’s wrinklies, so feel free to ask them to buy you a drink next time you’re out (you paid for it so it’s only fair). Perhaps that’s Westminster’s fault also, for not operating pensions like a pot of gold (and then stealing it). Hey what the hell, just blame them anyway, anything else is unpatriotic didn’t you know.

            And the subs idea, I like that even betterer, ebay perhaps? Make sure you’ve got a flash on the camera when inside the sub itself when taking photos, and just ignore that sign that says “No Photography”. I would avoid paypal if I were you, they charge too much in kommishion. Also check the buyer before agreeing the sale, you don’t want to sell them to ur enemas (sorry, enemies), they may send you them back (with the fuse lit).

            Which school did you go to?

          • speedyreidy

            well said that man.

          • Jackie Dawson

            You really REALLY need to educate yourself…….

          • HJ777

            It would seem that you are self-educated.

            By an idiot.

          • Andy Hepburn

            Scotland pays more per head than England, we get LESS than we pay per head in return. simple maths … and add to that the fact Scotland would remove trident, would not need to pay for new rail systems south of the border, pay less for military and have control over taxes etc. There is no stealing as Scotland pays their way quite adequately, however I am done debating with someone who thinks like you do but hope it has put a few things right for you now. (oh and zero hour contracts do not suit students as one I can tell you they are the scourge of the workplace) hope that helps from your past.

          • HJ777

            Holyrood’s own GERS report contradicts your assertion.

            Even including oil/gas revenues, Scotland is running a bigger deficit than the rest of the UK. That’s what it says in black and white. You don’t even need to do the sums – of which I doubt you are capable – they’ve done them for you.

            In fact, in the UK as a whole almost nobody is paying in more than they get out – that’s why there is still a deficit.

          • s.parker

            This is not true, London receives more money than anywhere followed by Wales then Northern Ireland then Scotland so get it right

          • HJ777

            London has a larger population than Scotland. It receives less public spending per head and much less in relation to the taxes it pays.

            Get it right.

          • Phillip Everett

            Why is the issue whether Scotlsnd will be richer after independence. All that tells us is that the independence argument is built on selfishment and greed.

          • HJ777

            You are quite correct.

            Surveys showed that many people in Scotland would decide how to vote based on whether they were £500 better or worse off. So the SNP decided to try to convince them they would be £500 better off – hence all the lies about being instantly richer of they voted for independence (and no mention of any costs).

          • Phillip Everett

            The SNP is suppose to be socialist, but we all know what happened the last time a National Socialust part came to power.

          • Mark Kilby

            The SNP are separatist – party politics are irrelevant as they play whatever cards are necessary to achieve their holy grail.

            The mundane truth is Scottish independence will be the mother of all anti-climaxes (given how much it continues to be pumped up).

            It will be deemed a ‘success’ if most people end up with the same dull lifestyles we all already enjoy. The victory is normal left right politics and the right to put a flag in places where it isn’t normally put. Whoopie freaking doo daa.

            It is the ‘struggle’ that is the distraction, the seeking of something that is sold as having been denied, to right wrongs, to do all the good things everyone wants to do with their lives – and all they have to do is put a tick in a box. It is a diversion from what is otherwise one uneventful existence, whose door leads only to another uneventful existence.

            Its unescapable destiny is to disappoint!!

          • Barry Scarfe

            Pray do tell us! What exactly have we ‘stolen’? Oh, the oil? That is BRITISH oil and ALWAYS HAS BEEN. But no, you lot couldn’t accept that fact and had to go and vote for the selfish, self-seeking anti-British and anti-English SCUM of the SNP party with their innately selfish slogan in the 1970’s of ‘It’s Scotland’s Oil’.

          • HJ777

            Of course, had the oil been discovered off England, the SNP slogan would have been: “It’s England’s oil – and we don’t want any of it”

          • Jackie Dawson

            We don’t reply on oil…..its a nice extra……

          • HJ777

            It’s not an extra – it would be essential to a seceded Scotland’s finances.

            Even with it there would need to be large spending cuts or large tax rises.

          • Andy Hepburn

            Actually the oil you speak of makes up just 3% of GDP of Scotland… an increase in tourism exports etc would be far in excess of this, so no oil is a boon not a crutch.

          • HJ777

            Yes, but the SNP’s promises relied on it being nearly 10% of GDP – and as the GERS report makes clear, even with oil revenue, Scotland is effectively running a bigger deficit than the rest of the UK.

          • Helena Brown

            Ruggish, it would have been a nice bonus, to enable us to fund the Renewable Industry we intend to have. We do not need it but then we do have a better expert business than you, see above.

          • HJ777

            If you think that oil would be merely a ‘nice bonus’ then please explain where Holyrood got it so wrong in the GERS report – where it says that even including oil/gas revenue, Scotland would be running a larger deficit than the rest of the UK.

            Some details please.

            What would you know about ‘business experts’?

          • Helena Brown

            You do know who produces those figures don’t you, nothing to do with the Scottish Government.
            We actually put more money in than we get out, do try and keep up.

          • HJ777

            The GERS report includes the scenario where oil and gas revenue is allocated to Scotland on a geographic basis because the Holyrood ‘government’ wanted it to. It’s an official Holyrood report – admittedly not produced by selected Nats to say what they wanted it to say, but that’s not how you arrive at facts.

            Repeatedly asserting that “we” put in more than we get out without any supporting evidence does not make it true – you’re behaving like a small child. GERS clearly says otherwise – and that is evidence.

          • Kieran

            That is wrong, the GERS figures literally state the opposite of what you claim, that when oil is excluded, Scotland runs a lower deficit than the UK average. With oil it actually runs, on average of the past thirty years, a net surplus.

          • HJ777

            Oh yes?

            In 2012-13, the estimated current budget balance for the public sector in Scotland was a deficit of £14.2 billion (11.2% of GDP) excluding North Sea revenue, a deficit of £13.6 billion (10.6% of GDP) including a per capita share of North Sea revenue or a deficit of £8.6 billion (5.9% of GDP) including an illustrative geographical share of North Sea revenue.

            In 2012-13, the UK as a whole ran a current budget deficit, including 100 per cent of North Sea revenue, of £91.9 billion (5.8% of GDP).

            In 2012-13, Scotland’s estimated net fiscal balance was a deficit of £17.6 billion (14.0% of GDP) when excluding North Sea revenue, a deficit of £17.1 billion (13.3% of GDP) when including a per capita share of North Sea revenue or a deficit of £12.1 billion (8.3% of GDP) when a geographical share of North Sea revenue is included.

            In 2012-13, the equivalent UK position including 100 per cent of North Sea revenue, referred to in the UK Public Sector Accounts as ‘net borrowing’, was a deficit of £114.8 billion (or 7.3% of GDP).

            http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/03/7888

          • speedyreidy

            You can have your fracking.

          • Kieran

            Yes, or we would have ignored it, not embarrassed to say that at all.

          • Jackie Dawson

            You have no oil…..its Scottish OIL….check your facts. Your ignorance is astounding.

          • Jimmy Jim

            British is made up of 4 nations not one barry its you who cant accept that Scotland has found it voice and says no more and if I am SCUM for saying it then I am proud to be called SCUM

          • speedyreidy

            The English natz of course will continue their mantra
            as they have done for the last two decades that the oil is running out and is really not a significant resource for Scotland.Of course in reality this is just a continuation of exactly the same lies inflicted on our nations under this rotten Union.

            “North Sea oil will last for 100 years”

            see – tinyurl.com/54wl8e

            “North Sea oil ‘will last for another half

            century'”

            see – http://tinyurl.com/6ml3np

            “North Sea Oil Reserves Could Be Up To 30 Billion Barrels”

            see – tinyurl.com/67lo82

            “Billions of barrels of oil remain untapped”

            see – tinyurl.com/5v2q22

            “North Sea could see second oil boom due to

            huge unexplored reserves”

            see – tinyurl.com/5rxnxd

            “North Sea oil reserves far exceed industry estimates”

            see – tinyurl.com/4c6zp3

            “North Sea oil ‘remains untapped'”

            see – tinyurl.com/6q9fjp

            “Scotland won’t be fooled on oil future”

            see – tinyurl.com/47mgyz

            “North Sea ‘far from scraping bottom of oil

            barrel'”

            see – tinyurl.com/3ggla2

            “North Sea oil ‘remains untapped'”

            see – tinyurl.com/4m669l

            “Industry leaders say North Sea oil is far

            from gone”

            see – tinyurl.com/5ja2ck

            “NORTH SEA OIL ‘REMAINS UNTAPPED'”

            see – tinyurl.com/5uy

            “BP expects to find new oil troves in the North Sea”

            see – tinyurl.com/4tng3p

            Interesting the vast majority of the reports are

            from English media sources and almost nothing from

            the ‘Scottish’ Papers.

            So basically we have potentially the same amount

            of oil or even twice what has been stolen from

            Scotland
            over the last 30 years. The opportunity

            has not gone and we should stop this theft

            at earliest possible opportunity.

          • Barry Scarfe

            The oil is running-out as any oil expert will tell you. After all, oil is a finite resource and therefore it has been running-out ever since the first drop landed ashore. No one is saying it isn’t a significant resource but it would be folly to bet upon it as the SNP does. The price is extremely volatile and can go up and down a large amount within the space of a single day. For instance, when Saddam invaded Kuwait back in 1990 the price of a barrel of oil increased by over $100 within a day or so.

          • Helena Brown

            Barry, legally you do not have a leg to stand on, but personally I would actually let you keep the bleeding stuff to get Scotland Independent. Trouble is there is the Whisky which makes almost as much money. God it is a curse. Oh and then the fact that we export more food, we can feed ourselves unlike you. Such is the curse of Scotland, the neighbours. I would gladly cut us off it only I could and tow us far out and away from you. I bet the Welsh and the Cornish would love to as well, we will leave you Northern Ireland, but then we were offered them (why) during the referendum.

          • s.parker

            So it is British oil but England pays to keep Scotland going with this British oil and the British financial sector, I expect it is British whiskey too, the third biggest earner in The UK. So if Scotland did get told to go how would we divvy up this British oil? and the British gas of Morecambe or would that be English gas and would you send the London Eye up to Scotland, goodness Barry you sound like a demented duck. Didn’t they teach you at school. THE NORTH IS SCOTLAND AND THE SOUTH IS ENGLAND can you understand that concept I realise it is difficult but try. So Oil north Scotland, London south England.

          • Phillip Everett

            As a supporter of the Union I think all the resources of the Union should be used for God benefit of the Union. The Scotish Nationalusts believe that all Scotish Resouces should be used purely for the benefit of Scotland – a rather selfish view that does not fit the supposed socialist views of the SNP. That is National Socilaism and we know what happened the last time a National Socialist party came to power.

          • Kieran

            There is a law in social science that states that as soon as one party of a debate mentions, ‘that’s as bad/worse than Hitler’ they have lost the debate, by moving to such an irrational point the proposer of said point had no other way of decreasing the reputability of the opposition. – Godwin’s law of internet arguments

          • Barry Scarfe

            No, British as in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which has been in existence for quite a long time now. If only the SNP would actually keep-up!

          • The Bogle

            Whiskey is Irish and American. Whisky is Scotch.

          • s.parker

            quite right didn’t check my answer

          • Kieran

            Go an have a look at the official maritime borders my friend. You’ll see that it is definitely Scotland’s oil.

          • HJ777

            You do love wallowing in victimhood, don’t you?

          • Helena Brown

            Well sadly they frightened and cajoled 55% of the mainly elderly population into voting No, guess what is happening now.

          • Rodger Quinn

            If your only thought here is to reduce the argument to one of population, and not of partners in a political and financial union, then it shows nothing more than your own contempt. Your inability to see a country in it’s own right – rather than an ungrateful and disobedient ‘extra’ – is the crux of everything that is wrong with the Union, and the reason it will continue to break up.

            Thanks, I guess.

          • Steve Bowers

            What a great reply to a bigot, I take my hat off to you for your reserve

          • Mode4

            Is that you Gordon?

          • Salmondnet

            And “a country in its own right” has the arrogance to demand an equal partnership in a political Union with one with ten times its population The larger country would of course be daft to accept such arrangement and if it did it would be a profound betrayal of its own people.
            Go you own way and be quick about it, closing the border firmly behind you. Then we will see just how equal you are as a completely separate state.

          • jmckba

            A perfect description of the english ….. smug and arrogant to the end.

          • HJ777

            What, all 55 million?

            Have you met them all?

            Of course, it could be simply that you are the smug arrogant one.

          • Janie McIntyre

            it sounds like it you thats the smug arrogant one

          • HJ777

            Well, obviously that must be so if I dispute the racist assertion that the english are all smug and arrogant.

            Do you agree with the assertion: “A perfect description of the english ….. smug and arrogant to the end.“?

            Let’s hear your view so we know where you’re coming from, shall we?

          • Fraziel

            Well the English are the most unpopular nation in Europe and the main reason is they are perceived as smug and arrogant. You are even less popular than the Germans and they started two world wars as well as being perceived as practically making everyone in the EU dance to their tune. If its not smug and arrogant just why are you so widely disliked?

          • HJ777

            The most widely disliked people are those going around lecturing other people on how ‘smug and arrogant’ they are and deciding that whole nationalities are unpopular and ‘widely disliked’ just because of their own stupid prejudices.

            Listen to yourself and grow up – and, if you are Scottish, stop being an embarrassment to Scotland.

            By the way, did you think I was any more English than I am Scottish? You really are stupid, aren’t you?

          • Shug

            let me guess …..youve never met a german nor an englishman ?
            &.im not talking outside a football ground or by the side of a pool in Ibiza
            , i mean really got to know any ?
            .. reason i ask is ,your analysis is pathetic ..
            how old are you,? 15 or something !!!

            england is ‘disliked” in some parts of the globe ,
            not due to its people in general .
            but due to its historic foreign policy during empire
            & last 14 years antics around MidEast ..
            and sure the football hooligans during the 80/90s
            didnt give them much to be proud off.. but thats a tiny -tiny minority ,,some 5000 hoolies at most
            out of a population of 48 million people
            but the amount of tourists England gets every year is an indicator of how wrong you may be

            get out & find yourself an english/german girlfriend
            [or boyfriend ,if yer that way inclined.}
            but ffs get educated ,
            your kids will look back at your quotes one day and they may laugh at your ignorance

          • dmurdo1

            eh….Brittish foreign policy going back 200yrs is probably the main reason the English are often perceived by the rest of the world as arrogant and untrustworthy. get the facts right

          • A. Scot

            England has contributed so much that is good to the world, but Scotland doesn’t need to be ruled by it. The Scots should be responsible for everything that goes on in Scotland.It would then become a good neighbour – instead of a surly lodger.

          • HJ777

            And there was me thinking that the last Prime Minister and the last two Chancellors (not to mention the current Chief Secretary to the Treasury) were Scots representing Scottish constituencies.

          • A. Scot

            In a parliament of 650, there are 59 MPs from Scotland. The Scottish MPs who reach high office at Westminster dance to an English tune. This can never change and, under the present set-up, shouldn’t.

          • HJ777

            You make the false assumption that there are separate Scottish and English (not to mention Welsh and Northern Irish) ‘tunes’ that everyone from the same constituent part of the UK agrees on, based solely on geography.

            That’s nonsense, of course, which is why all the major parties have Scottish members.

          • John Sweevo

            If one of the chancellors you were referring to was Alistair Darling your mistaken , hes English

          • HJ777

            Do you not know the difference between you’re and your?

            Darling is Scottish. He was born in London of Scottish parents and he was wholly educated in Scotland. His legal qualifications entitle him only to practise in Scotland and he sits for a Scottish constituency.

          • John Sweevo

            He is still English, no matter where his parents came from, he was born in England.

          • scotchman

            Is he? As the Duke of Wellington said: “Just because a man is born in a stable, it doesn’t make him a horse.”

          • Kieran

            We are pointing out Salmondnets fulfillment of stereotypes. Although I’m sure many, if not most English people are not like this, their is a sizeable number who are because of the media’s success in brainwashing people into thinking that Scotland is not a real country, still referring to us as a region.

          • Mark Kilby

            So many experts on ‘English people’ on this board.

          • Phillip Everett

            Wow, that sounds like a Scotsman speaking.

          • bill

            The English are ok its WMthats rotten

          • Mark Kilby

            You’ll find that’s politics the world over bill, what you do not like about it is not specific to WM. That’s not the same as saying the way politics works cannot be made better.

          • Mark Kilby

            “A perfect description of the english ….. smug and arrogant to the end.”

            That’s not a comment to be proud of. Did he say where he was from? You could do the right thing and offer an apology.

            A population of barely 2m people could be the tail wagging the affairs of over 60m. Some might claim that’s unfair but that’s UK politics for you. You take the rough with the smooth. Nobody is doing anything illegal.

          • John Sweevo

            If you are referring to Scotland the population is 5.295 million

          • Mark Kilby

            “If you are referring to Scotland the population is 5.295 million”
            It is a guesstimate of the number of SNP votes, being generous I know.

          • Mode4

            Bigot!

          • Shug

            ive lived in England 26 years ,Im 50 ..
            the majority English ive met are not smug nor arrogant,just ordinary working class folk..
            your mibee getting mixed up with the 1% the elite of English society
            ,now they ARE smug & arrogant buggers

          • Bert

            Clearly an arrogant Scotsman. The English will no doubt be glad to see the back of you.

          • dmurdo1

            Churchill stated ” ‘Of all the small nations of this earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind” Scotland has always punched way beyond its weight, the formation of the USA shaped by the Scots, Modern philosophy, science and medicine and engineering have all been influenced and changed by the contribution of Scots, England is the same, this is not about Scot v England it about whats best for the all people of this island. England and Scotland are not democratically represented by the elitist British Westminster.

          • Bert

            “England and Scotland are not democratically represented by the elitist British Westminster.”

            Absolutely.

            And that’s why it is time the two nations went their separate ways so both can get the governments their respective populations want.

            Boundaries changes required urgently in England as it is giving Labour an inbuilt advantage.

            The need for a UK, a Great Britain has long passed.Time to hand the baton over to the next nation imv.

          • Jack Donnan

            Salmondnet …. The ‘Act of Union’ was predicated on an EQUAL PARTNERSHIP !!! ….. A typical view of a very ‘Little Englander’ !!!!

          • Bert

            Was it? The Act of Union was as a result of the Scottish nobility bankrupting themselves in their colonial exploits, and needing England to bail them out.

          • Kenny MacNeil

            cant lie about that,

          • Jack Donnan

            Was it, or was it not on an Equal Footing ???

          • Bert

            I’d expect the “Bail out” of Scottish nobs to come with strings attached. ie It isnt a union on equal footing. Otherwise what was the point of it all from an English perspective?

          • Jack Donnan

            The English got the Scottish soldiers !! It was only then that they could have a chance of creating an Empire !!

          • Bert

            Incorrect.There were far more English soldiers in the British Army – as , indeed, it is today.

            And the English were already well on their way on the Empire front, with Colonies, whilst the Scottish nobility floundered and teetered on bankruptcy attempting similar.

            What we did get was the “renowned” Scottish administrative abilities – it was actually the Scots that organised the British Empire – so not sure why everyone hates the English when in fact its the Scots they taking to task for the empire…

          • Jackie Dawson

            We are a country not a state.

          • HJ777

            According to one of your CyberNat friends here, you’re a colony, not a country.

          • Mark Kilby

            Can’t have it both ways, either a colony or a country.

          • HJ777

            The CyberNats seem to disagree with each other. They are a very confused bunch, as you can see from their comments.

          • speedyreidy

            We’ll be fine, and so will you, stop being such a boor.

          • Kieran

            Considering it was the parliament in London that blackmailed Scotland into the union via The Alien Act 1707 when the vast majority of us wanted to maintain our independence. It is Westminster’s fault do not demand a place in the union, we want out. Your still don’t see Scotland as another country. When conducting a trade deal with the US the UK does not accept that because the US is about six times the size of the UK that the US gets to decide 6/7ths of the rules to that said agreement.

          • Phillip Everett

            If SNP gain independence, they want to remain in the EU and that will mean obeying the rules of the Union. These rules are likely to become restrictive over time and hence reduce ability to be truely independent.

            Logically, then, as the SNP are willing to compromise Scotland’s independence by being a member of the EU, what they really want is not true independence, but to break way from England because of the belief that England has kept the Scots subservient despite the fact that the Scots have contributed so much to the Union. This you confirm by referring back to the act of Union and your comment that the English subjugated the Scots by forcingt them into the Union against the will of the majority. I suggest that if Scotland joined the Union against the wishes of the majority the fault lies with the greed of the Scotish lords and not the English.

            The act of Union recognised Scotland as an separate country. This is proved by the fact that Scotland has it own legal systems. Scotland also many separate professional bodies. Devolution has only aimed to extend recognition of Scotland as a separate country.

            Much of the SNP argument for independence is about how much better off Scotland would be out of the Union. As a supporter of the Union I believe that the resources of the Union should be used for the benefit of all the peoples in the Union and this has benefited Scotland in the past. So now the SNP want control of all of Scotland’s resources because the Scots might be better off. This really looks like selfishness and greed and very opportunistic.

          • Fraziel

            We just had a vote and didnt want out.

          • mikewaller

            You must be bloody old!

          • David Barrie Grieve

            ‘superior’ might be more accurate than ‘equal’, but we are an intrinsically polite people, so we probably won’t mention it. (Oh, & it’s not because of fear – it’s a cultural thing )

          • Mark Kilby

            “but we are an intrinsically polite people”
            Compared to what?

          • David Barrie Grieve

            compared to intrinsically impolite people

          • Cobbett

            11 million of those in England don’t happen to be English. So who cares what they think?

          • Kenny MacNeil

            this is not a country of equals and its getting less equal by the day. who’s next on the hit list? the poor,disabled,sick,immigrants,muslims, and while we are all looking that way at our own people the bankers have made off with all our money with their politician chums helping to carry the loot. wake up,,

          • davidofkent

            You lack the ability to see the subtlety of my answer to the previous comment. Never mind. The reason for the breakup is entirely the desire of the Scots to end a Union which has brought them great benefits over the years. Until a few months ago, The SNP were trying to promise Scots a high standard of living in a socialised state because the North Sea Oil in Scotland’s waters would provide. Actually, it would not have provided even at $110 bbl. Now it’s a little quiet north of the border and the SNP thinks it will be able to pursue its agenda by joining forces with Labour at Westminster. I have no wish to keep the Scots in a union that do not like, so go ahead with another referendum and vote correctly. Scotland is a lovely country with absolutely rotten politics. The Scots deserve better, but they won’t get it by simply demanding more and more from the rest of the UK, or introducing foolish notions like declaring Scotland a nuclear-free zone.

          • speedyreidy

            Well said that man.

          • Phillip Everett

            But that is exactly what the SNP see and want. That is they don’t see us as a single country. If hey end up in power as part of a socialist coalition, they will demand what is best for Scotland at the expense of the rest of us.

          • RolftheGanger

            Redressing a long imbalance where Scotland has been milked for Southern England’s benefit.

          • HJ777

            Your normal claim, made as usual without reference to any facts.

            And no, things don’t become facts just because they are stated on the “Wings over Scotland” web site.

            If Scotland has long been “milked for Southern England’s benefit” one wonders why all our many Scottish Prime Ministers and Chancellors went along with it.

          • Fraziel

            Indeed we do wonder why they went along with it and that could go some way to explaining labours current unpopularity. We are no longer prepared to go along with it.

          • HJ777

            They didn’t do anything about it because it is a fiction put around by Nats who cannot provide any evidence for their claims.

            If you’re not prepared to put up with it then you can always emigrate to some imagined Shang-ri-la. I’m told North Korea is lovely at this time of year and a socialist paradise.

          • RolftheGanger

            Tired old rhetoric. Too many millions gave up and emigrated. That is why Scotland’s population has neither grown nor thrived under the Union.
            This time we get shot of archaic Westminster.

          • HJ777

            So you can’t provide any evidence.

            One minute you Cybernats are claiming that Scotland is richer than the rest of the UK, the next you are saying that it is so impoverished that its population has no alternative but to leave.

            Make you mind up.

            And in case you hadn’t noticed, the issue was recently settled.

          • RolftheGanger

            For the fairly obvious reason that they consistently put career and party loyalty ahead of loyalty to Scotland. Unionists.

          • HJ777

            Of course they do. It’s all a conspiracy and they’re all traitors aren’t they?

            And innocent Scots are all victims aren’t they?

            Somebody else is always to blame for every perceived wrong, aren’t they?

          • Col McGillveray

            How dare they!.. Oh dear, It almost seems like you are upset at the lesser orders asserting them selves..Revolting peasants.

          • Barba Rossa

            How dare they indeed!…back at Westminster come May we need to make the English MPs dance a lively horn pipe..first off there will be no Scottish Troops posted to the Ukraine…if England wants to indulge in mischief.We will confiscate their WMD till they behave.

          • Abie Vee

            The Scots are not a minority in Scotland.

          • HJ777

            The separatists are though.

          • RolftheGanger

            That comment is out of date.

            Con jobs such as “Vows” provoke backlash.

          • Ed  

            That comment wasn’t out of date on the one date that mattered. Next week, these figures will be last week’s polls.

          • s.parker

            not now or don’t you read the papers.

          • Kieran

            A nationalist is someone who believes a country in it’s own right should act as such, a separatist is someone someone who wants division by all means, race, religion etc. We are nationalists, not ‘separatists.’ We so not want to be cut off and to stay away from the English, we see a distinct difference in the way we want to run our countries, we want a more social democratic country that focuses on helping the poor and we vote for that, not the neoliberal agenda peddled by Westminster.

          • HJ777

            The type of socialist policies espoused by the SNP hurt the poor. Socialists always do when they get into power because their policies always achieve exactly the opposite of their stated intention.

            Is it capitalism and free markets or socialism that has lifted billions out of poverty around the world in the last 30 years? Hint: North Korea has steadfastly stayed socialist.

          • David Barrie Grieve

            North Korea has steadfastly remained quasi communist – a corruption of the ideals of the original instigators of the idealism of communism. A corrupt dictatorship with son’s following fathers into power sounds remarkably like a monarchical system. Isn’t that out of date? The type of socialism described by the SNP is social democracy. It works well in some countries. Constitutional Monarchy is an oxymoron. There is no UK document called ‘the constitution’. There is no Monarchy or supreme ruler with ultimate power.

          • HJ777

            Yes, doesn’t socialism have a nasty habit of ending up badly?

          • RolftheGanger

            Almost as bad as Right-wingery does.

          • HJ777

            You’ll be able to provide some examples of countries ruined by capitalism and free markets rather than made rich and their populations lifted out of poverty (as billions have been in recent years) then, won’t you?

            I can provide many examples of countries ruined by the socialism you espouse.

          • David Barrie Grieve

            Many things proceed into bad modes because human greed tends to corrupt them, be that greed for money, greed for power, or the most common of all, a combination of greed for power and money! Social organisations are not immune from this tendency either, formally conceived religions included. Socialism is a very valid concept (communism is an extreme version – a bit like hippy culture), but it depends on how honest we all are collectively. Remember, even people who tell lies when someone asks how they are, still have the right to vote. Do you feel honest on important issues?

          • HJ777

            How many times has socialism turned out well?

            By contrast, capitalism has enriched many countries and has lifted hundreds of millions (if not billions) out of poverty in the last few decades.

          • David Barrie Grieve

            People’s efforts might have been able to help enrich the collectivity of countries or parts of countries, but Capitalism, many say partially invented by a man from Kirkcaldy called Adam Smith, has indeed been victim of corruption. Whatever you think Capitalism is, it isn’t what it used to be. Cheating bankers aided and abetted by greedy politicians with fingers in the till have created a many headed beast, of a behemoth and Leviathan combined proportion.

          • HJ777

            Then you are describing corporatism and corruption – which tends to be a result of big government.

            And the solution is to tackle big government, corporatism and corruption, not to throw away capitalism in favour of socialism that has failed everywhere.

          • Benbecula

            Not yet,but down to 65% and dropping.

          • Jimmy Jim

            the empire is dead all that’s left of it is the United Kingdom and that’s in its death throws when that’s gone whats England just another little country with no clout

          • jmckba

            They are like a small dog that thinks it is a big dog.

          • HJ777

            You think like a dog – presumably that is the extent of your brainpower.

          • Jambo25

            Insults again?

          • HJ777

            Yes, your mates Jimmy Jim and jmckba have been hurling insults at England.

            Have you turned up to join in with the rest of your deranged Cybernat mates?

          • Janie McIntyre

            every one has there own veiws

          • HJ777

            …even if they are racist and ignorant.

          • Kieran

            Your the country that is choosing to vote UKIP more and more. Once again, not all of England, but certainly the English right in the south.

          • Jimmy Jim

            like I have said before HJ777 if there views are not the same as yours then you cry bigoted racist as the person said above each to his own views that why men and women of the armed forces join to keep freedom of speech away of life in this land and not fold under one way of thinking

          • HJ777

            I call as I see and when I see a bigoted racist, I say so.

          • Jambo25

            You regard everything as an insult against England. Its part of the pathetic, paranoid victim fantasy of much of the English right.

          • HJ777

            Nice try, but you’re fooling no-one, not even yourself.

            Why not answer the question: Do you agree with ‘jmckba’?

          • Kieran

            I see that as the perfect description of a Tory ir a Blairite. You have to understand that we see those people as coming from England and although this is obviously not everyone in England they are the only ones we see, Blairite MP’s coming up to Scotland and telling is what to do, when David Cameron came up he literally went into a bank for an hour, told them all that they had better be telling people to vote no and then hightailed it to the border.

          • Helena Brown

            Now here is the problem I have a small dog who does think that, trouble is he can put most big dogs to flight, they never think he is going to until they get too close, and he never backs down. He is part English and part US. I think he is a wee American Rebel.
            By the way much I admire about the English and wish we Scots were more like, you would never have sold your country out as per Proud Scot Buts, like Sandie and Gordon. You get rid of Parties you do not think are working for you. I look fporward to the day when you have become England again and grown out of your bullying tendencies. We can then come together in many ways to assist each other.

          • HJ777

            “your bullying tendencies”

            You really do like to wallow in victimhood, don’t you? You absolutely love it.

            Grow a spine.

          • Helena Brown

            Bigger dog, and England has been bullying for centuries. Look at you now, still whining even though you won.

          • HJ777

            Your comment rather reveals the anti-English agenda of the SNP, doesn’t it?

            As if everyone didn’t know already.

          • Barry Scarfe

            It has ALWAYS been anti-English. The anti-English SCUM of the SNP do their best to hide it but it always seeps out in the end as bile tends to do.

          • RolftheGanger

            The way yours does, you mean?

          • Jimmy Jim

            That’s the type of comment from an English nat anyone saying anything different is SCUM only there veiws count because they are from Engerland

          • Andy Hepburn

            ANTI ENGLISH?… I vote SNP because they are simply the only party in Scotland that actually follow through with their promises, perhaps its you that has another agenda with words such as SCUM. Oh and for the record I and many other English folk support and vote for SNP, NOT to get rid of the union but because a nation should stand equal with another no matter the size or population.

          • HJ777

            Promises like abolishing Council Tax, perhaps?

            Or introducing means-tested student grants?

            Or maintaining teacher numbers and cutting class sizes?

            How are they doing on those promises?

          • Helena Brown

            Much better. Well if Labour could actually get their act together and stop abstaining.

          • HJ777

            I thought the SNP had a majority at Holyrood?

          • Helena Brown

            We are but we like to have agreement over things, not being Dictators. Unfortunately Labour are not very bright they tend to ask for stuff, get offered more and then they abstain, stupid I know.

          • HJ777

            If it’s in the SNP manifesto and they have a majority, then it’s they who aren’t very bright if they don’t vote for what they want.

          • Kieran

            They never claims they were going to abolish council tax they said they would freeze it and they did that years ago, with a budget that has just been cut by about £4 billion pounds we are only just managing to hold the teachers and free student tuition we already have, meanwhile we have extensively increased free we are now losing over £6 billion a year to this ‘union’

          • Helena Brown

            Indeed Andy, met quite a few and many in the SNP.

          • Barry Scarfe

            Seeing as the ONLY purpose of the SNP has always been to get rid of the union then if you don’t want that to happen I would think it would be sensible if you don’t vote for them.

          • Mark Kilby

            Nations are the problem Andy. They divide people against their brothers and sisters, all over a patch of ground – etched out by arbitrary means over the years. They are a very effective mechanism for establishing rule and order and they are also responsible for millions of deaths over the years. Question is – to whose tune are you dancing when you become a patriot?

          • Scott Macdonald

            Nations that invade and colonise are the ones at fault

          • Mark Kilby

            All is fair in love and war.

          • Scott Macdonald

            I get your point and totally agree which is why a European state is important for the future.

          • Helena Brown

            Och I admit that I do detest some of you, many I like and get along with. Not overly keen on people, a bus load who boo me for saying I come from Scotland speciall after they said almost to a man and woman that they came from England, and I detest being spoken to as if I am some sort of ordure on your shoes.

          • Mark Kilby

            “Och I admit that I do detest some of you”
            Who really gives two hoots where somebody comes from. It’s what they do that matters. By joining in the name calling you make yourself no better than the people you dislike. It’s to be expected when nationalism rules the roost.

          • Helena Brown

            Well Mark it takes two to tango and I did not start it.

          • Mark Kilby

            That makes it OK then.

          • Helena Brown

            Seems to with so many in England, oh and I do suggest reading some of the English Newspapers and try doing it as a Scot would and you may be surprised. What is not allowed to be said if you are Jewish or Black or Muslim is fair do’s there if you hail from Scotland. The Telegraph is a joy, and I really do not care where anyone comes from, many English people living in Scotland are members of the SNP, you never know if you lived here, you might be. We have all nationalities in the Party and are happy to have them.

          • Mark Kilby

            Who knows where we will be or what we will be doing years from now, never say never! Those who were mean to you, shame on them, there are no excuses. Take care.

          • s.parker

            Will that e the English people in the SNP that are anti-English scum? Or the American, Turkish, Pakistani, Chinese and all the other races or will that just e the scots?

          • Barry Scarfe

            English people are just as capable of loathing themselves as the people of any other nation. They must do to join the SNP! The SNP are not a true nationalist party as they only direct their ‘nationalism’ against the English and against NO other nation. I never hear them complaining about the Welsh or the people of Northern Ireland. Aren’t they just as much an integral part of this United Kingdom as the English are? Also, only the Greens have an even softer policy on immigration than the SNP do. Most genuine nationalist parties in the world like France’s FN led by Marine Le Pen have a harsh anti-immigration stance. The SNP are not real nationalists just manic separatists and statists.

          • s.parker

            The reason for that is because it is the it is the English government who domineer the rest of the UK both N. Ireland and a good lot of the Welsh want Independence, it is not a fight against the English people just Westminster, England runs its own country so why do they have such a problem with the rest of us wanting the same? Why do we need to have this racist bile, its not about the oil or the money its about the pride, are you proud to be English? I am proud to be Scottish and want to run my own country for better or worse, you don’t want the SNP to be able to sway Westminster because you perceive it to be an English Parliament and that is fair enough so why do you mind so much that I want to have the right to pick who rules my
            country, no matter who I vote for it is whoever you vote for that rules me does that seem fair, Scotland is a country and all we want is the same rights as you why should that e too much to ask and the SNP is about my nation not yours, I know there are problems everywhere in the UK and I will give you enough respect to sort your problems all I ask is that you give me enough respect to sort mine

          • Mark Kilby

            “all we want is the same rights as you”

            What rights are you denied that are afforded to everyone else in the UK?

          • s.parker

            Well Mark, what party is running the country? What party did Scotland vote for? We may as well not vote because I think it is twice in 30 years we have had the government we voted for. And it is obvious that the government at Westminster must please the majority that means England, and I am not saying all of England because I know that one in three of the English vote lives in the south east so tough on the North. But a country has a right to have her government of choice.Also I didn’t say the UK

          • Kieran

            A nationalist by definition is someone who thinks a country should act like a country in it’s own right, it has nothing to do with directing hate to any other group. Only someone who thinks of the bnp as a good example of a national party as stupid to think up such a policy; racist, xenophobic parties drape themselves in the name of ‘nationalism’ to try to bring credit to themselves. It has nothing to do with real nationalism. Why don’t you get off your neoliberal high horse and come up and visit Scotland, half of the people you speak to will be SNP supporters, then you’ll realise the racist slurs you hear about us are complete crap.

          • Mark Kilby

            What’s a country Kieran?

          • Jimmy Jim

            and whats Anti English about my comment its your type that cry anti English or bigot every time someone has different views than you

          • Barba Rossa

            dok..not often I agree with you…lol…put it this way.. England is now Free to pursue its dream of English domination in England. It’s days of dominating Scotland is already over.

          • http://somersetanddorset.blogspot.co.uk/ Steve Sainsbury MA

            Fight for Kentish devolution then. Here is Wessex we have a bigger population than Scotland and we will press for separation as soon as Scotland goes. ‘England’ is already finished, it was obvious that as soon as the cracks in the exUK started to appear that ‘England’ would break up.

          • ken

            Good luck with the Wessex thing. You have none of the apparatus of State that Scotland retained as part of the Union stitch-up and which has been eroded by successive Tory administrations from Disraeli to Thatcher.

          • Yvonne & Barry Stuart-Hargreav

            Wessex retains its ancient counties .Wessex retains its old capitals of Winchester, Dorchester on Thames and even Wedmore. Wessex would be a viable small stste in the EU a bout the same population as Austria.

          • Steve Bowers

            Hand out the big sticks and go thrash those damned sweaties, how dare they want democracy……… Can’t wait, it’s going to be a hoot watching people like you rant as we run your country, and remember, you’ve run our country for 300 years so you’ll get used to it eventually. Enjoy

          • Barry Scarfe

            Growing-up would be appreciated but that is too hard for most of the thick anti-English wankers of the vile (wanted to help Nazi troops invade Great Britain during the war) SCUM of the SNP.

          • daivdhf

            Nice to see Anti-Scottish Wankers are still alive and kicking on here.

            Nice to remember the British Royal Family’s views on Hitler –
            Prince Philip’s Brother-in-law, Prince Christoph of Hesse, was a member of the SS. He piloted fighters that attacked allied troops in Italy.

            Several weeks before Germany invaded Poland King George VI and his wife, the late Queen Mother, sent Hitler a birthday greeting.

            “I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap,” said George’s brother, the former King Edward VIII, who became the Duke of Windsor after abdicating in 1936. Edward made this remark in 1970 when it was widely known that Hitler and the Nazis had directly and indirectly killed more than 40 million civilians and soldiers.

            List of Jew-Hating, Hitler-Loving English Peers –

            Lord Darlington,, Lord Brocket, Lord Redesdale, the 22nd Earl of Erroll, the fifth Duke of Wellington, Lord Londonderry – Winston Churchill’s cousin – the list just goes on and on.

            SCUM – all of them.

          • Jackie Dawson

            Time you grew up…………you sound like a child.

          • Jimmy Jim

            And how many Scots died in WW2 fighting for Great Britain or in any war before or after in all the armed forces be it navy army marines air force Scots serve this country that’s why its called the British Armed Forces for the 4 nation of the UK which has all members of the forces serving

          • Steve Bowers

            Gold star Barry, my wife’s English ( please don’t tell her I’m a thick anti English wanker, she’ll be disappointed), now, you want to go check on Westminsters plans for Scotland in the event of a German invasion please, prepare yourself for a surprise !

          • Kieran

            You are aware that the SNP did not want to do this, this pish was peddled because Hugh McDiarmad was misquoted as saying that a nazi invading of England would be good for Scottish nationalism and moving Scotland away from England, which was true, but Hugh used it as an analytical point before then going on to remind people that such an idea was very bad.

          • daivdhf

            Tory share of 2010 GE votes cast – 36% = A Minority.

            Tory vote-share of total Electorate – 23% = A tiny Minority.

            Tory/LibDem share of 2010 GE votes cast – 49% = A Minority.

            Tory/LibDem vote-share of total Electorate – 36% = A tiny Minority.

            MINORITIES have decided EVERYTHING in the UK for a long, long time.

            Disgraceful, isn’t it

          • Gavinder Alburino

            SNP share of total electorate in 2011 – 23% = A tiny minority.

            But that hasn’t stopped them wreaking havoc.

            It also hasn’t stopped them from claiming that the Conservative government isn’t legitimate but the SNP one is. Either they both are or they both aren’t.

          • daivdhf

            Wreaking Havoc? – That’ll definitely be the Tories, then.

            Biggest havoc-wreakers Britain has ever seen.

            In 2011, SNP took 45% of votes cast and approx 23% of total Electorate.

            All of which exactly makes my point about Minority Rule.

          • Jackie Dawson

            VOTE SNP – THE ONLY PARTY STICKING UP FOR SCOTLAND……

          • HJ777

            Sticking it up Scotland, more like

          • Mark Kilby

            The SNP could be like a responsible parent, teaching its bairn to not let it be pushed around, but alas it is using its influence to encourage it to push its way to the front of the queue.

          • Ed  

            What would you replace it with? Party lists? That wouldn’t be much less disgraceful.

          • daivdhf

            I did not raise that subject – merely commented on it.

            Proper system of PR would be a massive step forward, though.

          • jmckba

            Well the libdems did.

          • Jack Donnan

            Ahh …………………………… a ‘Little Engunlander’ … how sweet !!

          • JoeCro

            Its a UK election. What is the difference between 40 Scottish Labour MPs and 40 SNP MPs in terms of democratic principle?

          • Ed  

            Don’t panic. Quebec has been electing separatists, and then rejecting referenda, for a long time. I’m pretty sure that the Scots are just as canny.

          • Jackie Dawson

            Better Together……..its here……..get used to it……its what you wanted ?

          • speedyreidy

            Oh dear another english nat.

          • Neil Munro

            Political decisions in the UK are always made by minorities, and always will be until the ‘first past the post’ system is replaced by proportional representation.

          • mitchyboy

            UK is not a country, it is a political construct. What would the inhabitants be called? Ukanians? Three countries and a province make up the UK. Is it not disgraceful that the rest of the UK can thwart the democratic will of the Scottish nation?

          • Andy Hepburn

            The rights of the few should matter as much as the voice of the many. How else does a nation move forward together? Gay and minority group rights would never have happened with your attitude!

          • Bruce1314

            Well oh well,deserves you right for your Westmonster Government scaring some misguided Scots into voting no at the referendum.Its now pay back time,”Saor Alba”

          • Keith Houston

            The UNION is supposedly a partnership, your comments are precisely why it should end. The fact is the SNP do not seek to control others but allow Scots to determine their own affairs.

          • Dogsnob

            Are you perhaps missing the point? The very notion of a union is the only thing which gives the ‘approximately 60 million’, anything of a say. The 5.3 million want to be separate and that is that.

          • Mark Kilby

            “The 5.3 million want to be separate and that is that.”

            Actually only 1.6m voted for independence.

            The hopeless gambler always wants another spin of the wheel, perhaps it will be down to 1.3m next, funny that many see the proportion of Yes votes going up.

            It’s always a risk that people get a bit hacked off with the cost and disruption that comes with running a referendum, and support actually falls. That would seriously harm credibility. Unionists would be much better prepared next time around.

            Then there’s the cost of these events, and the uncertainty that harms investment.

          • Dogsnob

            We’ll see I suppose.

          • kate denholm

            Kate Denholm > rod robertson
            But we are not a minority in our own country!

          • Kieran

            Seriously, we are going for independence, blame the unionist media for brainwashing our pensioners into voting no, the under 55 grouping voted yes, because pensioners have no access to social media they voted no. So how dare you call us a minority when we want out, we are not a minority in Scotland. How dare another country think they have the right to impose their rule on us because they have more citizens!

          • Mark Kilby

            There was a vote offered, slippery Salmond dictated pretty much the terms of the whole show, the result was no thanks.

            Sticky Nicky is the only one doing the dictating at present.

          • Mark Kilby

            It’s ironic this argument is used by the YeSNP to claim a mandate, that the same population of 5.3m never gets the party into Westminster they vote for. Wait a second, no that’s not right, it’s just plain hypocritical. Let them do their worst, their aims are to be wreckers and that makes their motives less than pure – that could be their undoing.

          • Abie Vee

            Presumably then, you’ll insist that the 500 million citizens of the EU are asked for their views on a Brexit too?

          • David Barrie Grieve

            You see, here’s the thing: The only reason that the population of Scotland is so small compared to the collectivity of England, Wales and Ulster, is because of resulting centralisation of population by ‘cunning plan’ inspired rats. Cheap labour for slave like tasks, results in movement of other people’s, who in turn are the victims of vile ‘humorous’ condesescenion. It happened in France, it happened in England…. it now happens to other Europeans…. at least we can be grateful that bowler hats have gone out of fashion (at least at the moment)…. very annoying accoutrements of superiority.

            If the ‘rulers’ (not necessarily made of wood or plastic) decide to use that old Greek inspired concept of democracy (pubic school inspired perhaps?), then they will be obliged to put up with any subsequent outcome, even if it does shougel up & bite them on the Erse!

            Democracy is, as democracy does, and if you are against it, YOU are the archetypal anarchist!

          • mumble

            “If you believe the rights of the minority should be put to popular vote, you’re probably an asshole.”

            http://youtu.be/VP6yM64yQ4w

          • Cogra Bro

            Muslims are an even smaller minority ( pro tem) but get to decide a lot of things, such as if the meat we eat is Halal.

          • Scott Macdonald

            But why do you need Scotland so much ? so much infact to have the Westminster leaders pleading and even the Queen getting involved ?

          • Ann Wilson

            How very dare we! ohmagoad

          • john paterson

            It’s called democracy. Unionists fought for Scotland to stay in the UK. You won the referendum, deal with it.

          • Kenny MacNeil

            not just for Scotland, for the de-industrialised poverty stricken areas of the north that are brushed under the wesminster carpet because they don’t have that much money.

          • A. Scot

            How disgraceful that the ancient nation of Scotland ( pop. 5million plus) could think it could run it’s own affairs, without it’s English masters!

        • Phillip Everett

          And what about the greed of wealthy ex PMs from Scotland?

        • HJ777

          Scots elected MSPs knowing that they would have no power to change the franchise. Therefore Scottish voters did not take this into account when they voted.

          So the Scottish Government’s will in this matter is irrelevant.

      • sodagod

        as a Scot, I would be over the MOON with a more federal Britain. England deserves its own parliament COMPLETELY seperate and any UK-wide authority would only have to concern themselves with pooling resources together from the different UK regions for defence and matters like that.

        But that wont happen, because Cameron and Milliband want power over Scotland AND England/Wales. They are greedy.

        • crumcol

          But that wont happen, because Cameron and Milliband want power over Scotland AND England/Wales. They are greedy…….

          Forgetting about anywhere? Northern Ireland ring a bell? Typical big country mentality forgetting about smaller neighbors

        • Mark Kilby

          I don’t detect any substantial demand for federalism whatsoever. And why would it be better? Circa 2m in Scotland can seek independence if they wish but fracturing the rest of the population as a direct consequence of that – I see no reason why one should follow from the other.

    • PetaJ

      Wrong, the original argument for the Union was a fiancial one. Scotland had no money.

      • James Morrison

        The “Ruling Class” had no money (Colonial Market crash) and suffered a “Hostile takeover” from a “competitor”…..Neither the Scottish or English people were consulted…….Tell it like it was.

        • Abie Vee

          A voice from history. Etc.

        • PetaJ

          It boils down to the same thing doesn’t it?
          And I think they should all be asked now. How about a referendum encompassing the whole of Great Britain – as it should have done in the first place?

          • Helena Brown

            Are you suggesting we ask you if we should be independent, if you want to be independent as per the rules laid down by the UN hold your own. Seems that England or is it just you personally who is offended that we want to run our Country and spend OUR OWN money, and not leave it to Westminster.

          • PetaJ

            On the contrary, in spite of the fact that all Scots living in England, Wales and N. Ireland were denied a vote, while foreigners who happened to be living in Scotland were not, and children were allowed to vote for the first time, the Yes vote lost and I wish they had won.

          • Andy Ellis

            Non-resident like me didn’t get the vote. That’s entirely proper; it’s how democracy works. Why should Scots who may have no intention of ever returning home be able to impact the future of those actually IN Scotland.

            Tell you what, any Scot in England who wants to vote should have to agree to abide by a Yes vote and give up their UK passport for a Scottish one? That’d soon stop the moaning from etiolated 90 minute patriots don’t you think?

            If children can pay taxes and fight in wars they should be allowed to vote. It’s the progressive thing to do; which is of course why the idea is so unpopular amongst frothing britnat ultras.

          • PetaJ

            If the Yes vote had won I would assume that everyone born in Scotland would have had to give up their UK passport. Don’t you think they should have been asked?
            16-year-olds don’t fight in wars except in places you and I would rather not be. Those who choose to start work at 16 are probably not earning enouhg to pay tax anyway.

          • Andy Ellis

            You assume wrong. The criteria were clearly set out in the White Paper and in line with international norms. Nobody would have been forced to give up their UK passport, anymore than I as a Scot in England would have been forced to take a Scottish passport, or conversely banned from having a Scottish passport.

            You know youngsters CAN sign up, even if not to front line roles. The point stands.

          • PetaJ

            You said they could ‘got to war’ at 16. You have just confirmed that you were wrong and they can’t. Prat.

          • Mark Kilby

            “Why should Scots who may have no intention of ever returning home be able to impact the future of those actually IN Scotland”

            I quite agree, Sean Connery filling SNP coffers is disgraceful.

          • Andy Ellis

            From memory most of the money for Project Fear came from expats and non-doms, including some from oil broker Taylor whose company had links with Serb war criminal Arkan. I think Sean looks pretty good in comparison, don’t you? 😉

          • Mark Kilby

            Alex has links to an impressive list of right wing cronies.

            And Sean, well he was questioned recently about links to convicted criminals. Who knows who he mixes with when out for a round of golf in sunny Marbella.

            He is certainly a good actor and if his movies were all you went by, he is of course a hero.

          • Andy Ellis

            No axe to grind for the SNP as I’m not a member. Fact remains, they have a huge number of members, are hugely popular in Scotland with impressive approval ratings, and are about to hand New Labour their arse in May.

            I doubt the britnat elite and establishment are in a very strong position to throw mud at the SNP given all the recent scandals, do you?

            Celebrities and politicos won’t win us independence; ordinary Scots will.

          • Pat

            No children voted in the referendum. In Scotland, unlike in England, 16 year olds are legal adults.

          • James Morrison

            How about a referendum for the WHOLE of UK to decide where Scotland goes? The WHOLE of the UK wasn’t asked when Northern Ireland was set up against the wishes of the WHOLE of Ireland.

          • GUBU

            I believe there was one in 1998, ratifying the Belfast Agreement.

          • James Morrison

            That was an INTERNATIONAL poll….NOT a “UK” poll I believe.

          • PetaJ

            That is exactly what I said. Do keep up. Also, we are talking about Scotland now not Ireland then.

          • Pat

            sorry, misread your comment

          • Mark Kilby

            Scotland votes for independence and inflicts massive change on 90% of the population would be characterised as a victory for democracy, but a government voted into Westminster which differs from the majority vote in Scotland is an injustice.

      • Jim Byrne

        You really should do your own research into that myth.

        • BOBMAC

          £1.5 trillion in debt england is bankrupt without scotland,and if you were right why not let us go

        • PetaJ

          I have.

          • Jim Byrne

            Newspapers and TV don’t count as research.

          • PetaJ

            Physician heal thyself.

          • Helena Brown

            Actually you are not in a position to, much as I would love to say I am independent of the workings of the English Parliament and with the majority in the Westminster Parliament that a certain John Major said had been around for a thousand years, it still is.
            We have to dissolve the partnership, but never mind the way things are going this will happen sooner than later, Alan Massie is more laughed at than taken seriously so don’t you worry your silly little head we will be awa’ shortly.

          • PetaJ

            I am certainly not laughing at Alan Massie and the sooner you lot are awa’ the better as far as I am concerned.

      • DougDaniel

        Err no, the Scottish nobility had no money (and they made the rules in those days), and besides, attempts to get Scotland to join a union had been ongoing since before the Darien scheme failed, so clearly there was something in it for England. Let’s not rewrite history to pretend it was some sort of charity scheme.

        But that’s ancient history anyway. The current argument for the union is because the UK has no money – and it’d have even more debt if it wasn’t for Scottish oil fields.

        • PetaJ

          And the companies who developed those oilfields are all Scottish?
          I am not rewriting history – the nobility in those days did have all the money and they had none left.

          • Andy Ellis

            What relevance does the nationality of the companies have to anything? They go where the oil is.

          • DougDaniel

            The nationality of the oil companies is completely irrelevant as they still have to pay various taxes and licencing fees to the government of the country that owns the oilfields – which would be Scotland.

            Don’t tell me you think that the likes of Statoil, Shell and Total don’t have to pay any monies to the UK government to develop oilfields in the UKCS?

          • MichtyMe

            Thatcher declared the North Sea an open market, almost all were/are foreign, many State Corporations.

          • Helena Brown

            Actually the fact was that Civic Scotland had money, who do you actually think paid those silly people we still call the nobility, it was us, I have yet to meet many English people who do not require a spanner to get 50 pence out of their hands.

          • PetaJ

            Grow up.

          • Steve Bowers

            Gosh, you probably think that Shell is a british company, Maggie sold the lot off and shut down BNOC

          • PetaJ

            No, I think Shell is a Dutch compnay.

          • Mark Kilby

            “Gosh, you probably think that Shell is a british company”

            It’s Anglo-Dutch o great sage, part British and part Dutch.

          • Charles Patrick O’Brien

            Not all the nobility and then again what was noble about cheating citizens out of their birthright? The companies work under licence because they like it that way,of course we could set up a Scottish oil company but only with independence would that be right after all Thatcher made the scheme to steal the TSB banks from us,and plenty other schemes to enhance the few at the cost to the many.Thats recent history,so should be easier to find out.

          • PetaJ

            And Gordon Brown stole Lloyds – and millions from its share-holders. Now go away.

          • Andy Ellis

            “Now go away” is almost as laughably weak as a response as the belief that bogeyman Brown was personally responsible for the global financial crisis and the “Scottish” banks. Do try to do a modicum of research before venturing out from under your bridge, there’s a poppet!

          • PetaJ

            He wasn’t responsible for the global Financial crisis but he did claim to have saved the world from it. He was responsible for all but destroying Lloyds in order to save Scottish jobs. Now crawl back into your slimy hole – there’s a poppet.

          • Andy Ellis

            Playing the man not the ball again…is that because you just don’t have any cojones (real or metaphorical). I think we all know the answer, don’t we?

          • PetaJ

            Yes, well you Scots know all about playing the man and not the ball don’t you? If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

          • Alan Price

            The oil belongs to the country in whose waters it is located, not to big oil companies or those who develop it.

          • Mark Kilby

            That would be the UK then, or whichever nation Sheltland decide their best interest lay.

          • PetaJ

            In this case the waters of Great Britain – whether you like it or not.

        • Mark Kilby

          Shetland’s oil, actually, and all this squabbling on the mainland over their resources, and they are hardly acknowledged at all.

          • DougDaniel

            Sorry, I must have been asleep when Shetland stopped being part of Scotland.

            And save your oil geography lessons for someone who doesn’t work in the oil industry, thanks. You do realise that floating box to the east of the mainland that Shetland is usually pictured in on maps isn’t actually where it is, aye?

          • Mark Kilby

            Shetland voted to remain part of the UK. Being such a remote location I can understand why they would value that relationship.

          • DougDaniel

            Most of Scotland voted to stay in the UK. So what’s your point? Incidentally, Shetland is a helluva lot more remote from rUK than it is from Scotland.

          • Mark Kilby

            Falklands are a lot closer to Argentina too, but being part of the UK suits them very well.

          • DougDaniel

            I think you’ll find the Falkland Islands are not part of the UK. But pedantry aside, of course the Falkland Islanders prefer the UK to Argentina – they’re all descendants of British colonists, and they don’t even speak Spanish. It’s not remotely comparable to the situation with Shetland, which was part of Scotland long before the union was even dreamed up.

          • Mark Kilby

            An island in the middle of a large expanse of water, language that many on the mainland will fail to understand, an ancestry separate from the mainland, both are entirely comparable. Falklands tell us distance need not dictate the nature of a relationship between two populations.

          • DougDaniel

            “language that many on the mainland will fail to understand”

            Shetlanders speak English.

            “an ancestry separate from the mainland”

            Shetland has been part of Scotland for well over 600 years, and if you think the Scottish mainland was never inhabited by Vikings, then your knowledge of Scotland is extremely poor.

            “Falklands tell us distance need not dictate the nature of a relationship between two populations, nor for that matter ancestry or language”

            Except that the Falklands shows us that ancestry and language are precisely what dictate the nature of relationships between two peoples, what with it being populated by people of British ancestry, who speak the same language as the British, and not the Argentinians.

            Are you quite finished with this nonsense, or do you have some more?

          • Mark Kilby

            Shetland is distinct and entitled to plot its own course if the majority on the mainland diverge from what they believe is in their best interests. Their status as a Scottish colony cannot be taken for granted.

            Ancestry and language are incidental, though they are often exploited by politicians and political groups for dubious motives, people naturally lower their defences when they are appealed to this way (our tribal DNA programming), with the consequence they can get away with more.

            But populations ultimately look to where their best interests are served (our survival DNA programming). Take Hong Kong, the majority preferred to remain a dependency of the UK, even now. Again language and ancestry does not factor anywhere in this relationship.

            The Falkland’s population may well one day align itself with Argentina. Arguably the recent aggression is the driving factor here, not ancestry or language, and will be so for decades if not longer. Prior to that event relations between islanders and the Argentinian mainland were distinctly more cordial, arguably moving toward more integration not less.

          • DougDaniel

            Oh, so you do have some more nonsense. Can we just cut to the bit where you try to suggest that if Scotland becomes independent, Shetland will vote to remain with rUK – since that’s presumably what you’re trying to imply – rather than this bizarre tangent about various current and former British colonies?

            (Note: Shetland isn’t a colony, it’s a part of Scotland, just like Orkney and the Western Isles, and has been for well over 600 years.)

          • Mark Kilby

            Why would they vote to remain part of rUK when they could remain a colony of one of the smallest nations on the continent (by population), with no EU or NATO membership?

          • DougDaniel

            There are about 20 countries in Europe which are smaller than Scotland. The country directly below us in terms of population is Norway, who seem to be doing pretty good for themselves despite being “one of the smallest nations on the continent (by population)”.

            Oh, and is that the same EU that the UK will vote to leave in 2017 if the Tories win in May?

          • Mark Kilby

            Norway is a terrific place isn’t it: a happy place, and that’s official.

            The ‘grass is greener’ was the the picture painted in the independence brochures. Scotland is split down the middle now – a divided place – how that recipe for happiness transforms into a reality is not so clear.

            Also less publicised were the shifts taking place in the Nordics, challenges to the tradition of a generous welfare state, encouraging private enterprise, and the rise of the right. This didn’t mix well with the warm cosy rose tinted view independence advocates wanted projected. Ironic too that the UK is viewed as being progressive in respect of enterprise and the welfare state.

            Yes there may be a vote to leave the EU. You have to be a member to have one of those. It’s more of the same folly.

          • DougDaniel

            No, you miss my point – you feel able to state with absolute certainty that Scotland would not be in the EU (ignoring Jean-Claude Juncker’s views on the subject, apparently), yet you have no idea if the UK will even be in the EU when the next independence referendum comes round.

            My point about Norway is simply that size is meaningless. Europe is full of small and medium-sized countries who continuously rank highly in regards to prosperity, equality, democracy, transparency and so on. The idea that big = better is simplistic nonsense.

            And as for this Scotland being a “divided place” nonsense, that’s how healthy democracies work, as any mature person understands. It’s almost as if you feel September was a hollow victory, and nothing was actually resolved…

          • Mark Kilby

            “next independence referendum”
            Another spin of the wheel, most gamblers don’t know they have a problem.

            “certainty”
            It’s a valuable commodity, and popular too.

            “division”
            There’s a healthy amount of division, and there’s an unhealthy amount of division.

      • MichtyMe

        Naw, to safeguard dynastic succession, secure a frontier from French intrusion and religion. None relevant in the 21st C.

        • PetaJ

          Those were excuses not reasons 😉 The only reason that is relevant to the 21stC is the financial one. What would they do without all that lovely tax money from the English?

          • MichtyMe

            The Governments Expenditure and Revenue Reports for Scotland over the last three decades consistently reveal a net surplus contribution to the Treasury.

          • Charles Patrick O’Brien

            There is no lovely tax money from England,and you need to learn that its United Kingdom government that holds all the money.Scotland does contribute much more into the common pot than we get back out.

          • PetaJ

            Of course. All five million of you.

      • Derick Tulloch

        Article 15 of the Treaty of Union specifies that ‘The Equivalent’ would be paid to Scotland to compensate us for taking a share of England’s national debt because Scotland had no national debt at all.

    • Diggery Whiggery

      The reason our politicos don’t want to move in this direction is that if an English parliament and executive had the powers of the Scottish one it would have by far the biggest budget, bigger even than the ‘federal’ Westminster one. This obviously doesn’t appeal to the bums on the green and red benches and so they’ll try and fob us off with some half measure like EVEL.

      This whole devolution thing should have been done on a county basis, across the country at the same time with counties able to form strategic partnerships where necessary.

      As it is Tony screwed up again. The piecemeal devolution that he put in place led to division and resentment on all sides and has destroyed the union from the inside.

      I’m trying not to think that this was part of the plan.

      • GUBU

        As that engaging smile – the electoral equivalent of rohypnol – recedes from our memory, the true legacy of Mr Blair’s time in office becomes ever more apparent, doesn’t it?

        Whatever plan Labour had for devolution was intended, above all else, to benefit the Labour Party itself. That’s why proposals for devolution were only ever taken forward in areas where Labour assumed they would be the dominant force, either governing on their own or, at worst, as the senior partner in a coalition.

        A sclerotic Scottish Labour Party whose best talents (and I use the word ‘talents’ advisedly) looked to London rather than Scotland have put paid to that assumption.

        Labour now find themselves in a conundrum entirely of their own making. If he makes a deal with the SNP, Mr Miliband will have to step over the prostrate body of his own party in Scotland to do so – and effectively consign Scottish Labour as the dominant political force in the country to the dustbin of history.

        • Helena Brown

          You do know that Labour Scottish Accounting Branch loathe the SNP, we pinched their baw and they want it back. As they are complete erse holes they have about as much chance of getting it back this side of the next century. Miliband now has a conundrum, he either bothers about Scotland, and personally I cannot see him bothering, or he has to work on those who may elect him in England. The stupid thing is that they could have stayed out of the Better Together Campaign with the Coalition and maybe saved some of their reputation or they could have gone with their Founding Fathers wish for Home Rule for Scotland, and by that not devolution. Well seems that the law of unforeseen consequences caught up with them.

    • sandie

      Don’t think the argument against the Yes vote was an argument ‘for’ the union as much as against ‘separation’.
      Who knows what will happen next, but ‘separation’ has been roundly rejected.

    • Yvonne & Barry Stuart-Hargreav

      I do hope they go soon. I was so disappointed when they voted to stay in the Union last year.
      Can I also suggest the Shetlanders assert their claim for the Oilfields and bid to stay in the UK.

      • Ewan MacKenzie

        That would be fine; if Shetland was still part of the UK they’d own the sea out to 12 miles, and there’s no oil within that. Shetland independence would be a different matter though.

        • Andy Ellis

          It’s amazing how hard it is to kill a bad idea isn’t it? No matter how many times you knock this deeply disingenuous line down, the britnats just keep parroting it back, don’t they?

          • RolftheGanger

            It is a wee comfort blanket. They see it as ‘rejection’ So their compensatory mechanism is to imagine Scotland being ‘rejected’ by Shetland. The fact that Shetlanders are Scottish and have even darker vies of southern sooth moothers does not enter their ill-informed brains.

        • Mark Kilby

          “they’d own the sea out to 12 miles”
          I think what you meant to say was it is all up for negotiation.

          • Ewan MacKenzie

            Nope. Divvying up the sea between countries is set out in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and most of the time things are pretty clear. Shetland would be an enclave within Scottish waters and a 12 mile limit would apply.

            Plus, of course, there’s no appetite in Shetland for leaving Scotland.

          • Mark Kilby

            “there’s no appetite in Shetland for leaving Scotland”

            Are you telling them or asking them?

            “Divvying up the sea between countries is set out in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and most of the time things are pretty clear”

            It’s all a matter for negotiation, you are misinformed.

          • Ewan MacKenzie

            >”there’s no appetite in Shetland for leaving Scotland”

            >Are you telling them or asking them?

            There have been a couple of polls, and that’s what they said. No surprise to anyone that’s spent much time in Shetland.

            >”Divvying up the sea between countries is set out in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and most of the time things are pretty clear”

            >It’s all a matter for negotiation, you are misinformed.

            Well obviously it would be possible for either side to negotiate away its rights in exchange for something else, but the starting position is as I’ve set out. (And if there’s no agreement, then the ending position is also as I’ve set out.)

          • Mark Kilby

            “There have been a couple of polls”

            As to what they would or would not do, as the SNP have proven it is all down to what the leadership decide to cook up and try sell to the electorate. It would be the same for Shetland and similar. There would be so many unknowns for them and these are places so distinct from the mainland. It is not the case what is good for one portion of the mainland is good for them and would be quite pointless to show their cards until a decision is made. I suspect they would react after a vote for Scottish independence and pursue whatever option is best for them. It is rather like the UK electing to leave the EU, but then Scotland wishing to remain part of the EU. After independence everything changes.

            “negotiate away its rights in exchange for something else”

            Bang on. There’s the small matter of wanting an arrangement for using the pound, and another small matter of the size of the national debt taken on, and another small matter of accessing consular services… blaa blaa blaa… all of which is up for negotiation. And all of that takes place behind closed doors between the new Scottish elite and rUK – once its electorate have given the green light they no longer need to be consulted on such matters, they are decided based on what they deem to be Scotland’s ‘best interests’. As I have said before, Westminster but on a smaller scale.

    • SC1

      “No bitterness. Fairness all round.”

      This would be the ultimate result, whether through federalism or independence.

      Many people, including the author here, talk about ‘breaking up Britain’ as if it would be some kind a disaster, when the actual result would be ‘improving Britain’.

      Most SNP voters aren’t ‘separatists’ or wreckers.

      They simply want Scotland to run its own affairs as far as possible.
      To have the added prestige and benefits of nationhood, and to get along BETTER with the rest of Britain, cooperating on all the things we have in common.

      • Mark Kilby

        “They simply want Scotland to run its own affairs as far as possible”
        An independent Scotland would have less sovereignty than Greece.

    • William Gruff

      A federal ‘United’ Kingdom is a fantasy. The only way to resolve the current mess is to establish an English Parliament with powers at least equal to Scotland’s and then dissolve the union. Dissolution is inevitable and we in England urgently need a parliament to represent our interests; we cannot leave them to a Scotch dominated British government.

      • Jimmy Jim

        Scotch is a drink its called whiskey do you mean Scottish and whats wrong with a Scottish dominated government or would you like an English run Government

        • James Morrison

          Hi Jimmy,
          Uisge Beatha….The Water of Life…..William just wants the UK run properly by the English as the Lord ordained……Sláinte.

        • William Gruff

          Scotch is the adjectival sense of Scot in English. You’ll hear and read it a lot more often as you Jocks become less and less popular and we cease to care about what you find ‘offensive’. If you don’t like it vote for your independence.

          • Jimmy Jim

            I have seen this a lot more from the English nats they seem to think it all right to call the Scots any name or vile comment but you never see them call Muslims Asians immigrants and Black people for fear of being called racist but seem to think it safe to call anything Scottish but it is racist bigoted to single out a nation for abuse but that’s the English for you they always have to have there say on there views even if the others find it downgrading it seems to make them think they are superior

        • The Bogle

          Scotch is whisky. Whiskey is Irish and American. Scots writers long used the term Scotch to describe the people.

    • Barry Scarfe

      No the best thng to do would be to shut Holyrood down and tell them up there to stop their constant wallowing in self-pity and just get on wth t.

    • Bruce1314

      Bravo Flippit,We Scots Nats’ will gladly help you Englunders on your way to independence,Saor Engurland ,and Saor Alba to of course

    • http://batman-news.com/ Whizjet

      HEAR HEAR HEAR –
      (I wonder what the shape of an ENGLISH Government would look like. . . . . )

    • tres66

      Agreed that the emotional argument rooted in a feeling of being British is dying and has been so ever since the End of Empire.
      But a Federation here can’t work. Britain isn’t Germany. It works in Germany because its parts are of comparable size and no part of Germany is now separate and ideologically opposed to the state, and while there are, say, Bavarians who are Bavarians first and Germans second, they are not demanding independence.
      But here England’s size dominates the rest, the Republic of Ireland’s very existence opposes the concept of a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and where once many called themselves British who lived beyond in Australia or Canada etc., the ones who now call themselves British are usually immigrants seeking an identity.
      It’s a sad state of affairs, but it’s over.

    • Barry Rainey

      agreed

  • treeblopez

    First past the post exaggerates Tory weakness in Scotland while exaggerating Tory strength in southeast England. The only way of preserving the union is persuading Scots to vote Tory or adopting PR at Westminster. Do Tories care more about the union or the voting system?

    • Andy Ellis

      Good luck with that one. Might have worked decades ago, now far too little and too late. Tories are only really interested in England, because they know they are a lost cause in Scotland. The astonishing thing is to watch “Scottish” Labour making exactly the same mistakes the tories did, and with (it seems) the same result – they are now about as toxic a brand as the tories north of the border!

      • fundamentallyflawed

        Labour took Scotland for granted. They didn’t see the effect of a surging domestic SNP would have on National Polling.

        And once again I re-iterate an old point of mine – Scottish Nationalism great, Welsh Nationalism great, English nationalism racist and immoral.

        Only when this changes will we have equality

        • Abie Vee

          Really? It’s not possible to play the victim here. English constituencies 533. The rest of the UK 117 spread between them. England has an unassailable built in majority, and thus full control over all the great seals of office, the armed forces, the currency and the Central Bank.

          For the life of me, what more could you reasonably want!?

          • gerontius redux

            “For the life of me, what more could you reasonably want!?”
            Independence

          • Abie Vee

            You’ve already got it.

          • Andy Ellis

            Errmm…no, not really. Get back to us when Trident leaves, the Scottish embassies start opening, and the Scottish passports are sent out, eh? 😉

          • gerontius redux

            Oh no I haven’t!

          • fundamentallyflawed

            Except decisions on health and Education are now devolved rendering Westminster Democracy impotent.

            An independent Scotland would have sheltered behind rUK armed forces regardless and it wanted to retain the UK Sterling without control over interest rates.

            So the SNP now get everything it really wanted (which was not Independence) – the freedom to spend UK £££ without the fear of bankruptcy (as oil prices now plummet) and the freedom to campaign against westminster to maintain its popularity north of the border and a stranglehold on domestic politics.

            Plus the sweetener of being possible Kingmakers at Westminster as well (which will be at the cost of more concessions and funds to Scotland)

            No – the English can have no complaints really can they

          • Abie Vee

            Hmm. “devolved” but within the strictures of the bloc grant and UK budget allocations. And Scotland has always had a different education system than England.

            An Independent Scotland has no intentions of hiding behind anybody. We would tend to our own territorial borders and non-nuclear military matters without your assistance (thanks all the same).

            And it has escaped English attention that the Central Bank (the so-called Bank of England) is, pro-rata, as much ours as it is yours.

            The rest of your sustained whinge is simply that of a big bully trying to play the victimhood card. It doesn’t wash for one second. Diddums.

            The sooner we are gone, or you are gone, the better. On that, at least, I hope we can agree.

        • James Morrison

          English Nationalism will be fine when it ceases to be expressed through “British” colonialism.

          • sandie

            You do cross-forum racism. Nice.

        • Barry Rainey

          but its not scots or welsh who who think english nationalism is racist ,its other english

        • Disgruntled Knome

          Only trouble with that argument is when one has supreme power over the other.

          There are the people north of Watford gap who to this day feel treated like excrement. Still English (unless you are from Yorkshire then you are genetically superior).

          Similarly there are problems in the “home counties”.

          British Nationalism to me always seems focused around London, and so does the focus of the media and policy.

          Its actually no wonder we have the poorest rating for democracy in the developed world and the absolute worst voter apathy.

  • Gwangi

    It is and was SO wrong that ONLY those in Scotland (not Wales, England or NI) were given a say about whether to break up the Union.
    This is NOT the same as some independence vote in a colony, no matter how much the perfidious liar SNP claims its victimhood as part of its perpetual pity party.
    This is my country and I resent the fact that Scots – many uneducated, racist, bigoted – on Glasgow council estates almost broke it up.
    Never again. It should be legally challenged – and everyone residing in the UK should get a vote if there’s another referendum (though typical of Scots to claim the referendum wasn’t fair because they lost it so want another one; if they’d won they’d say it was a once and only referendum. NEVER trust a Scots Nationalist! They are the Scots version of the BNP or NF, ran a violent bullying nasty campaign, and their version of history is Braveheart fantasy anyway – it was the English who invented what we think of as Scottishness, after all, and maybe one Scot, Walter Scott, had a hand in constructing the myth too. But myth it all it – kilts, tartan, the lie of a genetic Celtic inheritance. Blarney and Bllcks.)

    • Andy Ellis

      Sadly for you, that’s not how it works. Your xenophobic bigotry about the inhabitants of Glasgow council estates makes the rest of your comment hard to give any credence to; suffice to say such vile attitudes have done much to help the pro-independence cause. The conjuring of braveheart and nazism consigns your attitude to the far reaches of spittle-flecked brit-nattery. Only a brigade reference is necessary for you to win hands down at britnat bigot bingo. Well done you!

      The only people who get to vote on independence are those resident in the area seeking independence. Thus the Russians didn’t get to veto independence for the Baltic states, Indonesia didn’t get to veto independence for Timor L’Este, Serbia didn’t get to veto independence for Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro etc. Are you seeing a pattern here perhaps…? Or do you have to wipe the spittle from your eyes first?

      • Gwangi

        I care not is a racist SNP hater like you approves of my post or not. I tell the TRUTH (I know how Scots Nats fantasists hate that!) which is that most YES voters were lower class, badly educated, English-hating racist bigots.
        We had a referendum and the people decided to keep UK benefits. End of. No need for another one – ever.
        And if we ever do have another vote then legally it MUST give all people in the Union a vote.
        Do not try to claim Scotland is invaded by England you lying piece of haggis dung!
        You analogy with the Baltic states and Yugoslavia is utterly false too – Scotland and England have been closely joined for over 1000 years, joined with monarchs since 1603 until finally in 1707 Scotland was bailed out by England as it was more recently too. If it wasn’t for England, Scotland would resemble Albania.
        I can assure you that educated, professional middle class Scots, and a huge majority in the borders, Edinburgh, and the Highlands and Islands do not want to break up the union.
        Maybe Shetland should declare independence then? It’s THEIR OIL after all LOL!

        • Andy Ellis

          I’d step away from the shovel if I was you before you embarrass yourself further with your low voltage britnat bile. There is no prospect of the rest of the UK getting a say in Scottish independence; that’s not how it works.

          We can give your evidence free rantings about Scotland would be Albania all the credence they deserve.

          Your assertions of huge majorities are disproved by the polling and actual results. If you can’t be relied upon to read figures on a page, we can draw our own conclusions about the value of your analysis.

          There is zero appetite for independence in Shetland. The only poll on the issue showed >80% would opt to remain with Scotland. This may be influenced somewhat by the fact that if they opted to remain part of the UK, they would ne treated as an exclave within the Scottish EEZ and be entitled to precisely zero oil, as they’d have a 3 or at best 12 mile territorial waters limit.

          Facts, eh?

          • Mark Kilby

            “as they’d have a 3 or at best 12 mile territorial waters limit”

            Andy as you know all that would be up for negotiation. There’s the matter of a currency, the national debt, and what have you. Why wouldn’t the Shetlands look out for themselves, everyone else seems to be doing so. They voted by majority to remain in the UK, if their wishes were not reflected in the overall result that would be the grounds to do so. Allied with rUK they have bargaining power, without it they have none at all. In that context your assessment is a fragile one.

          • Andy Ellis

            The Shetlands are quite entitled to look out for themselves. I’d say the odds of them getting significant and meaningful devolution of powers are much higher in an independent Scotland than within the UK, but obviously I don’t expect a britnat to agree.

            There is nothing fragile about the underlying analysis; international law is quite clear, and would certainly seem to suggest that independence for the Isles would be preferable to staying within the UK. At least in the former case they would be entitled to their own EEZ, and therefore a share of the oil reserves, although the size and shape of the EEZ would need to be re-negotiated with Norway, Denmark and Scotland.

            It is quite clear however that staying within the UK makes the Isles an exclave of the UK within the Scots EEZ, & thus entitled to no EEZ of their own. Whether the territorial waters are 3 or 12 is neither here nor there as it means no oil. Of course the islands would have other resources, and oil storage and transportation revenue, but they’d hardly be Dubai.

            Few supporters of Scottish independence are about to deny Shetlanders their own choice about their future, but let us be quite clear what the potential outcomes are.

          • Mark Kilby

            “You would not plan on that happening of course.”

            I guess they would just have to trust that during the negotiating period mainland Scotland will be looking after their interests as the price for independence is worked out.

    • Wessex Man

      You are an embarrassmet to me as an Englishman and completely out of touch with English sentiment. Most of the English people I speak to and I do speak to many would far rather the Scots had voted for ‘their independence.’

      • Gwangi

        Oh go fug yourself you sanctimonious old prik!

        • Andy Ellis

          Great analysis there; cogent, well reasoned…really helps your case.

          Oh….wait….

      • Jim Fraser

        Bless you, Wessex! Who would want someone like this on their side.

    • Abie Vee

      My my… what a temper tantrum. Feeling better now? Next time, try adding a scintilla of fact here and there… you know, the odd dusting of corroboration and authentication. It might add some weight to your bluster, blarney and owd bllcks, eh?*

      I’m always at a complete loss as to why you Little Englanders feel so threatened, not to say frightened, by the thought of Scottish Independence. Surely such as you would be delighted to see us go, would you not?

      *Education: compared to the rest of the UK, Scotland seems to be doing perfectly well. Similar results overall but slightly ahead of England in reading and maths and a little behind in science. PISA rankings, OECD refers.

      • Mark Kilby

        Scottish Independence is set to be the mother of all anti-climaxes, life will continue much the same as it does today, and it will spend the next 100 years leaking away most of what it ‘won’ either to rUK or the EU or elsewhere as sovereignty is increasingly pooled and institutions and services integrated to save cash.

    • Senga Sutherland

      So if Cameron goes ahead with the EU referendum , then all of the EU will be entitled to vote on that…………………………………….. nugget

      • Disgruntled Knome

        ^^^^^^ WIN!

    • Barry Rainey

      go……….yersel

    • rod robertson

      Perhaps in the upcoming EU Referendum you will propose that ALL EU citizens get to vote on the UK withdrawal motion?
      Care to answer that?

    • Sylvina Tilbury

      You spent a lot of time in Scotland then, during the referendum campaign? You seem to know a great deal about it.

      • Gwangi

        Idiot. No need to spend time in Africa to know what’s going on there or Syria to know what’s going on there, you silly bint!
        I know most aggression, threat, bullying, nastiness came from YES campaign thugs. I blocked 20 abusers on Twitter. You are all unpleasant toothless little trolls with about as much education as the average street mugger and benefit scrounger.
        Time to grow up, love. You LOST the referendum. If you had won it you’d be saying that’s that forever. So why different when you lost it? Oh I know – because you and all YES supporting SNP fascists are lying pieces of filth.

        • Sylvina Tilbury

          You sound like a lovely person. 🙂

  • John Mitchell

    I agree with the point about Jim Murphy and the direction that he is currently taking Scottish Labour in. It’s trying to be more like the SNP, instead of offering an alternative. That said, Scottish Labour do deserve some credit for being ahead of the Scottish government on a number of issues and for highlighting the failings in health and education under the current administration at Holyrood.

    Where Alex Massie says “The future of the country is plainly a greater issue than any differences over the NHS, education or even economic policy.”

    I disagree with this because the future of the country relies on sound policy in these areas. Not many people would want to see an NHS that is deteriorating or educational standards that are falling. The constitutional issue was settled for a generation, for the majority.

    The point that I would disagree most with in the article is where Massie suggests, “The SNP is adept at playing the long game. It need only win once; unionism cannot afford a single defeat.”

    Says who? If nationalists can play the game of disrespecting a democratic vote then why can’t unionists? Even if the nationalists eventually were to prevail it’s not going to ever likely be a victory that is secure for either side at this current stage seeing as the country is so divided.

    • Andy Ellis

      The constitutional issue is settled when the Scots people decide it is settled, and not before. whether they decide to vote once in a generation, once a lifetime, or every 5 years is a matter entirely for them to decide via their elected parliament in Edinburgh. On 18/09 a majority said no, but no individual or political party gets to dictate that no other vote can happen for some random time period.

      It’s true that not all SNP supporters are pro-independence. Many have and will continue to lend their votes to the SNP to put pressure on unionists to deliver what they SHOULD have been delivering, i.e. devomax or full home rule. The issue for an increasing number of swing voters is that they are unsure unionists can be trusted to do this, so they may simply change their mind from supporting devomax, to supporting full independence.

      Finally; no true democrat in an independent Scotland would stand in the way of unionists campaigning to re-join the rump UK. Fill your boots. that’s democracy; if you can make a case for rejoining the union, go ahead and campaign for it. You would however also have to convince the rest of the UK to agree, yes?

      • John Mitchell

        “No individual or political party gets to dictate that no other vote can happen for some random time period.”

        I agree with the premise that it should be for the people to decide if a movement for a referendum exists or not. There’s a few problems with this though. One is that without the Scottish National Party there would have been no referendum or likely diminished interest in having one. The second issue is that ultimately it will be for future governments at Scottish and UK levels to decide if there is a future referendum or not. It would be a terrible idea to ignore the majority but it doesn’t mean that this couldn’t happen. That’s fairly close to the outcome of this referendum where the majority’s view is “not important” to the SNP in particular.

        I agree with your second paragraph to a point in people supporting the SNP wanting to exert pressure on Westminster.

        If the result had gone the other way and it was some unionists who were disappointed I don’t necessarily agree that the rest of the UK would have had to agree to Scotland rejoining the UK, seeing as the UK as a whole was never and not likely to be asked if Scotland should leave the UK.

        I would mention one last thing and this was mentioned by the former First Minister himself. In his conference speech he said something along the lines of on the referendum and a vote in favour of independence “If not now, then when?” That could be interpreted to mean a number of things but it could be framed as meaning that considering that a mightily unpopular UK government of this variety is not likely to come around very often (which is why a Conservative victory in May suits the nationalists). In other words, if independence cannot be achieved from this backdrop, then can it at all?

        • Andy Ellis

          In relation to your final para, the problem is that on 19/09 most of us probably thought that WAS it for a generation. We tried hard, we lost & probably most expected the best we could hope for was some progress on more devolution, but were pretty sure the britnats would back track as soon as they could (which I would argue is exactly what they have done).

          A scant 5 months later, who would have predicted we would be where we are now? I’m probably more confident that indy will be achieved now than I ever have been. I share Massie’s assessment that the union is effectively doomed…unlike him however, I’m glad about it. I think it will be a good thing for both sides.

          • John Mitchell

            That’s the problem though in that it was supposedly “for a generation” and when the votes were cast and counted and the undesired outcome was reached the rules changed. It reminds me of the EU Commission’s attitude to Ireland with the Lisbon Treaty even though that wasn’t presented in the same way but multiple referendums were held until the outcome that the EU Commission wanted was reached. It’s not democratic. I see you’ve also mentioned UDI in other posts. That would be an act of sabotage to the democratic process but I’m not aware that the current SNP leadership is supportive of such a measure because it would likely be catastrophic. Anyway, as you said in previous posts and I agree that it’s for the people to decide, but you could argue that they already have in the referendum last year. At least for the immediate future.

            I disagree with your view of ‘backtracking’ I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding on what was actually on offer with ‘The Vow.’ No where in that front page spread does it mention devo-max or federalism which is suggested was somehow on offer when it wasn’t. Further devolution? Yes, but not in the form that nationalists are claiming.

            Granted, Gordon Brown did discuss federalism (he didn’t participate at the Smith Commission though) and has even more recently come up with this ‘Vow Plus’ idea which plays squarely into the SNP’s hands and is in my own view terribly misjudged because it indicates that something was being held back when it never was.

            I very much disagree on your last point as you can likely tell for many reasons, but I’m sure you also have your views as to why it would be better too.

          • Andy Ellis

            Just because some politician made a sound bite about it being a once in a generation chance is neither here nor there. The timing and frequency isn’t up to Eck or the SNP or any individual or party.

            I don’t advocate UDI, I disapprove of it. It is however a possibility in certain circumstances – it would be foolish to maintain otherwise if there is no agreement on the means. thankful, unlike the Catalan situation, wiser heads have prevailed in the UK, and now the precedent has been established I see no reason that should change. I do agree the people decided; the issue is on the definition of the immediate future. On 19/09 I’d have said the next opportunity WAS likely 15-20 years away; today I think it’s unlikely to be more than 5 years, possibly much sooner.

            As for the Vow, I think there was a general acceptance that what was being promised was effectively devomax/FFA, and that as soon as the No vote was in, this disappeared in a puff of smoke. The result of that betrayal is easy to see; the total meltdown in Labour support. They sowed the wind, now they are reaping the whirlwind.

          • Steve Bowers

            I think it was the late and much missed Margo MacDonald who said something along the lines of ” we won’t win this referendum but we will win the one four years after it when the people of Scotland finally realise how they are viewed and treated by Westminster and how much they’ve been lied too” we’re already at 52% YES, bring it on !

    • Abie Vee

      You make an eloquent case for neverendums. According to the Ancient Greeks, referendums are one of the three worst possible forms of governance, alongside Tyranny and Oligarchy. They even had a name for it, as you’d expect: Ochlocracy. It even sounds Scottish! And it means mob rule.

      • Andy Ellis

        Do tell…how often are referendums allowed then? If circumstances change, and their is a majority appetite for it, isn’t it democratic to have one? I always find it odd that so many (usually right of centre) folk who bang on about neverendums and banning or indefinitely delaying any future Scottish indyref, are exactly those braying loudest to have a brexit referendum ASAP! 😉

      • John Mitchell

        I should clarify. I am not supportive of neverendums. If the result had been in favour of independence I would have accepted the result personally. The point I was attempting to make is that probably wouldn’t have been the case for everyone.

        I believe that the constitutional future of Scotland within the UK is settled for the immediate future. People and political parties who disagree with this viewpoint would differ. Regardless, the debate has been had and this is a general election to elect an MP for constituencies and a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

        I agree to an extent that neverendums are a form of ‘mob rule’ as you put it. A country may be held hostage to a section of the electorate that isn’t even in the majority. Perhaps, this will repeat itself with any future question on the European Union which unless the EU reforms from within is unlikely to quell the appetite of those that believe Britain’s future is better off outside of it even if a future vote was to see them in the minority.

  • ItwasBlairwotdunnit

    Of course folks will vote SNP – it’s called Murphy’s Flaw

  • William MacDougall

    I trust – or at least hope – that Westminster would have the sense to refuse a second referendum for at least a generation. It has that power and certainly should use it. We can’t have neverendum.

    • Andy Ellis

      Yes, we really can. The only people who will be deciding on the frequency and timing of any future referendum are the people of Scotland. If Westminster in future try to stop it, they will simply be ignored, and a plebiscitary election would be held, followed by UDI.

      Scottish independence isn’t in the gift of Westminster, any more than Catalan independence is in the gift of Madrid. It’s called self-determination. If you don’t believe in self-determination, you are no democrat.

      • http://www.biologymad.com/ HD2

        Laughable arrogance.
        I pity you – that chip on your shoulder must keep many an osteopath and chiropractor in the highest tax brackets.

        • Andy Ellis

          No; simply a democrat who believes in self-determination. If you don’t, I wonder what contortions explain your view of independence for the hundreds of states that have joined the UN?

      • Abie Vee

        Not so fast. Self determination is not what you think it is.

        (1)The International Court of Justice no longer refers to it as a “right” but uses the more nuanced word “principle”. As in, I can aspire to a long and happy life, but it isn’t a right because it is not enforceable in law. The same goes for SD… there are no laws to enforce it.
        (2) Does SD encompass a right to secession? If so, then SD is contradictory, since it encourages statehood and is against statehood at the same time. Thus, in the name of sovereignty, claims of SD are laid and end up bypassing national sovereignty, national security, national economic interests and the territorial integrity of nation states in the process.

        The absurd logic of unfettered SD is that nation states will slowly fragment into ever smaller, ever more numerous little statelets, eventually disappearing up their own backsides like the mythical Great Oozalum Bird.

        A complete dog’s dinner of a piece of legislation. Rarely in International Law will you ever come across a piece of such badly drafted, poorly designed piece of legislation. “An evil thing…” according to US Secretary of State, Lansing.

        • James Morrison

          You’re quoting US law? They coming back to the “UK” then?

          • Abie Vee

            I am quoting the then US view on SD as it appeared in the post war UN Charter. Such a dog’s dinner that nowhere in the legislation is there even a proper definition of what is meant by a “people”.

            If that doesn’t help you, then I can’t say anymore.

        • Andy Ellis

          The fact that international law & the ICJ are under-developed or not seen as definitive doesn’t really help enlighten the broader question, or the specific Scottish/UK situation. “Most” independence movements and secessionary issues have naturally related to de-colonisation situations; this isn’t the case here, or in situations like Quebec or Catalonia. The argument which is sometimes made that independence of parts of states or regions where no “colonial oppression” exists is therefore illegitimate is hardly universally accepted.

          The “Passport to Pimilico” nonsense is often trotted out by opponents of independence, but it’s an absurd reductio ad absurdam. In the cases of entities like Scotland, Quebec or Catalonia, natural justice and the principles of self determination strongly support the argument that the wishes of the majority are definitive and cannot be gainsaid with reference to constitutional bans like that posited by Madrid in the case of Catalonia, or potentially by Westminster refusing to “legalise” a referendum or accept a Yes vote in Scotland.

          • Abie Vee

            It matters not a hoot what is “universally accepted” (you say without reference). It is a question of law, and of which law has the greater power. And I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that the laws regarding the territorial integrity of nation states are far older and far stronger than the mish-mash that is in the UN Charter.

            I don’t really have the time to enter into a wide ranging discussion of the Canadian and Spanish constitutions. Nor do I understand their relevance to Scotland.

            As I see it, Scotland entered into a Union voluntarily, by Act of Scottish Parliament. Therefore, she will be entitled to leave the Union in exactly the same manner: a majority in the House.

            All this poorly understood guff about SD is, as always, a mere distraction. And nothing to do with the price of eggs.

      • William MacDougall

        1 – Do you believe in self-determination for Shetland and Orkney Islands?
        2 – The law is clear – it is up to Westminster – and that law can and should be enforced.

        • Andy Ellis

          1. Yes of course, up to and including independence if they so wish & vote for. Of course the problem for ill-informed britnats who usually play the Northern Isles card, is that there is virtually no demand for separation from Scotland. It is also much more likely that they would be given meaningful devolution by a progressive administration in Edinburgh than the regressive unionist one in London.

          2. The law, such as it is, is by no means clear as the debate at the time of the Edinburgh Agreement demonstrated. Plenty of constitutional experts believe that it is not in Westminster’s gift to graciously allow us to hold a referendum. The Edinburgh Agreement was a sign of unionist weakness, not strength; they knew quite well that by provoking a crisis they would simply make independence more likely. The supremacy of parliament is a peculiarly English concept, not accepted under Scots law. The Scots people are sovereign, not their parliament still less the UK parliament.

          • William MacDougall

            1 – Glad to hear it, though that is not what separatists usually say, and how often would you permit such referendums anyway?
            2 – Sorry that’s the law. Cameron wrongly decided on appeasement, letting the separatists choose the wording, the timing, and a gerrymandered electorate. It didn’t work, and Unionists should not make that mistake again.

          • Andy Ellis

            1. You can get random nutters on both sides taking extreme positions. It’s much more common on the britnat side in my experience. Referendums happen as often as the people voting in them want; that’s democracy for you. People aren’t daft, they aren’t going to have them annually. Why would any true democrat propose limiting the frequency or timing of votes if the majority of people wanted one?

            2. I realise that britnats HAVE to maintain that “it’s the law” is some trump card that closes all debate. Sadly, it simply isn’t the case. There is considerable academic and constitutional debate on the matter,as any cursory examination of the issue will demonstrate. Google (at least in this instance) is your friend. What your are advocating is anything but democratic – it’s the kind of deeply regressive attitude exhibited by the crypto-francoists in Madrid on Catalonia. Unionists don’t have a choice; either they are democrats or not.

          • William MacDougall

            No country or political union in the world permits regions or subsidiary areas to have separatist referendums whenever or as often as they wish (and many, e.g. the US, don’t permit them at all, ever). It would be a recipe for instability and chaos and is not in any definition of democracy I’ve ever seen.

          • Andy Ellis

            Not sure you’ve really been paying attention to the referendum process over the past few years? The whole point about Scotland vis-à-vis the UK is that it is a fairly unique construct. There is no other comparable polity, and until comparatively recently there was little prospect of Scotland voting for indy. That has now changed. International law (such as it is) relating to independence deals overwhelmingly with decolonisation of former empires, and is therefore of limited help.

            Thankfully, unlike the situation with Spain and Catalonia, the UK government has made it clear that it would in effect not stand in the way of the Scots becoming independent, as long as that is what the majority vote for.

            Democracy doesn’t simply dictate that ever larger unions, or that existing unions can never under any circumstances be dissolved or broken up. Obviously some of the precedents are hardly encouraging like the Balkans; but in the end, who are you or anyone else to deny independence to an Estonian, Kossovar, Slovak, South Sudanese or Timor L’Este resident? Or indeed a Catalan, Basque, Quebecois or Scot?

            In the final analysis, relying on the legalistic formulation that e.g. the Spanish constitution forbids referendums unless the whole of Spain agrees, or no Scottish referendum is valid without Westminster approval, will never stand in a situation where the majority of Scots or Catalans vote for independence. To insist otherwise would mark anyone making that argument as the very definition of an anti-democrat.

          • William MacDougall

            On the contrary, unions between formerly independent countries are very common, and there are none in the world in which a formerly separate entity has the right to a separatist referendum whenever it wants, as often as it wants. For good reason. Scotland was given a democratic choice, and made it clearly. There is no reason to do it again for a generation.

          • Andy Ellis

            So if 70% of Bavarians (just for example) voted for independence, would you advocate they be denied it because Berlin said no?

            Of course, we accept that the result on 18/09 was No. However, when the next indyref is, and the frequency we have them, is entirely a matter for Scots electors as expressed through their parliament in Edinburgh. I imagine any party or group advocating that they could place arbitrary limits on when and how often referendums could be held, still less tried to prevent one which had a clear mandate, would soon find themselves on the receiving end of a rocket from the Scottish electorate.

          • William MacDougall

            Of course if Bavaria wants to leave it should be able to, but I don’t think that Bavaria has the right under the German constitution to have independence referendums whenever and as often as it wants.
            No, it is not just up to Scots, or Scottish residents even if they are 16 year old French exchange students; it affects all of the UK and the Union of the English and Scottish and other Parliaments sets the parameters for referendums.

          • Andy Ellis

            Not so. Self determination isn’t dependant on the permission of Westminster. If for example Cameron had been foolish enough to pick a fight and not pass the Section 30 Order for the indyref, Holyrood would simply have called a plebiscitary referendum, or made the next Holyrood election a plebiscite on independence.

            Scots residents are the only ones with a say. That’s democracy for you, and incidentally what the UN mandates. The rest of the UK doesn’t get a say, any more than Russia got a say about Estonia, Serbia about Slovenia or Indonesia about Timor L’Este. Are you seeing a pattern here?

          • William MacDougall

            Cameron for a start could and should have insisted on the Westminster electorate not the Edinburgh electorate. So EU citizens would not get a vote, children (under 18) would not get a vote, and Scots abroad for fifteen years would. But he should have extended it to Scots in England, at least those who’ve been away for less than 15 years. He appeased Salmond for no gain; he should not have allowed that gerrymandered electorate.

          • Andy Ellis

            Cameron wasn’t in a position to do so, nor are the measures you advocate practical, or in some cases in accordance with UN requirements. The only people entitled to a vote on independence are this resident in Scotland; it really isn’t rocket science. Expat Scots like myself, however interested and involved, are not automatically entitled to vote. What you are advocating is essentially an ethnic qualification. If any native born Scot in England (or even under your plan those there for less than 15, which seems a strange random period anyway) is entitled to a vote, does that mean anyone born outside Scotland, however long they have lived there, should be excluded from the vote?

            The electorate was far from gerrymandered; it’s a britnat myth. Cameron agreed to the indyref because he had no choice; he knew quite well that any attempt to stop it by reference to legalistic bans, or fixing the electorate in favour of the britnats, would simply enrage ordinary Scots and increase support for independence.

            Tell you what, I’d agree to expat Scots having the vote, and impacting the result, if the concomitant is they swear to abide by the result and lose their right to claim a rump UK passport in the event of a Yes vote. If they are so determined to be part of the Scottish polity, let them nail their clouds firmly to the mast, eh? I bet that’d soon sort out the 90 minute patriots from those with any real interest in the outcome.

          • William MacDougall

            Of course Cameron had the legal and practical power, and should have used it rather than trying appeasement.
            I discussed the vote in another reply, but here let me remind you that 15 years overseas for people who have lived in Scotland is the rule for Westminster elections. Those living in England don’t have that vote because they can vote in England, but of course Scots in England should be able to vote in the referendum. And French children on school exchanges certainly shouldn’t. It’s not an ethnic qualification, as used in Hungary for example, but a residence requirement, including recent residents temporarily abroad.
            Re your last paragraph, are you also saying that Scottish residents would have to abide by the result and lose their right to live in the rest of the UK? Doesn’t sound very fair or democratic.

          • Andy Ellis

            You keep asserting things as true which simply aren’t accepted as facts by many authorities. There was considerable debate at the time of the discussions about the referendum and the Edinburgh Agreement about whether such “permission” was required. Many, including eminent lawyers, said it wasn’t. Even if one accepts as a technicality that a section 30 order was required (which I and many others don’t!), the route to independence would have been via a plebiscitary referendum called by the Scottish Government, or the SNP seeking a mandate for independence via a plebiscitary vote at Holyrood. This path is folly for the central authority (though it seems the Catalans may have to use it due to Madrid’s intransigence) as it simply stokes the desire for independence.

            The indyref is not a GE. The scheme used was the pragmatic and sensible one, because none of the other potential ways of organising who could vote was remotely feasible or fair.

            The last para was a thought experiment demonstrating the stupidity of the attacks on the pragmatic approach which was actually used. Scots expats (and I am one myself) can’t have their cake and eat it. Why should a non resident who may have no intention of ever returning to Scotland, or of taking Scottish nationality in the event of a Yes vote, be entitled to the same input of those who actually live there? That’s just barking!

          • William MacDougall

            I think Cameron could and should have called a referendum himself a few months after the SNP won the Scottish Parliament election; holding it earlier was certainly feasible and could not have been countered by a “plebiscitary referendum”. Accepting Salmond’s choice of timing, wording, and electorate was just appeasement, and it failed.

            Scots who in good faith moved for part of their lives to another part of the UK are very much affected by the issue and of course should have a vote, regardless of what they would do if the separatists win.

          • Andy Ellis

            On what mandate would Cameron have been entitled to call a referendum? The one Scottish Tory MP in Westminster? The 15% of Scots who support his party? If Cameron wants to change the constitutional make-up of the UK, by all means let him seek a mandate to do so. The referendum was called by the SNP, given a mandate by the Scottish people at Holyrood, and held when the SNP promised it would be.

            Nor accepting the SNP’s choice (approved by the Scottish electorate at the ballot box) of timing, wording and electorate would have resulted in a crisis, and increase in support for independence, and the spectre of a plebiscitary referendum +/or election followed by UDI. That kind of Spanish scenario was never going to happen, because the folk in Westminster have more sense than you obviously do.

            Cameron & Westminster elite caved in due to their weakness, not their strength; they knew they would be on a hiding to nothing trying to veto a referendum.

            Your anti-democratic calls for “ethnic” Scots to be included in the vote get no more convincing for constant repetition. How exactly are they affected if they live and work abroad and have no intention of coming back? If they do intend to return, they are entitled to claim Scottish citizenship. If they feel strongly about having a vote, they need only move back.

          • William MacDougall

            Re your first three paragraphs, you are the one changing the make-up. The constitution says that Westminster decides on referendums. And you explain why Cameron tried appeasement, but of course it failed.

            Re your forth paragraph, I said nothing about ethnicity, just “Scots” in the sense of British citizens who lived there recently. Overseas Brits can vote in Westminster elections for 15 years, in their last constituency, so those who previously lived in Scotland are already registered. Brits living elsewhere in the UK who lived in Scotland in the last 15 years could follow the same procedure: registering in their former Scottish constituency. Would not be difficult or expensive.

          • Andy Ellis

            You’re just not getting this are you? Whether the German constitution allows it or not is immaterial. Similarly, the fact the Spanish constitution bans the Catalans holding a referendum without the consent of the rest of Spain (which effectively means they have a perpetual veto) does not outweigh the right to Catalans (or Basques) to self determination under the UN charter if the majority of them vote for it.

            It really IS just up to the Scots, defined (in accordance with international norms and UN guidelines) as those resident in Scotland. The other parts of the UK don’t get a say or a veto just because it has an impact on them. I repeat, the concept of parliamentary sovereignty is a peculiarly English construct. It is not recognised by Scots law, nor does it apply in Scotland where the people are sovereign.

          • William MacDougall

            No country in the world has what you are suggesting re frequency, so no it isn’t the norm.
            And all those resident in Scotland did not have the vote, only those with EU or Commonwealth citizenship, very wrongly at least for the EU group. For Westminster elections Scots who have moved abroad temporarily, within the last 15 years, do have the vote, so of course they should have the vote in a referendum; that is a common rule in such referendums.

          • Andy Ellis

            I don’t understand your points; you’re not making yourself clear, sorry. The frequency of referendums is, I repeat, entirely a matter for the Scots people, via their parliament in Holyrood to decide. If they want one annually, then that’s what will happen. Which part of democratic politics is it you don’t understand?

            The voting criteria for the referendum were quite clear, and widely accepted. Only the more extreme elements of British nationalism seem to have a problem with it. There was no call or demand for Scots who had moved abroad to be included in the indyref vote. How would you suggest that was organised? Who was going to pay for it and administer it? Who gets to vote? Anyone born in Scotland? Anyone who had ever lived in Scotland, no matter where they were born? Anyone whose parents or grandparents were born in Scotland?

            The common sense rule is the one which was applied; Scottish residents on the electoral register got a vote. Any Scottish expat (like me for example) who felt strongly enough about it simply needed to move back.

          • William MacDougall

            For a start all Scots on the Westminster electoral register should have been able to vote. That includes Scots who moved abroad; but also it should have been extended to Scots who moved elsewhere in the UK, on the same basis as those who moved abroad (for 15 years). That would be the common sense approach.
            Using the Edinburgh register was even worse; it gives votes to Germans in Scotland, but not to Scots in Germany. And appallingly the vote was extended to children.

          • Andy Ellis

            Giving votes to 16 & 17 year olds is a progressive move, and should be supported on that basis. as pointed out earlier it can hardly be presented as an attempt by pro-Yes people to improve their chances, as initial polls showed they were overwhelmingly pro-union, but over the course of the relentlessly negative No campaign moved decisively to being overwhelmingly in favour of Yes.

            Who was going to pay for the preparation of this register of Scots who moved abroad, and organise it? The only people who should have a say in whether Scotland becomes independent are Scots resident there, or who are on the electoral register/have property there. Why should a Scot who moved 15 years ago, with no intention of ever moving moving back, be able to influence the outcome?

            Your suggestion is not only profoundly undemocratic, it is practically unworkable, which is why only extreme britnats tend to make a huge fuss about it – even Project Fear accepted the scheme used.The referendum, and the independence movement is premised on civic nationalism; what you are suggesting panders to ethnic nationalism and would promote dissension and conflict.

          • William MacDougall

            Giving children the vote is a “progressive move” is it? That really settles the issue; but it would be even more “progressive” to give it to 2 year olds wouldn’t it?

            As for the rest, see my other answer.

          • Andy Ellis

            Reductio ad absurdam isn’t an argument, it just proves there’s a bridge missing a troll I’m afraid. You don’t have any real argument, just the usual britnat negativity and ancestral cringe. If this was twitter I’d be blocking you now.

          • Mark Kilby

            Of course the problem for nats who try to counter the Northern Isles card by claiming there is no demand for it, is that there is no incentive for the Northern Isles to play their cards until their hand is forced by those on the mainland.

          • Andy Ellis

            Surely if there was ANY significant demand for or support of either independence for the Northern Isles, or staying within the UK in the event of Scottish independence, we would know about it? In the absence of any such evidence, all we have to go on is what we see and hear, and any polling evidence. The only poll I’ve been able to find relating to the issue was undertaken by the Aberdeen Press & Journal a few years ago. It found >80% saying they would stay with Scotland in the event of a Yes in independence referendum.

          • Mark Kilby

            Cannot dispute that Andy but it is not unreasonable to raise it. Scottish independence only appeared on the radar a mere 80 years ago, and only when oil was discovered did it begin to gather real momentum. So the landscape can change.

            Post independence will be an interesting time, there may be a further shake-out down the road, it depends entirely on how it goes. You would not plan on that happening of course, and on the current readings there is no substantial appetite, so it would take real world events to trigger it, for example if living standards diverged significantly from what’s left of the UK, the unexpected is then to be expected.

          • Andy Ellis

            I absolutely accept its not unreasonable to raise it and agree landscapes can change. I think independence is now much more likely, even inevitable, due to the inability of the UK system to square the circle of providing the level of devomax which would have satisfied most Scots, and answering the West Lothian/EVEL implications.

            Absent any actual evidence to the contrary however, the case remains there is no evidence of any current appetite for them not being part of Scotland.

          • Mark Kilby

            I think there will certainly be an appetite for the Shetlands to protect their own interests. They have such a distinct and unique existence.

            In terms of ‘demand’, that can be manufactured. The UK could very easily ‘out bid’ the Scottish government in terms of an offer to the Shetlands. Make no mistake about that. So the UK has scope for making a good deal of mischief (if it wished). Why would it do that? It might well not (and even if it did it might fail). But whilst Scotland is part of a Union it’s mostly all wooden dollars. After independence everything changes, Scotland enters into competition with rUK, it is no more a partner than Ireland or France. It will act in the best interests of its own population at the expense of others (I am not a fan at all of the nation state BTW but those are the rules).

            What I think is more a factor for the Shetlands, if you like their REAL choice, and they will no doubt be mindful of this, is the risk of becoming cast as the spoiler of the party – imagine the potential for resentment – the Shetland tail wagging the dog of the Scottish mainland and potentially wrecking project iScotland. Ironically this is not dissimilar to the way the rest of the UK is liable to view the actions of the SNP following the GE, wrecking project UK, depending upon how much mischief they try to make. And lets face it, progress depends on destabilising the status quo.

            For what it is worth I think Shetlands would opt to stick with Scotland, at the very most perhaps some fudge in their status that gives them so room for movement (autonomy) but does not risk them having any failings pinned on them.

            All this is not necessarily a bad thing, the UK as a whole has been sailing along and ticking over in reasonably stable fashion for a while – good in some ways but less good in others – as you risk things going stale. We can judge change by what it achieves, but I also think change can judge how it occurs, and these days it is pretty peaceful so no bad thing.

            It is sad to see the insults on all sides of this debate, an unfortunate side effect of awakening in people divisions that really do not exist – they are manufactured for a purpose of course (we are all far more alike than we are different).

            Apologies for the length of the reply. I had thought we might be wrapping it up by now.

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      You’re not a big believer in democracy, then.

      • Abie Vee

        Who says referenda are democratic? A true democracy is measured by the protection it affords to minority groups within it. That is to say, protection from the tyranny of the majority. A Referendum is the discredited First Past The Post with knobs on: Mobocracy.

        • James Morrison

          Well we’ll just get a majority in 2016 then. That ok with you?

          • Abie Vee

            In short, no.

          • James Morrison

            Smiley.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            A true democracy is measured by being democratic, that is power being vested in the people. Obviously you have a problem with that concept. Complaints about the ‘tyranny of the majority’ are a thinly veiled contempt for the democratic process known as voting.

          • Abie Vee

            Not “thinly veiled” at all. I have nothing but utter contempt for them.. “a Bonapartist device”.

            I prefer a Parliamentary Democracy, with all it’s faults: ” the worst form of government, except for those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Churchill. House of Commons 1947.

            In a true democracy the losers are still represented; they sit, in the form of Her Majesty’s Opposition on sub-committees, they chair public enquiries, they can amend bills, delay bills and even bring down the government! In short, they are still a fully participating part of the democratic process. Conversely, in a referendum, the entire losing votes (and millions of voters) are cast into the dustbin of history… winner takes all and to hell with the rest of you.

            The tyranny of the Majority laid naked before your eyes. Mobocracy.

          • James Morrison

            Ah…a voice from the past…”they do things differently there”

          • Abie Vee

            By the look of you, you’d know.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            Who is going to select the members of this parliament since you despise the right of people to choose their own government? Obviously, it can’t be done by vote since in electing representatives to parliament, it would have to be done by that horrible principle of majority rule.

            And when that parliament oppresses the people since there is no referenda, the only recourse will be bloodshed. Good luck with that.

          • Abie Vee

            Good grief. You don’t even understand the country you live in!

            The voters elect MPs. However, it is not as simple as that. An MP represents his constituency… that is to say, all of them, not just the 30% or so of the electorate who happened to vote for him. And then he represents his Party and their manifesto commitments, then he represents his own personal opinions, and then he represents the country as a whole!

            Where does your stupid First Past The Post, Winner Takes All Referendum fit in with that subtlety? Nowhere is the answer.

          • James Morrison

            Where does the stupid FPTP election get us then? We’ll win in ’16 too Abie,,,,PR doncha know?

          • Iqabove2

            Mobocracy, and democracy are the same thing. And if yoU prefer first past the post systems such as is used for WM elections, you can’t expect anything else. If you whant a representative Democracy then you simply have to have a system of proportional representation. Something Westminster voted against in the last parliament.

        • Disgruntled Knome

          Democracy is by the old Greek standard a well informed people included in decision making, so regular referendums to consult the public is democracy.

          It works for plenty of other countries…. The Swiss only need a petition with 100,000 people then they have to have a referendum by law to decide if it should be made.

          People might not agree with everything the swiss do, but on that model its hard to say it was not what the public wanted.

          On that note,,, public opinion wants the rails and other infrastructure public owned. Which includes gas, oil, electrics, bus service, mail, health, and road maintenance…

          If its such a democracy how come we are not being given a referendum on the matter?

          • Abie Vee

            No they are not democratic . They are tyranny… the tyranny of the majority, the tyranny of the mob: First Past the Post, Devil Take the Hindmost, Winner Takes All with Brass Knobs On.

          • Mark Kilby

            The death penalty could well win a democratic mandate – would you support that?

      • William MacDougall

        If the Shetland and Orkney islands want to have a referendum on independence from Scotland, would you allow it? Who would you have make that decision, them, Edinburgh, or Westminster? How often would you allow them to have a referendum? Most Scottish separatists when asked say “no”, or at least that it would be decided by Edinburgh, yet it is the same issue of “democracy”. Do you believe in democracy?

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          If THEY actually wanted it, instead of it being used as a club by Scotland hating unionists, I would certainly support it. There is absolutely no indication this is the case, and islanders are quite capable of making their voices heard. They hardly need or want unionists deciding what they want for them.

          Yes, my good sir, I do believe in democracy and I have yet to ever see any independence supporter say otherwise in spite of your fantasy claim

          • William MacDougall

            Scots – in a gerrymandered electorate biased for separation – were given the democratic opportunity to ask for independence. They clearly expressed the desire to stay in the Union. The issue is how often should they be asked again; once a generation is enough.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            No. We were not ‘given the opportunity’. Westmnster had NO interest in ‘giving’ such an opportunity.

            Self-determination is a right, not a gift. We voted into an office a party with an independence referendum as a major point in its manifesto. That party passed the legislation in Holyrood to hold one. We would have held it whether Westminster agreed or not.

            The referendum was at the demand of the Scottish people, and when we demand another one, there will be no choice except to hold it.

    • Red Priest

      And then the Scots will run their own – completely on their own terms – win it on the back of Westminster’s ‘arrogant and colonial’ refusal to grant Scots their ‘rights’ and if necessary declare UDI immediately after the Eu referendum. The EU will then probably threaten to ‘offer’ Scotland the UK’s former seat as ‘successor state’ without the awkwardness of the usual acension requirements.
      And if you think they won’t win, consider that SNP got to 45% from less than 30% with no economic plan to speak of, the full UK machine against them without the cock-up that the Vow has now become, and with the exceptionally devisive Salmond at the helm. 45% – one person in twenty away from full and final victory. Well may you shudder.
      Good plan, William.
      There’s one realistic plan. Complete Home Rule. Full Fiscal Autonomy, within a Federalisation of the UK. Offered to SNP, but bought at the price of a twenty five year abeyance on indyrefs – to give the new structures ‘time to grow’. SNP will reluctantly have to take it because Complete Home Rule is actually the preferred answer in Scotland, not indy, and by the time they get another shot at indy, the federal structures wil be imbedded and grievance neutralised.

      • sheff

        There’s one other realistic plan; let them have another referendum, don’t campaign against it, and have nothing to do with them afterwards.

        Then we’ll never have to hear about it again!

        • Steve Bowers

          They can’t afford to not campaign against it, you’ve been consistently lied to, you do not subsidise Scotland it is the other way round. Just put any prejudices you may or may not have to one side and consider…… why did Westminster campaign so hard with the connivance of the entire media of britain ( except one Sunday paper) to keep Scotland as part of the uk , it wasn’t altruism !

          • sheff

            I couldn’t care less if I’m £1000 better off or worse off. You lot clearly don’t want to be part of us all else being equal, so I’d be perfectly happy to have nothing more to do with you just for the peace and quiet.

            I used to be a passionate Unionist, you’ve won me round – be happy!

          • Steve Bowers

            Actually Sheff, that’s not quite true, we want to be good neighbours and friends and we also want to reserve the right to close the door and say we don’t want to come out to play today.

          • sheff

            And we want to reserve that right as well. 😉

          • Steve Bowers

            That seems perfectly reasonable to me, let’s meet up for a beer sometime. Enjoy your evening Sheff.

          • sheff

            You too Steve.

      • William MacDougall

        Holding a referendum without Westminster approval would be illegal and certainly could and should be stopped.

        • Red Priest

          Yep, reduce Scotland to a war zone to deny it the right to vote. Good strategy there. And the legality of a ‘consultative’ referendum, as opposed to a ‘binding’ one is very much open to question.

          And while we’re at it, tell me, how do you intend to stop it, when the police force answer to Holyrood?

          • William MacDougall

            I trust Scottish police and civil servants would not break the law. Certainly if such a referendum were somehow held illegally the results could and should be ignored.

    • James Morrison

      Westminster is no longer the centre of Scottish politics Holyrood is. A referendum can be called at any time by the Scottish Govt. as Westminster cannot prevent it. Personally I feel there there would be no real reason for another one if a conclusive result comes from the 2016 election.

      • William MacDougall

        Of course it can and should be prevented for a reasonable period. The law is clear: Westminster decides on referendums, as well as on whether or not a region separates.

    • David Houldsworth

      William – the quickest way for Scotland to leave the UK ‘family of nations’ would be for Westminster to say ‘no – you’re not having another referendum’. You really believe the Scots would say ‘ah well, fair enough then’ ? …really ?

      • William MacDougall

        The Scots were given a referendum, and if wanted Scotland could certainly have another in 25 years, but having decided some stability is required. You can’t hold a referendum every month until the vote goes the “right way”…

  • smilingvulture

    Smith Commission Vow is now mince & tatties(£20 billion correction)

    In our report of November 27 we stated that the Smith Commission on Devolution would recommend that the Scottish Government budget should “nearly double” and that the current budget of about £30bn would rise to about £50bn.

    This was based on a misunderstanding of information provided by a source close to the Smith report.

    The estimated “doubling” related to the proportion of the budget raised from taxes devolved to the Scottish Government, rather than the overall size of the budget; the £50bn estimate for the “increased budget” was therefore incorrect.

    The impact of the increased devolved powers such as tax, welfare, air passenger duty and Crown Estates budget is yet to be fully determined.

    Daily Record

  • mixodorians

    The union died the second Unionists decided to all become hard done by English nationalists about five minutes after the referendum result came in. The Union relies on a lot of people (the celts) turning the other cheek. If we are all in a little resentment spiral the Celts have far far more things to be resentful about than the English. The English becoming all hard done by is actually laughable, if you understand what the Union actually is.

  • Bob Hutton

    The result of the election has already been fore-ordained. The Bible says (in Romans 13 v 1) that the “powers that be are ordained of God”.

    • Abie Vee

      It also says: “Every Kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation”. Matthew 12:25

      • Bob Hutton

        Very good, Abie Vee, perhaps this UK is heading for a break up as a judgement from the Lord for ungodly laws passed over the last 48 years starting, with the Abortion Act of 1967.

        • Abie Vee

          I couldn’t possibly say. Where I come from, questioning, even anticipating the Lord’s reasoning is called blasphemy.

  • PetaJ

    Alex Massie makes Scotland sound like a particularly malignant cancer eating away at Great Britain while blaming Tory ‘arrogance’ for it. It is an unedifying sight. At the very least the West Lothian question must be addressed but, having read this article, I can’t help but think that Scotland should be hived off. They are doing no-one any good.

    • Gary Jessiman

      Wouldn’t you like for someone to step in and help prevent the wholesale bargain basement asset strip that the two main parties have been perpetrating for the last 40yrs?
      As the Unionists keep shouting at us, we lost, we decided to stay. Surely what is happening now is that we’re making sure these bstrds cannot keep getting away with murder.

      A shake up of Westminster politics might make them listen to the people that they’re supposed to be representing for a change.

  • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

    “Far from finishing the SNP, the referendum campaign has left them stronger than ever.”

    Tell that to ranting British nationalist fanatic, Alan Cochrane, who has spent every waking moment since the referendum boasting to any poor unfortunate who carelessly gets within earshot of his part in Alex Salmond’s downfall.

    The point of this, lest it not be obvious, is that unionist commentators in the British media are, without any exception which immediately springs to mind, blinkered to the point of delusion.

    Alex Massie is as guilty as any of unthinkingly accepting the portrayal of Scottish politics offered by atrociously ill-informed and pompously opinionated London-based (or London-oriented) commentators. See, for example, the intellectually lazy assumption that the SNP would prefer a Tory win in May – whatever a “win” might look like now that the old Tory/Labour duopoly is disintegrating. It simply doesn’t occur to him that the SNP – or anybody else, for that matter – might have no preference at all in a straight choice that is barely relevant any more.

    For the old guard of the British establishment, as represented by Mr Massie, all of politics is encompassed by the two “main” British parties, with their faux rivalries covering a neo-liberal consensus about as well as a hooker’s micro-skirt covers her bahookie. Within this narrow, shallow perspective the SNP can only have relevance to the extent that they can be related to the only parties that British elitists regard as “real”.

    But Alex Massie is somewhat more perspicacious than most of his colleagues. Although I’m sure most of them would prefer that he practice this perspicacity in a more Trappist fashion. Poor Old Cockers and his drooling ilk will be sorely discomfited by Mr Massie’s acknowledgement, in his penultimate paragraph, that the ideology of British nationalism is a faith position and akin to fundamentalist cult.

    This is a similarity that I have frequently remarked upon. Not least in terms of a conviction among Britnats that any behaviour, however reprehensible in any other context, is fully justified in defence of the divinely-ordained British state. It is gratifying to have the quasi-religious nature of British nationalism recognised by a member of its priesthood.

    • James Morrison

      Amen to that.

    • sandie

      We voted no.

      • DougDaniel

        We also voted No in the first devolution referendum.

        We voted Yes the next time, though…

        • sandie

          We (well only 60% of us turned out) vote for Holyrood but when it mattered we voted no to taking it further.

          • rod robertson

            Sandie you should re-read the article ,especially the bit about unionists in denial

          • DougDaniel

            You don’t think devolution mattered? What an interesting confession…

            You’re missing the point though, but if you want to be complacent, then don’t let me stop you.

        • Clutha

          Scotland voted “Yes” in the first devolution referendum.

          • DougDaniel

            Indeed. Not by enough to get past the artificial finishing line, though.

      • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

        Has the news just reached you?

        • sandie

          News?
          We voted no, we are staying in the union dude.
          Do you mean your post?
          Yes, very well written, all speculation and loads of bitterness about being ‘Scottish’.

          • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

            You think I’m bitter about being Scottish? How quaint!

            Scotland’s constitutional status will be decided by the people of Scotland. They will not fall for the lies and scaremongering of British nationalists a second time.

    • Steve Bowers

      Class Peter, pure class, I do enjoy seeing you in kick arse mode

    • paulus

      What a magnificent rant that was.. Bravo. Unfortunately as we know the No vote turned out for their own self interest as opposed to a faith based agenda. The Labour party sold yous out for coin. And to think all the revenues of the oil, could have been yours alone, Like a scene from whiskey galore, yous could have denuded the local boating lakes and rowed out with a shovel and bucket and all become oil sheiks.

      The Labour party lost their soul.

  • Agetha

    They have worded it wrong we are part of the British Isles it’s just the UK that might change.

  • anon

    The argument for the union was so that england could keep using scotlands money fo prop there finances up

  • scotcanadien

    FFS Massie give it a rest. You’ve become a one trick pony with your anti-SNP crap. Haven’t you got the brains to write about another subject. You are like a little rat down in the sewer gnawing away inneffectively at the pipes and cables, whining and moaning like an English who has lost ten pence.

    • sandie

      Is that what cyber-gnats do?
      Turn up to moan at things they ‘don’t like’?
      Pathetic actually.

  • Disgruntled Knome

    I think its time the Unionist/Nationalist propaganda was put to rest…. And then focus on the discontent which is rightly placed in current politics. Because its just a distraction and not limited to the boundaries of Scotland by a long shot.

    Labour, are Tory light, UKIP are Tory extreme. Non offer an alternative and honestly its tiresome that they pretend to be position especially in the face of all voting records being publicly accessible!

    Though thanks to this discontent people are looking to alternatives, some are good alternatives and offer real opposition to the worst of legislation, but then there are the likes of UKIP who are genuinely dangerous.

    Looking back over history, there are lessons to be learnt, and what at this time we should be doing is judging the people by their actions. The SNP, Socialists, Greens, Plaid and a plethora of other small and non party affiliated candidates have good policies and a decent track record. So do a few fringe Labour MPs of the likes of Skinner.

    But then there are the other extreme end of the political spectrum which includes, but is not limited to UKIP.

    Now, I have read UKIP policies and agendas in the past, and I have found my head nodding in agreement to what seems sensible and workable, but if its a 20 page document its 4>5 pages of that sparsely spread, then a diatribe of hate for the rest that would make Goebbels blush. Which ties in nicely with history, a face of the public pandering to peoples worries with a dangerous undertone that people failed to see and went on to cause unfathomable damage.

    What media outlets like this should be doing, rather than promoting hatred, should be promoting political activeness, and really promoting research and judging people on their actions. That is the right thing to do and its not going to lead the world down a dangerous path because it suits the political agenda of the new outlets owners.

    Its time reporters stopped being so lazy and did a proper job. Because reading things like this, they put no leg work into research and just reiterate hate speeches from other outlets just as they do articles about anything from cheese eating to toe nail painting from months back on slow news weeks.

  • DougDaniel

    This is the problem with winning a referendum based on scare tactics – you win the vote, but not the argument. And if you don’t win the argument, then all you’re doing is putting off the inevitable. Until unionists can make a positive argument for the union, independence will always be on the agenda – and if such an argument existed, it would have happened before now. Scare tactics have diminishing returns, and with just 5% required to move from No to Yes next time, there’s not much room for any more diminishing.

    If the No side had won the referendum fairly, then things might be different; but as it was, every trick in the book was used to try and scare people into voting No (as multiple first-hand accounts have since admitted, most notably those long essays in the Grauniad and the Telegraph at the tail end of last year, and Sir Nicholas Macpherson’s comments several weeks ago). So instead of simply having long-term SNP voters to contend with, now you have ex-Labour Yes voters who feel betrayed by their former party, and reluctant No voters who feel aggrieved that they were duped, or simply angry at themselves for allowing caution to get the better of them. None of these people have any reason to vote Labour now.

    The union can’t survive long-term on just the minority of rabid Britnats, such as those who will no doubt reply to this comment – there’s simply not enough of them left.

  • JohnMcDonaldish

    Alex Massie loves to pontificate as if he is in the Unionists battle HQ. Through his prism, like most London-centric commentators, he views the SNP, these wreckers, these fomenters of discord and division – as the enemy and loves to suggest where Unionists have gone wrong and suggest ways the “secessionists” can be beaten. And doesn’t he just love to throw in the odd Irish allusion, as a bit of added spice.

    Much better to read Ian Bell in The National – http://www.thenational.scot/comment/2014-the-year-of-our-revolution.485

  • john

    Can it really be that the cozy London elite are losing power? The Scots Nats must push ahead and shake up the public school coterie that is UK politics. Push for independence, ending the Lords, dumping the monarchy etc. Democracy may still be possible in the UK.

  • NBeale

    The SNP can’t cut a deal with Labour because they have ruled out supporting the Conservatives. And “independence” is a dead duck with $50 oil.

    • sandie

      The SNP pretend the White Paper never mentioned the stuff.
      But they did.
      And in the run up to the GE all their lies will come back to haunt them.
      Big time.

      • Meanwhile In Scotia

        Sure, it’s not haunting them NOW, but it will LATER.
        Dream on!

    • MichtyMe

      Why, non oil, per capita, tax revenues in Scotland are the UK average, the oil was/is/will be a bonus.

      • NBeale

        It’s not just the oil revenues it’s the revenues connected with the oil industry. There are massive cutbacks globally. The Scottish economy depends on Oil, Financial Services, Whisky and Tourism. FS would relocate to London if there were “independence” and Oil is in the doldrums.

        • Steve Bowers

          Watch the sudden and complete drain of financial services from london as it gets closer to an in/out EU ref. It’s going to be spectacular, Dublin must be rubbing its hands in glee

          • NBeale

            That’s a joke. The Irish are in no position to take on the supervision or back stopping of another large financial institution and the ECB acts through the national regulators. London is the only sensible place to base a global financial instituition unless you are tied to a strong domestic market.

          • Steve Bowers

            Ooooer ! don’t tell Hong Kong or Singapore that. Londons economy is a casino, that’s fine when it works, only problem is that anyone can build a casino anywhere and the gamblers can chose where they want to punt .

    • rod robertson

      Actually today the price is $60.81 cents and on the climb again as expected OOOPS !!! Awkward

    • Steve Bowers

      Gosh, that means Brent crude’s gone up by $11 in 37 minutes, it’ll be worth a fortune by three oclock

  • Compton Arthur

    Its not a surprise the vote was rigged we knew tyhatv Westminster would go to any lengths to keep their corrupt ship afloat . Once the people of England wake up they will not only close West minster down the will arrest all thats in it and put them on trial for fraud tax evasion and for all the corrupt acts that they have carried out .

    • Mark Kilby

      We’ll get the Famous Five on the case right away.

  • Liz

    Perhaps if the opposition parties actually did something about the damage they have inflicted through continual austerity measures, which have contributed to mass unemployment and child poverty, then maybe they would win some Scottish votes.

  • Abie Vee

    From a purely Scots point of view, we are lorded-over by two far bigger entities than us: the largely English government (533 English seats as against 59 Scottish seats in the UK Parliament), and the EU.

    Drawing upon the principle of Bishop Occam’s Razor: “Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem” (entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily) we are faced with the conclusion that one of them must go. For the Scots, it’s quite obvious that the lesser of the two entities, and thus unnecessary, is England.

  • http://scottishrap.weebly.com/ Werd SOS

    ‘English Tories, whose arrogance is matched only by their ignorance, are
    aware that Labour is merely the opposition, whereas the SNP is the
    enemy.’ … I like that, well written.

    • GUBU

      I’m glad you like it. But unfortunately for you and Mr Massie, it’s not entirely true.

      Mr Massie actually contradicts himself by later observing that many ‘English Tories’ have effectively conceded that Scotland may well go its own way in due course.

      I would go further and suggest that more than a few would – perhaps not openly – welcome Mr Salmond’s return to Westminster, because they, like the SNP, see the advantages in playing a longer game. The Conservatives are, to all intents and purposes, now an English party, and their prospects of being in power will actually improve after independence.

      Add to that the fact that a right of centre revival in Scotland – which will happen as part of a broader, longer term realignment in Scottish politics – will be helped by the emergence of a new, distinctive brand.

      The risk in all of this lies with Mr Miliband. Do a deal with the SNP, and you consign your own party’s fortunes in Scotland to the dustbin, whilst simultaneously running the risk of alienating many English voters by making concessions to Mr Salmond which become unpopular in England.

      I’m sure there’s someone, somewhere in the Labour Party who has already warned Mr Miliband that the real cost of a term in office starting on 8 May could be a generation out of office when it ends.

      I wonder if he’s listening?

      • James Morrison

        I Doubt it.

  • BigCheddar

    The whole premise of this piece is that Scottish independence is a bad thing for the rest of the UK. I believe that England lost the last referendum.

    Scottish independence would be brilliant for England, Wales and NI. Labour would be vanquished for ever, their rhetoric was relevant and needed in the first decades of the last century. They are no longer either of those things.

    An independent England would redefine the central ground of politics away from the soft left and become a thriving economy freed of the socialist constraints it currently suffers under.

    Nevertheless, we should recognise that the Scots will never vote for independence in a referendum. Constitutional cowards with a polemic based on hate and envy they will vote for which ever side there bread is most heavily buttered. They know that they’d go broke if independent so they’ll vote to stay with the UK.

    Having done so, when the fight is over, like true cowards, they come out with their fists up spouting their hateful bile and claiming their victim status. All those new SNP members would run a mile if their membership truly led to independence.

    If we want to reclaim Holyrood for Unionist parties we should say that any party who wins a majority in Holyrood, with clear and unequivocal promises to break Scotland away and become independent, should be able to do so on a majority vote in parliament. Their support would desert them like Sots deserting a restaurant with no deep fat fryer.

    • rod robertson

      Your xenophobia is in full rant ,however anyone who deems Labour to be of the left does not deserve to be taken seriously

      • BigCheddar

        Xenophobia is such a strong word and overused by the left. I am, in fact, a Unionist, turned off by the continual bile and hatred I am subjected to just because I’m English. The referendum debate changed my view for ever from Unionist to separatist. It was xenophobia that turned me away from it.

        My comments are not based on hatred, but fact. My attachment to the Union was emotional, based on tradition. I would now like to live in a country that better reflects my views. A country that is more democratic. to do the we need Scotland to leave.

        • James Morrison

          Hi Big,
          Are you in a position to vote TACTICALLY for the SNP? All votes are welcome.

          • BigCheddar

            Que????

      • BigCheddar

        Well, Rod, ‘left’ is quite a mild soubriquet it turns out? ‘Marxist’ more seems to be judged more accurate by the ppl of England. Xenophobia! Tolerance is not the leftist strong suit is it?

  • Helena Brown

    The end of Britain, are we going to have a cataclysmic disaster Alan, is England finally going to succumb to the waves by sinking below them. Don’t be utterly stupid. The United Kingdom as an entity will not survive for much longer and this has as much to do with your attitude to your homeland and it’s people. and the machinations of Westminster.
    All we in Scotland want is to run our own country, nearly everyone does this, why not us?

    • Mark Kilby

      “All we in Scotland want is to run our own country”
      About 37% voted that way last year.

      • Helena Brown

        45% actually, and now around 50% according to Mr Ashcroft’s poll on the subject the other week.

        • Mark Kilby

          “45% actually, and now around 50% according to Mr Ashcroft’s poll on the subject the other week.”

          It was 37% of the electorate o great sage. Do you also believe the count was wrong?

          Fantastic, another poll, it must be true. Just like the one that said the yes campaign would win.

          • RolftheGanger

            Your hidden assumption is that non-voters are automatically pro-Union. Deluded fancy.

            Democracy works on who turns out and votes. As you will find in May.

          • Mark Kilby

            Mischief in May.

            There’s no assumption, just a statement of fact.

  • rod robertson

    Whether it be Britnat journos like Alex Massie ,or the insane mad hatter right wingers in forums like this ,they all have a go at the messenger ,and fail to read the message.
    In this context the SNP ,Plaid ,Greens and even the UKIPPERs are all saying the same thing Westminster is not fit for purpose.
    We have a 19th Century Governance and Parliament still acting and making laws in an Imperialist manner.
    The problem is a “democracy” that is in dire need of modernising.
    Post 1945 when all the democracies of the world were updating ,writing new constitutions Bills of rights etc the winners EG USA &UK did nothing.
    Their attitude being we won we are the only ones not requiring any changes in this new world.
    We have the spectacle of an octogenarian benefit scrounger riding through the streets of London in what could be classed as a Disney prop to open a Parliament.
    Black Rod the summoning of the commoners to enter a room full of 848 unelected toadies and parasites and an old biddy and her man sitting on two thrones telling us what will happen.
    Follow that up with an antiquated voting system ,no written constitution and ancient customs and you wonder why people want change.
    With technology you can download 100 copies of the bible across the Atlantic in a micro second.
    Yet our MPs still troupe through lobbies as in days of yore.
    We even have a representative of the City of London sitting behind the Speaker able to stop any legislation going through Parliament that might upset the city spivs.
    No matter that the electorate might hae voted for this change.
    Rifkind and Straw ,expenses scandals ,cash for peerages ,paedophellia ,illegal wars.
    The public can do nothing but wait for 5 years to vote for Tweedledum or Tweedledee to renact the same failed policies over and over again.
    Bottom line the SNP are not the problem they are the message reform and change or we are outta here.

  • Graham Purnell

    The Scottish Treasury was not in deficit at the time of the Act of Union but many nobles were “bought and sold for English gold” because they were broke due to disastrous personal investments. Their modern equivalents are the captains of industry who worked with Cameron to spread scare stories and smears during the indyref; their concerns weren’t for the common good but for personal gain.

    Scotland inherited a deficit when it accepted a share of English debt as part of the Union settlement. England was heavily in debt because warmongering and empire building aren’t cheap. England’s answer to rising debt was, predictably, more expansion and plunder – and Scots, unfortunately, became partners in those crimes.

    • sandie

      Jeez you look good for your age;)

      • RolftheGanger

        The weak response says everything about the missing case for the Union.

      • Pat

        Good luck winning the battle for hearts and minds using mindless quips and emoticons!

  • Keith Francis Farrell

    This is very interesting reading however I cannot work out if they are for or against the SNP. I’m pro Scotland. I believe that there are two ways things will go, either Devo max, where the UK becomes a federal UK or independence. there is no longer an easy option. WestMinister has lied to the people of Scotland and more importantly lied to the English tax payer. Ask anyone in England about Scotland and they will say that they are sick of their tax money supporting Scotland. Further more they wish they could vote Scotland out of the UK. Stupidly they do not realise the impact that would have. Scotland would no longer need to finance the UK, our oil money would be ours. The English say, we cannot find Scotland from our oil money. Sure we can find Scotland from our tax income. We can tax those wealth english land owners. Next, the banks. They are businesses. They can move. They can leave, does not matter. If they leave, fine. We will start our own bank. The pound. We have the Scottish pound already, if we want we can link it to the English pound. If England does not want to give us our equal prorata share of the UK assets then they cannot expect us to take an equal share of the national debt. Simple. Would anyone in Scotland really want to pay for something they cannot have. The EU, we were told by WestMinister that if we voted yes. Then we would not be allowed to stay in the EU. Please make up your minds and don’t be stupid

    • sandie

      **We will start our own bank**
      Simples.

      • Pat

        It is actually very easy. How do you think every other country managed it?

    • ohforheavensake

      Couple of points: firstly, Alex is anti-SNP; however, and unusually for The Spectator, he’s good at objective analysis, and this is an excellent example of that. Secondly, I notice that you don’t seem to have any evidence for the rest of the points you make.

      • RolftheGanger

        Alex is good at attempting objective analysis.
        However, he stated off with a colonial Brit upbringing, where the home country, UK, is romanticised and idealised.

        Slowly the realities are wearing through his romantic attachment. This is causing him some mental anguish and emotional pain. Evident in his frustration at the callous indifference displayed by southern establishment types.

        He does not see it, but Massie is slowly becoming disenchanted with his red white and blue version of what he thought was Unionism. On current trajectory he will be voting SNP by 2016.

  • Gordon Malloch

    Please stop using the misnomer Scottish Labour, there is no such organisation!!

    • James Morrison

      Wrong….we call it Slab now. Why don’t you know this?

  • Anne Coleman

    ……and meanwhile, like the mammals at the end of the dinosaur era, the GREEN party are stealthily increasing their support among the undecided, non-voters, disgruntled Lib=dems, potential protest-voters etc….. Green party membership is at an all-time high- third only after the labour and tory parties. Don’t let their inexperience with the limelight fool you. They will have some seats to bargain with after this election too

  • http://www.englishstandard.org/ Wyrdtimes

    Good luck to SNP and Scotland. When will the English get a say on England?

    • Andy Ellis

      When you man up and organise a party to campaign for it, or come up with a workable federal solution that satisfies the Scots, Welsh and N Irish?

      Good luck with that!

    • Steve Bowers

      Get up here and ask around, you’ll get plenty of help and advice on how to kick things off. radical independence had 14 members ( the ones who barracked Farage in a pub) by the end of the Indy Ref they had 5000. Contact English Scots for YES on facebook, they’ll help….. the list in very very long and we’re all extending a open and friendly hand.

    • rod robertson

      As soon as you get off your arses and do something about it

  • Scott Bowie

    i still see no reason for the union. it’s done, confined to the history bins, time for all the countries of the former u.k to run themselves, like every other nation in the world does.

    • maltdram

      Very well said Scott…I’ve been SNP from well before voting age – my parents were Labour voters – many of our family were captured, killed and badly wounded in WW2! That time is now in our history; as the UK must now be. Our future now awaits our freshly Independent Scotland!

      All the best in future, Ewen

    • Mark Kilby

      At which border does the division stop Scott? Look further back in time and you’ll find further borders to dig up.

  • Charles Patrick O’Brien

    Why the mention of Alex Salmond? Alex is not in charge anymore,there already is a leader of the Scottish National Party at Westminster,please note its National and not nationalist! This might be democracy happening but the ruling elite prefer blatant capitalism,means they keep control of us serfs,and although in Scotland the citizens are sovereign this is being taken from us and the rights that go with it.Unionism is just one set having control over more people and done under a pretext,try and work it out for yourself,then you will know its true.

    • sandie

      There will be no capitalism in Scotland, you will all hand back your council houses you were gifted by Thatcher, can’t wait.

      • Pat

        What!? All I heard was we’d have to use monopoly money as a currency, would all have to drive on the right and wouldn’t be able to watch Strictly Come Dancing!

  • CraigStrachan

    The Bloc Quebecois won 54 out of 75 federal seats in Quebec in the 1993 Canadian federal election. Canada remains intact today, after the loss of the second sovereignty referndum in 1995.

    Something similar would happen in Scotland, should the SNP find themselves in a position to call a second indyref. Although even then, personally, I expect Nicola would shite it.

  • sandie

    Looking forward to TV debates,
    Sturgeon is weak and lacking in any real vim or vigour, clue, care or capacity.
    Excellent platform to kill their lying divisive nonense dead.
    So many questions coming their way, won’t know if they are on foot or horseback, no where to hide.
    RIP SNP.

    • Andy Ellis

      Wow..you really are delusional aren’t you? Nicola wiped the floor with the opposition on QT recently. she’ll have no problem dealing with low voltage opposition like Cameron, Miliband and Clegg.

      Are you sure you aren’t one of the folk behind #SNPOut? It’d really figure. Their website has a poll that makes kind of awkward reading for all the unthinking SNP haters out there.

      Remind us agin of the relative satisfaction ratings for the Scottish parties and leaders…? Awkward.

      • sandie

        Why do they have a measly membership of under 100,000 when over 1.6m voted Yes?

        • Andy Ellis

          LOL. You realise don’t you that 100K members makes them one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) parties per head of population in Europe? Describing their membership as “measly” makes me doubt for your good faith in debating, and your sanity more generally. If we were on twitter I’d be blocking you now OK? Go and troll someone else – we’re done here.

  • Tim Morrison

    Point one – devolution has not finished Tories north of the border, it has saved them. Thatcher destroyed Scottish Toryism with the Sermon on the Mound and her iniquitous poll tax. Under the first past the post system they have one seat. As they have not basis in local government, without the devolved Scottish Parliament they would not exist at all.
    Secondly, this is not a Scottish Election – it is a General Election over the whole country – it is not a referendum on the border. Our MPS will represent us in the United Kingdom Parliament whomsoever we elect. This is not changing the rules. If the English do not want us to have a say in who governs the UK they know what to do.
    Thirdly, the SNP is campaigning on a clear platform and within the UK context. The other parties seem to think this is unfair. Scottish Tories are indeed a rump – what is remarkable is to watch the Labour party committing all their mistakes. The Union now seems doomed whatever happens. Yahey!!!

    • James Morrison

      Hi Tim,
      Having read your post twice I have to admit that I can find no fault with your argument. Saor Alba gú Bráth.

  • redteddy

    A Labour deal with the SNP may infuriate right of centre Tories, but it does not frighten millions who are scared to death of another Tory government with another £51 billion of cuts on its agenda. This Tory government, because of pure resentment towards the unemployed and disabled, has alienated millions. Conservative supporters may love this, but in the process this Tory led coalition, has been an insult to common decency. I think the SNP may well make gains, that would be foolish to deny, but to suggest that Labour will only get three seats, is not what the latest polls are saying. I think Labour will lose twenty seats to the SNP.
    ..It may be in the long run that Scotland will depart to be on its own. But at the moment this is not what the polls are saying. So I think a Labour, SNP understanding, or coalition, may be utterly more preferable to rule by the Tories. This bunch, turn Thatcher, almost into a political Liberal, and she certainly was not that..

    • Andy Ellis

      The polls are actually saying that Labour’s Scottish branch may end up with only 3-6 seats. Of course the polls may tighten before May, and the swing on the day may not be as dramatic, but most now think Labour will be lucky to hang on to half their seats, probably less.

      A full coalition with Labour is also unlikely; both Salmond and Sturgeon have said so. Confidence and supply yes, as long as the price is right. The SNP, whether you like them or not, are much smarter operators than the clueless LDs. There is no upside to them in a formal coalition.

      • redteddy

        I did mention a Labour understanding with the SNP. The problem for the Tories is that because a large population movement from North to the South, is that Labour has a huge advantage within the electoral system. I think Labour will hang onto between 15 or 20 of their seats. So if both Parties finish level in the UK, Labour could get more than 45-50 more seats than Labour. Still, who knows at this stage who will win. But the task for the Tories to be, even the largest Party, is a tremendous one.

        • Andy Ellis

          I understand. Hard to tell what will happen to Scottish Labour; it is possible they’ll do better than I and others expect. In their heart of hearts however, they know it’s going to be bad – only question is HOW bad? Alex Massie is right about them being lost and delusional. I think the more self aware Scots Labour folk know they are in for what Scots call a “good doing”.

          None of the polls at present have Lab or Tories with a majority & most seem to think they’ll get 270-280 each; nowhere near the 326 I think it is that they need. The Tories have little hope; they may just scrape past Labour, esp if the UKIP vote softens, but they’re unlikely to be in power thankfully!

    • rod robertson

      You also missed 10 Liberal seats going to SNP + the 6 they already hold

  • Jonathan Burns

    So 49 out of 50 Scots are not members of the SNP.
    So most Scots will vote for Unionist Parties.
    So what is the price of oil?
    The only way the SNP will win a Yes is if the oil price hits the roof, if it doesn’t whoops. The SNP won’t be able to pay for Glasgow or Dundee supporters Giros.

    • Andy Ellis

      Your’e not too good on analysis are you? 1 out of 50 Scots being SNP members is pretty stratospheric when compared with all the other parties; few political movements anywhere can boast that level of engagement.

      Most Scots it seems from the polling will be voting SNP, hence the polls.

      The price of oil doesn’t really seem to be that relevant. Oil revenues are a bonus, not a necessity. We’d be at around the UK average with zero oil economically; having all the oil revenues for 5 million (even at todays low price) is still better than watching Westminster miss it all against the wall for 65 million as it has done for the past 40 years.

      The rump UK will be the ones with the difficult economic situation, not Scotland.

    • Rodger Quinn

      What’s the ratio of Tory/Labour members to UK population? Do let me know.

      • Jonathan Burns

        Well I do know that the Nazi Party in Germany made up 7% of the population well ahead of the Natzi Party in Scotland at 2%.
        You will find high percentage party membership and fanaticism often go hand in hand.
        Currently Northern Ireland is part of the UK and neither the Tories, Labour or LibDems have any MPs.

    • rod robertson

      £60.83 cents up $18.30 in last 3 weeks NEXT

      • Jonathan Burns

        So nowhere near $113 Mystic Salmond predictions.
        NEXT 🙁

        • Pat

          We’ve got until early-mid 2016, which is when Scotland would have become independent. The clock is ticking! Nervous?

    • Pat

      What about Edinburgh’s Giros. We deserve to be included in your stereotypes too you know! *Sob*

  • sandie

    Hmmm, many of my posts have disappeared, are they being flagged up because I dare to disagree?
    Certainly will find no foul language from me to worry about.
    Is this the sort of manipulating being done regards polling intentions?
    Something tells me it is.

    • Andy Ellis

      Perhaps they’re just appalled at your britnat dimwittery? Just a thought… 😉

    • Pat

      Let’s find out. I support Scottish independence.

      Now – disagree with me.

  • abystander

    Willie Young(Labour councillor in Aberdeen), Lord Foulkes ( Labour Lord and ex MP and MSP), Lewis Moonie ( ex Labour MP) are tweeting advice on voting Tory tactically in some Scottish seats.

    That and Massie’s all too credible remark that some Tories will vote Labour to beat the SNP is music to my ears.

    Allows us to depict them as all the same.

  • Fred

    Great if they do get independence. There’ll be a massive movement of people north relieving the overcrowded south.

    • PetaJ

      Are you kidding? Do you really believe that all the Scots will voluntarily move back north?

      • Fred

        Not just the Scots.

        • PetaJ

          In your dreams.

          • Fred

            Nah. The SNP want the oil. They want it to build a rival economy to the south. If that works people will go to money.

          • PetaJ

            If that works……………quite.

          • Fred

            I’m not among those that thinks it will. But if it does it’s a logical outcome. There will be an unstoppable tidal wave of migrants into the UK in the next ten years. Those people will need space and work. With it’s population of only 5.3m compared to the south’s 60m they already have space. All that’s needed is work.

          • PetaJ

            One has to wonder why all that space isn’t already filling up. One also has to wonder why, if the Scots are so sure that they will make a success of going it alone, they haven’t already produced the jobs etc. Why would it only happen if they were independent of the UK?

          • Fred

            The short answer is the chip on the Scottish shoulder. The south and Westminster are to blame and they (the SNP) believe that grabbing the oil is money to fund the new economy. I’d hate to see Scotland break the union and dont believe it will work out as they hope but the SNP have them worked up to try. I’m willing to bet that It wont be long before Scottish dissenters are accused of being traitors.

          • PetaJ

            Yes, well we’ve all seen how much good grabbing the oïl and other assets has done other countries. Don’t need to look far – Venezuela for starters.

          • Pat

            English people are moving north in their droves, so it’s not unreasonable that Scottish people do too.

  • pjh64

    Never understand all the fury from all sides on this. Surely, if the Scots want away, let them go and we should wish them well.

    What is the problem?

    • rod robertson

      The problem is oil ,gas ,whisky ,gin massive exports and tax returns ergo Scotland is a cash cow for Westminster

      • PetaJ

        Dream on.

        • John Armstrong

          Rod is correct – Scotland could stand on its own just fine. Oil would be a welcome bonus – but not essential – we have loads of other money making activities firmly in place.
          And here’s a thought for you.
          Scotland produces 17% of the UK’s energy – but pays 40% of the huge connection cost to the grid. This has nothing to do with generation efficiency – its to do with the money Scottish power plants are charged to connect to the ‘National’ grid.
          On the flip side, stations in SE England are actually paid to make the grid connection, and are also paid to take their plants offline when required.
          Just another statistic the Westminster controlled msm don’t tell you about.

      • pjh64

        The same applies with the Falklands, which has massive oil fields, yet we’re prepared to allow them to vote periodically whether to stay or go.

        Do you know what the budget surplus is in Scotland? I’d be interested to quantify the potential “hit” to the Treasury to understand whether this is a factor in the debate.

    • Noel Darlow

      Exactly. Comparing Scotland to Sinn Feinn and calling the SNP the “enemy” isn’t helpful. This isn’t an attack on the union: we just want better government. Whether we stay or go Scotland and England will always be close neighbours with, one would hope, friendly relations.

  • Jimmy Jim

    the SNP mite have lost the referendum but have won Scotland all because the Westminster Government has shown little respect for anything Scottish the 3 main political partys are so much a like it difficult to tell there views apart that where the SNP comes out tops .The Smith report failed to live up to what was promised the same as the English EVEL this government has fallen short on the promises given

  • http://somersetanddorset.blogspot.co.uk/ Steve Sainsbury MA

    ‘England’ will simply be a staging post on the road to the break up of the exUK into about ten states. There’s a real Wessex surge building down here and I suspect the same is happening throughout ‘England’.

    • Steve Bowers

      Sounds like a win to me, I’d love independence for Scotland but failing that I’d take Scotland keeping its entire tax take etc etc and “paying” a central Gov in wherever to handle defence ( that’s defence, not the current Westminster version of it where they send troops to Afganistan, Iraq, Ukraine etc etc) we go our separate ways in a loose alliance . How bout you ?

  • Kenneth Armstrong

    Have the Scots lost their senses?
    Their only real economic asset is oil and that has fallen dramatically in price. They had a lucky escape last Autumn.

    • Steve Bowers

      Wow, you really don’t have a clue do you, even the outright little Englanders are smarter than you

    • John Armstrong

      Oil has nothing to do with Scotland’s basic income – its a bonus, no matter what the price is.

    • Pat

      Oil and shortbread Kenneth. Oil. And. Shortbread.

      I think you’ll find that after decades of blindly voting for Labour, Scots have actually come to their senses, not lost them, and have started looking around for alternatives.

  • Jonathan Burns

    Well at 2% membership the SNP still have a long way to go before they reach 7% which a certain Party in 1940s Germany reached. Strangely the SNP at the time supported this Party as well.

    • Steve Bowers

      ha ha ha ha ha brilliant, don’t let your inbred racism get in the way of a good comment

    • Ian Cameron

      Godwin’s law.

    • Pat

      You must still get the old Daily Adolph newsletters to be so up with the figures? How much is your membership these days?

  • Chris Hobson

    The tyranny of that new labour government has now born fruit. Bankruptcy, jihadist terrorism, national decline, green energy & break up of UK. Bliar the scumbag.

    • Andy Ellis

      Yeah…green energy…it’s the end of the world!

      • Pat

        I heard the greens use bombs made of compost!

        • John Armstrong

          They would be kinda shit wouldn’t they? 🙂

  • John Armstrong

    Folks, as interesting as all these comments are – lets rewind a few months to the indi referendum and perhaps some misconceptions will be cleared up once and for all – and then the direction things are moving will make more sense.

    Well before the date of the referendum vote, the No campaign were way ahead of the Yes campaign. The Yes campaign began to gain momentum. A large number of small political and social groups began to find common ground – and the Yes movement really got under way. As a response to this, the No campaign began to denounce most of what the Yes campaign were saying as utter nonsense. This started folks thinking – and they weren’t too impressed with the negativity of the No side. The polls started to show more support for the Yes campaign. This triggered more denials from the No side, but still the Yes numbers increased. TV debates came and went – the controversy became more polarised and unfortunately, the No side began to use underhand tactics that were designed to discredit the claims of the Yes side. ‘Leaks’ from the treasury spoke of dire consequences for Scotland’s finances – banks and financial institutions were set to relocate to London. A huge raft of lies and deception was thrown at the Yes campaign – and still, it continued to thrive.

    With less than 2 weeks remaining before the big day, the Yes camp overtook the No camp in the polls. The Unionists went into a blind panic – how could this be?
    Please understand this – the No side had full control of the broadcasting media. Every single newspaper (apart from one title – the Sunday Herald, which, as the name suggests only comes out on a Sunday) publicly declared they were against Scottish Independence. The reporting was somewhat bias to say the least.
    Yet despite all this, the Yes vote was now greater than the No vote.
    In desperation, Cameron, Miliband and Clegg travelled north to launch a blitz-kreig style assault on the Scottish voters. It didn’t work as expected.

    Next, the leading Scottish Labour newspaper carried ‘The Vow’ – a solemn promise of lots of goodies if Scots voted to stay in the Union. The page showed all three leaders with their signatures at the foot of a photo-shopped parchment with the text of the vow. To add more weight, Uncle Gordon (Brown) was wheeled out to give a cast iron assurance that he would be the ‘Guarantor of the Vow’ and would make sure the Westminster government would deliver powers the would assure a ‘near-federal’ state.

    Finally, the BBC played their part and in an interview on the Scottish News, Alastair Darling was interviewed and the upshot of the conversation resulted in the use of the term devo-max and its assumed inference to the Vow.

    With the swithering voters now believing Devo-max was on the table if they voted No, the final referendum result was a win to the No camp by just 5%.

    Needless to say, all the lies and deceptions have proved to be just that. The Vow was worthless, Gordon Brown scampered off and retired from politics (along with his promise to uphold all those powers), Cameron rubbed the grieving Yes voters noses in the dirt by a speech more concerned with EVEL than the defeat of the Scottish vote on the very day of the result. The Smith Commission was another trick to try and justify the lies and false promises – which has recommended nothing that comes remotely close to devo-max or home rule – but still tries to claim it has delivered in full.

    The floating voters who decided to go with the No vote are now utterly disillusioned with the establishment and realise they were duped. They now feel betrayed by events since the referendum and are also becoming extremely angry. The SNP membership has gone through the roof – getting pretty close to 100,000. Scottish Labour turned their backs on their membership and sided with the Tories during the referendum. The result of this is becoming clear as disgusted voters are deserting them for the SNP – who have consistently played by the rules.

    The bottom line is this. People trust the SNP – and they definitely don’t trust the three Union parties. This is the reality of the Scottish dimension in UK politics. You can choose to ignore this, or be stupid enough to think it’s all lies – but let me tell you it isn’t. Remember, you were exposed to the same propaganda as we were in Scotland via the main stream media – however, the Yes Campaign used social media to set the record straight – and we are well aware of how the establishment bludgeoned the people of Scotland into submission – and now, so are you if you are willing to listen.

  • NorthernSceptic

    Bye bye. Time for you to pay your own way. Be a nation again. Please

    • John Armstrong

      Ok, and would you mind removing your WMD please – we need the space for something a lot less expensive – and lethal.

      • HJ777

        Who is this “we” you claim to speak for?

        Scots rejected you, remember?

        • Pat

          Actually most Scots want rid of Trident no matter how they voted in the referendum.

          • HJ777

            You say.

          • James Morrison

            Since you keep asking everyone else…Who do YOU speak for?

          • John Armstrong

            Lol, James, watch out for all that dust and tumbleweed as we await a reply to that one.

          • James Morrison

            I’m not holding my breath John.

          • Pat

            I did. Very observant of you. To be fair, every single poll on the subject also says that.

  • jmckba

    After all the threats and scaremongering against the scottish people you can now see the result …… we are back bigger and stronger. It is all about strategy and it seems that westmonster has been outflanked. Regardless of what happens it is easy to see that the scots do not like being controlled by a bunch of ??????? hundreds of miles away. Getting rid of useless weapons of mass destruction would be a good start. Germany is the most economically sound country in europe and they do not have any. The tories,labour and libdems stood side by side against the scottish people and the time will come when they will regret that.

    • HJ777

      What threats?

      The threats all came from the nationalists.

      The treat to walk away from debt if a currency union wasn’t agreed by what they wanted to be a separate country.

      The threat of a ‘day of reckoning’ for those who opposed independence.

      • Richard Ferguson

        But you have to admire the way he linked Germany’s economic success with no nuclear weapons. On that basis how would he explain Greece’s…..er…….lack of nuclear…….um…….success……er….?

        If this represents the future of Scotland we really are fecked.

        • Andy Ellis

          If you don’t think there are better things to spend £100 billion on over the next 30 years, you’re harder of thinking than your posts suggest.

          • HJ777

            6% of the defence budget not to be subject to nuclear blackmail looks sensible to me.

            Of course, you prefer nice stable regimes like Russia to have nuclear weapons rather than the world’s oldest and most stable large democracy.

            And you accuse other people of being hard of thinking!

          • Andy Ellis

            We’re in NATO, we are covered by the USA’s nuclear deterrent. Ours is a strategic & tactical nonsense. The Americans would prefer we spent the money on conventional defence, as would most generals and I suspect the service personnel who go without decent pay, housing and equipment to pay for a useless virility system.

            I take it back; you’re not hard of thinking, just incapable of thought altogether it seems.

          • HJ777

            Oh, so you want a free ride off the Americans.

            It seems you separatists like free rides off other people. Defence, currency, you name it.

            Do you really think that the Americans would nuke Russia (and be assured of their own destruction in return) if the Russians used nuclear weapons against the UK if the UK had given up its nuclear weapons?

            Someone as obviously thick as you shouldn’t be lecturing others about thinking.

            Trident is 6% of the defence budget. How much extra pay, conventional equipment etc. are you going to get for that? And how much would that extra pay deter undemocratic nuclear-armed countries, I wonder?

            “We can’t attack them, they pay their armed forces so well!”

          • Andy Ellis

            We’ve already spent billions on it! The Americans will do it because it suits them. Europeans have always had a free ride. The money would still be better spent on conventional forces. Ask the squaddies blown up in the middle east for want of decent equipment!

          • HJ777

            6% of the defence budget. I know people like you are fond of spending the same money several times over, but give me a break.

            “Europeans have always had a free ride.” Not a student of history, I see.

            Americans would nuke Russia ‘because it suits them’?

          • Pat

            “It seems you separatists like free rides off other people. Defence, currency, you name it.”

            Lots of independent countries don’t have nukes. Canada for example (quite close to America if you look at a map). Are they also getting a free ride? Lots of countries share currencies too. You may have heard of “the Euro” or about countries adopting other countries’ currencies. It’s all above board you know.

          • Mark Kilby

            Trident accounts for perhaps over 150 warheads. That is not a ‘nonsense’ by any measure.

            The UK owes allegiance to more than just NATO. The UK and France operate an independent European nuclear deterrent.

            Having one voice in charge of NATO’s nuclear deterrent is not a healthy position to be in.

          • Richard Ferguson

            yep, that’s me Andy: thick as a bag of spanners. Really don’t know how I get through the day.

          • Pat

            He has a point. There are lots of better things to spend £100 billion on.

          • Mark Kilby

            Why stop at Trident Pat? Why bother with any military expenditure at all? They are all tools of war after all.

          • Andy Ellis

            Glad we have that settled! 😉

        • HJ777

          Yes, it was amusingly original, wasn’t it?

      • Pat

        Talking of “threats” I particularly enjoyed the unionists’ threat to annex Faslane and bomb Scottish airports.

        • HJ777

          You particularly enjoyed inventing such threats, you mean?

          And you accuse unionists of “scaremongering”!

          • Pat

            *Cough*

            Guardian: “The British government is examining plans to designate the Scottish military base that houses the Trident nuclear deterrent as sovereign United Kingdom territory if the people of Scotland vote for independence in next year’s referendum.”

            Huffington Post: “England Would ‘Bomb Scottish Airports To Defend Itself'”

            Both include quotes. You can google the text yourself to read the whole thing.

          • HJ777

            Comments in The Guardian and a line from the Huffington Post constitute unionist threats now do they?

            Very amusing.

          • Pat

            Comments? They quote a Tory peer and MoD sources.

            Or how about this one from a senior Labour MP: “The debate will go on in the sense there is a large number of wounded still to be bayoneted”

            I miss all the “love-bombing” from unionists during the referendum. It made me feel so…. wanted.

    • Mark Kilby

      Firstly – Trident ain’t going anywhere, it’s a ruse to gain popular support (it works a treat too!). Keeping it where it is will be the price of joining NATO.

      Secondly – Germany has arguably prospered because of the security by proxy offered to it by being allied to powers armed with a nuclear deterrent.

      Lastly – the UK parties stood alongside Scottish people, not against them.

  • ken

    Why all the negativity? This is a golden opportunity to fix broken Britain. Westminster has been shown again and again to pander to the cosy elite, of whatever stripe. The SNP is in the vanguard of an alternative politics for these islands which will return power to the people. Rejoice!

    • HJ777

      I suggest you wait and see how it works out for Greece.

      ‘Alternative politics’ is simply shorthand for political opinions detached from reality. Of course, at some point, reality does tend to intrude.

      • ken

        No, it’s shorthand for ” we’ve all had enough of this antiquated self-serving system, and we think we can build something better, because you evidently can’t.” And reality is intruding, with a vengeance.

        • HJ777

          Yes, but your deluded comments show that people like you have about as much chance of building something better as Scotland has of winning the world cup. That’s why Scots, sensibly, rejected you and your ilk.

          Yes, I agree that the oil price is an example or reality intruding with a vengeance.

          • ken

            We’re talking about the upcoming General Election. We’ll see who’s rejected who then. And the price of oil is a red herring, always was. There are dozens of successful countries in the world that don’t have a drop.

          • HJ777

            It’s a UK general election and Scotland voted to stay part of the UK.

            Those countries aren’t relying on a high oil price to balance the books though, are they? Holyrood’s own GERS report made it clear than even with oil revenues (at much higher prices), Scotland would be running a big deficit (bigger than the rest of UK). So how come the SNP promised an end to ‘austerity’?

            Can they not do basic sums or do they think most Scots can’t?

          • Pat

            We did indeed. We voted for the right to vote anyway we want in the general election, and we will.

          • HJ777

            Who is this “we” you claim to speak for?

            You appear to be one of a minority of Scots wanting separation. I, however, am one of the majority.

            Nobody voted in the referendum for the right to vote any way they wanted in the GE. That wasn’t the question and in any case, all UK citizens already have that right.

          • Pat

            We, as in Scotland as a whole, voted to stay in the UK and continue to vote in GEs. The downside of this to you it seems is we might not vote the way you want us to.

          • HJ777

            Vote how you like.

            Who is this “we” you claim to speak for?

          • Pat

            I was replying to your comment here – “It’s a UK general election and Scotland voted to stay part of the UK.” and agreed but used “we” to mean Scotland. It’s typical to do that. People do it all the time you know when talking about their country. “We’re going to win the cup!” at football or when Cameron got all pretend touchy-feely and talked all about “us” and “we” when pleading with Scots, not Scotch people, to stay within his beloved union.

          • HJ777

            You are assuming that you are (i) more Scottish than I am and (ii) you represent the views of most Scots.

            Neither would seem to be true.

          • James Morrison

            Fee fie foe fum, I smell the blood of a Britnat Troll (Smiley)

          • Pat

            I didn’t assume anything. I just used “we” to mean “Scotland” in a way that is accurate and common.

          • HJ777

            You don’t speak for Scotland.

            I doubt you are even Scottish.

          • Pat

            And you don’t speak for people who don’t speak for Scotland or people who do speak for Scotland or the people who control who does or doesn’t speak for Scotland, meaning you can’t tell me that I don’t speak for Scotland. I don;t care about nationality anyhow. I just support an independent Scotland for whoever lives there, which includes me, or as a second prize full fiscal powers within the UK and bye bye Trident.

          • HJ777

            I didn’t claim to speak for anyone other than myself.

            That’s because, unlike you, I’m not deluded.

            I’m more Scottish than you though.

          • Pat

            “I’m more Scottish than you though.”

            EVIL NATIONALIST! FREEEEEDOM!

          • Pat

            Or, to be fair, England.

          • Mark Kilby

            The poorest parts of the UK are most certainly in England so your remark is not entirely fair.

          • James Morrison

            Since it’s “worthless” you will have no problem transferring control of Scotland’s EEZ to Holyrood then….Ta 777 (SMILEY)

          • Pat

            I look forward to the reality of higher oil prices again if not in 2016 when Scotland would have become independent but certainly in the future.

          • James Morrison

            So does Westminster as it’s been milking Scottish oil for three decades.

    • Mark Kilby

      Politicians do not become purer the further north, they are and will be as ‘devilish’ in one postcode as they are in another.

      As for power returning to the people – each individual gets one vote, I don’t see that changing post independance.

      • ken

        Purity has nothing to do with it. It’s about accessibility and accountability. And votes are not equal under the Westminster system.

        • Mark Kilby

          The politicians in Holyrood are no nearer ‘the people’ than the Londoners on whose doorsteps sits Westminster, nor are they any more or less accountable than Westminster.

          • ken

            MSP’s are more accountable because of their proximity to the people, the proportional voting system that elects them, and the lobbying opportunities of the Committee system. It’s up to the English to improve their local relationships with the national government.

          • Mark Kilby

            My MP lives down the road.

            PR – how does that make a more accountable set of politicians???

            “lobbying opportunities of the Committee system”… improvements can always be made, we don’t need to take a pair of scissors to a map to introduce them.

            “It’s up to the English to improve their local relationships”… earlier you were championing a fix for broken Britain.

  • jmckba

    There seems to be a few ignorant people out there. Scotch is whisky and the scots are the people of scotland. I know this might be difficult for some people.

    • HJ777

      ‘Scotch’ is an adjective.

      There is Scotch whisky, Scotch pies, Scotch broth, etc..

      Is this really difficult for people like you?

      • Pat

        It’s not an adjective where people are concerned but may be used – often as part of a brand name – when referring to specific products. Although no-one in Scotland says “Scotch” in reference to whisky (we just order “whisky”) we may say scotch egg or scotch broth. When referring to people as in some of these comments, it is known to be a derogatory term deliberately used by English people (and Americans who don’t know any better). In America Scotch also is shorthand for “cheap” because of brands like Scotch Tape. This is also obviously derogatory, even if it’s not meant to insult the Scots (not the Scotch).

        • HJ777

          Do grow up.

          It is simply a grammatically correct adjective.

          Only a fool who likes to deliberately take offence at everything would claim otherwise.

          Oh, I forgot – that’s what you are.

          • Pat

            Good luck finding it in the dictionary as an adjective. The dictionary will say what I just said that it refers to fixed things like those mentioned and is today considered insulting when used instead of Scottish or a Scot. Only a fool would claim otherwise.

            You will also find “scotch” is more commonly used as a verb than in the way you seem to think it should be used with a capital “S” for some reason.

          • HJ777

            The OED says it’s an adjective. I have a copy on my desk.

            As I don’t suppose you own a dictionary, here’s the Wikipedia entry:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch_(adjective)

          • Pat

            I do, unlike you it seems as you are using Wikipedia which is not a dictionary. Feel free to return with the modern version, which states the modern usage.

          • HJ777

            Have you learned how to find words in the OED yet?

            When you do learn this you will clearly see (adj.) written after ‘Scotch’ in one of the listed meanings.

          • Pat

            Yes, I can also see the full description Mr Deliberately Nitpickypants.

          • HJ777

            You can just call me Mr Correct.

          • Pat

            Wrong again!

      • terence patrick hewett

        In a spirit of terminological exactitude, Re: the word “Scotch”

        A J P Taylor refers to this usage in a footnote on page 1 of the Preface to his English History 1914-1945 in the Oxford
        History of England series. He writes:

        ‘The inhabitants of Scotland now call themselves “Scots” and their affairs “Scottish.” They are entitled to do so. The English word for both is “Scotch”, just as we call Les Français the French, and Deutschland, Germany. Being English, I use it’.

        If Taylor is too strong a meat for some people, Fowlers Modern English Usage opines:

        Scots- being “the prevalent form now used by Scotch people”

        A note from Fowler on Didacticism may also be apposite:

        “The speaker who has discovered that Juan and Quixote are not pronounced in Spain as he used to pronounce them as a boy is not content to keep so important a piece of information to himself; he must have the rest of us call them Hwan and Keehotay; at any rate he will give us the chance of mending our ignorant ways by doing so.”

        It seems to me that if the word is good enough for Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, James Boswell, Thomas Babington Macaulay and Thomas Carlyle it should also be good enough for the Scotch.

        It also seems to me that some people display a deep seated need to be insulted and nothing will do to assuage
        their feelings of inferiority, powerlessness and hurt; in the search for some sort of identity, may I suggest psychoanalysis.

        • HJ777

          To be fair, when it comes to CyberNats, their feelings of inferiority are wholly justfied.

  • Ya Wish

    As an American I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I did have a question that I would appreciate some insights on. Supposing that Scotland did decide to vote for Independence shouldn’t the border areas (my family’s roots) be allowed to vote to stay with England ? If only 10% of the folks there want an independent Scotland don’t they in all fairness deserve the right to stay with England?

    • ken

      I take it you support Putin’s adventures in Ukraine then?

      • Ya Wish

        I’m not sure I understand the point you are trying to make. And no what is going on in Ukraine with Putin is horrible.

    • Pat

      No because the Borders are in Scotland. If they like England so much they can just move there. It’s not very far. Otherwise it would be like Texans voting to become part of Mexico.

      • HJ777

        Or Quebec voting to leave Canada.

        I suspect you like that analogy less.

        • Pat

          You are comparing the Borders to Quebec now? The old divide and conquer strategy in play? Can I take it then that you support independence for the Borders? Usually unionists compare Scotland to Quebec. Either way, Scotland can only dream of having the powers within the UK that Quebec enjoys as part of Canada! Which is crazy considering Quebec has never been a country and Scotland is one of the oldest countries in the world. Older, even, than England.

          • HJ777

            I know you’re not very bright, but Quebec leaving Canada would be a direct analogy of the Borders leaving Scotland.

          • Pat

            I didn’t say it wouldn’t be.

        • JoeCro

          I thought Quebec had gained a ‘special’ status within Canada as a ‘nation’ following the very close vote in ’95.

    • JoeCro

      That solution turned out really well in Ireland.

      • Ya Wish

        I’m missing your point. Could you explain it ti me?

        • JoeCro

          Ireland as a whole voted for independence, the British Government at the time thought it would be a good idea to split off part of Ireland where the vote was no to form Northern Ireland- a source of cofllict and trouble ever since.

  • Pat

    Sooner or later Scotland will be independent, whether because the older died in the wool unionists have all gone to live in the great union in the sky or because Westminster continues being rubbish and England continues it’s march to the right. Pragmatic yes voters like myself took the view that it would be better to do it sooner rather than later.

    I suspect the many No voters who seriously considered voting Yes (an awful lot) and left it until the last minute to make up their minds (The Vow helped here) are currently coming around to the same conclusion. We’ll have another referendum before long for sure.

    • HJ777

      Yawn.

      • Pat

        Exactly. If the vote had been for Yes you could be discussing UKIP, the Tories and co in peace!

    • Benbecula

      Nice analysis but incorrect. Demographics will ensure Scottish independence will remain a pipe dream. As the proportion of Scots diminishes and numbers of non-Scots increases, less will vote for (quasi-independence). We seen that in the indyref, the 30% non -Scots voted overwhelmingly against – rUK citizens said NO, the eastern Europeans NO and as everyone gets old sometime, no senior citizen will risk losing their pension.

      • James Morrison

        All current UK “pension schemes” are bankrupt Ben.

      • Pat

        Scots are now diminishing as a people are we. Goodness!

      • JoeCro

        The gradualists will win out eventually. It will be a slow drift into quasi-independence with a few vestiges of ‘Britishness’ remaining like the monarchy. It would be a similar situation to the Dominions that gradually gained independence in the late 19th/20th century

    • James Morrison

      Don’t need one,,,,,Holyrood 2016 will suffice.

  • Benbecula

    The SNP are an embarrassment to Scotland, and if the Scottish Fernandez /Chavez
    double act succeed in achieving +35 seats, then it will only confirm my own view that contemporary Scotland is populated by 2nd rate,entitlement junkies and losers.

    So-called first world countries, don’t vote for crazy,incoherent quasi Marxist parties,this is left to the Greeks,Africans and South Americans.

    • Pat

      So much bigotry in one comment!

    • JoeCro

      Cringe.

  • Alan Price

    As one Cabinet member puts it: ‘Scotland really is, now, another country: I’ve given up understanding it.’

    ___________________

    What’s not to understand?

    Scotland is one of the last bastions of the British Empire that wishes to throw off the shackles of Westminster rule and govern our own country.

    Any ‘cabinet member’ who can’t see this has the Imperialist glasses on.

    And I definitely understand that!

    • Barry Scarfe

      You are NOT a colony. Only the anti-English and frankly anti-Scottish SCUM of the SNP believe that pathetic nonsense.

      • James Morrison

        Tut tut.

  • Roderick Sloan

    rack of poms.

  • Chris Wright

    Who cares what Scotland do its laughable every no vote is going to be followed by another vote until it gets a yes! let them have the yes vote ffs. Tell them all to go f**k off and enjoy ruining their own country, were all past caring its really boring now!

  • Quarmby

    Although it cannot help but concede the ascendancy of the SNP post-Referendum, at its heart that article is of course quite an unpleasant Unionist rant against the SNP, with it’s allusions to Sinn Fein and the ‘dismembering’ and ‘wrecking’ which will ‘tear Britain apart.’
    There’s plenty of fear and loathing in it at this prospect – more so in the comments below, which stray into racism – but conspicuouly there’s no arguments as to *why* Scotland and England becoming independent self-governing allies would be a bad thing – or, more importantly, perhaps, *who* they think it might be a bad thing for.
    That’s understandable when you realise that, if they were being honest, they would have to admit that it would be a bad thing for England, not Scotland. And it would never do to concede that to “the Scots”, now, would it.

  • John finningham

    The surge in SNP numbers is due to the lacklustre within UK politics. For far too long the Establishment have curtailed to lobbyists working for a corporate elite and now the Establishment is beginning to see the revolt of the underclass.
    The SNP is probably the resurgence that the working class and poor need. Putting aside party politics it is easy to see why the SNP have grown in popularity and numbers. They deliver on promises that the impoverished and least well off need where as Labour abandoned their core voters in the late 90’s and the Tories continue to target in very unfair policies.
    SNP may well be a good turning point within Westminster and the Establishment as it could give millions the voice which has been silent for so long.
    If anyone truly believes the propaganda that SNP is bad for Britain then simply vote for any of the others as the result will still be the same. Balance is needed just as much as those who have felt the austerity cut deepest and it is not the wealthy or the privilaged and never will be.
    When George Osborne said “we’re all in it together ” he of course meant the working class and poorest.

    • Mark Kilby

      The best response I could find John about how life would be like post independence in Scotland, was that it would revert to normal left-right politics. I.e. the same lacklustre politics – there is no other kind!

  • JoJo

    http://quran.ksu.edu.sa/index.php?l=en#aya=28_2&m=hafs&pb=En&qaree=qatami&trans=en_sh
    THIS VIDEO IS FOR THOSE WHO WANT THEIR PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED.
    JUST READ IT AND FOLOOW ITS INSTRUCTION

  • JoJo

    123

    http://quran.ksu.edu.sa/index.php?l=en#aya=28_2&m=hafs&pb=En&qaree=qatami&trans=en_sh

    THIS VIDEO IS FOR THOSE WHO WANT THEIR PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED.

    JUST READ IT AND FOLOOW ITS INSTRUCTION

  • Matt D.

    Obama sounds like a whiny five year old. What a total embarrassment.

  • thomasaikenhead

    “The nationalists are heading for a victory on a scale still not fully comprehended in England.”

    Utter rubbish, the English can read the polls and they love it!

    The vast majority of English can no longer see the benefits of the Union.

    What is so very interesting is that they do not loathe or even dislike the Scots!

    They think the Union is akin to a marriage, a relationship once freely entered into that may have served its purpose and so should be dissolved?

    Most English people support the end of the Union but with no feeling of ‘Good Riddance’ but very much a sense of ‘Fare ye well’!

    They witnessed most of Ireland tread a similar part nearly a century ago and do not feel threatened or undermined by the undoubted success of the Irish state and are certain that goodwill with Scotland and the Scots will go the same way!

  • speedyreidy

    “For obvious reasons, the SNP dislikes comparisons with Sinn Fein.
    Nevertheless, its aim — the dismemberment of the British state”

    Another lie.

  • mitchyboy

    Weird. “wreckers” because we want to regain our country and run our own affairs. Was this always the viewpoint of colonial masters? The “enemy” well it says a lot about the mindset of our masters. Fought tooth and nail to prevent us going and now they have succeeded do not want us to exercise democracy and vote SNP, should we wish. Suppose it was ever thus, lip service to democracy as long as it gives the result yoy want.

    • HJ777

      Are you under the erroneous impression that Scotland was ever a colony?

      History is obviously not your strong point.

      • mitchyboy

        There were riots all over Scotland at the act of Union. several aristocrats were bribed by Queen Anne and sold their country down the river. Parliament was not “democratic” in those days. We supposedly entered a union of equal partners, more fool us. This union is very unequal and past its sell by date. Undemocratic and I did not care what party got into power in an independent Scotland in 2016 elections as long as it was the democratic will of th Scottish people. What we have now if government by a Tory led coalition we did not vote for. England having ten times the population, we generally get the government England votes for. we are not a region ie Cumbria , Hampshire. We are a country and 300 years of the Union have not changed that, inspite of never being allowed to learn Scottish history in schools. Suggest you beg borrow or steal a copy of “The Claim of Scotland” by Paton, written in the 60’s but still so relevant today and will improve, perhaps not your opinion but perhaps your understanding of what is going on.

        • HJ777

          Like I said, Scotland has never been a colony.

          And it has clearly voted to be a part of the union.

          It is entirely clear that you did not learn any Scottish history in school. What did you learn, I wonder?

          • James Morrison

            FEE FIE FOE FUM…….I SMELL THE BLOOD OF A BRITNAT TROLL.

          • HJ777

            I smell an idiot with his caps lock stuck on.

      • http://weourselves.com/ Christian Wright

        Nor apparently yours, at least not according to HMG.

        Part IV of the legal opinion published 10 Dec 2012 and adopted by HMG Early 2013, claims Scotland was “extinguished” when it was absorbed by England in 1707, and that the dispositive evidence to the contrary of the Articles of Union can be discounted.

        It is the work of two eminent lawyers James Crawford, and Alan Boyle, who were tasked to provide legal advocacy and the imprimatur of learned consideration.

        HMG asserts Scotland was incorporated into England in 1707, that England continued, and that the titles “UK” and “England” are synonymous, describing the same continuing unitary state.

        They argue that therefore Scotland is part of the territory of the continuator state of England/UK, a part which to become independent, would have to secede from the mother country of which it has been a province for the past 307 years.

        I’ve penned a fuller account for you with links to original source materials, here: http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/02/25/the-fiction-of-the-continuing-state/

        • HJ777

          And, as I said, scotland has never been a colony.

          Everything you posted is irrelevant to this fact.

  • mitchyboy

    author seems to have trouble differentiating between between regions and countries. Of course to be an apologist for unionism it is necessary to deny Scotland is a country with its separate legal and educational systems etc not forgetting distinctive culture

    • HJ777

      Of course to be an apologist for unionism it is necessary to deny Scotland is a country with its separate legal and educational systems etc not forgetting distinctive culture

      You’ll have no difficulty supplying us with lots of examples of where unionists have denied this then, won’t you?

  • Jacobi

    This is an excellent Article. Sums things up well. The Nationalist have thoroughly out manoeuvred Westminster – and the Scottish Electorate!

    (and judging from the tone of some comments, the English Electorate also)

    It can now be seen that the policy of placatory concession was wrong from the start. A simple in or out approach would have produced grumbling but little more. Offer concessions and more will be demanded. Human Nature.

    The dangers of independence are being ignored by all, Nationalists for
    obvious reasons, but as for Unionists and Westminster, it is not at all clear why, probably panic.

    The mirage of North Sea Oil to sustain the Scottish economy indefinitely is just that a mirage which has dissolved. Otherwise post industrial Scotland is a poor country, and if independent, will be reliant just like Greece, on EU handouts. Yes we have tourism, (as has Greece), but the English side of that will diminish rapidly, and after the initial N American Scots exile flush disappears, not much.

    The Devolved Scottish Health Service is collapsing, waiting lists stretching, with a general retreat into the “not my department” mentality. This is at present lost in the general reporting of this problem in England.

    We (Scots that is ) are by nature a tribal society. Lowland, highland, Glasgow and West, Edinburgh, and as for the Borders , well no one bothers about them
    anyway. The old Prod/Cath clash will re-emerge more than ever, as an Irish /native quite un-religious confrontation, complicated by the now daily increasing Islamic presence.

    Answer, for there always is one, back to the simple in or out, – somehow !

    • JoeCro

      This independent Scotland equals Greece narrative is absolute tosh. Without any oil Scotland is one of the wealthiest areas of the UK. What qualitative difference is there between an independent Scottish state and say for example New Zealand? You comment is a very sad example of ‘the cringe’ that somehow Scots are uniquely unable to make rational decision about their governance and require the guiding hand of the Union to stop a descent into barbarism.

      • starfish

        “without any oil Scotland is one of the wealthiest areas of the UK”
        Evidence?

        • starfish

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27694833
          This suggest otherwise
          Maybe not the poorest, but certainly not the richest or one of the richest unless you include them in a pretty long list covering a large proportion of the UK

          • JoeCro

            To precis the article above, as wealthy as southern England excluding London but wealthier than the Midlands, northern England, Wales and N Ire. Not quite Greece is it.

  • whitey

    Salmond put his fishing rod in the pond and hooked The English .You bit and are now giving him everything he wants like an MPs mistresss.

  • gerontius redux

    The Scottish nationalists who strut their stuff around The Spectator are so uniformly uncouth that if I was compelled to choose, I would rather be in a union with France than with Scotland.

    • HJ777

      But most Scots aren’t like that.

      Only a vociferous minority of deluded fanatics are.

      • gerontius redux

        I would like to think that you are right, but we don’t hear from the majority unfortunately.

    • James Morrison

      The French don’t want you either I’m afraid.

      • gerontius redux

        You prove my point

        • James Morrison

          Thank you Gerontius…..You are a scholar and a gentleman and I hope it is of some solace to you to know that you are currently in a union with France.

      • Mark Kilby

        The UK and French already co-operate on military matters, the level of integration is only likely to grow – I welcome it.

  • starfish

    So a Tory party with a majority in England but no seats ion Scotland lacks ‘democratic legitimacy’ , yet the converse with an SNP tail wagging a Labour dog is perfectly acceptable?
    It is this cock-eyed view of politics that really irritates the English majority – and should be fertile ground for Torys and UKIP

    • James Morrison

      It lacks ‘democratic legitimacy’ in Scotland Starfish…..which really irritates the Scottish majority – and is fertile ground for Greens and SNP.

      The SNP is not the TAIL of the Labour dog…..Labour is an ENTIRE dog of it’s own making……The fact that you SEE things as you do is a measure of the extent to which you have a “colonizers mind” or nowadays a “Britnat”.
      Problem is easily solved ….Scottish Independence and the rUK can resign itself to permanent government by the Conlab Party. Saor Alba gu Bráth.

      • starfish

        Ah I am a ‘colonizer’ now am I?
        This democracy thing – how do you square an English majority being dictated to by a Scottish minority?

        • James Morrison

          People can only be “dictated” to if they “choose” to be ….Elect some MPs with integrity and you’ll be fine.

        • JoeCro

          How can 40 or 50 SNP MPs dictate to the other 600 odd?

          • Mark Kilby

            Well Joe – SNP offer votes for favours. It’s all perfectly legitimate, we just need to be grown-up about what might take place.

  • Phillip Everett

    The Scott’s third columnists in Blair, Brown and the many other started us down the road to the break up of the UK. At least once the Scots leave, the rest of the UK can get on with governing for the benefit of the rest of us, rather than governing for the benefit of the Scots. We have given Scotland too much in an attempt to keep them in the UK.

    • James Morrison

      Bye bye…..Thanks for all the fish (falls down laughing)

    • Quarmby

      “We have given Scotland too much in an attempt to keep them in the UK.”
      If that were true, it begs the question of “why” England would go to such lengths to keep “them” in the UK? The British State doesn’t do altruism – so what is it Scotland has that makes England want to keep it under the governance of Westminster and its Treasury?
      We are all aware of the fiscal reasons why England thinks having Scottish revenues travel to the Westminster Treasury – and those from oil are only a percentage of these.
      But I think there’s perhaps a more fundamental reason. With Scotland gone, post-Imperial England would indeed finally be “just” England. I suspect that’s a concept to hard to bear for some in the corridors of Westminster and Whitehall – and is intimately tied up with ideas such as spending £100 billion on renewing Trident (which never was an “independent” capability), so that they can continue to imagine they represent a world power in denial of the fact that the sun set on that reality well over half a century ago.
      Once you are “just” England, you will find that you need friends like an independent Scotland and Ireland, along with the other European family of nations. I’m sure we’ll still speak to you – regardless of the bile spewed on pages like this by a minority of British nationalists.

      • Phillip Everett

        I have lived and worked in Scotland and as an Englishman I have been subjected to lots of hate from a number of Scots. So I think the bile flows from the North to the South as I know not of any Englishman that truly hates the Scots. Heck, we shout fior you in sporting events. Something the Scots never do for the English.

        Recently while at a wedding in Scotland an English lady who was teaching in a Glasgow school told us of the verbal abuse she was subject to during he referendum.

        So if the only friends we would have after Scotland independence would be the the Scots who hate us, I think we should pass on that Friendship.

        I would prefer that union continue if only because together all the nations of the Union have contributed so much to the World, but unfortunately to keep that union we have made more and more concessions to the Scots. A time must come when the cost becomes to great to keep fighting for the Union.

        • Quarmby

          You identify yourself as precisely the kind of British nationalist I identified. Your claim that bile flows only from North to South is itself a slur. It was Unionist claims of a ‘nasty’ Referendum process which was splitting communities and causing fears of violence which prompted Police Scotland to step in and issue a corrective that these were untrue and that the Referendum campaign in Scotland was being carried out in an overwhelmingly trouble-free and positive environment. Indeed the worst we saw was the appalling behaviour of BritNat thugs and their Union flags in George Square on the night after the Referendum, bravely ripping the saltire held by two teenage girls who were mobbed to the ground. Charges ensued. QED.

          As far as your ‘passing’ on the friendship of an independent Scotland is concerned – don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out.

          • Phillip Everett

            I think you are confused and live in your own world.

          • Quarmby

            Since your head is well and truly buried in the sand in respect of the reality of the political scene in post-Referendum Scotland, you would say that, wouldn’t you.

          • Phillip Everett

            We will not agree, but I note that you had to try and insult me by calling me a British Nationalist. If you mean that I am a member of a right wing group , you are wrong. If you mean that I care about the union you are correct, but not at any price and I don’t want the rest of the Union disadvantaged just to keep Scotland in it.

            So, if you want a divorce then go, but we’re keeping the CDs.

          • Andy Ellis

            Britnat is just shorthand for supporter of the union, just as cybernat has come to be used as shorthand for online supporter of independence. Both can be seen as terms of abuse, but it rather depends on context I think? I have no objection to being called a cybernat for example… it’s the “vile” attached as a prefix by britnat media and nutters that gets my goat.

            We could use “unionist” I suppose… but I believe that term has other less cosy connotations? 😉

          • Phillip Everett

            May be it would have been better not to use the term, then.

          • Andy Ellis

            I’m not responsible for or indeed that interested in your over sensitive nature. “Britnat” as a term is no more or less offensive then “scotnat”. I know many opponents of Scottish independence don’t like to be called British nationalists, but that is to all intents and purposed what they are. It’s a useful shorthand particularly on twitter where brevity is at a premium. If britnat is the worst think “unionists” get called they have little to worry about, I can assure you that “scotnats” are routinely called things that are much, much worse on-line.

          • Quarmby

            Since you’ve felt free to explicitly slur Scottish nationalism as representing those who “hate everything the UK stands for”, while you extoll what the UK – Britain – has contributed to the world, it does not seem unreasonable to refer to you as a British nationalist.

            If you take that as an insult and an implication of association with the far right, then it’s probably because you’re expecting a like for like response to your denigration of Scottish nationalism as espousing ‘hate.’ In fact it was nothing more than an accurate description of your position as a flag waver for Britain and its beneficence to the world.

            BTW, you will note that I did not capitalise the ‘n’ in nationalist, unlike you in your Aunt Sally of a response.

          • Phillip Everett

            I think the tem you were looking for was a Unionist.

            And yes, where I stand, I do see a lot Scots espouse Scotish Nationalism as a need to get away from the English who they see as having brutalised the Scots over many years and who keep harping back to Edward Longshanks and Walis. I suppose you know none of these.

          • Quarmby

            No, the term I was looking for was the one I used.

          • Phillip Everett

            As a Unionist, I see the purpose of the Union to benefit fairly all of those in the Union. As a Scotish Nationalist, you think everything Scotish should benefit just the Scots and that is where we really differ.

            And yes I recognise the Union does not treat everyone fairly, but that is the nature of politics and is not a reason to abandon the Union but the reason to try and male it work better.

            BTW, my previous email but one was not an Aunt Sally. I did not intentionally put it up for you to try and knock it down. Nor was it a straw man.

          • Phillip Everett

            I am not sure where the post went so as a repeat:

            As a supporter of the Union, I think the resources of the Union shouls be used for the benefit of all members of the Union. As a Scotish Nationalist, you think that Scotand’s resources should be used for the Scots only. That does not fit well with the Socialist policies of the SNP – rather selfish.

          • Quarmby

            Don’t tell me what I think.

            Your idea that the parties of Union represent anything remotely ‘socialist’ is laughable, when over the past week we’ve had a senior Labour figure in Edinburgh calling on UK Labour’s Scottish branch members to vote Tory in certain constituencies, and a Labour peer stating that he would prefer a coalition with the Tories than any democratically elected SNP MPs at Westminster.

            Given that Nye Bevan, the Father of the NHS, reckoned Tories were vermin, you can see how far UK Labour’s travelled from its socialist principles since it was perverted into New Labour by Blair after John Smith’s death. Neoliberal UK Labour Blairites like Jim Murphy would no more know how to spell ‘Socialist’, let alone implement its tenets, than would George Osborne.

          • Phillip Everett

            No true socialist is a nationalist. So I guess you’re no socialist.

            You fail to answer the point I made all you do is try and trow insults. The sign of someone who as lost he argument.

        • Andy Ellis

          Anyone can post their individual experience and claim that it is a damning indictment of a whole nation. There’s no excuse for people being abused, but are you honestly naive enough to think it only flows one way? Really?

          There are nutters on both sides; in my experience as a Scot in England, the bile and negativity came overwhelmingly from the No camp, and the bigotry and anti-Scottish prejudice was clear to see in virtually all the media (just look at some of the stuff here for example).

          The vast majority of people on both sides are friendly. There’s a difference between disagreement and abuse. I know the “support England last” thing annoys lots of English folk, but it is overwhelmingly light hearted. We aren’t obliged to support anyone other than Scotland you know!

          The time when the costs outweigh the benefits has already come; it’s just the britnat elites that benefit from it haven’t caught up yet. there’s no reason the split can’t be amicable and good natured for the vast majority in both countries. Scottish nationalism isn’t based on hatred of the English, and to caricature it as such is way off the mark.

        • Phillip Everett

          You clearly have identified yourself as a Scotish Nationalist who hates everything the UK stands for. To claim that in modern times it is the English mistreat the Scots is a joke (clearly the highlanders were mistreated by the English – for example under Edward Longshanks who was helped by the lowlanders)

  • Phillip Everett

    Please everyone, don’t vote for Labour as what you will get is a coalition with the SNP. Miliband is so desperate for power he will give the SNP everything they want and we will move so far to the left we will communist.

    Do we really want to be dictated to by what is 1/12 of the population?

  • http://weourselves.com/ Christian Wright

    Let’s bring some clarity to this. It isn’t rocket surgery.

    On May 7 the Scottish electorate will not be voting for or against independence. On May 7 the Scottish Electorate will not be voting for or against a party that will “do mischief”.

    This election is singularly about trust. Scotland has had near eight years of competent SNP government and polls show a majority of the electorate agree with that assessment irrespective of their voting intention on May 7.

    The SNP are asking you to lend them your vote so that they might deliver for Scotland in Westminster as they have delivered for Scotland in Holyrood

    The central question that Scottish voters must ask themselves regardless of their left or right leanings is: Who do I trust to best represent Scotland’s interests at Westminster?

    Do you trust the small pro-Union Scottish branches of large parties headquartered in London, or the only pro-Scotland party in the frame, headquartered in Edinburgh?

    Vote for Scotland and for a Labour government at Westminster – VOTE SNP

  • john

    Alex is too optimistic. Success for the SNP will only begin that process – there’ll be a lot more work to be done to dump the ancien regime and get the plebs in charge.

  • http://weourselves.com/ Christian Wright

    Interesting, but despite repeated requests for him to do so, Alex Massie has been unable to articulate a credible argument why the dissolution of this moribund Union would be a bad thing.

    We are in phase two of the dissolution of England’s inner empire. Ireland is long gone and Scotland is now in the process of delivering the coup de gras. The deep-seated clinical denial is evinced by habitual reference to “rUK” – the fiction of a continuing union AKA empire after Scotland’s departure.

    That the UK IS naught but England’s inner empire is made crystal clear in the legal opinion of December 10 2012 (Opinion: Referendum on the Independence of Scotland – International Law Aspects), paid for by HMG, and adopted by it in early 2013 as the cornerstone of its official policy on matters constitutional and Scottish.

    In Part IV of that document we are informed that Scotland was “extinguished” in 1707 when it was absorbed by England, and that the titles “United Kingdom” and “England” are synonyms describing the self-same, continuing, unitary state.

    So, let us not kid ourselves, the UK has never been in practice, a partnership. Rather it is a three-century old colonial construct sustained by patronage, privilege, and ultimately, force of arms. A stale confection now in irreversible decline and characterised by indebtedness, corruption, gross inequality, and ethnic bigotry.

    The best possible outcome for the people of England would be its summary dissolution and the establishment of a new system of decentralised government that truly is answerable to the electorate. It is beyond intolerable that all power is concentrated in the hands of a multi-millionaire ruling class that comprises but one percent of the entire population.

    Job one for those who would look to fashion a more just and fairer English society should be the conscious deconstruction of this impediment of empire and the imperial hubris it sustains of England as an economic and military world power.

    • HJ777

      Are you ‘Peter A Bell’ in disguise?

      • http://weourselves.com/ Christian Wright

        Why don’t you simply place your mouse cursor over my avitar and find out who I am. I’m afraid I don’t have time to do everything for you.

        • James Morrison

          Pleased to meet you Christian.

      • Quarmby

        Are you ‘John Macintyre OBE’ in disguise?

    • Freddythreepwood

      Unreconstituted socialist bollocks. The Scots were instrumental in building the Empire and its most enthusiastic bricklayers. Not that that is anything to be ashamed of.

      • James Morrison

        Scots Welsh and Irish may have been the BRICKLAYERS but the WHO was the FOREMAN?

        • Freddythreepwood

          Pete Townshend will be delighted.

          • James Morrison

            SMILEY

    • Mark Kilby

      “It is beyond intolerable that all power is concentrated in the hands of a multi-millionaire ruling class that comprises but one percent of the entire population”

      Erm, Alex and his right wing cronies no?

      I want to build a golf course in Scotland in a location that is proving unpopular with the locals, and am wondering how best to move this forward, any ideas?

      • James Morrison

        Ask ConLab.

  • d muir

    My experience of the referendum was this, I’m not voting Yes as independence in Europe doesn’t make any sense, also why would we want the pound or the euro when we could have our own debt free currency and as for inviting a women known to associate with paedophiles to become the head of state, farcical, just farcical, but give the better together campaign its due they managed somehow to out retrard the yes campaign and I ended up voting yes, but I can’t seem to shake the nagging thought why to we need our minds to be steered in the first place (gobern- steer, ment- the mind), oh yes so that a small number of people can make a huge amount of money!

  • dred

    How can you have a united kingdom if the legal,education or health service isnt the same where ever you are.And by the same token how can a tv debate comprise political parties that dont have candidates standing in all parts of the kingdom.

    • JoeCro

      Scotland has kept an independent legal system for over 300 years. US states, Swiss Cantons, Canadian provinces etc make their own local arrangements for a great many things. Texas has the death penalty, Vermont doesn’t. California has a completely different tax system to Florida- they appear to manage this in the US. Why shouldn’t local parties have the opportunity to get elected? Northern Ireland remains part of the the UK yet has a independent political parties outwith Westminster control.

  • Michael North

    The surge in support for the SNP since the referendum is a perfect demonstration of the adolescent mentality. They want to be free now they know they’re safe at home. No wonder the SNP want to lower the voting age – let sulky teens rule.

    • Andy Ellis

      Yeah, with polls now showing that >50% support independence, and the SNP about to annihilate Scottish Labour, the ONLY explanation can be adolescent pique! Good grief, do you think about what you write before you post it at all?

      Oh, and by the way, when the SNP first suggested allowing 16 & 17 year olds to vote, all the polling evidence showed they were overwhelmingly AGAINST independence. So it would seem that they might (shock, horror!) have done it as a matter of principle, rather than political advantage.

      Mind you, by 18/09 the youngest age group had switched to being pro-indy; just shows, the more research you do, and more educated you are…the more pro-indy you become! 😉

      • HJ777

        It was a secret ballot. You don’t know anyone, or any age group, voted.

        • Andy Ellis

          There are such things as polls, you know? No doubt you think they are all rubbish? How do you think Scottish Labour will do for example? Apparently Jim Murphy is confident they won’t lose ANY seats…. BWahahahahaha. you honestly couldn’t make it up.

          Whatever makes you happy. the fact that the No vote was effectively gained on the pensioner vote is widely accepted, but feel free to maintain otherwise. All we really have to do is wait for the auld britnats to shuffle off really! 😉

          • HJ777

            What people tell pollsters and what they actually do are often different.

            People do tend to grow wiser as they grow older. Not people like you obviously, but most people.

          • Andy Ellis

            *Sighs* So just another hard of thinking britnat with no positive argument, just the knee jerk playing of the man not the ball? Well done you. No wonder the union is withering on the vine!

          • HJ777

            Now I’ve heard it all – someone as obviously dim as you calling me ‘hard of thinking’.

            That’s why you lost – there just aren’t enough thick people around.

      • Michael North

        As you say, the only explanation can be adolescent pique.

  • Freddythreepwood

    I suppose you are right, Alex, but you don’t say what you think can be done about it. The Scots appear to have made their minds up, and the English, fed up to the back teeth wirh their whinging, appear to have finally reached the end of their tether. If Miliband thinks things are bad for him in Scotland, he should be petrified at the thought of what will happen to him in England if he goes into partnership with the Nats.

  • chassy

    easy answer here ,JUST VOTE UKIP ,FOR THE BIG CHANGE FOR THE GOOD OF THE UK

  • Auldreekie

    So much anger and bitterness from the unionists.

    It must indeed be horrifying to realise that the apparently secure and permanent UK – in its present form – is in the process of disintegration. But, for a great many of us outside the comfortable, dominating English majority, there has been discontentment for centuries: we know that we can never succeed as Scots in the UK without first compromising and then selling our souls for English Establishment values, attitudes, loyalties, culture, language, tastes, preferences, and once these are adopted, we would inevitably have sold our descendants at the same time. All that is left is, maybe, for a generation or two, token and meaningless support for Scotland at sporting events.

    All over the world, people in other countries have felt the same resentment of rule from London, and all that that implies. Sooner or later, for all, it’s goodbye to all that.

    • HJ777

      Yawn.

      • James Morrison

        FEE FIE FO FUM……… SMILEY

  • FrankS2

    Maybe it’s time for England to think about leaving the UK .

  • Yekcim Esuom

    Cant wait for the election so i can f,.u,.c.,k the Tories in Wales up the ass good and proper.

  • Kieran

    The era of stable government is over and it is about time. Stable government breeds corruption. Also, there needs to be a devolved English parliament to match the Scottish parliament, the Welsh and NI assemblies also must be brought to an equal footing. I am a Scottish nationalist and I believe in democracy, the union is a joke. EVEL is pretty undemocratic to the English and will prevent Scottish MP’s voting on issues that will directly reduce the Scottish budget despite the surplus we provide. I can’t wait for our SNP landslide, and make no mistake, we will be fighting for the English NHS.

  • The Bogle

    An independent Scotland would solve the West Lothian Question and remove the Barnet Formula. Brussels would also smirk at seeing the United Kingdom weakened.
    Would the rump UK leave the EU as a consequences, despite wails from Plaid Cymru, while an independent Scotland would seek membership?

  • saffrin

    Anything other than UKIP holding the balance of power is the end of Britain, what with all other parties h#ll bent of devolution.
    All to the benefit of Brussels…easier to control.

    • James Morrison

      On the contrary Saffrin…..Your problem is that Scotland is not “controlable” from Westminster anymore. Holyrood is now the centre of Scottish politics and London’s tendrils are withering on the vine. As for UKIP holding the balance of power? WHO CARES? UKIP is simply an “English” nationalist party with illusions of an “Imperial” destiny. (BRITNATS)

  • Kennybhoy

    910 comments so far! Earned your fee today Massie! lol

  • DaHitman

    On the bright-side England will be richer without them

  • Cogra Bro

    Since the UK is in an organisation , the EU, which has abolished borders and promotes ‘An ever closer Union’, why does it matter if one part of it, Scotland, wants to dissociate itself entirely from the rest?

    Within the EU, such a dissociation can only be symbolic and ultimately valueless. There will be small lumps of differentiation as in an undercooked porridge in this new Europe, but Britain as a whole will increasingly dissolve into it. So who cares whether or not Scotland is independent?

    Another point. It was possible for Scotland to join up with England in the first place because the two peoples had close affinities racially, culturally and religiously. as well as joint economic interests. The EU is subsuming the economic interests and as for the rest, it has been the policy of UK governments to destroy ethnic affinities through mass immigration.
    So what on earth is there to keep Scotland and the rest of the UK together? If the EU doesn’t destroy the Union, mass immigration and multiculturalism will.

    • Andy Ellis

      It matters because the Europhobic insistence that being in the EU means “pretendy” independence is fatuous. Being in the EU means that a collection of independent states have agreed to pool some elements of their sovereignty. The idea that we are in a headlong dash into some euro-federalist US of E is just too ridiculous, and of course your sideswipe at immigration and multiculturalism outs your crypto-UKIP/far-right agenda from the get go. Islamic domination? Are you for real?

      Mass immigration has precisely zero to do with the break up of the UK; the regressive inertia of our institutionally corrupt, crypto-medieval system explains the break up of the union; that and the politically autistic response of the britnats to demands for devolution of powers to Scotland, Wales and the English regions.

      The EU if anything would prefer to preserve the union, as their passive aggressive hostility to Scots and Catalan independence amply demonstrates. They’d much prefer the status quo, but in the end, if independence for either looks imminent, they will pragmatically accept it.

      Your Cassandra act is about as accurate and as palatable as Enoch’s river of blood speech, and your views are just as wrong and unpleasant as his.

      • Cogra Bro

        They haven’t agreed to hand over ‘some’ elements of sovereignty, but most of it If something looks like a Duck…..When 80% of our laws and regulations originate in the EU, an organisation which has its own President. Foreign Minister, Ambassadors, putative armed forces etc etc: when we are subject to European courts and warrants, when our Head of State is officially an EU Citizen, what we have is a Duck. And what’s more, getting more Duck like. The States if the USA have more independence than we have.

        It is irrelevant if you perceive my views as ‘unpleasant’ or and (inevitably) as far right. The point is; are they realistic?

        The EU is in the business of destroying nations so it is of no ultimate significance given the larger agenda if ethnicities within it separate out from the member states. Their independence can mean nothing in the long run if they remain in a homogenised EU. I should have thoughr this was obvious.

        As for The Islamisation of the UK; I invite you to read the work of David Coleman, Professor of Demography at Oxford and the Civitas booklets on this subject. Between 2004 and 2008, the Muslim population of the UK grew at an annual rate of 6.7 percent, making Muslims 4 percent of the population in 2008. Extrapolating from those figures would mean that the Muslim population in 2020 would be 8 percent, 15 percent in 2030, 28 percent in 2040 and finally, in 2050, the Muslim population of the UK would exceed 50 percent of the total population.

  • http://batman-news.com/ Whizjet

    Good article, Alex.
    Buuuut – while I believe you’re right, I have come to genuinely believe that Scotland should have her chance:

    1. The hugely divergent polities justify it.
    2. There is little, if any, downside for the English.
    3. With luck, the Welsh and Irish will do the same.

    We could end up with a more coherent, and illogically, and more joined up UK than when it was called as such.

    And if it goes wrong for them – what are a few more immigrants after all?

  • Paul Z. Temperton

    In the phrase “in the long term”, there should be no hyphen between “long” and “term” because it is being used as a noun. The hyphen is appropriate only when it is a compound adjective, as in “the long-term trend”.

  • slyblade

    in hindsight we would have been better off if the SNP had won. With the price of oil dropping like a stone it wouldn’t have taken long for the Scottish people to realise just what a sham they are. Now we will have to prop them up financially with them having a huge presence in the HoC. Communism by the back door.

  • aurila

    I’m praying for the SNP,
    if the SNP win,
    it will be because of the Labour Party and their bribes to the Scottish

  • ItinerantView

    The SNP are NOT Nationalists, I wish they would change their name to something more apropos;
    the 68er, pro-EU, multikulti, Sharia-friendly party perhaps- PEUMSFP 68, not very catchy I admit but a more accurate representation of their political proclivities.

  • Major Plonquer

    If/when Greece leaves the UE and Scotland joins, the PIIGS will obviously have to change their name. We can start calling the PIISS poor nations.

  • Cobbett

    The Union has had it’s day. Time to move on.

  • Adrian

    The major parties may well have to decide whether or not to ally themselves with the SNP in order to govern. And if that’s an unpalatable option then the clear alternative is a Lab-Con coalition, which surely represents the will of most English people, no?

  • tres66

    So it’s a scrap to see whether Scottish Labour or the SNP are more nationalistic?
    So it’s back to basics, i.e. how much more money they can extort from Westminster at the expense of the rest of us?

    • Jaden McLaughlin

      Son, I was young once too so understand your naivety, but that money we “extort” from you goes to pumping more of our oil out of our sea and sending the profits back into your hands so your NHS can afford to hire a masseuse to remove the terrible pain from your whiny, English bruised leg.

  • Kenny MacNeil

    we now live in a country where people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. all this started after Maggie had her rampage over the industrialised areas of Scotland and northern England, those memories are still raw for many people, we could have been poor and british or rich and nothing, now with the global economic downturn we are poor and nothing. at the same time we are faced with an avalanche of greed from our “leaders” so is it any wonder that the people of Scotland are voting for a party that promises to deliver a better fairer form of government. my only regret is that for our brothers and sisters in the south no such party exists, “yet”

  • Kenny MacNeil

    had a look through a lot of the posts, there are quite a few anti English rants, I have lived and worked all over Britain including England and found them to be a fine folk just badly served by their leaders as are we all..

  • Stephen Cowley

    I’m not so sure. The SNP have given away their main bargaining chip already by saying they will never deal with the Tories. They will not wish to be known again as the party that voted out a Labour government – the accusation ever since 1979 when Callaghan was voted out with SNP support. Since then, the SNP have had to lean left to take on Labour in the central belt. So, in the event, SNP MPs in Westminster may not function too differently from the current Labour ones.

  • Terence Hale

    Hi,
    “Why an SNP surge at Westminster could mean the end of Britain”. There are more serious issues. With SNP men sitting on the parliamentary benches in a kilt the age old question of what is under the kilt would be exposed by parliament internet coverage.

  • Frank B

    Labour government slowly ends the madness of Austerity, Scotland gets it’s benefits back and all goes back to normal.

  • pretty_polly

    How Labour Government Works.
    Once upon a time a Labour government owned a vast scrap yard in the middle of nowhere which used to be British industry.
    Labour said, “Someone may steal from it at night.” So they created a night watchman position and hired a man to do the job.
    Then Labour said, “How can the night watchman do his job without instruction?”
    So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to tick the boxes.
    Then Labour said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing his tasks correctly?” So they created a quality control department and hired two people. One to do studies and one to write reports.
    Then Labour said, “How are these people going to be paid and administered?”
    So they created the following positions, two time keepers and four payroll officers, and then hired five human resources consultants and six health and safety executives.
    Then Labour said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?” So they built an administrative headquarters and hired fifty people including administrative officers, assistant administrative officers, legal secretaries and a chief executive on £250,000 per year.
    Then Labour said, “We have had this in operation for over one year and we are £25,000,000 over budget, we must cutback the overall cost.”
    So they sacked the night watchman.

    • Jaden McLaughlin

      Completely agree. In an independent and socialist Scotland there will be no place for pseudo-socialist parties like Labour instead there will be only true Marxists like ourselves.

      • pretty_polly

        Marxism!

        Oh that’ll work so well in Scotland and everyone will have such a wonderful life and the highest standard of living in the entire world…

        Hahaha.. 🙂

        • Jaden McLaughlin

          See you understand as well. A socialist Scotland will not only be the fairest nation, it will also be the best.

          • pretty_polly

            Irony alert.. 🙂

          • Jaden McLaughlin

            Haha yes I suppose it is quite ironic! It is quite ironic that the 16 letter motto of the impending revolution was first imagined on a page more frequently visited by bigots and enemies of the revolution.

          • Jaden McLaughlin

            I must say comrade, for an English person you show a remarkable level of sympathy and appreciation to our cause. If you wish to seek refuge in the aetherial SSR before your government closes the border to stop a brain drain similar to that of East to West Germany I am positive a position in the English embassy in Edinburgh could be secured for you.

  • Jaden McLaughlin

    It is clear from the “Scottish” people’s inability to correctly vote yes that a militant uprising is required to establish an independent and socialist republic in Scotland.

    • pretty_polly

      Okkaaay, I had no idea that the Scottish people wish to destroy their society, but thanks for informing me of that sad and regrettable fact..

      • Jaden McLaughlin

        But surely my friend you did have some idea of the Scottish people’s will to commit to that motion when on September 18th they agreed to for leeching from Westminster. For a while I too could not believe that this was the will of our compatriots, but I came to terms (as I know you will soon) with the fact that the people of Scotland are too brainwashed and need a strong leader to show them the way.

        • pretty_polly

          Someone like Kim perhaps.. ?

          Maybe you should invite him over.. ?

          • Jaden McLaughlin

            I wish you wouldn’t joke about corrupting a pure Scotland by suggesting we elect a dictator who falsely waves the flag of socialism in order to oppress and indoctrinate his people. The SSR will be a a metaphorical shining light of Marxism casting a shadow on the shameful and deceptive nations which throw muck on the holy name of Marxism.

          • pretty_polly

            Only trying to help..

            Stalin perhaps.. ?

          • Jaden McLaughlin

            Although the work done at the Roslin institute near Edinburgh is a world leader in cloning, the esteemed scientists have not yet developed the technology to a level where a human corpse could be cloned. However, a socialist and Holyrood based government that would undoubtedly both appreciate and fund such a project would progress the technology to this level.

  • Cymrugel

    The main problem the UK has is a denial of reality and the refusal to realise that we need a root and branch reform of our political system.

    During the referendum I watched in disbelief as the whole issue was trivialised and ignored by the London political and media class right up to the point when they suddenly realised they could lose. They should have know how strong the SNP campaign was from the start – its their job surely.

    Instead we had weeks of tosh about Salmond being “wily” and all the rest of it when in actual fact he is simply a skilled politician with a highly motivated party behind him that believes in its cause. He was able to outflank and out argue the best Westminster had to offer, which is why the Tory leadership avoided engaging with him. Its going to be fun watching this pack of second raters struggling to deal with this man at despatch box.

    Talking about a matter being “settled” after a skin of the teeth victory at the polls despite huge advantages and prior to an imminent election where the unionist parties in Scotland are facing a virtual wipe out is complacency of an order so high it is difficult to comprehend.

    We now have a state of affairs where a bankrupt political leadership try to maintain a failed system in the face of growing demands for reform. Scotland is only the spear point here. Everyone south of the Border isn’t happy as a clam either.

    We live in a country run from a city that is increasingly acting like a city state with all things focused in one place to make them more easily exploitable by a privileged few.

    Our political, cultural and intellectual life are increasingly being dominated by a self serving elite busy setting their offspring up to succeed them and resisting change.
    Scottish independence is inevitable if this does not change.

    Scots want a government that is concerned with the issues that matter to them, not some sort of aristocracy dispensing occasional sops while presiding over decline and depression.

    I suspect English voters feel the same. Its just a question of waiting for a suitable party to articulate their anger. UKIP won’t do – they are just offering more of the same, with a side order of xenophobia and bigotry.

  • mikewaller

    One thing is certain, if they are left to their own devices, all forms of devolution will spawn more and more politicians and administrators. If I read the pie-chart recently supplied by the Chancellor correctly, this activity already consumes 2p in every tax pound, with no limit as to how far it might rise. Very concerned about this, I recently submitted a proposed petition to the government body responsible for such things. It has now been approved and can be viewed at:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/74584

    My intention is that all constitutional changes should be zero-sum in terms of cost e.g. the governmental costs arising from the devolution of powers to Scotland should be exactly matched by cost reductions within the UK structure. I am confident that this will meet with the approval of most Spectator readers so should be most grateful if as many as possible would sign my petition.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Unionists need to fight dirty. If the Snp want to wreck Britain, wreck Scotland first. Split the islands. Contest the border counties. As Putin has shown, borders can be re-drawn.

  • Barry Rainey

    scotlands going it all depends when, i wish sooner but im playing the long game,nothing againsts the other parts of the uk but hate westmonster

  • Barry Rainey

    the only way the union wont end is federal states with the scots welsh and n irish and england split into 3, so without the vote of a celt nation they cant start another war

  • David McGill

    I’m an anglophile and have a high regard for what England has achieved in the world. However, I have advocated independence for England for the last twenty years, because as a nation it needs to re-learn how to be good at being English. A country once renowned for tolerance, ‘fair play’, common decency and social progress has lost its way. England needs independence more than the Scots.

  • scotchman

    Try it in german. Der SNP ist nicht mehr eine Partei. Es ist jetzt eine Bewegung. And if that don’t give you the shivers nothing will. The Nazis were a movement.

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