How far will they go?

Professor Sir John Curtice is being a tad disingenuous when he says,

It seems that the days when Unionists could claim with confidence that Scots do not want another independence referendum any time soon may have come to an end.

The professor must surely be aware that those days came to an end some time ago. They were at an end long before polling showed 51% in favour of a new referendum at any date. His comments imply that an opinion poll majority is required before a new constitutional referendum can be considered. That is patently not so. For it to be so, those surveys would require some sort of democratic legitimacy and force. However scientific they may be, opinion polls mere indicate the public mood. They do not, and cannot, reflect the will of the people.

In practice, the question of whether a referendum should be held is a matter for the government. Obviously, opinion polling will be factored into deliberations. But, ultimately, it is a decision for the First Minister, taking account of public demand as well as things like the importance of the issue and the need to resolve it occasioned by its overall impact. Opinion polls don’t decide these matters. Nobody elected the pollsters.

Apart from anything else, opinion polls tend to test the wrong thing. The Panelbase survey for the Sunday Times which found that 51% of Scots want a new referendum to be held “either when the UK is negotiating to leave the EU or has finished the negotiations” was clearly asking a rather silly and pointless question. The Brexit negotiations are already finished. They finished months ago. It matters not a toss how much bladders like Jeremy Hunt bang on about negotiating a deal that MPs can agree to, negotiations are already finished. They have ended. There will be no further negotiations. The negotiations that the lying Hunt is talking about aren’t going to happen. Because negotiations are finished. They are completed and concluded. Wound up and terminated.

If the Panelbase poll is to be taken seriously, it must be assumed to indicate that a majority want the new referendum to be held immediately. As in right now! But nobody seriously imagines this to be possible. While it is gratifying to see people realising the urgency of Scotland’s predicament, a sensible date for the new referendum would be Thursday 19 September 2019.

The question never was whether there should be a new referendum. That was always going to be necessary; because the 2014 No vote is known to have been won on a totally false prospectus. Nor is the scheduling of that referendum a matter of public opinion. It is a political decision determined by a combination of circumstances and political judgement.

All in all, this poll is a welcome fillip for Scotland’s cause, but it changes nothing. It may also be portrayed as a blow to British Nationalists. But bear in mind that these British Nationalists have only contempt for public opinion and democracy. And precious little regard for logic, coherence and consistency. They are perfectly capable of totally discounting the 51% in favour of an early referendum whilst simultaneously insisting that the 51% supposedly against independence is absolutely decisive.

I have long maintained that what the Yes movement needs is, not better answers to the questions thrown at us by British Nationalists, but better questions to throw back at them. When we are seeking answers to questions such as whether and when there should be another referendum, it’s because we are allowing the British establishment, its agents and lackeys the privilege and advantage of dictating the agenda. Why the hell are we doing that!?

Why are we not asking the question that Unionists and British Nationalists don’t want asked? The kind of questions that British political journalists are to professionally incompetent and/or intellectually indolent and/or profoundly prejudiced to ask. I will give just one example by way of illustration because it’s time Yes activists started formulating these questions for themselves.

How do Unionists and British Nationalists propose to maintain a political union which is implacably opposed by half of Scotland? What measures are they intending to take? How far are they prepared to go in order to preserve their ‘precious’ Union?

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10 thoughts on “How far will they go?

  1. They will do whatever we let them get away with doing.

    Boris, and possibly Farage will be plotting to decapitate the Scottish Parliament. The talk of no mandate is a very real threat. They are basically saying that the Scottish parliament’s laws or bills are illegitimate. Even though the referendum has been backed by a majority in Holyrood, they maintain there is no mandate, if they say there is no mandate!

    This is going down the Madrid route. A very dangerous route where order is maintained by threats, actual violence and fascism. The phoney war is over. We are now at the point where we need to take action.

    Once Boris gets his job the gloves will be off. The question for us and for the leaders of our parliament. Is what will we do to protect what we have?

    To protect our nation we need independence. If we don’t get independence then our nation is finished.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I dare say they will go to extreme lengths, they have previous in this department. We are worth a lot of money and they wont let it go to easily. I think this could get very dirty and even violent, that’s their M.O.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “How far are they prepared to go to preserve their precious Union?” They will stop at nothing. No doubt about that. Tanks, army dressed as cops, lying, cheating, manipulating and falsifying evidence. The usual stuff. These hunts are not to be trusted. They don’t give a shit about those of us who want them gone and would probably send us to re-education facilities if they didn’t have the Hootsmon, the Daily Retard and Beebscottie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely agree with your analysis Peter. Particularly, since not only the two leadership contenders for the Conservative Party appear content to disregard the clearly articulated and legal mandate for a Scottish Independence referendum: bit now Swinson and Davy have both joined their Tory confreres.
    Apparently., the arrogance of the English-dominated British Stave has changed little from the days of Canute (the last Danish King of Engerland).
    As I have said before Peter: ! I have little doubt that once the British State exhausts the Propaganda efforts via the media and the assorted House Jocks available to it. It will resort to the tried and trusted methods of coercive control up to and including in extremis the use of force. Anyone who thinks this is ludicrous should ask themselves who would have predicted the current political turmoil as recently as say 2013/14? The British actually place great store on face let alone any prospect of pecuniary harm.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The photo at the head of this blog is of a fund-raising parade in 1918, during the very successful ‘Tank Week’ in Glasgow. Tank ‘Julian’ is surrounded by cheering Glaswegians. If you’re trying to use the ‘Churchill sent the tanks’ myth to ask the question that forms your title, you might find this useful:


    1. The reality is that the British establishment was terrified of the Glasgow events becoming a pretext for Bolshevik revolution. Troops were dispatched north to encourage peace. There is no reason to believe that the British establishment has changed much in a hundred years – remember squaddies dressed as cops during the miner’s strike and anti-poll tax demos? There is every reason never to trust Perfidious Albion. They hardly even trust each other!!!


  6. It’s getting high time to challenge and dismiss these dangerous notions that are being used to justify the increasing suppression of democracy while purportedly acting in its defence. In these polarised times, only those who are afraid of the outcome of a referendum are determined to avoid it. So it’s patently absurd to require a majority in order to “justify” a referendum, since that very position would render the actual result redundant!

    Places where referendums form a normal part of governance do rightly require that frivolous campaigns are not allowed to vexatiously trouble the public at large, and in consequence generally require a demonstration of substantive support first via a petition, but that requirement is never anywhere near a majority or anything like even a fraction of it.

    So this nonsense being conjured out of thin air that a referendum must somehow have 50%+1 support among the entire voting population before being allowed to proceed is ridiculous. How could that hurdle ever be properly established (rather than being partisan assertions of devious politicians) without conducting a process identical in every respect to an actual referendum?!

    It’s plainly bonkers. A deliberate excuse. The anti-democrats ran out of plausible alternatives long ago, so now they’re desperately trying to trap Scotland with a Catch-22 of their own cynical devising.

    Liked by 1 person

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