Feeding the crocodile!

I can honestly say that I have never seen a better example of righteous radical posturing. The pontificating latte-sippers of the Scottish left have ever been adept at putting a veil of saintly reasonableness over craven retreat. They’re well practiced in applying a varnish of sensibleness to the turd of abject surrender. They’ve always been good at abandoning principles with an air of nobility. They commend capitulation and call it compromise.

Apparently, the big mistake the Yes movement has been making is that we haven’t been prepared to seek the middle ground that no British Nationalist would consider treading. This is the opening gambit in an insidious process where that middle ground keeps shifting more and more towards what those British Nationalists demand and farther from what we aspire to. To put it in a nutshell, Gerry Hassan appears to think we are being unreasonable in insisting on the full restoration of Scotland’s independence. We ought to be prepared to settle for something less. Why? Because getting what we want is too arduous. Too confrontational. Too disruptive.

It seems we can have our revolution, so long as we don’t disturb the flower-beds.

It might, using a device such as an industrial olive press, be possible to squeeze some sense out of the Noon/Hassan position if there was the slightest reason to believe Unionists innocent of the absolutism that these two academics hang on the independence movement. It seems to have totally escaped their notice that the British state is now openly hell-bent on the latest iteration of the ‘Greater England’ project. They don’t appear to have heard the intimations of intent to ‘roll back devolution’ – a winking and nudging euphemism for the eradication of Scotland’s distinctive political culture along with as much of our culture and national identity as is consistent with maintaining the added value of Scotland, the brand.

It is perfectly fair to say that British Nationalists are out to destroy Scotland along with the rest of the territory regarded by them as the periphery of a new unified and homogenised British state – their ‘Great Britain’. The Noon/Hassan doctrine is that we should accept some measure of this destruction in order to get something that is but the faint smell of a pale shadow of what we aspire to. We should be ready to accept the erosion of our democracy and national identity in the hope of some boon from those who are bound by their ideology to see the erosion we accept as just a step on the way to the eradication that they seek.

There is a name for what Gerry Hassan is trying to sell. Appeasement! I, for one, am not buying. I am not buying for at least two reasons. Firstly, I do not agree with Messrs Noon and Hassan that the independence movement is being unreasonable in seeking the full restoration to Scotland of that status and those powers which other nations assume to be theirs by absolute right. British Nationalism is the extremist ideology here. We seek only constitutional normality. British Nationalism is a manifestation of the imperialism that most of us surely hoped we left behind when we departed the 20th century.

That is the second reason I flatly reject the idea of appeasement. There is nothing to be gained by pandering to the political extremes. There is only the near-certainty that all will be lost.

Winston Churchill got it right when he said that appeasement was like feeding the crocodile in the hope it will eat you last.

Independence! Nothing else! Nothing less!



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50 thoughts on “Feeding the crocodile!

  1. Gerry Hassan has never been a robust proponent of the restoration of Scotland’s normal constitutional status.

    Behind the mask of his various articulations of ‘federalism’, ‘home rule’, ‘maximum devolution’ and the like lurks a sentimental and emotional attachment to something that he affectionately refers to as ‘Britain’.

    His latest effort is indeed appeasement and surrender. He is entitled to his opinion but he can keep it and stick it in a very dark and personal place.

    On his return from Munich in October 1938 Neville Chamberlain waved an alleged document and said

    “This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine…”

    although the reality was that the little corporal had metaphorically wiped his backside with it.

    This might lack the ’empathy’ that Mr Hassan suggests that we should display towards NO supporters but if I still purchased newspaper hard copy his article would find its way into my toilet as a fine substitute for these increasingly expensive loo rolls.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Is this shepherding the flock towards independence-within-britain where the UK controls all the resources – rather like the South African Government tried with the homeland system because the current SNP leadership is simply unable to deliver or are they trying to head off a serious confrontation in the not so near future?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. The SNP govt have nothing to do with this. These people are more closely linked to Scottish (sic) Labour. It’ll be more to do with the “push-me/pull-you” internal wrangling of Labour and left wing activists over the constitution and how to reconcile it with the idea of “international” socialism.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Perhaps, though I think the idea of international socialism south of the border is long dead. In any case there’s nobody in Labour HQ who would want a return to anything that the romantic socialists in Scottish Labour long for.

        I do think we are being setup for a compromise deal that leaves Westminster in overall charge however. The alternative is that an independent Scotland runs away with all the energy and water – that’s simply not going to happen without a titanic struggle which is more likely to become more than just rhetoric.

        Liked by 6 people

        1. I suspect you’re right about the ground being prepared for some kind of compromise. Commentators like Hassan and Noon may be unconnected to the Scottish Government. But the way these things work is that first kites are flown to test the mood. Next thing is some SNP spokesbladder answering a (planted) question about the Noon/Hassan compromise idea and failing to dismiss it outright. After that, it rapidly develops into a strand of mainstream political discourse.

          Some of us recall how British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) tried to muddy the waters of the 2014 referendum with talk of ‘federalism’. This is just a slightly more sophisticated form of the same thing. That it is coming, not from the Unionists side of the constitutional issue but from within the ranks of independence supporters is indicative of just how far the Yes movement has strayed from its origins. Which is a tragedy for Scotland’s cause – and for Scotland.

          Liked by 6 people

      2. On that, MBP, I can agree with you. Even those on the Socialist Left who do aspire to independence for Scotland have a hard time in trying to square the circle. The Hard Left has split the Labour Party into factions over decades now, the most recent being anti Semitism and the ‘trans’ issue versus female rights. It behaves in precisely the same way as the Far Right. Scottish Labour just will not see that its best bet for survival is to embrace independence.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Being unreasonable, if anything the indy movement is too bloody nice at times, and the SNP government is so gutless that the king of winning VONCs John Swinney still continues to acknowledge the farcical GERS figures in interviews with the media.

    We’ve heard and rejected the more devolution, federalist shite a thousand times, both are if pushed by indy columnists a cop out, nothing short of full independence is required, a Holyrood government needs ALL the levers of government to run a country, we can’t compete with other nations, with one hand tied behind our backs and expect Scotland to become the nation we want it to be.

    I think Sturgeon if the indy masses started to get restless, would jump at the chance of more devolution for Scotland. She’d spin it as something good and her oblivious and super obedient fan club the Sturgeonistas, would in the end, see it as win win and another step down the road to full independence.

    Like I keep saying as long as Sturgeon is at the helm, anything is a possibility apart from Scotland leaving this rancid union.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. The headline and the part of the article that is about it from yesterday makes the point as well:

    Kevin McKenna: Another day, another absurd trolling of the Yes movement

    You have to wonder what any of these people who spend every waking moment criticising the YES movement, actually do to advance the cause of Independence. People like Stephen Noon, Alex Bell, Gerry Hassan, David Leask and others. Or those who use their column spaces to criticise the Scottish Government or SNP over devolved issues like school age as Riddoch is doing, and Kerevan does. Or just criticising Sturgeon as McAlpine does.

    Are they too feart or stupid to tackle the real job – converting NOes to YES?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Without being facetious can you tell us precisely or even generally what sturgeon has done in her 8 years in power to convert or EVEN EDUCATE NOes or undecideds , WHERE is the TRUTHFUL information to DESTROY the many lies and misinformation excreted by the unionists , WHERE are the facts to convince noes and undecideds that independence is not only desirable BUT desperately needed
      Where is the promised touted REBUTTAL UNIT that was going to publicly and vociferously EXPOSE the blatant lies and daily misinformation , did the budget for that get diverted to the unionist MSM so that they would be less critical of her incompetence

      Why has educational information been left to ordinary independence supporters like ZARKWAN (Colin) to investigate , formulate and disseminate facts and information that shows the indy benefits and destroys the unionist lies
      In the 8 years sturgeon and her morons have been in power NAME 1 thing that she has done that benefits or promotes an independent Scotland

      Liked by 7 people

    2. @yesindyref2
      Thanks for quoting that Kevin McKenna headline,
      that prompted me to find the article and read it at the Herald:

      https://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/20814508.kevin-mckenna-another-day-another-absurd-trolling-yes-movement/?ref=rss

      And thus I learnt a little more background about Stephen Noon.

      Alas my puzzlement as to his intention was not reduced, for puzzled I was as to his intention, having twice watched his interview on:

      Scotland Tonight

      Tue 30 Aug, 10.40 pm
      https://player.stv.tv/episode/4c5v/scotland-tonight

      He seemed, to me at least, to be both precise and well prepared to say the things he did, yet curiously completely uninterested to venture any logical progression or analysis on the very issues he himself was so carefully raising, but not exploring.

      I must say that I found it all very strange.

      [ sarcasm ]

      Obviously what he was suggesting could be quite straightforward to achieve!

      After there has come into existence some form of constitutional and legal oversight over whomever is exercising power in London the people and politicians in Scotland might eventually come to accept that they could be trusted to not unilaterally renege on international agreements or reinterpret the terms of an agreement after any campaign, negotiation or Democratic Decision.

      After there were a fundamental and irreversible reform of the existing UK / Westminster winner-takes-all ‘elected dictatorship’ to some kind of more consentual democractic system, say for example, like proportional representation and coalition power sharing similar to what exists in almost all other European countries, then perhaps the conditions might well be able to exist for a consentual compromise to be facilitated.

      After that then it could probably become quite a simple matter to reach an acceptable compromise between the representatives of the rest of the UK and the representatives of the Nation of Scotland that a majority of the people might have a possibility to consider acceptable.

      [ /sarcasm ]

      Mr Noon seems to be quite the optimist!
      or perhaps not.

      I was left none the wiser as to whether he was suggesting a constitutional convention because it could genuinely be a way forward after eight years of SNP inaction, or whether he was suggesting it as some cover for a sellout ‘compromise’ and / or because it could provide an avenue for the SNP to be able to claim to be delivering some sort of progress to the electorate of Scotland.

      Obviously eventually their really will need to be some sort of ‘progress’ that can be pointed to. There is always the next election coming along.

      p.s. It would be an improvement for other readers if, when you find items interesting enough to be worth commenting on, you would include a link then the rest of us would not have to spend our time searching for it. We could just use the link that you provided.

      🙂

      Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You seem to have got the measure of Stephen Noon. He got the media attention he wanted. Am I wrong in thinking he has started his own consultancy business? I might be, in this instance. But Noon’s behaviour is rather reminiscent of others who have used some controversial statement to garner free publicity. Jist sayin’, like!

        Like

        1. Oh you ̶a̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶c̶y̶n̶i̶c̶ seasoned observer Peter … The same thought process did occur to me.

          According to his linked in:
          https://uk.linkedin.com/in/stephennoon
          “Studied theology, philosophy and ethics, receiving a Master of Divinity and STB in 2021. Now about to commence a research degree at the University of Edinburgh looking at how we do politics in Scotland, with a focus on devolution’s promise of a ‘new politics’.

          So now I see the article in The National too:
          “Stephen Noon says its ‘time for third way’ in Scottish independence debate”
          https://www.thenational.scot/news/20861423.stephen-noon-says-time-third-way-scottish-independence-debate/

          This may well be the the first time ever that I can recall that every single commentor (currently 48 ) is dead against the proposition in the article.

          So that kite looks like it won’t fly.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. So I realise that this is necromancy on a now-dead thread,
            but I discovered this thought provoking article by Robin Mcalpine who explicitly names Stephen Noon for deliberately creating some of the problematic issues at the heart of the SNP (non!)campaign.
            Well worth the reading time, I thought.

            “Without arguments independence could fail”
            by Robin McAlpine | 7 Sep 2022

            https://robinmcalpine.org/without-arguments-independence-could-fail/


            This was a key part of the problem in 2014 – our arguments had gaps at crucial points and people intuited it. It was instructive to see Stephen Noon return to Scottish politics given that he was one of the people who demanded that those gaps were there in the first place. It was his firm ideological belief that you can’t set out descriptions of how things would be better because it scares swing voter so they should be fed propositions not arguments.

            Since 2014 that ideology has become dominant in the SNP leadership. We have not only failed to fill those gaps, we’ve actually opened them wider, giant holes in our case which are deliberately retained. The SNP wants to be both low-tax neoliberal and high-tax Nordic at the same time by eschewing arguments in favour of slogans.

            😉

            Like

  5. Postcolonial theory tells us that:

    a dominant national party reaches a private co-operation with the colonial power, which realisation ‘sickens’ an independence movement and results in political ‘rupture’;
    intellectuals on the left continue to think that independence is about matters of Left and Right, Socialism vs Capitalism, whereas the priority is that of freeing the people;
    the people begin to understand what independence is (i.e. decolonisation) and why it is necessary (liberation from oppression – economic, political, cultural, linguistic)
    the strategy and means of securing independence are adjusted accordingly.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Postcolonial theory tells us that:

      So basically speaking you quote people who wrote books 80 years ago, about 2 and maybe 3 continents, none of which is Europe, and for some reason people who don’t accept the result of the 2014 Referendum was real, lap it up.

      How sad.

      One thing’s for sure – this blog is slyly being taken over by ethnic nationalism.

      Like

      1. Postcolonial theory applies to the historic Imperial oppression of many European peoples as well as to the Third World. The significance of a peoples ethnicity in the colonial situation is well established:

        “Being oppressed as a group, the colonized must necessarily adopt a national and ethnic form of liberation” (Albert Memmi).

        The momentum for independence reflects “the solidarity of an oppressed ethnic group” (Michael Hechter).

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Is it , aye ? Has ” Ethnic Nationalism ” taken P.A.B hostage , demanding a ransom to be paid in blood n soil * ( * will accept Bitcoin . Britcoin useless ) .

        Forget for the moment the Colony argument – whether you – or anyone else – * believes * it is neither here nor there . Just – as objectively as possible , read the quotes Alf uses to illustrate his points and decide if they correspond to our own situation or not

        From I’ve seen , they correspond with remarkable accuracy .

        Does this mean Scotland really IS a colony ? I don’t know , but in many ways it sure appears like one .

        Maybe we have to examine what ” IS ” means in this context

        In the meantime ……don’t get too hung-up on the word ” Ethnic ” . It’s just a word 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

        1. In a beer hall a few minutes walk down from Mary’s Place, a group of workers gathered, and listened to a man talk. They were taken with his ideas – and him.

          20 years later some of those that were left wished they had ignored him, or better still, never invited him.

          “If only somebody had said something”.

          Like

        2. I will have nothing to do with ethnic nationalism. I find a residency-based franchise quite satisfactory.

          I do not reject post-colonial theory. But I think it is informed by ideas of identity that while true, no longer have the relevance that they did half a century ago. Identity is complex. It is not as bound up with ethnicity, culture, language etc. as it once was. It is looser. More encompassing. More fluid. Individual choice plays a far greater role than it once did. There was doubtless a time when it was assumed that being black precluded being Scottish. Because both being black and being white were fixed defining characteristics. Now, most of us think nothing of people being both black and Scottish.

          It is always helpful to be aware of the psychology that post-colonial theory describes. That psychology is still relevant. Just not in the same way or to the same extent that it was when the old empires were crumbling. We see that psychology manifested far more in British Nationalism than in Scottish Nationalism. But it exists in Scotland as well. It would be foolish to deny this.

          Above all, the campaign to restore Scotland’s independence must be very, very wary of any appeal to that psychology in its message. That is a dangerous path to tread. There is a limited extent to which an appeal to culture and language can form part of the independence campaign’s message. Preservation of languages such as Scots and Gaelic can be one relatively small but valid reason for seeking independence. Embracing our own history is certainly not a bad thing. There are traditions and doctrines that are worth keeping. But all of these things must be subsidiary to rectifying the injustice of the Union and defending the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. Everything else flows from that.

          The restoration of Scotland’s independence is an end in itself. Not necessarily THE end. But the end which is the prerequisite for all others. Above all else, we want independence because it is right. The Union is wrong. It is wrong for everybody who calls Scotland their nation, regardless of any ethnic factors.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Fair play to you.

            At times I feel like I’m on the deck of the Titanic shouting out “Has anybody seen that fecking iceberg?”, and it makes me feel like just giving up when nobody seems to pay the blindest bit of attention.

            Ho hum. Beam me up Scottie.

            Like

          2. Some excellent points there Peter . TBH I don’t dwell much on this aspect of our situation , though , as I said , the parallels Alf elucidates are undeniable . Likewise with any putative future franchise , principally because as long as it’s the SNP determining what it will be , we know with 100% certainty it will be as wide as possible . Even minimal residency requirements will be dismissed . We can argue the toss about the * wisdom * of this – my own judgement is it would likely end in the same result as 2014 : but who knows ? We can also be pretty certain if another IndyRef ends as it did the last time the game will be – definitively – over . THE END . So we had better be as confident as we can be we’re approaching it in the way best able to secure victory

            Liked by 4 people

            1. if another IndyRef ends as it did the last time the game will be – definitively – over . THE END

              316 years (yes, I can count) haven’t extinguished Scotland, or the desire for Independence by some / many, so I doubt very much if just losing another referendum would do so.

              In fact, if the Ref is a loser, I daresay it will continue for another 316 years if neccessary, to the utter confoundment of the Unionists.

              An Indy Ref slogan could be:

              “Vote YES now or be bored the rest of your life with YES to Indy”.

              Like

              1. Do you think the BritGlish State has been as idle as the current SNP in the last 8 years ? The desire for Independence will not cease in the event of * losing * another Ref ; you can be damn sure our adversaries will close every * legal * door if we do . If not before

                Liked by 4 people

          3. Postcolonial theory involves of course a great deal more than ethnicity and identity, and a wider analysis of that literature provides for a more complete understanding of why and how a people are subject to colonialism and why and how they need to decolonise, and what happens during that process. That being said, even the post indy research found that the way people vote on the issue of independence is closely aligned to their national identity, and primarily that is a choice between British or Scottish.

            As well as focusing on oppressions resulting from economic exploitation and external political and cultural control, postcolonialism also includes analysis of the psychology of colonialism and its effects not just on the colonized, but also on the colonizer, much as you allude to in the context of British nationalism.

            On your point that: “Above all else, we want independence because it is right. The Union is wrong”, unfortunately the colonial mindset imposed on oppressed groups
            (and its resulting Appropriated Racial Oppression) simply reverses such a statement, much as we see in the case of many Scots voting ‘No’ and rejecting their own national liberation. Even a supposedly ‘moral’ argument in opposing independence has now been raised.

            I discuss a bit more on postcolonial theory (from 5 writers) as applied to the Scottish situation here:
            https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2021/07/18/determinants-of-independence-colonialism/

            Liked by 2 people

          4. “I will have nothing to do with ethnic nationalism. I find a residency-based franchise quite satisfactory.”

            Peter.

            A wee bit of food for thought, 71.2% of folk from the rest of the UK residing in Scotland voted no in 2014, and did the Welsh vote for Brexit? If you think so, you might want to read this.

            ” The question of why Wales voted to leave the EU can in large part be answered by the number of English retired people who have moved across the border, research has found.”

            https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/sep/22/english-people-wales-brexit-research

            Oh, deary me, I must be some kind of “blood and soil” nationalists as the Britnats and the Sturgeonistas often repeat when this subject raises its head.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Over 65s tended to vote No as well. Why not exclude them? There are bound to be a few more categories we can find if we pore over the statistics long enough.

              The worst possible reason for excluding people from the franchise is to try and control the outcome. True democracy means a default position where EVERYONE has a vote. You then argue for exclusions based on sound practical reasons. It is easy to argue for the exclusion of young children. The older they get the more difficult that argument becomes – until you reach a point where it verges on an argument against democracy, very much like the British state’s argument against a referendum.

              When you are arguing for exclusion on the grounds that there is a statistical likelihood that the category will vote in a particular way then you are going beyond anything the Brits have done – up to now.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Once again , excellently made points Peter and – in an ideal world , an inarguable defence of Democratic principals . You can probably guess the caveat ……

                With respect , it sounds like we’re expected to adopt Marquis of Queensbury rules in a contest against a Mixed Martial Artist . So while we’re obliged to wear padded gloves , not punch below the belt etc our opponent is free to kick us in the head , throw us to the canvas , smash us with elbows , knees and bare knuckles .

                Doesn’t sound like a fair fight . I’m not advocating abandoning our principals , simply pointing-out our opponent has none

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I’m well aware of this, Robert. But if we are to defend democracy we can hardly do so while setting our moral/ethical compass by those who care nothing for democracy. There are some things that you can’t compromise. There are some things that really are either/or. There are things which cannot be divided without destroying them. And even where it is possible to pare bits off without killing the thing, it matters a great deal where you take the paring from.

                  If we are talking about excluding people from the franchise because of the way we expect them to vote then we are not talking about democracy at all. If we try to disguise this anti-democratic measure by saying we excluded these people because of their ethnicity, we get into a whole other vat of English river water. Two words sum up the problems ─ principle and criteria.

                  If you create a precedent, you establish a principle. If you establish the principle that people may be denied a vote on the grounds of how they are expected to use that vote then why would that principle not also apply to those expected to vote Yes? The principle is the same in both cases.

                  If you propose to exclude people from the franchise on grounds of ethnicity, then you have to establish criteria to define the excluded and/or included ethnicities. That’s relatively easy if the aim is to exclude black people. If they’re black, they’re out. If they’re not black, they’re in. Skin colour is the criterion. Easy, right? But not all black people actually have black skin. I mean, it would be a simple matter if all black people were that gorgeous deep blue-black of some African tribes. But that is not the case. As was found in the US when they tried to exclude black people. The quickly discovered that there were degrees of blackness. So, the criterion had to become criteria. And the criteria had to be ‘refined’ so as to accommodate all manner of pleas for inclusion and demands for exclusion.

                  If skin colour is problematic, how much more problematic is ‘Scottishness’? Frankly, I get a headache just considering thinking about it. The disputes would be endless. You inevitably end up with ridiculous situations where someone in a far-off land who has never set foot in Scotland satisfies the ethnic criteria while someone who has lived in Scotland their entire life doesn’t. So, the criteria have to be modified so as to avoid this anomaly. But the new criteria only create other anomalies.

                  We are talking here about hundreds, probably thousands and possibly tens of thousands of legal challenges to exclusion and potentially hundreds of thousands of claims for inclusion ─ all of which will have to be processed. Then there are the judicial reviews of….

                  I’ll stop there. You get the picture. Here’s the killer point. There can be no referendum until all those court cases have been heard and all the claims finalised. Which effectively means that it never happens. Because we don’t have a decade or six to spend sorting out the franchise. We have a month or maybe six to get our act together.

                  The sensible rule is to have as few criteria as possible and to only use criteria which are easily verifiable. Age, for example. Or residency. Age is great as a criterion because it is absolute. You were either born on or before a certain date, or you weren’t. It’s one of those things that you can’t divide or pare bits off. Age is easily verified in a country where all births are officially recorded.

                  Residency isn’t quite so absolute. But the criteria are still pretty straightforward. Dates and places. Verifying is more difficult. But not so as to put a massive strain on the system or prompt countless legal challenges. There may well be a case for tightening up the residency qualifications and the verification procedures. But go any further than that and you are likely to lose more than you gain.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Perhaps the more important priority in this particular instance is to avoid what the UN terms ‘external interference’ (by other countries/peoples) in blocking the right to self-determination of ‘a people’.

                    ‘External interference’ comes in many forms, as we saw in 2014, and this includes the form of franchise employed. Arguably the use of an irregular ‘local government’ franchise for a national referendum invites ‘external interference’ in what is supposed to be a democratic process.

                    Liked by 4 people

                  2. I can’t argue with any of that Peter ; so I won’t . Instead , I’ll applaud the cogency and rigour of your thinking on this subject , clearly you’ve done more of that than I have .

                    I’ve never had a fixed idea of what any future franchise should be , just – to repeat , deep apprehension that doing the same as 2014 would / will lead to the same result . To repeat again …..I don’t dwell on the subject of franchises because there is nothing of substance to apply them to . The idea of a Referendum next year is the stuff of fantasy – somewhere over the Rainbow , on the road to nowhere .

                    Which means the next Carrot Festival will be the ’24 G.E . No issue of franchises there . So the subject is kinda academic at the moment . Worth discussing nonetheless

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. I’m hedging my bets on the question of whether there will be a referendum next year. Mainly because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter in three ways. It doesn’t ‘t matter because the proposed referendum will have no effect. It is an exercise in pointlessness where we have much to lose and absolutely nothing to gain. And it doesn’t matter because even if it isn’t destined to happen we are obliged to proceed as if it will because – and this is the third way – if it does happen we MUST win it even though we gain nothing by doing so. What a fucking position to be in! What a fucking position Sturgeon has put us in!

                      Liked by 4 people

              2. “Over 65s tended to vote No as well. Why not exclude them?”

                A poor attempt Peter at poisoning the well, what’s wrong with having a referendum where Scots vote for independence or not, its a one time vote nothing more nothing less, and if you think its undemocratic of me to propose this, then think again other countries don’t have a problem with it on constitutional matters. Oh but that’s right Scotland’s is, and always has been a special case.

                If by some miracle, and it will be a miracle their is an indyref next year, Sturgeon will enfranchise everyone and their dogs, and that will be our undoing.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_foreigners_to_vote

                Liked by 2 people

                1. You forgot to provide the criteria by which you define “Scots”.

                  If I was “poisoning the well” it was with the toxin of truth. Your reaction demonstrates just how telling my analogy of over-65s was.

                  Now! Back to how you propose to decide who qualifies as a Scot and who is disqualified from that honour. You better give this some thought. Think it through. Consider ALL the implications of each criterion. Yet in touch when you’re done and I’ll point out all the flaws.

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                  1. ” Think it through. Consider ALL the implications of each criterion. Yet in touch when you’re done and I’ll point out all the flaws.”

                    Peter I’ve already shown what happens via my 15.44 comment when you enfranchise just about everyone, we lost in 2014 and the Welsh folk who voted to stay in the EU were like us, dragged out.

                    Other countries via my link, do it with constitutional matters without implications, and just because this is an indyref doesn’t mean we can’t follow suit, instead of looking for the benefits in it, you are focusing on the negatives.

                    This is our indyref of which we decide the criteria there’s nothing in the Vienna Convention that says we cannot. We are up against the English parliament and all its abilities to sway voters with its giant media machine, its rich Tory donors who secretly back anti-independence think tanks with wads of cash, the Civil Service which is meant to be neutral, also actively worked against Scottish independence in 2014, and you and no doubt the Sturgeonistas, want us to play and ultra fair, ultra democratic game. I and I’m sure many of your readers know fin well how that scenario ends.

                    Its not for me to set the criteria, but I would start with MUST be Born in Scotland, and MUST Reside in Scotland at the time of the indyref. From there on the minor details can be ironed out.

                    Anyway you and I know that I’m wasting my time with this, because unless we have an FM who realises we’ll lose hands down, if we enfranchise everyone at the next indyref, we’ll get roughly the same result as we got in 2014.

                    Like

                    1. You’re right about wasting your time. There is no way the franchise is going to be changed to exclude anybody on ethnic grounds. That would be disastrous.

                      I didn’t actually expect you to set out the criteria for who is entitled to call themselves Scottish. That’s too challenging a task. It’s challenging for a very good reason. It’s much easier to show some statistics that identify a particular group as highly likely to vote the ‘wrong way’ and just take their vote from them. All of them. Even the ones that would vote the ‘right way’.

                      There’s a couple of problems with that ─ apart from the obvious ethical issue. Firstly, exactly the same statistical calculation could be used to identify other groups with a high probability of voting the ‘wrong way’. I suggested (not seriously) that your grounds for exclusion apply equally to the over-65 demographic.

                      Secondly, who gets to decide what is the right and wrong way to vote? Your idea assumes that the ‘right people’ will get to decide this. But will it always be the ‘right people’ who decide? Once the precedent is set, it can be wielded by anyone. Just for purposes of illustration, suppose the British government decided to grant a Section 30 order, but with conditions attached? What if one of those conditions was to exclude from the franchise a demographic group identified as being highly likely to vote the way you want them to? If you have a policy of exclusion on such grounds, why would the British government not claim the same right to exclude, say, all under-25s?

                      What you are suggesting is a brutal, brutish measure to eliminate a problem that democracy demands be addressed with persuasion. Either you accept the democratic way, or you stop claiming to be democratic. I see no likelihood of the Scottish Government opening itself to accusations of anti-democratic xenophobia. If they did, it would alienate a LOT of independence supporters. Probably not enough for them to vote No. But almost certainly enough to deter them from voting or participating in the campaign.

                      Like

                  2. ” Just for purposes of illustration, suppose the British government decided to grant a Section 30 order, but with conditions attached? What if one of those conditions was to exclude from the franchise a demographic group identified as being highly likely to vote the way you want them to? If you have a policy of exclusion on such grounds, why would the British government not claim the same right to exclude, say, all under-25s?”

                    Peter.

                    I’m sure if we wait for an S30, even though you don’t look your age, neither of us will be around for it will not happen anytime soon, and if yet again by some miracle Truss, whom I think is a nail on for the next PM caves in and says yes to an S30, we’d be very naive to think it won’t be laden with caveats.

                    “What you are suggesting is a brutal, brutish measure to eliminate a problem that democracy demands be addressed with persuasion.”

                    What I’m suggesting is falling in line with some European and nations from other continents who use this method on constitutional voting, they don’t see it as brutal or bruitsh, they see it as vital. Where did this notion come from that somehow Scotland or the UK for that matter has to be the shinning beacon of democracy, it isn’t and has never been that.

                    The idea is that Scotland holds an indyref, we enfranchise everyone to show the world that Scotland is a progressive nation, and we Scots are at the forefront of it, we lose, but we get a round of applause from around the world for the way we held it.

                    Personally I think that Sturgeon will settle for more devolution if she’s still FM when the time comes

                    Liked by 3 people

  6. Anyways, I think it’s too late for this blog, the host is too far gone in “othering”.

    It seems now people can’t be a LibDem and support YES, according to PAB, who goes by the hashtags: #YESothering #loser #we’llnevebeindependent #you’reinferior #i’msosuperior #splitters #doomandgloom #sad

    Tell that to the 30% of LibDem voters who support Indy.

    Like

    1. I’ve been noticing a real lack of irony on the internet recently. How about you?
      or maybe it was sarcasm.
      It can be so hard to tell, don’t you think?

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      1. I think there’s a real lack of people with the grey cells to recognise irony (or sarcasm). But it can be difficult telling the difference between the two.

        Like

    2. All lies, of course. And quite demented.

      For a start, I did not say “people can’t be a LibDem and support YES”. That’s the first lie. What I said very clearly is that you cannot honestly claim to be committed to the restoration of Scotland’s independence AND campaign for a party which is vehemently opposed to the very thing you’re claiming to be committed to.

      I have never used any of those hashtags. That’s the second lie. I have never used them because they massively misrepresent my views. That’s the third lie.

      You are a liar. And you’re not even very good at it. Maybe try to grow the fuck up, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think Hassan’s most telling observation is that not one major public policy initiative emerged from the explosion of political citizenship and education of the 2014 referendum.

    Bell’s most telling point is that he thinks that what Bell wants is what we want.

    Like

  8. OT
    I gave a wee heads up the other day about the Leask “fringe” Article about Salvo’s Claim of Right article, but I see that Salvo’s article has received a “rebuttal” by Roddy Dunlop QC. Well, he at least treats it with relative respect.

    For some associated background, the UK Gov asked the UKSC to throw out the Lord Advocate’s referral, but the UKSC decided to hear both the UK Gov’s request AND the substantive request at the same time.

    Blackford claimed this as a victory – after all, the UKSC could in theory have accepted the UK Gov’s request and indeed thrown out the referral straight awa That would have been a loss by the LA. As far as I’m concerned, this is therefore at least a part victory for the LA – even if it’s one down and several to go.

    But Dunlop said it’s no victory at all: “That is far from unusual, & doesn’t involve a “win” for either side. It’s merely procedural.“.

    Well, “far from unusual” effectively means “common” but not “always”, hence some times it DOES happen, therefore even his own words admit a part victory.

    Dunlop is a QC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. But that does not mean he is right, and bear in mind, that a QC’s very job is to argue one side of a debate. Ultimately, it is his opinion – others can have different ones. As indeed he implies.

    So basically his contribution is welcome as far as I’m concerned, as if the article was complete nonsense (as it clearly isn’t even if you don’t agree with it), he wouldn’t have had to bother. What it means is that the arguments in the article require an attempt at rebuttal – so it’s actually an implied compliment.

    This doesn’t mean I agree or disagree with the Salvo article, by the way.

    Like

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