Double Bluff

Of all the strengths at the disposal of the Yes campaign one of the most muscular and effective is the selfish and ill-informed posturing of Tory English backbenchers. These are individuals, virtually all male, whose braying and crowing against rebellious Scots is a counter-effective agent in the cause of Union. In fact, collectively they sound like people who are secretly against Union just as they are more openly against the EU and they find it impossible to stop themselves from damaging their own country and their own party.

They have a self-righteous, indignant tone that implies this is their country, their currency, their assets, their rights. And, furthermore, if you Scots carry on, you’ll be punished. Like a landowner maddened by ramblers, they seem to say: “Get off of my land…”

It’s long been clear that the Union is a Good Thing for England’s political representatives – so long as it works to their advantage. This means in broad terms that they have the upper hand, get to dictate, allocate and restrict according to their own perceived national need. This is the England in which Scotland, Wales and Ireland (N) are the lucky passengers, permitted to share the journey sitting in the cheap seats. Therefore the national (UK) resources are England’s essentially and are disbursed to the deserving but the quid pro quo is in return a sense of gratitude, albeit unspoken, and an acknowledgment that none of this would be possible without the nod of approval from the patient English nation. They have allowed the Barnett Formula to strip them of much needed resources in order to featherbed the Scots, mostly done to quell Northern nationalistic tendencies, and now that the ingratitude has reached epic proportions and threatens the existence of the very state itself, it is time to remind them who is boss and what price they will pay.

Thus Mark Field (City of London) and Peter Bone (Northamptonshire) have decided that after a Yes vote the Barnett Formula should cease immediately and not continue while negotiations go on. “It should not exist now”, says Bone. “It would be doubly absurd if it were to continue after they had voted for independence”. You get the drift. In effect, we will cut off their money supply and let them stew. Then we’ll demand a referendum to decide if “we” will allow them to share “our” currency. And I thought narrow nationalism was confined to the Scots…

This is part of the much wider media view which frames Scottish self-determination as an attack on England. It is only if you believe you are giving charity to someone – that you have done your best for them – that you are offended when they want to get on without you. In this they are heavily backed by both the British government whose legal advice is that it all belongs to them and Scotland ceased to exist 300 years ago and generations of compliant, self-serving Unionist MPs not one of whom ever stood up in the Commons and declared: My country is not subsidised. No matter how many humiliations were piled on Scotland by eye-bulging Tory backwoodsmen, not one brave Scot had the guts to represent his or her country and put them in their place. It suited their real agenda – of downing the SNP and keeping the Union at any cost – and what was Scotland’s dignity when compared to the party’s advantage?

It still goes on. I can’t find a single one of Scotland’s Unionist MPs replying to those arguing for the end of the funding arrangement. Is that because they agree it must end but it would be too honest to tell the Scots? This is the Union at work.

The great unspoken irony of course is that independence is precisely the process by which English taxpayers get out of any funding arrangement with the Scots. The message of the nationalists is exactly the opposite of what the right-wing zealots target as Scotland’s case…it is to raise all the money for Scotland here in Scotland. Logically, wouldn’t you think they should be quietly saying this could be a good thing instead of wailing and whinging about Scottish budgets in an orgy of beggar-my-neighbour? In truth, I suspect they enjoy this catfight. It gives them a platform and resounds with their voters. When else do you hear these Captain Manwearings except when someone has to be put in their place…immigrants, muslims, benefits cheats, Brussels or Scots?  And yet Labour has no reply, just silence…the Union at work.

I think the intervention of the English Neanderthals does our cause good. I think the Scots get it…they’re not wanted by this section of England and they want no part of them either. They are saying what you suspect secretly Cameron’s whole tribe also think but for diplomatic reasons has to keep hidden. It is an unforeseen consequence of the referendum that both sides are now being seen in their true colours. One side, demonised by our own media, wants to stand on its own feet, raise its own taxes and spend more humanely while rebuilding a mature relationship with our closest neighbour: the other, unquestioningly backed by the media, is funded by a tiny wealthy elite, wants to keep us dependent while cutting our budgets and demands to control while routinely insulting us.

There is no political campaign which doesn’t contain an element of grievance, be it injustice, suppression, inequality or cultural resentment.  These Tory die-hards (have they had a complaint about their remarks from Ruth Davidson?) feed those feelings and damage the very thing they profess to support, the UK.

Similarly the relentless stream of Unionism as absolute font of power, far from intimidating the Scots as it is intended to do, is becoming so tedious, repetitive, unreasonable and irritating that is counter productive. This week the opinion of a Glasgow University Professor who is committed to support of the Union and of this government told us we had little real stake in the assets of our own country. Only those fixed assets actually in Scotland and the finances were available to Scots, claimed Professor Adam Tomkins, the new darling of the Union-obsessed media. I say so because he has ready access to the newspapers and broadcasters where he goes largely unchallenged although on my own programme he could barely contain himself in frustration that anyone should counter his arguments. Like many in academia he his clearly convinced of his own omnipotence and uses it to give total support to the British. He told Newsnight that the Scottish government had no powers to hold a referendum and should do as London suggested and accept the offer of legal underpinning. He backs their legal advice that the rUK will be successor state and will retain everything it has, a highly debateable assertion disputed by, among others, Professor David Sheffer, and I, believe, by the EU’s own lawyers. Tomkins of course is entitled to his view and to express it but I read all his words with scepticism as to me he sounds more like a campaigner than a balanced academic. He proclaims his love of Britain and deep desire for it to continue. Did I mention that he is advising Ruth Davidson on her devolution commission?

I think the onslaught of Unionist aggression implying that Scotland has no real stake in the UK is a black arts secret weapon that is wearing down the soft Unionist support. How long before more and more of us reach the same conclusion – if that’s all they think of me, why would I stay? If all they can do is belittle me, why would I stay? If all they do is frighten me, why would I stay?

Incidentally, I think there will be no referendum on currency sharing because the political elite will know from big business that it is a no-brainer. And I back a review of Barnett if there is a NO. Public spending shows for a start that far too much money goes to London (more per head than Scotland) and that not enough reaches the Midlands and the North of England. But I don’t trust the politicians to do it. If distribution of resources is to be reformed, let’s have a non-political body to do it and as soon as the truth is revealed, that Scotland pays in more than comes back, and therefore should be compensated, perhaps the English Nationalist knuckle-draggers will put a bone through their nose.

And am I wrong to think that Bob Dudley, paid a few million quid to run BP, took his chance to turn attention away from a 30 per cent drop in profits? Imagine losing that amount in the oil industry. I don’t think Mr Dudley needs referendum uncertainty to lose the company money. Thank  goodness there are excellent commentators like Ivan McKie to hand to make the obvious point – that both currency and EU uncertainty are in London’s hands, not ours. Shouldn’t the head of a major company be smarter than Mr Dudley? (Scotland will use sterling – it’s up to London how it will work. the EU will clarify Scotland’s position if London asks) Come on, Bob, get with it. And remember, if Trident goes, you can drill off the west coast!

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49 thoughts on “Double Bluff

  1. They have a self-righteous, indignant tone that implies this is their country, their currency, their assets, their rights, their pandas

  2. You forgot to include George Galloway as part of the English establishment…the Scottish RaJ is alive and well in Bradford!LOL When is he due back in Carstairs?

  3. Yes Derek continues in the Sun today -they have a poll of the English and Welsh saying to us ‘please don’t go’ but one of the questions was ‘Is it worth continuing to give Scotland a higher share of public spending to keep it part of the UK’ only 13% thought it worth it- a bit annoying considering our contribution to UK taxes 9.6% of revenue and we receive only 9.3%. Better Together are quoted as saying ‘even after years of Salmond and Co telling them how dreadful they are….the people of England and Wales don’t want us to leave’ I can’t recall our First Minister or the Yes campaign being dreadful to the English in fact is it not the opposite in that we want to be friendly neighbours?

  4. George Galloway is a self-publicising bellicose sectarian-unionist ………………. and that is being kind.

  5. That’s a belter Derek.

    Plain fact: There is no regard for Scotland from the political classes in England and as far as most of the UKs electorate are concerned if you mention the referendum, the stock reply is ‘wait whu?’. We were thought to have been a done deal, a problem solved generations ago, a very much lesser part of Team GB (see GB= Greater England © Crawford and Boyle).

    The Scots politicians who bought and are still buying into this mirage for acceptance from the Westminster political classes, are nothing short of a prime example of the cringe and self serving human nature in action.

    They couldn’t care less for principles like self determination or democracy and they certainly don’t give a monkey’s what we think of them. No, the only time you see them sweat is when their self obsessed wee world comes under threat. The career, the patronage, the life that goes with it. Some probably started out their career with the odd ideal or two, but Westminster and its system soon beat that out of them. What it can’t corrupt or bend to its traditions, it’ll break and throw away.

    What has both shocked and astounded though, has been their willingness to instil fear and division amongst their own electorate, their own people. A result of this appeared only yesterday when that poor buffoon wound up in court for a senseless throwaway remark on assassinating Alex Salmond. This eejit didn’t and probably still doesn’t see anything wrong with his remarks in a public forum (jist a joke eh?). Yet what produced this remark, what form of tribalism, what kind of dislike, based on whose lead, whose example? Apparently its become acceptable to smear, denigrate and degrade your opposition to the point where dehumanising has become the acceptable norm.

    Look on twatter and faceache anytime and you’ll find the great and the good leading the charge. Check out how our media and politicians treat/describe both YES and Scottish government. The likes of the Telegraph, Mail, Express even our own Scotsman, Herald and Record. The ad hominem approach in FMQs, the constant denigration of the man, the post he holds and the cheapening of our parliament.

    This is the culture which NEEDS to change. We want public servants and collective media holding them to account. What we have now is a state system acting in self interest using a compliant media to damage large sections of their own electorate.

    You’re damn right we should vote YES.

    • Quinie frae Angus

      You’re damn right, Macart. Fantastic post on a fantastic article.

    • “Look on twatter and faceache anytime”

      Instead of denigrating Twitter and Facebook why don’t you join them and be more useful in spreading the YES debate. Without any MSM support it is essential that we use those two media to widely spread the info and comments from the YES blogs and other Indy supporters.
      Commenting and complaining here to the committed isn’t going to get any new YES votes,

  6. Recently there was another wee Naughtie job done on Alex Salmond on Good Morning Scotland.

    Alex in pointing out how Scotland is entitled to a share of the assets of the Bank of England come independence mentioned in the passing how it was a Scot William Patterson who was one of the founders of the Bank of England. Naughtie nearly wet himself with excitement as he immediately pounced on this with inordinate glee to point out how the Darien scheme was also one of Paterson’s projects and what a “disaster” that had been. He didn’t quite say “na nana na na” but he wanted to pursue this single aspect to the detriment of any other serious content.

    How this fits in with your piece today Derek is that this Naughtie wee man forgot to point out just to what extent the commercial interests in England were involved in making the Darien scheme fail through using the same sort of cynical covert dirty tricks that the “No” people are trying to use now against us. And of course we were supposed to be a United Kingdom at the time. So, it was ever thus when the Scots were seen to get too uppity.

    The outcome of the Darien scheme is often used to demonstrate just how hapless we Scots are, but it can also be used to show just how devious and nasty the establishment down south can be when we run contrary to their interests. We will definitely need a very strong and fearless negotiating team when it comes to sorting out the divorce proceedings. How can there be any trust on our side given the performance of the “No Nos” in their referendum campaign?

    As far as I am aware the wee Naughtie man’s days for doing GMS are Thursday and Friday but that week he was specially drafted in on another weekday to do his mischief.

    • Alex could have come back with
      “What’s your point James? That even failed Scottish rejects are better at running things for England?
      Bit Naughtie that.”

    • Dunkie, I too was incensed when the true history of the Darien scheme was not made clear. But I don’t suppose wee Naughtie has actually studied that era and simply accepts the modern unionist version. The fact that they were desperate the get their hands on Scottish assets (as now) is not to be found in “British” history books. Yes, covert dirty tricks are something they’ve perfected over many, many years.

  7. Most Scots,I am pretty sure,wanted to remain within the UK but with Scots having control over tax and spend (Devo Max).Now that the main political Westminster parties have stated that,in their view,it is not possible for Scotland and England to share a currency and have different tax and spend priorities people can see that devo anything more (at least as far as money goes) is not going to happen.
    This also puts paid to the Labour lies that devolution is a process.
    It wasn’t and isn’t.
    Westminster devolved the minimum powers to Scotland in order to see off the “threat” of independence and not for any altruistic democratic reasons.
    If we stupidly vote No in the referendum,there will be no more need to pander to us Scots and Westminster,other than ensuring that future referenda can’t happen,will get on with the business of ignoring Scotland.
    In the words of that famous Elvis Presley song,”Its Now or Never” or that famous Small Faces song “All or Nothing” as far as taking control of our affairs is concerned.
    I hope,come September,we can part company with those people who are still living in the 19th century institutions of the London establishment.
    Thanks Derek.

  8. I very much enjoy reading your articles – there is an eye-watering competition among pro-indy writers for an audience, yet, I’d say there are 3 to whom I turn to for info and perspective now: WOS, DB and NN (though I don’t comment there – not interested in commenting there since the mod policy is a tad too strong) in that order. Good work sir.

  9. So long as we were silent subservient partners and stayed beneath the stairs and let our better half run things the way they wanted to, for their own ends, payed up our dues to the rulers and masters a tug at the forelock and kept out of sight then they would allow us a crust along with their other beasts.
    We have never been equal partners with England nor ever were meant to be, it was a con in 1707 and nothing has ever changed. The establishment/ruling classes want Scotland for huntin, fishin, shootin, the only mistake they made, was they should have been shooting us! then that would have solved all the current problems and they wouldn’t need to ignore us.

    The ease with which they can ignore and belittle us with utter contempt is very revealing, we are not wanted!
    So let us go, why don’t you?

    • Unfortunately it is not that simple, we have to make the decision. Once again it needs to be stressed that this sort of feedback and all the other good stuff now coming out must be made freely available to the wider, non internet user public. I am not impressed by the seemingly silent approach from the movers and shakers at appropriate levels. The DKs are the real battleground on which this is going to be won.

  10. Re Bob Dudley,Headlines in reporting Scotland at lunch time suppose will be the same tonight also Brewer will be going on it as well,yet a news blackout on the FT story saying how good Scotland could be after a yes vote,typical of BBC Scotland.

    • The early version on bbc website had teh quote from him that he was pro union and believed we should stay together – this appears to have been edited out now…

  11. Naughtie had been storing that Darien scheme guff for months waiting on an opportunity to use it against Scotland. His words were…a ..wait …wait I am not letting you away with that !when Salmond advised the BOE was set up by a Scot. What ever did he mean I’m not letting you away with that! That was hook line and sinker giving the game away that he was a paid up member of the British disinformation corporation.

  12. It’s quite disheartening sometimes, this relentless attempted subjection of Scottish indedepence.

    Galloway bumping his gums the other day, describing Nicola Sturgeon as ‘Thatcher in a kilt’, was disgraceful. This is a man who supports Palestinian independence, who supports the reunification of Ireland and yet who is fiercely opposed to Scottish independence. I’m not writing anything new but how can square those views?

    Iain Martin in The Telegraph, with yet another – yet another – unbridled attack on Alex Salmond. Martin is a coward and the perfect example of a Scottish ‘Stephen’. If you’ve watched the film Django Unchained you’ll know exactly what I mean by describing Martin as a Scottish ‘Stephen’.

    It is wearying though, these incessant attacks. As DB and others point out, do they think by constantly threatening the Scots that the Scots will be scared into voting no??

    God I can’t wait to vote Yes.

  13. Bob Dudley talked a bit in general about BP concerns etc nothing specific, BAU. It was only on his personal feelings that he hoped GB would stay as it is. nothing to do with BP. His personal feelings, he said. The EBC put all the spin on it, with his connivence probably. Yip there is a conspiracy afoot against us daft JOCKS Probably headed by MI5 and fronted by English Broadcasting Corps. (Aka BBC). Gee they must hate us!

  14. The Darien Scheme was not evidence of innate Scottish incompetence as Unionists like to pretend. As Professor Tom Devine has pointed out, it shows that in the late 17th Century Scotland was a modern, aspirational and outward-looking trading nation. Other small European nations such as Denmark and the Duchy of Kurland (proto-Latvia) tried to establish trading colonies in the Caribbean in the same period.

  15. Dunkie & November 13, you’re so right about James Naughtie. I was appalled when I heard his early interviews on GMS. The way he allows No supporters to drone on without interruption, compared to his constant challenging of anything the Yes speaker says is a disgrace. This was covered brilliantly by DB2. There’s no doubt that he was brought to GMS to assist in BBC Scotland’s corruption of the debate; and he’s doing a fine job for them. It’s so blatant that it’s obviously sanctioned, or encouraged, by the BBC. What a way to throw away years (one assumes) of journalistic integrity. Anyone who’s heard Naughtie on GMS won’t trust a word he says on anything else, anywhere else.

  16. Great stuff again Derek. I listened to Ivan McKee from Business For Scotland on Radio5 Live this afternoon calmly and succinctly putting Bob Dudley’s ridiculous intervention firmly in the bin alongside the other Project Fear rubbish.

  17. Well the thing is they hate us but want to keep us. Wonder why? Clue…it’s black and lives in a hole beneath the sea!

  18. carthannas, not Carthanas, sorry (previous post).

  19. Being more serious, the fear of future English animosity towards Scotland in international dealings, especially trade, is a very real consideration for some people. No doubt founded in historical precedents such as Darien. I know that is true from years of canvassing. However, they must be persuaded that in the modern world, there is really very little scope for this.

    For a start, I do not believe the English people themselves would tolerate it, they are at base, a fair minded lot. There may be some still amidst the ruling elite who would do it, some of those have a lot of issues to use an American euphemism, but again that would have to be done clandestinely, not so easy to do in the internet age, and even then they would still be extremely limited in scope as to what they could actually hope to get away with in the modern World.

  20. Its all bravado and sabre rattling. This woud stop as soon as we vote Yes.

  21. West Sound on for the local weather – almost the only item of news – Bob Dudley warning that there are uncertainties over the currency, EU etc. Bad enough when even a local radio station carries pro BT propaganda – no balance, no refuting of the BT spin. There is no outlet for a positive case for YES other than the internet, private conversations and campaigning. This in itself is newsworthy. About time some of the European press covered this in more than a cursory manner. Any ideas how to get coverage internationally?

  22. Have to agree with sentiments expressed by several of you already – the relentless one sided reporting and concern over Westminster backlash is depressing stuff. Explaining this to my better half, she summed it up in one word “bullying ” and went on to remark that at heart all bullies are just scared people. I reckon she’s hit the nail on the head / they’re all really scared of Scotland going it alone – it left me wondering what they’re scared of most – we’ll outperform them ?; having to acknowledge that the days of Empire are finally over? ; financially they’ve no cushion from oil? D’you know, I couldn’t choose . I suspect they haven’t really acknowledged it themselves and it’s a subconscious fear that things are changing and they’re not really in control any more.

    • They’re scared of competition. They are imperialists at heart, always have been, always will be. Or bullies, as your wife so perceptively noted.

  23. cynicalHighlander

    Every hour over R4 and Scot an American man’s opinion that we are better together is the headline story. Where do we go to learn (N) Korean?

  24. What are they rUK frightened of in loosing Scotland?

    The Scottish GDP is very significant in UK GDP/balance of payments/borrowing/interest rates
    The Scottish GPP helps support Sterling.
    Trident allows them a seat at the UN Security Council (USA bag carrier) it doesn’t matter if it works or not.
    Scottish oil and taxation supports English spending.
    It gives them somebody to sneer at and belittle.

  25. I don’t think they hate us, I just think their is a mind set that it is all the ‘establishments’. You need fish, we have plenty in the north of the country, you need a University ( but not one of ours of course) oh there’s a nice one in Belfast, you need whatever , we can cherry pick from Wales, Yorkshire etc take your pick. The trouble is they sometimes forget it is the UK, not England.
    Regarding future trading with England, I have a big worry.From what I understand, services that have been put out to contract ( privatised) such as NHS Services etc in England means the Barnett Formula has the comparative amount reduced, ultimately having an impact on what Scotland can spend. My worry is, if the current philosophy of selling everything, medical data, NHS services, plasma services continues and we vote No and we have no constitution, how long before some ( possibly American ‘health provider’ ) challenges the Scottish Govt using trade barriers, rules and regulations to be able to provide services in our NHS, then education, then…The next big wheeze is franchising, is that really what we want from our NHS?

    Going back to the Barnett Formula, if this MP Bone thinks it should be abolished has he suggested what should replace it or is he really so far removed from the real world that he thinks some sheriff of the King shall visit ye olde villages and throw coins to the peasants not holding pitchforks?

  26. I simply find it staggering that Labour MP’s in Scotland, of Scottish birth and heritage, would surrender the well being of their country and constituents for the continued abuse they receive from Westminster.

    The more I listen to these unionists, the more I’m reminded of the Vichy Government.

  27. Is it my imagination or have BBC Scotland taken heed of Dr Robertson’s critique of coverage of news stories relating to the Referendum – “Oil giant BP boss Bob Dudley has warned there are “big uncertainties” for the company over the possibility of Scotland becoming independent.” Brian Taylor seemed to be even handed over this one putting forward’s Alex Salmond’s response to this.

  28. Please ignore previous comment, maybe I was duped.

    • Away and have a cup of tea Anne. You will feel better after some reflection. I commented on WoS earlier about this article, rag gutter press style sensationalist headline covering a positive long term investment story coupled with a profit fall for BP. CEO spin and deflection eagerly gobbled up by the lazy beeb. Still waiting on the UWS story and follow up to be mentioned………….

  29. Anne, I think the fact that they brought in the BP boss in the first place answers your question, along with the fact that they never bring on people to support Independence.

  30. Just watched ‘Five million ways to be Scottish’ and best described as propaganda at its best. The constant theme, which was gradually developed throughout the hour until it became the dominant message at the end, was ‘proud to be Scottish AND British’. Yes, there were a few token pro-independence voices to provide ‘balance’ but don’t be fooled. The main message, of Scottish and British, was expertly and devastatingly delivered. Disgusted doesn’t even come close.

    • I could not agree more. I even tried to find Stuarts email address so I could ask him why when someone complained that they did not want to choose between being Scottish and British, he did not ask why would you still not be British, since you would still live in the British Isles in the same way that you would still be European and still live in Europe.

  31. As my post at about 4.15pm hasn’t appeared I wondered if it has been blocked? I had a message saying it was awaiting moderation, then it disappeared. I don’t know how this works. Is that what happens – the post just doesn’t appear, without any indication that it ever existed? Not complaining but I don’t think there was anything wrong with it and I’d just like to know what occurred. Thanks.

  32. Charles Kearney

    Derek, just received your Post, but I wrote this 3 Hours ago on my FB Page!

    ‘THE AMERICAN HEAD OF ‘BP’ (which used to stand for ‘British Petroleum’ but now Ehmm, Doesn’t) managed to pull off a cracker Today!

    He was giving a Major Interview to the BBC about BP,s Losses and their continuing indebtedness in America where their Penny Pinching and incompetence just about wiped out all Fish and Wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico and deprived Thousands of their Living, when, surprise, surprise, the BBC ‘Journalist’ asked him about the Referendum!

    “Great Britain is Great, he drawled, and I think it should Stay together”——Problem Solved!!!!—– Since that remark no Unionist News Bulletin has mentioned a Word about his shitty polluting Company and their drop in Profits of Billions—on his watch—just the personal meanderings of some Yank who has no Say!

    But!!! Pretty smart move on his part—pulling the pisser of the Unionist Media and jumping them through Hoops to make Fools of themselves!

  33. Mainwaring, boy – MAINWARING…!

  34. The BBC and Scottish press are clearly following a pre-Referendum policy: “Create uncertainty in our headlines NOW. We’ll take the hit and public criticism LATER, after the event – by which time we’ll have achieved our negative objective.”

    The rest of us – Scotland’s voters – must be aware of what they’re doing, keep our heads – and VOTE YES in September.

  35. And speaking of English landowners ( the 400 odd who own the bulk of Scotland ) the response of Scottish Land and Estates to the Community Empowerment(Scotland) Bill is worth a read and could be a proxy for the MPs you quote.

  36. A footnote: If the Barnett formula had actually been applied rigourously, spending levels per head would be much more similar in Scotland and England than they are, since the formula dictates that whenever spending in England increases, the gap in spending per head should decrease. This hasn’t always happened – seemingly due to politcial expediency.

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