Illiberal Non-democrats

In my lifetime, Liberals have been the middlemen of politics, the sensible centre ground offering reason and light in the heat and fury of tribal politics. They sought peace and concord and applied a moral principle. So I was re-reading something this week which could have been a Liberal Democrat mission statement.

This is what the Edinburgh Agreement says: ‘The United Kingdom and Scottish Governments are committed…to working together on matters of mutual interest and to the principles of good communication and mutual respect.  The two governments have reached this agreement in that spirit.  They look forward to a referendum that is legal and fair producing a decisive and respected outcome.  The two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom.’

Here’s what the Scottish Secretary says on EU membership: “It is the view of the UK Government that article 49 is the procedure. That is not going to change.” And later: “I think that is a fox, the corpse of which is riddled with bullets. It is barely recognisable as a fox any more.”


Alistair Carmichael – crafting his own dead parrot allusion – has rejected out of hand the Scottish government’s argument for using section 48 relating to treaty amendments to effect Scotland’s EU membership. And this from a government which ‘refuses to pre-negotiate’. Well, it’s certainly true that negotiation is banned, but what we didn’t expect was that the decisions would be made unilaterally anyway.

We now have currency union unilaterally ruled out without negotiation followed by Scotland’s seamless EU entry blocked by diktat, again without any discussion between governments.

Now you may casually dismiss what Carmichael says on the grounds that he doesn’t enjoy a surfeit of respect from the voters barely any of whom have heard of him, but it’s worth considering the implications of his remarks to MSPs because they illuminate a trend in the Things Are Alright camp.

I don’t imagine the intricacies of EU treaties will sway many sensible Scots, you only have to follow your common sense to see what will happen if Scotland votes Yes and makes clear its determination to remain EU members. But the path Carmichael appears to have chosen is the most precarious and tricky the frankly irresponsible not just for Scotland but for Britain. Article 49 is for accession states, it is for new members who have not previously been members and are not members now….applicants who have had to work to meet the aquis, the exacting legal standards to comply with the rules. That is not Scotland. Undeniably and indisputably, that is not EU-compliant Scotland. You have to wonder that any proud Scotsman could willfully portray his country as less in stature than it actually is. So what does the Carmichael position mean?


If there is a Yes, it isn’t just a problem for the Scots but for London and the rUK which will help represent Scotland internationally. Will they choose years of uncertainty while Brussels contrives a treaty amendment requiring 28 in unanimity which essentially tells Scotland You’re Oot? (Wouldn’t that require member 28 – that is rUK – to join a vote expelling the Scots?) Meanwhile Britain’s internal trading relations are severely restricted, Scotland’s net contribution to Brussels stops, London has to undertake jointly with us re-entry talks which may well involve themselves as the rUK’s membership will also be subject to overhaul, an In/Out referendum looms and UKIP play merry hell. The upshot could well be a sickened England voting to withdraw completely from the EU stew. London will be at the heart of all this as guarantor of the referendum result – see Edinburgh Agreement above – and instead of fighting against Scotland, will be battling against the full force of the EU machine. That is, if they insist on following Article 49. It would be a self-inflicted wound that could lead to a long-term disaster for the whole of Britain and yet can be avoided by the adroit use of Article 48 which allows for treaty amendments and which eminent authorities deem applicable. Here’s the EU expert Graeme Avery: “The scenario of an independent Scotland outside the EU and not applying EU rules would be a legal nightmare, create social and economic difficulties for EU citizens, and deprive the EU of benefits of Scotland’s membership such as its budgetary contribution and fisheries resources. To avoid this unwelcome outcome, one may expect the British Government to espouse vigorously the use of Article 48 in due course.”

And yet the man supposed to represent Scottish interests in London merrily tells our national parliament that the simplest, safest route is now a bullet-riddled corpse. Without even the benefit of talks, mind. Just dismissed…by the arrogant and ignorant Liberal Democrat who has muscled his way into the top job and now uses his time to denigrate the very ideas that can secure his country’s future. At the same time he does disservice to the European ideals to which he pretends to subscribe. Talking down hardly covers it.

It was the same with currency. They foretold the future without conferring with Scotland first. Like Macbeth’s Three Witches, Osborne, Alexander and Balls dictated events. I liked this description of Shakespeare’s trio. ‘They represent darkness, chaos, and conflict, while their role is as agents and witnesses. Their presence communicates treason and impending doom. During Shakespeare’s day, witches were seen as worse than rebels, “the most notorious traitor and rebell that can be.” They were not only political traitors, but also spiritual traitors as well. Much of the confusion that springs from them comes from their ability to straddle the play’s borders between reality and the supernatural. They are so deeply entrenched in both worlds that it is unclear whether they control fate, or whether they are merely its agents. They defy logic, not being subject to the rules of the real world’. Precisely.

Carmichael’s absurdist position was amplified by his crass use of language. Lured by an questioner he may have been but it befits a clever politician to avoid traps. Not to realize he was stumbling into an odious metaphor betrayed the truth about a man bumbling around in unfamiliar surroundings.

Some of us remember Liberals as the consensual figures in our alphabet soup, the compromisers and co-operators who exuded reason. To listen now to Carmichael and the decidedly Tory –sounding Alexander is to feel the shock of realization that one was duped. Both men have produced what defence lawyers used to call a tissue of lies in order to mislead their fellow Scots into rejecting the one avenue by which they can take command and control their own affairs, what Liberals used to call Home Rule. Campaigning I understand. Lying I deprecate. These positions on currency and the EU are deliberately crafted misrepresentations paraded as fact and are proof that the Liberals have lost the conciliatory gene and joined the anti-Scottish alliance so completely that their party history will need to be re-written.

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133 thoughts on “Illiberal Non-democrats

  1. Well written, he really is a clown but a dangerous one who has probably been offered a peerage in return for a no vote.

  2. I watched his “evidence ” on our entry to the EU also, I thought that there is a threat from him. When asked if it was not the duty of rUK to assist entry by supporting Scotland’s entry into the EU. He said in essence that it would be dependent on negotiations which would be held after a YES vote.

    This is a threat that rUK may not assist, if negotiations were not agreeable to r UK, WOW! I hope I am wrong, but that is what it seemed like to me. ( blackmail )

  3. What do you expect from the London elite and their Scottish wannabes when we threaten their perceived place in the world.
    The referendum,now that a Yes vote seems likely,as far as they are concerned is no longer about Scottish independence but rather the demise of the British state.
    It is all now about them.
    These so called Scots and their London paymasters are definitely better together,just don’t ask the rest of us to join them.
    Thanks Derek…excellent again.

    • Love your comment bringiton.Especially the last paragraph.These so called Scots and their London paymasters. keep it coming.

  4. It’s only possible to understand the behaviour of WM poiticians when you discard the idea that they act for the people who elected them. Recognise that they act for the people who pay them – the Square Mile – and all paradoxes are removed. Carmichael isn’t interested in telling the truth to the Scots or to anyone else, he is propagating a mythology that suits his ultimate paymaster in the City of London.

    Was it ever thus, or was there some point in the past when democracy died and MPs became simply the hired guns of the elite? I think it’s the former. WM corruption is not new, we have only lately started to notice it.

  5. Spot on once again Derek. If only the MSM could expose their duplicity in a similar vein. Evidence and facts are anathema to the NO campaign (should that be evidence and facts are the NO Camp’s Pain?).

  6. Well said Derek. The Lib Dems were once respected in the Highlands and Islands, with Charles Kennedy and the late John Farquhar Munro exemplifying the high regard in which they were held. Now they are morally bankrupt, with the likes of Danny Alexander and Alistair Carmichael betraying their party’s longstanding home rule credentials. The tragedy of Macbeth lives on!

    Wikipedia: “Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare. It is considered one of his darkest and most powerful tragedies. Set in Scotland, the play dramatises the corrosive psychological and political effects produced when evil is chosen as a way to fulfil the ambition for power.”

    • It should be remembered what the LibDem Party actually is ……the bastard child of David Owen and Shirley Williams. They stopped being the Liberal Party and in fact ceased to be in 1988. The LibDems have no proud history of campaigning for Home Rule and are perfectly suited to their present role as supplicant to Tory Mammon.
      May they rot from the top of their collective cranium’s to ground level. 2015 GE is going to be fun. After a ‘Yes’ vote in September I will sit back in front of the telly with the odd hauf and watch the disintegration.

  7. The LibDems continue to deteriorate. We have Carmichael is a man promoted far beyond his abilities.
    Lord Wallace,trumpeting he will keep his seat in the House of Lords, even if there is Independence, while a foodbank opens in his former constituency.
    Alexander, third boy, in the playground bully gang. Gego, Eddie and the chunky, flabby kid who hangs around with them and goes for things.

    Any one watching this outside the UK would be more than a little bemused.
    LibDems, ‘champions’ of the EU deliberately trying to exclude an existing member.

    Amazing when you thinks of Michael Hesiltine, a fairly hard line Tory, when he was fighting to keep industries open, resigned when he couldn’t get the support of the others in the Cabinet. Compare Carmichael, the lackey, joining in and vowing to disadvantage his own country.
    I remember watching Menzies Campbell getting up and giving a sycophantic speech, praising the efforts of Andrew Lansley, even as they were getting down to privatising the English NHS.

    We expected decency and principle, and got political ‘slappers’.

  8. You are absolutely right, Derek. The liberals used to be a glimmer of hope for sensible politics and self government / federalism. But their years in various types of shared power here and in London have knocked that out of them. A huge disappointment. Both Carmichael and young Danny.

    As far as the negotiation clause, England or rather fUK will have to invoke clause 48 anyway, or do they seriously think they will continue with the same MEPs etc? So if clause 48 is already being used to unpick the fUK side then what could be more logical than to use it for ours as well? They are two sides of the same coin. It really is a no-brainer.

  9. Historically, peaceful relations between Scotland and England occurred when Scots acquiesced to the English/British establishment and caused them no trouble in their self serving agenda. Assisting them even. This is not one of those times.

    As in the past, the teeth are now bared, daring us to go against the “great” British project. Scots have been complicit before and sadly, are again.

    We all know their names and how low they will go in their endeavours to stop Scottish aspirations. They have no shame, but I feel ashamed of them.

  10. So glad its a no-brainer then..that’ll make it easier.

  11. So what would happen to the Scots MEPs while negotiations were under way? Would they be kept in a state of suspended animation? It’s kind of bizarre to think that we could still be represented at Brussels while our membership was being negotiated.

  12. I worked with Scottish Liberals of great integrity when I was active in the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly back in the 1980s. But the rot set in some time ago. What did Nicol Stephen or Tavish Scott do to advance the cause of federalism in the period since 1999?

  13. I don’t believe they are motivated by anything other than the self interest of wanting to protect their jobs and ‘status’.

    • I agree Joan, in human behaviour always look for the simple motive, despite the obfuscation which is put in the way. To those who believe in independence, we can see how blatantly obvious is the self-seeking of these people no matter how they feebly try to dress it up. It is so apparent to us that we sometimes forget that it is not so clear to the disengaged out there. We can only hope that as more people out there begin to scrutinize these unionists, the scales will fall from their eyes.

  14. In the early nineties I did a presentation at Westminster and was invited for a drink afterwards to the Members terrace. You could almost touch/feel the power of the place and that was the day I realised why they will do anything to retain the status and protect what they have. So I am sure there will be more underhand stuff to come but I am confident YES will win.

    • You aint seen nothing yet, Tommy.

      • I fear that is very true Alex, as we get closer to September that every dirty trick in the book and a few that have never been printed will be used by the BT.

        • Deepest Green
          I fear that is very true Alex, as we get closer to September that every dirty trick in the book and a few that have never been printed will be used by the BT.

          Nothing is more certain.
          However, this is not to be feared, but rather accepted
          as the conduct of people under immense and desperate pressure
          to save their privileged way of life.

    • My son used to work at Westminster and one evening he invited me for dinner. We dined in a wood panelled room overlooking the Thames. The tables were covered in linen cloths with flowers in the centre and silver cutlery arranged neatly. We had our own personal waiter who served us with a top quality, three course meal with a bottle of very good Burgundy.

      The whole thing cost £26.00 for the two of us.

      That’s when I realised why Labour types will do and say anything to get there and to say there. By the way, I saw wee Dougie when I was there.

  15. You are now officially a member of the ‘Lib Dems are Basturts’ club. New members are always welcome.

  16. @ Carole Inglis. Agreed, I remember Laura Grimond ( wife of Jo ) campaigning in my parents’ house near Aberdeen in the 60s for an MP slot and noting how real and of the people she sounded. What happened to the Liberals, or should it be to all the Westminster parties ?

    I don’t think we should ignore the changes in the wider society, even in England. The feudalists morphed into the industrialists and wealth always had the media and politicians as friends, or in their pockets ( snap your fingers and Lord Beaverbrook’s machine jumped into action ) so social engineering, no alternative media then, was relatively simple. Despite some of our perceptions concerning the current Independence referendum, reporting by the MSM has clearly evolved – imagine the Profumo affair making headlines at the time of the cover up when Churchill’s grandfather was dying of syphilis ?

    Non – Establishment “know your place” provincial wannabee politicians were on the decline while the apparatchik breed was evolving and now there is a decent career to be carved out, not only in politics. As night follows day, it’s prep followed by public school ( 750k minimum, and should get at least 3 As ) with oxbridge entry, research assistant or such like +/- BTA ( Been to America ), move to a selected secure slot to live ( cf the young Blair ) and BINGO, you’re away to MP, minister and ermine eventually if you don’t completely cock it up ( minor cock up gets you out of the limelight for a wee bit ) finally with the lucrative lecture tours. What’s not to like ? It must be appalling to Labour that their corollary ie come up through the Glasgow unions to a safe seat and onwards is withering before their eyes.

    While I was the professional chair of a big South East Thames committee, just such a person was parachuted in to be the Chief Executive of the Regional Health Authority – no healthcare experience but the right connections. She’s currently CE of Oxfam ie doing the rounds.

    So you see our Carmichael is in a valuable big pool such as we couldn’t offer up here – indeed this is why the Westminster lot simply cannot hack the Salmonds of this world who cannot be bought off and indeed give the proverbial fingers to this ” elite “.

    • This is just so good, I had to say it. When people bring in their own personal experiences and observations to the debate like this, it’s so valuable. I am often enlightened by other people’s posts on this site and other sites, so thank you.

    • Our Alex is doubly dangerous. He tasted of the Westminster bubble and grew literally fat on its largess. But then once we had a parliament again up here his hankering to come back was plain even through the havering and indecisiveness.

      He’s like a church minister who having seen the light of rational atheism leaves and takes up an avuncular and incredibly reasonable campaign and is vilified for it. As Dawkins is for eg, for the same reasons: having fully seen the light he cannot be tempted of inveigled back to the mother church, there will be no deathbed conversion for him.

      I find the media and political reaction to Alex Salmond eerily similar to that Richard Dawkins receives. Salmond is ‘anti English’ despite nobody being able to cite and instance of it. Dawkins is ‘shrill’ and ‘abusive’ when he is anything but.

      Establishments have been ever thus though. Look at how the first trades unionists were treated or the suffragettes. All part and parcel.

      • I should add that the SNP are especially dangerous as they refuse to nominate people for peerages and will not accept a crossbencher in the Lords as an SNP member. The Lords is how Labour were snared by the Establishment. Tony Benn’s father was a Labour cabinet member who was made an hereditary peer.

        Salmond cannot even be ‘retired’ into ermine and lured back to Westminster’s stifling embrace that way. The usual techniques don’t work with such people.

        Ditto Sinn Fein. Are there Plyd Cymru peers?

      • Daffyd Wigley. a former MP and leader of Plaid, is in the Lords. He has occasionslly tried to stand up for the SNP, but it’s like a sandcastle trying to stand up to a tsunami. I think it’s a mistake that he’s even there.

  17. The tactical overview reads like a Plantagenet battle campaign! England boldly battling the Scots in the Borders whilst Europe sits figuring out which marriage would be most advantageous in the long run. Human nature has clearly not changed over the centuries, only the battlegrounds and the weapons of choice. Excuse me but like generations of peasants before me I’m off to polish my pitchfork!

    • Aye Ayrgael, and we should remember whom to stick said pitchfork in. That is the problem for the Great and the Good, they think we have forgotten when they ran us over with their horses.
      On the subject of the Liberals, they have had their day, all they do today is prostitute themselves with anyone who asks. Tory/Labour all the same to them.

  18. I’m a big fan of a website called ‘Book A Minute’ where people compete to precis a book in as few words as possible. For example, the entire works of Jane Austin were summarised as follows:

    ‘She: “I love him but he must never find out.”

    He: “I love her but she must never find out.”

    They find out!’

    I can summarise Derek’s entire article like this,

    ‘Alistair Carmichael is a plonker.’


  20. It seems that the Liberals were fair, reasonable and generous as long as there was no hope of gaining power. Give them power and look what happens……. ( Though I still have faith in Charlie Kennedy and a few of the old-style members.)

    Remember, too, that the true, historical Lady MacBeth was nothing like the creature created by the so-called bard of English literature. Shakespeare was simply prostrating himself before his new ruler with the introduction of the two “Macbeth” characters. In other words, keeping his head firmly upon his shoulders, which was not always an easy task in England in those days. ( The witches, however, are a different matter – true fairy tale inventions! )

    So again, Derek, you’ve nailed it. Thank you.

    • “Though I still have faith in Charlie Kennedy and a few of the old-style members”

      Well I have none, he is below contempt and as bad as the others. He was against the coalition with the Tories and so what did he do? Resign as a matter of principle? No, he did nothing just faded into the background and has carried on collecting the ‘goodies’. Party first.

      • I saw Hip Flask had put his head above the parapet. He is too late. The libdems are finished. He should grab the ermine while he can and join the rest of the Scottish tossers in the trough.

      • I’m in his constituency, and I noted his inactivity. I won’t vote for him, but a lot of people here still think well of him. In the case of a YES vote I expect him to retire. I somehow can’t see him making it in a Scottish Parliament.

  21. Powerful piece on The Cabinet’s man in Scotland. Christina McKelvie stunned him at the European and external relations committee on 20th March 2014, view at from 1 hour 29 mins (of 1 hour 48mins) as an obliging Chris Flatt spills the beans about the ‘dozens of briefings’ he has done to foreign embassies about Scotland. Clearly, negative, as the great buffoon was becoming most uncomfortable with the revelations; Well worth viewing all to see what is supposed to be standing up for Scotland.

    • The wee guy behind Carmichael to the right found the civil servants revelations highly amusing.
      I wouldn’t expect any FOI request to be actioned until well after the Referendum.

  22. roddymacdonald2014

    Carmichael and the UK Govt’s position is doubly illogical because, by current UK Govt policy, even after independence in March 2016, Scots would retain UK Citizenship unless they individually rescind it.

    If Scotland’s continuing membership is not negotiated between Sep 14 and Mar 16, this would bring the EU into a ridiculous corollary of the Monarch being Queen of Scots, not Queen of Scotland: The EU would be faced with 5.3 million Scots EU citizens (EU Citizenship retained by dint of their continuing UK Citizenship) sitting on a (highly desirable to the EU) territory which is outside the EU.

    It just ain’t going to happen. Continued membership will be negotiated by March 2016.

  23. The Liberal Democrats were often described as party with its feet firmly planted in mid-air. and yet staunchly – perhaps, desperately – convinced of its own relevance. That all ended when they got some power. They are now, by the gravitational force of political expediency, firmly entrenched, sans principles, singing the union song and supping from the toxic brew of Westminster with the shortest spoon.

  24. Derek says: “Undeniably and indisputably, that is not EU-compliant Scotland. ”

    He is quite simply wrong to make such an assertion.

    A separate Scotland will not be EU-compliant until it sorts out its currency, central bank, financial sector regulation and it enacts a whole host of reserved legislation.

    The idea that the so-called Edinburgh Agreement compels the rUK to negotiate on behalf of a separate Scotland’s way into the EU in the unlikely event of a yes vote is as absurd as it is disingenuous.

    Anti-Scottish traitors, Derek? That much-bragged about positive campaign is but a distant memory, eh?

  25. When Greenland got independence from Denmark it took six years to extract itself from the EEC which is slightly longer than the 18 months envisaged to negotiate from a Yes vote to reclaiming sovereignty.

    There is also Article 50 which requires a minimum 2 year notice to quit the EU so unless it is really isonly a bureaucrats heaven makes no sense to have two negotiations running, one working on chucking Scotland out at the same time as negotiating re-entry.

    EU fully supports the right for people to democratically express their free will through appropriate legal manner to claim their right of self determination at a ballot box. It’s also enshrined by the United Nation’s

    Therefore common sense indicates they ain’t going to through Scotland following a yes vote.

  26. I thought at first that you must be going back a bit Derek as I’ve never experienced Liberals to be anything but “face a’ roon”. Then I recalled that Marx himself noted the duplicity of the 19th century Liberals in courting the support of the lower orders until they get into power then slamming the door in their face and reverting to type once securely back in office. And that was even before your time! So no, we need not be surprised by Mr Carmichael’s duplicity, nor Mssrs Cable or Clegg.

  27. Alistair Carmichael was given the Anti-Scottish Secretary post as a reward for backing Lansley & Cameron in their shafting of the English NHS by means of the Health & Social Care Act, 2012. Top-down reorganisation of the English NHS had been ruled out by Cameron during the 2010 election, and it certainly wasn’t in the LibDem manifesto. So Cameron lied, Carmichael backed him to the hilt as LibDem Chief Whip, disintegration and demoralisation of the English NHS was speeded-up as a prelude to extensive privatisation – and Carmichael got his Cabinet post. He used to be seen as a hardworking constituency MP, taking a decent line on issues such as the Gaza blockade. However the recent string of betrayals by himself (and Alexander, of course) has seen the LibDems’ star plummet in their former heartlands.

    Earlier this month the referendum question was debated in Stromness. The current Lib Dem MSP put the case for NO. A former four-times Labour and Scottish Socialist parliamentary candidate for Orkney and Shetland, aka moi, put the case that – YES – Scotland should be an independent country.

    Result: YES 67 NO 25 Voting to abstain 12.

    So, with 6 months to go, the LibDems can’t scratch up one quarter of the referendum vote from the floor of their own damn smelly dead parrot cage.

  28. I looked at the front page headline in either the Herald or Scotsman (I forget) yesterday with annoyance and dismay. Lack of engagement in the Independance debate by 16-34 year olds it shouted. The irony. The newspapers can create an interesting, engaging, debate if they so wished, rather than the tired one dimension view we too often get. Please. Engage. Educate. And contribute

  29. Carmichael, I believe was a gofer to Baron James Wallace of Tankerness. A pair o’ slugs.

  30. “Article 49 is for accession states, it is for new members who have not previously been members and are not members now….applicants who have had to work to meet the aquis, the exacting legal standards to comply with the rules. That is not Scotland. Undeniably and indisputably, that is not EU-compliant Scotland. ”

    I think this kind of view shows up the weakness of the White Paper. It was written by civil servants with no experience of working with the EU institutions – you’ll notice the phrase Copenhagen criteria doesn’t appear anywhere in it…

    The acquis is only one element of the conditions that a Member State (as opposed to a region, which is what Scotland currently is) has to meet. The EU also looks at the strength of state institutions, rule of law, democratic arrangements, economic strength, etc. I think Scotland as an applicant would have no problem with the majority of these. However, as a region it lacks nation state institutions such as a central bank or a financial regulator. The SNP position that we don’t need them and can use another country’s is not tenable, and I think risks getting Scotland stuck in a kind of quasi-nation hole (not a full member, but detached from UK).

    As to the process, Article 48 is preferable as no risk of being stuck in a queue, but both require an amendment to the European treaty, so all 27 Member States have to say yes, and some may wish to run a referendum or to tack on other issues.

    • The SG position is to have its own financial regulator. Though EU regs don’t require a separate regulator we could ‘share’ with the rUK. As to central bank that is going to have to wait for the currency union or not to be decided.

      • We have to ask ourselves, what exactly is a central bank and what functions do they perform ?

        As far as I’m aware, all a central bank has to do is either set interest rates (of course, government could do this as was the case in the UK up until recently) and ‘guide’ or advise some economic policy. That could be done with employing 6 economists in an office.

        The question of a lender of last resort is easily answered. Regulate banks, splitting retail from the casino banking. If the casino banking goes bust, then fine. As long as people’s savings, loans, mortgages are safe then the public are ok. If we are stuck for cash and need a loan then we can use the IMF as the UK did in the 70’s.

        It does not require a bloated institution the size of the BoE.

  31. Derek,
    I think the whole EU thing is rich. The folk at the top have been trying very hard to get the Ukraine into Europe, and who knows what role they played in the recent upheaval there. They waived all the criteria for East Germany’s entry: East Germany would still not be able to meet them. Barosso’s declaration that we might never get into the club just proves it’s one rule for the goose and another for the Gander in the EU. An independent Scotland should stay out of it. Don’t forget, folk like me have been funding that nonsense since the seventies. It’s a drain on the Tax payer, and very little comes back.
    If and when Scotland does become independent, let’s hope the Liberals and the Conservatives have a revival of their core aims. We’ll need that for a functioning Democracy.

  32. @ Graham of Falkirk Skiclub. Don’t underestimate a bunch of committed ” nationalists ” such as us when after 2000 years and a luke warm Balfour Declaration to Baron Rothschild, a state was created out of nothing – albeit, despite the supposed support of Westminster, the Stern Gang managed to slit a lot of British military throats.

  33. What’s all this talk of articles about?
    The EU will simply make up a new article to keep Scotland in!
    Does anyone actually think the EU wants folk leaving?
    The EU is probably the most pragmatic organisation you could think of. German unification anyone?

  34. ”their party history will need to be re-written” – Or to put it another way their party is history.

  35. John Farquhar Munro,Joe Grimond both must be turning in their grave at the state of the Scottish so called Liberals,Carmichael will already be working out what name he will use for the Lords,as for Charles Kennedy who I remember well when he beat Hamish Munro I thought him a man of principle but he has just gone the same Carmichael Campbell Stevens and not forgetting Wallace who we all remember getting a doing from NS and Lesley Riddoch.

  36. The clear playing of the man rather than ball is not helping your cause Derek. I have debated EU accession with you before on your blog and no doubt you will remember that I told you how it was and clearly it hasn’t stuck. Carmichael has said essentially the same thing, which is incidentally that same as Barroso, Van Rompuy, Prodi and numerous academics. You should go back and watch the Select Committee session with Profs Tomkins, McLean and Armstrong from mid january if you want to remind yourself of how ludicrous and fantastical the SNP’s position is. I think the main thing you need to get your head around is that the EU needs iScotland a lot less than iScotland needs it and whatever happens the UK will get the concessions it wants and (EU referendum or not) it will stay in the EU. The EU cannot afford for the UK to leave and will do whatever it takes for it to stay. iScotland on the other hand will be neither here nor there and the EU/EC will not undermine the treaties just to placate someone like Salmond, who incidentally has done his best to insult very single senior official in the EU, European Commission and European Council. iScotland will have to wait its turn and it will not get special treatment. The deal offered will be on take it or leave it terms and if Salmond throws the toys out the pram he will be told to go the back of the queue.

    EU membership is absolutely crucial for iScotland and is far too important an issue to be dealt with by ill founded arguments and baseless assertions. I suggest that rather than typing ream after ream of propaganda that you actually sat down and read the relevant treaties. I won’t hold it against you if you came back and amend your blog afterwards.

    • John this is rubbish from start to finish. As soon as Scotland votes Yes the EU MUST find a solution, the very point made by Avery and Edwards. The world is watching. It is democracy in action and everything will be turned to accommodating Scotland. They are currently facing war with Russia over Ukraine because they don’t want to lose it. Have some faith in your country’s worth and stop being blinded by self interested bluster. With your attitude, no Scot would have dared join the Union in the first place. Feardies live in fear. It’s not going for the man to point out the shortcomings and personal motivations and contradictions of people in power. Ask the Burmese. Ask the Egyptians. The Syrians. The Algerians. Ask the Baltic States. You’re in awe of the managers and in love with the process. Democracy, by definition, is about the people and that’s the foundation of the EU. You’ve got the brains. Find the balls. Be a scotsman and believe.

      Sent from my iPad


      • Dr JM Mackintosh

        Well said Derek!
        It would be ludicrous if Scots were thrown out of Europe for expressing their democratic will.
        It will never happen – we are all EU citizens.

    • Well we saw what happened the last time Cameron tried to lay down the law to EU delegates and how quickly he was shown the door.
      I think you overestimate the regard with which England is held by most Europeans.
      The UK as a state will cease to exist when Scotland leaves and both England and Scotland will have to renegotiate their terms of membership.
      This may be especially difficult for England who are seeking to change the way in which the whole EU operates in order to satisfy a domestic political agenda.
      Should the English government persist with this tack,they can expect the same treatment again.
      In terms of referendum propaganda,I don’t believe that either currency or EU membership are significant issues for Scottish voters (the polls certainly seem to indicate so) and will be happy to leave these and other issues until after the vote.
      The only people who are getting exercised by this are those who seek to influence the outcome of the referendum in a specific way.

      • nonsense, the UK will continue on as before, the secession of ireland sets the precedent.

        • John, the tide ebbs, the tide flows,out, in, in a continuous cycle.

          The tide cannot go in opposite directions simultaneously.

          Your tide, the UK tide, is ebbing.

          Accept it – and live in peace.

    • cynicalHighlander

      I am awaiting the link to the debate of the East Lotihan farmers vote which you seem unwilling to supply so conclude that honest debate is not in your lexicon.

      • Give it a rest. All life is not organised through the internet. Most farmers are near 60 and a lot of them don’t even know what things like Facebook are yet alone use it.

      • I am 32 and a farmer and Who do you think you are to be so condescending and dismissive of one of the most technologically advanced industrial sectors in the country. How do you think Scottish Farmers have continued to supply an agricultural surplus for Scotland year on year, by using a scythe and chasing their sheep around the hills? We also greatly appreciate the latest deal that Westminster Mandarins managed to strike for us with the EU. After that who really cares if we are members or not (from a farming perspective anyway.)

    • Actually, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the EU, and it’s member states, went out of their way to get Scotland in quickly just to spite the remaining UK.

  37. Talking of Non Democrats, I noticed the SLAB “debate” on further powers at their “conference” in Perth did not involve any debating at all. Whether this was a deliberate presentation by the leadership or simply represents the bovine acceptance of the party line by the members this does not have the democratic look to it. Contrast with the SNP conference last year when the NATO issue was thrashed out at conference in a very free and open (and often heated) debate.

  38. Also disappointed at the failure of the Lib Dems to live up to the standards of their Liberal past. However, with the Lib Dems, you need to keep up with different messages given to different audiences at different times! Looking at Mr Clegg’s recent speech to the Lib Dems’ Spring Conference (apologies for the long quote below but the description of the Union’s recent history and future prospects is just so revealing!), is he finding the messages of ‘better together’ hard to justify. (Source:

    “Successive (UK) governments relying on an overheated financial sector; presiding over a wildly imbalanced economy where the gap between rich and poor grew; where the North fell further and further behind the South. Successive administrations jumping from one set of public service reforms to the next and Whitehall just seemed to carry on regardless as more and more power was sucked up to the centre.”

    Left to their own devices what are they (Labour or Tories) offering the British people? Profligacy. Economic incompetence. A bloated and cumbersome state. Politicians who think that all they need to do to prove themselves is posture against business. A leadership desperate but unable to break free from the grip of its Union paymasters. A party that cannot be relied upon to keep the economy safe; that wants us to put them back behind the wheel even though they still won’t admit how badly they got it wrong.

    Or how about widening inequality. A remorseless shrinking of our public services. A party that claims we’re all in it together and yet refuses to ask the wealthy to pay even a penny more in tax towards the on-going fiscal effort. A party which will instead single out one group – the working age poor – for especially tough sacrifices. £12bn worth of especially tough sacrifices, from people who are trying to work their way out of poverty and who we should be helping stand on their own two feet. A weak economy. An unfair society. If it all sounds depressingly familiar it’s because most of us have lived through it all before. Two parties encumbered by the same old prejudices; straitjacketed by the same old ideologies. And whichever way you look at it, left or right, if either of them get into government on their own, they will drag Britain in the same direction: backwards.”

    Logical solution for Lib Dems in Scotland? Vote for full, proper Home Rule, Vote YES in September!

  39. It is isn’t rubbish, go read the treaties. I have.

    “As soon as Scotland votes Yes the EU MUST find a solution, the very point made by Avery and Edwards.”

    Why must it find a solution??? We are a country of 5 million citizens and except in the warped views of the SNP leadership we are not and will never be a key part of the EU on our own. As part of the UK, the future wealthiest and most populous country in Europe with one of the worlds largest financial centres within its borders that also happens to be one of only 2 nuclear powers in the EU yes, of course we will get to share part of the UK seat at the top table. But as Salmonds vision of iScotland with no currency of our own, that decided to default on our share of the debt and no central bank… and that has most importantly fallen out with our closest neighbour.. don’t make me laugh. The EU is an expansionist organisation that believe in a United States of Europe. That is is whole reason for existence. To think that it will find a way of accommodating iScotland by making concessions to the SNP who have so little respect for the EU that they have insulted every single EU/EC official who has questioned the SNP’s amateurish interpretation of the treaties is ridiculous. There is no way the EU/EC will risk the break up of Belgium, Spain or Italy by granting concessions to a secessionist movement. Do not think for a second that will happen.

    Also Ukraine is irrelevant to Scotlands situation, that is part of the big game with the Russians that has been simmering for a number of years.

    Oh and what on earth to the Egyptians etc have to do with this??? I think i know where you were trying to go and we are not a colony or occupied country. Save your victimhood for your disciples. Scotland was an active part of the British Empire and we did very very well out of it. Glasgow after all was the second city of the empire and scots helped build a huge amount of the modern world and invented many of the things that we use today. All because of the opportunities the empire gave the Scots. Without the the Union scotland would have been a relative backwater and english would not be the worlds language of business. You may not like the idea of the British Empire, which is fair enough as that as along time ago, but to try and rewrite history and say we have been colonised is an insult the generations of scots who came before us.

    The other thing in all this is that we are voting to leave an EU member state. Your EU citizenship comes from your UK citizenship and no one is forcing you to give that up. If you don’t want to risk that vote no.

    And finally I am a scotsman but I am also British, as are you. Don’t you dare try to question my patriotism, the difference between you and I is that i can see the bigger picture. I know that the world does not begin and end at Berwick and i also know that we live in one of the most successful and stable countries in the world. If it wasn’t why do millions of people want to move here?

    • As I recall the EU citizenship is due to belonging to a member state but that state cannot remove EU citizenship. So children born after would not be EU citizens but anyone alive before independence day would retain their citizenship.
      I’m a European federalist but even I would just go into EFTA if the EU start playing silly buggers. What’s more dangerous to the EU, a growing number of states that stay in EFTA like Norway or an obvious rejection of a democratic decision?
      How can they possibly have any credibility on the east after that? They might be stupid enough to do that but that will only speed up the disintegration of the European confederation and pave the way to a federation. Either way Scotland will be in the EEA and that’s all that matters.

    • It seems you’re a Scotsman with a small “s” and your patriotism isn’t in question as you appear to have none. And you appear to miss the bigger picture which is Scotland wants it’s independence from a corrupt Westminster, all these ” obstacles” you witter on about appear to come from a very oblique Better Together view. As derek said, find some balls and believe.

    • I think the best reply to John is this rather excellent piece written by Adam Ramsay over on Open Democracy, the opening paragraph is:

      ‘Britain is in a state of self denial, sitting at the bottom of European league tables, but convinced it still rules the waves. The aspirations of the SNP may seem ambitious, but all they are really proposing is to be a normal European country.’

      I won’t post the full article, but if I may, I suggest reading John’s post above, then immediately heading over to read Adam’s article. A more telling difference in attitude I could not imagine.

      Full article available here:

      • Thanks for the great link tartanfever.

      • That is a side issue to the main point that you have used to try and discredit me. On the EU I am correct unless you can prove otherwise.

      • What a fantastic article. All the more impressive were the positive comments from people down south. It gets to the absolute nub of the issue which is that the peoples of Scotland and England do not intrinsically hate each other and that it’s at the British level where our problems really occur. The British political elite (comprised of both Scots and English) are what were really trying to get away from and are despised as much throughout England as they are in Scotland. To be honest, I think the BPE are quite happy to encourage the notion of Scots vs English as it takes the focus away from them in that respect. They’re also very happy to keep as many of as possible ignorant and dis-engaged from what is actually going on in politics. Thankfully this is really beginning to change as we become more engaged and begin to see the real problems.

        I’ve commented many times that it is my firm belief that Scottish independence will provide a catalyst for a future close and productive partnership with the remaining areas of the UK, with England, Wales and N.I. as equally independent nations. A common monetary union that everyone is committed to making work would be a very positive development. Maybe London also has to be it’s own entity within such a partnership, who knows? Either way, it would be democracy from the ground up as opposed to the current top-down approach that is just not working!

    • Dr JM Mackintosh

      I think the clue is in the name – McMad.

    • John, I see you’re living up to your name. Your first sentence here betrays a certain dubiety: “It IS ISN’T rubbish.” Are you sure it isn’t rubbish? Or are you NOT sure it isn’t rubbish? Or are you not sure it is rubbish? As the French would say: “Tu raisonnes comme une pantoufle.”

    • You are a cringing Scotsman. Your entire post reveals a virulent opposition to Scottish self government. As for your claim about Britain being the future richest country in Europe, absolute rubbish. Germany is far wealthier. Britain is the fourth most unequal nation state in the developed world, soon to be even worse with the years of austerity still to come. You are in complete denial, along with the rest of the British establishment.

      • If Derek hadn’t blocked my post with the links to various articles you would be eating your words right now.

  40. I was a lib dem at university in the 90’s but for me the turning point was when they refused to go into coalition with the SNP. They had practically the same manifesto except for the independence referendum. If they were democrats they would have rolled the dice on that one and trusted the people.
    It seemed that the lib dems wanted a Europe of the regions and so did the SNP but the disagreement was over how to get there.
    Now they’ve just gone native, their right wing has taken over and they’ve lost it over Scotland.

  41. “the UK….the future wealthiest country in Europe”. Ha,ha. Dream on, or better still tell us how this will come about.

  42. ‘Don’t you dare’ says John. Bluster and bully all you like Sir, but Independence is coming and you and your ilk will not stand in our way

    “If it wasn’t why do millions of people want to move here?”

    Would that be all the Bulgarians, Albanians and Lithuanians that were going to flood into the UK a few months back?
    What happened with that?

    You sound more like Colonel Bufton Tufton of Private eye fame.

    • try using google, uk top immigration destination and its amazing what you will find. we are number 2 in the word behind the US. derek doesn’t seem to like links being posted on here.

  43. “I know that the world does not begin and end at Berwick.”

    Somebody’s boasting now. Clever clogs.

    • rather than trying to be smart why don’t you try answering some of my points

      • You make no points or references that are no countered by other expert opinion.

        Please provide us with the documented procedure for the EU to forcibly eject a populace from its membership of the EU?

        We are taking about an organisation who takes the rule of law to defend rights (quite correctly) to the extent that it protects individuals convicted of serious offences from being forcibly ejected out of the EU.

        Now can you please tell everyone why 5.3 million Scots who have fully complied with all EU rules and obligations have no rights and can therefore be removed en masse from the EU against their will?

      • cynicalHighlander

        Because your points are assertions just because one has the ability to print pieces of paper with “I promise to pay” as wealth is living in Mugabe land and will be treated as such derision.

      • Because we’re not fuckin’ interested John!

        You’re just regurgitating all the “Better Together” crap that’s already been countered many times, and by many very clever people.

        We’re sick and tired of being constantly drained by the barrage of negativity and all the things we supposedly CAN’T do. If everyone took that view we’d still be lumbering around the countryside staring at a horses arse. We’re far more interested in the things we WILL be able to do once Scotland votes for self-government. We don’t wish any ill on the rest of the UK, in fact we want to see them flourish too, but it’s just time that we took responsibility for Scotland’s well-being again, instead of complaining about Westminster neglect and indifference. We don’t want to moan and whinge – we want to grow and develop. It won’t be perfect…we’ll make mistakes on the journey…but it will be OUR journey.

  44. John McMad and Derek ,
    I have an idea, which would concentrate minds, that is to get the Scottish Government to write a open letter to
    A fella by the name of Putin, offering him a two day tour of Scotland, all expenses paid!.
    Now then, what E.U. Ruling were you arguing about?!.

    • I’ve heard better ideas.

      • John McMad, I know you don’t like having typos drawn to your attention. However, there is a certain irony in this one from one of your earlier posts:

        “And finally I am a scotsman but I am also British, as are you. Don’t you dare try to question my patriotism.”

        There is definitely a question mark over the patriotism of anyone who claims to be a Scot and who spells “Scotsman” with a small “s” and British with a capital “B.”

  45. Jings 54 comments. Most newspapers would be happy with that (excluding the madness of The Scrotum where a generally insane free-for-all reigns almighty – I confess at one time I imbibed but now one has better horses to whip) but I’ll be 55. The Great Derek Bateman is now your sobriquet. Keep on keeping on – I am now a daily visitor, though, I’m not sure why you don’t have a FB page.

  46. Can’t believe that john mcmad is for real,its that type of attitude towards Scotland that got us into the union in the first place, your not related to the Duke of Hamilton by any chance?

  47. Very dumb question:

    Could the EU declare that as far as EU treaties are concerned, *SCOTLAND* is the continuing state, and Westminster can go hang?

    If they can do that, it would make all of the current debate around the EU so *very* simple, Scotland stays in, like it wants to, and England gets out, like it wants to.

  48. “It seems that the Liberals were fair, reasonable and generous as long as there was no hope of gaining power.”

    They are and always have been OPPORTUNISTS.

  49. Since we’re discussing the Liberal Democrats, I thought this might provide some amusement… Sir Ming Campbell on GMS being gutted and filleted by Gary Robertson over the likelyhood of the LibDem Federalism proposals ever being taken seriously, much less actually ever delivered.

    Is it just me or has the BBC started to call the Better Together campaign out a lot more since Ken MacQuarrie’s recent session with the Economics, Energy & Tourism committee? Could, of course, be that until now, there’s been no firm proposals to call them out on. The LibDem proposals have hardly been worth spending any time on but Labour’s Devo-Shite proposals have certainly given JoLa some uncomfortable times this week. Maybe Derek will be due some apologies from many of us on our responses to his opinions on BBC institutional bias 🙂 Actually, that eventuality would be extremely positive as it would, by definition, mean the Yes campaign would start getting a fair crack of the whip from the BBC. That certainly WOULD be a game-changer.


  50. Venice has declared 89% in favour of independence. The idiotic Dail Mail claims that it’s activists trained with the SNP and Basque/Catalan separatists. Que!

  51. John McMad. Rather than being smart why don’t you reply to my request that you explain how the UKwill be the weallthiest country in Europe? I wait with baited breath……

  52. Mm,

    Another letter re stating the position.

  53. So according to John McMad, Europe wants to cut itself off from the majority of it’s biggest resource, the North Sea.

    the EU council want to be able to sit round a huge conference table with a massive map of Europe and be able to delete the entire North West of the continent.

    No Norway, no Scotland. no Iceland. No access to territorial waters – no oil, no fish, no renewables.

    And an organisation designed to bring the people of Europe together in unity will reflect on this as a success ?

    Utter bunkum.

    They will be working hand over foot to make it happen.

  54. John, if the UK is one of the most successful and stable countries in the world why is there an independence movement in Scotland? And in Wales? There is even one in Cornwall! And why doesn’t Ireland wish to come back? Regarding the second city of the empire, the Irish were informed that Dublin was. Funny that, isn’t it? And if we are so successful, why can’t the press tolerate freedom of speech? Pop over to the Daily Record and you will see censorship on the articles regarding the latest Labour Devo proposals. Further to the UK being a success, why is it so in debt? And why is the economy in such a mess? And why is the UK not a full democracy, why is there still an unelected House of Lords? Regarding patriotism; it is many things to many people. To quote a bit of history; in times of crisis, e.g a war, the state is quick to call upon ordinary people to assist in the struggle. That was a show of patriotism. Was it reciprocated? Yes, in the immediate post war years. Is it still reciprocated? No. The UK is dismantling the Welfare State. It will dismantle the NHS. Has it earned my patriotism? No. The inhabitants of a nation and state are the beating heart of any nation. Not flags, not empires, not monarchies, not nuclear weapons, not seats at the top table of the UN. It’s the people. Let them down, as the UK has, and you have torn up patriotism for the UK and you then have those people looking for ways to make things better. The UK doesn’t represent me or my aspirations. If I were from Cumbria, Essex or Devon, I’d be feeling the same way. I’m from Scotland and I can see a better way to do things where. I’m going to take the chance for a better future, one that puts people at the centre. Yes!

    • We are near the top of every democracy and freedom index there is so most of what you say is fantasy. As for why is there an independence movement, there are independence movements in virtually every democracy so Scotland is not anything special. They exist in Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, USA, Canada etc etc. Its probably something to do with the fact that some people always need to find someone else to blame.

      • Or maybe it is only natural that folk want a government of their peers?

      • ‘We are near the top of every democracy and freedom index there is so most of what you say is fantasy.’

        Sure, we have the second biggest unelected chamber in the world of ‘peers’ who pass laws for us. That’s democracy at work for you right there ! We have no written constitution enshrining a person’s rights and we have a government that wants to take us out of the European Convention of Human Rights. They all support your theory….oh ..hang on a minute…?

        Seems to me the tables that we come near to the top of are things like inequality, poor pensions, debt, a rotten tax system, education, welfare and high energy prices.

        But no, that jolly old union flag will keep us warm in the winter, fed when we are hungry and give us all the education in the world we will ever need to be proper little citizens.

      • Tf. The lords don’t pass anything they merely scrutinise legislation and the elected House of Commons can use the prerogative to side step the lords if it wants. If you knew anything about constitutions you would understand that the unwritten constitution protects the freedoms of individuals far more effectively than any written constitution. We have had things like to bill of rights in this country long before the echr was even thought of. If you want to appear informed on the subject I suggest you sit down with a book on the uk constitution and how it works and take a look through the writings of people like dicey. Until you do that your opinion on the constitution are worthless.

        Ps, if written constitutions are so wonderful why don’t you tell me about other countries recent attempts to draw them up. You can start with Iceland, the word disaster comes to mind.

      • cynicalHighlander

        Yet more nonsense from your good self the UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world.

        This will make you proud!

  55. John, sorry that the nasty Derek Bateman is blocking your links and you can’t be bothered posting again. Just give us a short resume of the “wealtiest” claim and we’ll all settle for that. Otherwise we are left with the feeling that you are making it up to bolster your bigger claim about the UK being some kind of Shangri-la.
    Visited a foodbank recently?

  56. I see the UK government has updated its forecast on non repayment of student loans with 45% now likely to be written off (up from 40%).

    The system of tuition fees and loans in operation in England (which Scottish New Labour MPs helped originate) is on the verge of costing the government more than the old system.

    The economy of the UK is mired in debt (partly through design) at both a public and private level.

  57. Carmichael said a lot of things, like admitting they are “advising” governments around the world against Scottish Independence. This from the ” Secretary of State for Scotland,”, which is truly abysmal.
    However, he said something else that I have now heard several times from the Unionist side, and that was the implying that the Scottish Government are wrong in taking the Edinburgh agreement literally!
    That would again imply, they do not take it seriously. If that is indeed their message, betrayal, again, is on the cards, given the chance.
    SG surely will not have missed this, they and we, need to be very watchful of underhand dealings against us.

    • The Edinburgh Agreement is nothing more than a device the SNP used to get themselves out of a rather large and embarrassing hole into which they so arrogantly swaggered: they needed a section 30 order from our Parliament in Westminster to make their referendum legal but had previously denied this was the case.

      The thing they couldn’t admit to their supporters was that, as a devolved administration with limited powers, they didn’t have the power to hold a referendum legally. Which is all a bit embarrassing for a party who try and pretend that the Scottish (ahem) ‘Government’ has equal power to Westminster.

      This is what happens when you operate in the twilight world of nationalist politics – a toxic brew of myths, grievances, boasts and misrepresentations: if only the SNP had been honest about the limits of Holyrood’s powers in the first place we wouldn’t have had to go through this charade.

      Now of course the Section 30 order has been served up to the SNP faithful as some kind of sacred document compelling the UK, EU and NATO to do the SNP’s bidding….

      • cynicalHighlander

        I hear that the Labour party in Scotland are having a closing down sale by offering reduced £5 membership till 18/09/14. Is this a collection for the wake?

  58. That John McMad, has he got a O.B.E., and lives way south of our border, I wonder?

    • He probably gets a paid salary from the British State.
      The internet has a fair smattering of the trolls.
      I notice however a lot of new pro Independence lads and lassies on line nowadays and more power to them.

      Vote ‘Yes’!

  59. I am just going to do that Alex, he is not worthy of one word. Let him linger without any remarks made to him. These People like Grahamski and McMad ruin comments sections given time. He reduced the Scotsman and the Herald to a place where no decent human wanted to go.

  60. Ruraidh

    I am a farmer too, I am also around the same age as you. Perhaps you would have been better actually realising what the argument was about before you jumped right in. This stems from me saying that I attended a farmers meeting discussing independence where vote was 59 to 1 in favour of no. Whatsisname can’t accept that because this meeting wasn’t mentioned on Facebook. If you really are a farmer you will know the average age is around 60 and these guys do not arrange meetings of things like local agric societies and suchlike on Facebook. Now perhaps you might understand what I was on about rather than taking needless offence.

    Your point about the CAP and Westminster is also looking at it the wrong way. Out of all the home nations we got the worst deal. The way I see it there are two possible reasons, 1 Lochhead and his cronies can’t negotiate to save their lives or, 2 they did a bum deal to blame Westminster and to try and get scottish farmers to vote yes. I am not the only farmer who sees it that way and indeed a highly respected authority on Scottish farming (who I will not name to avoid him getting harassed by people who visit this site) told me that in his view it was option 2. I also have a contact high up in SGRPID who has also told me the exact same thing. It all points to our industry being used as a political football.

    Mind you thing about CAP is that if the SNP are not telling the truth about a seamless entry into the EU there is the possibility that we may have a year to two without whatever is going to follow SFPE which means a lot of farmers will go bust. Add in not knowing what currency we will use, add in increased borrowing costs after salmond defaults on the debt, add in increased import/export costs if iScotland is forced to join schengen, add in Scotland becoming a net contributor to the EU after the rebate is lost, etc etc. Yeah, independence will be great for farming… Not.

  61. “Because we’re not fuckin’ interested John!

    You’re just regurgitating all the “Better Together” crap that’s already been countered many times, and by many very clever people.”

    Typical of the independence at any cost mindset. And who exactly are these clever people that have countered anything? As far as I see it yes hast lost the factual arguments every time, whether it’s currency, EU, defence, economy, you name it. That is why the white paper is barely mentioned anymore and it’s why all yes can do now is revert to nationalist type and play the man and not the ball.

    • Good grief! Are you guys still at it? It’s Sunday. Have a drink. Have a Lie down. Replay Johann’s speech. I just rode through Kelvingrove with my daughter. (And PLEASE don’t start a thread here about the CAP or I’ll grow my own potatoes) I’m a townie. Shouldn’t you all be feeding chicken remains to the hens or injecting cattle with growth hormones and modifying the wheat or something? Let’s face it, we’ll all be digging up grubs if we vote Yes. No?

      • Could you stop please. there is funny anthers puerile. Remember the blog is looked at by everybody including Unionists and this kind of drivel is unhelpful. why not tweet each other and leave the space for intelligent contributions. thanks.derek

  62. Back to the subject after being seriously pissed off by known miscreants. Good for you Derek.

    Does Carmichael know his role is to represent Scotland in the UK Cabinet and should he therefore be working his wee tartan socks off for the development of the aims and objectives of the Edinburgh Agreement, or does he see his role as being there to hole this very Agreement below the sweet blue water-line?

    It certainly did not escape the attention of the Shetland folk who tossed him out on his ear with an increased YES support after his presentation for BT and if there’s any truth in the rumor that he’s not for standing at the next GE, could this be because he’s got a sniff of the ermine dangled in front of his snout for services rendered to HMG and ergo, not particularly for Scotland?

    All very lib-dem-esque and in glorious technicolour too, so who’s a big sooky plonker then!

    The good folk in the Lib-dem heartlands must be truly shaking their heads in despair watching Carmichael, Alexander and Scott strutting their self-seeking paths all around the place and doing nothing for them.

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