Deal or No Deal…

Are you over it yet? Have you come to terms with No and are you ready to ‘move on’? I get asked quite a bit and my answer is that I haven’t allowed myself to think too deeply about it because I’m scared to. I worry about how depressed I’ll be if I really work out what the vote means – for Scotland, our global reputation and for my feelings about some fellow Scots.

It’s like a bereavement you don’t want to confront, knowing you’ll get round to grieving properly in time.

The astonishing part is the glib admonition from the British Scots that it’s time to forget it and accept the result and declare there will be no more referendums – independence isn’t going to happen.

It demonstrates how utterly ignorant they remain of what we have just been through as a nation. It’s one thing to be like Alistair Darling, an apologetic Scot without the courage of your country’s convictions, married to the concept of subsidy and British hegemony over your own people – heaven help me, but I’ll never get there – yet surely a different thing entirely to demand that we give up altogether on the dream.

Only a person bereft of conviction and principle – possibly someone like Alistair Carmichael – could contemplate throwing away everything he believes in after a defeat. It would be like a party committed to social justice rejecting the idea in favour of working in a government that has deliberately hurt the poorest as a policy option…just like the Lib Dems. (Have they gone yet?)

I do wish they’d depart the scene altogether and get out of our life instead of pretending to be anything other than promiscuous bed partners for whoever is the biggest party. They will clearly couple with anyone available and follow 99 per cent of the partner’s agenda and then, at election time, call Foul and tell us this won’t do.

They’ve been trumped by the Tories just as Labour has. Lib Dems claim our gratitude for lifting the low paid out of tax – and simultaneously easing the tax burden of the better off – and now find the Tories have adopted the policy themselves and offered the country a better deal. Thus with Labour ‘working with their partners’ in the Union now find they are boxed in on the English Votes issue by Tory manoeuvring leaving poor Alistair and Gordon duped. If there is a motto to emerge from the referendum for the Unionists it is surely Never Trust a Tory.

I will not be giving up on independence any day soon…unless I’m not long for this world. Because I will go to my grave believing in Scottish independence and until then I will argue for it as long as I draw breath. There is no prouder cause than your own independence, it will just take a while longer to turn the complacent round, perhaps after the next election when taxes go up, interest rates rise, decent jobs become scarce and we leave the EU.

It takes a person of casual commitment to imagine that the most powerful sentiment in politics – nationalism – can be thrown aside for a Lib Dem rosette. Accepting the democratic decision of the electorate does not mean giving up – it means adjusting to the new reality and being patient.

My theory is simple – they will not deliver what Scotland needs. They are incapable of generosity of spirit – exemplified by Darling’s extraordinary slight of the First Minister at the Labour conference when what was needed was grace and style – and they have an iron conviction that they and they alone have the right to decide what the people should have. Our politics have not encroached on their dictatorial mentality one bit and they will produce a botched package of next-to-nothing which will please no one and which will cause disruption in Holyrood budgets. They will hope to burden the SNP with impossible options. The result will be that in five years time, possibly even less, we will be back in the same territory, the constitutional conundrum unsolved. We will be back where we started.

Accepting the verdict of the people in the referendum is one part of the equation. The other is that the Unionists deliver on the Vow and the promise of substantial powers through which they won the vote. That’s the deal. Let’s see the goods.

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79 thoughts on “Deal or No Deal…

    • Accepting the verdict would be remotely possible if the “winning side” had actually voted in the referendum. Every no voter I have asked why of gives a different answer, but as yet none have said anything about the actual question on the ballot paper. Sadly this was the lying tactic of the no campaign, they constantly argued whether Scotland could be independent, and then added their scare tactics without the pound, without the Queen, without the EU, without big business, without oil, without pensions, and making it all about Alex Salmond. As far as I can find out 2 million people never answered the question, it if had been an exam at school they all would have failed the test. As a religious socialist I keep returning to a basic question: did God provide the natural resources of Scotland to be the property of the super rich in the city of London or for the benefit of all the inhabitants of the land? I estimate that £1 million per Scot is pilfered every year by the Treasury in London. If this figure is inaccurate why won’t they tell us what the true amount is?

  1. David Comerford

    Interest rates won’t rise. An interest rate rise will be the result of policy success and economic growth, and I don’t think you’re expecting that.

  2. You are totally right Derek. How dare they think we are like them – having wanted independence all my life there’s no way I would stand for anyone I’m likely to support into office dropping the idea. No way. I have been so unwell since the referendum. I’m sure it’s because of the gallon of bitter gall I swallowed. I will find it hard to forgive our media both print and broadcast and the comfortable Scots who didn’t care enough about their poorer brethren.

  3. I’m about to visit my No voting friend, whose husband talked her into voting No. She said he is very clever (and he knows best!!) Kind of 1950s household. He, along with his rugby club friends, transferred their savings out of RBS, which made me laugh, given it belongs to the UK taxpayers. Thankfully the ‘clever’ husband won’t be there when I visit – he’s away abroad enjoying his ‘savings’. Also, walking through John Lewis today watching all the middle class spending their cash. They don’t think further than their driveway. I suspect they will never come round to Independence. Sad, sad, sad!

  4. Unfortunately, as ‘trickle up’ economics takes hold in the coming years, less and less people will be at liberty to enjoy any ‘savings’. The ratio of 45% to 55% that (we are told) concluded this episode in the Scottish debate, will change as more are forced to the realisation that the transatlantic, neoliberal values espoused by the current mobsters in Westminster are not the cure-all panacea for the ‘economy’ that they would like us to believe. All those of us who ‘get it’ have to do is wait. It gives me no great pleasure to say this because the one thing we are losing is time but it is a waiting game. Scotland is not going anywhere and the (basically egalitarian, socialist with-a-small-‘s’) values of the Scottish people are unlikely to change much. Scotland will be her own nation, the only question is how soon.

  5. I’m with you Derek on the no show of devo max from Westminster.
    Why would they freely give now what they refused to allow on the ballot in the first place?
    A few lies and broken vows are not important to them when it comes to the survival of the British state and their clear intention now is to ignore Scotland as far as possible.
    They will not allow Scots to retain European citizenship rights when they separate from the EU and European Human Rights and will ensure that the Supreme court in London has control over Scots law.
    There is no doubt that only the threat of independence got their attention and now that they don’t have to worry about that,can please themselves what they do.
    This is what happens when you reject democratic governance….no say.

  6. A very enjoyable read as pretty much always.

    I know exactly what Derek means by not thinking too much about the result, and the long depression that may cause. I honestly thought I’d be finished wth politics, Scotland, this notion of us being a wee pretendy nation for some things, yet not for the most important things that big non weepretendy nations do such as make decisions of the welfare and taxation of their residents, not just kick a baw on a football field, but I am not. The result has pushed me on and made me even join a political party (something I never thought I would ever do).

    I know exactly what you mean, Anne. I have a friend similar to what sounds like your pal’s husband. He’s a good guy in spirit and I do consider him a great friend but, we never discuss politics as I am usually frustrated if we do. We are both 30 now. He is “Am no, cos I just am a no” – he will never be turned, he’s probably one of the hardcore 25% who would never vote yes in any circumstance. Yet, after a trip to Germany and experiencing their transport – he constantly has been belittling ours (the UKs in general) and how we are miles behind. “I can’t wait to see Cameron gone” yet if going by the last four polls, Ed’s conference, and all the polls even when Labour were ahead showing that 3x as many people believe Cameron is more of a ‘Statesman’ than Milliband is. Along with the Tories nicking the right wing ventures from UKIP – the Human Rights Act, an EU referendum in winning back their more right-wing supporters, along with it being turned in to a Labour v Tory bash in the spring debates. I have no doubt at all that the Conservatives will win again. Maybe not a majority, but they will have the most seats. Considering also that Labour are attempting to say one thing in Scotland and Wales, and another in England. They are constantly on the backfoot too, much like in Scotland – you’ll never much about their own core policy, just about the SNP, in the RUK it’s the same.

    As for giving up on Independence. Absolutely not. I thought so, but no, I’m more resolute than ever on this. We kept hearing about the “settled will” of the Scottish people right after the vote from the Unionists. I don’t believe there is any such thing as a settled will. Nothing is settled, the world is abundant and moves quickly. It stops or stutters at moments. For now, Scotland is not an independent nation, but this is not to say we will never be one, and when 45% of your population votes yes – there will always be a movement for independence.
    If that poll is to be believed, 2/3rds of us want Devo Max. Life is a progression, if Devo Max is delivered, which I doubt it will be – the game’s a bogey for the unionists as one of the most compelling arguments for an independent Scotland is having our own foreign/defence affairs controlled from Scotland.

    • The Unionists claimed the result represented the ‘settled will’? I missed that! Where/when did any Unionist idiot say that? The matter is VERY far from settled.

      What absolute dictators they are to ignore the voice of 45% of the electorate!

      I am genuinely shocked that anyone could claim ‘settled will’ from this referendum result after a whopping 45% disagreed, and large tranches of the Noes were voting for a spectrum of things, thanks in large parts to the muddying of the issues by last minute promises.

  7. I’m afraid our global reputation is destroyed. How could anyone abroad, used to the Harry Lauder image and believing it to be real, ever take us seriously again? We had the chance of, not just a lifetime, but of three centuries, and it was thrown away, and why? Due to the Scots’ penchant for accepting a trifling bribe, which is a historical habit, well known to historians. A trifling bribe from whom? The same folk that have bribed them in the past and know that such trifling offers work. Who offered it? The same easily duped sycophants as ever. Gordon Wilson was right when he said they’ve go the blueprint in the drawer. It’s disgraceful.
    And what about all those threats that were made? Tesco? Sainsbury? Ms Mone? All seen to be people of straw within a week. Velux moving their production to England and Virgin withdrawing Scottish flights. Why did anyone take any heed of these folk? They’re self-interested capitalists: generosity of spirit is not an issue.

  8. As usual you hit the nail on the head Derek.

    I am still at the same stage. I feel if i accept the decision i will be depressed for ever. Feels like a death i cannot come to believe even though it’s there in front of me.

    i really should get a grip but it really does hurt too much. So thanks for echoing my feelings and making me feel better knowing i am not alone.

    For now i am dilly dallying online waiting for something to happen. We have a movement that will not go away. We are more determined and have learned much.

    Thanks for sharing Derek. You are not alone sir and we have plans being prepared. We will return stronger and smarter for the next battle. It’s great to have you here.

    • Katrine Paterson

      I’m hoping George and Dave will be locked up for their dirty dealings. They are criminals!

    • Why don’t you join RIC or one of the indy parties?

      • Katrine Paterson

        I’m tempted! Meanwhile, I can only vote for SNP or Green. The rest have caused nothing but grief. As for devo max? That was left out of the ballot paper, to be used only as a last resort to save the union.

      • Finally done something, thanks for the wee nudge. I have joined the SNP purely on the grounds we need representation at WM to keep their feet in the fire over powers.

        I will re evaluate for the SE.

        Also watching out on Wings , here a WGD to see how things go over the next few weeks. Offer any help.

        again thanks for the nudge.

  9. catherine mokwa

    Independence dident die,,its in recovery..was hit by a nasty decease called “the union”….but now we know the signs we can come up with the cure….a daily dose of truth should do the trick….

  10. Come on folks and you too Derek. Democracy is a living breathing beast. It needs to be nurtured, protected and fought for continually. We don’t quite have it yet but that doesn’t mean we won’t.

    And as for those who annoyingly keep saying ‘you lost, this is democracy deal with it’. I say, weird form of democracy you’ve got in your head.

    How long did it take for the UK to get universal suffrage? What were people saying back in 1832 when only men with property work £10 or more got the vote? Did everyone just sit back and say, oh, democracy there you are! We can rest easy now. No they didn’t, women didn’t get equal suffrage till 1928, the Republic of Ireland got there before the UK in 1922

    The UK appears to be one of the least democratic countries in Europe but that doesn’t mean we give up the dream of an iScotland, so just don’t listen to those and such as those. I think there’s fear behind it. If they’re so sure of that ‘win’ why are they still banging on at us?

    Maybe there was some sort of collective amnesia among those that should have remembered 1979. I just can’t see them forgetting a third time. We live in the age of information. Maybe it needs to be laid out more plainly for all to see.

    I don’t think Scotland’s Global reputation has been destroyed Viking Girl. Some out there might be a little bewildered but the establishment machine throwing the kitchen sink was plain to see.

  11. Losing the referendum to us just wasn’t losing a vote. It does feel like a death in the family.
    To those who feel they can accept it and move, more power to your elbow. Me? I’ll support independence for Scotland until I die. Not because of some braveheart nationalism but because this nation deserves independence and the freedom to make our own choices.
    I too struggle with my relationships with people who voted NO, I want to rage at them, I want to ask them if they’re happy now that we’ve thrown away a golden opportunity. I want to ask them if they know what burden they’ve placed on everyone else, but I dont , I bite my tongue. They’re so defensive about their decision that me haranguing them into submission isn’t going to achieve anything. As you say Derek, we’re going to have to let them realise it for themselves and that will take time and a few hard knocks.

  12. Thinking back on that referendum result all I can allow myself now is the stunned hollow feeling in the gut of just how powerful is the effect of the state-run narcotic misinformation machine on the minds of those who are not prepared to fight their addiction to it, or even recognise their addiction.

    Then when you consider the dealers in this narcotic trade who shamelessly poured their everything into adulterating the narcotic with as much lies, misinformation, bullying arrogance, phoney love and ugly malice as they could possibly get into their sneaky little parcels of social evil that they sold at every sly corner – well that’s what hurts me most – that in a so-called democratic country there seems to be no law that can touch the drug barons who control this particular social narcotic. In fact the “Mr Bigs” behind the scenes control even the law-making machine which could hold the whole system to account.

    That’s what is so hollow-belly-shocking to come out of the whole referendum thing. Tumshie-heid Carmichael and other low level pushers such as Darling, Broon, Wilson, Galloway, etc – all knew exactly the full nastiness of what they were peddling (even if they did not know just how soon they would be shafted by their real “imperial masters” that they had got into bed with). These scum chose to deliberately corrupt the aspiration, hope, imagination, compassion, belief in a better future … of the body politic of their own country. Just how malevolently shocking is that and what a stain on your soul to take to your grave. Sometimes I wish I was religious and could believe in Hell.

    But we can still rise now and be a nation again and we can still feel that sentiment oh so strongly in our blood now as it rises to face what we have to do next. I think the referendum has taught many many people just how corrupt UK “democracy” is. Come back Guy Fox, all is forgiven. The buggers have only started to get oor backs up. We feared the power of the media and largely that emasculated us – trying to be squeaky clean while the corrupt ghouls behind the scene peddled their poison. That will not happen next time.

    • What an absolute spot on belter of a comment,

    • I too went into a deep depression and defriended all my no friends. Then started admiring Guy Fawkes and understood how he felt, then thought he should have sent rats into Westminster filled with explosives. By this point my yes friends were completely worried about me. I couldn’t believe that there was 55% stupid people in our country who couldn’t see the possibilities in having independence and preferred being ruled by posh boys in Westminster. I thought of emigrating and moving to Southern Ireland where I wouldn’t be ruled by Westminster and would still be in the EU. So, went on a holiday to France to get away from it (on advice of my friends) have now returned and it is still difficult but I now have to get back on the campaigning, this can’t be the end. It has to get better than this, all I can hope for is the younger generation will achieve independence with a little help from me.

  13. Like most, I’ve gone through the lot.
    Spent 2 days in bed post 18th, was looking at places to emigrate to near here to close to my family, then saw the 45,which I started to use, then got mad, now want to fight to the end.

    I’ve joined the SNP, and have a close association with a WfI group in my area – we have agreed to meet regularly and toss around some ideas.

    So I am now ready and waiting to take part wherever I’m useful.

    I’m still mad at the Nos, not the poor folk who were terrified by lies, but the I’m alright Jacks.

    I hate GB, AD etc as they knew exactly what they were doing and how they have contributed to ruining folks lives – WM must corrupt most of the people who enter their doors, either because the services have some hold over them or because they give up – hell mend them

    • My thoughts exactly.

      I defiantly wear my Yes badge, and would encourage others to do so too. I am keeping my stickers up on my car, and one in my window. I take courage when I see others, and it helps me to distinguish who is a fellow Scot and who is not.

      Edinburgh where I live voted No, 39% to 61%, but there is still plenty of Yes defiance to be seen in windows around this city.

      The fight for democracy, freedom, and justice is not one that any decent person can ever give up.

      The fight goes on.

  14. Listen up, guys. We lost a battle but we’re damn well going to win this war. Not one of us has walked away and I have yet to meet anyone who’s even thinking about that. We’re going to wait and see what more powers are delivered and if it’s just crumbs from the table, they’re going to hear us loud and clear. Broon said Federalism, Home rule etc and we should settle for no less.

    Okay, it’s not what we wanted but it’s a start. WM thinks we’ll be happy when we get whatever it is and then just settle down. They don’t know how bloody wrong they are on that one. They’ll soon find out. Devo whatever will be just a wee step forward, we are gong to march on.

    They can wish us away if they wish but we are going nowhere; we’ve a war to win. Let’s begin phase 2 by concentrating on removing as many Scottish unionist politicians from Westmninster as we can.

  15. The next target: keeping the unionists’ feet in the fire concerning their dubious “vow”, then getting as many SNP candidates as possible elected in 2015.
    SNP membership is soaring. The Labour party in Scotland is held in contempt. There is a good chance the SNP could hold the balance of power at Westminster, which would be wonderfully ironic. If England votes tory/ukip then the union’s days are really numbered.
    Maybe it’s my medication [ha ha] but I’m feeling quite optimistic.

    • Wouldn’t that be wonderful if the British Labour Party depended on SNP support to form an administration?

      Would the SNP co-operate with their rivals/enemies?

      What would they demand in return?

      I hope they would be far more astute and far tougher than the last time.

      From 1974-1979 we had I think, 9 SNP MPs at Westminster, and they held the balance of power in Callaghan’s limping administration. It was thanks to this that we got the first referendum, in March 1979.

      But in December 1978, as the bill for the Scottish Assembly was going through, and in a near empty chamber because it was just before Christmas, Jack Cunningham, a Scot, but a Labour MP for a safe English seat, managed to get inserted into the bill The Scunner-them Amendment, whereby 40% of the entire electorate was required to vote Yes, not just a simple majority. I will never forget the name of that traitor, Jack Cunningham.

      After the referedum failed to meet that threshold the following March, the SNP pulled the plug on Callaghan, forcing an early election. His administration had until May. I can’t see what choice the SNP had, but I think they should have done more to insist that the referendum offer be increased after Cunningham’s intervention. A Plan B. I can’t help but feel that in the five years of holding the balance of power they could have done far more than wait at the back of the queue. Why wasn’t the referendum held earlier?

      • That traitor was George Cunningham. As far as I know, such a clause has never been used in any other election or referendum anywhere in the Divided Kingdom, so it was highly irregular at best, and illegal at worst, notwithstanding the fact that it was voted through Parliament. Either way, it had no moral foundation.

  16. smiling vulture

    What has cheered up,Labour always used the mantra before the referendum,only 28% Scots want Independence.

    Now that it’s 45%,,they will have to fight to keep the Union

    Sleepless nights

  17. Steve Asaneilean

    Democracy sucks sometimes but I would still rather live in one. I accept it was a decisive result and people did have 3 years to make up their minds. There was more than enough information out there. If grown people cannot accept that they might be being misled then that’s just tough.

    I thought that“Yes” ran a superb campaign and really could do little more to persuade the No voters. And, like everyone else, I was left feeling gutted on the 19th. But surprisingly within 24 hours I felt somewhat optimistic too with a growing sense of “We’ve lost this round but the push goes on”.

    I campaigned for Yes not because of the SNP or any other party. I campaigned because we are blighted in Scotland with inequality and the consequences (health and otherwise) of that. A No vote doesn’t put these issues on the back burner.

    I still think we will get independence (and. at least, federalism) sooner rather than later. As you point out Derek the Westminster government will simply not be able to deliver enough meaningful change.

    So we stand up, we dust ourselves down and we get out there shouting and screaming for fairness, equality, truth, honesty, justice and tolerance. We actually hold our politicians to account instead of just belly aching about them. We stand outside their offices; we march on their parliaments; we throw them out at elections if we don’t like what they are doing. That is how we make them genuinely accountable.

    In my community I see every sign of the “Yes” campaign continuing. There is a meeting to try and map out a way forward on the 11th October and I for one am not giving up anything or going away any time soon. We will continue in some form and perhaps under some other name and we will be out there scrutinising, calling out the lies and deceptions, and supporting politicians, parties and organisations who still believe in the notion of independence as a means to achieving a better society for us all.

    What we have built here in Scotland with this campaign is a phenomenon unseen in our democracy ever – mass public engagement, especially amongst young people; 97% of people registering to vote (and 85% actually doing so); on the Yes side a phenomenal amount of grass roots organisations springing up and thriving. We must not let this wither and die. Rather we must harness it, feed it and ensure that it grows and becomes stronger for the benefit of us all.

    We’re “No Dun Yet”

    • cynical lowlander


      to bring them to account.

      Ask the difficult questions and keep asking them, don’t be fobbed off, get a group of like minded friends to do the same. I have a WOS group already organised to do this, starting your own group should be easy enough.

      OK so the MP probably doesn’t answer the letter himself, but his staff need to, and if they’re doing that, they’re not doing other things.

      Tie up their resources. They work for us.

    • Democracy? I think it’s a great idea. When are we going to get some?

  18. A bereavement Derek? Yes, it is exactly that. I spent the week of the referendum up to high doh, and finally on the 18th, I realised what it was. It was exactly the way I felt awaiting the birth of my first son. Everything was on hold, just waiting and hoping for the safe arrival of this baby that I already loved though had never seen. However, it would be grossly insensitive to say that the next morning felt like losing a baby. It wasn’t that. I’d never felt that, so how could I say that. It was however, a miscarriage. I’ve been through that. Early term. A few times. My wife and I had to pick ourselves up and get on with it. The future and our dreams dashed, but told that nothing was wrong and to try again. It was exactly like that. Mourning for something that just never arrived. Hellish. I’m still in mourning 3 weeks on. In my real life? I have 2 sons. I’ve just lacked them off to bed. They’re growing and thriving, a handful of 99% joy and 1% driving me nuts. But I wouldn’t swop them for anything on this earth. And there’s the hope. We just have to keep trying, and one day we ill be at the birth of our nation. And from then on, the mourning is left in the past, and the challenge is to make that country into everything we dreamed of, and hoped for.

  19. I came to a strikingly similar conclusion walking home from work tonight, still many things I can’t quite reconcile, or arguments I had that are need time and thinking, but while I do agree strongly about the opportunity this presents as you say they haven’t really reflected or changed much. If the media is as complicit in the Devolution II years as they were in the indyref, then there is a real challenge in even highlighting the bodged job that’s to come.

    We won’t achieve independence until there is at least some sort of balancing across all media platforms.

  20. Listened to Ex Scottish Secretary Michael Moore “all Scottish political parties will have to compromise with commission”
    Was it not Home rule we were offered

    • Michael Moore and Tavish Scott have been appointed to the Smith Commission for the Lib Dems. The LDs nominated them.

      SNP have nominated Swinney (good) and Fabiani (what?).

      Tories have nominated Annabelle Goldie and that Unionist prat Professor Adam Tomkins, who insulted the Holyrood European and External Affairs committee in June.

      We should be discussing tactics re the Smith Commission Derek, not moaning here.

      Another Unionist professor, Alan Trench, has already been mapping out devo minnow for Labour, and the Unionists are now well prepare.

      But where’s our forces?

  21. Still really sad about it, the lost opportunity. Also because no voters either do not care or do not care enough about lack of movement on powers to start shouting about it. Strangely I find myself hoping that the English disenfranchised will wake up (but not go down UKIP route) and start holding WM to account. Maybe clutching at straws.

  22. well it’s certainly depressing thinking about that night, the missed opportunity of 300yrs and the dunderheids who sank the dream. However, the Indy movement has had many setbacks but it never stopped fighting. My dad converted from labour to snp in ’67 and I and my sis were brought up snp and so’s mine and her kids and so it goes on. But we were few in number back then, laughed at, ridiculed – but look where we are now 1.6million already converted and their kids will be too. So it is imperative that we keep organising, donating, supporting all the Indy causes (LFI, RIC, SSP, WFI). We must fight like hell to ensure that the majority of msp’s at Holyrood are pro-Independence – 6 to 10 years of that will IMO lead inevitably to another referendum, or ‘the other route to Independence’. The scottish govt can in that time use existing powers to build independent institutions, making the Indy case even more compelling. I get the impression there are a lot of clever folk organising in the background – including Derek – so lets do some lessons learned sessions and get prepared for the next phase of the battle. Hasta La Victoria Siempre !

  23. We need the courage to believe in what we are.

    We, the people are sovereign.

    Independence is not a gift to be bestowed by a gracious Westminster, but ours to take.

    Self-determination is a human right, we are not slaves of the government, so let’s not act like they own us.

  24. If I thought about a No vote at all, I imagined it would be an end, at least for a long time. I didn’t imagine Yes going on, but just look!

    When the horrible reality hit home I was at the count in Kelso, surrounded by braying, cheering Tories. Suddenly I realised I could cope. I’d been here before and I knew how to do it. I set to comforting Generation Yes, who hadn’t and didn’t. Watch us, I said, we’re the SNP and we get up and we dust ourselves down and we carry on. It’s what we do. Doing it since 1979 (and before).

    I joined the SNP in 1992, just after “Free by ’93” fell flat on its face. My mood was very similar to the new joiners now. It wasn’t going to be as easy as all that, and hey, some effort was clearly required. I realised where the real muscle was in the fight for independence and where my contribution could do the most good. I also saw it wasn’t going to be a quick job and decided to sign up for the long haul. If envelopes needed stuffing, I’d get to it.

    But there’s a huge difference, I joined a party pretty down in the dumps, a party that stayed in the dumps for at least six months. I remember branch meetings after the 1992 conference, wondering what on earth this five year plan was going to be and what it might achieve. I didn’t see a huge surge of new members at that time, and indeed some people seemed to think I’d lost my marbles.

    I think what saw me through the 19th was the huge contrast between where we are now and where we were in 1992. The idea that we’d been bombed back to the stone age wasn’t going to fly, not to anyone who saw that year. Those who were there in 1979 are of course legend.

    I know how people feel when they say they’ve been ill. I got ill four weeks before the bloody vote, when I went down with shingles, but I went right on campaigning. From about the 20th it caught up with me and on top of it, it felt as if I’d lost a parent. I was dragging myself around at work, only just able to cope.

    But hey, I got better. And it was only ever physical. Mentally I took a look at the black hole of depression and decided I neither wanted nor needed to go there. And of course I didn’t need to, surrounded by the amazing bounce-back which nobody could possibly have predicted. Those who did go into that hole seem to have found a trampoline on the bottom.

    I just got back from an SNP branch meeting. Our little Borders branch has also trebled its membership number, to just over 300. We’ve got enthusiasm and commitment coming out of our ears. We’ve got the Only Tory in the Village in our sights.

    I’m a bit bemused by all that’s happening right now, but I do know one thing. It beats 1992 into a cocked hat.

    • Exactly.

      I have been at this for 26 years and have never been so optimistic and energised. 45% people. FORTY FIVE PERCENT! 1.6 million people. And that in the face of a torrent of British propaganda that would have shamed Pravda. Total bedrock support – the only way is up.

      Since the referendum Facebook is crawling with British trolls pretending to be Yessers, trying to spread poison and disruption, and that tells me that our real enemy in Whitehall knows this is very far from over.

      So we work to wring powers from Westminster, and build institutions. Devolution of income tax without oil revenue offers challenges, but also opportunities. We may be forced to introduce a fair taxation system whereby the more affluent pay more to bridge the gap. I can live with that

  25. It is like a bereavement, then it’s like ‘oh my god how could he say that’ when some moron has a wee fly stab at the yes campaign, I could understand that if I saw it as some victory but in my eyes there was nothing to celebrate unless you beleive that depriving a nation of it’s right to freedom is a victory. I did not wholly beleive in my country before the indy ref but now I must say I have a deep passion for acheiveing this – I would like to at least die knowing my country is free.

  26. Only cried once just after 6 in the morning on the 19th having attended the count through the night – barring family bereavement, the hardest night of my life.

    I spent several days in a depressingly low mood and still some days wake wondering if it is worth carrying on when so many did not care enough about what is happening to their society to vote for the possibility of something better. There is also annoyance, anger, intolerance of those who did not think and fell for the propaganda constantly churned out by the establishment media and mendacious government lackeys.

    I open the curtains and see the big Yes sign still in our window, see our Yes flag fluttering furiously from its pole as I pass another window and note the yes signs in the other windows. One of our neighbours still flies their flag and I see their yes signs in the windows too. I make sure I still wear my yes badges.

    Our local group had a celebration dinner together, celebrating our common ambition, efforts and what we had achieved. We have attended a large meeting combining other local groups and discussed what we have to do now. We are not ready to give up this country even if others abandoned it to an uncertain and hopeless future. Knowing that this is not as good as it gets will keep the dream alive.

  27. Alastair Naughton

    They will never deliver………….and we will never give up!

  28. Ailsa Henderson of Edinburgh University has identified which groups of people voted by age, religion, place of birth etc and it sickens me to realise that the biggest impediment to independence came from people born outside of Scotland. And let’s call a spade a spade, the huge bulk of these came from England.

    The figures were 72%:38% in favour of the Union. In number terms that amounts to nearly half a million using the 85% turn-out. That figure alone would have been enough to secure independence if it had not been a factor. Now, I know there will be some pretty skewed demographics in that with many people selling up in the property bubble that is the south-east of England and moving to Scotland to be comparitively prosperous in their older years.

    I just think it shows a lack of respect for their adopted country. I know there were many fine examples of English for independence types, but a significant majority of that cohort chose to deny the Scots their aspiration for independence. Add in the Brit-Scots and the loyalists and you have got your 2 million UKOKs.

    The next test will be whether they stick with their anglo-centric politics and follow wee Ruthie’s dictum of seeing the SNP heartlands as ripe for Tory gains or will they come with us this time and see the leverage that would result from massive SNP gains in next May’s election.

    • Yes, dispiriting, but there are 30,000 Poles. I heard quite a few of them were also No. Ailsa’s research suggested that 51% of Scots born had voted Yes. But, you know, if 60% of Scots born had voted Yes we would have won. We need to up OUR game, and that includes getting more English born to accept the logic and benefits of indy.

      • By the same reasoning you could also say it was the OAPs or the middle class that let us down as those groups also voted No. Anyone can look at defined groups that voted No and blame them. However, clever thing is to try and work out why they voted No and work to counteract those reasons so the result next time will be different.

      • There were two demographic groups involved in the referendum: those who voted ‘yes’, and those who voted ‘no’ or didn’t vote at all.

  29. You either believe in something, you stand for something, or you don’t.

    I could no more give up my belief in personal or national independence than I could give up breathing. So no, there will be no moving on or forgetting what either Westminster parliamentarians or the media have done. Nor do I think I’ll have to wait long for some natural justice either. All we have to do is let Westminster be Westminster and they’ll do the heavy lifting for us.

    There will be a slashing of the block grant. There will be services falling like nine pins under massive budget restrictions. There will be more austerity measures enacted and yet more welfare reforms. The social wage, free prescriptions, the ring fencing of the SNHS budget, free travel for the elderly and so much more will be put under direct threat or tumble altogether. People WILL suffer hardships, no question.

    There will be no devo max, nothing even remotely like it. Best guess is the responsibility and costs of raising our own taxes which will be dressed up rather prettily and launched with some fanfare. ‘Course the slashing of budgets will come first and this will leave the Scottish government with the choice and expense, (all to come out of the remaining block grant natch), of raising taxes to fill the funding gap or slashing the services altogether.

    Better together won’t feel so better together when you’re paying for your prescriptions or you’re a pensioner with no means of getting anywhere simply because you can’t afford it. It won’t feel so better together when the knock on effect of budget cuts finally hits the SNHS or higher education. How much better together will we feel after Gideon and IDS are given carte blanche to enact wave after wave of those austerity measures and welfare reforms?

    The SG will do its best to rob Peter to pay Paul, but they simply cannot provide any better than a buffer to what’s on its way. Fear, short sightedness, apathy, self interest have given Westminster permission to do as they will in the short term, but it need only be a short term.

    Just let Westminster be Westminster and people will respond in the only way they know how. The FM was right, even at the beginning, independence is inevitable. The momentum is there and building all the time. It didn’t have to happen with several years of hardship though in the meantime. Now folks are going to have to go through a pretty dark patch, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel if they want it.

  30. “They will clearly couple with anyone available and follow 99 per cent of the partner’s agenda ”

    Except the SNP, of course. They had the chance to go into coalition with the first (minority) SNP government at Holyrood and refused, on orders from London. Astonishingly, in so doing they declined the opportunity to implement most of their then manifesto. In Scotland they stood revealed then as the same as Labour: a single issue party, their only function the preservation of the Union.

    I joined the SNP at the same time as Morag and my reaction to the referndum result is similar: ho-hum, we’ve seen battles lost before, we’ll just carry on as usual.

    But we ‘ll be carrying on from a much higher base line. The feeling is not of something ending, but very much of something beginning. We now have the most politicised country on the planet, coupled to one of the most reactionary. Only one resolution of this tension is possible – independence.

  31. There is no new powers coming any time soon,because the new powers have to go before parliament and the lords to be voted on plus they have To go to the rest of the country in a referendum,and that will fall forget about extra powers,Scotland needs to have another referendum as soon as possible,but one that is properly overseen by the proper authorities.Also I am still gutted at the result,cannot understand why anybody could vote against their own country.

  32. The union didn’t win, it simply got a stay of execution, a reprieve, a bit of breathing room. Its up to them now to prove how brilliant the Union is, how much better we are together, and show us how we are living the best of both worlds. Call me a cynic but when the vow becomes a petition and we’re getting our hands bloody in Iraq again, I fully expect them to fail. I always said that yes or no, the union was finished. I didn’t expect to to start unravelling so soon after their “historic” victory.

  33. I had a delayed reaction, it sounds like you do too Derek. Being a veteran who voted Yes in 79 and 97, I was steeling myself for possible defeat, so when it came, I just thought: ‘Right, been here before, we just carry on’. But I was gutted and felt ill, spent the next day in bed ‘gathering myself’. The following day after I had ‘gathered myself’ I ventured out into what I felt with great force, was a new, alien, and deeply sinister and disturbing world. And then the full force of the grief and anger broke.

    Who on the streets around me of my former ‘fellow citizens’ were those aliens who had voted No? Why did they vote No? Why did they piss on my country whilst still going on blithely living here? Sucking on is substance? What are they? Parasites? I live in Edinburgh where 61% voted No, so I had to figure that most folks out on the streets above the age of 16 were Nawbags. Suddenly I felt deep hatred and utter contempt for them. What was the point now of civility? Why show good manners or tolerance to any of them? What point in society? Did we actually share a common citizenship? It was like in one of those sci-fi films when overnight there has been an alien take over of people’s minds, and they have become zombies, servants of the aliens, but now they the majority are in charge of everything, and you are one of The Few who have somehow not fallen prey to this alien take over, but they might detect you were one of The Few, and try to go after you to make you a zombie too. Your world was no longer your world, it was their world, and you were the alien in your own world. I hadn’t felt remotely threatened by Noes before the referendum, annoyed and frustrated at times, but still comfortable in my own skin because it was just an opinion. But the vote – that felt like an iron curtain had come down. I felt huge rage at their utter craven and glib folly, and drove around in my car cursing everybody I could see. It was good to get it off my chest. I actually thought I was having a breakdown.

    Then I saw it, in a drive: a lone saltire still fluttering in the wind with a big Yes on it, and Yes posters still in the windows, and Yes stickers on the car, and it gave me hope and comfort. So I put my Yes stickers back up, and my Yes posters in the window, partly as a rebuke to the Nawbags to remind them the 45% were very much in force and had not gone away, but mostly as a gesture of solidarity to my fellow grieving Yessers. I did consider dropping out of all the voluntary networks I belong to which contain Nawbags, not out of huff, but to preserve my mental health, because I’m not a masochist.

    But as strength gradually returned, I returned to my former view that a great many had voted No not because they were traitors but because they had been insufficiently politicised, and it had been easy to terrify them. We carry a deficit and without a central bank we could not have funded it. I accepted life might be a bit hairy for the first five years but it would be worth it eventually, but maybe they didn’t share that optimism. Maybe they didn’t have five years. Plus a good few were simply living in about 1955 or 1965, when Britain still meant something positive. So now, my attitude to the Nawbags is varied. It has really hardened against some, the power driven ideological BritNats, but has softened towards others; the feart, the confused; the antiques. I now feel we have to reach out to them and keep on with the process of politicisation that we begun and draw in more of those Naws by exposing the woeful state of the UK and the lunacy of its political direction since 1979. We have to keep comvincing people that another Scotland is possible, and that we can do this.

  34. While I agree with much of the above don’t discount the formidable UK lie machine. We saw it in action during the referendum, so expect it to go into overdrive once the Smith Commission publishes. Central to their lie machine is their capture of the language. You hear it every day – hard working families, the NHS is safe in our hands, scroungers and strivers, I even heard someone say a No vote was a vote for fairness. They’ve convinced many that the great financial crash was due to too much state spending when it was in fact bailing out the banks which ruined public finances. So a little matter of more powers should be easy to gloss.

    Smith has called for submissions from the general public. Now, if someone was to write a paper we could all submit it.

    • cynical lowlander

      You can submit your own thoughts to the commission Broadbield.
      Just say what you want to see devolved, Broadcasting, and what else you would like to see, A Written Constitution and FFA, put in a sentence for each on why you think this would be good, and submit it to them at:

      45% of the voters voted YES, it is not just up to 3 or 4 organisations (mostly London controlled) to say what they think we should have.

      It’s up to each and every one of US.

      Go to it, and good luck.

      • Thanks, CL. I’ll be putting in a submission as you suggest. However, I was thinking a lot of people will never get round to it, but if they had a ready-made submission (as many campaigning charities produce for their supporters) then it would be much easier and would produce a larger overall participation.

  35. Macart – I think you are right, and the reduction of the block grant will mean that free presciptions and the council tax cap and the financial buffers on the bedroom tax will disappear, because Holyrood will have to concentrate their “pocket-money” budget on maintaining essential services. And yes, I have have a huge Revenge on the Complacent No Voters feeling about this, because, at the minute, I hate them all.
    But, unless we get some unbiased MSM and broadcasting before that happens, it will be spun as a Scottish Government (SNP) decision and that they are taking revenge on the No voters. The rest of us, who will also be affected, don’t feature in their limited mindset.

    • 45% of the country are aware of the realities of the carnage to come and that’s a start Pam. We clearly can’t trust the media in any way shape or form, so its up to us to hammer home (and I do mean hammer), the root cause of the hardships to come. I don’t know exactly how big that first budget cut will be, but I’d be braced for anything between 3-5bn and it won’t stop there. No devolved budget can take that amount of punishment without services suffering and now more than ever I’d be looking for the Scottish government to bring people on board, increase transparency, make people feel part of a collective struggle, because whether we like it or not, we are all in this shit storm together. Those who voted for and against.

      Our advantage is that we were perfectly aware of the outcome of a no vote. Those who fell for the lies, the fear, the spin and the bullshit are in for a hard let down and we need to be there to catch them. We’re going to need them for round two. The die hard flag wavers and little empire builders I could care less about. Their ideology is that of isolation and yesterday. To put it bluntly they’ll be coming along for the ride and after their behaviour since the vote both on the streets and in social media, I’d find it real hard to muster much pity or empathy for their plight anyroads.

      We need to leave the hatred by the wayside, because people are going to need help from Gretna all the way to the furthest island. We need to survive this as individuals, as a community and as a country. We can do it though Pam, we’ve come through bad times before. 😉

  36. Too many bad times to count.
    I agree 100% with everything you have said, but still can’t see how we can “catch” these unaware No voters, when many of them don’t have internet access or skills, and still rely on their daily paper and the BBC/STV to find out what’s happening. This demographic picks up it’s newspaper from the front door every morning and believes everything it reads in there. It switches on it’s radio in the morning and watches it’s telly to get the “news”. These are the people we are battling against, and always have been. I have been in this fight since the 1960s, and this is the group which has always defeated us. I am finding it a hard place to be right now, knowing that I will probably die before my Scotland becomes independent again but, I guess, sook it up and spit it out again.
    We need a daily newspaper for these people, and an independent broadcaster they can just switch on and watch/listen to, without putting them to any exerting any energy or cost at all.

    • We catch them with actions and not words, but yeah a new daily would help. As for broadcast, our host Derek has a few irons in the fire concerning that and I’m sure more than a few ideas and willing hands.

      Happily all pro independence parties have enjoyed historic membership surges which means a lot more cash and shoe leather available as and when required. We’re not starting from a low point numbers wise this time around and I’d reckon we’ll both see it in our lifetime, in fact I’d say a lot sooner than many think. Most importantly though actions speak louder than words. Pro independence people being seen to actively help those in need in the time ahead. We keep those food banks and aid shelters manned and provided for. Sadly people are going to need them. We make sure that people are aware of the root cause of our fiscal hardships simply by talking to people.

      If the media won’t help, them f**k em and the horse they rode in on. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem and they should be dismantled and boycotted. We use what’s left of our wallets to let business and the media know just exactly what we think of their stance. Our money goes to those in need and to those who supported an independent Scotland IMO.

  37. What’s got in to Gerry Hassan these days? Another trenchant piece of criticism from him over on Scottish Review whilst Kenneth Roy launches into Lesley Riddoch.

    The pair of them seem to be preparing public opinion for the immenent failure of the SNP administration and the Yes dream. I mention this because of what Macart says about the poisoned chalice that will follow on from ‘more powers’ which will set up the Scottish Parliament to fail.

    Hassan mentions a raft of progressive policy documents that the SG has commissioned since its inception, but not moved on. He claims this paralysis is either insincerity or ineptitude. The SG claims it has insufficient powers. What is the truth? What annoys me about Hassan is that he will launch into this trenchant criticism but it is all spin and opinion, and not a shred of evidence.

    For some time now though I have wondered why the SG is not bolder than it is, and have variously wondered whether this is political timidity, and fear that their power base is not sufficiently strong to take bold measures; lack of imagination and ingenuity; or because they are genuinely blocked but don’t want to say so, because revealing weakness is (they think) not a vote winner and does not build confidence in the Scottish Parliament.

    I’m inclined to take the opposite view to that last point. The public that followed the indy ref is now awake, and I think it is grist to our mill to know how exactly power works or doesn’t work, and what prevents meaningful measures from happening.

    For instance, housing. What is to stop the SG implementing affordable and fair rents, both in the private and the public sector? Because lowering rents to affordable and fair levels would lift a whole tranche of people out of poverty. It would also at one fell swoop reduce the deficit because housing benefit costs would be slashed. Housing is a devolved matter. But the issue would be – how could you enforce or implement this with existing powers?

    • My thoughts exactly. I don’t know what’s got into Kenneth Roy these days.
      I used to find his writing quite inspiring and it saddens me to see one of my heroes turn out to have ‘feet of clay’.

      • Carol Craig is another one. She anounced she was a Naw. Fair credit to her for being so open.

        Her reasons seemed to be along the lines that the UK was so highly centralised that de-coupling it would be a nightmare and really destabilising.

        I hear what she meant, but to me all her points simply indicated that the dissolution of the Union was going to take longer than the SNP’s timetable. Having waited since the 1880s for Home Rule, I would be in no hurry to rush it to get it right, and keep it all stable for everybody. Powers and revenues could be de-coupled in stages after a Yes vote.

        And what she omitted, was what might an independent Scotland and England wish to preserve of the co-operation that had existed for 307 years. There could be a pan-British security council, for instance.

        She was trying to be very intellectual about it, but what I pick up from her, and Roy, and Hassan, is that at heart they are Britidh Labour in identity and can’t de-couple thenselves from those sentiments and mentality.

        That’s fair enough. But what irks me is that they refuse to admit that their attachment is emotional, whilst decrying the emotional attachment of those who feel Scottish and not Labour at all.

        • Feel that Carol Craig can hardly criticise our lack of confidence now that she has chosen to side with those who said no you can’t ! Basically a Labour supporter who failed to even attempt to give the opportunity of a better life to millions of Scots. Won’t listen to another word she says.

        • Must admit to being highly amused by someone who leads the ‘Centre for Confidence and Well-Being’ being so obviously lacking in those qualities

          Cognitive dissonance is a terrible thing

    • Handy wee graph on current reserved and devolved revenue streams.

      • Thanks for that. So VAT and North Sea revenues, also fuel, alcohol and tobacco duties would be the ones to go for if we have to settle for less.

        There can be a lot of problems with income tax and NI even those are big ones. That was the advice Professor Trench gave to the Economics committee.

        And with upper rate tax payers, they have all their tax dodges they can apply. Receipts might actually go down if we lacked the enforcement measures. I think income tax is something to be steered clear of because of the difficulties for a devolved administration with very limited powers to collect it.

        VAT is surely a lot easier?

        • If you have to have any then the three you want total control over are IT, VAT and NI, but I strongly doubt that there would even be total control of IT never mind the other two. I suspect there will merely be the responsibility for collecting income tax and token control over raising the rates. Worse than useless on its own and worth even less with limited control. As you say an expensive and deeply poisoned chalice. You need to control a mix of levers to provide offsets and balances, anything else is pretend economics.

          As for separating out sections of the welfare package as suggested in some Labour proposals (rolls eyes). Carnage waiting to happen.

          My prediction for what its worth – the already ratified and agreed upon updated Scotland act plus limited income tax raising and gathering powers. This will be bolted onto the back of savage Barnett cuts and a possible restructuring of same with an ongoing revue for further cuts as the hole WM digs gets deeper.

          I hope I’m massively wrong, but… I fear I may be undercooking how bad its going to get.

        • Were it my choice? I’d opt for VAT, Tobacco, Alcohol, APD and have nothing to do with the bear trap that is income tax or welfare.

    • I don’t know who Kenneth Roy is but have always been a bit bored by Gerry Hassan, he strikes me as someone who likes to debate minutiae for the sake of it.

      He likes to write long essays on political issues but rarely manages to reach a conclusion – I can’t really be bothered reading his polemics.

    • I gave up subscribing to the Scottish Review simply because Kenneth Roy.. how can I put this? Is happiest being a ‘House N*gger’ – within the constraints he has been brought up with, and he’s feart of change.

  38. Anyone who did not understand HOW “better together” we were before, when they were “trying to solve the Scottish problem” could think that still being in the same partnership situation could cause “something to change” is seriously lacking the full equipment for thought!

  39. Derek has articulated what most of us feel, and comments have been heartbreaking and inspiring as I can identify with the gamut of feelings expressed. I too was around in 1979, and this is definitely not like the aftermath of that vote. Plus, remember, 1979 was a referendum on a very weak devolution proposal. 2014 was a referendum on independence that garnered 45% of the votes. So much more to build on. Whatever happens, and I agree about all the nasties coming our way, Westminster can never forget that such a large proportion of voters in Scotland wanted an end to the union. And a substantial number of the other side were swayed by the guarantee of more powers.

    In the recent poll by Panelbase for the SNP on which powers should be devolved, 71% favoured the Scottish Parliament having control of all taxation raised in Scotland, 66% favoured devo max, 75% supported control of the welfare and benefits system, 65% agreed control of policy regarding the state pension, 68% wanted control over oil and gas revenues generated in Scottish waters, 54% considered it should include control of broadcasting policy, and 72% wanted guaranteed consultation by the UK Government with the Scottish Government when deciding the UK’s stance in European Union negotiations.
    These are numbers that Westminster ignores at its peril.

    Now folks, rather than moan about the Smith Commission, roll up your sleeves, pour a mug of coffee, and set to on the computer to input your own ideas to their deliberations. Thousands of people making a case for the devo max promised by Brown should help concentrate their minds and thoughts. But as the commission are not thought readers, you need to put it into writing and email or send it to them. This is the opportunity to show them we still mean business and the fight for more substantial powers for the Scottish Parliament is far from over. Read the guidelines on their website first, and then enjoy yourself as you tell them how good a federal system would be for Scotland…and for England.

    • I reckon you’re right on VAT, I believe that has to rest with the member state, and I also agree the only way for the SG to approach this commission is to go for the whole hog, FFA. Hold Brown’s and Labour’s feet over the fire on Home Rule as it were. The more pressure the better.

      If we go in there saying we’ll settle for less or negotiate over this power instead of that one, then they’ll try and negotiate downwards from there. Let’s get behind devo max and watch the Westminster parties squirm a bit as they try to redefine what that means whilst trying to appease their own electorate’s appetite for devolution. 🙂

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