Nothing Can Stop Me Now

Will I ever give up independence? Would I stop believing if we couldn’t get into the EU? If (stick with me here) the UK ever offered a genuinely federal system would it end my dream of full self-determination and sovereignty?

Eh, no. Not that I wouldn’t settle in the medium term for a federal arrangement giving 90 per cent of powers to Edinburgh as I fully expected to happen after both a 45 per cent Yes vote followed by a crushing general election SNP win – fool that I am.

I’d take it with both hands and then just damp down the independence embers in my pipe the way granddad Bateman did with his Condor sliced and await the time to puff them back into life. We Scottish nationalists can be pleasantly patient knowing our day will come.

So why do we expect British nationalists to surrender in the face of Brexit? If I believed in the UK, I’m damned if I’d stop because we’d be out of Europe. I’d be more likely to think it was an opportunity to show just what the country could do – which is of course exactly what May’s Brexiteers are saying. I agree there is much disquiet around the country at the implications that nobody took any notice of before the vote but I doubt if many of those folk would call themselves believers in the British cause. Most of them were just fed up with life in a dismal democracy with built-in poverty and automatic privilege for the few.

The numbers who appear to be moving into the Yes zone in the opinion polls will be a scatter gun of the politically uncommitted, soft Unionists and the self-interested who suddenly see funding drying up for their personal interests. On which point I happen to know there was a scary amount of I’m All Right Jack in the university sector from some who would otherwise regard themselves as radicals at Scottish referendum time. They bought the line that funding would be cut and inter-university exchange trips would be jeopardised by Barroso so voted No. That looks small-minded and short-sighted today.

There will be all kinds of people reassessing their No vote in the light of the uncertainty of Brexit and the, at least temporary, sliding economic figures and forecasts. There’s only so long you can hang on to the idea that Britain knows best. Do you still believe Alistair and Gordon had the best interests of the country at heart now they’re swimming in the tank with the sharks who started the financial crash in the first place? Is the fall in the oil price really the only brake on your patriotism?

If the mood music remains the same and May presses ahead with our departure while her Atlanticist Brexit ministers preen and puff like buccaneers of capitalism, disillusion will grow with the old Westminster-led project. If the reaction in Brussels toward the UK remains spiteful and resentful with a theme of punishment, then the choice for Scots will crystallise. (I harbour a thought that it might not need much more than intelligence and goodwill to prevent Brexit happening at all – subjects for future blogs.)

But I can see no earthly reason why any Scot who holds the UK in his heart and, despite everything, cleaves to it with the unshakeable faith of the stalwart, should desert her now. I’d be disappointed if they did. Having something to believe in is the reason for indy marches and demos to express the feeling of engagement and excitement that comes from shared purpose. I don’t know what Britnats do for fun – watch the Proms maybe. But then I do that.

I suspect an awful lot of those diehards are also emboldened by the feeling that they were cheated of their victory at the indyref. Everything has gone backwards at a rate of knots for them and now, like the nightmare of dread, they face potentially a second vote. The first referendum was like an emotional wringer for Unionists forcing them to confront issues of sentiment and loyalty they had spent their lives avoiding. They were made to feel unScottish by the welter of argument and eventually had to admit that they really didn’t believe in Scotland enough – enough to run its own affairs, raise its own taxes, stage parliamentary debates, forge international relations and generally not make a complete balls of it. It wasn’t nice for them.

They honestly thought September 2014 was the end. It was over – until it wasn’t. They now feel, I suspect, like a beleaguered minority who lose even when they win. That’s why they rallied in the Scottish elections to the best non-SNP candidate in so many seats. Their loyalty to Union was stronger than it was to party.

I don’t know if we can ever win over more than a few of the committed who became uneasy soon after indryref1 when talk about a second go started up. Whatever misgivings Yes had about pathetic vows and broken promises and rejected amendments, to them this was cheating. It was undemocratic and lacked respect for the process and the people’s decision. I doubt if they’re impressed by the idea that Brexit has changed everything – they heard the demands for a second referendum well before the European vote even took place.

I don’t think the Unionists are truly represented by Torrance and Mccolm and the usual agitators. There are too many of them to be described in simplistic terms. On our side we demean them too easily. There is even a need to understand more deeply what motivates continuing No voters which is why I argued that the SNP budget, by not increasing higher level taxes, was an astute move. It makes it clear that all Scotland is included and while cybernats demand we hammer the middle class, it is the SNP that better understands the prejudices and drivers of those yet to be convinced.

I accept I too can only oversimplify but on the other hand, I’m trying. There is always a way – just as Brexit itself can be avoided with understanding and goodwill, so there must be a route to Yes for at least some of the remaining Unionists. If they can’t make it over, at least I can understand. I wouldn’t sell Scotland out at any price.

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40 thoughts on “Nothing Can Stop Me Now

  1. Well spoken Derek. This is the first comment I have read which does not cast the NO voters as total villains. Everyone is entitled to their views – even when they are wrong!

    To identify NO voters as feeling they have been cheated comes to the heart of the issue for many and if we are to win them over this must be done with care and sympathy. Shouting at them and calling them names will not win them over.

    No one likes to admit, even to themselves, that they have been conned and going on at NO voters as if they were fools will not get them to change their voting intentions. Instead we will need to persuade them that the world has changed since 2014 and the proposition now Is significantly different from then. The YES campaign was flawed in 2014 (and this is not a criticism) and needs to be amended particularly the matter of the currency the presentation of which was not properly thought through.

    Looking back on 2014 this should now be looked on as a ‘dry run’ and we would be fortunate to have a second bite at it. Let’s clear the slate as best we can and welcome the NO voters into the camp.

    The Scottish Government is in a much stronger position this time around and much wiser and more self assured should it come to some negotiation on a form of Federalisation. John Swinney’s negotiations with the Treasury will have done the SG a degree of confidence and they have the better cards in this game of poker. Much as I would wish to see Independence in my lifetime this may be a long term goal and if we can get real and effective Devolution on our terms I would be prepared to be patient.

    • Exactly. We need to be persuasive. Tony Benn once said: never argue with a chimneysweep, meaning that when you encounter people who have deep rooted views that won’t change, move on and speak to someone else. They might be more receptive!

  2. I get what your saying here Derek but at start of the Indy ref my wife and I were both no,s that would rather a proper federal UK but not long into it our minds were changed because we couldn’t listen to those ****wits run my country and my people down any longer. There will always be a hardcore for the union even if for most of them they couldn’t really give you a reason why it’s so dear to them. In my own experience there was a lot of soft no,s who for 1 reason or another just didn’t fancy the upheaval of independence but I know out of the ones I know personally that many lived to regret it and the utter shambles that is Brexit has been a tipping point. Sure there might not be a massive love affair with the EU for some but the map on voting night amplified everything we had been saying about democratic deficits. Your right that the really bitter unionists will never cross over some of the conversations Iv had with people like that confirms they are not interested. I have heard a few yessers say they would reject Indy if it meant being in the EU but to me if we do get another go I can’t see the 45 voting for the union and I am convinced there are people crossing over to yes all the time. The people who really love the union might not sell it out but people like me who were going to just suffer it are having there own reasons for wanting to break free from the union, and once that happens there won’t be many going back

  3. I know one hardcore Tory unionist/NO voter whom, to my genuine astonishment, has announced to friends since the Brexit vote that he will be voting YES if there is an IndyRef2.

    Now this guy was very active in the Better Together/Project Fear mob for IndyRef1 so his Post-Brexit conversion to YES is astonishing to say the least.

    If NO voters like him can change their views then any NO voter can be turned.

  4. You say Brexit might not happen with..intelligence..understanding and goodwill. I’m sorry but that comment I find quite ridiculous. If you really harbour those thoughts, then what you’re really saying is that a democratic vote can hopefully be overturned i.e. the will of the people with some sort of alchemy or shenanigans. This is dangerous, because if you really yearn for Indyref2 and the majority of people in Scotland vote YES , then, likewise, Westminster can also hope that with intelligence…understanding and can be stopped in it’s tracks and never happen. Shame on you for wishing to usurp democracy. We’re leaving the European Union, and if we ever get another Indyref and become Independent it looks like Spain and France will always veto our hope of ever joining their little club.

    • Spain has made it clear that Scotland can’t become an EU member without first being an independent nation. I think everyone already understands that, though Spain is rather more vocal due to its own situation.

      The situation today is rather different from that of 2014. An independent Scotland “joining” the EU might be as simple as striking out “UK” on all EU contracts and replacing it with “Scotland”. Really, there is legal opinion that it would be that simple. The debate would be about rUK leaving the EU, while Scotland’s position would remain unchanged. No veto, no debate, no arguments: just a black pen, an optional ruler for a neat strike-through and a few signatures. It could be that simple. Obviously, timing is everything.

    • No clarsagedoll, you are being disingenuous. The brexit vote is no more set in stone than the indyref1 vote, or the original EEC referendum. Democracy does not consist in writing a one-time vote in stone and insisting we no longer have to bother. Politically in the UK context it is highly unlikely that any “shenanigans” will result in the brexit vote being over-turned, whether by parliamentary obstruction or action of Remainers within the political parties. There always has been (and I suspect always will be) a tension between those champions of parliamentary sovereignty who dislike referendums and fear the populism involved, and those who feel that certain “big” issues which often cut across party political divides, are better settled by recourse to a vote of the whole electorate on that issue.

      Those now hyping the potential for overturning of the brexit result are very much a minority. Even a close 52/48 vote is highly unlikely to be overturned, because it would be seen as a democratic outrage to do so. However you are surely wrong to insist there are NO foreseeable circumstances under which the brexit result would be set aside. It is quite feasible that negotiations with the EU will not go as smoothly as May’s government keep insisting they will. What happens if we are presented with a choice between “hard” brexit (with no access to the single market, but no freedom of movement of EU labour), a “soft” brexit (with full single market access but zero control over free movement) or a fudged compromise?

      Even if it is true that “brexit means brexit” we still don’t know what flavour of brexit May and her negotiators will deliver. If as seems more and more likely the SNP stick to their “Remain = Remain” line and indyref2 is called to coincide with the putative brexit date, what will that do to opinion in the rest of the UK about which flavour of brexit is to their taste? Proposing that brexit may either not happen at all, or happen in a different way, and in a different timescale to that originally envisaged isn’t a usurpation of democracy, it is the very definition of democracy. There is no real parallel between revisiting the brexit decision (whether by asking for a second brexit referendum or calling an election based on a platform seeking approval for a particular deal) and your putative risk of Westminster refusing to recognise or grant indyref2; the two things are distinct.

      As for you parting shot about Spain and France vetoing the membership of an independent Scotland post indyref2, that yoon trope has been so comprehensively rubbished elsewhere that I’m surprised you have the gall to repeat it here. The rest of the UK may well be leaving the EU, but it looks increasingly likely that Scotland will be staying; many of us will be working hard to make sure that is the case. The post brexit indyref2 “game” is not going to be played according to the same rules as indyref1. Circumstances have changed, and we must change our approach accordingly. There is absolutely no upside for Spain, and still less for France, in trying to stop Scotland entering the EU, by whatever means they can concot – fast track entry as a “new” member, inheriting the former UK’s membership, negotiating entry in parallel with rUK exit as soon as Article 50 is invoked.

  5. I bet near enough every Yesser knows a staunch No voter who is now a Yes voter since Brexit. I too know of a couple who would not even listen to the merits of Indy, said they weren’t interested in politics but did not want Independence. Within a week of Brexit winning, I noticed on her profile on Facebook “IndyRef2” This is only the start of things being affected by Brexit, it can only get worse, more job losses, wee businesses going to the wall. When Brexit affects the jobs or living costs of those who were once comfortable off and No was their vote, we’ll see changes for many reasons. As folk have stated, we know the ones who would see their bairns out on the street than ever voting Yes because they are staunch Labour, Rangers supporters, OO, or Ulster Scots but on saying that…….during the Indy Campaign last time, I spoke to several pro Indy OO and many Rangers supporters who used their heads and not their footie clubs when deciding what was best for their families.

  6. In the 2011 census,

    “62% of the total population stated their identity was ‘Scottish only’. That proportion varied from 71% for 10 to 14 year olds to 57% for 30 to 34 year olds.

    The second most common response was ‘Scottish and British identities only’, at 18%. This was highest in the 65 to 74 age group, at 25%.

    ‘British identity only’ was chosen by 8% of the population. The highest proportion stating this identity was the 50 to 64 age group (10%).”

    Isn’t it amazing what control of the media and the red herring of “currency” can counter?

    • Time is possibly an independent Scotland’s greatest ally, as the population demographic changes.

      As one in an upper age grouping, I just hope that this does not come too late and I live to see independence – not for me only but for all those who come after.

    • In Wales 70% described them self’s as Welsh not British it didn’t stop a majority for Brexit or lack of Support for indy

      • A recent poll based on Independence in Europe found 35% YES in Wales after excluding don’t knows. Seems it wasn’t polled that way before. Lots of young Plaid folk online. If Assembly elections had been free of EU Ref there may have been more of a swing to Plaid. Wales is changing, and Labour splitting may accelerate that.

  7. I’m genuinely looking forward to your post about Brexit being avoided. I’d like to think this could happen because it has a profound effect on my future. Having said that, I believe that Brexit is inevitable. The remaining arguments are the timing of Article 50 and the conditions of the negotiated settlement. That is already a lot of argument.

    I just can’t see any political forces that will stop it happening. Right now, and for the next few years, political power in Westminster lies with emboldened Leave campaigners. There is no one left in power who is genuinely enthusiastic about the EU. Can you imagine what would happen if Britain still remains in the EU at the time of the next election and Theresa May declined to make a manifesto pledge to make it happen in the next parliament? UKIP would do rather well, I would think. After all, the referendum was introduced mainly to ward off UKIP pressure on Tory votes at the 2015 election. Refusing to implement the result of the referendum would be an existential threat to the Conservatives. Labour, too, I would imagine. The only way out is for the EU to suddenly become popular in the UK. I wouldn’t place any bets on that.

  8. Sadly, those the Unionists in Scotland want to run Scotland will have little respect for them.
    There was Jack McConnell giving back £1.7billion of the Scottish Grant to show what a good Administration they were, and could be trusted, while industries folded around them and schools and hospitals were built with the ruinous PFI schemes because that was what Brown decreed.
    I’m not interested in joining them where they are.

  9. You say “If the reaction in Brussels toward the UK remains spiteful and resentful with a theme of punishment “. Can you tell us the source of this viewpoint?

    I would suggest that the reaction in Brussels is more grim determination not to allow the UK to receive a revised membership deal which breaches the four freedoms as a result of the Brexit vote. It is not punishment to prevent a departing member from causing major problems for everyone else.

    • @bjsalba – My ‘reading’ of the situation immediately following the Brexit from the European media was that there was a minority in the EU that wanted to ‘make an example’ of the UK “pour encourager les autres”. Perhaps this is what Derek refers to.

      But the recent interventions by Merkle and others suggests a more balanced wait and see approach. However, that said, I do not see any deal which would allow the UK to ignore any of the four “freedoms”. But the EU will not wait forever, particularly if the economic situation remains poor.

      The gross negligence by the UK Government over this is astonishing. It demonstrates the clear control of the Corporate Media by those with an vested interest in the UK leaving the EU that they haven’t been properly held to account.

      We are in uncharted seas with a vessel that is taking in water, sharks all around us, and a Captain and crew who don’t have a clue in what direction lies safety. We’ve got to get out of here!

  10. “I harbour a thought that it might not need much more than intelligence and goodwill to prevent Brexit happening at all – subjects for future blogs.”

    Yep, the more you think about it, the more you realise that eventually folk – the important decision making ones on *all* sides – are going to realise that the 2 years window between Article 50 and Brexit is just too narrow.

    May can legitimately point to the internal problems that the Brexit vote has unleashed…Scotland’s problem are well known, but they are relatively straight forward when compared to the complete clusterfuck caused for both parts of Ireland, and again with poor, forgotten Gibraltar.

    The first question ‘disgraced’ Liam Fox and Davis are going to face when they attempt to sign Trade deals is whether the UK will remain in one piece in the short/medium and long term. That lack of certainty is going to affect the terms and conditions of any deal struck…and not in a good way.

    I suspect given the chaos Brexit will unleash for the EU in the damage it does to Ireland – high tariffs will kill their economy just as it shows sign of recovery.

    Once you look at it like that then some sort of international conference involving all parties that resolves all the issues caused by Brexit, starts to look inevitable.

  11. It annoys me that the Nats get blamed for stirring up hatred with their calls for indyref2 when those to blame are the Nos who bought into BT’s keep everything at it is status quo argument. Even during the indyref Scotland changed and BT’s arguments as well. But those many that had made their minds up before the argument started, and they were a majority, failed to notice that and so are now shocked that BT’s promise of the status quo ante is not the same as the status when they made their minds up.

  12. Derek you are bang on the money about University types and self interest. I know plenty, and they voted out of some misguided idea that only UK controlled funding could secure their jobs. It’s that same self interested mob who are up in arms about the EU. Yet they left membership of the EU in another countries hands when they voted no. Not very bright are they for so called professors, not much political savvy!

    The indi ref was never about self interest or personal circumstances. It was a vote about our nation and who we were. You leave all personal circumstances at the door when you go to the poll booth. It’s bigger than every individual, it’s the future of our country not our jobs which come and go on the whim of the employers.

    We must move away from the Thatcherite debate about pensions and bank accounts. No proper country ever fought for independence to improve their deposit account. They did it with heart and soul because the nation is our soul, Je Suis Ecosse.

  13. As with most things in politics Derek I will not genuinely know we for Indy are going to win until we have real evidence of the ‘Opposite side’ crossing the floor so to speak. I too have seen none of that thus far.
    (Henry McLeish – Aye right),

    Both sides are still deeply entrenched. Only when hard NO’s are less evident will the ice melt and real change occur.

    Sad thing is the British state has a very poor track record in such processes as we have already seen in the original Indy ref , and it will be the same process next time around I fear.

    • Gordoz, have a look at Eric Joyce – the banner headlining his site is From No 2 Yes, in particular the two articles dated 23rd July and 1st August. He has most definitely crossed the floor

    • @gordoz

      I agree that both sides are entrenched, and that is why I am ambivalent and cautious about going for a second independence referendum, when the polls are around 50 per cent for both Yes and No.

  14. The SNP will not make a move on this yet exactly because it is so uncertain (according to the polling a third of 2015 SNP voters voted Leave). The EU itself will also change, due to internal and external pressures and will either be tighter (more fiscal transfers, more centralised budget setting) or looser (failing economies cut loose, more internal border controls).

    BREXIT will happen – the EU Member States have already made that mental adjustment. But it will take time. I can see the SNP having to go into the next election with the position that the post-EU, current UK settlement might be OK and independence “not yet.”

    But for the SNP – as a party – I can see them preferring to work under the new dispensation, limited resources and responsibilities so able to claim that they are not fully able/accountable to deliver everything they would like, but with a bonus top up of voters who believe they are the only vehicle to independence. What’s not to like? (though individual members may get restive)

  15. Something many who voted no also need to come to grips with.

    HMG and those who led the Better Together campaign have indeed reneged on every pledge and assurance they made to the Scottish electorate. They made liars of those who supported their cause in good faith. They tainted their own victory and those who voted for it.

    Many who voted no two years ago must feel they are waking up on a daily basis to find out they’re the bad guy. That the hat they are wearing isn’t white, nor grey, but black and comes complete with a twirly moustache. Doesn’t matter whether its on the ‘devolution journey’, FFA, constitutional convention, writing the permanence of Holyrood into the UKs unwritten constitution, ‘broad shoulders’, job security, shelving of warship orders, ‘respect agenda’, pensions or ‘guaranteed EU membership’. That’s a lot to take on board.

    Here’s the thing though. I don’t believe for an instant that 55% of the electorate were lying to each other or anyone else. Their beliefs and their votes were used and abused by those who led and backed the no vote campaign. The UK they voted for, the Better Togetherness they helped campaign for didn’t materialise. The state construct they helped to maintain abandoned those pledges and assurances, not the voters. Who is the greater victim/loser in this scenario? In truth, I reckon we all are.

    Are there a significant percentage of supporters who believe in the UK experiment right or wrong? Who have no problem with their victory of two years ago and how it was achieved? Absolutely, no question. They will never believe in any other system of order, government or practice of politics. That is their world view and they are welcome to it.

    Something even those believers need to bear in mind though. Any referendum, any ballot in a modern functioning democracy has vote and consequence. A covenant between the political construct, be it party or state and the people. If the state or party fails to live up to its end of the bargain struck, then just as in any election, the people will eventually revisit the issue. It has been known that some voters may not appreciate having their trust abused.

    • Macart, fancy meeting you here !
      You may recall David Cameron (remember him?) outside No 10 a 7 a.m., The Morning After The Night Before, announcing EVEL. It took that long to scrunch us back into our colonial pen.
      Can you imagine Lord Darling on the Better Together 2 campaign trail?
      Oil’s run out, banishment from the EU, the rUK won’t let a ‘foreign’ ship yard build their floating fortresses, passports, financial Armageddon, and so on.
      BoE Governor Carney has just given the Too Big To Jail bankers another £60 billion,,,All those pensioners who voted No and Remain will see their income from savings slashed by another quarter percentage point, RBS has already muttered that it may not be passing the rate cut on to mortgage holders, and the £ has plummeted…because of Brexit.
      Brexit is beginning to hurt No voters in the pocket; perhaps that will be the tipping point for many.
      The only open goal I see is the Dis-Unionist Collaboration Up Here who will hope upon hope that we don’t remind them of the lies, threats and false promises uttered by a bunch of chancers in 2014, most of whom have been kicked out of office since, when campaigning for Indyref 2 begins in earnest.
      Darling, Brown, Gove, Osborne, Cameron, Clegg Cable, Alexander, Miliband, Balls, Farage; where are they now?
      The UK is terminally ill. It’s time to let it die in peace.

      • Thur ontae plums then Jack. Any chance we get, whoever they get to front the next campaign, they’ll find an awfy lot of folks shouting back at them… ‘BUT YOU SAID’.

        Been a follower of Derek’s blog for quite a while and before that, fair enjoyed listening to the man on his show.

        Better stop, he’ll start blushin’. 😀 LOL

  16. Welcome back Derek.

    There does appear to be a growing confidence in our ability to govern ourselves and I feel this process will continue.

    The lid has been blown off the Palace of Westminster and the view inside isn’t pretty. The pretence of Westminster good governance has been shown for the sham it always was. Meanwhile, our own government gets on with the job of diligently and professionally running Scotland’s affairs.

    The Scottish government’s approval ratings are astonishing given the hostile environment they operate in, viewed as they are by the British State as the enemy within. A testament I believe to Scots’ ability to view their world as it truly is, not the world presented by the SNP/bad meme they are blitzed with on a daily basis.

    Perceptions are everything, and they are changing. Tick, tock.

    I make a point of not demeaning supporters of the union. It is counter productive and disrespectful. I have kept to this even while being showered by spittle from a couple of NO voters, who obviously have a real love of a Britain which they sadly believe still exists. If it ever did. My assurances that Scottish independence will only improve the British Isles, and the relationships between it’s constituent parts, are met with great suspicion. Their fear is palpable.

    Other NO voters I associate with worry, as you state, that their quality of life will be threatened in a ‘small’, poor’ Scotland. A belief which can be challenged and successfully met. Again, fear is the underlining motive.

    I am lucky. I have believed in Scottish independence all my life. Events are heading in a direction I fully embrace. For others however, their old certainties are crumbling. Why can’t ‘Yes’ just go away. We said ‘No’. Puzzlement turns to anger.

    I fully understand their anger, but this goes beyond nostalgia or personal gain. It’s about Scotland being the country it has the potential to be. A potential which will never be realised while under English rule.

    Tick, tock.

  17. Hi Derek welcome back
    I was wondering what I’ve done to be blocked on Twitter

  18. A good post as always Mr Bateman, but there’s something troubling me, and it’s a point I’ve made before, and which I’ll make again.

    Why does BREXIT change things? Why do we need to hark on about broken vows or Iron Broon’s timetable of doom not materializing?

    If Scotland really believed in herself, really believed in independence, it would have overwhelmingly voted yes in 2014. It wouldn’t be haggling over being a fiver better or worse off in the UK, or the EU, or this or that…

    You look at every country that gained independence from the UK. Nobody had to ask them twice. Nobody hedged their bets.

    Like everybody that posts here, I believe in Scotland’s ability to govern herself, always have, always will, but sometimes I feel that a lot of people are ‘part-time’ independence supporters.

    • Steve Asaneilean

      I think you are right. There are at present not enough Scots who genuinely believe that Scotland can go it alone, survive and flourish.

      Even people who are committed Yessers are still prone to warnings along the lines of “yes we can manage but the first few years will be really hard”.

      I wish I knew how to persuade more of my fellow citizens to have faith because I have no doubt Scotland has the wherewithal to do it.

  19. Steve Asaneilean

    Good to have you back Derek – you were missed.

    I hope you had a lovely holiday and managed to sample so wonderful vihno verde

  20. ronald alexander mcdonald

    I think we are in phoney war territory. Opinion polls ask the question if there is an Indy referendum now.

    How can unionists reply, other than adopt their default position? We don’t know if there will be a hard or soft Brexit. We don’t know if the EU will allow Scotland to remain a member if the referendum happens whilst the UK is still an EU member.

    Nothing can be announced until the S50 order is enacted. If there is a hard Brexit and the EU plays ball with Scotland, which I suspect they will, then many unionists will only then seriously consider Independence.

  21. Good article and discussion.

    Hoots Mr Bateman.

  22. Heidstaethefire

    As you say, there are some whom we will never persuade – I would reckon about 30%. I suspect the remaining 25%, essentially the “soft no voters”, were weighing what they saw as the doubt of independence against the certainty, as they saw it, of the U.K. That certainty has now gone. Essentially the recipe is still the same; competent governance allied to a programme of persuasion.

  23. My staunch No voting wife and eldest are now probable Yesses. My wife works at a university and Brexit ‘took my country away’. The eldest self identifies as a European, despite being born in NZ (the youngest is in NZ and doesn’t get a vote, she got one and vote Remain by proxy though).

    My wife agrees that a lot of university people will change their minds. The loss of EU science funding, Erasmus exchanges and lots more will hit academia hard.

    My feeling is that we are about to get a lot of very clever and well educated people on our side this time, whole economics departments and the like. Some Yes figures may have to move over.

  24. This is so worth a read from LSE and its hard to fault the man’s logic on cause and effect.

    • An odd article in itself. It is another article that, in the face of all the evidence, treats BREXIT as a Tory party parlour game and ignores who actually voted for the end of union – it was the rebellion of the have nots. Even as a party political analysis it fails to treat Labour’s own laboured relationship with the European Union, including around a referendum on the proposed constitution for the European Union.

      The Constitutional Treaty of the European Union was of course knocked into touch by referenda in other member states (though many elements found their way in by the back door of the Lisbon Treaty) so it is not only the British union that lacks a constitution…

      And if we accept the author’s argument, a second binding Scottish independence referendum would not be possible, perhaps only “advisory.” The Spanish constitution, for example, includes the statement that Spain is an indissoluble union.

  25. I think he’s pretty much nailed the dilemma faced by Westminster government pretty accurately.

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