I Agree with Bateman

Consensus is breaking out all over. According to some, we all agree we need a federal solution for Scotland. According to others, a second indyref is inevitable. And according to me, there are straws in the wind that outright resistance to independence is slowly melting. OK, it may not be a consensus yet, but at least I agree with me. And I’ve got as strong grounds as any of the others for my claim.

I’m going to make a nuanced distinction here. I know – not my strong point. It’s that the opinion polls are finding maybe a one in 10 switch to Yes because of Brexit, not a lot, although mathematically it might be enough to swing the result. Now it looks as if this is a canny calculation by doubters who want to see the colour of the Brexit money first. Classically: What’s in it for me?

But I think this may be hiding a deeper question which is eating into the psyche of resistant Scots who have been happy to regard their dual nationality as a comfortable fit – Scottish and British (although in reality, if a No voter, then Britain first).

For them it is becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss criticism of the British government as rabble-rousing, grievance-stirring or point-scoring. The language and decision-making which would previously have been excused on the grounds that everyone makes an occasional mistake, is no longer acceptable to them. In other words, the sensible, compliant, middle-of-the-road Scots who have been the backbone of No, are eyeing London suspiciously. They are asking: What the hell are they doing now?

Because sensible, compliant, middle-of-the-road Scots know which side their bread is buttered. Their professional lives have been spent inside the EU. Their jobs regularly abut EU conventions and protocols. They and their colleagues travel to Europe or they meet European colleagues here. If they’re in the Edinburgh financial sector which voted convincingly No, they see unfolding a corporate nightmare threatening not just some vague slice of GDP, but their own job and prospects. Arriving in London, they feel a new sensation of estrangement. Every other face and voice is non-indigenous. What are they all thinking and what will happen to them? They wonder: Which idiot is responsible for this?

The university staff who bought the line that an indy Scotland wouldn’t get research funding now know of people and projects losing exactly that. There is a growing sense that coming out of Europe is a more cataclysmic leap than independence. They hadn’t realised just how tied we were to Europe and how comfortable they had become with that extra layer of identity that made them Europeans.

They listen with increasing horror to the bluster and bravado of Brexit ministers exposed as both hypocrites in the case of Johnson and flat-earth adventurers in that of Fox. All three of the Leave Musketeers are wreathed in smiles to disguise their confusion – a trio of political narcissists as the national interest is jeopardised.

Sensible people do not see sure-footedness, let alone competence. There is nothing reassuring about the months of delay in working out a negotiating position as the better-informed Press reveals the back-biting and deep disagreements at the heart of May’s government.

And there is something else. They are acutely aware of how their own country – the UK – is now viewed across the continent. The focus on immigrants as the defining issue is understood at one level because people know uncontrolled immigration cannot be sustained but what are they supposed to feel about Francois in Personnel and Stanislaw in Accounts? The government they have supported has refused to guarantee them the lives they have made here – the homes, the social scene, the partners and – my God – the children. How can they doubt that the vicious rhetoric unleashed during the campaign gave a green light to the thugs and bigots? There is the repellent rage on Question Time which boos a Polish woman resident for 23 years. There is the football hooligan tone of working class Brits demanding: Let’s just get out now, to cheers. Weren’t they the people of Hartlepool, as damned an outpost of dysfunctional Britain as any, who will be the same community to suffer most when GDP falls and budget cuts have to be made? Is the government making a special case for low earners in Hartlepool to remain in the single market or is that for the bankers?

Many voters have taken for granted that Britain was what the Whitehall elite claimed, a power broker embedded at the heart of western culture. So why was the Prime Minister quietly sidelined in Brussels, leading UK diplomats to complain of her treatment when given five minutes at 1 am to speak and then listened to in silence?

The sense is that Britain really has done it this time. We’ve gone too far. That airy contempt for Brussels and the casual superiority that is the stamp of leadership Brits has led us over the cliff edge. The No voter scoffed at the door-stop indyref white paper but where is even the A4 of the Leavers to show us their plan? For probably the first time in their lives, those who viewed the British government and parliament as automatically superior in content and competence have it revealed to them as nothing of the kind. And it may well be themselves who pay the price.

You don’t have to switch to Yes to smell the stench of xenophobia emanating from sections of society in the south…from lists of foreign workers (gastarbeiters) to replacing doctors with ‘our own’ – and from checking incomers’ teeth (after demanding to see their papers) to obstructing the entry of a mere 70 orphans from a squalid campsite. New arrivals are humiliated by a baying crowd of tabloid hacks waiting to photograph their faces and guess at their age. Sensible Scotland may not appreciate all immigration and may think Sturgeon is virtue signalling on inclusion, but it sure doesn’t like to be branded racist. Thank goodness, it says, that some politicians in Europe understand that we are different.

Making foreigners pay for health care, preventing students working and rejecting employee rights and citizen benefits to make way for a Fortress Britain is taking the British Tories from the outer edges of UKIP to the fringe of National Front when it is combined with naked xenophobia and the coincidental anti-gay filibuster to stop the pardons of historical homosexual ‘crimes’.

This is not the Conservatism I grew up observing. Tories were respectable, for sure, but they were considerate of the less fortunate, they upheld British traditions without denigrating others (that’s why Powell was sacked) and, as the name implies, they were cautious of change that threatened the things they held dear. They also believed in thrift when Scots had the best savings ratio in the UK. None of that applies to today’s febrile neo cons whose hallmark is demonisation of the poor and the foreign, the accumulation of mountainous debt, both sovereign and personal, with an irresponsible lack of concern for the national interest.

It is, I agree, a leap from all this to independence and one does not lead easily to the other although I find it informative that the Tories in Scotland now have a single theme – apart from promoting Ruth’s light entertainment career. It is to stop another referendum. You can smell the fear. But surely my sensible Scot will also be asking what then is the Tory response to Brexit? Does anyone in Scotland think Ruth has any influence over the process? Or does Mundell (we’ll call you when we need you, David)? Are we to cling to London when the parachute fails to open and hope for the best?

They write off Labour as useless and find nowhere to turn. So they conclude a decision can wait. And those canny Scots may be right. The (for me) irrational terror of independence is a powerful motivator leading to a frantic search for an alternative. It won’t be federalism because a) it makes too much sense and this government is light on the stuff, and b) they could have offered this at any time in the last 20 years and settled the constitutional question for a generation. The only time federalism will be offered to the Scots is after they have voted for independence.

No, I think the best hope lies in Europe’s reaction to Brexit. So far it looks as though the UK’s rejection has strengthened the institutions by reminding them of what they are for and bringing them together in a united front against our departure. The talks will throw up hard choices and among the strong advocates for continued formal association will be the City, big business, academia, Scotland and Northern Ireland, not forgetting the Republic. These lobbies will be closer to the EU negotiating stance than the UK’s allowing the Brussels team to play them off. It will become clear just how narrow a view the official UK position is and May’s team will be inclined in any case to back single market involvement of some of these sectors.

A loud and vociferous campaign in Scotland running alongside the talks will focus minds in European capitals on how they got into this mess in the first place – by ignoring the people. A side effect will be a return to what used to be a guiding principle – subsidiarity – and nothing could symbolise that better than separate recognition of Scotland (and Ulster). The argument against that kind of domestic ‘interference’ is that the EU has to respect the national government but I fear there will be little enough of that for a country causing so much division and upset mainly for internal party political purposes.

And I’m glad Sturgeon has taken time to mention the critical reason for our EU membership, at least for me. It is solidarity with Europe. We aren’t in just because it’s a market, that’s a Tory re-writing of history. We’re in because we share a continent and a worldview. We’re in because we care about each other. Setting standards benefits us all, let’s us share more equally. We redistribute wealth to the poorer. It floats all boats. It blurs the lines of independence but retains individual national traditions. It lets different people share the advantages. It builds in peace to a continent once scarred by conflict. The EU is one of mankind’s great achievements.

I expect this to become clearer to the British as the talks proceed because our political class has failed to make the case and always resented the shift in power (MEPs have no right of access to Westminster) while the media has failed in its duty to inform, instead making a pantomime villain out of a Brussels that never existed.

If enough is offered to Remainers like Scotland it will be both tricky and undemocratic of May’s side to resist – single market access for goods coming out of Scotland (the re-opening of ferry ports) and access for financial services in Edinburgh. There would be surrenders like farming and fishing but staying in would allow Scotland to operate more closely like a de facto EU country. Would it mean a hard border? In theory it would, but if there isn’t one with the Republic, it shows what can be done. It becomes possible to imagine a fully engaged statelet with direct channels to Brussels in which Scotland does its own thing in conjunction with the EU on all areas of competence. Over time, the idea of a separate entity seems natural, however complex the threads linking back to London. After all there are likely to be different arrangements, as there are now, for Gibraltar and Crown dependencies like Isle of Man and Jersey. And, who knows, it may accelerate the acceptance of Scotland as a well-run, viable country worthy of support. It is competence in government rather than nationalism which has driven the SNP to heights of popularity and proving we can do it for ourselves in the EU could be the way finally to convince the doubters (perhaps in contrast to the UK).

I think the sensible Scots are waiting to see and this time they are open to a fundamental shift simply because the UK has generated its own black hole of uncertainty. One way or another, the country is about to undergo existential change. Let’s get on the right side of the argument.

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53 thoughts on “I Agree with Bateman

  1. When will people waken up it isn’t about the EU referendum it’s the simple fact we don’t matter we are not and never will be equal members of this Union we are viewed as just a region of greater England

  2. I work in the City of London, Finance.

    We (everyone) are suffering this as if forced onto a rollercoaster that failed its safety test for the 5th time in a row. Theres also a weird low-IQ Tory strapping us in.

    The Guardian mooted the movement to the EU of many from London. Its not a joke. Half the office downstairs (brokerage) has already gone. The EU dudes in our office sit smugly, migration they can do, and they will – its their EU. Needs must, Paris or .. well, any EU state will do the rest of us. I want it to be Scotland – and thats true of several now.

    It is the EU, is it not? The Scottish seem to understand, the EU definitely does now.

    Good god Derek, convince more – independence is staggeringly important now.

    • We need people like yourself to help us persuade the people in Scotland who won’t vote for indepenedence because they still feel that their longer term financial security is best protected by remaining in the UK.

  3. George S Gordon

    Can you copy this in a letter to The Scotsman? Or maybe I will.

  4. Bugger (the Panda)

    The Independence dam is cracking. As NS said today, how can she be accused of undermining Brexit when there is no discernible plan for it. Saint Theresa is out of her depth as a Manager and has lost control of the tier below her.

    If Federalism were offered, judging by past behaviour of Westminster it would be layered in traps and IEDs

    Monte Carlo or burst

    • The point about that is anything you say might upset the intricate and cunning plans being formulated by Westminster. Obviously if you don’t know what you can and can’t say you shouldn’t say anything.

      In other words it’s a supposedly diplomatic way of saying STFU

  5. It seems Westminster and its britnat media is gearing up to blame Scotland for any failure of brexit. Doesn’t bother me; anything that undermines the so-called united kingdom is good.

  6. Re Ag and Fish, I fear our fishing and farming folk may be being naive about repatriation of powers. Clearly plans are already forming for Westminster to reserve these.
    On 2 Oct George Perez QC tweets “Brexiters like Martin Howes are already on this. He’s pro undevolving agri/fish, as different subsidies wd distort competition.”
    The Lords have already snatched powers post Smith. All too easy for them to do it again.

    • lets face it , we all know what will be the first bargaining chip on the table when Westminster gets to negotiating free access for the City of London . Fishing !!

  7. donald anderson

    Federalism may suit countries such as the USA or Deutschland. where the states are roughly equal and they are still the one country. It would not work for Scotland where we would be outvoted ten to one and their interests are vastly different from ours.

    • Sunshine on Crieff

      It would have to be a more confederal arrangement.

    • It has been obvious for 40 years that a federal UK could only work if England is split into smaller states. Given the English perfectly understandably show zero interest in this – non starter.

    • That’s nonsense. Away and look at the relative sizes of Rhode Island and California, and note that the difference is far greater than between Scotland and England. I’m for independence now, not Federalism, but your comment above is rubbish.

      • California does not make up 85% of the population of America. Rhode Island can combine with other states to out-vote California, but the same would not be true of a four-state federal UK. England would get its way 100% of the time.

      • donald anderson

        I did say ROUGHLY and that England could outvote us 10 about to one, The original intention was to make the States equal, after they stole the territories from the natives.

    • I read before ID2 that a federal UK was on the cards prior to WW1 as a solution to the then “Irish Question”. I seem to recall there were to be 9 or 10 federal states then. I cannot find a link just now.

      I long felt that a federation was the “correct solution” even before devolution. But it is too late for that now. Besides, we were promised the most devolved parliament in the world a week or two before 18/9/14. They failed to deliver. They have no credibility now. We just have to take our independence and leave them to sort their own mess out.

  8. This is not the Conservatism I grew up observing. Tories were respectable, for sure, but they were considerate of the less fortunate, they upheld British traditions without denigrating others (that’s why Powell was sacked) and, as the name implies, they were cautious of change that threatened the things they held dear.

    Derek, this just does not ring true for me. If you grew up under Thatcherism, then I am afraid to say the British Conservative Party, since Thatcher became PM, have been outrageously greedy, arrogant, narcissistic, and wilfully destructive and spiteful to those who are struggling, vulnerable, disabled etc. It is no surprise to me that someone like Trump has emerged in the US after 30 plus years of neoliberalism and corporate excess, and Hillary Clinton is as big a puppet of free market capitalism as he is. The Tories have been murder for decades. They have not been decent for a long time.

    • sorry to interject , I believe Derik was referring to a time before Maggie , when the tories had a respectable vote in Scotland , and indeed behaved like decent people , it was a long time ago i’m afraid many people simply dont believe it .

      • Bugger (the Panda)

        They actually ran Glasgow Corporation as Progressive Party. Edward Heath forced them to become branded as Tory. Slippery slope.

        • donald anderson

          Repeat. There is nothing that Thatcher has done that hasn’t been surpassed by. Lords Callaghan, Wilson and, Broon and Blair. Let’s not support Labour’s selective amnesia in office.

      • I agree, reading into what Derek was saying. the last gasp of attempts at one-nation Toryism from Douglas Home to Heath, the last gasp of which was Rifkind as SoSS blasting Alick Buchanan-Smith for considering the views of Scots during the 80’s recession. Thatcher declaring ‘no such thing as society’ was all we ever need to understand about fin de siècle Toryism.

  9. I keep hearing the term ‘remoaner’ which is another way of telling all of us who voted remain to shut up, you lost so just get on with it. Well I have a term of my own for use later when the shit really hits the fan and it’s ‘itoldyouso-er’. Let’s see how keen they are when they’re out of work and skint.

    Who will they gang up on and blame then I wonder?

  10. So where do you jump as a fisherman? Sold out by both camps, not even a human shield when both sides see you as a bargaining chip

  11. “The only time federalism will be offered to the Scots is after they have voted for independence” ……this is my personal fear of what may evolve as a reaction, being offered before Indy – 2, hoeever inappropriate fro Scotland – or UK. I just hope that previous NOs are simply recognising the extent of the derision, contempt & institutionalised insolence that characterise the neo-lib powerbrokers, for the moment, secure in their unassailable position. Surely, the NOs cannot feel part of them ???

  12. This sums up exactly how I feel. I agree with me (and Derek Bateman). And, yes, many years ago the Conservatives were ok.

  13. Heidstaethefire

    I agree, but the tories weren’t ok, they were just a bit less un ok.

  14. It is becoming very clear that the only interested party who will have a say in negotiations with the EU outside May’s gang of three will be the City of London.
    Everyone else is going to be provided with a call centre number they can use when they want an update on how things are going.
    The problem Westminster has,however,is that the Scottish government is some way ahead of them and has established direct channels with the EU institutions which will,without doubt,keep them abreast of developments.
    Westminster’s penchant for secrecy and lies will not be allowed to prevail during these negotiations.
    They are in a very very difficult position and their only realistic way out is to say sorry,we didnae mean it and allow the Westminster Parliament to vote it down.
    We cannot rely on that happening however and now that May has made it crystal clear that they are not prepared to help Scotland out,it is entirely up to us to ensure we remain within the EU.
    Thanks Derek.

  15. Thanks for the article Derek.
    We have had the “Team GB” charm offensive (minus the unicorn on the crest of course – two English lions look better don’t they). Our sporting “heroes” have met the Queen – (we don’t often afford that sort of adoration to those who serve in or armed forces). Andy Murray can’t move for adoring fans with their matching t-shirts emblazoned with the Union flag. Our supermarkets sport a spinky Union flag instead of a saltire for home-grown produce. Its Great British this… and Great British that…
    Now we have Brexit, Breakit, Buggerit – call it what you will.
    Scotland is now the petulent child.
    Seemingly, we constantly whinge, question, demand attention over answers and the way forward.
    We are rapidly becoming public enemy No1 – a Nationalist-led regime that isn’t playing by the rules – and we are unwittingly fulfilling the prophesy engineered by the Establishment that shows our true isolationist nature.
    Such a shame they forgot about the 2014 referendum, the way they campaigned, the false promises they made and their despicable behaviour since.
    The folks of Scotland understand what’s at stake here.
    No amount of propaganda is going to have the desired effect – in fact, it will galvanise the resolve of the ever-growing surge in Yes voters.
    It will NEVER change the view of the hardened Unionist voter – nothing ever could – they are always going to support the Union – but the rest of us, to varying extents, are distancing ourselves from the whole sorry mess.
    Nicola Sturgeon was on the ball straight after the EU ref result. I’m pretty sure the SNP and the SG had their contingency plan worked out way ahead of time – and the execution was swift and (presumably) productive.
    Nothing will really kick in until Mother Theresa invokes Article 50.
    Prominent EU people can’t prempt the coming negotiations, neither can Ms. Sturgeon et.al.
    So we are in the phoney war phase.
    Come the end of March next year, the brown stuff will hit the fan and plans will move ahead at breakneck speed.
    I sincerely hope Mrs. May’s assurance of an ‘end of March’ deadline doesn’t actually mean April the 1st.
    If that was the case, I think the joke would be on her.

  16. The political calculus here ignores the 1 million Scots who voted Leave. We will have had various reasons for doing so, but it is difficult to see how an indy2 yoked to EU membership would be very appealing.

    “Would it mean a hard border? In theory it would, but if there isn’t one with the Republic, it shows what can be done.”

    I think this is the critical point. It was always a challenge to the SNP – “borders”? “passports”? “to get to London”?! – and EU membership became the solution. Eire entered the EEC at the same time as the UK, and so avoided the breakup of the Common Travel Area. That’s now up for renegotiation, and we’ll have to see how punitive the other EU states want to play it, which means any referendum comes sometime after BREXIT is concluded.

    “It becomes possible to imagine a fully engaged statelet with direct channels to Brussels in which Scotland does its own thing in conjunction with the EU on all areas of competence.”

    I’m less persuaded of this. The EU institutions actually have very few exclusive competences, but they are areas an indy Scotland would probably want to keep hold of: customs, competition rules, and marine resources.

    • The political calculus here ignores the 1 million Scots who voted Leave. We will have had various reasons for doing so, but it is difficult to see how an indy2 yoked to EU membership would be very appealing.

      You have to decide whether it is a good idea to vote against independence if it means you are against the EU but support independence. I would argue that it would be an appalling error of judgement, as you would effectively be removing the threat of independence hanging over Westminster for a long, long time, in the event of another No vote to independence. We are talking probably decades here. Why you would do this because you dislike the EU is beyond me. We are already starting to see the effects of the EU referendum result, with the pound plummeting, inflation starting to rise, and things are almost certainly going to get much, much worse from next year onwards. Therefore to vote to leave the EU. and then to vote against independence again, would be absolutely political suicide, even more so if you actually support independence in the first place!…

      • The calculus is the SNP high command’s (hence Derek’s guess as to whether there will be an indy2 in time to intercept BREXIT).

        The polls, which are the basis for modern politics, aren’t showing a BREXIT bounce, and Sturgeon isn’t the risk taker Salmond was. So indy2 is post-BREXIT and probably several years away. (The lack of reaction to the National Conversation must also weigh with her).

        Certainly, you wouldn’t want to confuse the issues and hamstring the vote. A double referendum with an option for/against EU membership should probably do it. A more complicated campaign though.

        • As someone said above, we’re in the phony war stage just now. Wait until Article 50 negotiations start and people see what’s coming. That’s when we’ll see the post-brexit bounce.

    • Their border issue is all to do with immigration, not the free flow of goods and capital. I suggest the hard bargaining chip is Schengen. If the border is hard then Scotland simply joins Schengen. Its a damned sight easier to sail a dingy from Southerness to Siloth than from Calais to Dover. Their border, their problem.

      • Eire stayed out of Schengen (though an EU enthusiast in other respects, even joining the euro) arguably because it would then have had to replace the common travel area with a policed border as it would be the Schengen front line.

        The requirement becomes still more demanding if UK/rUK is outside the EU and Eire’s border becomes the EU frontline.

        But I would hope that commonsense rather than blind principle would prevail, and the special circumstances in the islands are recognised in Brussels. Otherwise Eire might walk too.

        • Bugger (the Panda)

          Fly in to Dublin airport, from UK or Schengen and the two line merge with random inspection of travel document. I pointed that out to an Imm Officer and he repliefd

          “Sure the system is not perfect”

        • ” Otherwise Eire might walk too.”

          I don’t see that happening, given it was only EC/EU membership that finally gave Eire economic independence from England.

        • I don’t believe a word you say – I suspect you are a British agent

    • Crubag, there are several hundred thousand Ni Ireland born who hold Irish passports, my wife being one. Come the Great Divorce, will a hard border with Eire, and a hard border with an Independent Scotland really work? If Scots working in England or Wales opt for a Scottish/EU Passport, will they have to pass England and Wales immigration tests to continue working in rUK?
      There will be literally millions of Scots/ Irish/Northern Irish with EU passports dotting about rUK.
      I have no doubt that the CTA will continue, and include independent Scotland.
      Derek, I admire your caution, and ‘what’s in it for me?’ observation. No voters will wait and see, in the fond hope that Brexit may mean Brexit Lite.
      I have no faith in WM Governments now. I do not trust May, Johnson, Patel, Fox, Davis, Gove, Farage, and Rudd. I have less than contempt for Mundell Davidson WATP Two Jobs Professor Adam Tomkins, The Queen’s Eleven Murdo Fraser, Dugdale, Findlay, Gray, and Curran. They are not to be trusted.
      They are no friends or allies of Scotland.
      Federalism is and always was a risible red herring; a Fabian tactic, a ploy to lead us up the garden path.
      Only independence will save us from this Bre3xit madness. Many in Finance in Edinburgh already know this.

  17. I was struck, watching Daily Politics today, about the stance of former Government Minister Nick Herbert. He was very bullish about his support for the single market and nearly agreed everything with the SNP’s Stephen Gethins.

    So I am a bit non-plussed by May’s hard stance with Nicola today, because in reality I can’t see May having a smooth passage to a hard Brexit with her very slim Commons majority. People like Ken Clarke and Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Treasury Committee are likely to vote against a hard Brexit and she will not get away with pressing the button on Article 50 without a vote in Parliament.

    I also feel that May is likely to complicate things incredibly by making exceptions for the City, Nissan and N. Ireland. If she persists in this without regard to Scotland then it is definitely curtains for the Union.

    • Bugger (the Panda)

      Maybe she is trying to engineer herself out of her job without jacking it in. Let Boris take over and really carry the can.

  18. Let us not forget the Irish dimension to this. That really has shown the London Government up for what it always has been – the Executive Arm of Greater England. Dissolution of the UK is on its way.

  19. “The only time federalism will be offered to the Scots is after they have voted for independence”
    i wish some of our SNP “elder statesmen” would realise this and stop being used by the Unionist press looking to deflect attention from the real fight

  20. Yes Brian Gordon gradualist Wilson! I wish he would stop trying to tell Sturgeon how to run things. We had a vote in Scotland. We voted to stay in the EU. Indi Ref 2 is coming absolutely! Gordon would have us dragged out of the EU for 5 years before he would call a referendum.

    March 2018 is my guess for indi ref 2.

  21. @2p3rf3ct
    Would the banks actually work in the interests of anyone but themselves? What incentives would be required for that?
    How about bailoutswindle.com?

  22. What is also disturbing is the amount of bile on any UK media website when it has a comments column on Scotland. The Grauniad yesterday is a case in point. Depressing.

  23. The Establishment are watching a rather large, heavy steamroller slowly move towards them.
    They bought and paid for it, fueled it up – then let a “wee wummin fae beyond the wall” jump into the driving seat and proceed to flatten everything in its path.
    Its on reasonably flat ground at the moment, but its approaching a steep downward hill.
    They are chucking various hard objects in front of it and causing it to bump and grind a bit – but it isn’t slowing down.
    They can see that hill approaching….
    All they can do is keep throwing stuff under the roller.
    Maybe they can slow it down to a crawl.
    Maybe a supreme effort might actually stop it.
    One thing is for sure, once it hits that hill, its going to be well beyond their control.
    I would imagine that downhill point will be reached around the end of March 2017.

  24. Great commentary Derek and couldn’t agree more.

    Well said.

  25. I think I agree with all that Derek says. But none of it is evidence-based. “They” may well feel all the emotions that are suggested, but we had this sort of instinct and feel before the 2014 referendum- so many people had a gut feeling (including Derek actually!), that we were going to win…..
    We also had the gung ho merchants, who scoffed at negative opinion polls as disinformation or BT propaganda.
    We do start off from a much better position than the last time; but let’s not confuse instinct or anecdote with evidence.

  26. Another excellent post Derek. In some ways the timing and result of the next Referendum is not the ‘be all and end all’ in terms of our thinking.

    Our main priority is to change Scotland for the better and that of course immediately sets us apart from Mundell and co.

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