Save the Union

Damn the separatists. They’re trying to destroy the country I love. They want to put up borders and divide us from our friends and neighbours. Isolationism is a backward step when the world is globalised. We’re too small to go it alone and we need the strength of being bound to our partners. I want to stay part of the civilised world, not shut myself off because of some parochial knee-jerk reaction and rejection of different people.

Yes. I want to stay in the EU.

Interesting, isn’t it, how the arguments against national independence for Scotland echo in the debate over Brexit. I’m begining to understand how the Unionists feel.

My sense is that I’m losing my country, that in some ways it’s already gone because I never believed that the British way was to turn on foreigners. I saw the signs from the State and the pandering to hate by government, but it’s always sensible to uncouple that from the instincts of Mr and Mrs John Smith. In the 60’s for instance it was the Tories who limited Commonwealth immigration, an act described by Gaitskell as ‘cruel and brutal anti-colour legislation’. But I am wrong. England now has lost its marbles. And it’s dignity.

Where are the radicals? When Scotland was claiming its right to self-government, David Aaronovitch in the Times rubbished our references to the Declaration of Arbroath as one of the earliest expressions of people’s sovereignty. In reply he offered Magna Carta, the Levellers and probably the Tolpuddle Martyrs. In response I accepted that fine English tradition but asked: Where are those radicals today? Answer came there none.

The same point stands now. All English progressives cower in awe of a flawed referendum fought on bogus terms with a result based on ignorance of the workings and advantages of EU membership. The vote was staged as a way of cauterising a wound in the Tory Party whose extremists were simultaneously terrified of, and attracted to, UKIP.

Whatever criticism you can make of Scotland’s campaign, you can’t say it wasn’t prolonged, exhaustive, engaging and informed. As I wrote at the time, if you hadn’t computed the basic information by voting day, you didn’t deserve the right to vote.

The basis of the quick and brutal EU referendum on the other hand was racism, plain and simple, minus the compensatory evidence of migration’s economic contribution (let alone the – to me – equally important element of cultural diversity). People may well have felt shut out of decision-making and marginalised in the economy but the root message of the Leavers was it could all be solved by getting rid of foreigners. And the public bought it.

May’s speech today makes it clear. The priority isn’t re-calibrating the economic order to deliver more to Solihull and Sunderland. It isn’t to make us more prosperous. It is to get rid of people who aren’t British. Let’s refine that. It isn’t just to stop people coming in. As it stands, it is to eject those already here. (They’re already receiving letters advising them of their precarious status). It will of course, mean we can’t go abroad to live and work either with the same ease we can today. This issue may be resolved in negotiations in time but that’s where we stand – with hundreds of thousands of worried people, our international reputation damaged and the clear message going out that you’re not wanted here.

It’s worth remembering that just over half of immigrants are from the EU – in other words countries whose citizens have automatic rights to come. Forty-four per cent come from the rest of the world, countries whose citizens Britain has a legal right to limit or prevent if it chooses depending on the agreements it has. The point here is that the UK Parliament can enact laws to restrict their access in a way it can’t with EU citizens. So Britain does have border control over roughly half of all those coming in. It chooses not to use it.

One of the biggest groups coming to the UK for more than a year are students who bring in over £4 billion a year to the economy. When looked at as an export industry, education and training brings in a staggering £14 billion. Why would a government jeopardise that kind of revenue stream?

Another of the large groups is of those who have a job lined up. They haven’t come to speculate or live on welfare, but specifically to earn and pay tax having been recruited by a British employer.

Those who arrive to join a family member has halved from the nineties to 12 per cent now. And, to cap it all, 45 per cent of all incomers plan to stay only for up to two years.

The racist UKIP and the white supremacists of the National Front before them have turned a benefit to the country into a deficit and successfully blamed other human beings for it. A net contribution to the economy has been ignored in favour of a xenophobia which beings shame on working people, never mind the national broadcaster’s obsession with the overwhelmingly unelected UKIP and its fetish with Farage.

Even those who voted out of some principle against the EU can only look on and weep at how their vote has been twisted by the Brexiteers into a justification for Little Englander parochialism.

I’d like to think that Theresa May would consult Alex Salmond before she crawls on her knees before the madman Donald Trump. The lesson surely from the relationship between the two men is instructive about Trump’s house of cards mentality. One minute Salmond was a great Scot and a hero – as he appeared to be helping his business plans. The next, he was a crazy man destroying his own country – when he appeared to be defying him. The friendship collapsed overnight when Trump didn’t get his way. He is more volatile than the oil price.

Can a deal be done with the USA? You bet it can.

You take our narcotic beef, our expensive drugs, you follow our quality standards instead of Europe’s, and let our corporations buy up the NHS. We take some of your strawberry jam.

America will own Britain and Britain will do as it’s told, just as we do on defence by keeping thousands of Americans in jobs while bleeding the accounts dry with Trident and just as we do by letting British citizens be hauled before American courts on doubtful evidence without any reciprocity. How do you imagine you negotiate with Trump? Does he strike you as a generous opponent, overwhelmed by goodwill, ready to surrender meekly? He wrote a book about it and chapters called Use Your Leverage and Fight Back don’t give that impression.

Britain isn’t taking back control. Britain is on its knees. And like Dolores Ibarruri, La Pasionaria, I say it’s better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees. The EU and the Single Market may not be exactly classic material for a socialist cause but then, these day, what is? We have to mobilise around something as the wreckers light their torches. Detaching ourselves from the madness down south before it’s too late and reaching out to the people of Europe sounds as good a start as any. Who are the separatists now?


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57 thoughts on “Save the Union

  1. “The vote was staged as a way of cauterising a wound in the Tory Party”

    Very good Derek!

  2. Anyone under any illusion we actually matter ? why do we go out and vote when we are told to sit in the corner to be effectively told to shut up , any point in sending MPs to Westminster ? why go through the pretence . Westminster only governs with OUR consent and that can be changed and we all know it is the only way now all other avenues have been cut off , so its make yer mind up Labour in Scotland who are you fighting for ?

  3. Bugger (the Panda)

    Scotland has been confirmed as an internal Colony of England; a Bantustan.

  4. Being an unlettered and unwashed barbarian, I have no idea what your references were in the first sentence of your last para, but on the rest of the piece? Aye! Wi knobs on! 🙂

    What Burke said on what it takes for evil to prosper?

    We do the opposite of that now.

    • Having read many of your other posts I’ve no doubt that comment was facetious but next time you’re in Glasgow pop down to the Clydeside Walkway and you can find out all about Dolores.

      • Nothing facetious about it. I have no clue who Dolores is or was.

        • Bugger (the Panda)

          Non passaran.

        • Bugger (the Panda)


          It is a Clydeside thing about the Spanish Civi War and with references into the International Brigade. Dolores was La Passionara, an icon of the struggle and there is a statue to her beside the pedestrian bridge on the walkway.

          ….ll…Archie Hamilton, my father was from Plantation where now sits the BBC. He was born in McLean Street. He knew of some who went to Spain but he was too young then. He volunteered and joined the RAF at the start of the war and lied about his age to get in. At the end they wouldn’t let him be demobbed as he was a certified engine and airframe fitter and a Volunteer, so not a conscript. Another story.

          Red Clydeside was very living for many and is still so.

          I am sure you were not flippant or anyway in disrespect of Archie or his beliefs.

          Different parts of Scotland, different roads to here.

          We have a big enough fight against our common enemy than a squabble within. Time for that later, mibbees.?

          Macart, I copied and posted as a Tweet a section of something you said about N Surgeon and her measured responses.

          It is being retweeted extensively, with an acknowledgement of provenance.

  5. Sad times, very sad times. When will the English realise what’s been done to them and when they do will they be able to rectify it. I hope so for all our sakes.

  6. Half my office is in shock, the EU half. Just like 23rd June – but this time clarity bites. They are nothing more than a letter way from ejection now.

    The other half are in awe – the stupidity – the colossal stupidity. The Tory-centric outcome that with soft words cuts through our rights like a sword.

  7. Why do they call you people remainers you are losers plain and simple you lost get over it I do not want any more Incomers we have to many here as it is the reason we need more doctors nurses. Etc., is because of all the Incomers waken up


      • Blair…I’m afraid what you’ve said is actually moronic…although, I have to say your opinions seem indicitave of the opinions of many who voted for this Brexit.
        You have to realise Blair…our NHS actually DEPENDS on workers from oversees, particularly the EU. Take them away, and it will grind to a halt. I say this as a partner of a Charge Nurse in a Hospital here; she reiterates this to me daily.
        Your Brexit is being run of course by people who want exactly that, so that they can cast it into turmoil, whilst encouraging it’s privatisation…and making it inevitable.
        Or I should say. YOU have made it inevitable Blair. Thanks for that !

    • Iain MacGillivray

      You could do with some education it seems, and what a tired old mantra (look it up), the doctors and nurses are most probably incomers themselves and without them and others Scotland does not have enough people or talent to make it work, so read past the red tops and you wake up!

    • Have you ANY idea where doctors and nurses that run our health service actually come from ? Not little England , that’s for sure !

    • Um. A lot of the ‘incomers’ ARE doctors and nurses. The NHS could not function without the many thousands of doctors, nursers and researchers we have attracted to our country. May now seems to be using them as bargaining counters with the EU. Many are seriously considering leaving, and once they are gone, I think you will suddenly appreciate how much we need them.

    • Blair Pateson might benefit from joining a course of English for Beginners. Most of the immigrants can string a better sentence together than he does. Take a look around your local hospital while you still can. The doors will be closed when you get your way and many of the staff are ejected

  8. A good article Mr Bateman, but what next?

    There are an awful lot of people like me who voted Yes to Scottish independence, but also Yes to leaving the EU. How do we square that circle?

    I’m prepared to put Scotland first and vote for Scottish independence in a future referendum, but I can only speak for myself. What the plan for the next referendum? Are we going to run it on a choice of two unions?

    I buy and read The National everyday, but if it, and the recent independence convention’s pro-EU stance is anything to go by, the indy movement could be making the same mistakes as 2014.

    In 2014, the mantra was no more Tory governments, which annoyed Conservatives like me who support Scottish independence, and I’m sure Michael Fry was probably bemused by that as well.

    In 2016 it’s the EU or bust. which again, could potentially alienate a lot of voters.

    Interesting times ahead.

    • To be perfectly honest the “Tories out” mantra is not that hard to understand – there is a great deal of anti-Tory sentiment in Scotland. Labour in Scotland lived off that anger for decades. The Tory party didn’t find itself as the terrible bugbear of Scotland for nothing. There are also large areas in England were that sentiment runs just as high. Safe to say the Tory party in Scotland has done very little to endear itself to the larger Scottish electorate. Hell the party was damned with feint praise by a internal Labour in Scotland poll, that said the labour party was seen as indistinguishable from the tories but less competent. Ruth Davidson campaigned as “Ruth Davidson for a stronger opposition – not openly as the Scottish Conservatives. The poor wee lib dems stuck with Cameron to the bitter end and imploded. Not just in Scotland but England too. I have to say, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, that I am bemused that any Tory voter or Tory politician for that matter is bemused by this. No offense to you, but there are many who are genuinely gob smacked, that there could be such a thing as a Tory in Scotland who is for Independence. The sad history of your party is that for years it has always campaigned to keep Scotland firmly under Westminster’s thumb.

      But that aside – Membership of the EU was one of the principle weapons of attack on the Yes campaign. Only a strong UK assures our membership in the EU etc etc. The mistake of the No camp was to make the argument for the Union between England and Scotland about material benefits that Scotland was incapable of achieving for itself. There are many reasons for the collapse of the labour party in Scotland, but that argument of too wee, too poor and too stupid, cost them dear.

      Yes – it is true to say that many who voted for Independence voted leave. But there are many more who voted No to independence directly because they believed Better togethers argument that only the UK could ensure Scotland’s access to those markets. These people do seem to be warming to the idea of Independence and not only desirable but necessary.

      Now having voted to remain in the UK and to remain in the EU – the UK has decided for Scotland that it is to be dragged out of Europe against it’s clearly expressed desire to remain. Its answer to Scotland’s concerns? Mockery. Derision. Reduced once more to a region of Britain and not a nation. It’s not so much that the EU is important to Scotland, its the utter contempt shown to Scotland that will make the EU a hot button topic. Sadly the villain in this piece is the Conservative party and Ruth Davidson and her Scottish tories will be expected to tow the line and push the UK Tory agenda to the Scots. She and her party are a bigger hostage to fortune in the coming days.

      I guess the question is: For those who voted Yes but then voted leave. Would you still vote yes for an independent Scotland on the day – regardless of how you feel about Europe?

      Interesting times indeed.

      • An interesting and balanced reply. Thanks.

        To address a few of your points:

        Ruth Davidson, is not, has never been, and will never be, a Conservative. And that goes for the rest of her party. They’re about as Conservative as Michael Foot was.

        They are unionists. Nothing more, nothing less.

        If they were Conservatives, they would be leading the charge for Scottish independence, not trying to stiflle it.

        Traditionally, it is the Right, not the Left, that pushes for self-determination. Scotland seems to be unique in this regard.

        I’m well used to people expressing surprise that a Tory would support Scotland going it alone, but my vision, expressed a few times on these pages, is something along the lines of Iceland, Norway, or Switzerland.

        Out of the UK, out of the EU has always been my mantra.

        I will vote again in favour of Scottish independence, despite the SNP’s pro-EU stance. Freedom to achieve freedom, one battle at a time etc etc

        Like others on this blog, and other pro-Indy blogs, the potential for this nation is huge. One example before I go: Land Reform.

        Land reform is a golden opportunity in my book. Davidson’s mob won’t support it because they’re not Tories, but I, remembering my Edmund Burke, am in favour of it.

        Why? Because a population, with a stake in the land, to build houses and enterprise on, will, in my book, become natural Conservatives.

        My vision of indy Scotland is land reform, small business friendly, small government. Alas, voices like mine get lost amongst the left-wing slant of the indy movement.

        None the less, I will keep plugging on, because without independence, left or right will never see the light of day…

        • You are precisely the voices we need to win IndyRef2. I also believe that the Tories in England aren’t true Conservatives. They wax lyrical about standing up for hard working people then the only tax they cut is inheritance tax – as if inherited wealth is earned wealth! (by the recipient). We need a voice from the right to win this race.

          As for EU v non-EU. Scotland was never given the option of the Norway model, and I can’t see for the life of me why, given how similar our demographics and resources are, we’d choose anything other than the Norway model. Apparently 12% of Yes voters have switched to No and 12% have gone the other way. My hope is that the 12% Yes to No switchers simply wan’t out of the EU and as soon as Scotland is dragged out, they will switch back to Yes. All the SNP need to do is promise a referendum on joining the EU, v the Norway model, in the event of independence from the UK, and we’ll get those 12% back in time for IndyRef2.

        • “They are unionists. Nothing more, nothing less.”

          Exactly, and why conservatives need their own party to push for independence.

          Great post. This is the extra that is needed to turn NOs into YESs.

          • @My Cocaine: As far as I can see, Conservatives from Hooker to May are in favour of inequality. (and a lot of other things I find equally objectionable) Personally, I place the ending of inequality (by greater democracy of the people, ridding ourselves of professional politicians, fair taxation on the wealthy and corporates, more social security, Land Reform – as you mention, public control of business etc) second in importance only to Independence.

        • You make excellent points that are very refreshing. Indy first and then as an independent country Scotland can make its own decisions on other matters.

        • I think I am almost exactly as yourself.
          I consider myself quite conservative, but i have never and will never vote for the UK conservative party.
          Scotland in my opinion is lot more small ‘c’ “conservative” than it lets on but they are not unionist.
          Its a bit cliched of course, but still i think its quite truthful to state that we’re self-reliant, determined and averse to debt….old fashioned conservative values/ principles that were once strong in Scotland…but importantly combined with a conscience, something that is severely lacking in the UK conservative party.
          After indy (I see it inevitable) I actually would expect quite a centrist government in Scotland most of the time via PR, which would suit me fine.

        • Excellent points from a conservative voting yesser. If only more like you would realise that in an Indy Scotland their party would probably thrive. I too voted Yes and Out , but I can see by the mess Theresa May has to deal with that possibly it would be better for Scotland to stay in. I actually believe that after Brexit is done many other countries will follow suit and the EU will collapse, before Scotland becomes a full member. Win win ….

        • I sympathise very much with your position. You need to come on board the Yes movement. I have in mind myself to look at literature aimed at people who would class themselves as conservative but voted No.

          I can see great opportunities in an independent country for that native ingenuity which built our industrial superpower – unaided by state interference/ help – in the 1800’s. And I can see great opportunities for the middle classes in the removal of the Eton Mafia who sit on top of the UK like a thick mulch denying sunlight to us mere colonials.

          The EU may actually not be a bad idea. Everything we are told turns out to be crap on closer inspection. There is no area of our experience that has not been manipulated by the Brit establishment. Why do 60 million people even begin to imagine they are a mighty superpower in a world of 6 billions?

          Please don’t sit on the sidelines. Get active. There is a strong libertarian, centre right argument to be put in favour of Scotland regaining her independence.

    • I’m backing the EFTA route. Much easier to get a cast iron approval pre-indyref2, single market access, avoids the € red herring and also appeals to the yes/leavers. From Nicola’s recent language, I wonder if that’s going to be the tactic. She’s somewhat cooled it on the EU mentions of late.

    • As a Yes/Leave voter, you square the circle by voting Yes in Indyref2. After we are independent from Westminster, you can campaign for a Scottish EU exit, if that’s what you believe in. You are likely, however, to have to do that with some more coherent arguments than ‘take back control’ and against a backdrop of how well things are working out (or otherwise) for rUK with Brexit.

    • You’ve been reading Massie and Torrance again, ‘my cocaine’.
      You pays your money, sir or madam, or Blair, or John, or spanner, or whoever you are.
      The Referendum will be on Self Determination, not in or out of the EU.
      Try as you may, you will not muddy the waters with your ‘I voted YES but No to the EU’, what can a poor boy do? argument.
      Post Independence there will be a party or parties standing on a EU Exit ticket at the first SGE.
      Independence first, with continuing membership of the EU, then the inevitable realignment of Scottish politics along traditional lines.
      Do you still want to leave the EU when you realise the financial disaster into which Brexit is turning?
      No freedom of movement/employment in Europe?
      Tariffs on European goods?
      Your decision, though, but, mind.

  9. What needs sorted for the next Ref is a means of effectively refuting the hysterical disinformation that we all expect; I am sure there is still a continuation of people working hard on this but it will need more than the National’s worthy effort. Good point on the export factor regarding education – we have after all 4 Ancient Universities & several other respectable unies. Oh – on Aaronovitch; my late pa used to read him in the Observer and would have invited you for a pint and a chat on that f.!

  10. It looks pretty clear , will our wishes north of the border be respected ,are we regarded as an equal partner in this union , we can vote for the next million years and still never change anything England wants , its that simple our voice dosnt and hasn’t every counted so why continue the Pretence .
    Forget the EU in out result that is a side show , the real question is do we have a choice ? .

  11. The first big question : will Westminster grant Section 30 for the next indyref?

  12. Over the holidays I found myself, by Hobson’s choice rather than my own, reading a copy of a book called ‘Into the Silence’ by Wade Davis (digression for thumbnail lit crit: good in the first and last thirds, turgid in the middle).

    ‘Into the Silence’ takes as its two major themes, the Everest expeditions of the 1920’s and the Great War’s influence on the lives of the expedition members and on wider British society. In describing their personal war experiences, Davis re-iterates the enormity of Britain’s failure: how General Haig never changed his belief that the machine gun would only ever be a supplementary weapon to the horse; how time and again he marched masses of men into the fire of those guns; how his every attack was made unfailingly at the enemy’s strongest point.

    The war created a rift in British society, between those who’d fought and those who hadn’t – the popular idea of glory and pride against the first-hand experience of hell.

    In my reading, it’s this rift that leads to Orwell’s “Notes on Nationalism”. Orwell didn’t write that in a vacuum. He was refuting the foolish bombast that overrode things like common sense and practicality. Indicting the leadership that wilfully destroyed a generation along with the country’s future.

    (I have a lot of time for Orwell, who we know travelled to Spain in 1936 and laid his life on the line for the freedom & justice he believed in – only to find it betrayed by the authoritarian right and the authoritarian left. At the same time, if you read “The Road to Wigan Pier”, you can see him fall prey to the same kind of patronising middle-class condescension that The Guardian’s now renowned for).

    What astonishes me about contemporary British thought, is that the lesson handed down to us isn’t “don’t get into fights that will destroy you even as you win” or “don’t put fools in charge of our destiny, unchecked year after year”, but “nationalism is evil” – effectively, “don’t get too full of yourselves”. Which we are to swallow alongside a national broadcaster whose every two thoughts out of three are “Britain’s great!”

    To me it seems more important to remember to avoid violence started to satisfy the anger of old men, who’ll not see the fight themselves or have to live in the future that the violence leaves behind. As opposed to, you know, concentrating on whether we should feel good or bad about the violence once we start it.

    In a rush at the end of the year and at the end of a post, I found myself recently using the phrase “take our country back”. What frustrates me most about debating the non-debate with Britain over Scotland’s future isn’t the idea that on independence Scotland’s problems will be solved. I don’t think that’s the case. There’s momentum and strength on the side of independence, but biased media or no, 55% of Scots voted to remain British. We don’t have a ready-made country to take back. The hard work *starts* with separation. The hard work of building the new, modern, forward-looking, competent, confident-but-quiet-about-it, successful country that Scotland can be. But we can’t even get started thanks to the clammy embrace of a Britain that says “you’re a terrible burden, we can’t let you go”.

    I think Matt Qvotrup in the New Statesman’s right – May’s Brexit speech is a capitulation. England will certainly leave the EU. Here is a real chance for Scotland to be the part of the British mainland that’s friendly to international business, to the foreign manufacturers who like to speak English but be in the EU. And does London really prefer to see finance move to Frankfurt and Paris rather than Edinburgh? There’s space here for some hard-nosed deal-making.

  13. Derek, why do my comments never make it past moderation? I’ve tried to post on several occasions to no avail. The latest was on this thread re. the potential merits of EFTA, not particularly controversial I would have thought?

  14. SNP – Red Line was Single Market. That’s gone, now lets get on with the referendum, if Nicola is true to her words. Salmond announced the referendum 18 months before it happened and before the Edinburgh Agreement. The date can be announced the mechanics take place after the announcement.

    Dithering is not a good look for any government.

    • The Scottish Government already has a bill in the works, hence the recent consultation. So the mechanics are already taking place.

    • It’s not dithering Jock. It’s procedure and legality. Dot the ‘i’ and cross the ‘t’ procedure at that.

      May is doing a fine job of lining the dominoes up. She may even knock the first one over for us, but it has to be by her hand, her choice, her action that ends the union. All the FM and the Scottish Government need do is follow parliamentary procedure and duty of care in their own office and responsibilities.

      Each action May and Westminster takes toward hard Brexit has a constitutional and legal consequence. 😉

      • Exactly. Also we don’t need anything like 18 months this time. Last time there was a long run up because it was such a leap for most people. It needed time to be normalised, debated, for campaigns to be built up. This time round it’s already there; it’s normalised, it’s debated. The idea is firmly out there, the campaign groups are already there and campaigning on the basis there will be a referendum.

        The Greek referendum on the EU only had a week’s notice! Announced on Sunday, held the following Sunday. It allowed for no postal voting. Now we need la lot longer than that, I think, but nothing like 18 months. What we do need – desperately – this time around is certainty, especially from the EU and over currency plans. If that’s what the Scottish government are doing right now (and it looks like it is) then fine. They don’t need to announce a date, or even a definite referendum yet.

        Get everything in place and, as Macart says, let May and the rest carry on giving us ammunition. Then go in with something definite and certain, and a pretty short actual campaign this time round.

        • We also need to resolve the Postal voting process. It was far too lax and too easy to manipulate last time. Not fit for purpose in the 21st century. While not a conspiracy theorist on this, the postal vote was and is a flaw in the so-called democratic principles.

          I also want the SG to push for proper international scrutiny of the Referendum this time. Craig Murray had an article on how this could be done a short while ago. We MUST have external monitoring this time around.

  15. I remember back during Indyref 1 thinking that one of the pertinent questions was about the type of country you wanted to live in. Even at that time England looked to becoming more isolationist and I genuinely thought at the time it was about choosing between a direction of travel more akin to the European countries or a direction of travel towards being the 51st State. I just didn’t expect it to come to fruition quite so soon.

  16. Wrote this on Newsnet -> I’ve voted SNP all my life (except once when I voted Green!) and I must say I feel pretty disappointed right now. In the last two elections Scots elected the SNP in droves in order to “protect Scotland’s interests”. With so little known about what May meant with her ridiculous “Brexit means red, white and blue Brexit” sound bytes it has been commendable that the Scottish Government put forward their paper/proposals to compromise with the UK government whilst trying to respect the result of both the independence and EU referendums.

    Given that May has now effectively destroyed any chance of cooperation with the Scottish Government (or Europe for that matter) with her speech yesterday Sturgeon’s renewal of her “all EU citizens are welcome here in Scotland” statement seems vacuous given she’s absolutely powerless to protect them or offer them permanency.

    The time has come for the SNP and the Scottish Government to do what they’ve been given an overwhelming democratic mandate to do, protect Scotland’s people and its interests. Whether we like it or not, Scotland is being removed from the EU and all its institutions so any hesitancy about UDI should now be well and truly dispelled. The decision facing Sturgeon and the Scottish Government is not about whether or when to hold IndyRef2. No, the decision is about when to make the declaration and seek formal EU membership instead of persisting with this nonsensical plebiscite in a post-truth world where actual facts are conflated with UK government propaganda.

    If Sturgeon and the SNP do not protect Scotland’s interests it will not be Unionist press or UK government she has to worry about, it will be her voting and paying members abandoning the party knowing that when push came to shove they shat it and allowed the UK government to shaft us, again.

  17. The point I was making is that Sturgeon made the Single Market a red line issue. There will be no single market. Red Line crossed = Referendum.

    I suspect she is seeing what comes out of the meeting tomorrow with the loonies. That is a forgone conclusion. May talked about devolving power so I think that relates to fisheries etc coming back from the EU. May thinks that this bribe will pacify Sturgeon and the Scottish people. Yes May is that stupid!

    I doubt she means devolving immigration powers required for Scotland to stay in the single market. Remember Scotland was stupid enough to believe the Vow so May will try the same tactic. It won’t work twice and will not prevent the referendum.

    That’s why I say get on with it and stop negotiating with liars.

    • Agreed a pointless exercise , the only thing this Tory mob respects is strength any sign of weakness or a willingness to offer a solution that suits all will be jumped on , remember their Pound , I believe we appear to be too willing to please to keep NO voters on side when going for Maydays Throat might be more effective , keep her guessing ,wrong foot her at every turn, do the unexpected stop dancing to her tune .

  18. (inspired by Derek Bateman)

    What happened to the country that took in thousands fleeing Nazism during the darkest times in history ? The country that gave sanctuary to leaders from Europe exiled until their countries could be rebuilt ? The country that took in poles and hungarians escaping soviet oppression ?

    What happened to the country that opened its doors to hundreds of thousands from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia ? The people who helped care for our health ? Who brought new colours and tastes to our food ?

    What happened to the country that millions all over the world trusted to broadcast the facts ? The country whose radio comforted those in trouble who felt their story was given a voice ?

    What happened to the country that welcomed the brightest to its centres of learning ? The country for which new ideas had no borders ?

    What happened to the country which valued the rule of law ? The country that didn’t like extremes ? The decent country ?

    I want my country back.
    But it’s gone.

    It’s the Nasty Country now. The country that turned to the extreme. The country that turned its back on its neighbours. The country that turned its back on prosperity.
    The country that turned its back on its own people.

    I want my country back.
    But I can’t get it. It’s a country that won’t come back any more.

    So I want my country.
    I can get it now. I can get it, if I try.

  19. Holyrood should have a straight-forward vote to end the union with England.

  20. Guys, fire in the belly is fine, and understandable, but wait until we can see the whites of their eyes. Not long now.
    NS is playing the long game, that’s all.
    We are being reasonable, willing to talk, but May and Davis just ignore us.
    Indyref 2 is inevitable, and May knows that. Hence their ‘we’re hearing, but don’t expect us to listen’ stance.
    The howling mob at WM today while Angus Robertson quizzed the PM on the 80,000 jobs in jeopardy tells us everything.
    Jock bashing season in full flow now.
    We’ll get there.

  21. Pretty much Panda. The only humour intended was of the self deprecating variety, since I am exactly as I described.

    And I honestly had no idea who was being referenced or their history.

    As for the post retweet? Not a problem and welcome. 🙂

  22. After May’s speech it’s clear that the UK Emperor has no clothes – and, soon, the Empire will have no countries.

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