Still NO?

What did you think you were voting for? In September 2014 the question on the ballot may have said independence, but forget the terminology for a moment. What it meant was: Do you want Scots to have the power over their own lives or do you want to leave it up to whoever is in charge in Westminster?

Now you may have looked at nice David Cameron and thought he’s not so bad. I’ll go with him. But that’s as stupid as not voting Yes because you didn’t like Alex Salmond. It was a vote on running the country of the future – you know, the place your kids will live in and their kids. In case you hadn’t noticed governments change, politicians come and go, ideas develop and fade. The point was to ask yourself where are the best decisions likely to be made in your interests – Edinburgh or London? Who’s likely to have Scotland’s interests closest to heart – Scots at Holyrood or an 85 per cent English Parliament?

Did you honestly never consider that events might alter the course of history? Did you miss the barrow boy anti-anybody-but-England bile of UKIP? Did you ponder what kind of person Iain Duncan Smith was? Or Boris Johnson? Were you listening to what they were saying?

There was an election after you voted No in 2014. It all but wiped out the voices of Unionism here. This was a message as unambiguous as an iceberg. It said to the London government that we were in revolt. We’d had enough. The referendum vote was a warning – one that could be repeated and we were now saying from the far North to the Border that we demanded real change this time. We were sick of constitutional complexities and double-speak. This was the last chance – deep, permanent, comprehensive devolution of powers to put an end to the resentment or the drums will start up again.

Instead of mature discussion, we got EVEL. Every amendment to the legislation based on the Smith irrelevance was ignored. We live in a ‘nation’ where a single MP, perhaps the most personally unimpressive individual ever to hold ministerial office, represents the entire elected strength of the State. What he says counts more than the First Minister’s voice, more than your opinion, more than the entire electorate of Scotland. We have a government representative who has said that the country he speaks for does not exist in law. He has said it is not his job to be Scotland’s man in Cabinet.

He has though led a piece of legislative chicanery which purported to guarantee Holyrood’s place in UK decision-making by making it the most powerful devolved parliament in the world. Smith declared that the parliament should be ‘made permanent in UK legislation and the Sewel Convention put ‘on a statutory footing.’

This was unctuously portrayed by Mundell as a major and meaningful concession.

But the wording made clear it was no such thing. They are political, not legal considerations, as the Supreme Court has duly ruled.

Did you yearn to believe them? Do you console yourself by pretending the Theresa May and her violent anti-EU manoeuvre is really listening to you? Forgive me, but if so, should you reconsider your own mental competence? What does it take to make you realise that as a Scottish resident and, collectively as a nation, you are a second class citizen in your own country? Are we now so filled with self revulsion that humiliation has lost its meaning? There are intelligent and wise people I know who believe fervently in Scotland and England hanging together and truly find independence an alien creed. If you’re one of them, how do you look at this judgment from the highest court in your ‘United’ Kingdom which says loud and clear your government believes you to be unworthy of consultation – so far beneath contempt that even with the strongest devolved government in the world and a resounding vote to remain in the EU, you will be disregarded – swept aside like crumbs from their table? Remember, this is their view too of people of the other nations of the UK. The United Kingdom? This is a government that is trying desperately to prevent submitting its plan to democratic scrutiny in parliament – that is being dragged into using the time-honoured process of representative democracy. Such epic arrogance was never going to accommodate anything as insignificant as Scottish opinion.

And this is what you voted for.

I grow tired of the outrage of those who wheedled their way via the media through the referendum by placing their faith in British promises of fair play and somehow if we stayed loyal, the honest yeomanry of Olde England would see us right, squire. They may not have wanted independence nor seen its necessity, but in their inner tortured soul did they really think the British would cede what Scotland wanted? All experience points the opposite way and they concede the least they can get away with. Even the tax raising powers are devised as a trap by funnelling revenue raising into income tax only so as to become politically unpopular.

To the Westminster parties, we aren’t a country on a map – we are a board on which a game of politics can be played. First to screw the SNP is the winner. Call it Snakes and Ladders.

From 7 am that day in September until 10pm we held the power to control our country, our destiny, if you like. When you voted No, you handed it all back – to people who couldn’t care less. Oh sure, they’ll go along with you but only until you demand something they’re uncomfortable with. Then they’ll give you a sad wee look and say: Nah. Doesn’t suit me. End of…

We’re in this mess now because of your vote, however legitimate you thought it was to turn down your own country’s independence. Perhaps it was because of those broad shoulders that would take the strain. Well, those shoulders are shrugging at you today.

I can only think that as a No voter you pretend none of this really matters and it’ll turn out ok. And whatever disasters befall Britain, independence was always going to be worse. If so, it confirms the view I expressed right back at the beginning when the campaign got going – that voting No was a declaration that Britain was your real country, and Scotland second. After this statement of English superiority within the UK and a rejection of the rights of the other nations to be heard on the defining issue of the day, you still turn your back on the self-respect that independence represents, you are turning your back on Scotland. That is, you are expressly rejecting a Scotland that can breathe as a nation not just an administrative sub-region, one that can exercise its own version of democracy and reflect the wishes of its people. Frankly, it’s getting to the stage that submitting to this is pretty much admitting that Scotland isn’t a country at all.

Time to take a look at yourself. Look at your country and what’s being done to it. Consider your children’s future in a place where the government says you don’t matter…outside the world’s biggest market and the most integrated fusion of westernised democracies. That is, if Scotland still means anything to you. Burns Night would be a good time to start.

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144 thoughts on “Still NO?

  1. A wonderful piece of writing Derek. I can feel your bile rising, as mine is. I’d like to see this as an open letter to Scotland and published in every newspaper, but that clearly isn’t going to happen. Indyref2 draws nearer with every day.

    • Quite agree, it’s now almost impossible to be nice to No voters.

      • 🙂 yep even through gritted teeth i cant .

      • No “almost” about it Susan, I can no longer hide my contemp for them

        • The no voters are the one’s who will need convincing. Contempt and bitterness won’t help however well merited.

        • Thank you’re for your contempt, much appreciated. Personally I quite like being part of the UK and don’t see an arbitrary dividing line as being something to get so worked up about. People in Wales, Cumbria, Yorkshire, and many other places are not so different from people in West of Scotland, Aberdeenshire, Shetland Isles, etc.
          It would perhaps be interesting to first explore the limits of the devolved powers we have (noting that the SNP seem awfully keen to take centralising control of powers from local councils) before continually carping about some Westminster ‘bogeyman’?

          • But @Nick, that’s because you’re stupid, or maybe living under a pretense, or are ignoring the children and other residents of Scotland of the future. So much are you some or all of those things that you are held in contempt, barely visible, by your clearer thinking neighbors who can see, so clearly, so obviously, so forehead-smackingly beyond doubt, what you, in your English-lurking servitude cannot. But if it’s any consolation, I too am stupid, pretending, uncaring and the rest. Because I too like being part of the U.K. I was beginning to think I was the only idiot in our bonny land. Good to know I’m not alone. Scotland, The Brave! Rule, Britannia!

          • Yes. Fair point. But again, where is the political input? Be happy in the UK but do you have concerns about their treatment of the devolved administration after the supreme Court ruling? Will you still be happy when we leave the EU, ending visa free travel? Does it disturb you at all that Scots voted to stay in the EU? Will you be content when jobs go and the economy shrinks? Is Brexit UK with its barely disguised xenophobia still your UK? Can you write a few words on what it is that encourages you to like being part of the UK? Some of us are having real difficulty grasping what it is apart from ill-defined version of UKOK – Don’t like the Nats. I spend ages on here trying to explain why I feel the way I do, how Scotland might prosper, be more progressive, less unequal etc and pretty much all that comes back from the pro-UK voices is contempt and sarcasm (which I quite like). But it is all negative. Unconstructive. It sounds fin de siecle. A last hurrah. Come on, blow the trumpet.Ring the bell. I’ll give it space and promise not to condescend or pretend you’re stupid – or at least not as stupid as me. Derek

          • @Derek, (posting here because I couldn’t see a reply arrow under your comment). A couple of quick points for now.

            First, I believe that reasonable minds may differ on this matter. I have no problem with someone voting for independence, whether they reach that position through keenly constructed logic, resting on well-nigh bomb proof evidence; or via nostalgia for a simpler, more kindly and couthy (not to mention can’t) age; or some combination of the two. “I just wahnt tae huv independence” is fine by me even if I don’t share that view. It would be nice if those who came to the opposite conclusion would reciprocate, and in fact most do. But on both sides there seem to be some who are so utterly flabbergasted by anyone who doesn’t agree with them that they — in my humble opinion — damage our collective musings via the age old process of shouting. I don’t like shouting. It makes it hard to hear what is being said, by both sides. To the shouters I’d just ask that they shoosht just a little, and try just a little harder to understand why the others feel the way they do. Both in your reply to me and in your post you make it clear that you really do want to hear from your opponents. I believe you, but the tone of your article itself belies that a wee bit. Then again, given that the most prominent voices on the other side are the shouters, I guess I can understand you being frustrated at hearing only *their* rants. Still, eye for an eye and a blind world, an’ all that. Why not hold back a bit more from returning insult-fire, and look instead for your non-shouting opponents. There are one or two of us, I think.

            But of course, that’s all very nice and tolerant and Jock Tamson’s bairns-esque. In some areas of debate, we may encounter dangerously blithering idiots (a certain orange-shredded-wheat-for-hair US President is perhaps a candidate) who it may not make sense to give much of the time of our short, wintry Scottish days. Is Independence such an area? Is there an *argument* for staying in the U.K? For me there is enough of one — although again, reasonable minds may differ. It is simply this. I believe that your formulation of the debate as a choice between the Scots having power over their own lives versus leaving it in the hands of Westminster politicians is flawed. My own belief is that the choice is between politicians in Westminster and politicians in Edinburgh. But we — the people — will never have power over our lives. Couple that with my opinion that the loss of personal power scales very non-linearly with die of the collective, and Edinburgh vs Westminster makes no difference. If we are the noble working animals of Orwell’s farm, Edinburgh are the pigs, and Westminster the old hated farmer and other humans. Mark my (OK, Orwell’s) words: get independence if you like (doing so disnae make you mad, bad, or stupid), but you will look from Edinburgh to Westminster, and Westminster back to Edinburgh, and you won’t be able to tell the difference.

            Wait! Did I say *quick* points? Oops. 🙂

          • That’s an autocorrect error. “die of the collective” should be “size of the collective”. I’m thinking of work on effective social grouping size, built on the ideas of the likes of Dunbar, Bernard, Killworth etc.

      • A good piece that cuts straight to the point. But, Susan, we must be nice and engage with no voters as these are the people we must educate. Granted your red white and blue blooded unionists you will never convince but the normal people family and friends that voted no we must reach them and show them the facts away from the propaganda that distilled so much fear in them.

      • Wow, basing your decision in whether you like someone before you even meet them purely because their opinion differs from yours! Hope not all Yes voters are like you as that’s an independent Scotland I don’t want to be a part of.

      • You can be nice to me and explain that you will personally pay for the shortfall in my income, support my kids future, all in the name of rampant nationalism. You are no better than UKIP

      • kevinjohncrowe

        I was a Yes voter (yes to independence, yes to the EU) and will vote Yes in any forthcoming referendum. However, it does no-one any good to insult and denigrate those who voted No. They are entitled to their opinions, just as much as we are. We won’t win No voters over by denigrating them.

    • There wasn’t even a plan for a currency. The management we would have been handing the country to was oblique, unresponsive to direct practical questions about the administration of the new country amongst other things. The ‘Not Yet’s might well become YES now, and with good reason. However getting on your blinkered high horse, rattling your echo chamber and belittling them for sticking up for what they believed was the right path is unlikely to help the situation, or to convince people to act differently. It just displays the wilder side of nationalism. A side closer to the unwelcome extremism and hate spreading that lets the Populists in. Please calm down, so we can talk, please respect your neighbours more, and then we might be able to get on and build the better country you mentioned.

      • There were several plans for a currency, detailed in writing.

        Then there was a media carpet-bombing campaign, which featured trumpeted condemnation, a fitted-up case about there being ‘no plan B’ – though there was, and as usual no right to reply or respect given to the SNP.

        It was noticeable that the tone of commentary on the independence campaign from south of the border prior to Osborne’s “Sermon on the Pound” was even-handed and generous. Afterwards, he and his Labour and Lib Dem counterparts had roused a mob and from there on it was combative opposition all the way, with British nationalist anger set free.

        The ‘Yes’ side saying “you’re bluffing” and the ‘No’ side saying “no we’re not” is one thing. When the supposedly impartial BBC takes sides, and every press outlet joins it, that’s something else.

        As for “…oblique, unresponsive to direct practical questions about the administration of the new country…”, I think Scottish voters are well aware of the fresh, effective approach of the SNP, and thankful for the positive results of its administration. I’m surprised to hear your experience sound so different.

  2. As Shelley once wrote, ” Rise like lions after thunder….” If only ! Thank you Derek for expressing so much better than I could have done, my feelings and, I’m sure, the feelings of many thousands of others today.

    • Rise, like lions after slumber
      In unvanquishable number!
      Shake your chains to earth like dew
      Which in sleep had fallen on you:
      Ye are many—they are few!”

      But that’s the problem Andrew – in this dis-united Kingdom – THEY are many – 85% – we are few – and we have no mechanism at all – not least a UK Supreme Court that sees the whole UK as Greater England – that compensates for our lack of numbers in a union of so-called equal nations. It simply cannot work.

      Not only that, but among we ‘few’ we have among us a substantial number of the ‘many’ who voted to retain our colonial status in 2014 – and who could blame them? Scotland is not their country – England/Britain is.

      It cannot be repeated too often that had the 2014 vote been limited to those of us who were born here, we would right now be free.

      There is an increasingly resounding case to re-patriate all of our SNP MP’s to Holyrood, and declare de jure what we have de facto – a democratic mandate for independence

      • Limiting the vote to those born in Scotland may have gotten independence, but it would be ethnic nationalism and I personally would have been very uncomfortable with it. To the point where I may have voted against it. And most of my foreign born friends living in Scotland voted yes I think.

      • We don’t have a mandate. We lost the referendum, in part because ‘Yes’ did not have have answers to the the important question of what currency we would use.

        There is only one way to settle this, Indyref2. The UK is leaving the EU, that is a material change to our situation. Let us put it to the vote, we want to be an independent country, with our own Pound. It will be a tough road at first, but the future will be in our hands.

    • It’s ‘ slumber ‘, but I know what you mean.
      ‘Rise like lions after slumber
      In unvanquishable number,
      Shake your chains to Earth like dew
      Which in sleep had fallen on you
      Ye are many – they are few ‘
      He was talking about ‘ Men of England ‘ in the previous stanza although he may have meant Britons generally as many English did until quite recently !

  3. I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that nothing will change until the SFA and the SRU are disolved and integrated with their respective English bodies; until the Scottish football leagues are integrated with the English league division 4; until the national sporting teams of Scotland and the other UK nations are absorbed into a UK team where 85% of supporters are waving the George Cross. Only then will some people see what is actually happening here.

    The UK is an arranged marriage which never had the consent of the brides. We’re being raped and abused on a daily basis. But we have to smile to the outside world and are expected to cede our voices because that’s the culture we were brought up in.

  4. Your good self and Paul over on WGD have basically said it all Derek.

    Decision time.

    What kind of country do you want to live in?

    But I wouldn’t take too long about making that decision. According to A50, it has a best before date on the clock.

  5. Well said, Derek. Time for Holyrood to take action for the benefit of Scotland and to hell with Westminster’s britnat laws.

  6. There are Labour commentators who are reacting entirely in the negative way you describe, and Kezia Dugdale has made a statement to that effect: that the UK is all.

    • What is she doing in a Scottish Parliament then? Why have a Scottish Parliament if there is no Scotland? Just Britain?

    • That will be the same Kezia Dugdale who once applied for membership of the SNP and a chance to represent a Scottish constituency as a pro Independence official.
      Mind you when you see the likes of Jim Sillars and Gordon Wilson betraying every instinct and conviction they are supposed to possess with regards to Scottish Independence in order to favour a UK Brexit you kind of get the idea that its the gravy train that attracts many to politics and not belief or a need to serve.

  7. Captures my sentiments with so elequently and I hear the passion as I read your words. A wonderful piec of writing. Thank you so much.

  8. Excellent, Derek,

    Plain speaking which I, for one, appreciate.

  9. davie robb 1903

    Chas
    Correct its not an union its backdoor colonialism/occupation by a bigger country, todays judgement shows it up for what it really is. @Indyref2

  10. What are Unionists going to refer to themselves as now ? .
    Now they have effectively been told it wasn’t a Union after all it was a Fairytale to disguise our occupation ,are they going to call themselves ” the occupied ” ? .
    The ” NO ” voters were well warned, trust the English at your peril did you miss what they did to other countries and have done for hundreds of years.
    Suckers , but we have to live with the consequences of your decision , thanks a bunch dear friends .

  11. Good article.

    We should welcome the Supreme Court decision with open arms. There, for all to see, in black and white, is the evidence that Britain is nothing more than Greater England.

    The UK is officially finished, and ironically, Unionists were to the people to hammer the nails into the coffin.

  12. I’m troubled by this harsh attack on No-voters. I can’t see this approach gaining may converts among No-voters.
    I’d rather see Derek call on our representatives to make harsher and yet harsher attacks on the rUK polity and UK-loyal politicians.
    The time for reasonableness is past, yes I agree. But let’s turn our righteous anger not on those who’s support we must seek, but rather on those who rule us undemocratically from afar and their political trustys here.

    • I think its long past time that a spade should be called a spade. Compare to the way in which SNIP supporters are generally portrayed in the media this is as nothing. Further it is not simply an excoriation No supporters as ‘unmentionables’, but rather a call to them to consider their consciences in light of the events since 2014 and see if the promises made to them were actually kept or vanished like snow of a dyke.
      I will be totally honest I believe that for a substantial number of Unionists there is virtually nothing that would persuade them of the folly of their ways. I frankly wouldn’t waste time and effort trying to persuade them, alternatively we’ve got to fo after the rational, soft No voter and unfortunately those of us who voted for Brexit.

      • I agree – up to a point – but I think those No-voters have got to come to conclusions by themselves, or by kind and gentle persuasion.

        A personal example. Since Brexit – both my indy-sceptical elderly parents agree that indy is now the only way left to pursue a progressive vision for Scotland. But this agreement is in the form of a fragile consent – not an enthusiastic endorsement. They both lived thru WW2 and the post-war socialist settlement, they both *believe* in the idea of Britain as was, but have the wisdom to understand that that’s not coming back. They are sad about this.

        Similarly – my mother-in-law is on a slow stepwise journey to Yes. Most recently, and after years of gently attempted persuasion she said that she was “beginning to come round to your way of thinking”. Folk telling her that her No-vote in 2014 means that she’s not really Scottish is likely to be counter-productive.

        So we must be aware that many of the No-voters who can be persuaded will give up on Britain only with regret. Shouting at them about how wrong they were will not achieve our aim.

        Your own example illustrates this. Does the way SNP supporters are portrayed in the media do anything to lessen support for the SNP?

    • Alan, whilst at heart I share the same frustrations as Derek expresses – I agree with what you say here. Many of us who were nothing short of distraught at the 2014 referendum result and who continue to acknowledge that every day that passes sees Scotland being deliberately choked by the vice-like grip of a UK Government desperately scrabbling for hegemony and survival at any cost; one of the reasons many ‘No’ voters feel distanced by the ‘Yes’ concept is because most of them have not a clue what Westminster is, how it operates and how it affects Scotland now or throughout their past lifetime.

      So many Scots can’t tell you why Scotland now has a Scottish Parliament, why we need it, how it benefits us or what its purpose is in relation to Westminster. So many people know absolutely nothing about the political realities of who makes decisions about what nor how it affects their daily lives and how it will mould their future.

      Most of the reason they won’t understand what Derek is talking about above is because they don’t have the same starting place or informed understanding we have. There is so much they don’t know – and until we articulate in layman’s terms all of the things they don’t know – they will distance themselves because they will stick with the safety of what they feel they do understand – which is mostly rooted in their past understanding of how Westminster was the supposed bastion of all things which they feel were decent, simpler and less of what they perceive to be the chaos and dangers of modern life in general. They know no different because we are all talking a stage ahead of a great many people who are as devoted to their country a we are – they just have no clue what has changed over the years or who is responsible for what in relation to their everyday lives.

      We know of course that there are those who know perfectly well the machinations of Westminster; those people in positions of influence and often power in civic society, the long-term apparatchiks; the life-long councillors who have benefited hugely from the beds in which they lay and will resist anything which heralds change for the masses and less so for themselves. Scotland is crammed full of these often invisible people who hugely affect the day to day and who lord it over sections of Scottish society to the point where they form an impenetrable resistance and will fight to the last to maintain the status and influence which over many years Westminster has enabled. Their loyalty is unshakeable and their chicanery unknown to a public which assumes that those in high places or of social status will naturally work on their behalf and so forth.

      Our weakness in 2014 and since is that we are guilty of not reaching those who genuinely have no inkling of what the ‘Yes’ movement is really about. Nor do many of them know the extent of the influence of Westminster and the dangers to our country being brought about by the current Conservative government and its outriders.

      We need to communicate much better to those who don’t read online blogs; who don’t follow the day to day political events and personalities – or the culture which the media and its symbiotic relationship with some political parties and ‘personalities’ have created to influence them.

      Pointing the finger of blame at those who may be completely ignorant of the entirety of these things will have the opposite effect on those who – if they were truly better informed in terms which they could understand or relate to their own lives – pretty much makes us no different from those whom we consistently challenge because of what we perceive as THEIR bullying characteristics and penchant for blaming our mindset and actions as the root of all of Scotland’s ills.

      But…I do sometimes feel as Derek and most of us do as a knee-jerk reaction to the complete frustration of those in Scotland who are so apathetic as to not even take an interest or show they give a thought to their country’s future at all because they don’t even take the time through lack of interest.

      We need to grab their interest to begin with – we need to communicate better and listen – and turn the key in those minds which are locked. There are probably more people out there who wish they knew a lot more than they do – but because of the volume of articulate exchanges on the subject which they see – will not step into the pot of something they don’t currently really understand.

  13. Scotland should be taking to the streets over this decision. But it isn’t. Brexit has been normalised for a lot of no voters. Sure they were outraged in June but as usual they fall silent after a while. The 45 have remained outraged since 2014. We are fighting for our land, our nation. But I worry the other 55 just like getting whipped over and over again. It’s like they don’t know how to get angry! We are losing our EU citizenship people , We voted overwhelmingly to keep it get off your arses and get angry. I will not give up on my EU status without a fight.

    • You want Independence, yet you want to be shackled and told what to do by the EU. There’s no hope for us.

      • 3 -5 % of our laws are governed by EU. Around 70% is governed by Westminster. I know which union I’d rather be part of.

      • Sorry but that is complete garbage. The EU is a trade agreement not a nation state and that by necessity impacts a small proportion of our national laws and that makes sure there is a level playing field between all members. These shared areas are agreed the member Governments and do not impact any key decisions around how any country runs everything else. I am not its most ardent fan but the EU but they do NOT tell us what to do. In fact the small nations and regions, from Malta to Wallonia, shall have more say over Brexit than us, what say you to that?

        The only institution that we are ‘shackled to and told what to do by’ is the UK central government (i.e. the English parliament as that what is is due to weight of numbers). They are the people who make us a region and have conned many with their devolution settlements. You need to look at the big picture and decide what you want Scotland to be. If you are a Unionist and want Scotland to be a region of Greater England then fine, present your case. I believe Scotland is a country and the key issue here is self determination, we need to get control of our own country before we look at membership of the EU or other matters such as the royals for example.

      • What an idiotic comment. The EU is a beacon of democracy in comparison to the UK. Once Scotland has independence and if we arrange continued membership of the EU, there’s nothing to stop Scotland then invoking article 50 if it becomes clearer that’s the best way forward.

        The advantage being that we’ll have seen whether brexit was good for England but I suspect the answer to that will be no.

      • Not with that level of ignorance!

      • DhenBoy – I appreciate what many people perceive in your statement as being a contradictory position for ScotGov or Remain voters to take. On the surface it is a logical question to ask – but only on the surface.

        Westminster has always had a greater flexibility within the EU than perhaps is noticeable or certainly not declared informatively by Westminster to the British public. A great deal of choices Westminster made was how they ‘interpreted’ EU legislation for enactment within the UK. Westminster had a great deal of success within the EU in not adopting many initiatives which other EU countries chose to adopt. The UK government over the years were given carte blanche to adjust many EU initiated formulations and were able to choose what they felt would work for the UK govt in the UK. They have often had a cherry-picking choice – a fact which the EU go to great pains to clarify frequently at the moment but which are perhaps not appreciated greatly by the British audience who were never aware of any of these ‘arrangements’.

        So, in many cases of concern for the British public, they are unaware that their own UK government have been responsible for a great many decisions and enactments themselves which negatively affected British life – and which the British government were happy to leave the British populace in ignorance of – especially if the press were moved to present many of the country’s ills as having arisen entirely due to some EU initiative or directive. The UK Government was not going to rush and correct these misinterpretations as it suited them not to be scrutinised on what were in fact UK government decisions.

        The Scottish Government position is not one of seeking to be ‘shackled’ to anything. Scotland hugely benefits from the EU as a country of just over 5 million people and Scotland’s needs in many areas are hugely different from the needs of, say, England which luckily has 85% of the UK with a completely different economic dynamic and benefits from massive concentration of energy and benficence devoted to it by the UK government.

        The whole point is that the Scottish Government seeks to be ‘shackled’ by no ‘body’ which curtails its ability to be economically and culturally buoyant and losing that access to the EU internal market is more beneficial to Scotland than Westminster perceives it is for rUK. Whilst the EU has definite negatives – all EU countries have in one way or another managed to seek bespoke arrangements in instances which have been considered reasonable need and there is more flexibility that the UK government is moved to let you know there is – and certainly has been where the UK government were able to make many choices to opt in or out of one thing or another.

      • http://www.scotlandineurope.eu/wee_bleu_book

        Seems to have more benefits than being shackled to the Undemocratic UK.

  14. “Frankly, it’s getting to the stage that submitting to this is pretty much admitting that Scotland isn’t a country at all.”

    But…but I’m a proud Scot.

  15. Sadly, horribly, terrifically, brilliantly true. Well that’s us telt!

  16. Sorry i forgot to commend you for your post Derek , covered everything i have been thinking about after the English courts decision , and the confirmation we dont exist , we are not a equal Partner in this Ba*****d Union , how many times do some of us require to be pissed on to show some reaction ? .

    • Pains me to say it but the way I see it many out there just don’t give a toss, as long as they have drink, a take away, Saturday night telly and a two week holiday in the sun then that is good enough for them. Of course then you have the paid up Brits, like a taxi driver I had the displeasure of meeting who told me that “Scotland is sh*te, it is not a country and should never be one”, and that from a Scot, sorry Brit (second class).

      Bitterly disappointed with today’s limp response from Dugdale, she truly is a British Nationalist in every sense, although I am not sure why I am surprised, hell mend them and their fellow travelers. Special mention to the Lib Dems in that regard, who have really shown their true colours of late, so called Federalists and Pro Europeans, what a joke.

      It seems we have now moved to binary politics in Scotland and for me all the ‘Unionists’ (can we call them that anymore?) have just merged into one anti SNP, dare I say it anti Scotland, b*tching fest, cheered along by their mates in the media. Sad and not healthy. I like to keep an open mind but every time I hear someone getting stuck into the SNP now I just dismiss it straightway as lies. The Unionist and the media have poisoned debate here and I can only hope that they get theirs in the long run. What is wrong with these people? What is so great and about being British that you are prepared to ridicule your own country and people?

      Can we get over the line in indyref2? Well let’s hope so because if we don’t win this time there shall be no Scotland and folk like me shall be out of here pronto.

      • very well said , if their stupidity didn’t affect my grandchildren, i would gladly leave them to it and say sink in their own vomit and hatred , but their decisions impact us all we need to keep at them.

      • Hi Iain. I find reading Private Eye illuminating as to the corporate, business and overseas connections of the various unionist parties – historically and now. The British/American Project, all those memberships and affiliations, the number of Westminster party connections with MPs’ advisory positions with corporates, the number of ex Westminster bods and civil servants who go through the revolving Westminster door into corporate positions where some end up being in the position of lobbying or devising contracts with the UK government. So may of them have huge connections with overseas states and investor blocks, including the USA – which seems to be the huge attraction to all of them just now. Westminster makes itself the ‘broker’ for business coming to Scotland, it pushes its way in there and makes itself the spokesperson and deal-maker for Scotland. New Labour especially expanded hugely the ‘internal market’ within British public services and Brexit seems to have set off the obsession with opportunities to be had and they all want to be the ones who are the connect points to bring the bucks in. The moral compass is tempted to go out the window – where the moral compass existed – and I suspect that because every party now wants to be the attraction in this free for all – this is their strategy to set Scotland itself aside, to add themselves to the brokerage for self-advancement and status in the great British free for all post Brexit – and set themselves up as being the credible bigger Westminster Cartel connected individuals to be part of the bean fest. It’s why they are all portraying to the global audience that the Scottish Government is incompetent and can’t even run the domestic show – because they need Scottish Government to be excluded from being relevant in relation to business potential in the UK. Same old, same old.

    • As I’ve said on other sites Robert, some people to actually get punched on the face before they would believe a punch on the face would be sore!!!!

  17. O for a Wallace ?

  18. I share your outrage Derek. This is exactly what many of us predicted. Even before the referendum Scotland was effectively side lined as far as possible. The approval for that policy that Westminster has drawn from a No vote was bound to cement this position not reverse it.

    I refuse to believe that those who voted No were somehow misled or duped. They were told exactly what could happen but they put their faith in an alternate reality where Scotland was an equal Westminster. I think they call that “post-truth” or something like that now on’t they?

    What galls me the most is that so many Scots think we should be treated less favorably than Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark. These are Crown dependents with town-sized or street-sized populations who effectively have control over everything other than foreign affairs and defense.

    Yet Scotland has to settle for substantially less and a whole lot of people who live here think that’s fine and dandy.

    (Not) Labour have made it clear – visceral hatred of the SNP and, as a consequence, a new found love for Unionism, must come ahead of whatever Scotland wants or needs.

    We have journalists saying that Ireland should get a soft border after Brexit because of its history of conflict, violence and murder. But if Scotland dares to go its own way it should get a hard border for behaving like a civilised grown up democracy. You really couldn’t make this warped thinking up.

    The choice was clear from the moment Vote Leave won in June and it’s now clearer than ever – be governed by a Westminster who will always prioritise the 85% who live outwith Scotland over what Scotland needs or wants OR grow up and take responsibility for yourself and chose to live in a Scotland which governs itself lock, stock and barrel. There is no third way no matter what “federalists” say as the Supreme Court clearly showed today.

    The only way back for Westminster that I can is to offer Scotland Crown status. But unlike Herm (population 60) Westminster deems us not worthy of that – and (Not) Labour, the Scottish LIbDems and a substantial chunk of people who live in Scotland seem to agree.

  19. ronald alexander mcdonald

    So it’s official. Scotland is effectively an English colony.

    Tragically, those unionists who are intelligent enough to realise this, will bow their heads, keep quiet and continue to support the UK.

    I hope to hell I/m wrong.

  20. I hitch-hiked to Vienna in ’76 aged 20, speak French and German & have always delighted in my European status which I shall now lose and we have a grandson in northern Germany. Soon we shall require a visa to see him. But yep, the question is, when do we do what?

  21. Great article,
    Frustration and anger that “NO” voters are walking among us with their eyes open ,but they cannae see.
    Scotland was geid a kick in the hawmaws but they’ll no feel it. Maybe they all have a touch of the “stockholm syndrome”, I really do despair.

  22. I think I’ll go and have a chat with a guy I canvassed in 2014. I couldn’t quite convince him then, and I’m keen to see where he is politically now. He said at the time that if the ‘extra powers’ didn’t turn up in sort order after a No vote he’d be out on the streets with us.

    We shall see.

  23. Brilliant post by Derek, agree with every word written. I think from Nicola’s response she is hoping that the Scots now show her how much the want away from the Uk & to possibly remain in the EU.the only way we DNA show her is by taking to the streets in Our many thousands. I think a huge March & rally is required for a weekend sooner rather than later.. but 10 or even 20 THOUSAND is not going to do it, we need EVERYONE that votes SNP as well as all the other GROUPS & PARTIES coming together all under the one banner. It really is going to be up to the people now.

    • I would love to see and take part in a proper rally organised by SNP supporters on the same day at the same time throughout Scotland to show Scotland will pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Theresa May. Show the world and it’s kin that Scotland means to take independence. Unite right across Scotland at the same time and same place would be thing best way to prove we want independence.

      • Iain Mac dhonnadhaidh

        A wonderful essay from Dereck! As well as being heard, we need to be seen – and the idea of a cross-country, co-ordinated “showing of faces”, to express our national anger at Westminsters determination to ignore our sovereignty is a great suggestion.
        For some of us, travelling to Edinburgh, Glagow or any other centre is not so easy, but stepping a wee walk to the local park or town cross, is fairly convenient. It’s not quite, “To the barricades”, but we must be seen,as well as being heard!

    • Isn’t going to happen, sadly. The SNP’s control freak tendency will see to that. Oh everyone will be welcome in their tent, providing they do as they’re told and behave and only speak when allowed to.

      Remember way back at the start of IndyRef1 the Greens joined Yes Scotland in the same spirit but fairly quickly left to set up RIC with the SSP and sundry others.

      Back then the SNP was still largely a middle class party. RIC was needed in the schemes and the mean closes where the SNP feared to tread. Without RIC providing a more radical message and able to say ‘Tommy is Yes’ to those for whom that mattered and give a home to all us sundries and get the non voting very poor sections of the population on the register we would never have got to 45% and here in Dundee would not be the Yes City.

      Why should RIC, which is still going, WFI, LFI etc join the SNP and get shot down. Last time LFI were falsely accused of being an SNP front and suffered as a result. They need to stay as far away from the SNP as they can get to avoid it happening again.

      With SLAB suitably shit scared to campaign with the Tories again there will be two No campaigns. So we can have at least two Yes campaigns as well.

      RIC will cover the mean streets again. One of our number remembers being pursued down a close by a junkie, it turned out he only wanted voter reg forms for him and his girlfriend. I’m a middle class PhD scientist with a non Scottish Accent and with my RIC and Yes badges on I was greeted warmly everywhere I went. I met no aggro.

      I’ll be out there again as soon as the starting pistol is fired. I’m champing at the bit and raring to go again. The polls will not move unless and until we have a campaign going to move them.

      • Dave McEwan Hill

        What a sad and sorry post. With no grasp of political realities either. I’ve been in the SNP for 57 years and it my contemporaries that did all the heavy lifting in all he bad days over all the years that has brought us here.It’s lovely that all the radicals have climbed aboard
        I suppose they had to be sure which vehicle they should clamber onto onto before they committed to us. Would they have joined us if Westminster had a revolution and UK had a radical,progressive government in place?
        Some did and have been with the SNP for years. Some didn’t.
        The SNP (and me and all my other loyal friends )funded the last referendum campaign and I;m sure it will fund the next one too…

        • Muscleguy, you can be as radical as you like once we are Independent, but most people aren’t radical.
          The SNP are the only vehicle for Independence whether you like it or not.
          If you divide the YES side, you weaken it and the British Nationalist establishment will love that, divide and rule remember!!!
          Keep personal political agendas until we control our own destiny.
          The SNP have done the hard yards for decades and deserve their place at the top of the yes tree.
          One united campaign, one United voice and the Occupation will be over!!!

        • I think it’s good post. But I don’t think there will be two No campaigns because Kez will be invisible. The tank commander and her hideous cronies will be out in force for No. Which ought to focus minds.

      • Deluded bollocks. Get over yourself and support the SNP – the only route to an independent Scotland.

      • LFI will be called a SNP front no matter what. I remember meeting up with an old ‘friend’ in Glasgow i September 2013 who called me a scary fanatic when I told him how the ‘SNP front story had been fabricated. He WANTED to believe it, as far as I could see.

      • Just read this comment, which I have seen/read many times before.
        As Dave Mc H says, where were all the lefties for Independence well before the Ref.
        I’m only a recent SNP member, only 20 odd years. SNP middle-class only. Pish.
        I, for one, have worked, manually, all my days, not in research as I think you do, did.
        For your information, I was SNP for Yes in my Glasgow west area. I was also Yes Scotland. One of the branch members was the Yes person for the adjacent area. I put out 10s of thousands of papers and leaflets, no exaggeration, a lot of which I printed as well. Were RIC evident. No. They turned up for one night, after it was dark, with maybe about 20 bodies, no organization, pretty much no materials. We, the SNP people, who came along, donated fliers.
        As the Ref. drew close, we got a few people to help, one an ex-SNP man, older than me. The left-wing others, all 3 or 4 of them, sometimes, if they could get out of their beds.
        “RIC will cover the mean streets again”. My word, you think a lot of yourself.
        The SSP appeared for a one night stand, all two of them, one night.

  24. A great article Derek and it needed saying. I find it hard to believe that 55% of the Scottish electorate chose to remain part of a broken Union. A Union that has now been shown up for the sham that it always was. Our votes don’t count in the Union, they never have.

    Question has to be do we want to remain as a region of England or can enough find the courage necessary to declare that we are sovereign and that our votes will matter in future?

    A question that will have to be put to Scotland and her people in the not too distant future.

    • whats the chances of the Broken Union being portrayed as such in our media ? eh as the saying goes Hee Haw , this ruling by a English Court will be whitewashed out of existence , or simply ignored as per the BBC in Scotland , they will totally ignore this part of the ruling and headline the Government defeat rather the Scottish Peoples Defeat .

  25. Well said Derek.
    After the clearances there were a lot of sheep in Scotland.
    If we bottle a second indy referendum then any Scot with get up and go will do just that and leave the sheep to get on with their grazing.

  26. I hope friends of mine that voted NO in 2014 hang their heads in shame for believing the lies told to them at the time of indy1.i watched “daily politics” this morning where a former Tory Culture Secretary told the SNP politician to his face that SCOTLAND was NOT a equal partner of the UK! How can these people who backed Westminster against their own country look their fellow Scots in the eye after betraying them! We don’t have to win over to Yes the 55% just 10% will do it and I’m sure we will already have 5% of them already.

  27. Some people will never admit they were wrong to vote No and look for ways to justify their decision.

  28. Derek, I have commented on the power of your writing before.
    You brought a lump of sadness to my throat with this piece. Incredible writing. New York Post? Figaro? We need all the international help we can get.
    I cannot believe that there aren’t a significant number of folk who voted No who have changed their minds since. That is not to say that they were wrong in 2014; They felt swayed by the Better Together campaign to stay in the Union at the time, that’s all..
    However, 2years and change later, the world has been turned on its head.
    Today’s ruling confirmed Scotland as an occupied colony of the English Empire. Not the ‘British’ Empire.
    NS has a mapped out a plan to keep Scotland in the EU Trading Bloc: we should give her the diplomatic elbow room to proceed in a reasonable but pro-Scotland manner.
    May will reject the Scottish Government’s case to stay in the single market, and will not devolve Scottish immigration to Holyrood. We all know that.
    But we have to go through the tortuous motions before we reach an impasse, and as the horrors of Brexit unfold in the months following the triggering of Article 50 in March, momentum for Indyref 2 gather pace and will be reflected in polls demanding a second Indyref vote.
    Keep the fire in your belly, Derek. We’re going to need you more than ever as 2017 unfolds.
    Thanks for this.

  29. At what point do us Scots give up on Scotland? I think if nothing changes after what has been done to us. Then it’s time to accept Scotland is not a nation. It is in fact an occupied colony outnumbered by Brits. Much like the Ukraine implanted by Russians from the old USSR. At least they got their independence, albeit the colonists are trying to take back control. If we lose indi-ref 2 then I will accept I am a stateless individual. Much like may Irish used to feel in Scotland when they came over and their country was still colonised back home. They just accepted they were stateless but not British.

    • “…used to feel…” The Irish never gave up. I’m not about to either.

    • in that case we will have been totally assimilated ,a whole Nation of the disappeared , no history , no culture ,nothing , just another region , Aye that will be f/kn right we haven’t came this far to give up now .

      • Fighting talk! I think Muscle guy is right that it is in the schemes that we will get our majority. The middle class that didn’t vote Yes the first time won’t care. They are in their comfortable bubble. Whatever Brexit brings, it will be minimal pain.

        But in the schemes – these folk will suffer when Brexit comes. It’s life or death for them.

  30. Great article- both powerful and moving. I truly hope No voters will read and reflect.

  31. Great article. I agree with a previous comment. This article could do with being published in as many newspapers as possible – particularly as the unionists seem to be bombarding every newspaper, even small local rags, with tripe. I also agree that there should be as many marches as possible. Anything and everything to get the ‘head in the sand’ MSM reading ‘no voters’, to reconsider. We need more than 45%, I’m pretty sure we have that, but it would be better to have a resounding result when we get the next indyref.

  32. (Applauds)

    Surely there has to be a reasonable amount now of these people who recognise the folly of their No vote? I get that there are die hard red white and blue noses who would deny themselves the very air they breathe to stick it to the SNP, but to move forward we need the fringers of this group to, firstly, recognise the reality of their rejection and, secondly, to feel like they are motivated to change.

    Time to stop denegrating the die-hards and get convincing the uncertain, fearful fringers.

    • It doesn’t matter as long as MI5 can rig the postal vote. The vote on the day was 70% YES last time, despite the jiggery pokery at various counting centres. There MUST be international observers this time, and NO postal votes.

  33. I think I’ll print this out and put it through the doors of my neighbours. Brilliant piece of writing.

  34. Derek how wonderfully well you express my feelings and my outrage. Where i live I’m surrounded by No people who don’t seem to be influenced by these developments because they only read and watch media which confirms their bias. I don’t know how this can change and my fear for Indy2 is that again the
    fearmongering press will show it’s ugly face.

    • Well said Derek. I would like to ask why do we need a referendum? As a long long time independence supporter I remember the days when it was said that if the SNP got a majority of MPs in Westminster then this was a mandate for independence. Why did we allow this to change to a referendum that allows non Scots living in Scotland to get a vote yet EU residents did not get a vote in the EU referendum. Westminster will never play fair as was demonstrated in the first referendum in the 70s.

    • Try politely talking to them. Give them Derek’s website address. Remember the britnat press in Scotland is losing its readers and thus its influence. Remember there’s still a long way to go. Remember how far we’ve come in the last few years.

  35. Yes! From a Londoner.

  36. I would urge people to have patience, given that the EU vote was only around six months ago, and it will be at least until the end of March until Article 50 is even triggered. It will then take around another six plus months for us to get a good idea of the effects of being dragged out of the EU against our will and vote. I reckon another independence referendum will come either late next year, or in early 2019. You have to give voters enough time to decide if they want to stay as British state.

    It bemuses me why many people in Scotland seemingly want this to continue, given all the lies over the decades about Scotland’s potential as a nation. But until relatively recently the political elite in Scotland had no intention of seeing us become independent, I am talking really since about 2007, not a lot of time in terms of history. I get the feeling that there are more politicians or former politicians, in Scottish Labour in particular who are coming around to the idea of independence, but again we need to give them time.

    • Aye, muttley79, I agree. When you think how far we’ve travelled in the last few years it really is a great achievement and one which should give us optimism for the future.

      • @Dan, I am inclined to agree with you. We have come a massive distance in 30 years or so, really since the 1979 devolution referendum. The British nationalists have had over 300 years, but they never killed off Scottish identity, nor did ‘North Britain’ go down well with Scots either. Everyone knows now that the Union means fuck all, it was between elites in both Scotland and England, and it survived because of the emergence and growth of the British empire imo. In other words, telling other nations around the world that they were ‘too wee, too poor, too stupid’ to govern themselves. I wonder if rings any bells among Scottish unionists?…

    • Henry Mcliesh, independence or Colonial Labour, your choice mate??
      You know in your heart where you want to be.

  37. Agree with all that has been said.

    What next?

    We have to do something. I’m at a loss. Help.

    • Have a beer and watch the britnat brexit mess undermining the so-called united kingdom. Then get ready for IndyRef2. Then get talking with as many No types as you can find.

      • Yes Dan. Talk to NO Types. Practice. It is not intuitively easy to bring forth convincing oppositional conversation. One has to listen as well as talk. Hear their fears. Counter them winningly, not commandingly. It takes practice. Start now.

  38. All grand chest beating stuff here but speaking as a yes voter who foresaw the loss of the referendum and foresaw the win for the brexit vote and put the prediction in a local paper I feel the game has now changed dramatically. Please tell me how in the hell it can be a good option now to break free from the UK and go cap in hand to Brussels to reapply for European membership all over again. Have you got your Euros at the ready ??? my next prediction is this. The European union is collapsing. Many countries sit eagerly waiting to see how Britain will fare in the departure before finally caving in to their peoples demands for their own referendum , Italy , Greece and Spain to name but a few. Many of the current members are so poor as nations they have never and will never pay EU membership so the increasing burden of debt will be pressed onto the few remaining countries that will be able to pay. So worst case we race into indy ref 2 and win it. England take the huff and will understandably give us a rough ride. We could have dealt with that a couple of years ago but now at the same time we have to go pleading to Europe to get back into the single market. They will want us to take the Euro , free movement , they will want some of the oil , gas , fishing rights etc etc etc. Every time I post this argument as a lifetime SNP supporter I am met with nothing but abuse from the braveheart generation as I call them who sit in front of the telly with their faces painted blue screaming FREEEEEDOM AT ANY COST !!!!!! whomever wrote this blog seems like a sensible bloke so what’s the best way forward for sensible , normal snp members here please ?

    • It’s the far right, UKIP, anti immigration types that can the flames of Brexit, over in the EU. Of course they will exploit every opportunity. So it’s not ‘countries’, as you assert. It will make the middle, liberal and Left parties fight all the harder for the Project. They will point to the economic shitstorm hitting UK, and are running to greet the banks in London with cheap office space. Berlin ran advans down in London shortly after the referendum.
      They will not force us to take the Euro, nor can they demand oil, as it belongs to those that licence the oilfields. You need to read up on the EU. We would sit at the table with the same rights as the other 27.
      What is often talked about, is Scotland continuing on, or inheriting the UK membership, and negotiating adjustments thereafter.
      Scotland is not cap in hand, if you know anything about our resources. If we were not in the EU, there are alternatives, which, as a life long SNP member, you should research on the stuff widely available.

      Signed
      SNP member

    • England may very well take the huff but they will need to be quick building their razor wire hard border to stop the stampede of companies relocating to a Scotland that will be welcomed into the EU the day and hour of independence. The forced euro mantra is bollocks – near neighbours Denmark and Sweden that I visit regularly being the obvious examples. I am a “normal” SNP member who has voted SNP at every opportunity since reaching voting age in 1968, many years before the “Braveheart generation”.

    • Scottish fishing rights bought membership of the EU for t whole of the UK. We could expect to get 9/10 of them back.

  39. A great piece, Derek. You could lead an army of Scots into battle with that. Victory in IndyRef2 will be greatly enhanced by knowing how IndyRef14 was won. I am still unconvinced the result was true and fair. The United Nations requires elections to be conducted without interference or coercion. Oh really. Not in the UK.
    The Supreme Court decision on consultation was expected but it still felt like the Lord of the Manor was peeing into my hat because he couldnt make it to a toilet. With a little more effort, the Supreme Court could have done more for Scotland but chose not to.

  40. And today in the English Parliament, the Speaker tells Scotland to shut up:

    https://www.facebook.com/IanBlackford.SNP/videos/1083248448463649/

  41. Sadly there is a type of NO voter (we now call them yoons) who would read this, shrug and walk away with a sneer and a smirk. They positively revel in their position as 2nd class citizens. The one thing you can say about the 1st Indyref, is that it exposed the cringe peddlers in our midst. It utterly destroyed the labour party and the lib dems, and had the Scottish Conservatives openly campaign as the “Opposition” party. Can anyone here remember a time before this, where you saw an mainstream party openly campaign to lose?

    A Yoon is someone you can never debate with. Their poverty of spirit and imagination is matched only by the sheer foaming mouth hatred. This in turn is only matched by the simpleton logic they employ in their arguments.

    But never forget – we lost to these cretins. Sure we wiped the smug from their faces and ensured they would never profit from it. But we did lose. Their fear mongering convinced a lot of folk to vote NO.
    I can only hope now that these people can see through this and come over to us.

  42. No, no, no…

    While I share the huge frustration, and i agree with almost all of it, I really don’t think that telling No voters that they’re stupid; that they’re to blame for all sorts of bad things…is the way to win them over.

    There are many yoons whose minds are not for turning. By all means let off some steam arguing with them. But we need to win over a relatively small number of people who might be minded to vote Yes, but who voted No in 2014 out of caution, or lack of confidence, or perhaps giving the Union one last chance.

    We shouldn’t and mustn’t demonise these people. There are now watertight arguments – many of whichever derek cites here – that undermine those reasons why someone might have voted No. The moderate, cautious, social democratic, let’s give the Union one last chance arguments for No have gone up in smoke.

    Let’s point that out politely, nicely, persuasively and firmly…without telling people that they are stupid and to blame.

  43. I will never forgive a single senior citizen in Scotland that once again denies us, our kids & our grand kids of the opportunity to change our nation due to their own selfish woes and outdated view of a dying union.
    I’ll stand by that comment for as long as I live and breath.

    • I think you need to walk that back. Many were conned, vulnerable and afraid. The solution is intergenerational. Their grandchildren need to bring them up to speed. Ask them not to damn their descedants future for the sake of their past.

      • MBC, there is clearly a majority of over 65’s who Robert is right about. They voted Labour all their days without Questioning anything and believe anything they are told by anyone in a red rosette and they also fall into the category of OAP who feels they have a right to get everything for nothing, and believing all they do get for nothing is courtesy of BLiS, despite large numbers of them being better off than the rest of us. Many of them did indeed put their own selfishness before the good of the country.
        One such gentleman with 3 pensions plus state pension and a declared socialist went ballistic when I suggested that Thatcher would have been proud of their “me first, everyone else second” attitude.
        Like Robert I will never look at their generation the same way ever again, sorry for the 25% or so that voted yes.

      • Given the undoubted losses the Labour party in the UK look likely to suffer in the 2020 Westminster election, it will be 2030 until anything other than a right wing tory/ukip government is in power in the UK. The questions surely to ask those voters over 65 right now is do you want to live the rest of your life under a right wing Tory/UKIP government happy to make you work until your drop then give you one of the most paltry pensions in Europe- if you survive that long, OR do you have the self worth and pride to want to live in a Country content with it’s place in the world and with a philosophy that we should look after each and every person giving them a dignified life.

        I suppose another way of putting it is asking them what they would like to leave to their children and grandchildren. I bet most of the answers would only be deliverable in an Independent Scotland.

  44. Stephen McElroy

    Quite a rant Derek; but understandably so. Not even the most feeble of Britsin’s ex colonies too such a supine, deferent position, when it came to their nation’s right to self-determination, as the scotch (sic) nay-sayers. Led by cringe-worthy fluffy; disturbingly pathetic.

    • Remember that most ex colonies got their independence because Westminster couldn’t be bothered opposing it. Usually because there was no more economic advantage to be got from them. Which begs the question as to why they hang on to Scotland so desperately.

      • Andy, I’ve observed elsewhere today why I believe that England will fight tooth and nail to hold on to their Northern Occupied Territories.
        Scotland is too big, too rich, and too clever to be ‘let go’.
        England , whose economy relies on services and finance income to stay afloat, needs Scotland and its resources; oil and gas, wind and wave power, aquaculture, agriculture, forestry, food and drink, tourism,higher education, IT, banking, finance, whisky..I could go on. They can’t afford to lose us, especially as they are Brexiting the EU.
        We are England’s and the USA’s unsinkable aircraft carrier.
        I read somewhere that the nuclear powered attack subs have now left Devonport and will operate out of Faslane; all England’s nuclear eggs in one ‘relatively remote’ Scottish basket.
        I’m sure the good folk of Devonport sleep more easily at night now that WMDs aren’t moored in their backyards any more.
        If oft repeated, I harbour a wee hope that ‘too big. too rich, too clever’ achieves trope status during the Indyref 2 campaign, if only to counter the ‘too wee, too poor, too stupid’ nonsense of Project Fear last time.
        Scotland is too big, too rich, too clever’ for England to lose.

        • As if on cue, the whisky industry announces £4 billion a year in exports, the UK’s biggest exported.
          ‘Too rich’ to lose?

          • Posted on WOS 17/1/2017: Added to on this date.25/1/2016

            It’s getting to us all we need to remember who we are. Our identity was stolen from us, we have to have it returned, we feel the loss of something that we have never had. We are lost children seeking parents that we have never known and without knowledge of the parents how can we ever know where we came from, or where we’re going.

            I feel as if I/we need bereavement counselling. I feel a loss of pride, of self, homeless in my own home, a stranger in my own country. I was made to feel like this by people who, try as I might, I cannot bring myself to think of as having any humanity or decency, alien in every way to my way of thinking and acting.I have only one thought, Independence. Without it, we shall go the way of all aboriginal people that have had the misfortune to live somewhere that the “British Empire” covets.

            We must take back our Kingdom Nation. I do not want my children and grandchildren to be crushed under the Westminster jackboot.

            I am certain that we were cheated out of Indyref 1, it must not be allowed to happen a second time. Security of the ballot box is imperative, postal votes especially so and hopefully people who voted no last time will come to their senses.Our job now is to gently show them the error that they made last time and to welcome them into the fold with open arms and without recrimination.

            Peace Always

  45. lawrence alexander

    Superb piece of inspirational journalism. Well done and heartfelt thanks for concisely and powerfully summarising my anger.

  46. A wonderful piece of writing, Derek.

  47. Your finding the easy target Derek in the NO voters . Does that ire of yours extend to the Propoganda Agents & you former friends at BBC, at least some of the no voters are waking up to the facts they were lied to by your former employer who you have said of aren’t all bad

  48. It became very clear today that not all “unionists” are actually supporters of the union. The Scottish Conservatives in particular have revealed themselves in their full glory as British (aka English) supremacists. Any true unionists, those who (naively in my view) continued to have faith in our position as a valued partner in a union of equals, must now be seriously reconsidering their position. They need to ask themselves if the union they fought so hard to preserve ever existed in the first place.

  49. Derek, you have a unique ability to articulate everything I’m feeling in a way I never could – thank you! Of course independence transcends the EU, the politician of the day or any single issue. People who still cling to the UK in spite of EVERYTHING that has happened recently (and not so recently) defy my comprehension. At the first referendum, a fair proportion could justifiably claim to be misguided but now there is no excuse. We need to not only be positive next time, but relentlessly point out the joke that the UK state is. In my opinion we did not do this last time sufficiently – hope creates the pull but the pathetic lunacy of the UK has to create the push this time.

  50. 3 rules to win indy ref 2. Engage with moderate no voters. Don’t waste oxygen on bigoted unionist self harmers. Leave them to hate themselves. Finally get out and March at rallies and mix with fellow yessers. It lifts the spirit to be with positive like minded people.

  51. Since 2014, it has been my challenge to try and debate with NO voting friends as to the varied facets of voting one way or the other. During this time it has been really difficult to not point the finger, to try and keep them talking in the hope that at some point they would realise that the position they took was against every better judgement. I have come to the conclusion that the idea of being nice, pointing out the flaws in their logic nicely but not force-ably, is quite simply, a waste of time and energy. They pretend to be open to persuasion but behind the smile are flicking twa fingers right in your face.
    Time to say, enough is enough.
    Time to point out their position for what it is.

    • agree with your observations , I haven’t really come across anyone who admits to voting NO , aren’t some people very shy now things haven’t turned out the way they expected , and the pesky Nats are asking some relevant questions as to when exactly is this VOW going to be delivered .

      • No voters are usually nostalgic for that bygone age when the ordinary punter didn’t spend nearly as much time living and breathing politics. The anonymity of the ballot box was their comfort blanket.

  52. Flower of Scotland

    I just don’t understand why the Supreme Court is Supreme under Scots Law, when our Scottish legal system is Independent.

    Great piece Derek! I feel your frustration too as I live in wee Willie Rennie,s constituency! LibDems in this area were furious about the Brexit vote to leave. Wonder if there is still fury?

  53. When it gets right down to it with Unionist’s its Greed (I’m alright jack, we need two cars) and sheer igno rance of street gangs a la West Side Story
    .
    I think as I thought last time that people were too blindly optimistic and didn’t push hard and serious enough.
    Well this is the last chance saloon. Well Place your Bets.

    Anyone up for a serious fight against the Drones armed with Hellfire Missiles that are above us right now ?

    Not a chance.

    You really think they are going to let us walk away Free without bloodshed ?

  54. OK, I’ll bite. I’m a No voter. I will almost certainly be voting No next time as well, the cringing, lickspittle little Uncle Tam that I am.

    It’s a difference in perception. You’re taking this as a personal affront, as some sort of insult to yourself and everything you hold dear. That is not a position that I share. I try my best to look at the issues in the most dispassionate manner possible, weighing up the pros and cons of every argument. That it why I voted Remain. I felt that on balance, the interests of the people (Of both Scotland and the wider UK) were best served by remaining in what I see to be an imperfect institution. Funnily enough, that was also the same conclusion that I reached during the 2014 referendum.

    The fact that I now find myself on the losing side of a referendum doesn’t suddenly alter those conclusions. In fact, I feel that in many ways, independence has now become an even more risky proposition that it was in 2014. In the event of a second independence referendum, I will approach the arguments in exactly the same manner that I did during the last two that I voted in. But I have to say that I don’t have a great deal of hope that the SNP will come up with a convincing case, as opposed to repeating the usual collection of half-baked statistics and appeals to emotion.

    In short, it’s nothing personal. It’s just the political machine doing its thing. It’s a numbers game, nothing more and nothing less. An interesting blog, all the same. We all need to step out of our bubbles.

    • If we were already independent would you vote to join England and be governed from Westminster? If you would can you explain why you would do so?

    • You are trying very hard to convince yourself. As long as it helps you sleep at night, eh? However, one day you will have to decide again, and you should be fully aware that a second bout of denial and self-harm is even more destructive than the first.

  55. Derek you echo my thoughts exactly. Which is why I left in 1980. Too many proud scots but, happy to be as@ fcuked by Jimmy Saville and the Westminster goon squad.

    I never regret leaving but it is still my home, this is where I live and am very grateful to have the opportunities to excel here that would never have been available if I had stayed as all the wealth was sucked to wengland’s south east.

    Hopefully the emperor now has no clothes and independence will happen. It will still require an enormous effort as westminster realises they are in a death spiral of their own making and will do everything possible to ensure the elite are looked after as best they can.

    No one will be spared the sword in their quest to retain their own “entitlement”, not the sick, the unemployed, the young, the old, the infirm and especially not johnny foreigner which includes the irish and the ungrateful jocks.

    They will all be sacrified at the altar of satan.

    There is no choice now, it is liberty or death.

  56. Democracy is a sham. You are ruled by oligarchs and no amount of democracy can save you. Independence is an illusion of the enslaved that things can change.

  57. Now, for my friends’ and brethren’s sakes
    And for my dear-loved Land o’ Cakes
    I pray with holy fire:-
    Lord, send a rough-shod troop o’ Hell
    O’er a’ wad Scotland buy or sell
    To grind them in the mire!

    From ‘Election Ballad’ written br Robert Burns

  58. Hi, Derek.
    Enjoyed reading this. Sadly, many of those “still no” will tell you that they love Scotland soooo much their unionism is saving her from financial ruin! This will be the last myth to break.
    Many people can still be bought and sold… not for English gold, but for the mere notion that somehow Scotland’s huge resources will be insufficient to sustain them in their dotage.
    Best wishes to you,
    Alycia

  59. […] might argue the UK Supreme Court decision exposes just how weak the devolution settlement and the recent […]

  60. Derek – They are not “No Voters”.
    They are *potential* Yes Voters next time.
    How do we talk them over to the Yes side?
    We must allow them to keep their self-respect – and get them to vote for Independence.

    • I sometimes agree with what you are saying but at other times I think that a proper expression of anger towards them might actually be what some of them need. After all a lot of them probably hated it when the teacher angrily told them they were in the wrong, but, after a wee bit time to mull it over and accept it, they would be back at the front of the class sitting up straight with their arms folded.

      I am not saying I am cleverer that the average, September 2014 NO voter, but I am saying, confidently, that my level of engagement with the issues was, and still is, much more substantial than most of them. If I had never said boo to a goose and spent most of my free time taking in the total spectrum of of junk TV I expect I would be a no voter too.

      I think that what scares the politicians on the Unionist side of this argument more than just about anything else is to see more and more ordinary people becoming proactively engaged in this process and seeking out information and opinion beyond what is spoon fed to them. I think they much preferred it when most of us kept our politics to ourselves and only took this stuff out of the box once every few years on a quick trip to the polling station where our unsubstantiated, dodgy, prejudices might give them the vote they wanted.

  61. Don’t think I have seen such a unified blog response for a while. You perfectly reflected my growing anger with NO voters. I’m trying hard still to understand them, but in essence, just like you said, they don’t actually believe in Scotland. I’m gutted. I’d say “Hell mend them” but as we know they are taking us with them.

  62. It’s a sad fact that during the Clearances the Factor’s men were Scots. Plenty of the type still around.

    • Yes agreed ,and will never admit it to your face , these are the ones who no one noticed ,They quietly went into place their cross in the NO box and walked silently away smiling at the yes supporters outside as if to say i support your cause , aye right yah two faced b/trds .

  63. Jonnny come lately

    “yah two faced b/trds ” – Yes, silent assassin’s.

  64. I think this article should be shared far and wide for not only will it convince people who voted no in 2014 that they were right and should vote the same way in any future referendum, but I actually think it will persuade many people who voted yes to change their minds and back the UK – it really is that bad

  65. What a load of xenophobic, fact-light claptrap.
    You should be thanking No voters for saving Scotland from the financial ruin it would now be in had more people been duped by Sturgeon’s and Salmond’s lies. Although she’s doing a good job of ruining things herself anyway. And as for the “most unfit person to ever hold ministerial office” or whatever your words were, look no further than that fool Derek Mc whatisname, the finance secretary. Unbelievable.
    Learn some facts, respect democracy, get all that Braveheart crap out of your heads and realise that Scots are not some sort of master race, better than the rest of the UK. It’s utterly pathetic and spoiling things for the majority.

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