One Nil

Poor Theresa sure misjudged this one. The scoffs that Sturgeon was bluffing look limp and laughable now, no doubt based partly on the murmurings of her Scottish outpost where Foghorn Ruth has been bellowing No Surrender.

So used are we to asserting the arrogance of Westminster that it hardly registers today but here it has been on display with a vengeance. Sturgeon cleverly did not threaten independence, rather she accepted the UK vote but wanted Scotland’s separate decision respected. Would it have hurt May too much to have made it known she had investigated with Brussels the possibility of such a deal on separate membership of the Single Mafrket – only to be told it was proving difficult?

Did she openly debate the UK remaining in the European Economic Area where a Norway option might have been used to assuage Scottish opinion?

Could she have brought herself so low as to meet Sturgeon to propose a joint responsibility for ag and fish after Brexit?

Has she given any iota of respect to anyone except the madcap Brexiteers by wilfully bypassing parliament and ignoring the 48 per cent? In a pale impersonation of Thatcher she has stamped her foot. No! No! No!

She cut Sturgeon, and therefore Scotland, out of the thinking and decision-making process so that the First Minister spoke unaware if May was about to make an Article 50 declaration. Such is our place in the Union. So much for 50 MPs. So much for devolved government. So much for respect. A real politician would not make these basic errors. The saddest part of this story is the use of the phrase…’she will ask permission to hold a referendum…’ That is the Union is miniature. Somebody else will decide if we have the right to vote on our European future – us, Scotland, one of the ancient nations of Europe, in supplicant mode to people who do little more than spit metaphorically at our feet.

She has in fact provoked a reaction by her intransigence, goading her opponent into the nuclear option which was spelled out all along in her manifesto. Tory moans  now, led by Davidson, that the promise of indyref2 does not stand up because the SNP lost a majority of seats is cackhanded  democracy. The SNP won the election. Decisively. Davidson did not.

She is in a poor position to complain  about division. Nothing has divided Britain like her party’s suicidal dalliance with xenophobia and narrow nationalism. There is no division greater than removing ourselves from the world’s biggest international power sharing bloc and richest market place.

Sturgeon has done a rare thing – acted like a leader. She has been clear, consistent and committed. She has also retaliated against a two-faced opponent who offered blandishments but reneged when it mattered. Now May will, as I wrote last week, enter the Brexit talks with a broken pencil and carrying someone else’s notes. She no longer commands all she surveys and will be a more shrunken figure viewed from the other side of the negotiating table.

The strength of the economy and the trade balance shows the UK’s muscle, she will aver. Not without the oil and the whisky exports, she will be reminded. Renewable energy sources but not Scotland’s, Prime Minister…etc. All the way through the irritating adjustments will have to be made for the possibility of Scotland’s departure from  one union and remaining in another.

Her job just got a lot more complex and the fact is she’s already at sea and listing in favour of the anti-EU ideologues who’d rather play with Trump than Brussels. She lost what control she had today to a smarter politician. It was a mistake not to engage Sturgeon and try to enlist her in the process however tangentially to appear at least to be keeping her on side for as long as possible. Instead of reading it as a Sturgeon bluff, she needed to realise the impossible position Sturgeon is in given her manifesto commitment and try to help her out in order to rescue the Union. May’s lack of trust in.her equals and her unhealthy abhorrence of parliament are creating a figure of Shakespearean tragedy. As the cost of Brexit unravels before us, today’s sudden thrust of the dagger will be the first of many.

 

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38 thoughts on “One Nil

  1. Excellent analysis. Let’s hope May and her cohorts are about to be found out. They’re already disagreeing amongst themselves.

    Supporters of Scottish independence need to do the opposite and continue to work even more closely together.

  2. Nothing to add. Says it all. Terrific.

  3. Spot on, Derek. Pure class from Nicola Sturgeon. The britnat media types are already running around like headless chickens.

  4. Damn your accuracy. Damn right.

  5. Never play chicken with an Ayrshire woman.I know as I have been married to one for 45 years.

  6. Masterful summation of the issues and the FM’s Realpolitik. May’s Pompous bubble is burst.
    But we must beware. The reaction might be the unthinkable. Direct rule from No 10 under the pretext of the Union is in danger? Or some trumped up fake news about Putin is behind it?
    Carmichael may have notes about a conversation the FM had with a French Ambassador?
    The FM’s timing was impeccable! The EU leaders must be having a wee quiet smile, not triumphant of course, but you are right to point out that May will be weakened by this. The overbearing smugness will be gone. She cannot sack Sturgeon in the way she sacked Heseltine!!
    Clegg was reported that May’s haughtiness would be her undoing in the end. Is this the end?
    The PM who championed the EU prior to last year,the Remainer turned Brexiteer, now is faced with a UKexiteer who has a mandate and has been elected on that mandate. Unlike May and Co!
    MSM is in meltdown, heard it all before!! Cauld kale het up!

    • Alasdair Macdonald.

      You are right to indicate that CRISES will be appearing out of the ether with increasing regularity and increasingly ‘EXISTENTIAL’ – the end of the UK as we know it!

      However, do not let us believe our own rhetoric, This will be really nasty. In that Ms Dugdale is correct, but the nastiness will come from her ‘Together We’re Stronger’ (as Tories) side.

  7. And fishing let’s not forget fishing stop

  8. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Nicola and you.

  9. Mayhems mad enough to refuse a referendum , and i think she will hint at the prospect of direct rule , this one cant be negotiated with ,it would in her eyes be a sign of weakness , so what would happen then ? how do we counter and finally get loose from this Union , well its not so much a union as an occupation .

    • If they tried to dismantle or undermine Holyrood via direct rule, then I think that we really would be in UDI territory then. The SNP 56 (where Scottish sovereignty lies) would walk out of WM, Indyref 2 becomes a “reverse referendum” for a provisionally independent Scotland to rejoin the UK. A bit like thehow Northern Ireland rejoined the UK after the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922.

  10. Spot on as usual Derek .

  11. jacquescoleman

    “she will ask permission to hold a referendum…’ ”

    I watched the speech and unless I missed something Nicola actually said:

    “So I can confirm today that next week I will seek the authority of the Scottish Parliament to agree with the UK government the details of a section 30 order – the procedure that will enable the Scottish Parliament to legislate for an independence referendum.”

    Not much sign of permission being asked of WM there.

  12. Well said Derek.
    The Brexiteers are now going to have to convince the EU that they speak as a United Kingdom and not England and that they continue to control Scotland’s resources,albeit for a fairly short amount of time.
    Scots have surely learned by now that all the unionist politicians have to attend the Westminster school of politics before being allowed to practice which instructs that lying to people is how to conduct business.
    The Liberals,in particular,are adept at this but in Scotland pretty much on a par with the Tories and Labour.
    It is reported that May is going to demand that that any referendum be held well after the UK exits Europe so I can see a Scottish election looming in the not too distant future.

  13. Gavin C Barrie

    Whether in sport, music, or politics, timing is everything.Impeccable timing by Nicola Sturgeon today. Fair cheered me up.

  14. Could we not stress to those yessers who want out of Europe that we, as an independent country, can have our own referendum about remain/leave at a later date? This “lack of a majority” bugs me as that is the design of our parliament and Dykey D has very little of the Scottish vote but proclaims she knows what the majority of the Scots want, as does Fuzzy Mundell.

  15. Harrison, Muddle and the usual suspects going into a right lather of fibbing to anyone willing to give them air time. Needless to say the bubble yoonitariat only too willing to give them that time. Muddel and Harrison especially going into full on meltdown with fibs falling over each other in a headlong rush. Amazing reaction.

    Regardless, its game on now and let’s see how they like a fair fight at 50/50. No Thirty point lead to rely on this time round, their betterthigither vision of the UK going forward and most of their pledges a wreckage before the campaign begins.

    Oh, and this time round? Let them answer the questions.

  16. One headline in the Independent stated that the drop in oil was bad for an independent Scotland!
    Strange, would have thought it would be disastrous for the Treasury and Hammond. No money for Trident, and vanity projects.
    Typical Yoonmsm response.
    Another trait is the knee jerk response from yoons wanting to leave the EU pontificating that the EU won’t let us in!
    Weird

  17. Nicola’s timing was exquisite today! Looking forward to the conference in Aberdeen at the end of the week.
    Have been trying to figure out if the impasse in Northern Ireland could work out to our advantage. If there is no Stormont deal and Mrs May is forced into direct rule might that encourage calls for a border poll and Irish unification?

    • Clive, one scenario in the future- NI is united with Ireland, Scotland becomes independent, thus the hard border will be at Gretna.

  18. Thought NS presentation today was masterful. Have many friends south of the border who wish she was PM: glad she is batting for the Scots.
    TM comments of not playing politics-perhaps she should look in the mirror.

  19. I agree that May has played an indifferent hand badly. Even passing on control of agriculture and fisheries would have helped ( and been a bind for pro-EU indy elements who would then need to commit to passing them back).

    When I first read the speech I thought it was ambivalent about a referendum, calling instead for an option. On a second reading it seems more committed, but with a little wriggle room. It will obviously be a harder campaign to win, with no sterling option from the outset (due to SNP preferred option of wanting to enter the EU) and uncertainties over free movement and tarrifs. The Republic of Ireland will be the test case for those.

    I don’t think the linkage in the speech of referendum timing to EU membership is right. We would be going in asa an applicant state, almost certainly outside the EU.

    • Yes, EU aspect is a factor, but the EU is more disposed to Scotland than before. Think of Barroso and his comments!
      Westminster has no friends left in the EU.
      One thing is certain, winning the referendum means no No10, No Westminster, No EVEL.
      The Westminster connection needs to go.

    • I come to Derek’s excellent site after a few days absence so I am playing catch up.
      I assume , Crubag, that your comments on ‘the uncertainty over free movement and tariffs’ was written before Dave Davies car crash of a session with the WM Select Committee chaired by Hilary Benn the other day.
      It is small wonder that farmers in Mundell’s Borders constituency are spitting teeth.
      Davies admitted that tariffs of 30-40% on agricultural products because of CAPS, and 10% tariffs on cars are expected following Brexit.
      Never worry, we always have 6 month old New Zealand lamb to fall back on. Just ignore the 24 weeks out of date ‘Use by’ date on the vacuum pack; a sprinkle of curry powder should mask the stench of putrefaction.
      It will take more than a sprinkle of exotic spices to mask the smell of Brexit.

      Davies was even more circumspect about free movement between Ireland and the UK, implying that there already existed ‘light customs control’ in place at the moment.
      No there ain’t.
      I have crossed the Irish borders scores of times over the past 4 decades.
      Apart from Military checks during ‘the Troubles’, and ‘sheep dip’ precautions when we drove across the border during the Foot and Mouth scare, I have never bee stopped at a customs post.
      Thousands of Southern Irish citizens flock across the border and load up with goods at giant retail parks in the North, and head back home with no problem at all.

      The same applied when I have holidayed in Europe. I have driven seamlessly from France into Spain, France into Germany, with no barrier. You don’t even have to slow down.
      Regarding the timing of Indyref 2, we will hold the plebiscite in that vital window between Autumn 2018, and Spring 2019, while we are still members of the EU, and with all the information and terms on May’s Brexit deal available to inform our decision.
      It is clear that there has been little or no Brexit ne behind the scenes by May, Johnson, Fox, Davies, and Gove on Brexit. Davies performance to the Select Committee proves that. He didn’t have a clue.
      WE are not an occupied colony of the Brit Empire, Crubag.
      We the people, shall decide the date of our Referendum, not a ‘foreign’ government.
      Ireland will not be ‘the test case’. Already there are calls for a Unification Referendum over there.
      We are not hanging about, in extremis, until a 2021 election. We go now, and our FM has fired the starting gun.
      Be aware, we are no longer asking anyone else’s ‘permission’.
      Brexit killed the Union.

  20. One matter concerns me. What if May and company take a hissy fit when they find out that the 27 remaining E.U countries won’t play ball with their demands? The U.K walks away without any deal in place. Does that mean it exits the E.U immediately taking us with them? How does that resonate with our plan to hold a referendum between autumn 2018, and spring 2019? And if we then vote to become an independent nation, would we have to apply to re-join the E.U? Just saying in case I get asked on the doorstep.

    • Not necessarily. I’d imagine any declaration and legislation to hold an independence referendum before any exit would be taken into consideration by the EU. Remember no EU citizen or country can be forced to leave the EU against their will. 😉

  21. ‘Instead of reading it as a Sturgeon bluff, she needed to realise the impossible position Sturgeon is in given her manifesto commitment…’

    May wouldn’t realise this as her politics allows the ignoring of promises & manifesto’s. Whereas Nicola can be trusted to keep her promises, even in difficult circumstances.

  22. The problems the UK will have in securing any deal that includes access to Scotland’s resources and territory have already been mentioned. My concern at the moment is that delaying the referendum till the UK is officially outside the EU is not only a bid to make it harder for Scotland to rejoin but in addition neatly removes any EU citizens from Scotland’s electoral roll. I wonder which way they would vote if given the chance?

  23. Jonnny come lately

    Forget broken pencils and other people’s notes. Scotland has really damaged what little leverage Westminster had in future negotiations’ with the EU. This really is a bombshell for Westminster.
    It is now only a question of time before Scotland begins to be viewed in England as the enemy within.
    On a social and political basis alone, I don’t think the UK can survive this.

  24. Eh during Mayhems state visit, it’s really nice that she’s doing a walk about with Nicola through the centre of Glasgow, now that really is offering the hard of friendship, I always knew she was really a nice person under that frosty exterior.

    • .and there will be two moons in the sky, and flying pigs silhouetted in their golden orbs, and in the distance a band will be faintly heard playing:- ‘Believe it if you like.’

  25. Will Theresa May recover from the blows she took today, trying to out fox Nicola Sturgeon just showed what an amateur she is, now if only Corbyn was a real tough Labour leader May would be sunk below the sea never to surface again and taken her sorry looking party with her. Corbyn will never have a better opportunity to better May he better grasp it with both hands or he will go down along with May.

  26. Well, I read an exquisite piece in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph by Alison Pearson, if anyone is interested in reading it (still available online). She is jawdropping in her ignorance of Scottish politics; utterly faithful to Theresa May and can’t see her for the arrogant and condescending politician she is. Remember Nick Clegg, talking after another vote on Brexit, saying “we’re being treated like children’. The star of the piece, apart from not being able to spell “bism”, is “how will she feel when Westminster stops sending the cheques”. Wonder if she’s related to Alan Cochrane of same paper. I think I might frame this one.

  27. PS The article in the Daily Telegraph is specifically on Nicola Sturgeon “the treachorous Scottish queen”.

    • when all else fails start the name calling ,the smears will surely follow next , wait for the exclusive expose Nicola stories along with manufactured stuff on all our MPs & Msps all the usual junk , no facts just well rehearsed opinion . all Fact Free .

  28. Jimmy The Pict

    I think it is now two nil, May has just scored an own goal, now rejecting Section 30 request as “now is not the time” for a referendum.

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