Up the Ante

Well, this changes everything. We’re now staring at the carpet-bagging of democracy as a Prime Minister who said Now is not the time to Scotland (there are more important things to do) decides it is nevertheless the right time for her own agenda.

And why does she seek a new mandate? Didn’t she tell us the narrow Brexit vote was all the authority she needed – not only to pursue an exit but a hard one at that – outwith the Single Market and Customs Union. Now it seems that wasn’t the case at all. She will use the evidence of the opinion polls, which lay bare the collapse of Labour opposition, to endorse her no-holds-barred anti-EU approach. That’s a handbrake turn you’re witnessing.

Instead of using a limited majority to persuade other parties round to her case – as the SNP does in Holyrood –and allow opponents to ameliorate some of the harder edges of her full-on Euro idiots, she dismisses the result of the election held only two years ago in order to ram through her policies. Scots, despite a clearly expressed wish to remain in the EU, can go hang. Who cares about them? The imperative, as ever, is to do whatever is required to bolster the Tory Party which is exactly how that calculating coward Cameron got us into this mess.

And, with Scotland more or less out of her calculations because of the SNP franchise, this is an England-only election in her eyes. That’s where the hotbed of racism and parochialism is to be found, mostly outwith the metropolitan centres. They are the seedbeds of discontent she claims to represent in her strident Britain First rhetoric. Cleaning up in England where the official opposition is scattered like post explosion debris, means dragging the other nations of the greatest union in the history of the world along with her, like it or not.

May is planning to use her mandate as grounds for table thumping in Brussels. (She will do it without the votes of EU nationals living here as they are excluded) When her threats and warnings of retaliation fail, she will reach for her inner Thatcher and invoke the voice of the British people.

Can we all intone together: Not in my name…

But why should we buy into her duplicitous agenda? She has throughout treated us with contempt and I’m tired of wringing our hands and MSPs running to the media to complain. This is political opportunism on a grand scale and whatever we vote in Scotland, she will ignore it. After all she already has.

If the SNP win handsomely again it will be the fifth election in succession won by the party from 2007 onwards. They have had an overall majority at Holyrood of their own and today have a pro-independence total. In 2015 they wiped the floor with the Unionist parties in the UK election. Before devolution the election of a majority of Nationalist MPs was taken as the benchmark for a mandate to split the UK and set up a separate state. In fact in 2015 they got 56 out of 59. It now seems probable in addition they will claim overall victory in the council elections next month.

Does there not come a point when the consistent level of electoral success marks more than a generalised approval for a party and turns into an effective mandate for its key objective? It’s the Unionist themselves who continually warn the SNP is really about independence – forget all the other policies, only one counts, they say. So are we being played for fools by hoisting ourselves on a referendum? It gives all the power to our opponents who won’t devolve the general powers to stage one and neither will they grant the one-off authority. You couldn’t have a clearer contradiction of democracy given the level of mandate Yes has commanded for a decade.

Now the SNP did say a vote for them in 2015 wasn’t a vote for a second referendum, it’s true. But I begin to wonder if, based on those relentless electoral successes – the very definition of democratic mandates – the demand should go beyond a referendum and instead be a call for full independence.

The 2014 referendum set the precedent of course, so there is a logic to that continuing to form the process we follow. But the Great Democrat in Downing Street has denied us that chance, at least until it’s too late and we depart the EU. An enhanced mandate will reinforce her will upon us. We will be mute, our hands tied, our will frustrated while she engineers the downgrade of our economy and closes down open access to our European neighbours. This generation of Tories have engaged in an act of national self-harm and done so for internal expediency. They lied their way through the referendum. They have turned widespread concerns about Europe’s political direction into an out-at-all-costs imperative. Xenophobia is now a familiar media riff. Families are being deported as I write – people disappeared for not having the right papers. Sound familiar?

Do Scots continue to beg for ‘permission’ to ask our own people if this is acceptable or would we rather find a home of our own inside the EU? In the face of Tory chicanery, I lack the respect for them and their process to keep on seeking their approval for a democratic right. I lack the sense of inferiority to treat them like masters who know best. They ignore our election victories, even when the results are filling their revered green benches. They dismiss our request for an escape route.

Shouldn’t we bypass the failed referendum route and upgrade our demand?

The delicate, softly-softly approach is terribly correct and I know that’s how the world of diplomacy likes it but there is now a listening ear in Brussels which was once deaf. If it hears a clear demand from a duly elected parliament in part of a member state being ignored – again – is not the basis of the EU, as a guarantor of democracy, challenged? In fact do the normal protocols which dictate non-interference in the affairs of a state – as in Catalonia/ Spain – still apply? In our case it is the continuance of membership which is threatened by the Brexit vote, something that does not apply in Spain or another member state. Can the EU really stand by and watch long-time members who have expressed a wish to stay, lose their European citizenship and get pushed out against their will? Whatever the diplomatic niceties, I suggest the image of the EU would be tarnished.

It’s clear to me that May will not relent on a free vote and will use her greater majority in June to crush it. Do we stand by and allow our argument to be flattened by those who are no respecters of democracy?

Let us take May’s lead. She seeks to use a General Election as a mandate for hard Brexit. Let us use it as a mandate for independence. Let us say a vote for an independence party in June IS a vote, not for another doomed referendum request, but for national independence.

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65 thoughts on “Up the Ante

  1. It is now time.
    The PM refusing ScotRef leaves us no choice.
    For years they have said ‘a vote for SNP is a vote for Independence’
    Now we need to say… this time it is

  2. Popcorn sales going through the roof by this point Derek. I’d take a wild guess what ticket the SNP will stand on, but you never can tell these days.

    Insanity on May’s part can’t be ruled out of course.

    Having said ALL of that though, what must Davidson and co. be feeling about now? They’ve just been made out prize chumps, hypocrites and liars by their own leader. OOFT!

    Months they’ve been banging the ‘no mandate’, ‘no one wants a divisive referendum’ bullshit and now Theresa May post SC clash, post Brexit bill debates, post catagorical assurance of ‘no snap elections’, calls one regardless. Outstanding.

    This isn’t an egg on face moment for Davidson and co., it’s a full on omelette.

    The FM now has a helluva choice to make. Ticket of independence and an end to this madness from Westminster politics, or ticket of referendum?

    Stay calm everyone. Patience and cool heads required, now more than ever.

  3. 1. Mandate via 50+ GE result. Easy, make it the main point.
    2. Mandate for 2nd Ref. Easy, make it the main point.
    3. Just a GE. Status quo, and ignored.
    4. Mandate for EU support. 59/59 .. no W’minster input. What would the EU do?

  4. Spot on as always Derek.

  5. YES – enough of their rules. We need to take a brave stance now.

  6. I’d be in favour of what you propose, Derek. Has its own risks but we won’t get anywhere if we don’t take any.

  7. I entirely agree Derek. Let a vote for an independence supporting party be a vote for Independence.

  8. Let’s not give the unionists any ground here. 30 MP’s elected on an Independence manifesto, is a majority. That’s all we need using Westminster electoral FPTP system. If we get 50+ great, if we get 59 MP’s even better, but if we win with just 30, using their system, they have no legal or constitutional argument against Scotland dissolving the Union.
    Let’s remember how this union was formed, a majority in Scotlands Parliament took us in, a majority can take us out.

    • I’m with you (and other posters) on this one, Golfnut. There’s never an ideal time for anything, and the pussyfooting has got to stop sometime. The SNP might possibly lose one or two MPs. Maybe not – people might respect honesty after all this twisting in the wind from the Unionists. Better to go our separate ways than this continual UK “divisiveness” (!)

      A simple majority, the bigger the better, on a clear mandate for independence. And it’s done.

  9. When democracy is denied it is right that we find a way it can be effected. A majority of seats is a perfectly reasonable route to take in the circumstances.

  10. With you here, Derek. No pint in having 56 SNP MPs sitting in WM being effectively ignored & disregarded as interlopers.

    Time to make a stand. Indy or bust.

  11. Richard Montgomery

    Totally agree with you, now is the time!

  12. Best way to do it is a snap Holyrood election. SNP don’t stand on the list, instruct supporters to vote Green and vice versa. What would that give us? 85, 90 MSPs?

  13. David McDowell

    Screw another referendum. A majority of SNP MPs = Scottish independence.

  14. I agree we need to seize this opportunity. May will never sanction a referendum for Scotland. Ideally the SNP and Greens would stand on a joint independence ticket – this is no time for party politics when the future of our nation is at stake.

  15. Total agreement. Carpe diem. Although part of me says just call a constitutional convention now, with all MPs, MSPs and MEPs from Scottish constituencies with the sole agenda item Scottish independence. Why put the electorate through another election? We have seen enough chicanery from May and co.

    Dissolve the union now or on June 9?

  16. Jonnny come lately

    Totally agree with many posters her. The nicey nicey route can’t and work won’t work, as it just allows Westminster to continue changing the rules to suit themselves and continue moving the goalposts.
    The SNP have IMO been spineless with their don’t spook the horses routine. They are now becoming as moribund an administration as the last Holyrood labour/Libdem administration.
    It’s now time to go for broke. It’s all or nothing now, with nothing to lose.
    The SNP should stand on a ticket of independence by calling a national assembly. If a majority of pro-independence Westminster MPs is achieved, then our political representatives should be recalled from both Westminster and the EU.
    A vote in Holyrood should then be called and a simple majority should decide the day. The vote would be respected by both the UN and the EU as a legitimate democratic decision. No need for another fixed referendum or a section 30. There is quite simply nothing to lose.

    • I understand the approach so far … the snp have shown beyond doubt that the current process will never allow Scotland to determine anything of any real effect on its own … without going through that process the pro unionists would say there is no evidence for the independence movement’s claims … however I refused to sign the begging petitions that went to Westminster asking for a referendum because I do not believe we should have to ask their permission … I would be happy with udi but recognise it could scare off some potential yes voters …

  17. Is Theresa May hoping to win a bigger majority so she can do whatever she likes, or is she so tangled up in her
    Brexit mess with no idea how to sort it,is she hoping to lose the election and leave it to labour to try and fix it. The other WM party’s should vote against another election and leave her to stew in her Brexit mess.
    After all the Lib/Dems have no chance, and Labour would need to find a creditable leader pretty quick.

  18. Mayhem called for the council elections to be used as a vote against independence ,
    Why not reciprocate and use her general election as vote for independence , surely she cant object ?.

  19. John Donaldson

    If not now then when? NOW is the time…NOW!!!

  20. Gavin C Barrie

    I’ve been backing UDI for some time now. Why risk the Unionist/media chicanery that will visit another Indyref? I simply do not trust the Unionists in any circumstance.

    The mandate is clear, by referendum Scotland declared she wants to stay in the EU. How can that be achieved? By using the political mandate given to the SNP at Westminster and Holyrood elections.

  21. Definitely a vote for Independence

  22. I can only reproduce my comment in Craig Murray’s blog piece which advocated the same misguided course of action. #ScotRef is the path to indy. We already have a mandate for that; this is a General Election.

    “This won’t happen, nor should it. Scotland’s situation is not analogous to those of the countries quoted. Decades ago, it was assumed that if at some distant point in the future the SNP were in a position to gain more than half of Scottish Westminster seats, it would have a pretty clear mandate for independence within the system then in force. Few ever thought this would happen in any reasonably foreseeable timescale, as Scottish nationalism was at the time little more than a fringe movement. Fast forward to recent history, and things have changed. We have a parliament in Holyrood, and the widely accepted route to independence is via a popular referendum. We have a precedent. The only reasonable cause for abandoning this route, is where Westminster threatens to try and stop or place unacceptable conditions on a referendum; then and only then should the pro-independence movement in Scotland formally abandon the referendum process in favour of plebiscitary elections to either Westminster or Holyrood, both of which would still require more than 50% of those who voted to vote in support of independence to be accepted internationally.

    Given today’s events, it should be made quite clear that a convincing performance by pro-independence parties merely reinforces the already existing mandate for a second referendum in 2018 or 19 at an exact time of the Scottish Government’s choice. Nicola Sturgeon was quite correct in her comments immediately after May’s surprise announcement; the mandate isn’t in question, and we shouldn’t imply that it is, which seeking to use the upcoming General Election as some sort of short cut would do. I for one would not support any moves towards UDI absent any clear and present danger of a Spanish/Catalan situation, or the threat of force.”

  23. Request EU support for an approach to the UN demanding Indy, as a majority for is easily proven. Point out that no impartiality in the UK media is a given therefore another indyref would lead to more of 2014 lies.

    • That makes all sorts of sense. We have the right to exercise our sovereignty *without interference* – WM clearly interfering/blocking. Good call!

  24. Jonnny come lately

    Poor Andy Ellis is living in lal la land

    • Hardly. Those proposing UDI, or advocating a hand-brake turn in 7 weeks to ditch the indyref route and replace it with a plebiscitary General Election vote which would have trouble gaining international recognition are the ones living in lala land. Where’s the evidence anyone in the SNP leadership or organisation supports this? It simply isn’t necessary. The mandate for #ScotRef already exists, as the First Minister just pointed out.

      • Andy Ellis is correct. We already have a mandate to hold a second Indi Referendum. This new GE should not be confusing the picture. It’s what the Tories want us to do. Keep calm and get on with the task of getting a new Indi Ref. Let them play their games without us.

  25. Let’s have a chat about this….

  26. Spot on Derek. Let’s go for it. End this nonsense once and for all.

    Now’s the day, and now’s the hour!

  27. Absolutely agree Derek. If there was any doubt before (and as far as I am concerned there never was) its game on now.
    Let’s do it

  28. We need to find out where the No voters stand before we decide on anything.

    Westminster is FPTP. I don’t know how many of those SNP seats are comfortable margins, but there must be a few that are vulnerable. I’m not thinking about my own position – I would be with Derek – just go for it – but of the cautious Scots who voted No or who only cautiously supported the SNP in 2015.

  29. Well said Derek, time for us all to Stand up for Scotland. Put a declaration of independence in the manifesto. 30 seats and we are free of the Tories for ever.

  30. As your excellent piece leans toward, Derek, I’ve a gut feeling our Party will now cast the final dice of this most crucial period in our recent history. The time is not only right, it’s the most sensible, and perhaps, only option open in light of the great uncertainty of this union and their reckless intent. We have the political talent, we have the experience, we have the burning desire.

    Yes, let us stop faffing-about with these people, let’s boss this vote, let’s throw the final gauntlet down and tell them, and the world, loud and clear: This is the moment we chose Scotland’s destiny

  31. If the GE becomes all about Indie for Scotland, our 16/17 year olds and EU Nationals will not have a vote. Which makes me wonder if it is the reason for May calling it, to try and bounce the SNP into doing just that.

    However, What would happen if we had both votes on the same day. Vote for SNP MP’s to negotiate the deal, and make it valid/unignorable.

    And vote for Indy Ref at the same time, to include the aforesaid voters. It would save on time, money, venues. It might? make it more difficult for vote rigging (if that went on).

    I’m thinking aloud here. Pros and cons?

    • That’s what I was thinking. May trying to force Nicola’s hand. Also, I think May knows if she leaves it until 2019 she will lose Scotland as we are already gaining support and this would only increase by 2019.

  32. Has she had advance notice that the Tory election fraud enquiries are about to deprive her of her slim WM majority? Just asking.

    • Very good point.

      The SNP, Labour and Libdems are all missing a trick here. The Tories have been forced into calling an election, because there are huge doubts over their legitimacy as a government due to possible electoral fraud. Channel 4 News has reported tonight that the CPS is considering prosecution against over 30 individuals with regards to 2015 election expenses.

      Just how would the EU conduct Brexit negotiations with a discredited British government with a wafer-thin majority obtained by illegal means?

      Don’t be fooled into thinking that a June GE is really IndyRef2, or Brexit2. That’s what they want us to think. The real issue here is that the Tories are running very, very scared of electoral fraud allegations.

      An early election is a get-out-of-jail card for the Tories. The opposition parties should join forces and vote it down in Parliament tomorrow. Put the pressure right back on the Tories. Don’t let them off the hook. Call their bluff, and ignore any cheap jibes about running scared of an election. They won’t be crowing when their MPs start appearing in court.

      • They arent that scared, Mayhem is refusing to block those involved in the GE fraud allegations from standing again, I have been against UDI preferring the referendum route, but can see the tories pulling back devolved powers and effectively making Holyrood toothleess and clawless, it is time to be afraidfor our nations future

        • They can stand again, and get elected without the fiddling. If they lose, polls say the Tories will pick up plenty seats to make up for it.

          On conviction for 2015 fraud, their seats will no longer be at risk. May’s majority will be bigger. Of course she’s facing down the prosecutions.

  33. Ah, it’s the old ‘charge, run down the hill and get massacred’ approach, which lost us every pitched battle bar one over 400 years. Theresa simply won’t accept a majority of seats as a mandate for independence. Why should she? She’ll point to the vote share (or whatever) to justify her stance. And then what do we do? No choice but to declare UDI, which gives her the perfect excuse to institute sanctions (or whatever)….and no one in the EU will lift a finger to help. They have bigger fish to fry.

    I really do worry about this impulsive rush of blood to the head which seems to overcome us at moments of crisis throughout our history. Have we learned nothing from Bruce, who saw that the way to victory was to chip away gradually – and slated his brother for forcing a pitched battle on him.

    We’re half way there. It’s taken as read by more and more pundits down South that Scotland is leaving. It’s taken as read by most of Europe and half of the US that Scotland is now a semi-autonymous state. How many more years will the English tolerate whinging Scots for the sake of a Union few of them can really be bothered with any more?

    Putting all this at risk on one throw of the dice? May, like Cromwell, would say ‘The Lord has delivered them into our hands’. And she’d be right.

  34. Gavin C Barrie

    2 Andy Ellis, I assume you like committees?

    Plebiscitary? Tell me, was the UK wide EU referendum plebiscitary?

    Scotland declared that she wished to remain in the UK. Plebiscitary?

    The 2015 general election, was that plebiscitary in that the Scots returned 56 of 59 MPs who stand for independence?

    Holyrood elections – SNP again secures… a mandate? Plebiscitary?

    So tell me, just what will it take for you to acknowledge that the Scots electorate are voting repeatedly for a pro-independence party?

    What will it take for for you to decide, as Derek references above .. not to feel sufficiently inferior that permission of Westminster must be sought?

    Rules are for the guidance of the wise, and the obedience of fools.

    I’m sick of it. The Westminster humbug; the corruption; “no applauding” in the Commons; the House of Lords; Dame Mone;Black Rod.

    The sheer stupidity of these dressed up traditions is infuriating.A bunch of “Muttons dressed as Lambs”.

    I diverge,Yes, I’m annoyed by you, and your plebiscitary guff.

    • I’m annoyed by your inability to understand the distinctions involved and your tendency to play the man not the ball. I’ve really got no appetite to try and debate with someone who is so patently not open to reason.

  35. Gavin C Barrie

    @ Daisy Walker: voting rights for 16/17 yr olds, and Eu nationals. Put it to a vote at Holyrood to give them the vote in this 8 June election. We already have the precedent here in Scotland. What will Westminster do?

  36. You make a good argument Derek for making the GE in Scotland a mandate for Indy.

    However I fear that argument will be lost in a shit storm of Brit Nat propaganda aimed at the Scots by the combined forces of the Brit Nat Press and Media. We as yet have no real Press and Media to counter Tory and Yoon lies. I note also as others have here that 16 and 17 year olds will not have the vote in the English Brexit Election.

    There is also another thing and that is in my gut is the feeling that the SNP isn’t prepped to fight what would amount to a Referendum.

    May has chosen to pick a fight when questions about currency etc haven’t been clarified far less settled within the broader Yes movement Derek. Then there is the so called Growth Commission to report yet. Thus we in my view will face a re-run of the 2014 Referendum without the votes of 16 and 17 tear olds.

    In addition precious little has been done to address the hole for fraudsters that is the PV system we have. No I have no confidence that a Referendum at this time could be won.

  37. johnny come lately

    I’ve read just about every possible theory online today as to why TM has called an election and I can’t escape the feeling that something has forced her hand. The tories know something the rest of us don’t but never the less the truth will out.

  38. Are the SNP that I am a member of listening. We are frustrated at being asked to vote in another election for a mandate for a referendum or to bolster an existing one.

    I think the referendum idea is useless with this Tory government. They don’t care a jot if the SNP win 70% of the vote. Don’t expect that to change.

    The time for softly softly is over. It’s time to tell them what voting SNP means. It means endorsing independence. It’s not 50 % of the vote either it’s 28 mps that’s a majority. We make it clear in our manifesto and we make our intentions clear.

    Regards seeing how Brexit deal turns out is another piece of crap. No single market, no free movement, no EU passport…da da. That’s nothing Scots voted for. We don’t need 2 years of pariah state slow death to prove it. Get out before armageddon.

    Let’s do this.

  39. Steve Asaneilean

    This election gives us all a simple choice.

    We can choose to align ourselves to a hard Brexit, out of the EU and perpetually ruled by right wings Tories UK.

    Or we can choose to lay down a demand for an independent Scotland, free to choose how it relates to its rUK neighbours, the EU and the rest of the world.

    We can choose to remain less independent than Guernsey and Sark or we can finally grow up.and be responsible for ourselves.

    June 8th really is last chance saloon and if we fail to return an overwhelming majority of SNP MPs backed up by more than 50% of the votes the the consequences for Scotland will be catastrophic and we will have no-one to blame but ourselves.

    The Tories will have a substantial majority at Westminster that could scupper Scottish democracy indefinitely. We cannot afford to take that risk.

    We have been thrown a lifebelt – we can grasp it or we can drown.

  40. Gavin C Barrie

    @ Andy Ellis: I’m not playing the man instead of the ball, I’m just so frustrated by people whom willingly bow to Westminster’s Rules of the Game. Westminster will lie and cheat to Westminster’s gain, and Westminster will devise whatever regulations are needed to retain their advantage and power.

    it really is that nakedly simple.

    • @Gavin: Your snarky responses speak for themselves and do you little credit. Accusing me (an SNP member and as stout a defender of the sovereignty of the Scottish people and their parliament as you will find against britnat all-comers) of willingly bowing to “Westminster’s Rules of the Game” shows you are guilty as charged. I’m quite aware of Westminster’s capacity for queering the pitch in its favour, I simply disagree with the way forward proposed by Derek in this piece, Craig Murray in his blog, and those who support their suggested course of action.

      However strongly you feel about it, that view is not one held, at least as far as we know, by the SNP leadership, its support base or the wider Yes movement, at least for the present. Circumstances may change of course, but it is incumbent on those suggesting this novel course of action to justify it and persuade the rest of us it is sensible. So far, you’re doing a great job of alienating friends. Well done you!

      • Guys please remember keep eyes on the end goal; we will disagree on “best” tactics – but we don’t decide them!

        All splits play into the hands of May and the Tories; its their final hope. Dont give them that.

        • Alasdair Macdonald.

          Mr Gordon Innes brings a cool head to this spat between Mr Ellis and several others. We have to ‘keep our eyes on the prize.’
          I am broadly in support of Mr Bateman’s thesis, but, it is useful to have contributions from people like Mr Ellis, Iainmore2016 and Andrew Leslie so that we can uncover what the pitfalls might be.
          In her speech, Mrs May was positioning herself against Parliament, including some in her own party. She is projecting herself as the ‘voice of the people’, even though the people voted by less than 52/48 for Brexit. She is claiming to be articulating the settled view of the people. Since she became PM she has shown an autocratic tendency – what she says is what will happen. She objects to Parliament doing its job of examining the arguments in this very important debate about Europe. Essentially, what ‘BRITAIN’ does is what she will decide. So, she has to be opposed by all democrats.

  41. Yep its as clear as the nose on your faces. Every constituency in Scotland voted remain. Yet we are leaving the EU. This nation state only works for the biggest member. It will never change and it is totally corrupt.

    We accept it’s rule time and time again. We play the game and get suckered in. Then we are left with nothing to show for our efforts.

    It’s pointless now and the SNP must deliver what we vote for not what England votes for. The long game is what May wants. They can string us along while stealing our resources. They think we are too weak to stand up to them. They are right. We are too weak because we beg instead of demandung or taking what’s ours

    Games a bogy. It’s now or never.

  42. Thomas Valentine

    They insult Scots by saying we invent grievances.
    We need to give the World a full list. If the question of why does Scotland want independence is always on their lips we need to make it VERY CLEAR WHY.
    Here’s a couple of reasons for the list.
    = Arrest and imprisonment of children. They can call it a detention center, but if it’s got barbwire and compulsory entry it’s a prison.
    = Deportation of children born in Scotland. If they invite people in and let them work, pay taxes, set up businesses and give birth to children; then the children stay. If the the children stay so do the whole family. Breath the same air, drink the same water and eat the food grow in the same soil. That’s the only blood and soil that matters. Not their pseudo fascist bull shit.

    Like it says on the big parchment “the whole community of the realm”.

  43. I am wondering how much the announcement later yesterday of impending charges against 30 MP’s for electoral fraud have to do with May’s about turn. Her majority’s smaller than that.

    Whatever manifesto pledges the SNP campaigns on, or self-defined thresholds it sets, the only result that counts in a Westminster GE, is forming a government. And the SNP won’t do that contesting only 59 seats.

    Your idea is very tempting, Derek, but I fear turning the GE into an independence referendum would mean throwing away a lot of SNP seats, for no gain. As far as indyrefs go, or can go under BBC air superiority, another initiative is already in progress.

    With Labour failing to oppose, and the 40-something percent in England who voted Remain left unrepresented, there is hay to be made in English constituencies.

    One of the mnost frustrating elements here is that even a referendum in 2019 would happen after many company and EU agency relocations have been decided.

    What way can be found to reach a confirmed independent future within the EU by this time next year? I would want to have very good legal advice on Holyrood’s ability to hinder Brexit as it goes forward. The negotiated settlement is open any time Scotland can get the leverage.

  44. Time to make the results of this election n Scotland a call for independence mandate.
    The yoon parties, except the Tories of course, must see that a May dictatorship is beyond toxicity, it is a signal for unbridled MayHem.
    The precious union is now a toxic slick after May’s snarling announcement. The underlying attitude in Tory circles was encapsulated in the English Daily Mail as calling those who disagree with May as renegades, and by implication, renegades who must be crushed.
    Strategically, Labour in Scotland have a choice this time. The SNP pushed UK-Labour into oblivion in 2015. May seeks to complete the crushing of UK-Labour in England in 2017.
    The remnants of Scottish Labour then need to think hard and think strategically. The union will take on an even worse toxicity towards Scotland after TTM Toxic Tory May gains absolute power in Westminster. In this Union there will be no escape. The beach has an option and follow the path of Labour for Indy in Scotland. The fabled “broad shoulders” and Gordo’s chimerical “Fedo2” are no more.
    The LibDems are unreconstructed westminsterites under the veneer of faux federalism. They are actually wired into the post -Whig centrist, imperial British statism. After all, they went into direct coalition with Cameron and showed their nasty side. Think Carmichael when he lied SoS for Scotland.
    As independence groups go beyond the SNP, then Labour in Scotland can escape their real foe, the Tories at Westminster by joining the Indy groups. Their head office us heading for oblivion now in England. Labour, post-Corbyn, is no help to Dugdale, Rowley and Co any more. Time to go independent.

  45. That’s an appealing view, but it would mean that as an EU citizen I don’t get a say, and neither do our younger voters.

  46. You took your break and consequent re-nourishment at exactly the right time Derek; and have come back on fire (in a good way)!

    Three considerations however:
    1. Voting franchise for a GE is wrong; a binding independence vote it needs to be franchise as before: 16-17 + EU residents +
    2. If the SNP made it a mandate that winning GE under FPTP rules was for the position that the Scottish Parliament restores full rights regarding Scotland’s constitutional position and Scotish citizen rights (ie. No removal of Scotland from EU without approval; no Westminster block on holding #ScotRef)
    3.Council17 allows water to be tested; GE manifesto could/should not be published before that

    Finally – we must not be a house divided; there will be disagreements on the tactics; but keep only the end goal in mind. Anything else is exactly what Theresa May wants!

  47. The SNP should stand on a ticket of dissolving a union that clearly doesn’t work for Scotland and never has. The other lot won’t all be able to concentrate their fire in one direction this time as they’ll be fighting each other too. Heaven-sent opportunity IMO.

  48. Aye when the Polis are knocking at yer door it tends to concentrate yer mind ,20 of Mayhems MPs could very well be in jail , so drastic measures need to be taken OH a sudden General election what a great idea and get the mugs in the labour party to go along with this little ruse to help us get out of the shit .

  49. Won’t make a whit of difference how many snp mps are voted in at the next ge…wm will never allow us to leave, they can’t afford to..they are sunk without us on board….I’m beginning to wonder if the snp are becoming too complacent and not grasping what is blatantly obvious, we need to exit ASAP…why can’t this ge be an indy ref by proxy..a majority of snp seats and it’s done…independence granted.rubber stamped by NATO, talks with the eu and our allies and job done….why does it take more hoop jumping, more tedious wrangles, obstacles and asking permission…we have to take it…it won’t be given no matter how nicely we play the game..tired of this charade..

  50. steady……..steady………..steady boys/girls……..don’t vote till you see the whites of their eyes……….but……but……they have blood red eyes……….steady……..steady……we know they are vampiric……..vote now…..now…….now……..all guns blazing

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