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All of your guns at once

Posted on April 15, 2014 by

It’s one of the more striking aspects of the No campaign that no matter how many panicky editorials appear in right-wing papers bemoaning the fact that their neverending litany of negativity and scaremongering is proving counter-productive (we don’t even bother linking to them any more, there are so many), and no matter how many kickings “Better Together” takes from its own side (the firmly anti-independence Independent columnist Katie Grant was especially scathing on “Headlines” last weekend), the negativity just keeps pouring out.

liverpoolkuznetsov

So of necessity, we try to keep things brief in order to keep up. With that in mind, let’s see how quickly we can deal with today’s media orgy on the subject of defence.

1. Phillip Hammond, the UK Defence Secretary used to insist that an independent Scotland wouldn’t just be handed defence equipment – ships, planes etc – as its “share” of UK forces:

“The UK armed forces are a highly integrated and very sophisticated fighting force. The idea that you can sort of break off a little bit, like a square on a chocolate bar and that would be the bit that went north of the Border, is frankly laughable.” 

2. But apparently that’s no longer the case. It seems that now we would, and that that would (surprise!) be a terrible thing for all concerned:

“An independent Scotland’s claim on the Royal Navy would greatly weaken the carefully evolved ‘whole’, as bases, infrastructure, procurement, spares, personnel and training face a carve-up.”

3. Having naval forces permanently based in Scotland would be detrimental to the ability of the UK to contribute to NATO’s defence of the North Atlantic, as well as to Scotland’s own security:

“The UK is deeply respected for its maritime contribution to Nato, with its maritime deterrent through its ships and submarines and marines, and that whole piece is part of Nato’s contribution to security.

While the continuing United Kingdom would eventually adapt and cope, the deeper impact would be felt in Scotland, which would no longer have access of right to the security contribution of one of the finest and most efficient navies in the world.”

4. Except that it’s rather difficult to see how independence could lead to anything but an improvement in that situation, given that no Scottish vessel could ever plausibly be 24 hours away from a foreign incursion:

battlestations

5. We’re not sure whether or not we’re still expected to believe that given the dangerous hole that would supposedly be created in NATO’s defence screen by an independent Scotland, NATO would nevertheless obstruct and delay Scotland’s membership of the organisation for an untold number of years:

“Senior Nato officials have warned Alex Salmond’s government that an independent Scotland would be barred from joining Nato if there were any disputes over the basing of nuclear weapons on the Clyde.”

6. This seems particularly unlikely in the light of the New York Times report last year that the USA actually wanted the UK to abandon Trident and spend the money on conventional forces instead:

“While the United States would like to be able to rely more on its European allies, many experts doubt that even the strongest among them, Britain and France, could carry out their part of another Libya operation now, and certainly not in a few years. Both are struggling to maintain their own nuclear deterrents as well as mobile, modern armed forces.

The situation in Britain is so bad that American officials are quietly urging it to drop its expensive nuclear deterrent.”

So, to recap: an independent Scotland wouldn’t get a share of UK defence equipment, except it would, and that would damage its ability to protect both Scottish and NATO interests, even though it would result in warships being permanently in Scottish waters and therefore able to react to hostile presences much more quickly than UK forces which are no longer adequate for the job, and NATO would block Scottish membership on the grounds of Trident being ejected from Faslane, even though the US doesn’t want the UK to continue to have Trident at all.

That seems to cover the basics quite snappily. Any questions?

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  1. 16 04 14 23:09

    Votes of No confidence | FreeScotland

140 to “All of your guns at once”

  1. Craig P says:

    Yes. Will a Scottish navy have more admirals than boats, like the UK navy?

  2. heedtracker says:

    UK means England and of course the nation state of Scotland will diminish England/UK from this September onwards. Or in effect, England will no longer own Scotland and the English establishment no likeee.

  3. Nigel Burkin says:

    Sounds like the same old, same old top down stuff with yet another highly paid official worries about his little empire – the sea lord being the latest…

  4. sneddon says:

    Wouldn’t have happened in Nelson’s day. Which seems to be where the mentality of current RN Admirals seems to be most comfortable in.

  5. orker says:

    @ CraigP

    What makes you think we would?

  6. orkers says:

    @ Craig P

    What makes you think we would?

  7. annie says:

    Angus Robertson just tweeted that The Royal Navy use fishing boats in Scottish waters to keep them informed about what’s going on. Let’s hope the said fishermen are all happy at Britain’s EU negotiations on fishing quotas etc.

  8. Doug Daniel says:

    It’s also worth bearing in mind the following:

    Number of times nuclear weapons have been used in warfare – two (Hiroshimi and Nagasaki, 6th and 9th August 1945)
    Number of times nuclear weapons have been used in warfare since 9th April 1949 (the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty) – zero.

    Hmmm NATO would really miss that handful of nukes the UK own…

  9. FraserP says:

    But Admiral Sir George Zambellas cleared up any confusion when he said: “The nature of our military construct, infrastructure, basing, people, equipment and the families who support a hard-pressed navy, all of those add up to a construct which doesn’t bear dividing its efficiency, and my job is to provide the navy as efficiently as I can.” Just as well his job isn’t public speaking then…

  10. aldo_macb says:

    There’s absolutely no chance that the No campaign will be able to stop themselves from spouting scare stories. No matter how many times they say they’ll be positive they just can’t help being negative. They have become the boy that cried wolf.

  11. Papadox says:

    Sorry for posting this thread a second time, think it is more appropriate here.

    We have 2 carriers under construction not 1.

    You don’t let these things wonder about on their own, they sail in groups with frigates, oilers and probably 1 or 2 submarines for protection.

    I believe from Wikipedia RN currently has 6 destroyers and 13 frigates, some of which will be under refit or maintainance at any one time.

    These carriers appear to be expensive paper tigers which have no practical application with the military forces we currently posses. What they will ever use them for is a puzzle unless they are for political vanity. To show we are GREAT BRITAIN!

    The only practical purpose of these units is the employment they are creating during their construction (not a bad thing). Think BIG GORDY ordered them. Maybe I’m just a synic!

    What they do with them when they are finished is another question, even if they can get some aircraft for them.

  12. Juteman says:

    I wish the Yes campaign would promote all the EXTRA defence jobs that will be created. Forget about cuts.

  13. James Kay says:

    It looks as if an advance position is being prepared so that rUK can abandon Trident after a YES vote, and blame Scotland (or the SNP? or Salmond?)

    We see the advantages in not having to pay for Trident, but up to now, the UK parties have all convinced the majority of the electorate that it is a necessary cost. None of these parties want to be the first to advocate giving up this weapon, for fear of attack by the other parties, and by a populist press.

    Now the opportunity arises for a necessary course of action forced on the next rUK Government by a nasty iScotland! Only afterwards will it be ‘discovered’ that the savings can be better spent elsewhere within a conventionally-armed defence force.

    Not only that, of course, but if they are forced into an action by our demands, they will expect something in return during the negotiations. Well, I would just let them keep the weapons; we will keep Faslane.

  14. Fergus Green says:

    Apologies for going O/T early but this looks like dirty tricks from National Express:

    http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/yes-dundee-in-row-with-national-express-over-political-advertising-on-buses-1.319984

    Quite a few from Wings will probably have contributed to crowdfund this campaign through Indiegogo. Any thoughts?

  15. James123 says:

    The endless negativity and threats from the UK government, the No campaign, Unionist politicians, the media and the British establishment isn’t working, in fact its been extremely detrimental for their objectives.

    As a result they have come up with a cunning plan, continue with more of the same all the way to the referendum.

    Either they are too stubborn to change their ways, or there actually isn’t a positive message for Scotland remaining in the UK so they can’t change, or they actually want to lose. Whatever the reasons there is only one outcome, a resounding victory for Yes on September 18th.

  16. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Blind panic on the part of the assorted political ex top brass, and the current Admiral of the Fleet.

    Why?

    Because they’ve finally got the hint that there’s a strong chance they’re going to need a new home for their boats and this is without doubt a complete and utter panic measure.

    Added bonus to the No campaign; scaremongering without them lifting a finger.

  17. Mary Bruce says:

    Annie says: Angus Robertson just tweeted that The Royal Navy use fishing boats in Scottish waters.

    Eh? So how does that work then? “Hey, wee fishing boat, someone just tweeted us that they just saw a Russian war ship in the Moray Firth. Can you just board it for us and interrogate the Captain. Then make sure they stay there till we arrive next Friday. Thanks.”

    Of course, this isn’t totally accurate as any real communication will have to be 140 characters or under.

  18. Ravelin says:

    Maybe in addition to having our own surface ships we could also buy a couple of maritime patrol aircraft. I don’t disagree with the decision to ditch the Nimrod replacement, it was a stupid idea to start with trying to re-use the existing fuselage, but it was an even stupider decision to not replace the Nimrods at all. Even a couple of aircraft would help detect the Russian Fleet before it turns up in the Moray Firth again.

  19. Endless_psych says:

    The MOD, given recent pronouncements from their minister, are clearly “shitting it”.

    They have nowhere to put Trident if we vote yes and demand it is expelled. The only shipyard in Britain capable of hosting it has just become a decommissioning yard.

    They clearly fear that losing the referendum means losing the nuke. But their strategy on this is all over the place. By playing their hand they have shown that Scotland is of great importance to them. We have something they most certainly want. In terms of negotiations this is a potential goldmine for “Team Scotland”. The length of time Trident is in Scottish waters after a Yes vote can be used to gain so many concessions.

    It might be so important that the UK has just shown it’s negotiating position to be non-existent.

  20. kalmar says:

    All over the radio news this, with the assertion spoken as a fact, more or less. As usual.

    O/T re the Dundee bus thing, there’s another company that runs a few busses prominently in the centre of town, might be worth trying them http://www.skycabs.co.uk/page11.php?view=preview&category=1&image=1

  21. Westie7 says:

    Had to laugh at the point made that Scotland wouldnt be able to have a “Blue Water” Navy, No shit sherlock not everybody wants to rule the waves.

    Defence, not Strategic Power Projection

  22. Craig P says:

    orkers: nothing. Just pointing out with a judicious metric that the MoD is top-heavy and inefficient. (I should also make it clear that the ‘more admirals than boats’ stat only covers surface ships, not submarines)

    FraserP:
    ‘hard-pressed navy,’

    Pressed… maybe not the most sensitive of words the admiral could have used about the navy 🙂

  23. Stevie says:

    The concluding paragraph is exact and reads very much like the behaviour of the NO campaign having a mental breakdown… or more realistically, it’s just their lies, deceit and misinformation catching up with them as they try to backtrack on all the poisonous rubbish they have declared over the last 2 years of grim, endless negative attacks.

    Losers.

  24. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Doug Daniel, only 2 nukes in war, but thousands in practice

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9lquok4Pdk

  25. fairiefromtheearth says:

    Yes rev ive a Question are you not ashamed of yourself you are not supposed to be this intellegent or maybe pointing out all the glaring holes in their argument makes you a unionist provecator and when you point out how silly one is that must make you racist 😉

  26. velofello says:

    Reference Annie’s note above: I wonder what the operational code name is for the Navy’s use of fishing boat surveillance? COD = Citizen Offshore Defence? Or, Doric = Defense Of Realm Incognito Cheaply?

    In WW2 the Land Defence Volunteers (LDV) were dubbed Look Duck and Vanish.

  27. kininvie says:

    If you read any military history at all, a recurrent theme is the dislocation of thought between generals/admirals and governments. Wellington – Haig – Montgomery were all baffled from time to time by the refusal of politicians to share their view of what was required.
    It’s no surprise. Armed forces exist in a kind of thought bubble bounded by their own priorities and requirements. When their leaders attempt to intervene in the politics of the outside world, they are seldom very good at it.

    Scotland’s negotiations with NATO will be undertaken by civilian representatives of the governments involved. What the generals and admirals may say in the run-up to the referendum has no bearing on those negotiations.

    Most of us are aware that the MoD started – and continued – to bury its head in the sand on the question of Scotland’s independence. Now it defaults to threat and fear. What a surprise.

    What it should be doing of course is to work on the best means of co-operating with an independent Scotland and start laying out constructive plans. Instead all we get are references to Trafalgar, as if that were relevant in some way to the problems of the present or the future.

    Speaking of Trafalgar, maybe the admirals should remember that Nelson’s opponents were an allied force, with Spanish ships fighting under French command. Such arrangements were possible, even in 1805. That they might be relevant in future appears to have slipped the military mind.

  28. joe kane says:

    You can see where the British military intelligence establishment got their assessment of Iraqi possession of WMD from, as well as their claim that British interests were just 45 minutes from being attacked using it.

    The quicker nuclear weapons are taken out of the hands of these Westminster-Whitehall mandarin loonies the better for everyone.

    Reference –
    Timeline: The 45-minute claim
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3466005.stm

  29. Clootie says:

    Gosh I never realised how imporant we are to the free world. All of a sudden we are the key to everything.

    The most important of which appears to be keeping the UK big and bad. (Seat at the top table)

    The 4th. largest defence budget in the world being expended on weapons that serve no purpose given the current threats versus a practical conventional defence force + not having foodbanks / ATOS assessments / bedroom tax/ etc.

    What are your priorities – I know mine are not aligned to Westminsters.

  30. bjsalba says:

    Heard on Good Morning Scotland that in the past NATO Heid Honchos have said that an Independent Scotland would not be allowed into the organization without accepting that Faslane must stay.

    Would that by any chance be when the great Lord Robertson was at the helm? And does the same apply today considering that the Heid Honcho is from Norway a country with a publicly proclaimed strong anti-nuclear weapons policy?

  31. heedtracker says:

    http://archive.today/Upmbv another day, another teamGB BBC greatest in world booster from vote NO Guardian. Back in real world, Saville horror aside, 2 UKOK aircraft carriers that they cant afford with no aircraft, cost £6+ billion but BBC via BBC in Scotland relentlessly attacking Scotland and Scottish democracy since 1921, £5 billion per year is great UKOK value for money.

  32. Molly says:

    Is that Nationalexpress that are offering discounts to take you to the services day in Stirling? Of course that’s not political is it? What exactly is that actually?

  33. Seonaid Francis says:

    @Nick Heller – Excellent! Thanks for the link – I have successfully terrified my son by reading out the scare stories. Result.

  34. Peter Macbeastie says:

    It is nothing whatsoever to do with intercepting threats. Oh, that’s what they want you to believe, but it clearly is about nothing else than their shiny Naval base at Faslane and the associated missile storage arsenals nearby.

    If they gave a toss about external threats they wouldn’t have to dispatch a destroyer from Portsmouth which takes at least twenty-four hours to reach the Moray Firth, because it would be based somewhere a hell of a lot more convenient like HMS Cochrane at Rosyth… if they hadn’t shut it years ago.

    So do not be confused by any of this. It is completely, totally and utterely about Faslane. They’ve hit the panic button because they think they’re about to lose one of the best Naval bases in Europe.

  35. Illy says:

    “They have nowhere to put Trident if we vote yes and demand it is expelled. The only shipyard in Britain capable of hosting it has just become a decommissioning yard.

    If we vote yes and it’s not already gone by March 2016, we get it by default.

    Same as any other UK asset in Scottish territory.

    Unless there’s a deal made, and with that as our default position, we hold all the Aces, and they know it.

  36. Firestarter says:

    The thing I loved most about this (apart from the obvious disjoint from the BBC headline to the actual story …. who knew?) … was that it led me to (cant remember where now) ……. the story that the UK’s first line of defence was now (re the Russian Navy) …………. FaceBook!! LOL 🙂
    Because the Russian Navy had posted on FB that they were coming! Just like real war, then?? 🙂

  37. Tattie-bogle says:

    The only Admiral we would ever need
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Cochrane,_8th_Earl_of_Dundonald
    caused a wee bit of a stir

  38. caz-m says:

    There is one thing that is obvious about these scare stories today and that is Scotland is getting offered NOTHING for staying in the UK.

    Well, except a share of the £100 Billion Pound bill for the Trident Missile renewal.

    And Philip Hammond seems to have gone a bit quite on the scare that the Type 26 Frigate contract will not be built on the Clyde.

    Someone must have reminded him that there is no other place in the UK that can build them.

    It’s all a bit like Scottish Labour’s proposals for Scotland, which are,

    Vote No and get NOTHING or worse!

  39. Morag says:

    Illy, I don’t think we actually want it, you know. And its removal has to be safe. I think the Scottish government has suggested actual removal before the end of the first parliament of an independent Scotland, which would be 2020 I think.

  40. caz-m says:

    I do wish the Scottish Government would get on the phone to the BBC.

    They have just shown a video report on the BBC News Channel of the Philip Hammond Speech.

    And the rebuttal from Angus Robertson is read out from a sheet of paper held by a BBC reporter outside the building where Philip Hammond is speaking.

    Get on the phone Angus and tell them to get a BBC film crew round to you immediately.

  41. call me dave says:

    Here is an interesting link. Worth a keek.

    http://newscottishnavy.blogspot.co.uk/

  42. HandandShrimp says:

    Westie7

    The proposals in the White Paper for 4 frigates and 2 OFPs is a blue water navy. UK frigates currently perform anti-piracy and anti-drug running duties in the Caribbean. Scotland will be better served by its own navy operating from a Scottish base than the service we get at the moment and still be able to contribute to UN tasks. The UK surface fleet has taken the brunt of the cuts to fund the very expensive submarine fleets (both Vanguard and Astute) plus the cost of two massive aircraft carriers where the planes are going to cost a 100 million each or more.

    The Scottish proposals are not about force projection overseas although they would, as set out, fulfil any UN commitments we might have or work in conjunction with others if necessary.

    The Nay Sayers actually can’t decry any of this, their usual response is that Scotland could only afford two dinghies and a pointy stick and that we couldn’t possibly have real boats in our navy. Denmark, Belgium, Holland Norway, Sweden can but obviously not Scotland.

  43. Sandy says:

    It seems the leaders of the UK armed forces have reinvented the Cirular Firing Squad.

    Not only are they getting friendly fire, they are deliberately standing in a queue in order to recieve it.

  44. HandandShrimp says:

    Call me Dave

    That was a bit spooky, that link was singing from my hymn sheet (or vice versa) 🙂

  45. MajorBloodnok says:

    I liked the stance that we should not dare to exercise our democratic right to vote YES because NATO and the UK’s generals and admirals would not approve. Not natural democrats, are they?

  46. Gillie says:

    Clearly the military top brass are crapping themselves that they will be denied their nuclear toys.

    Also, has anyone else noticed the similarities between Sir Nicholas Macpherson’s intervention in support of George Osborne and Admiral Sir George Zambellas’s intervention in support of Phillip Hammond?????????

    That cannot be a coincidence!

  47. Gillie says:

    Clearly the military top brass are crapping themselves that they will be denied their nuclear toys.

    Also, has anyone else noticed the similarities between Sir Nicholas Macpherson’s intervention in support of George Osborne and Admiral Sir George Zambellas’s intervention in support of Phillip Hammond?????????

    That cannot be a coincidence!

  48. Gillie says:

    Clearly the military top brass are crapping themselves that they will be denied their nuclear toys.

    Also, has anyone else noticed the similarities between Sir Nicholas Macpherson’s intervention in support of George Osborne and Admiral Sir George Zambellas’s intervention in support of Phillip Hammond?????????

    That cannot be a coincidence!

  49. Gillie says:

    Clearly the military top brass are crapping themselves that they will be denied their nuclear toys.

    Also, has anyone else noticed the similarities between Sir Nicholas Macpherson’s intervention in support of George Osborne and Admiral Sir George Zambellas’s intervention in support of Phillip Hammond?????????

    That cannot be a coincidence!

  50. Gillie says:

    Clearly the military top brass are crapping themselves that they will be denied their nuclear toys.

    Also, has anyone else noticed the similarities between Sir Nicholas Macpherson’s intervention in support of George Osborne and Admiral Sir George Zambellas’s intervention in support of Phillip Hammond?????????

    That cannot be a coincidence!

  51. tartanpigsy says:

    Completely O/T but related to Yes Dundee’s problems regarding bus advertising.

    Does this not just highlight the potential importance of the 10000 Yes Saltires project? The authorities will lean on all who provide a platform for Yes this summer, just watch!

    We need to be able to provide the backdrop for this referendum. The Yes Saltire reflects the arrival at this stage for Scotland as a nation.
    A Scotland ready to stand on her own two feet. The campaign needs to be visualized around Scotland to breed the self confidence in people that is ALL that is missing.

    We also need to compile a list of farmers who are pro Yes with land adjacent to our roads and railways. This could prove an invaluable resource if advertising space becomes unavailable.

    Big thanks to all donors so far, please help bring this to fruition.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/10-000-flags-for-yes–11/x/2353157

  52. Papadox says:

    @Can-m

    The EBC are agents of the Establishment and as such are not going to give the opposition an inch they are there to put Scotland down not be honest brokers. This is by design not by accident.

    ECK could phone the EBC till he’s blue in the face and they’ll just say ye ye ye whatever FM now FO.

    What can ECK do.? Who can he appeal to HMG (DAVE THE RAVE), the MSM.

    Please try and remember this is a free, fair democratic country with a free and unbiased press. In yer dreams!

  53. a2 says:

    I take it you have all seen this balanced BBC animation and it’s groovy unanswered questions. Probably the most manipulative piece from the BBC yet.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-27002723

  54. Gary1987 says:

    Apologies if this has been covered or is a bit naive…

    We’ve been told many times that NATO is a nuclear organisation, that if we insist on the removal of the nuclear weapons from the Clyde then we can’t be in NATO and so on. Wouldn’t that suggest, then, if we kept the nukes then we’d be in possession of them and the rUK would have the problems we’re supposed to have in retaining its membership, being that they would have none…? Or is that being generous and overlooking the fact that what London seems to really want is the annexation of Faslane and Coulport?

    Or perhaps, overlooking the even more obvious fact that all of these stories are no more than disingenuous nonsense!

  55. Steve Quinn says:

    I see we are pre negotiating through right wing newspapers!

  56. call me dave says:

    Hooked into the Scotsman live discussion.
    First comment by Grahamski…

    He can only find 15% support for YES in Falkirk.

    link a few comments up.

    I’m off for a while, catch up on the navy story later.????

  57. MajorBloodnok says:

    Clearly the BBC’s crass and deliberately misleading defence ‘animation’, Hammond’s visit and the ‘top brass’ squealing is a coordinated effort. The BBC must have been given their orders a few days ago to make sure that it had its message out in time to coincide with the other rusting prongs of the MoD’s Britannic trident.

    To be honest I can see it all making no difference to the current voting trend, particularly the recent poll that showed a massive majority for YES if it looks like the Tories will get in again at Westminster and YES/no parity if it looks like Labour will get in… As Mundell said, one thing’s for certain, there will either be a Tory or Labour led government at Westminster after the next GE…

    Any bets on what next week’s recycled scare story will be? I reckon it will be the EU again.

  58. Grouse Beater says:

    Just another out-of-line alarmist reminding Scotland the only reason it is part of the United Kingdom is because England allows it.

    We are what we are on England’s terms.

    Sounds like the best reason to vote Yes.

  59. gordoz says:

    The one thing that we on the YES side are all forgetting is that our other near neighbour Ireland has no nuclear weapons and is not part of NATO.

    Now hear me out; just look at the ammount of times Ireland’s been invaded from the sea in recent years.

    Maybe we are all being complacent and should listen to our betters in the form of Admiral Zumba ?

  60. Papadox says:

    @major

    There’s certainly nae flies on that Mundell fella, wonder if he’ll be in Westminster after the next GE!

  61. Illy says:

    @Morag:

    I know public opinion in Scotland is against Trident, but everyone is getting all worked up about “what if Westminster don’t remove it” when the answer is really simple:

    If they don’t remove it by March 2016, we get it, and the only downside is we get stuck with the bill for decomissioning and safely disposing of the nukes.

    I don’t see any way Westminster can keep the nukes theirs and keep them docked in Scotland. Either they relocate them somewhere else, or we get them and dispose of them.

    Personally, I don’t trust Westminster to dispose of them safely, so I’d rather we handled that ourselves.

    Maybe we can recycle the warheads as reactor fuel?

  62. gordoz says:

    @MajorBloodnok

    “Clearly the BBC’s crass and deliberately misleading defence ‘animation’, Hammond’s visit and the ‘top brass’ squealing is a coordinated effort”

    Certainly looks rehearsed & systematic does it not.

  63. Thepnr says:

    @a2
    Funny how that BBC cartoon on defence came out two days ago and now we have todays headlines. Another lucky coincidence!

  64. Macandroid says:

    @ Gillie – multiple posts

    Try hitting the Esc(ape) key before posting to stop the page constantly refreshing 🙂

  65. Why should the navy of RUK be of any concern to an independent Scotland
    they should concentrate on saving their money for planes for their aircraft carriers

  66. Iain McCord says:

    I feel rather less than reassured when the chief of a navy notably failing in it’s duty to protect the economic interests of not only Scotland and the rUK but the American companies with investment in the North Sea tells us that NATO, who again seemed notably absent, will be upset that and independent Scotland intends to invest in the kind of sea force we need to adequately patrol that vast EEZ.
    Kind of ironic that, allegedly, Westminster contacts Russia for help in opposing the democratic process in Scotland and months later you get the takeover of Crimea. That being the kind of nonsense proposed for retaining the Shetlands, Orkney and possibly Caithness by the rUK should Scotland vote YES.
    Also a bit sodding stupid given said events to provide encouragement to the very state that’s already chanced its arm on at least two occasions that we know of.

  67. Helena Brown says:

    @Call me Dave, Grahamski would not going looking for a YES voter even if the said voter was standing right up against him, he used the expression about not telling your enemy that he was making mistakes the other day on Bateman, well someone should actually tell him that there is a penalty for lying, like getting found out.
    I have to say that I find it kind of refreshing that the Establishment are now talking about what happens when we leave, because we are going. Of that I am certain.
    Apparently on Newsnet they are discussing the small matter of a currency union and what would happen should we leave without taking any debt. Now I am up for leaving the rUK to stew.

  68. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Hammond has said it again, they MIGHT not buy from Scotland if there is a Yes vote, but they will buy from anywhere else.

  69. Papadox says:

    @illy

    Non proliferation pack! This would not be allowed as they supposedly can’t give another country nukes. So it is Westminster’s problem think UN might have something to say on that issue.

    I certainly don’t want this rubbish anywhere near Scotland. I look at Coulport and Faslane not 2 miles out of my front window. I can also see the heavily contaminated Holy loch also, I’m really lucky.

    When the USN pulled out of Holy loch it all happened very very quickly from announcement till they were gone. Mark you they had somewhere to put them, makes all the difference you know.

  70. Arbroath 1320 says:

    “The UK is deeply respected for its maritime contribution to Nato, with its maritime deterrent through its ships and submarines and marines, and that whole piece is part of Nato’s contribution to security.

    There’s a wee itsy bitsy problem with this statement from Mr Hammond methinks. 😉 I think this article best describes the itsy bitsy wee problem.

    http://tinyurl.com/qxbeclw

    “The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has acknowledged it has not provided a frigate or destroyer for Nato’s maritime group defending the North and East Atlantic since 2009.

    Now remind me again Mr Hammond what exactly was that you were saying about maritime contribution to NATO? 😛

  71. kalmar says:

    Re trident, I keep having a nasty feeling that should there be an “accident” with one of those things or the sub reactors at some point this summer, the ensuing emergency, evacuation and clean-up would blow the referendum out of the water. There wouldn’t be much popular appetite in the midst of such a crisis to tell the MOD to bugg*r off and we’ll handle it ourselves thanks. Brr.

  72. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Arbroath 1320 fires another broadside into the crippled ship that is HMS Hammond.

    Holed below the waterline, going down so slowly the CO has not realised it is in any trouble, and returning fire with ever less reliable ammunition which either blows up in your face or fails to explode even if it does manage to hit the target.

  73. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Nah, Kalmar. There would be a popular appetite for telling them to clean their mess up and get tae f**k though.

    The MoD has a long history of not paying for it’s pollution. Time that stopped.

  74. Thistle says:

    OT

    Tommy Sheridan in live stream on Wed at Cumbernauld from 7:30pm

    http://new.livestream.com/IndependenceLive/events/2860802

  75. ronnie anderson says:

    How come Britania rules the waves when Neptune drooned

    trying tae command them back, thats a hey diddle diddle BTW

  76. Jamie Arriere says:

    Did anyone catch the start of the John Beattie programme where the news bulletin somehow ‘lost’ the contribution by Stuart Crawford, the Scot Gov defence adviser?

    Did that clip ever get played?

    More censorship?

  77. HandandShrimp says:

    a2

    The BBC cartoon is a classic almost 1940s piece of war propaganda. it was made by people who have either no idea what independence or what the proposals are or people who are hell bent on making sure other people don’t know what the proposals are.

    After viewing that cartoon one would actually know less than before it started. That is a sure sign of propaganda at work.

  78. Gillie says:

    ‘Might not buy’ is a change from the position of ‘will not buy’.

    Phillip Hammond is certainly undermining everything the NO campaign has been saying.

  79. GrahamB says:

    How come a Russian warship got to within 30 miles of our shores when we have a nuclear deterrent to keep them in their place? If it kept the Ruskies out of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, Crimea, etc. then why didn’t it work here. Oh, wait a minute I think I see a small flaw in my argument …

  80. Jamie Arriere says:

    Delighted to see Women for Indy have reached their fundraiser total. Congrats all!

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/women-for-independence-our-voices-fundraiser

  81. Murray McCallum says:

    I personally find the defence scare stories the weakest of the bunch. A lot of it seems to boil down to perceived defence projection rather than physical capability.

    I think most people in the UK are tired of the sabre rattling and want scarce government resources better prioritised before being spent.

  82. CameronB says:

    Time to face facts. Scotland has been a colony of England for the last 307 years. During this time, Scotland has provided England with military security, wealth and natural resources, as well as cheap man-power and cannon fodder. These are vital ingredients when baking an empire.

    Scotland’s geographical location makes it of strategic military significance, historically to England’s defense from hostile European nations, and now the imaginary enemies of NATO.

    Please don’t point at the Crimea and say, look the Russians are expansionist. Russia’s southern boarders have been under constant attack from ‘Muslim extremists’, for the last thirty years or so. All coordinated through Washington, London, Riyadh and Doha. Something had to give eventually. Would you stand by quietly whilst a noose was placed around your neck?

    Should Scotland’s future be bound to the economic and military imperatives of a foreign nation (England), who appears committed to a continuation of imperial power brokering?

    Royal United Services Institute
    A Return to East of Suez?
    UK Military Deployment to the Gulf
    Gareth Stansfield and Saul Kelly
    April, 2013

    Towards the end of 2012, the activities of Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit to the Gulf generated significant attention on two issues. The
    first of these was his attempts to facilitate the sale of 100 Typhoon multi-role fighters to several Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), supplied by BAE Systems, in a deal worth £6 billion (the UAE alone is interested in sixty aircraft, worth some £3 billion).

    The second issue, at the time perhaps less reported, was the announcement of a joint defence partnership between the UK and the UAE. Seemingly tied to the Typhoon deal, the partnership was described as focusing on ‘close
    collaboration’ in the development of the fighter – in effect, working with, building the capacity of, and future-proofing the UAE’s defence industry…..

    https://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/East_of_Suez_Return_042013.pdf

  83. JGedd says:

    That’s par for the course for the MOD, Peter Macbeastie. The UK government views with perfect equanimity the 30 tons of radio active waste already dumped in the Solway from its Dundrennan range where they fire depleted uranium shells. No thought to the effects locally of pollution or wider effects to the N. Atlantic. But it’s NIMBY after all. It’s not near anywhere ‘important’.

    (BTW they call it ‘placement’, not ‘dumping’. So that’s alright then.)

  84. Hugh Wallace says:

    I wrote this on FB for a (staunch Unionist) friend who posted the Sea Lord’s nonsense:

    The question I have in response to this is, who cares? The rUK perhaps but why should the Scottish nation care if British defence is ‘damaged’? Of course the RN is going to be diminished; some of those sailors and ships are going to become Scottish Navy sailors and ships. An independent Scotland would have the option of building a different kind of navy designed to protect its coastline, oil infrastructure and fisheries rather than a navy designed to project power around the world which is the main function of the RN (along with the perhaps rather outdated role of anti-submarine warfare against the Soviets in the North Atlantic).

    And don’t suggest Scotland can’t do that; last I checked Norway, Denmark and Sweden had effective navies for their own needs; Norway & Denmark as a part of NATO, protecting their coastlines and anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic & Sweden able to patrol its coasts far, far better than the RN does. Scotland has one of the longest coastlines and largest sea areas of any country in the world and among the fewest military patrol ships and aircraft of any maritime nation. There may be 16 RN vessels in Scottish waters but most of them are submarines or submarine support vessels and are not ones capable of ‘protecting’ Scottish waters or coastline in any way. New Zealand (with a fraction of the UK’s money, population and resources though a much larger sea area) has more maritime patrol aircraft than the UK does.

    What does Scotland, in fact, what does the UK, need a large military for? Defensive purposes? Who is trying to invade us? Who has the capability to invade us? the USA or Russia perhaps but pretty much nobody else and I can’t see either of those countries trying, can you? The only use for our armed forces in past decades has been to project British power (in reality, back up the projection of American power) around the world. I am not a fan of it as a Brit and I will be very happy if an independent Scotland decides to have a purely defence orientated military with, perhaps, the ability to participate in international peace keeping and anti-piracy operations.

  85. Hugh Wallace says:

    His reply was that the reason we aren’t being invaded at the moment is due to the strong deterrence of our (UK) armed forces so I asked him which nations have the capability to attack Scotland (never mind who has the desire to do so). His reply was China and Russia would have the capability but his real concern was overseas territories such as the Falklands. This was my reply:

    China and Russia. Ok, not likely though so I think we can probably not consider them credible threats. And let’s not kid ourselves that the RN would do much other than die gloriously if either nation sent their complete military might against us.

    Falklands now, that is an interesting one. At one level, why should people in Scotland care about the Falklands in particular? I can remember stories from 1982 where the Western Isles inhabitants were joking that they should invite the Argentinians in so that London would pay some attention to them. But that is by the by.

    It is highly debatable whether or not the UK would be able to conduct another Falklands War with the forces at its disposal now. Have a read of this article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17157373

    Several facts to consider: We lack carriers and aircraft capable of providing air cover to any re-invasion; we lack the long-range bombers capable of reaching the islands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Black_Buck – though their overall impact during 1982 were probably more psychological than physical); the RN has fewer ships now than it did then (though individually they are more capable); there are fewer troops available now then in 1982 (though, again, they are better trained and equipped and are much better than any the Argentinians have); the Merchant Navy now lacks vessels such as the Canberra and QEII that can be commandeered as troop ships (but they could be hired, at an exorbitant rate, on the open market – though cruise ships are completely unsuitable for southern Atlantic operations).

    But even here there is a question over whether or not Argentina has the capability to invade the Falklands again (never mind the political will to do so). What is true now is the the Falklands are much, much better protected now by the British than they were in 1982 so, I agree, a strong defence force is required of any nation but that is somewhat different than having a strong offensive capability.

    And, should such an invasion occur, don’t discount the possibility (I would say probability) that an independent Scotland would ally itself to rUK and help conduct such military operations as necessary to maintain the ability of a group of people to live under a government of their own choosing. If it is good enough for the Falkland Islanders to have self-determination and chose to remain under British rule it is good enough for the Scottish people to have self-determination and chose (if they wish) independence from British rule. Fair’s fair you know.

  86. HorseBoy says:

    In the real world, ships are built all over the world!
    Found this online:-

    Launch of RUSSIA’s first helicopter carrier of the Mistral-class has taken place in the FRENCH town of Saint-Nazaire 2013.

    RUSSIA’s Mistral-type Vladivostok helicopter carrier will make its maiden voyage in March 2014, Yves Destefanis, a senior executive of the FRENCH DCNS naval shipbuilding company.

    Two other ships of this class are to be built in RUSSIA in accordance with the FRENCH technology.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_10_15/First-Russian-Mistral-class-helicopter-carrier-launched-in-French-town-of-Saint-Nazaire-4770/

    ps. I’m an ex Navy Chief engineer and Applied Physics graduate with 40years in ships/shipbuilding, and offshore oilfield operations. All the oilfield ships in Aberdeen harbour are Norwegian design and build! This is a great future for Scotland’s shipyards.

  87. Ive been canvessing for a few weeks now,and no one has mentioned defence as a concern of independence.

    However all those who are voting YES want rid of trident and quite a few dont knows too,as a CND supporter I do mention the SNP want shot of them.

    I doubt they could be moved elsewhere in Britain,or be moved without protests,so what a chance to disarm for good!

  88. Jim T says:

    @Gary1987 12:31

    Here’s the text of the NATO treaty:

    http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/stock_publications/20120822_nato_treaty_en_light_2009.pdf

    Do a +F to bring up a search box and enter either “nuclear” or “atomic” and there is no appearance anywhere in the treaty text requiring any member to have such weaponry.

    Interestingly, its VERY difficult to save a copy of that pdf to your own hard drive. I had to apply some lateral thinking to the problem before it was possible. I can’t see any rationale for not making it properly downloadable.

  89. Jim T says:

    That should have read “Do a Ctrl+F” to bring up the search box

  90. SquareHaggis says:

    CameronB says

    These are vital ingredients when baking an empire

    Sharp as ever Cameron, that has a real nice ring to it 🙂

  91. Jim T says:

    Just had a look at the track list for Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild (Re-Recordings)” and almost every track title could be applicable to this current debacle.

    Stuggling with “Hey Lawdy Mama” though – maybe JoLa?

  92. manandboy says:

    In the months and years after the Referendum/Independence, more and more of the truth will come out about Westminster’s abuse of Scotland, like for example the McCrone Report.

    With each passing revelation of London skullduggery, the Scottish electorate will think ‘if only we had known that before the Referendum, it would have been so much easier for people to make up their minds’.

    In so far as the above is true, Westminster knows that the only thing keeping them ‘in the game’ is secrecy. Which means they know they are on the losing side. That knowledge is very difficult to shield. In fact I think the tone of the No campaign already reveals it through their desperation and near panic – and complete lack of assurance and composure.

    I look forward to life post Independence but I do think we will have a job ‘keepin’ the heid’ when the full story of England’s exploitation of Scotland is told. I suspect we will conclude that we let them off lightly in The Negotiations post Referendum. They should be televised.

    In the meantime, it is obvious that too many Scots are politically asleep nee comatose. Add the gullible, the naieve and the ‘but Ah’ve always voted labour’ voters, and you have there, as on a plate, the source of our collective anxiety. The Tories are a write-off unless by some earthquake, they are shaken into realising that their only hope of political salvation in Scotland is to vote Yes. And even then, there will have to be a period of atonement.

    Till then, please always be clear that IndyRef is NOT an election; that every vote cast in Scotland in the past 40 years in almost every UK General Election hasn’t counted for anything; and finally, that for the vast majority of people, voting Yes in September will probably be the most significant thing they have done in their entire lives.

    I am sure that our forebears and all future generations of Scots will agree with that last bit.

  93. Muscleguy says:

    Oh dear that Mail article was geographically challenged. Since when is the Baltic sea ‘north’ of the Moray firth? And also since when does the Moray firth flow into Loch Ness?

  94. Hugh Wallace says:

    @Jim T

    I had no issues at all saving that pdf (only did it to test it) so it might be an issue with your PC.

  95. Jim T says:

    @Hugh Wallace

    Could be right, I’ve got all my PCs and laptops screwed down pretty tight.

    I tried it with both Chrome and IE11, neither of them would let me save directly. I ended up using a full copy of Acrobat and a few cut and paste operations before it would save. Checked all the permissions on the original and there’s nowt there that would stop me from copying. Just bizarre. Never have problems with any other pdfs via the web, just that one.

  96. Jim T says:

    Just tried it again – error message is “Failed – Server problem”

    I suspect that because I don’t accept many cookies and have blocked tracking that might be why there’s a “server problem”

  97. Jimsie says:

    Sir George Zambellas, Lord West and Sir Mark Stanhope. What these people have in common is that they are unaware that they are regarded as the enemy by us rather than any perceived threat from Russia or China.

    Recent events have demonstrated that anyone with Sir or Lord before their name can not be trusted.

  98. heedtracker says:

    Real world of teamGB nuke strike capabilities in Scottish waters http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-11605365

    The Royal Navy’s newest and largest attack submarine HMS Astute has run aground off Skye, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

  99. heedtracker says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/hms-astute-drinking_n_2447462.html one more nightmare that Scotland is not supposed to even consider

    A hearing into a drunk sailor’s fatal shooting of an officer aboard a British submarine cast an eye toward the entire crew’s alleged drinking habits.

    Wednesday’s hearing revealed that police investigating the shooting became concerned about alleged alcohol abuse among HMS Astute crewmen and alerted military brass, the BBC reported.

  100. Joe M says:

    O/T – my apologies.

    It has been reported that Rangers manager Ally McCoist has been taken to task after a complaint from the MoD. Apparently, the creation of a small breakwater at the end of his garden on the Cowal Peninsula has proven to be an imminent threat to submarines entering Faslane. With the revelation that a few gabbions of rocks, placed in shallow waters, are being regarded as a grave danger to the MoD’s big black beasties, is it any wonder that they were once out-manoeuvred by a stationery sand-bank off Skye?

    I it possible that we may one day witness the site off a nuclear sub being refloated from Mrs McCoist’s washing-green?

  101. Jimsie says:

    Britannia rules the waves. Oh dear! They throw in the towel when an Iranian gunboat appears, then they accept presents and make money selling the story to the newspapers.

  102. heedtracker says:

    Torygraph reportage again. There is always one Trident nuke strike sub out there for our protection and its likely that the crews are hammered. How much nuclear radiation pollution is there around teamGB nuke strike bases like Faslane?

    http://archive.today/0CckY

    Senior police officers were so alarmed that the chief constable was told and he contacted military authorities, an inquest heard today.
    Detective Superintendent Tony Harris interviewed the crew aboard HMS Astute following the shooting of Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux by Able Seaman Ryan Donovan, who was 76% above the drink-drive limit.
    The hearing in Southampton was told the officer was “highly alarmed” by the crew’s alcohol consumption and he wrote to Hampshire chief constable Alex Marshall with his concerns. His boss then contacted Brigadier Neil Baverstock.
    After talking to the crew, detectives concluded that Donovan’s drink intake was not out of the ordinary.
    The hearing has previously heard he had drunk 20 pints of cider and lager, cocktails and double vodkas in the 48 hours before he was put on a guard duty with a gun.

  103. CameronB says:

    SquareHaggis
    Cheers. Of course, the British empire cake is basically a Victoria sponge encased in welfare state ‘fondant icing’ and decorated with monarchist roses made from sugar produced in the former colonies.

    Or have I gotten that mixed up with La Bombe Surprise? 🙂

  104. heedtracker says:

    From vote No Guardian last year-

    “The coroner said he would incorporate recommendations from Molyneux’s widow, Gillian, which included random breath-testing of crew; breathalysing all those going on armed sentry duty; a look at alcohol allowances while on board; work to tackle the culture of binge drinking in the navy and the issuing of handheld breath-testing devices to all personnel.
    Recording a narrative verdict, Wiseman said the officer was unlawfully killed and he will now write to the navy citing the issues under what is called a Rule 43 letter.
    “Random testing has some value. Anyone being drunk, or anywhere near drunk, on duty has, in my view, got to stop.”

    http://archive.today/OcYxb

    So in effect, teamGB nuke strike commanders are now be advised by women like murder victim Molyneux’s widow, Gillian. I don’t feel safe while dudes like Hammond think they own and frighten Scotland into a No win. TeamGB, that is all.

  105. galamcennalath says:

    This may seem off topic, but it certainly isn’t.

    By 18th Sept’14 the war had begun … 1914, that was.

    My great uncle was John Murphy, a ploughman from Muirkirk. He volunteered and joined the Ayr battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He survived a hellish battle of Achi Baba Nullah, Gallipoli.

    To quote The History of the Royal scots Fusiliers by John Buchan, regarding that engagement:
    “The losses of the 52nd Division had been such that for the Scottish Lowlands it was a second Flodden. In large areas between Tweed and Forth scarcely a household but mourned a son. On the 3rd July [1915] the division numbered 10,900 of all ranks; by the 13th it had lost over 4,800 in killed and wounded.”

    John Murphy and the 1/5th Battalion fought the Turks again in Sinai in the Battle of Katia. The small oasis of Dueidar was held by 156 men; 120 from the 1/5th Battalion. They were a long way from the rich farmland of Ayrshire. On the morning of 23th April 1916 the Turks attacked. The Scots held off the assault until relieved by Australian Light Horse at 13:30. The sustained 55 casualties and John Murphy died of wounds received in battle on 24th April. Incidently, that’s exactly one month short of a century before Scotland’s proposed Independence Day.

    Many young men from across these islands died in the Great War. Was young farm worker John Murphy any different from a worker from Yorkshire or Devon or London? Were we North Britons any different within the Empire from the South British?

    Well, statistics say we Scots were different, very different. We were twice as likely to die for King and Country!

    Total killed as a % of total mobilised:
    Scotland 26.4%
    Rest of Britain and Ireland 11.8%

    Total killed as a % of males 15-49
    Scotland 10.9%
    Rest of Britain and Ireland 6.3%

    Total Killed as a percentage of population.
    Scotland 3.1%
    Rest of Britain and Ireland 1.6%

    You just can’t imagine the horror of it – one in nine Scotsmen aged 15-49 dying over a few years.

    John Murphy’s story could be told many times over about other men who left Scotland for the Great War.

    When we vote on 18th Sept’14 … 2014 that is, we must ask ourselves if there was ever a time when we Scots were genuinely considered equal partners in the Union? Or, has Scotland and her people always been a resource to be used as the London based British State desires? From imperial gun fodder to a place to put WMDs. End it … vote Yes.

  106. Jimsie says:

    heedtracker

    Good posts from you. I think we can agree that any kind of Scottish Navy can only be an improvement over the present bunch of incompetents allegedly providing coastal security.

  107. Andy-B says:

    The so called “navy big guns” have fired a shot across the bow of Scotland today,with Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, former first sea lord and chief of naval staff, (phew! what a title),claiming that Scotland would become an outcast,if it kicked out Trident.

    Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope added, that the USA and France as two P3 nuclear powers would be particularly, concerned at the risk an independent Scotland would pose.

    Who’d have thought little old Scotland, would be a threat to the western world, we’re all doomed Captain Mannering.

    No link I’m afraid.

  108. CameronB says:

    Not a lot of people know this, but John Buchanan was a member of Milner’s Kindergarten, who were a group of colonial administrators in the South African Civil Service, under High Commissioner Alfred, Lord Milner.

    IMO, this group of imperial colonists were fundamental in shaping the British Labor Party, the welfare state and the continuation of the British empire (now Commonwealth).

    Just say No to imperialism. Mkay. 🙂

  109. Jimsie says:

    galamcennalath

    Interesting piece from you. My grandfather originated from Muirkirk and would probably have been known to John Murphy.

    Yes the Scots have always been cannon fodder for the British but that will be consigned to history soon.

  110. Andy-B says:

    @Fergus Green.

    Don’t be surprised at National Expresses tactics, their giving a huge discount if you go to armed forces day, in Stirling,to get the numbers up, in a bid to drown out the Bannockburn Festival.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/programme-unveiled-bannockburn-live-weekend-3288168

  111. SquareHaggis says:

    CameronB, now you’re taking the Empire biscuit.

    Bummer about the Double-Deckers, woulda tean a wee hurrell doon by if they’d have pulled that one aff.

    Go, Go, Go Dundee!

    With you all the way!

  112. Dorothy Devine says:

    Andy B , I just clicked on the DR link and they have a wee quiz about ones political leanings – I am a UKIP ,GREEN,BNP ,LABOUR, Plaid Cymru and last but not least with 69% an SNP supporter.

    What crap!

  113. Dorothy Devine says:

    I’ve just done it again and reversed most of my answers and now I’m definitely BNP and SNP!

    Definitely a little wonky!

  114. KOF says:

    galamcennalath at 15:17

    “Total killed as a % of total mobilised: Scotland 26.4%”

    Have a look at this link.

    http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=180471

    As it says in the link, “The real numbers are tragic enough, without any need to exaggerate the enormous sacrifice made by the Scottish people.”

    Cannon fodder? All nations are cannon fodder when empires are involved.

  115. Robert Louis says:

    I genuinely believe that the decision has already been taken in Whitehall, that post referendum (YES or NO), the EWNI Government will announce after negotiations, that the nuclear deterrent has outlived its usefulness in the modern world, as technology has improved, drones, satellites etc.., and so with the full agreement of NATO partners including the USA, ‘Britain’ will be getting rid of the nuclear missiles system and associated infrastructure on the Clyde. The money saved will be used to bolster conventional armed forces etc..etc.. blah de blah.

    I believe Westminster is merely using the nuclear system as a bargaining chip and nothing else, and truth be told, they already know it will be going. Now they don’t have a currency union to negotiate over (no sane person believes them), Trident is their one remaining strong bargaining point in the event of a YES vote.

    No doubt in Westminster they will all be back slapping each other saying ‘ho ho, those jocks are falling for it, what a wheeze. We already know we’re abolishing trident, but we’ll pretend it’s still vital to the UK, until the negotiations are over ‘. I mean we now already know that Westminster has been lying on just about every topic and scare story so far.

    Trident makes no sense for UK or EWNI, given the economic circumstances, and the depleted state of the conventional armed forces in the UK, running as it is on ‘reserve’ servicemen.

  116. KOF says:

    Forgot to say, 12.8% maximum for Scottish casualties.

  117. Harry says:

    A very thought provoking article, galamcennalath. I jotted some of that down in my Big Book of Referendum Facts. Some history doesn’t go amiss from time to time.

  118. Murray McCallum says:

    Something about a Home Counties, Oxford-educated Conservative coming to tell Glaswegians that they can’t defend themselves without his support makes me sad.

    I’ll have to think this one out.

  119. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Don’t you just love the logic of the M.O.D.?

    I mean here we are in 2014 and none other than the Great Sea Lord himself is telling us Scots that we can NOT become an independent country. However, if we were to ring our minds back to circa 1944 then we would find the M.O.D. making plans to ABANDON Scotland to Hitler and his Nazis if they invaded Scotland. I kid you not.

    http://tinyurl.com/pv58cnk

    Military commanders in London were prepared to ignore “screams from Scotland” in order to give England “total priority”.

    He discovered that Field Marshall Sir Edmund Ironside, the man Churchill chose to mastermind Britain’s defences, believed Scotland would have to be sacrificed to a Nazi invasion.

    So in defence speak, only the M.O.D. are permitted to separate Scotland from rUK. If the people of Scotland want to do it themselves then they can’t and that’s the final word on the matter cause Sir whatisname has said so!

    Aye right! 😛

  120. CameronB says:

    Re: NATO and nukes, how about a Russian perspective, or ‘propaganda’, depending on you outlook.

    … keeping these weapons* in Europe is that they allow NATO members to participate in shaping alliance nuclear policy [i.e. pre-emptive nuclear doctrine]. In this view, transatlantic ties are strengthened when the risks and costs of deploying and securing nuclear weapons are shared between the US and the respective host nations. (Quoted in “Parting words: Gates and tactical nuclear weapons in Europe”. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 14 July 2011)

    Sounds a bit like Pulling and Sharing to me. I did point out that British Labour’s ‘strategy’ is basically a post-modern form of feudalism, which in its western European form was essentially a military solution to exerting maximum force over the largest possible area, using the least amount of resources. Having CLOUT is not a new wet dream for the establishment. Neither is making a very large profit out of the austerity imposed on the wider society.

    * = tactical nuclear B61 bunker buster bombs.

    http://rt.com/op-edge/nuclear-war-iran-nato-629/

  121. bigGpolmont says:

    You know the only person other than Ham end that is telling its neighbours what military capabilities they need
    is Vladamir Putin

  122. Helena Brown says:

    Reading the above posts I am wondering if we should be writing to Sir George Zambellas with regard to the fact that we are alarmed that sailors onboard Nuclear Submarines are so drunk that we in Scotland might consider ourselves safer if they were not within our borders far less worrying our heads about what sort of navy will protect us.

  123. CameronB says:

    P.S. The Great Game continues today, but in a post-modern nuclear age. Let’s let them get on with it themselves. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

    Please vote YES

  124. Andy-B says:

    Dorothy Devine says:
    15 April, 2014 at 4:36 pm
    Andy B , I just clicked on the DR link and they have a wee quiz about ones political leanings – I am a UKIP ,GREEN,BNP ,LABOUR, Plaid Cymru and last but not least with 69% an SNP supporter.

    What crap!

    Ha Ha Don’t worry Dorothy,its not you its that ultra London owned unionist newspaper,the Daily Record, its renowned for its, twisted approach, to the independence debate.

  125. rab_the_doubter says:

    Britannia waives the rules.

  126. msean says:

    I’ll bet the Royal Norwegian Navy could have responded quicker.

  127. magicpants says:

    “Brittania waives the rules” lol. Cracker

  128. goldenayr says:

    Endless_psych @ 1101
    We don’t need to use trident as a bargaining chip.Think Gibraltar,Tristan de Cunha,Falklands,South Georgia..need I go on?

  129. geeo says:

    Sadly i lost the daily “guess the scare story” for today in my house.

    I am convinced that one day
    soon my choice will be used.

    “Asylum centre to be built just south of carlisle to house Scottish immigrants fleeing Salmond’s Scotland” has a winning ring about it, yes ?

    There is a growing trend now for the good Rev to debunk the BT nonsense quicker and quicker each time.

    Keep up the good work.

  130. Mary Bruce says:

    “Britannia waives the rules.” Brilliant.

  131. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ msean – Now there’s a thing to ponder. Anybody with any knowledge of the sea route from N.Russia to the outer Moray Firth knows fine how many platforms/rigs/fishing boats/commercial marine traffic/daily helicopter flights are all eyes and ears in a busy North Sea.

    Not forgetting the Norwegian maritime surveillance P3 Orions on patrol and sundry radar installations all the way up the Norwegian coastline.

    Are we truly to believe that a Russian aircraft carrier with all its support vessels just magically appeared 30miles off the Scottish coastline without being detected days beforehand?

    As all of this happened around the festive season it seems to me that Admiral Fukofsky had been invited for a Hogmanay celebration at Raf Lossiemouth. Rumour has it that the Admiral has a wonderful baritone voice and gave a rendering of that Gilbert & Sullivan song [HMS Pinafore]

    ‘I am the Monarch of the sea,
    The ruler of Putin’s navy,
    And so say his cousins by the dozen and his aunts’

    🙂

  132. goldenayr says:

    Archie [not Erchie]
    Prior to the Bosnia campaign,a joint Russian/NATO exercise was held…nuff said?

  133. Alan Mackintosh says:

    goldenayr, you forget to mention Diego Garcia. Easily done, you would be forgiven for not knowing about it as it is rarely mentioned. US gets to play with it, a bit of rendition here and there. It has been surprisingly not mentioned during the curent search for the missing flight

    “The United States Navy operates Naval Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia, a large naval ship and submarine support base, military air base, communications and space-tracking facility, and an anchorage for pre-positioned military supplies for regional operations aboard Military Sealift Command ships in the lagoon.[4]”

    From Wiki

  134. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    Rev,
    I was a bit puzzled by your photo.

    There were jet aircraft on the aircraft carrier so it could not be one of ours as we do not have any naval aircraft to “punch above weight” and “project naval power around the world”.

    We gave all our Harrier fleet to the USA for next to nothing for spares for their fleet of AV-8Bs and it will be many years before we get the F-35B to replace them.

    The aircraft carrier 063 is the Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

    Also I did not recognise the D92 destroyer. It turns out to be HMS Liverpool which was decommissioned 2 years ago.

    The picture pretty much sums the state of the Royal Navy. It seems to be doing a pretty good job of self destruction under the WM Government even without Scottish Independence.

  135. Jjames, O'Hara says:

    the shape of tomorrows defense and offence forces have changed,
    boots, bullet’s and gadget’s. backed up with,
    submarines and multi-roll warhead tomahawks,
    And that’s it,
    ships, aircraft, tanks, personnel vehicles, command centers, missile silos, these are all just targets for tomahawks boots and bullets.
    Scotland submarine base has a big future.

  136. Tom Platt says:

    A Rev Stu masterpiece:-“…an independent Scotland wouldn’t get a share of UK defence equipment, except it would, and that would damage its ability to protect both Scottish and NATO interests, even though it would result in warships being permanently in Scottish waters and therefore able to react to hostile presences much more quickly than UK forces which are no longer adequate for the job, and NATO would block Scottish membership on the grounds of Trident being ejected from Faslane, even though the US doesn’t want the UK to continue to have Trident at all.

    That seems to cover the basics quite snappily. Any questions?”



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