Scottish independence referendum, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland


The keepers of the gate

Posted on August 21, 2013 by

Professor Michael E. Smith, the Chair of International Relations at the University of Aberdeen, is a man who it’s fair to say knows his onions when it comes to the politics of transatlantic defence. A native of the USA who describes himself as “increasingly intrigued about independence”, he’s written extensively on EU military and security policy, and also understands the internal machinations of NATO a touch better than plebs such as ourselves or even, dare we say it, Willie Rennie.

northatlantic

So we were extremely delighted when he agreed to give Wings Over Scotland an exclusive interview on the subject of an independent Scotland’s future relationship with the West’s main military alliance.

WINGS OVER SCOTLAND: There’s been a lot of talk about NATO not accepting an independent Scotland as a member if it insists on getting rid of Trident. How real a danger is that? Who actually needs who the most here?

PROF. MICHAEL E. SMITH: One thing to remember is that NATO is seeking a purpose, as you probably know. It needs to go out of area or out of business, as the saying goes. But a number of member states have a problem with that. So the Trident issue is kind of a diversion. Also, NATO does offer “second-class” membership in the form of partners, so Scotland could be part of it without the obligations of full membership.

WOS: Is NATO without the Warsaw Pact a little like Celtic without Rangers, then – in the absence of its traditional enemy, there’s no need for the big-name players who command the high salaries?

SMITH: Exactly, and EU members are reducing defence spending precisely because they don’t feel threatened by a major power. So Scottish independence has to be seen in that context – is NATO even necessary at all, with or without nukes?

At the same time, the EU can’t get its own act together on the ‘defence’ part of the Common Security & Defence Policy. So NATO may be necessary but only as an insurance policy against a major threat to Europe (a rogue Russia). But even then, Scotland could be part of the defence guarantee even without full membership.

Even during the Cold War, the US was willing to secure neutral European states, in secret. With Scotland’s strategic sea position, it is ludicrous to think that Western allies would refuse to help defend Scotland against a major foreign attack, even if NATO did not exist.

WOS: But that strategic position is also a good reason to want Scotland onside officially, presumably?

SMITH: Yes, of course; the more transparent the commitment, the better. But the Trident issue is more of a UK concern, not an American one. As per the recent story in the New York Times, the US would rather have more conventional-weapons spending in the UK/EU, not nukes. So, like some other stories coming from the unionist side, the Trident issue comes very close to scaremongering.

WOS: Would it be fair to say that in terms of NATO’s total nuclear arsenal, Trident is pretty insignificant?

SMITH: Yes, of course. Besides, what little it does have is supplied by the US. The UK would almost certainly have to discuss when/if to launch the missiles with the US, if it ever came to that. So the ‘deterrent’ is small and not very independent.

WOS: This seems to be a hotly-contested issue that comes up regularly but which nobody has a definitive answer to. What’s the reality of whether the UK could really use Trident alone?

SMITH: Technically such use is supposed to be under joint control of NATO (ie a ‘first use’ situation on the part of NATO). But if the UK came under nuclear attack first, then I suppose it would have the capability to launch on its own.

Even so, it’s hard to imagine such a strike without some discussion with allies, unless the time factor was very short. In that case, we might be in a WW3 situation, and then we’re all doomed!

WOS: And it’s exceptionally hard to imagine a scenario where anyone would start a war by attacking the UK, rather than the US or in eastern or southern Europe. But of course, you never know with space monsters.

SMITH: Ha ha. Strategic nukes are no use against terrorists or in a first-use situation against small states (Iran), so NATO’s main strategic purpose is deterrence against another major power. Since US nukes can do that on their own (including the ones based in other EU states), Trident is superfluous to strategic purposes. It was the case even during the Cold War, and more so today.

And having the Trident base in Scotland makes it a target of other nuclear powers, so the arguments for removing it outweigh the arguments for keeping it here. It’s a UK status symbol, more than anything else. It also helps to justify UK’s seat on the UNSC.

WOS: So in a nutshell, the removal of Trident wouldn’t be considered by NATO to be an obstacle to Scotland’s membership, regardless of whether it was moved to elsewhere in the rUK or if it had to be scrapped because there was nowhere for it to go?

SMITH: Well remember the UK would have a voice on this in NATO (and with EU membership, if the UK is still part of the EU), but from a strategic/American perspective, the location of Trident should not be an issue. If the UK was smart, it would use Scottish independence as an excuse to scrap Trident altogether and invest the money elsewhere. But the UK government hasn’t been acting very smart lately!

WOS: That’s an interesting aspect – how would NATO be likely to react if the UK insisted Scotland keep Trident for, say, 5-10 years? (Although from what you’ve said, it ultimately wouldn’t really matter anyway.) Might NATO be more likely to lean on the UK to fall into line with the views revealed in the NY Times article, or would it have to side with the bigger, established nation?

SMITH: I think the real worry for Scotland is that the UK might try to make Trident a condition of its support for Scottish membership of the EU/NATO. If that happened, the US might have to encourage the UK to back off, yes. But this assumes that the UK stays within the EU itself, which is also an open question.

WOS: So in reality, neither the US nor NATO are likely to object to an independent Scotland’s membership if Trident is expelled – the only likely obstacle is the UK being stubborn about it, which the USA wouldn’t be very happy about. Is that a fair summary?

SMITH: Yes. And again, even if Scotland is kept out of NATO by a vindictive UK or whatever, it is still a strategic part of the North Atlantic and would fall under Alliance protection in a worst-case scenario: a major attack against Europe.

WOS: Professor Smith, thanks very much for your time.

To our ears, that seems to be several myths conclusively debunked for the price of one. NATO will want Scotland as a member, it won’t care whether we have Trident or not, it would defend us regardless of membership status because of our strategic position in the North Atlantic, and Scotland expelling Trident from its waters might well be the nudge needed to bring about the whole UK’s nuclear disarmament, under pressure from NATO/the USA who want the money spent elsewhere.

Much of that reflects stuff we’ve been saying on this site for months, of course. But it’s nice to have it confirmed by someone who actually knows what he’s talking about.

Print Friendly

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 17 02 14 02:30

    Why the Scottish independence debate can be a firey place, even for sympathetic unionists | The Ego Factor

127 to “The keepers of the gate”

  1. Dan Huil says:

    Excellent piece.Is it OK to quote it on other websites?

  2. Tris says:

    The nukes, then, are the ‘fur coat’. The ‘no knickers’ part of the equation is the vast number of people who barely manage to live, sit in the dark and cold and use food banks to feed themselves and their kids. Makes you proud.

  3. john king says:

    scoop! way to go rev
    :)

  4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Is it OK to quote it on other websites?”

    Quote away. (Do link back to the full interview, of course.)

  5. Murray McCallum says:

    Great article.  It’s almost as if people like Wullie Rennie and Alistair Darling are making things up!

  6. themadmurph says:

    Well done Rev.  This is what we all knew really, but to get an authority to talk so clearly, concisely and sensibly on the subject is very refreshing.  Very refreshing indeed.  No hidden agenda or axe to grind, just good common sense!

  7. Robert McDonald says:

    <Chapeau> Rev! 

  8. Steven Duncan says:

    Excellent article Rev. Will be forwarded far and wide. Who is going to chance getting it sneaked on to the ‘hame’ sites???

  9. william pirrie says:

    Thank you for this article, very helpful when trying to persuade others of the case. Please note I am typing this from my laptop which does not capitalise all my words. Must be my phone.

  10. Doug Daniel says:

    Lots of common sense coming from the Professor here. Why don’t the media get him to give his opinion on this stuff instead of clueless idiots like Willie Rennie, who do nothing but scaremonger?
     
    Oh…

  11. Tony Little says:

    Proper journalism in Scotland – who’d a thought it?

    Bravo, Rev

  12. Seasick Dave says:

    A spokesperson for Better Together said, “That’s right, show us up wi’ someone who knows what he’s talking aboot”.

  13. bunter says:

    Excellent article, but who in the MSM will publish it as I am sure you have been asking the wrong questions!

  14. les wilson says:

    Stu, is there no end to your talents?
    A excellent interview, with a knowledgeable person, which debunks the case of Westminster, and in a way that many Scots were also thinking .
    Another to raise the WOS profile, which, as I have said before, must  be no bad thing!
     

  15. Atypical_Scot says:

    Lets say the UK didn’t replace Trident. Forgetting the fact that the people are starving and homeless (just towing the Tory line as that seems to be the UK’s lot for the next good wee while) how many fighter jets could you get for £100 billion? Conventional weaponry for a white elephant aircraft carrier currently sun burning in the Med.

  16. An Duine Gruamach says:

    Thanks for the interview, Rev – always good to read an informed contribution!

  17. ianbrotherhood says:

    Professor Smith surely knows Dr Phillips O’Brien (Scottish Centre for War Studies) who appears at 4.03 in this BBC piece ‘published’ on Youtube Oct 28th last year.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLlPhoiRxIo
    Would be interesting to get them together, eh?

  18. Stevie Mach says:

    We don’t need nukes in Scotland, we don’t even need Nato.
    But Cameron needs a shiny red launch button to hover his clammy paw over, no wannabe self-important international statesman can exist without a red button. Unfeeling, uncaring, unconcerned about the majority of the country, yes, but as long as that red button’s there he feels important.

    Great article

  19. Webcraft says:

    Great stuff.
    Let’s have lots more more interviews with highly credible people. Some sound or video interviews would be good as well.
    We could also do more to increase the visibility of material like this On Google and elsewhere . . . . perhaps a separate site with just hard content, no comments or context, that journos and bloggers who might be reluctant to give WOS oxygen can link to?

  20. Red squirrel says:

    An excellent interview which cuts through all the BT rubbish. Well done you & Prof Smith for a fascinating insight into NATO membership.

  21. Eddie says:

    How very refreshing to hear some honest answers from honest questions.  Unionists should take note.
     
    Spending the money elsewhere is also highly recommended given that we have (Scottish) troops operating in Afghanistan with sub-standard equipment.

  22. Arajag says:

    It doesn’t debunk anything. It is one mans considered opinion. A bit like Nate Silver.  

  23. Haartime says:

    Thank you Rev Stu. Terrific scoop. This site goes from strength to strength. Lets hope the mainstream media pick it up (hopefully Sunday Herald which has written quite a bit on Trident and defence.) Time the msm took notice of you instead of pretending you don’t exist. 
     
    Only thing is work of this quality ups the pressure on you, Can we have more like this please? 

  24. Swello says:

    Nice work.
    I’m sure the press and BBC will want to pick up on some nice easy to use quotes and so are sure to run with this story….
     

  25. FreddieThreepwood says:

    The only way the MSM media would report Prof Smith’s views would be if they were turned on their head and presented to them on a plate by Better Together. Then they would be splashed across every front page.
    Slightly O/T – email hacking allegations at BT HQ? That also would surely have the pack sitting up like a colony of meercats. Email hacking allegations at Yes HQ? A one par blob at the end of more Rennie moaning about paperwork – this morning’s Herald.

  26. Macart says:

    Oh dang, that’ll leave a mark. Cracking piece Rev.

  27. Training Day says:

    @Arajag

    You are, of course, perfectly entitled to choose to whose considered opinion you lend more weight, that of Prof Smith or that of Willie Rennie.

  28. Macart says:

    @ Arajag
     
    Nate’s opinion was based on numbers presented to him without much base knowledge of UK politics. As such his considered opinion had a natural conclusion. His last attempt to predict the outcome of a UK election didn’t work out too well I understand. But still, a fair assessment based on his knowledge and the ‘numbers’ as presented.
     
    Prof. Smith however is a slightly different kettle of fish. This particular subject is his bread and butter (see CV above). Bit of a difference between his considered opinion and that of Nate Silver.

  29. Dcanmore says:

    @Araj …
    There is a difference. Prof Smith is intimate with Scotland’s situation, Nate Silver isn’t and applied generalisations in his interview.
     
    Great work Rev.

  30. pa_broon74 says:

    No doubt DHothersal be along to bunk things up again.
     
    A decent cogent interview with opinions not strained through the unionist colander of Scottish doom.
     
    The UK getting rid of its nuclear arsenal – while not a huge amount of warheads – would be a significant symbolic act. One of the original nuclear powers no longer on the wagon, I’m not aware of any country that used to have nuclear weapons…
     

  31. Davy says:

    A very good article, it kind of gives Rennie’s  nonsence on Nato a right kick in the goules, a few more of these types of interview would be cool.

  32. bunter says:

    O/t
    Bell in The Herald seems unpleased with the EIF and Andrew Marr in particular..lol

  33. pa_broon74 says:

    @Macart & Dcanmore
     
    Dr Smith isn’t flogging a book either.

  34. Arajag says:

    How about the aforementioned Dr Phillips O’Brien , or Major-General Andrew Mackay or Simon Smith?  Are they honest experts?
    It’s an interesting interview, from an obviously informed and considered persepective. But it is opinion only. It does not “debunk” anything.
     

  35. Macart says:

    Very true pa. No whiff of publicity in the wind, just question and honest, educated opinion.
     
    Makes a nice change.

  36. Alba4Eva says:

    Thanks very much for this.  Excellent Journalism Rev.
    You put the BBC to shame!

  37. Arajag says:

    On a slightly related issue. It is my considered opinion, that if you want more mainstream coverage, you need to stop and think about how you ask questions and present yourself. The questions in the interview are far too leading, it sounds like a conversation between two pro-independence friends. It shouldn’t. You need to be far more neutral.

  38. Training Day says:

    @Arajag

    Yes, this site needs to strive towards the standards of impeccable impartiality displayed in the MSM in order to gain a fair hearing from said MSM. Why didn’t we think of that?

  39. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Arajag
     
    OMG – clever cybernat Rev Stu outwits reknowned university professor with feigned rapport and  ‘loaded’ questions making him say the opposite of what he actually meant.  These dimwitted and addled academics aren’t as bright as they used to be are they?

  40. Dcanmore says:

    @Arajag…
     
    Differing opinions on the subject is not the issue. The problem we have in Scotland is that no differing opinion is sought by the MSM, only the doom and gloom is worthy of report and that is dishonest and deliberately stifles debate. This is why the Rev is getting plaudits here, he is basically doing the job the newspapers and the BBC should be doing and seeking an alternative informed opinion to those already published.

  41. Tony Little says:

    @Arajag
     
    You are of course correct to state that it is opinion.  But how and when do you assess the value of the opinion?  And having regard for the opinions of others in the past, I have reached the conclusion that many (most?) pro-dependency “experts” are in fact extremely subjective in their analysis of a given situation. 
     
    In the case of Nick Silver, his “analysis” suffers from the familiar IT term – GIGO compounded by possessing limited knowledge of the country, its politics, its voters behaviour, and current trends.  (I might add being surprised at his rather odd statement that referendum campaigns tend towards NO, when the overwhelming evidence suggests the opposite).  I also regard a referendum as substantially different to a usual election.  Finally, Nick Silver also now claims that he was “misinterpreted” by the media.  So he joins a growing club of experts and politicians that have a grievance against the Scottish media’s approach to “reporting”.
     
    In the case of Prof. Smith we have a man with intimate knowledge of the subject, and substantial credentials.  
     
    I know who’s opinion I would tend to follow.  You of course, can do as you choose. 

  42. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Arajag
     
    Plus these feeble minded academics should be a lot more wary and only speak to a bona fide member of the MSM and/or BT for the correct transferrance/ interpretation/ editing of their opinions in line with received wisdom on anything (i.e. Willie Rennie’s opinions).

  43. HandandShrimp says:

    But it’s nice to have it confirmed by someone who actually knows what he’s talking about.
     
    A refreshing change after listening to Willie Rennie or Michael Moore on the subject (both from a party that I thought was against replacing the sodding things in the first place).

  44. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    No known definition of the word “debunk” contains a stipulation of empirical proof. Next concern troll, please.

  45. Jiggsbro says:

    You mentioned space monsters. The entire interview is null and void.

  46. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Arajag-
    ‘It is my considered opinion, that if you want more mainstream coverage, you need to stop and think about how you ask questions and present yourself.
    Hmmm.
    You might enjoy picking the bones out of this –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX8w2Cu4VhY

  47. scottish_skier says:

    It does not “debunk” anything.
    Yes if does if the reader decides they feel that’s the case having read it.

  48. Macart says:

    Its not as if some have performed in depth studies of Scotland’s future defence needs or possible capabilities…
     
    http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/Scottish_Defence_Forces_Oct_2012.pdf
     
    http://www.iiea.com/blogosphere/reflections-on-defending-an-independent-scotland-a-view-from-ireland

  49. HandandShrimp says:

    It doesn’t debunk anything. It is one mans considered opinion. A bit like Nate Silver.  
     
    @Arajag
     
    To be fair, Nate Silver answered a question at a book launch off the cuff and got a huge amount of press space for his off the cuff answer (which from a book launch perspective was a massive success from his point of view). His views on referendums are informed presumably by the US proposition thing that States do from time to time. However, I am sure he would be the first to say that if you want to employ me to do the actual work on the Scottish referendum I will need more time (and some resources). Professor Smith on the other hand is an expert working in this specific area and has considerable knowledge of Scotland, the UK and NATO. In short he is coming from a position of having already done the work.
     
    Nevertheles, it is just an opinion albeit it a very informed one. One might compare it to asking David Starkey for an opinion on the motivation of Queen Mary and her reaction to the Protestant reformation and asking Willie Rennie the same question. Both answers would be an opinion.   

  50. Morag says:

    I think the point to bear in mind in Silver’s case is that he was speaking of referendums in general, when he referred to a tendency to veer to No at the end of the campaign.  Referendums on all sorts of things being pushed by pressure groups or political vested interests, that the voters in the end decide they don’t really care much about.   Like AV for example.
     
    As has been repeatedly shown in these pages, independence referendums don’t work like that.  Independence referendums seem generally to be characterised by a surge of “let’s go for it!” towards the end.  If Silver hasn’t noticed that, he hasn’t been paying attention.

  51. Morag says:

    I’ve remarked several times that it’s not the presentation of a partial or biassed case that concerns me.  I want to hear people passionately arguing a case they believe in, and I want to hear one side of a case being put forward by knowledgeable and articulate presenters.
     
    And I want to hear the other side too.
     
    All we ever get from the mainstream media is No, No, gonnae no dae that?  It’ll be terrible and everybody will hate you.  You can’t counter that by researching and presenting scrupulously balanced articles.  That’s exactly the sort of article that ends up being cherry-picked for its negative side, and contributing to another round of “don’t even think about it!”
     
    We need the positive case presented in a reasoned, factual, not over-hyped manner.  Just like this.

  52. MajorBloodnok says:

    @HandandShrimp
    Although in this case Willie Rennie would likely assume it was his in-depth knowledge of ocean liners that you were after, particularly in light of his seminal paper “Pledge-Dependent Configurations of Deckchair Realignment on Foundering Vessels 1912-2012.”

  53. Tony Little says:

    Just realised I have been referring to Nate Silver, as Nick.
     
    Apologies to him, and any Nick Silver offended :(

  54. Gillie says:

     
    So this is information that all the NATO members know but which we Scots are being prevented from knowing. 
     
    As Donald Rumsfeld put it, ” There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.”

  55. NorthBrit says:

    @Arajag
    Your opinion doesn’t seem considered.  The first question on the key point was clearly an open question and the conversation developed from there.
     
    You need to stop and think about how you present yourself.  You need to appear more neutral.

  56. The Man in the Jar says:

    Great article Stu I hope that it circulates.
    During my time I took part in more NATO exercises than I care to count. I have always had the opinion that due to its strategic position if Scotland threatened to leave NATO then there would be a large concern amongst NATO member states and they would be pleading with Scotland to stay within NATO.

  57. kininvie says:

    The most interesting thing here is the threat that UK could veto NATO/EU membership if we don’t agree to Trident. This accords with the Guardian’s take. But would UK do such a thing? That’s a very interesting question: it’s clearly not in the UK’s long-term interests, but there will be plenty of pressure from the defence/nuclear lobby for the UK govt to do just that.

    And I’m fairly sure (nasty piece of blackmail though it is) that this threat will be hinted at with increasing degrees of menace if it starts looking as though Yes is gaining. It’s a big win on the scaremongering front, and I don’t see BT having scruples about using it.

    I have to say that I find Scottish Skier’s optimism that everything will be sorted behind closed doors by referendum day to be misplaced. On the contrary, I would expect the UK to play hard and dirty throughout post-referendum negotiations, and their power of veto – or merely a refusal to prevent Scottish self-determination as a domestic issue – is a major card in their hand in getting the best terms. So too is spinning out negotiations well beyond 2016.

    They can trade time; they can trade co-operation on the international front. Why would they not do so?

  58. Dcanmore says:

    @Kininvie …
     
    I’m sure the rUK will make some noises about Scottish NATO membership, but I think they’ll do whatever Washington will tell them. Independence will bring choices to Scotland on the international stage and it’s a case of who needs who the most.

  59. Jimbo says:

    Excellent, Stu. I’ve no doubt this information would have been available to the MSM journo’s if they’d took the trouble to seek it out.
     
    You’ve left the so-called quality journalists looking like a bunch of inept, rank amateurs. 

  60. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Jimbo said: You’ve left the so-called quality journalists looking like a bunch of inept, rank amateurs.

    “again”

  61. Davy says:

    If after independence the rUK tried to block Scotlands membership of Nato because of the removeal of trident, what would be the reaction of other members of Nato to this blatent attempt of bullying and abuse of power. We need to remember Nato consists of 28 countries of which the UK is just one.

    Note: is that @arajag debunked !!
     
    Alba Gu Brath.
     

  62. Braco says:

    kininvie,
    were the rUK to do any of those things post a YES vote in 2014, the pro independence party majority in Holyrood would simply threaten to pass a bill declaring unilateral Independence.
     
    The actions you describe being taken by rUK within, what would be at the time of negotiation, our shared UK membership of International bodies would quite rightly antagonise Scottish public opinion.
     
    I can see Holyrood passing just such a bill before the 2015 rUK Westminster elections anyway, in order to avoid the various confusions and dangers of sending what could be a contingent of Scots MP’s to Westminster that held the balance of power for one year out of a five year rUK parliament.
     
    Not something English public opinion would warm to I suspect, after their perceived rejection by the Scots in our highly publicised Independence referendum.
     
    Negotiations will be concluded between Holyrood and Westminster as internationally recognised Independent Countries. Seems the simplest solution to me anyway.

  63. Gordon Bain says:

    Another brilliant article Stu! Who said investigative journalism was dead?
     
    O/T I know so apologies – BBC Radio Scotland news today. Isn’t it amazing how today they’ve managed to report record investment in North Sea oil as a negative using the “evidence” that the extraction is slow and expensive? Surely this means that the Dollar price of a barrel will increase and thus provide an independent Scottish government with MORE revenue? Seriously, if the BBC news room was in the private sector these people would be sacked! Instead, we actually pay their wages.

  64. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Gordon Bain
     
    (not for long, winky-thing).

  65. Braco says:

    Gordon Bain,
    the rest of the MSM is in the ‘private sector’ and I don’t see any mass sackings for their equally outrageous anti independence bias, but I do sympathise with your outrage at BBC ‘Scotland’.

  66. MajorBloodnok says:

    By the by, BBC Alba is an entirely different kettle o’ fish.  Would be nice to see a new Scottish Broadcasting Corporation based in Inverness instead of Glasgow…

  67. Bubbles says:

    I can’t get by the language thing with Alba, sadly. I take the point about the rest of the MSM though but can at least say that I don’t pay for that.

  68. Arajag says:

    Rev Stu writes: No known definition of the word “debunk” contains a stipulation of empirical proof. Next concern troll, please.
    :sigh: That’s three times now, when I have tried to debate issues raised on this site that I am accused of either “working for someone” or in this instance, being a “troll”, and from the proprietor, no less.
    I think you need to re-read your “about us” page, particularly about welcoming contributions from all sides (not that I have declared any side!). I am trying to offer constructive criticism on the things I read. Ignore it by all means, but stop with the troll accusations, please.
    You want to know why the MSM don’t give you more attention? I can tell you now it has nothing to do with some great conspiracy against Scottish Independence, or this site. It has everything to do with how you present, how you edit. You got it wrong on the poll, and you have got it wrong on how you have presented this interview,  how you asked the questions, and how you have edited the answers. The MSM will not touch this story and it’s easy to see why with the help of an experienced eye. You have another missed opportunity on your hands.

  69. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “That’s three times now, when I have tried to debate issues raised on this site that I am accused of either “working for someone” or in this instance, being a “troll”, and from the proprietor, no less.”

    Then maybe it’s not a coincidence. But if you misuse the word “debunk”, don’t get huffy when someone points it out.

  70. gordoz says:

    Arajag says:
     
    Wasn’t going to comment but …..
     
    Just what is your point ?
    “trying to offer constructive criticism on the things”
     
    Specifically on the leading questions you suggest (?), how would an ‘expert eye’ such as yourself have phrased them?
     
    In a constructive unaligned sense of course

  71. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Arajag
     
    You turn up here and the only thing you do is give your negative opinion on the messenger and not the message: stage I.
     
    And then this coming over all offended and accusing the site of lack of openness and whatever when you get spotted straight away is classic stage II, by the way.

  72. Jimbo says:

    “BBC Radio Scotland news today. Isn’t it amazing how today they’ve managed to report record investment in North Sea oil as a negative”
     
    No, it isn’t. It is the kind of rubbish we’ve come to expect from the BBC.
     
    When they (BBC) reported on Celtic’s match against Shakhtar Karagandy, they showed a magnificent stadium and commented on how Kazakhstan was booming thanks to the oil fields.
     
    Oil fields in Kazakhstan = Good
    Oil fields in Scotland      = Bad

  73. Angus says:


    Arajag says:
    21 August, 2013 at 9:28 am

    It doesn’t debunk anything. It is one mans considered opinion. A bit like Nate Silver.’
     
    “Like Nate Silver”.   Did it get a front page headline in a national newspaper and widely reported-and has the interviewee said he was taken out of context with one soundbite from what was a half hour interview as Nate Silver himself tweeted?

  74. a supporter says:

    One thing to remember is that NATO is seeking a purpose, as you probably know. It needs to go out of area or out of business, as the saying goes.
    That was a most revealing part of the interview to me. It seems we have NATO, a large multi-national entity, which really has no proper role nowadays scrabbling around trying to find a real job to justify its existence and keep the staff and management in the style to which they have become accustomed. The UK would do well to seriously consider scrapping Tridnet.

  75. velofello says:

    @ Arajag- its only an opinion:: Well you see there are expert opinions,pundit opinions, and biased opinions. And its generally astute to seek out opinions, the expert type, before deciding on action.
    Prof. Smith’s opinion in the expert category?

  76. Hetty says:

    Great article, very positive to hear that Trident is the waste of money we all know it is, while people are being left to survive on very little, dependant on foodbanks etc, and in such a rich country as the present UK, disgraceful and immoral.
    Really good to see ‘Arajag’ put in their place!!

  77. Steve Kidd says:

    Excellent 

  78. gordoz says:

    I thought that too Jimbo !
     
    Oil fields in Kazakhstan = Good
    Oil fields in Scotland      = Bad

  79. jim mitchell says:

    I bet BBC Scotland are foaming at the mouth at the prospect of retelling these views to the masses!  heavy on the sarcasm, who me? 

  80. Angus McPhee says:

    Interview with Nick Silver please :)

  81. Robert McDonald says:

    BBC Scotchland edit:
     
     
    WINGS OVER SCOTLAND: There’s been a lot of talk
    PROF. MICHAEL E. SMITH:  Scotland needs to go out of business
     
    WOS: Is NATO without the Warsaw Pact, its traditional enemy, there’s no need for salaries?
    SMITH:  Scottish independence has to be seen in that context –with nukes.
    it is ludicrous to think that Scotland.
     
    WOS: But that is good to want Scotland officially?
    SMITH: Yes, of course; the more the better. But the Trident issue is a UK concern. As per the recent story in the New York Times, the US would rather have more nukes. So, the Trident comes very close.
     
    WOS: Would it be fair to say that Trident is pretty?
    SMITH: Yes. The UK would launch the missiles. So the ‘deterrent’ very independent.
     
    WOS: This UK could really use Trident alone?
    SMITH: Technically such use is oK , it would have the capability to launch on its own.
    Even so, we’re all doomed!
     
    WOS:  imagine a scenario where anyone would start a war by attacking the space monsters.
    SMITH: Ha ha. Strategic nukes are used against terrorists in a first-use situation against small states (Iran), US nukes can do that and more so today.
    And having the Trident base in Scotland makes it a UK status symbol, to justify UK’s seat on the UNSC.
     
    WOS: So in a nutshell, the removal of Trident be considered by NATO to be an obstacle to Scotland’s membership
    SMITH: Well remember the location of Trident should be an issue. If the Scottish independence hasn’t been acting very smart lately!
     
    WOS: So in reality if Trident is expelled – the only likely obstacle is the UK. Is that a fair summary?
    SMITH: Yes the North Atlantic and would fall in a worst-case scenario: a major attack against Europe.
     
     
    WOS: Professor Smith, thanks very much for your time.

  82. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Angus McPhee
     
    Can we get Phil Silvers instead?

  83. Jimbo says:

    “I thought that too Jimbo !”
     
    That’s the thing about liars, Gordoz, they need a good memory.
     
    When they were gushing about how much oil has improved Kazakhstan, they’d obviously forgotten for a moment that oil is supposed to be a bad thing, and about the all Unionist lies they constantly tell (re oil) to Scotland’s people.

  84. Cath says:

    “They can trade time; they can trade co-operation on the international front. Why would they not do so?”
     
    I’m sure they will to an extent. But any country only has a certain amount of negotiation room, even if that country is a lot bigger than the other they’re negotiating with. Beyond that there is international law, other members of bodies (bigger ones than the UK), diplomacy and expediency. Ultimately NATO and the EU aren’t going to want to be playing wet-nurse to rUK and Scotland acting like toddlers.
     
    And the big, over-arching question will surely be “how badly does rUK want successor state status?” As I read it (and I’m no expert here) that question will drive all negotiations beyond it. Either rUK will keep all the assets AND liabilities, and retain membership of all bodies as a continuing state, with Scotland a new country. Or assets and liabilities will be split and BOTH countries will effectively be new. Realistically, rUKs size means they will have most clout in deciding which way that falls. Seems to me there are pros and cons either way for Scotland.
     
    If they go for the split rather than continuing state, then won’t that put BOTH countries in a kind of limbo until new memberships are sorted out with bodies like the EU and NATO? If so, rUK will have no leverage there, and presumably both will be fast-tracked through with some urgency. If it insists on being a continuing state with Scotland a new country, only Scotland will be left in limbo, but if rUK push too much on either time or co-operation internationally, they’d risk seriously pissing off their allies – EU, US, NATO – who will want things sorted out one way or another ASAP. An independent Scotland will have a variety of choices and options on offer, some of which will need a lot less co-operation from rUK (EFTA for example), but some bigger allies may prefer we didn’t take those.
     
    rUK won’t have free reign to bully Scotland just as Scotland won’t have free reign to get everything it wants or asks for either. That’s international relations.

  85. HandandShrimp says:

    In a constructive unaligned sense of course
     
    Arajag
     
    So pretty much in the completely opposite way from the BBC or the Scotsman or the Guardian….etc., I mean just look at the way Chochrane or Severin in the Guardian approach something like this. By comparison the above is bordering on shockingly reasonable, yet their stuff gets trundled out by the MSM on a daily basis. Prof Smith did not say anything contradictory and his logic and line of reasoning were not forced. What he said was quite clear, the UK would find moving Trident inconvenient but this would not impact on NATO capabilities or other NATO countries. There are strategic reasons why Scotland would be a useful partner and consequently NATO may, if the vote is Yes, tell rUK to live with a move of Trident or better forget Trident and concentrate on affording F35s at $200m a pop so that both aircraft carriers can be funded and used to help the US police the world.  
     
    His message will not suit the bias of a paper like the Scotsman so he has hew haw chance of being reported there, not because any question he may have been asked might be considered leading by a panel of psephologists.  
     

  86. Arajag says:

    Rev Stu Writes: Then maybe it’s not a coincidence
    Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like the myth about all debate being welcomed here has been debunked.
    @vellofello : Absolutely an expert opinion. As are Andrew Mackay and Steven Smith who give contrary expert opinion. Who debunks who?
    @MajorBloodnok: Stage one and Stage two what?

  87. ianbrotherhood says:

    Q: When is a door not a door?
    A: When it’s Arajag.

  88. a supporter says:

    Arajag has a suspicious smell to it and there are two possible suspects. the first none other than our old ‘friend’ Norsie in yet another disguise and who can simply be ignored. The second could be a new suspect on the block in the form of a  believer in the ‘wet’ route to Independence, you know, that utopia where everyone remains friends during the campaign, the MSM provides a balanced debate, and Better Together abandon Project Fear and Smear and begin to provide honest answers and policies for debate.
    These ‘Wets’ have been very active on twitter against Wings, Rev Stu and our recent Poll damning the latter, though sometimes with faint praise, ever since the Poll was mooted. They also blame Wings for antagonising the MSM. Their policy is to curry favour with the MSM, be friends, bend over, and accept the occasional pat on the head from the publishing of an occasional less ‘bad’ anti-Independence piece.
    Basically it is jealousy of the success Wings has achieved in the few short years of its existence. Wings is actually having an effect on the Campaign.
     
     
    since one of their claims against you is that you unlike them, antagonise the MSM instead of cosying up to them and bending over so they can take advantage of you of those dear comrades

  89. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like the myth about all debate being welcomed here has been debunked.”

    Your wilful misinterpretation of the meaning of that does nothing to dispel the notion that you’re trolling.

    Your contributions aren’t censored, but as far as I’m concerned they’re bollocks, and I simply don’t have time to waste debating them, because it’s entirely clear that you won’t be persuaded. I’ve got stuff to do.

  90. gordoz says:

    Jimbo says:  On your point
     
    BBC follow up story like this you think ??
     
    No story in the £22nb new well exploration in the North Sea; just trials really.
    Oh …. and they are only testing drill bits to destruction out WEST of Shetland.
    Its just what the guys do for a laugh becuase you know its all about to run out anyway.
     
    Absolutey no Oil/Gas there; none at all and if there were any it would be very likey the wrong kind of Oil/Gas for Scotland anyway.
    It’d cost too much to refine in Scotland – probably that special Oil/Gas that needs refining only in processing in rUK.
     
    reporter
    Robin’ B’stard (cousin of Liein’)
     

    “A liar should have a good memory”
    Quintilian

     
     
    Want a Laugh; found this by accident
    Is this staff advice
    (Totally Serious)
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/lying/lying_1.shtml

    BBC Ethics Guide
    Lying
     

    “Lying is probably one of the most common wrong acts that we carry out. Most people would condemn lying except when there’s a good reason for it.
    What is a lie?
    Lying is a form of deception, but not all forms of deception are lie”
     
    Seriously check it out via the link ???????

     

  91. faolie says:

    Great interview Rev! I really liked his comment: “If the UK was smart, it would use Scottish independence as an excuse to scrap Trident altogether and invest the money elsewhere.”. Perhaps CND could start a campaign for Scottish independence on that very point.
     
    I also liked @webcraft‘s suggestion: “We could also do more to increase the visibility of material like this On Google and elsewhere . . . . perhaps a separate site with just hard content”. Something you’ve thought about Rev, a repository of articles and rebuttals from the Independence side? If you have, then being a web developer, I for one would be happy to help set it up.

  92. Angus McPhee says:

    *Nate* damn you Tony Little!

    I’d love to hear Phil Silvers  opinion but I fear his capacity for a witty Quip is severely diminished these days.

  93. Angus McPhee says:

    If the UK was smart, we wouldn’t have to be having this discussion at all.

  94. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Angus McPhee
     
    On the plus side Phil Silvers would still have a more informed opinion than Nate Silver!

  95. Ronnie says:

    I believe Nate Silver said that if, when he returned to Scotland, we had voted ‘Yes’, then he would ‘eat crow’.
     
    Anybody got a good recipe?

  96. ianbrotherhood says:

    This is probably just some mundane techy thing I’m not aware of, but…if you Google ‘Arajag’ then ‘Images’, look who’s there on the seventh row – none other than Blair McDougall, and the image links to WoS.

  97. Jimbo says:

    BBC Ethics GuideLying
     
    Thanks for the link, Gordoz. The BBC’s guide for news reporters on how to deceive while telling yourself its OK – you’re doing it for the right reasons.
     
    Lies obviously hurt the person who is lied to (most of the time), but they can also hurt the liar, and society in general.

    The person who is lied to suffers if they don’t find out because:
    They are deprived of some control over their future becauseThey may suffer damage as a result of the lie.

    They can no longer make an informed choice about the issue concerned

    They are not fully informed about their possible courses of action

    They may make a decision that they would not otherwise have made.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/lying/lying_1.shtml
     
    So there you have it – They’re doing it on purpose

  98. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “This is probably just some mundane techy thing I’m not aware of, but…if you Google ‘Arajag’ then ‘Images’, look who’s there on the seventh row – none other than Blair McDougall, and the image links to WoS.”

    Heh. In fairness, that’s just because Arajag’s name crops up a lot in the comments on that particular page.

  99. Tony Little says:

    @gordoz
    Interesting link.  I think this explains the BBC mentality at least – they think that Scots are mad to even contemplate ‘going it alone’ and so for our own preservation they are prepared to swallow hard and lie to us.  It’s for our own good, after all!
     
    Aye, Right!

  100. gordoz says:

    BBC Ethics Guide Lying

    I thought it was a joke page at first; then read on.

    I must be very naive; but it starts out with examples and ways to tell a lie & the reasoning.
    Should it not start out with: It is very unwise to lie if you want the receiver to believe your story and be taken seriously.
    Or / The truth is paramount – this is the BBC
    Please take a look if you have not seen this. Tell the undecided to check this out might sway a few with brains.

  101. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Rev-
    ‘…that’s just because Arajag’s name crops up a lot in the comments on that particular page.’
     
    Bummer.

  102. Tony Little says:

    @ian
     
    ‘…that’s just because Arajag’s name crops up a lot in the comments on that particular page.’
     
    Yes, “bummer” but it doesn’t make it not so!
     
    As the saying does, “Just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re NOT out to get you!”
     
    ;-)

  103. HandandShrimp says:

    LOL
     
    I don’t think Blair would come here…well maybe the occasional peak.
     
    Agrajag has posted a few times and is as far as I am aware on the No side of the fence so he does not count as a concern troll or a wet (although I was accused of being one of the latter too). Currywurst wears his No on his sleeve, Agrajag less so but he is putting forward why he thinks the above interview shouldn’t be considered by the MSM (rather than will not be considered). Unsurprisingly we disagree and think it should be considered and will undoubtedly crop up in future discussions here and on all other MSM sites where Yes campaigners are active (ie everywhere where BT cannot delete us).
     
    To be honest I don’t have an issue with Agrajag or Cavey. They have their axe to grind but are not offensive or trolls (in the contentious sense). Now Curry is a troll but every board needs at least one. :)   

  104. Taranaich says:

    Looks like the myth about all debate being welcomed here has been debunked.
     
    I dunno, Arajag, the back-and-forth discussion I’ve been seeing you engaging in sounded a lot like a debate to me. Perhaps not sparkling repartee, but it’s clearly presentations of arguments, points, counter-points, and so forth.

  105. Morag says:

    That’s the problem with being hit by a serious concern troll like Norsewarrior.  The experience tends to leave a suspicious mind behind it.  A good concern troll is often indistinguishable from a sincere poster at first.  A good going-over by a concern troll can leave a site in a mind-set where innocent newbies are at risk of being attacked or even banned simply because some aspect of their initial approach parallels the opening sallies of the concern troll.
     
    I once saw someone banned from a homoeopathy forum for making an opening post asking how they could tell whether a homoeopathic pharmacy was reliable.  Sounds innocent, but it’s the opening line of a devastating anti-homoeopathy argument.  The admins knew that, and they didn’t want to go there again.  The ban-hammer came down, and to this day I don’t know if the victim was sincere or was indeed intent on starting the anticipated argument.

  106. Taranaich says:

    And while I’m at it, I’ve noticed that most criticism of the poll has talked about why it had “leading questions,” it was “poorly worded,” and whatnot, but they rarely actually point out examples.
     
    One example I have noticed, however, is people’s response to the “surrender powers to join the Union” question: apparently the word “surrender” is too negative, and shouldn’t have been used. Except… well, what other possible synonym for “give something up” is not negative?  “Surrender” is exactly the correct word to use in a situation where a hypothetically independent government would no longer have powers because they gave them to another government. What, should we say something like “entrust”? “Relinquish”? “Concede”? They don’t sound much better to me.

    That’s the problem with being hit by a serious concern troll like Norsewarrior. The experience tends to leave a suspicious mind behind it. A good concern troll is often indistinguishable from a sincere poster at first. A good going-over by a concern troll can leave a site in a mind-set where innocent newbies are at risk of being attacked or even banned simply because some aspect of their initial approach parallels the opening sallies of the concern troll.

    That concerns me too, Morag. I just go by Hanlon’s razor in such dealings, personally.

    I also think sometimes people (well, maybe just me) sometimes feel the need to play Devil’s Advocate to test the strength of the argument, if only to highlight and pre-emptively answer a possible future argument. I’m getting better at it, but sometimes it can be fun being Auld Blackie’s solicitor!

  107. Dramfineday says:

    Blast, I was just about to award you the honorific of “Scoop” Campbell when I remembered that that oik in the BBC (of similar name) had already got it for his Toast of Tripoli tosh. Still that was back in 2010 and he probably thinks we’ve forgotten.

  108. ianbrotherhood says:

    @HandandShrimp-
     
    If Blair McDougall doesn’t come here – regularly – it’s yet another good reason to sack him.

  109. gordoz says:

    Where’s Arajag gone ??
    Never answered my straight question about suggested rephrasing Q’s

  110. HulloHulot says:

    @Taranaich,

     
    “One example I have noticed, however, is people’s response to the “surrender powers to join the Union” question: apparently the word “surrender” is too negative, and shouldn’t have been used. Except… well, what other possible synonym for “give something up” is not negative? “
     
    Ahh, but you’re not giving something up. What you’re doing is entrusting someone with a lot more wealth, capability and expertise to handle something you don’t really understand, in this case government. Do you surrender your money to the expertise of your bank? No, you’re empowered by the decision. They know more about it than you do.
     
    Thus, to be non-leading, the question really should have been more along the lines of,
     
    “Do you agree with the many right-minded people that think an independent Scotland, inevitably teetering on the brink of a series of crises brought about by bankruptcy, invasion, no currency, expensive stamps, no queen, a lack of airports, no credible nuclear deterrent, no oil resources, and being populated by incoherent Rabbie Burns wittering savages who live a life that’s like Train Spotting crossed with No Mean City 121% of which are dependent on the welfare state should make the positive choice to trust itself to the care and guidance of the benevolent United Kingdom?”
     
    On a more productive note – perhaps “join the Union in exchange for its powers” might have been seen as less negative. Even then, I’m not sure, because the results of the question, however it’s phrased, might be a little too uncomfortable for some.

    Also, ta, Rev. Stuart, for this interview. It’s been useful and illuminating, and I’ll add it to my armament of quotes and talking points for use elsewhere.

  111. G H Graham says:

    The British government might indeed be considering the scrapping of Trident.
    The Conservatives seem likely to win the next British general election but not by a majority & any mention of scrapping Trident now, may cause some voters to switch allegiance, thus jeopardising Tory prospects of even a hung parliament. 

    Screaming headlines about national security, threats from North Korea (which are obviously ludicrous) & the prohibitive cost of relocating Trident to England make the perfect Tory/British narrative in the run up to the next GE. It also fits perfectly into the NO campaign’s negative scaremongering narrative.

    However, Britain’s national debt continues to rise, despite Osborne’s efforts to reduce it & there will come a point where decisions, much tougher than the one’s affecting the NHS & social welfare, need to be made regarding the investment in a new nuclear deterrent.

    The USA knows Britain is struggling financially such that it will find it difficult to justify the cost, hence their suggestion to abandon it. Of course, Britain isn’t ready to admit this and may never will. Instead, it will use Scotland’s drive for independence as the excuse & propose a much cheaper surface delivery system instead. But none of that is likely to be revealed officially until well after the next British GE.

    But none of the above will really have any bearing on Scotland’s membership of NATO anyway or its enjoyment of a joint protective umbrella from the USA for example. After all, if Britain downgrades its nuclear deterrent, it can hardly complain about Scotland not having one at all.  In my opinion, Professor Michael Smith’s interview here, confirms then what I already suspect will happen in the foreseeable future.
    A reasoned, articulate, sensible interview Rev.

  112. Graeme McAllan says:

    Rev, my cap is well and truly doffed ;)

  113. a supporter says:

    Congrats on getting the interview with the Prof. More with other experts would be good. And I and others will give plenty of publicity on twitter so it is not ignored by the MSM. In the end the Poll results have received wide publicity. And the more publicity the more ‘experts’ would be willing to engage.
    It would be good if many others joined twitter to give many more different voices in support of our aims. I’ve only recently joined twitter and I’m quite amazed at how powerful it is. And I think I learned something there today which surprised me. It appears that the NHS in Scotland is not a devolved power but one which Scotland has always had since the NHS’s inception, like education and law. Is that true?
     

  114. Bubbles says:

    I keep posting a link to this article on the ‘Vote No to Scottish independence’ Facebook page and they keep deleting it. They refuse to read anything on this “Nat blog”. Anyone got a better idea?

  115. HandandShrimp says:

    a supporter
     
    The NHS was in part based on the Highlands and Islands Health Service which was set up in Scotland in the 1920s The Scottish NHS was a natural successor to that earlier body, and yes, the two, SNHS and the NHS, have always been separate bodies.  

  116. G H Graham says:

    Bubbles,
     
    Save yer breath for yer porridge.

  117. Gordon Bain says:

    But it’s fun! Actually, the guy I was just debating with let slip that he doesn’t actually live in Scotland. No problem for them though as 300 of his friends have just moved to the Moray Firth and promised to vote No for him, lol. I kinda thought that might be the case when I heard all the nonsense about putting soldiers up on an air base.
     
    Here’s one for Stuart – is it correct to capitalise Yes and No in the context of a vote? I ask you because I know you like your grammar to be precise.

  118. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Here’s one for Stuart – is it correct to capitalise Yes and No in the context of a vote? I ask you because I know you like your grammar to be precise.”

    I certainly always do, because in effect each one is a complete sentence in the context of the referendum.

  119. fordie says:

    There’s a big difference between opinion and informed opinion. That’s why people expert in specific fields are asked for their opinion. Because they are able to weigh up all opinions – call it meta-opinion or evidence – and provide a neutral response. Caveat being, people being people, can find it hard to be entirely neutral. Academics are largely neutral as their reputation depends on it.

  120. fordie says:

       @a supporter. Yes.

  121. gordoz says:

    Rev :
    Did you zappp that numpty Arajag ??? Wuz it  a ditry big space monster blastin’ gun
    Seems to have disappeared of the face ot the planet !!!
    Cool end to a troll………now I believe !!!

  122. Paula Rose says:

    Bubbles -From experience I find that if you make a derogatory remark about a post when putting it on a No site it tends to stay up for some time – eg ‘look what the idiots at WOS are saying now’

  123. john king says:

    william pirrie says @ 8.29
     I Think Your Making It Up :)

  124. john king says:

    stevie mach says @ 09.16am
    “Unfeeling, uncaring, unconcerned about the majority of the country, yes, but as long as that red button’s there he feels important.”
     
    just had a horrible thought about that, I wouldn’t put it past him to send all the unemployed and disabled to the isle of man for a wee holiday just to show the tories have a heart after all, and then he gives ATOS  the launch codes

  125. Taranaich says:

    @HulloHulot: Ahh, but you’re not giving something up. What you’re doing is entrusting someone with a lot more wealth, capability and expertise to handle something you don’t really understand, in this case government. Do you surrender your money to the expertise of your bank? No, you’re empowered by the decision. They know more about it than you do.
     
    Oh, well when you put it that way… :P
     
    @fordie: There’s a big difference between opinion and informed opinion.
     
    “Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that’s horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it’s nothing. It’s just bibble-babble. It’s like a fart in a wind tunnel, folks. ”
     – Harlan Ellison

  126. Bubbles says:

    @ Paula Rose
     
    aye, I know that would probably work but I can’t bring myself to stoop quite so low. I don’t really care anyway; they’re not going to change their opinions and I’m not about to try that. I mean, according to them it’s a done deal already, lol. Kinda makes you wonder why they continue to vent such anger & bile.

  127. JPM1952 says:

    One of the most telling comments from the Prof about Trident & the UK …. “It’s a UK status symbol, more than anything else. It also helps to justify UK’s seat on the UNSC”

    We all know the benefits of having a permanent seat on the UN Security Council … there’s ehm .. let me come back to you on that ….



Comment - new users please read this page first for commenting rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use the live preview box.

Current ye@r *




↑ Top