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Wings Over Scotland


The last Home International

Posted on August 12, 2013 by

There’s one last bit of data from our poll that we haven’t revealed the results of yet. That’s because, unlike the rest of the survey, this one absolutely WAS a leading question. We asked it partly to satirise the ridiculously slanted nature of those used in some “Better Together” polls, such as this one, but also to make a more serious point.

hutchison

If you’re looking forward to Wednesday’s game at Wembley, this one’s for you.

———————————————————————————————

Q: Scotland and England are about to play each other at football for the first time in several years. Scotland currently has “national” teams representing it in various sports, including football and rugby, whereas in others it competes as part of the UK. 

Many other nations, particularly in FIFA, wish to see this anomaly ended and have the UK represented by a single team in all sports. 

Should there be a No vote in the referendum, which of these opposing views is CLOSEST to your opinion?

———————————————————————————————

If we choose for Scotland not to be a sovereign nation, we should accept the abolition of our national teams. It makes no sense to be different countries for different sports, and it’s not fair to other countries that the UK takes up four qualifying places in tournaments when much larger nations only get one: 34%

The UK should continue to get special treatment in sport by being able to enter four teams in competitions instead of one: 66%

———————————————————————————————

No doubt which way that question’s pushing respondents, then. But look at the result.

As far as we’re aware, NOBODY in Scotland has ever actually suggested that we should abolish our national teams (other than in the occasional event of a humiliation against Moldova or Tonga, of course) on the grounds that we don’t govern ourselves. We’ve never read a single newspaper column or even a reader letter calling for it.

But by simply asking a leading question, we managed to persuade over a third of Scots to say that we should give up our football and rugby teams. And it wasn’t a matter of sour grapes from SNP types – the proportion of respondents who agreed with the proposition that Scottish national teams should be abolished on a No vote was:

Conservative: 41%
Labour: 32%
SNP: 29%
Lib Dem: 25%

(Women were far more likely to agree – 41% against 26% of men – and the age group most in favour was 18-24s, who were 54% in favour of abolition, perhaps because at that age they have no memory of anything but failure and embarrassment on the part of our football and rugby teams.)

Scotland and England haven’t played each other at football for 13 years, and the Scottish media is making a big deal of Wednesday night’s game, even though it’s just a friendly. The Daily Record ran a 16-page supplement celebrating great Scottish victories (and a few humiliating defeats) on Saturday, yet the paper regularly and strenuously advocates Scotland’s “nation” status being restricted to sport. We can be in FIFA and UEFA and the IRB in our own right, but not the EU or NATO or the UN.

SNP black sheep Jim Sillars got in a lot of trouble in the early 1990s for calling Scottish people “90-minute patriots”, suggesting that they were proud Scots for the duration of football matches but then happy to meekly submit to UK rule after the final whistle. He quickly backed away from the line under a barrage of criticism, even though it was demonstrably true, because there are some thoughts that politicians (on all sides) are generally advised to keep to themselves.

(See former Labour provost of Glasgow Michael Kelly’s assertion in last week’s Scotsman that basically voters are too stupid to be entrusted with democracy:

“At the end of the day, I cynically wonder, will [debate] matter? It might if you could trust democracy. Sadly, my experience is that you cannot. Effective democratic elections require voters who are intelligent, educated and, importantly, self-sacrificing. The reality around the ballot box is more often pigheadedness, ignorance and self-interest.”

…and ponder how that’d have gone down if he was still in office.)

Sillars, rather curiously, has recently revived the line. But it seems you only have to ask the question in a certain way to get a lot of Scots to openly agree with it.

.

(Full data tables for this question here.)

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    142 to “The last Home International”

    1. MajorBloodnok says:

      I think Michael Kelly was referring specifically to those voters that put a cross in his box when he was elected.  Presumably though they thought they were just signing their names?

    2. Training Day says:

      It seems quite clear, leading question or not:  if we vote No and thereby confirm we have neither the confidence nor the self-respect to take our place among the normal independent nations of the world, then we do not deserve an international team.  Given the first chance to assert our nationhood in 300 years, if we vote no we’ll have confirmed in the eyes of the world, and on an even more elevated level, Sepp Blatter, that we don’t think we’re a country.

    3. Cath says:

      I think it’s interesting that the proportion who agree is very similar to the proportion who are confirmed unionists/No voters  (about 30%). It suggests there are a number of people who genuinely don’t view Scotland as a country, but as a region of the UK and would be willing to accept the natural conclusion of that view is we also shouldn’t have “national” sports teams.

    4. ianbrotherhood says:

      Any of the Tartan Army bringing a WoS banner with them? Live on telly, millions watching…

    5. AllyPally says:

      “Effective democratic elections require voters who are intelligent, educated and, importantly, self-sacrificing.”
       
      I agree that democracy is deeply flawed. What does he suggest to replace it? We’ve tried lots of other systems of government throughout history, and they’re all much worse.

    6. FreddieThreepwood says:

      @Cath – I agree. For me the whole indy debate can be summed up thus: Do you think Scotland is a sovereign nation? If yes (which, of course, it demonstrably is) why should it not, like every other democratic nation in the world (unless I’m missing some) CHOOSE not to be independent – to elect it’s own government, raise and spend it’s own taxes? It’s really unanswerable. Unless …
      Right at the start of that you assert that Scotland is NOT a sovereign nation. Those who are instinctively, viscerally opposed to independence are, I am convinced, people who deep down actually don’t think we’re any different to Yorkshire or Cornwall. Those are the folk who think we should lose our national sports teams.

    7. Jim Monaghan says:

      as the four national FA’s are all members of FIFA, the referendum will make no difference to this.  The constitutional arrangements between countries or internally within countires plays no part in FIFA membership, so we have San Marino enetring as a separate country while Monaco dont, entering a club team into the french leagues instead.  The Isle of man and channel islands are not members of the UK but dont have FIFA membership.

    8. Murray McCallum says:

      The FIFA rules are very clear.  The UK governemnt paper published several months ago stating Scotland was “extinguished” under international law clearly damaged any remote possibility of the SFA arguing some [weak] case demonstrating we ran our own affairs, thus leaving Scotland totally at the whim of the special FIFA dispensation for 4 UK teams.
      I think a lot of No voters take the existence of Scotland’s sports teams for granted, especially football.  They do not appear to appreciate the weak thread that permits their very existence.
      If Scotland votes No against being an independent country then we cannot complain about being stripped of all such international recognition.

    9. Fairliered says:

      I bet this is one question that the MSM and BBC pick up from the Panelbase survey, whilst ignoring the more important political questions.

    10. I believe that we’re either a country or we’re not and if we don’t have the balls to run our own affairs then why should we get special treatment?  I’ll be there on Wednesday night and am already wondering just how many around me that’ll be belting out Flower of Scotland will prove themselves weeds when faced with the ballot paper next year.

    11. proudscot says:

      I don’t normally agree with much that Michael Kelly, or other similarly opinionated anti-independence mouthpieces come out with, but I do agree with his statement about many voters (especially in Central Scotland) being motivated by pigheadedness, ignorance and self-interest. This is why his Labour Party has, until recently, been the choice of a majority of the Scottish electorate. I would also add tribalism and a current fear and hatred of the SNP to Wilson’s list of why so many vote for his particular party.

    12. SCED300 says:

      I’ve posted on this question a few times, here,in the Herald and in the bad old days when I did visit the Scotsman website (until I realised they got paid for web visits too!). Saying that by the UK standard, Germany should have 16 teams at internationals, France 27, Spain 17 and Italy 20. Also we would no longer be individually represented at Rugby World Cup or the Six Nations or in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
      It caused some reactions on Herald and Scotsman, but not as much as when in a last post on the Scotsman i pointed out that each visit crated revenue, and that is why they kept the comments open! Most of the posters were pro-Independence.
      I greatly regretted not contacting The Famous Grouse company and pointing out the paper had abused the Saltire by photo-shopping the Swastika on to it, to show Scotland was Fascist! Grouse uses the Saltire in its advertising at the Six Nations. To late now, unfortunately.

    13. scottish_skier says:

      I wonder which team those who consider ‘The UK’ as their country will be supporting.

      Maybe they’ll be hoping for a draw?

    14. Dan Simmie says:

      On the John Beattie show on Sat morning they were discussing the situation in cycling .Scotland is not allowed to compete on the international stage as Scotland other than the Commonwealth games.So no European or World Championships.The junior world championship was in Glasgow at the weekend so no Scottish team and no Scottish riders.
      There is a plan to register trade team and call it team Scotland to get round some of the rules .Hopefully the decision next year will go our way and and our young and some not so young sportsmen and women can compete as Scotland.

    15. Murray McCallum says:

      Jim Monaghan
      I suggest you read the FIFA statutes.  Article 10 paras 1 and 5.  How does UK government legal paper stating Scotland being “extinguished” under international law impact FIFA definition of “country” in para 1 – “In this context, the expression “country” shall refer to an independent state recognised by the international community.”
      http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/generic/01/09/75/14/fifa_statutes_072008_en.pdf
      The existence of the Scottish international football team will also be extinguished with any successful challenge to Article 10 – 5.

    16. Training Day says:

      “I wonder which team those who consider ‘The UK’ as their country will be supporting.
      Maybe they’ll be hoping for a draw?”
       
      Let Gordon Brown enlighten us on that one, Skier..
       
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6280663.stm

    17. and will all the Scots who proudly sing “but we can still rise now, and be the Nation again…” actually be YES voters.  They should be.

    18. chalks says:

      I’m voting yes (obviously) but I’m in favour of the national team being extinguished in the event of a No, my thought process is the long term strategy behind it.  It might wake some people up.

    19. Cath says:

      I wonder what people in England would think about it, as obviously they’d lose the England team as well.

    20. Currywurst says:

      “Do you think Scotland is a sovereign nation?”
       
      Yes…
      “why should it not, like every other democratic nation in the world (unless I’m missing some) CHOOSE not to be independent – to elect it’s own government, raise and spend it’s own taxes?”
       
      I think you’ll find that it’s “its own”. Because we are better off, financially, economically, militarily and culturally. Like Bavaria and Texas.
      “Those who are instinctively, viscerally opposed to independence are, I am convinced, people who deep down actually don’t think we’re any different to Yorkshire or Cornwall.”
       
      Oh I think Scots are a little bit different from Yorkshire and Cornwall. But the commonalities are more important and much, much larger.
       
      “Those are the folk who think we should lose our national sports teams.”
       
      But I don’t think that. Do you ever win these arguments?

    21. Luigi says:

      The UK should continue to get special treatment in sport by being able to enter four teams in competitions instead of one.
       
      Why?

    22. pmcrek says:

      Cath,Oh they’d still call it England, same anthem, same strip, same badge, it would just be that once every 60 years a Scot might sit on the bench.

    23. Cath says:

      “the commonalities are more important and much, much larger.”
       
      We have more commonalities than differences with people in the US, Canada and France too. Should we go for world government?

    24. Ananurhing says:

      That’s a screamer from Kelly. A Labour politician who inherently doesn’t believe in democracy! Presumably, if you’ve reached that level of cynicism, you’re only a kick in the arse away from justifying postal vote and membership rigging. At least he knows he’s not alone then. 

    25. Macart says:

      If they don’t like it Anne, they don’t have to sing it. Maybe hum along quietly or whistle the chorus. 🙂

    26. Iain says:

      See former Labour provost of Glasgow Michael Kelly’s assertion in last week’s Scotsman that basically voters are too stupid to be entrusted with democracy:

      “At the end of the day, I cynically wonder, will [debate] matter? It might if you could trust democracy. Sadly, my experience is that you cannot. Effective democratic elections require voters who are intelligent, educated and, importantly, self-sacrificing. The reality around the ballot box is more often pigheadedness, ignorance and self-interest”‘

      I’m pretty sure Miles Better Mikey began to express doubts about democracy around, ooh, let’s see, 4th May 2007, and those doubts were finally compounded on 6th May 2011.

    27. Luigi says:

      “It’s not enough to spectate”

    28. Ron Burgundy says:

      It is crazy to assume that a FIFA statute cannot be changed to reflect the circumstances of the time and a NO vote will be seen Europe wide whether Unionists like it or not as an affirmation of our loyalty to the Union State. A desire if you will to be more British in every way possible. A manifest rejection of the primacy of any kind of Scottish identidy for a clear British one. This is an inescapable conclusion and one which will not be missed by the likes of FIFA who are as we all know keen to find a way of ending this anomaly
      After all the US has a constitution but has had amentments made to that since the 1780’s. FIFA statutes are not the 10 commandments.
      But we are all missing the real point of voting NO – the potential loss of any kind on distinct sporting identity will be the least of Scotland’s problems post NO vote. 
      The roll back of Devolution ( just read Kelly and Wilson in the Scotsman ) The end of Barnett. The massive cuts planned by Osborne for 2016/17 and signed off on by Balls and Labour. The debt burden will be backbreaking for the Union State to pay off. The welfare state will be decimated to pay for Trident and the debt. Out of the EU after a refurendum maybe. The London banks are to all intents and purposes bust and could trigger a financial collapse as soon as next year.
      And Scotland will have to take the lot and smile because after all we voted NO because we are better together. I wonder where Blair McDougall and Alister Darling will be then. Fitba teams international or otherwise will be the least of Scotland’s problems
       

    29. beachthistle says:

      I think anything that gets pub etc. conversations along the lines of “Are we a country or are we no”? must be a positive thing. Anything which upsets the cognitive dissonance apple-cart deliberately set-up and exploited by the MSM (I used to say MSM and the Establishment, but after the weekend I see no need to differentiate) can only lead to more pro-Yes thinking and votes.
      So I’m all for promoting the idea that if Scotland votes No we should lose our national representation at the international level in all sports. I’m a big sports fan but my daughter’s and my country’s future is more important to me than to being able to keep cheering (and greeting) for Scotland in a ‘bread and circuses’ parallel universe in the future…
       

    30. Murray McCallum says:

      Luckily FIFA is an openly transparent, democratic, and stringently law-abiding organisation.  The special dispensation that maintains the existence of the Scottish international football team is safe in their hands.

    31. Silverytay says:

      ianbrotherhood       
                                    I believe that the YES Tartan Army have one or two things up their sleeves or maybe that should be sporran but wether that includes a W.O.S banner I don’t know .
                                                                   

    32. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      I asked this a while back:
      ME:
      Hello,
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/british-fa-could-be-the-saviour-of-scottish-football.21221907
      It has been published in a newspaper here in Scotland that in the event of a ‘NO’ vote in next years independence referendum that FIFA may downgrade the Scottish FA to regional status within a new British structure – essentially making a Great Britain team and abolishing the Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland teams – as these would merely be regarded as ‘regions’ of Great Britain rather than countries in their own rights.
      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/79408/Annex_A.pdf
      This is especially alarming given the legal advice published by the UK government that stated that Scotland had ceased to exist as a state under the 1707 treaty of union and was incorporated into an “enlarged and renamed greater England” – See extract below:
      34.   One view is that the union created a new state, Great Britain, into which the international identities of Scotland and England merged and which was distinct from both. Lord McNair writes: ‘England and Scotland ceased to exist as international persons and become the unitary State of Great Britain.’ This view has been relied on in UK courts: MacCormick v Lord Advocate.
      35.   An alternative view is that as a matter of international law England continued, albeit under a new name and regardless of the position in domestic law, and was simply enlarged to incorporate Scotland. In support of this view, among other things:
      3 5 .1   Scottish members joined Parliament at Westminster, but there was no new election of its English members. This was in accordance with the Acts of Union Article XXII.
      35.2   Treaties concluded by England appear to have survived to bind Great Britain. Parry and Hopkins cite the Treaty of Alliance with Portugal as the oldest ‘British’ treaty, and it is generally accepted as being such, even though it was concluded by England. They suggest that no treaty between Scotland and a third state survives (though Scotland concluded treaties, for example with France, the Pope and Scandinavian states).
      35.3   England’s diplomatic representation in the rest of Europe continued uninterrupted. The Acts of Union Article XXIV appears to acknowledge this in retaining the Great Seal of England for transitional purposes.
      36.   We note that the incorporation of Wales under laws culminating in the Laws in Wales Act 1536 (England) and of Ireland, previously a colony, under the Union with Ireland Act 1801 (GB) and the Act of Union 1800 (Ireland) did not affect state continuity. Despite its similarity to the union of 1707, Scottish and English writers unite in seeing the incorporation of Ireland not as the creation of a new state but as an accretion without any consequences in international law.
      3 7.   For the purpose of this advice, it is not necessary to decide between these two views of the union of 1707. Whether or not England was also extinguished by the union, Scotland certainly was extinguished as a matter of international law, by merger either into an enlarged and renamed England or into an entirely new state.
      38.   It is therefore misleading to speak of Scotland (or similarly of England, Wales, Northern Ireland or the isle of Great Britain) as if it were an entity already possessing international personality in its own right or some other relevant international status, regardless of what status it may have as a matter of UK domestic law.
      39.   It may also be misleading to speak of dissolving the ‘union’ effected by the incorporation of those territories: whatever the position historically or politically or in domestic law, in international law the position of the UK does not necessarily differ from that of a state formed in some way other than by a ‘union’

      Can you confirm that there are no plans to act on this UK Government paper that says that Scotland, Wales and norhern ireland are merely part of an “expanded and renamed greater england” ant that the UK shall continue to have its 4 national teams?
      Thanks and Regards
      Scott
       
      THEM:
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Generally speaking, national associations have the responsibility to supervise the implementation of FIFA regulations of competitions under their jurisdiction. As is such, the case you have mentioned in your e-mail remains an internal affair of the relevant association, and according to our regulations, FIFA cannot interfere.
      The only possibility for FIFA to examine such cases is if a national association, a club, a player or a coach officially requests FIFA to do so.
      We trust you will understand our position on this matter and we thank you for your support of the beautiful game.

      Kind regards,
      *****
      Communications & Public Affairs
      FIFA – Fédération Internationale de Football Association

    33. scottish_skier says:

      We have more commonalities than differences with people in the US, Canada and France too.

      I can confirm on the latter being part of a joint Scots-French family. In fact if anything, I feel Scotland is culturally closer to France than England. Certainly is in its leanings with respect to society and politics; the French being more centre-left as per Scotland. Obviously the historical good diplomatic links between Scotland and France go back far longer than the union too.

      However, I’ve discussed the issue at length with my wife/her friends/family and we concluded a union between Scotland and France didn’t make any sense; they think Scotland should be it’s own country just as France is. We may be similar, but we’re also different and that’s something we like.

      She’ll be marching in September waving her French flag alongside me with my saltire. Maybe we’ll get our wee daughter some face paint and she’ll have both; being Scots-French as she is.

    34. Big Jock says:

      It’s a meaningless friendly. I used to get excited about Scotland games. But part of me gets really annoid that our nation begins and ends with a 90 minute football match. I would far rather have an independent country than win a 90 minute game against England. Why are Scots so passionate about a stupid wee ball than real life and the future of their nation. Why are some so quick to go from Scots to British when it comes to the Olympics? There is a great hypocrisy that goes with a lot of Scotland supporters. The ones that are obsessed with beating England usually vote Labour or dinnae bother voting. It’s sad but it’s true pretendy Scots.

    35. James Kay says:

      I was not polled, but if I had been, I would have been one of the 29% of SNP voters who agreed with the proposition.
       
      If we do not have a seat at the UN, if we don’t have Scottish passports, if we have to accept a Westminster decision about the siting of Trident – then I don’t see the point of having separate sporting recognition.
       
      “Losers should lose. The dream consequence of this loss should be a steady erosion of Holyrood’s powers until it can be abolished and the previous efficient unitary form of government restored.” 
       
      Michael Kelly, and all no-voters, should recognize that the logical follow-ons from NO are not restricted to the overtly political arena. Abolition of the international football and rugby teams would be the start. The governing bodies of these sports would go, and all Scottish club sides would have to apply for entry to a GB league. I have little doubt that these would be called Engish leagues, and that any Scottish teams whose applications are accepted would be admitted at the lowest levels.
       
      All of this, of course, can be avoided. Vote YES.

    36. dmw42 says:

      This actually brings to mind the sheer hypocrisy of BBC inScotland and Scottish MSM.
       
      Why is it that BBC inScotland and Scottish MSM ‘put down’ Scotland at every opportunity, yet ‘big up’ Scottish sportsmen/women/teams when they compete on an international level, even when they finish second of two?

    37. scottish_skier says:

      Scots National identity

      1999-2013 averages:

      Scottish 76%
      British 16%
      Other 8%

      Which probably helps explain the fact that only ~18% say they’d definitely vote to join the union if Scotland was currently independent.

      Data from ‘what Scotland thinks’ / SSAS.

    38. beachthistle says:

      @dm42
      “This actually brings to mind the sheer hypocrisy of BBC inScotland and Scottish MSM.”
      Hypocrisy yes, but also an important, if not the biggest, part of the UK Establishment’s ‘bread and circuses’* national-identity-management strategy that for decades we have swallowed hook, line and BBC sinker.
      *”Bread and Circuses”  is a metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace, as an offered “palliative.”

    39. Shinty says:

      I’m not a ‘footie’, but certainly wouldn’t like to loose our national team. (even if we don’t get to see them play very often!)

    40. gordoz says:

      Rev : Have you read this article from yesterday ?
      Maybe someone should send panelbase info off to these guys
      http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/08/20138616595537418.html
      as a follow up to their report

    41. HandandShrimp says:

      SS
       
      The 76% chimes with the numbers favouring independence and Devo Max too. The key to success really is to convince Devo Max supporters that independence is their best choice gven their favoured option has been scuppered.

    42. Holebender says:

      If the average Labour voter voted in a self-interested way surely he/she wouldn’t vote for his/her continuing poverty, ill health, poor housing, etc.? Clearly Labour voters do not vote out of self interest (even though most probably think they are)!

    43. I made a comment a few months ago on this site or could have neen NNS and that was to scrap the teams now and if folk want them back they will have to vote yes, after all it is unfair to the world that Scotland is not a country but have international football and rugger teams.
      Scrap the teams now I say !!   😉

    44. Well, ok  after we beat England on Wednesday 🙂

    45. les wilson says:

      dmw42
      It follows the usual line of the Unionist MSM.
      We have all heard and seen it very many times, if you are Scottish and a winner you are praised as a great “UK” person. If you are a Scottish loser, you are portrayed as just that, a Scottish loser, not a UK loser.
      The UK must be portrayed as being the best, losers from Scotland are “Scottish” not included in the UK. Watching and reading the MSM makes this more than obvious. 

    46. @Cath
      Your comment about the similarity between the No people and the no sport people got me thinking…
      https://twitter.com/stewartbremner/status/366905875044118528

    47. Indy_Scot says:

      Basically what is this question reveals is that if Scotland votes No, then we really have no justification in calling Scotland a country.

    48. scottish_skier says:

      @HnS
      Excluding the ‘others’, i.e which are mainly composed of recent immigrants to Scotland form the EU and elsewhere, ‘British’ is down on average 4% since it last had something of a little peak in 2003 following the satisfaction with devolution and the whole ‘cool Britannia’ thing. Then it became really clear that Labour were Tory and Britain went into imperial aggressor mode as usual for the iraq war. Britishness has been going downhill in Scotland again since then.

    49. panda paws says:

      Well put me down for another Yes voter who thinks if it’s a No vote all Scotland international teams should be chucked out of competition. We are either a country or a region, choose!
       
      O/t – David McLetchie, tory MSP and former leader has died aged 61.
       
       

    50. Holebender says:

      I wonder if they’ll get a taxi instead of a hearse?

    51. Currywurst says:

      “We are either a country or a region, choose!”
       
      Why?
       
      (Bavaria, Texas, Maharashtra, etc etc etc)

    52. Robert says:

      “I wonder if they’ll get a taxi instead of a hearse?”
       
      Much as I detest the Tory party, this is a human being with a family and that is a shitty comment.

    53. Angus says:

      The football and sporting side of England and Scotland currently in force won’t change to a team GB (people in Scotland would struggle to get behind it from the off) though voting Yes would change the team GB thing forever and ever and consign it to the bin unless we chose to have some sort of British Isles team in certain events.
       
      The stuff cited from BT stating that Scotland ceased to be a country is open to interpretation and sometimes not correct usage of source evidence to back it up, one of the citations was the Mcormick v Lord Advocate in the mid 1950’s, where McCorick also had Ian Hamilton QC as his joint petitioner.
       
      “This view (that Scotland ceased to be a country) has been relied on in UK courts: MacCormick v Lord Advocate”.
       
      Not true. The summary stated that because Scotland had a separate legal system then it established that it remained a country, albeit one with a ‘Partnership” country part  of a political union. 
      The judgement also stated that when Westminster became the Government of both England and Scotland in 1707 and the Government of England and Government of Scotland ceased to exist (but importantly not the countries themselves, there was no mechanism to decide which treaties or various workings of the previous governments of the respective countries were ‘inherited’ (whatever the ‘tradition may be) and this remains true to this day.
       
      Also: “The Lord President did give his opinion that “the principle of unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle and has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law”. 

    54. SCED300 says:

      Scott Minto. That’s an interesting reply from FIFA, so Germany could put up 16 teams at internationals, France 27, Spain 17 and Italy 20 etc.
      They’ll be pleased.

    55. Clydebuilt says:

      The poll showed that Scots want control over Welfare.

      Todays Herald has Michael Moore offering further powers over Welfare if we vote NO.

      What is to be gained by revealing the results of polls to Unionists. devised and paid for by YES people. Surely these poll results should be for the BENEFIT of the YES side.

      So what do we get. No reporting in the media of the parts of the poll that favour a YES vote. Whilst Michael Moore puts forward a policy indicated by the poll as being popular.

    56. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Todays Herald has Michael Moore offering further powers over Welfare if we vote NO.”

      He doesn’t offer any such thing.

    57. HenBroon says:

      Re McLetchy dead at 61, far to young for anyone to die, even if he was a rabid unionist and Tory. He did what he believed in. What a pity he did not live to see Scotland take her independence. Condolences to family and friends.

    58. scottish_skier says:

      I recall Michael Moore didn’t exactly rank very high on the trust poll.
      ——
      CW: “We are either a country or a region, choose!” 
      Why? (Bavaria, Texas, Maharashtra, etc etc etc)
      So you’re a Devo+/maxer/federalist then CW? I didn’t realise.

    59. gordoz says:

      Saw Moores rubbish :
      Al Jazeera : Interesting report from yesterday

      http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/08/20138616595537418.html

    60. Seasick Dave says:

      Sorry to hear the news about David McCletchie.
       
      61 is far too young to depart this earth and David was a decent man.

    61. dmw42 says:

      @les wilson
       
      You’re spot on Les. Where I was coming from though was that ‘Scot / Scottish’ is always distinguished when BBC inScotland/Scottish MSM report on sport. It doesn’t matter whether the person/team finished first or last, they’re always held up by these particular entities as ‘pride of Scotland’ material.
       
      Point being, the Scottish media are so quick to put down Scotland on the political/economic/social front, and are equally quick to name and castigate certain individuals.  
       
      But, when it comes to sport, they never say ‘Scot so and so finished 7th out of 8 competitors, an utter pish performance and Scotland should be ashamed of their lack of effort’, it’s always a ‘positive spin about the Scot(s) taking part, ‘Scot, brave effort, learning from experience, showing promise, sign of better things to come’.
       
      Why oh why can’t they put the same ‘positive’ spin on political / social developments and opportunities? beachthistle got it absolutely right, “Bread and Circuses”.

    62. Morag says:

      David McLetchie has been battling cancer for quite some time.  Everyone in Holyrood has been sympathetic and supportive.  It’s very sad indeed to learn that he has died, and I don’t think snide comments are in any way appropriate.

    63. CameronB says:

      Vote No and loose your national teams? Loose the Scottish NHS? Loose Scottish law? Loose Scottish churches (both right and left foot varieties)? Loose every Scottish institution?
       
      That’s way too uncertain for me. I think I’ll just play it safe and vote Yes.

    64. Morag says:

      Clydebuilt, this poll isn’t telling the No camp anything it didn’t know already, or at least wasn’t perfectly capable of finding out for itself if it so chose.

      Likewise, the Yes campaign is perfectly capable of funding its own polls, and no doubt does.  It can then choose whether to make them public or not.

      WE funded this poll, with the specific intention of making it public.  It’s about time the people in Scoptland got to hear what people are really thinking.  Or they would have, if it had got any publicity.

    65. CameronB says:

      Sorry Morag, lose.

    66. Seasick Dave says:

      Cameron
       
      Loose?
       
      Morag will be after you.
       
      Tick, tock…

    67. Robert says:

      “Loose”
       
      AAAARGH!

    68. Morgan McKeown says:

      This has for me been one of those anomalies. I was not born on these Islands. my birth certificate says British Consular General. The act of Union 1707 is very explicit that Both England and Scotland would be incorporated into a new entity called “Great Britain”….although that term was first used by the Scots King James VI of Scotland 100 years earlier and appears in his approved translation of the King James Bible in 1611.
      We have known for a long time that we appear as national teams in football and rugby and at the commonwealth games only.
      The country is represented at the UN not by England but by The United Kingdom of Great Britain and N.Ireland….I am astounded that IQ`s dipped over the last 300 years and in the last 50 years…If folk are just starting to ask that question about which legal entity they belong too. You go abroad from these Islands what does your passport say “UK of GB & N.Ire” That is the country you currently live in.
      They are currently about 4 entities in the world that were or are currently represented by political unions of countries/states into one team:
      1) USA- football, Golf Athletics etc etc
      2)GB-Olympics-World Champs-Tennis-Swimming-Motorsport
      3) USSR-Union of Soviet Nationalities -Football, Olympics etc
      4) EU..SSR-Golf
      So the concept is not just a British one.
      I will be supporting Scotland
              

    69. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “David McLetchie has been battling cancer for quite some time. Everyone in Holyrood has been sympathetic and supportive. It’s very sad indeed to learn that he has died, and I don’t think snide comments are in any way appropriate.”

      Where did anyone make snide comments? I’ve not spotted any.

      EDIT: Ah yes, I see. I agree, it’s a tasteless joke. (Although as a Family Guy fan it’d be awfully hypocritical of me to start censoring tasteless jokes. But I’d rather not see them here when a man’s body is barely cold.)

    70. Famous15 says:

       @Angus
      And of course the Scottish constitutional position is that the PEOPLE are sovereign .
      The Edinburgh agreement follows that principle!

    71. Caroline Corfield says:

      it would be the grown up thing to do, if the Scots who have brought about a majority government of a party which has independence as its aim and put the idea of a referendum on independence in their manifesto, then choose to vote No, to abolish everything that makes the country different from any other region of England.
      You just can’t go on living this kind of double identity existence, you can’t blame the English who just happen to be the majority ‘national identity’ in the UK of GB and NI for all your woes, and then turn around and say oh but we want to stay in the UK of GB and NI as an integral (but apparently really moany) part of it.
      If you, by voting No, consider yourself not independent of the UK of GB and NI, then you agree to the democracy of the majority decision, that is you agree to the bulk of the population (statistically always going to be English regardless of what they vote for) being in charge, like here in the NE of England where we vote overwhelmingly Labour bar a few exceptions and have to put up with the Tory or Tory coalition governments.
      What is different between the NE of England and Scotland is that here they call themselves English and there they call themselves Scottish. All the things that make the Scots different (and therefore Scottish) are the things that prove they deserve an independent country. DESERVE it, don’t just need it, don’t just have a right to it, but have worked and fought and given up so much for it.

    72. Seasick Dave says:

      Currywurst

      We are either a country or a region, choose!”

      Why?

      (Bavaria, Texas, Maharashtra, etc etc etc)
      ——————————————

      Small point of order; Texas is not ruled from Oklahoma, nor Bavaria from Saarland etc etc.

    73. Gordon Bain says:

      I’ve been saying this for years in RL and recently have been questioning Unionists on this topic via Facebook. If we can’t represent ourselves at the UN then we have no right to represent ourselves in international sport.

    74. scottish_skier says:

      You go abroad from these Islands what does your passport say “UK of GB & N.Ire” 

      Mine says ‘European Union’ first as it’s an EU passport (design, content etc all defined by the EU) issued by the UKoGB.

      My daughter’s identity card says ‘Francaise’. Her birth certificate says she was born in ‘Scotland’ as mine says that’s where I was born. She’s currently a French national with a Scottish birth certificate eligible for British Citizenship.
      My marriage certificate issued by the French Government says my nationality is ‘Ecossaise’ (as Scotland is the country and legal jurisdiction I live in). My Scottish marriage certificate says I’m legally married in ‘Scotland’.

      I have ‘British Citizenship‘ (and European citizenship) according to my European Union passport.

      At the last census, I was asked by the UK government (or a devolved component of it) what country I was born in. They had provided a box for Scotland, which I duly ticked. They asked me my ethnic group, again providing me the option of choosing Scottish, which I did. They asked me my national identity too, once more I ticked Scottish in the box they provided. They also asked me how well I spoke Scots, Scottish Gaelic (the native languages of Scotland) and English (the native language of England). ‘A fair bit’, ‘not very much’ and ‘quite well’ (was taught English at School along with some German) were my approximate answers.

      It’s a little more complicated than you make out in this respect.

    75. Geoff Huijer says:

      Need to keep an eye on how Texas do in the World Cup.

    76. Doug Daniel says:

      It’s weird, one of the most staunch unionists at my work reckons the England game is the most important game in 10 years. He was only half-joking as well.
       
      Quite simply, if we don’t have the guts to be an independent country, then we should stop this wee pretendy country stuff that’s been going on since 1707. No separate NHS, no separate legal system, no separate education system, and certainly no separate national sporting teams.
       
      Never mind special treatment in regards to the rest of the sporting world – why should we get special treatment from the rest of the UK, who unlike us have to deal with the FULL consequences of being in the UK?
       
      I’m sure that would focus a few minds…

    77. Holebender says:

      I apologise for my tasteless joke earlier. It was a spur of the moment posting.

    78. naebd says:

      Yes voters in favour of abolition of the Scotland footie team in the event of a No – they remind me a bit of Hitler’s Gotterdamerung phase at the end of WWII, when, sat in his bunker, he ordered the destruction of Berlin in a fit of pique.

      I can understand the ‘f*ck the lot of yez’ attitude that underlies it, but if there is a No vote, I’d expect things to trundle along undramatically rather than their being some nightmarish Caledonia delenda est scenario.

    79. Ronnie says:

      Holebender,
       
      Good man!

    80. Robert says:

      “I apologise for my tasteless joke earlier. It was a spur of the moment posting.”
       
      Takes us all a daft second to make daft comments but decency to apologise.
      Fair play to you.

    81. scottish_skier says:

      Seems some people don’t understand the concept of federalism.

      In federations, states join and devolve power upwards to a federal government. Typically, the states have equal representation at the federal level (in at least one house, normally the upper one, e.g. senate) irrespective of their population. Texas is an example of state within a federation. Bavaria another. States technically can withdraw from the federation. Likewise states can collectively vote to ‘un-devolve’ powers from the federal government back to state level.

      Devolution in contrast is where a central government devolves powers to a ‘regional’ parliament. It can withdraw these powers at any time. The devolved government has no control over which powers are devolved to it and the central government can ignore the democratic wishes of the population of the devolved region by ignoring its calls for more powers and/or withdrawing powers against the will of the electorate. And example of this is Scotland devolved within the UK.

    82. NorthBrit says:

      @Angus
      Good post.  I don’t understand why the Scottish government hasn’t hired their own QC to come up with their own opinion as the UK one is very weak.

      As you have pointed out the obiter of McCormick vs. Lord Advocate does not support the conclusion expressed in 34 (i.e. that Scotland was abolished) or 35.1.  

      “Considering that the Union legislation extinguished the Parliaments of Scotland and England and replaced them by a new Parliament, I have difficulty in seeing why it should have been supposed that the new Parliament of Great Britain must inherit all the peculiar characteristics of the English Parliament but none of the Scottish Parliament, as if all that happened in 1707 was that Scottish representatives were admitted to the Parliament of England. That is not what was done. Further, the Treaty and the associated legislation, by which the Parliament of Great Britain was brought into being as the successor of the separate Parliaments of Scotland and England, contain some clauses which expressly reserve to the Parliament of Great Britain powers of subsequent modification, and other clauses which either contain no such power or emphatically exclude subsequent alteration by declarations that the provision shall be fundamental and unalterable in all time coming, or declarations of a like effect. I have never been able to understand how it is possible to reconcile with elementary canons of construction the adoption by the English constitutional theorists of the same attitude to these markedly different types of provisions.”

      David Walker’s article here also seems to argue a more complex point of view as to the continued existence of Scotland and England, while suggesting that they had created a new replacement state of Great Britain .
      http://www.journalonline.co.uk/Magazine/52-6/1004238.aspx#.UgjtPOTkt2A

      By contrast 35 is extraordinarily weak and lacks any case law or prior legal citations in its support. The wording “An alternative view is”  implies that this is a new argument that the authors have just made up (it could easily have said “has been”, if this had been true).  35.1 and 35.3 refer to administrative arrangements – a bit like saying one half of a married couple has been abolished because they’ve chosen to  live in the other spouse’s (bigger) house.

      35.2 appears to be somewhat undermined by this comment:
      “From the legal point of view, and to a large extent from the practical point of view as well, the central feature of the Anglo-Portuguese alliance was defined most clearly in the so-called Secret Article of the Treaty of 1661: “The King of Great Britain . . . doth promise and oblige himself to defend and protect all conquests or Colonies belonging to the Crown of Portugal against all his enemies as well future as present.””  Note the date and the kingdom of the king in question.  
      http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/70217/robert-g-caldwell/the-anglo-portuguese-alliance-today

      It is not clear to me why the authors of the British government’s legal opinion feel that a treaty which committed the King of Great Britain prior to the Union of the Parliaments would have needed to be re-written to bind the King of Great Britain subsequent to the Union of the Parliaments.

      The arguments in 36 are manifestly irrelevant as they relate to incorporating existing colonies which were already wholly under the control of England.

      In my view the authors have chosen to come up with the highly questionable “alternative view” because if view 1 (McNair and the case law) prevails, then if Scotland had to re-apply for membership of anything, so would England.

      On 37 the authors amusingly find themselves able to write “Whether or not England was also extinguished by the union” having earlier cited:
      “Lord McNair writes: ‘England and Scotland ceased to exist as international persons and become the unitary State of Great Britain.”

      This Lord McNair:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_McNair,_1st_Baron_McNair

      I have seen many legal opinions.  In terms of the arguments presented, this is the weakest I’ve seen.  It ought to be challenged properly.

    83. scottish_skier says:

      I’d expect things to trundle along undramatically [if there was a No vote] rather than their being some nightmarish Caledonia delenda est scenario.

      We’d immediately need to start campaigning for the next referendum which is in early 2015 (UKGE). If that fails, next up is 2016 (SGE). Ad infinitum.

      If folks keep voting for referendums, they’ll keep getting them.

    84. naebd says:

      Scottish skier, when you say 2015 referendum are you talking about the “SNP get majority of the MPs in Scotland and declare independence” scenario?

      (just noticed a dreadful their/there typo in my comment – sorry Morag)

    85. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I can understand the ‘f*ck the lot of yez’ attitude that underlies it,”

      I don’t see it that way. Scotland has never voted not to be a proper country. The Act of Union was imposed on an unwilling and rioting populace. (Let’s not have any nonsense that the Parliament of 1706 was any sort of democracy.) We can legitimately treat it as akin to education and law, as things that were retained as independent as part of the treaties.

      But as Doug says, if we actually go out in September 2014 and vote “No, we are not a proper country that takes responsibility for itself”, democratically and of our own free will, then the only honourable action is to give up all of these things. If we’re British, we’re British. No more special exceptions not granted to the people of Manchester or Bournemouth or Newcastle. In or out. One nation or two.

    86. naebd says:

      Stu that’s an interesting interpretation, but I feel that everyone at FIFA currently thinks of Scotland as not a proper country, yet we still get to have a national football team. It’s a weird special-case no doubt. I’m not sure the referendum will provide a tipping point for FIFA. But of course, I can’t predict what’ll happen.

    87. naebd says:

      Having said that, there is undoubtedly a ‘well, you voted to not be a proper country so frankly, f**k the lot of yez’ attitude from some Yes voters. Doug for example, who I nonetheless respect as one of the top Nat commenters on the interwebs.

      Interesting gender split once again on this subject. My mum was always the most witheringly negative about the Scotland team whenever they were on the TV. Maybe women are inherently more anti-nationalist for some reason.

    88. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It’s a weird special-case no doubt. I’m not sure the referendum will provide a tipping point for FIFA.”

      No, I wasn’t suggesting it would.

    89. Murray McCallum says:

      If Scotland says No to being an independent country there is a clear possibility that pressure could come from many FIFA membership bodies, e.g. outside UEFA where it is thought European bodies have too much representation / say, or within UEFA where fellow Europeans resent the UK having 4 teams.
      It is surely a matter of article 10.5 in the FIFA statutes being repealed.  Why should other FIFA membership countries continue to support this special dispensation to UK teams?

    90. scottish_skier says:

      Scottish skier, when you say 2015 referendum are you talking about the “SNP get majority of the MPs in Scotland and declare independence” scenario?

      That’s the ticket they have stood on for Westminster elections since they first formed and what Scots were always told by Westminster: ‘If you want independence, vote SNP (for Westminster). 

      It’s not as if the SNP could form a UK government now is it.
      Nope, you vote SNP for Westminster for one reason only.

    91. naebd says:

      OK, just checking Scottish skier.

    92. muttley79 says:

      @naebh
       
      but if there is a No vote, I’d expect things to trundle along undramatically rather than their being some nightmarish Caledonia delenda est scenario.
       
      Cannot agree with you there at all.  if there is a No vote the Tories will take it as an endorsement of the status quo, and Scotland’s block grant will be savagely reduced.  

    93. Doug Daniel says:

      Naebd – don’t worry, I’m well aware of my tendency to go from one extreme to the other 😛
       
      Right back to the days where if a toy didn’t do what I thought it should do, I’d break it…

    94. naebd says:

      Murray McCallum, Scotland has said no to being an independent country roughly every 5 years for quite a while (see Scottish skier’s comments pointing out that every GE is an independence referendum). So arguably, the referendum isn’t a novel revelation of Scots’ reluctance to be a proper country.

    95. naebd says:

      if there is a No vote the Tories will take it as an endorsement of the status quo, and Scotland’s block grant will be savagely reduced.  
      But Barnett is part of the status quo. 😉
      Having said that, I expect there will continue to be moves to try and bring the SP to heel.

    96. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Scotland has said no to being an independent country roughly every 5 years for quite a while (see Scottish skier’s comments pointing out that every GE is an independence referendum).”

      Och, that’s such TOTAL keech, though.

    97. naebd says:

      I agree Stu. But at the same time, the cumulative result of electing unionists for generations can’t be ignored.

    98. Murray McCallum says:

      naebd
      Allow me to politely disagree.  Even if the SNP represented majority of Scottish Westminster constituencies and majority percentage vote they could not realistically declare independence.  Referendum is the only guaranteed legal way.
       
      The FIFA statutes specifically define what they mean by “country” and I would expect the SFA had a case ready to defend it.  I can’t see how the UK (UN member, etc, etc) government’s paper stating Scotland extinguished under international law possibly helps any such case.  My belief is it at least weakens it or completely negates it.
       
      I have read all the fine posts above about law, act of union, interpretation of law, international law, etc.  My belief is that such points do not, when it really comes down to it, really matter if you do not have your own sovereign parliament recognised internationally.

    99. scottish_skier says:

      Och, that’s such TOTAL keech, though

      Yes, because in the old days you risked eroding the Labour vote whereby letting in the Tories under FPTP. ‘A vote for the SNP is a vote for the Tories’ is the slogan (they’re still using it).

      Of course that was when the Tories/Scottish Unionists were actually relevant in Scotland. What happens now when Scotland votes strongly for the SNP under FPTP is this:

      http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5221/5695882832_dee4f1ebc7.jpg

      With only a couple of seats where you could possibly help the Tories out of 59, but not a high chance it would make any difference.

    100. Ron Burgundy says:

      But as Doug says, if we actually go out in September 2014 and vote “No, we are not a proper country that takes responsibility for itself”, democratically and of our own free will, then the only honourable action is to give up all of these things. If we’re British, we’re British. No more special exceptions not granted to the people of Manchester or Bournemouth or Newcastle. In or out. One nation or two.

      To be honest if this is seen as some kind of scorched earth option or not it does not matter. In the event of a NO vote maybe Scotland needs to experience the Union State without the anesthetic of the Barnett Formula or a Devolved settlement.

      NO should equal a full on unfiltered Unionist experience with a stronger co-ordination with England over health, education and justice. Why not? We voted to be British so lets have it – how could Unionists argue against it. Full integration in a unitary state.

      Lets have the Kelly / Wilson / London Standard prescription. “Scottishness” would then only be acceptable at Hogmany when the integrated Union State allows the Jocks to put on a shortbread tin celebration and sing “Lock Lomond” where everyone in the Union can join in for a few hours.

      Why have institutions to accommodate a Scottish  interest or perspective they are unnecessary – we have voted NO. We have proved that we want to be British.

    101. sneddon says:

      I’m a bit slow today but what league do Texas and Bavaria play in? 🙂

    102. Caroline Corfield says:

      Wrt things trundling along after a No vote. I think you might be in for a shock. The Scots are having this big debate where everything is up for grabs, all manner of ideas are being posited. The English are not. They are not even party to the Scots debate. They are hearing very little. Their positions are not being moved like that of the No voter to the Don’t Know and the Don’t know voter to the Yes voter. Their position, as explained to me by my husband is simply; Westminster is their parliament. The Scots are currently part of the UK of GB and NI and get representative seats in their parliament. Scotland, like Wales and NI are countries but they are part of the UK which is also really England. If the Scots vote No, there will be a clamouring a la UKIP utterances for the experiment in devolution to finish. At that point they will start to ask why are other things allowed to be different ( remember they will still be believing the subsidy junky thing) and they will say if it was all the same we wouldn’t have to give them so much money. UKIP are currently promoting an e petition to do away with all but parish councils and Westminster. No room for home nations in that scenario.

    103. Edward Barbour says:

      A thought just occurred to me. Yes I do get some from time to time.
      It would be interesting if some or all the Tartan army attending Wednesday’s game were to openly hold up ‘VOTE YES in 2014’ banners (https://twitter.com/WeAreNational/status/343139467021930497 )
      How would the broadcasters cope with that?
      It IS the kind of action that’s needed

    104. Susan says:

      Has anyone seen John Curtice’s comments/analysis of the latest Panebase poll?
      http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2013/08/wings-over-scotland-crowsource-funded-poll/
       

    105. Taranaich says:

      Effective democratic elections require voters who are intelligent, educated and, importantly, self-sacrificing. The reality around the ballot box is more often pigheadedness, ignorance and self-interest.

      Interesting. How would we go about changing the voters from pigheaded, ignorant and self-interested to intelligent, educated and self-sacrificing? Perhaps if there was an authority which made a point of improving education standards, fostered intelligent and honest debate, and put their own interests into that of the electorate rather than than their own bank accounts… Some authority which was in a position to give more funding to schools, hospitals and other necessities, improving the general quality of life so that the electorate were more intelligent and educated, and more likely to be self-sacrificing?

      But no, surely we cannot expect the government to make decisions to improve those things, and thus, make the democratic elections more effective? It’s what you want, after all, isn’t it Mr Kelly? You want intelligent, educated and self-sacrificing voters. So quite why your party is complicit in the perpetuation of voter ignorance, the marginalisation of public education and help, and have abandoned their dearest principles in order to secure they remain electable is somewhat confusing to me. In fact, I’d go so far as to say your party’s policies are directly antithetical to what you claim to be “effective democratic elections.”

      Despicable.

    106. NorthBrit says:

      @Susan 
      Yes.  Think RevStu has done really well and props to Prof Curtice for a balanced analysis.  
      Hope Wings fans turning up on the site will follow the excellent example of RevStu and Doug Daniel so far and keep it positive.

    107. James Kay says:

      John Curtice has written a commentary on the PanelBase poll:
       
      http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2013/08/wings-over-scotland-crowsource-funded-poll/
       
      I’m off to read it properly now.

    108. Gordon Bain says:

      What Doug & Ron said goes for me too. We either join the UN as an independent state or we join the UK as a county. Simples.

    109. Silverytay says:

      Sorry boys , I am Scottish always never British , if we lose this one I will continue the good fight as I am to old to think about moving to another country to start a new life .

    110. Angus says:

      “I have read all the fine posts above about law, act of union, interpretation of law, international law, etc.  My belief is that such points do not, when it really comes down to it, really matter if you do not have your own sovereign parliament recognised internationally.”
       
      That is your belief as you have said, very much like the language of the ridiculously stupid document that ukok bt whatever they call themselves produced. that had the quite astounding lie that Scotland was no longer a country. I do not mean that you are stupid like them as you are observing and giving an opinion but it ain’t official opinion and observation with a ludicrous vacuous backdrop from westminster pretending legitimacy.
       
      That is not true, it doesn’t go by where a parliament is therefore there lies the only method of being a recognisable country, it goes by definition with regard to law and legal matters  and the fact is that Scots Law remained intact and is internationally recognised…..what is English law? We don’t know do we?
       
      A ‘sovereign parliament” is a “uniquely English concept” and one not shared by our Parliament past or present or indeed recognised under Scots Law as per McCormick vs Advocate….there isn’t even a British constitution, demonstrating clearly the pre democracy creation of the union in 1707 and its lack of democratic legitimacy.
      The ‘passport’ argument is very flawed because unlike a birth certificate. it isn’t even a legal requirement to possess one and it is a bit of cardboard in essence, it certainly doesn’t prove britishness over Scottishness (or Englishness) because Fred Smiff from Littlebottom upon Bumflap doesn’t need to have one and neither does Jock MacHaggis fae Bawsaq Mhor in the Heelans’…

    111. Angus says:

      http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/geography/beginner-s-guide/administrative/the-countries-of-the-uk/index.html
       
      Even the Office of National Statistics disagrees with Darling about what you can call a country.
      I still say Wales is a country, defined by language for starters, an Indigenous one at that, although I believe it is actually absorbed into England as a Principality from when Longshanks cleverly created the first Prince of Wales (his own son)
      Northern ireland is a new creation and therefore probably considered a ‘division’ of the uk and is perhaps not legally a country though it would solve stuff a bit if it was maybe………
       

    112. Murray McCallum says:

      Angus
      In the context of FIFA they define “country” in their statutes.  Scotland does not meet the definition.  If it had an internationally recognised parliament, was a member of the UN, etc it would.
      My point about interpretation of law in the absence of a “sovereign” parliament is very straightforward.  International law is very clear, for example, about the illegal building in the West Bank.  If the law is so clear why doesn’t the Palestinian Parliament do something about it?

    113. muttley79 says:

      Good of Professor Curtice to acknowledge, and write about the poll.   

    114. Murray McCallum says:

      Angus
      Just so we are clear this is about sport.  My point is about football which is governed by FIFA.  Please read FIFA’s statute 10. 
      http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/generic/01/66/54/21/fifastatutes2012e.pdf
       
      Scotland obviously does not meet 10.1 – if it did there wouldn’t be a need for 10.5 would there?
       
      Scots not democratically wishing to have their own independent country will be international news.  It will surely make people wonder what exactly “Scotland” is?
       
       

    115. kininvie says:

      @Angus
      International recognition of a country is actually of vital importance. Without it, there’s no taking our place in international affairs. This has nothing to do with the arguments about whether or not Scotland is ‘legally’ a country….until the rest of the world agrees that it is one, I’m afraid it isn’t, no matter what we may claim.
      There are plenty of entities that claim, or have claimed, the status of an independent country, but for one reason or another, aren’t recognised. Take a look at the Palestinian problem, or the breakaway Georgian republics, and you’ll see how complex and partisan the situation can become.
       
      This is the reason why declaring UDI under any foreseeable circumstances would be a very risky step. We would be seceeding from a recognised nation state, and the other nation states, out of self-interest, would back the established position.
       
      Which is why we need to win the referendum. It’s the only way we can get the backing of rUK (via the Edinburgh agreement) and hence of the rest.

    116. Murray McCallum says:

      “like the language of the ridiculously stupid document that ukok bt whatever they call themselves produced.”
      I believe you are referring to this government report commissioned by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Cabinet Office, and the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland?
      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/79408/Annex_A.pdf

    117. SCED300 says:

      The Barnett is to be reviewed (replaced) in 2016, so won’t be the status quo for long. Someone mentioned the Formula as if it would always be there.

    118. Faltdubh says:

      To be honest I don’t have an issue with us no longer fielding a football team if we vote no.
       

    119. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      Firstly,so sad to hear that David McLetchie has passed away.He was a decent human being which is  in my mind is one of the best accolades afforded to a public figure (the taxi furore aside).

      I imagine that it has been in the best interest of the British state to maintain the front that Scotland still existed as a country when it came to our national sport.No doubt they have supported the SFA in making this case in order to suppress any discontent north of the border.

      Should we decide that we are not to be a country,then since our  parliament will continue to only have control over around 16% of our income,we would be better off not having the parliament and associated support organisation and face the reality that Scotland is history.

      This is an all or nothing referendum for the future of those who claim to be Scottish (even if only for 90 minutes).

    120. Shinty says:

      BeamMeUpScotty
      Spot on.

      Also, my condolences to David McLetchie’s family and friends.

    121. Matt says:

      I was just on the FIFA website, signing up for an account so I can apply for World Cup tickets next week, and when it asked me for my country the default option was “Great Britain” – I guess it’s lucky I’m not from Northern Ireland, I would have been completely scuppered!

      In all seriousness though, you would think FIFA would be one of the sites which would recognise the four “countries” (I use the term loosely, obviously NI isn’t really a country, but the last remnants of a colony) separately – especially since it says the reason it asks for your country is to put a flag on your profile; the union flag is meaningless in international football, so bizarre that FIFA would use it.

    122. scottish_skier says:

      We would be seceeding from a recognised nation state, and the other nation states, out of self-interest, would back the established position.

      That might be the case if Britain had friends internationally. However, I’m stumped when it comes to naming any names here.

    123. Braco says:

      What’s all this bulshit?  That if somehow the British State can bring every dirty trick and publicly funded lie to bear, for just long enough and manage to fool just enough of the current Scot’s electorate into believing ‘more powers’ can be delivered to the Scots Parliament from within a reformed Union, then we (the supposed nationalists) should serve up and destroy every last remnant of National expression that our previous generations protected, nurtured and struggled against the odds simply to keep alive.
       
      Who the fuck do you think yous are?!
       
      We are one generation only!
       
      We are one generation that has had a football team, rugby team, a Parliament, News Papers, Internet, Legal system, Education System, Church etc etc.  No other generation has had all these things and advantages available to them….. and yet we still struggle with the establishment forces to try and re instate our Independence!
       
      Can you imagine how hard you would be making it for future generations to try and get their independence through this idiotic,’ give it all away, become a region’, immature, toys out the pram crap”!?

      Just because you and our generation failed this time? Fuck me.
       
      When the SNP won in 2007, did you not have a wee tear for all those previous generations that kept the faith all their lives and died without the faintest hope of ever experiencing that kind of hope and victory?
       
      I am not an SNP member, but these feelings and emotional victories are not party political. The closer to the possibility of a YES vote in 2014 we get, the more heart breaking each death of a supporter of Independence becomes. For the individual themselves yes, but also because it’s a terrible reminder of all the folk, during the last three hundred odd years, who will not be there to share our moment but gave so much of themselves in order to help give us this real chance of Independence!
       
      When I read some of the petulant shit that is being spouted here tonight by posters that I normally respect and look forward to reading, I despair.

      Have you no perception of your place in a historic struggle? No vision of your place in front, supported by those great folk of our past and behind, supporting all our future greats to come.
       
      We will win this (I am very confident)…… but if we don’t, for whatever reason, do you really want to wish the task harder for that next generation?
       
       

    124. BuckieBraes says:

      Braco, up to a point I agree with you and up to a point I don’t. You use the word ‘struggle’; but next September there doesn’t need to be a struggle and if Scotland doesn’t understand the choice sitting on a plate before it by then, it never will. We’ll have had our chance, and we’ll have blown it if a No vote is returned.
       

    125. Braco says:

      BuckieBraes,
      yes, WE will have, not some future generation.

      We decide for us, not forever! (Democracy) If it’s a NO, are you just gony stop all this Scotland nonesense?
       
      Because I’m not!

    126. Chic McGregor says:

      Vote Yes and make Scottish history.
      Vote No and make Scotland history.

    127. Braco says:

      Nice slogan. I use it myself, but in the event of a NO vote (god forbid) are you going to be there helping them ‘make Scotland history’ or are you going to be trying to regroup for it’s defence?
      I know what side I will be on and I think most others on this do as well. That’s why I called it bulshit. There is more than enough riding on this referendum, we don’t need to voluntarily add everything.

    128. Morag says:

      Do it for Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun!
       
      Do it for Allison Hunter of Tantallon Road, Glasgow!
       
      And everybody in between.

    129. Caroline Corfield says:

      I admire and agree with the sentiment Braco, but in the event of a No vote you find your country tied to a massive bunch of other people who are not going to feel the same way, and democratically can change that, with much more legitimacy after a No vote for independence. No one who suggests that scenario is suggesting it will fix the issue of Scots wanting independence and we all recognise it would make it harder to do so via another referendum. A few are maybe suggesting  it so that it might actually make it easier as the Scots perhaps don’t realise what they have till it’s taken away, but I really don’t fancy that outcome. It smacks of a violent struggle to come, when with a simple vote Yes it would be peaceful. I honestly don’t think it will be a No vote, but the desire of independence won’t go away if its a No vote.

    130. Silverytay says:

      Braco @ 12.01 am       
                                         Excellent post , I agree with all you said , god forbid that it is a no vote in 2014 but if it is we need to pick ourselves up , dust ourselves off and continue the good fight not only in memory of those who have got us to this point but to ensure that future generations of Scot’s have the chance of a better future .
      This fight is not about us , it is about our children & grandchildren and those still to come .

    131. dmw42 says:

      Braco, I for one echo your sentiments completely.
       
      It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself“.
       
      And don’t ever forget it.

    132. Braco says:

      Caroline Corfield,
      I think we both agree. I just got a bit disheartened last night at the willingness of otherwise up beat posters to happily and needlessly ‘up the stakes’ from our side, when the Unionists already seem intent on an ‘all or nothing’ destructive campaign, without a thought for the post referendum fall out they may be causing.
       
      The News papers and BBC, for example, seem not to care for either their reputation or their buisiness plan, just so long as it’s a NO! I just don’t want our side to fall into that equally destructive mindset, only instead focused on a YES vote. We have no need yet.
       
      I fully agree too that, in the event of a NO vote, Independence will become harder to achieve as the Union will make moves to neuter Hollyrood etc. But that will not kill the movement. What would, or at least seriously damage it, and possibly in a generation, would be the voluntary eradication of all our symbols of Nationhood, as proposed throughout this thread, by the very people who profess to hold the concept dear. Us!
       
      What long term mood would this inspire in the general public? What would future generations who dreamed of Independence as we do, be left to work with?
       
      We will win this thing. I get surer of that each day that passes, so I really see no point in playing the Unionist’s game. It was, after all, them that refused the ‘gradualist’ devomax option and opted for the all or nothing YES/NO gamble. We always kept both options open, that was Salmond’s genius. Why change that now?
       
      I am also with Scottish Skier when he states that 2015 and 2016 will be pivotal in the event a NO vote is stolen through lies and impossible promises of jam tomorrow to the Scots electorate that simply cannot and will not be delivered.
       
      Quite the opposite will be happening as the Unionists collude to strip authority and power from our Parliament.  These elections could be the forum for a voter backlash.
       
      Imagine the libdems faced an election 1 year after their broken election promises at the last Westminster Elections. Imagine the destruction they would have faced at the polls!

      We have two such electoral opportunities, one year after another, to hold the Unionists to any promises they make in the heat and fear of this campaign, but we YES campaigners must still be there and active, to hold the liars to account!

      This will take as much organisation, if not even more, than we achieved during the referendum campaign (for all the reasons that you stated). 
       
      Why give them the cover of agreeing with their very premise? I.e. Scots voted NO therefor Scotland is not a Nation and should not have a Parly, Law, National Health, Education system, Football team, Rugby team etc etc and on and on. I just really, really don’t understand this destructive attitude!
       
      Sorry this post has ended up 20 times longer than I intended. Ooops!

    133. Scaraben says:

      @Braco
      Agreed.
       
      The threat that, in the event of a ‘No’ vote, Scotland will be stripped of its identity, including national sports teams, will surely induce more people to vote ‘Yes’, if it comes from the unionists. From independence supporters, it will be seen as petulant and defeatist, and is likely to have the opposite effect.
       
      By all means, spread the word about unionists arguing that Scotland should be reduced to a mere region of the UK, as a warning against the likely consequences of a ‘No’ vote, but please do not reduce the impact of this by agreeing, or appearing in any way to agree, with them.
       
      In the event of a ‘No’ vote, the fight will not be over. It may well be that clumsy attempts to punish Scotland for daring to attempt to leave the UK will increase support for independence and for the SNP to the point where another referendum could happen quite quickly, or the Scottish Government can reasonably argue that they already have a democratic mandate for independence. A UDI would be messy, but the possibility of one could be effective in securing another referendum. Also, if Scotland returns enough SNP members to Westminster, it is conceivable that, in a hung parliament, they could hold the balance of power.

    134. Gordon Bain says:

      @ Braco
       
      i can be petulant. I think it stems from this feeling of impotence we surely all are feeling to a certain extent. I do remember 2007 though and I did shed a tear for past generations. I always remember asking my dad why it was me who was up the ladder against the lamppost tearing down the Labour placard and replacing it with an SNP one. He replied that he fought for Scotland so that I wouldn’t have to. Nearly 40 years later I’m saying the same thing.

      So you’re right mate. Absolutely spot-on actually. Consider me reprimanded and re-focused and I apologise for letting the side down. It will NOT happen again!

    135. Braco says:

      Siverytay,
      Thanks and you are exactly right.

      dmw42,
      No chance!  (that quote always makes me sit up straight !)
       
      Scaraben,
      yes that’s the thing that made me see red last night. It was the apparent unholy alliance between so called arch Nationalists and arch Unionists in their apparent wish for the destruction of Scotland’s various existing historic and cultural National institutions.   
       
      Coming from the Unionists it helps our cause, as you say, but from us nationalists it’s a petulant stab to the heart of the whole idea of Scots once again, fully re gaining our historic National Independence!

      It’s these very bodies and institutions that embody and reflect the collective attitudes and mindset of our population and show why we have always needed independence in the first place!

    136. Braco says:

      Gordon Bain,
      yeah man, we all get that feeling of impotence.
       
      That’s what is so great about sites like this (thanks again Rev by the way). It allows us to voice those fears and be told truths. No matter how down, worried or despondent  I get, there is always someone here, posting hopeful, positive and factual information that gives me the inspirational kick up the arse needed to get myself out of that negative spiral.
       
      It’s the best antidote by far, (other than actual physical work for the cause) to the demoralisation and poison being spread so liberally by the betterNO campaign and their media mouth pieces.  So no probs pal, as I am sure I’ll be needing the same from you in the not too distant future.
       
       

    137. Eco_Exile says:

      I was just reading through comments here and when someone said
      Vote Yes and become a country, vote No and be a County.
      So I thought, voting No  – throwing the R away.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=066oSmDRKPA

    138. Chic McGregor says:

      That slogan wasn’t one of mine, but I think it is a good one for helping maximise the yes vote by making some folk think about what ‘might’ happen.  Incidentally, I suspect pretty much folk with similar profiles to those which are susceptible to U-scaremongering. 
       
      Unfortunately, at some point, I do think that group has to be targeted by the Yes campaign by matching or ‘out-scaring’.  I know, it stinks, but to mangle an old adage, ‘you have to fight fear with fear’.  And boy, have they started it.  Maybe I’m wrong, maybe that group isn’t all that big and the chances of it making the difference are small, maybe we can retain the high moral ground all the way to the referendum, play it the Scottish way, the fair way.  But maybe that would just lead to another ‘glorious defeat’.Who knows?  I don’t.
       
      So just look on it as a tiny wee bit of hedge-betting.
       
      Here is one of mine you might like better:
       
      Don’t vote NO because of your parents,
      Vote YES because of your children.
       
      Both will be appearing on T-Shirts at the march.
       
      My own feeling on the matter is that we will not give up as indicated in the last lines of this spoof I did (way too big for a T-Shirt) on William Dunbar’s ‘Lament For The Makaris’:
       

      Lament  For The Fakaris

      I wuld be fain, giff the Fakaris anent,     
      Withe their cuifis, wuld sen tak tent;     
      Sparit nocht be their facultie:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.     
       

      She has done petuously devour,     
      The Carling, Curran, of  Fakaris flour;     
      Withe skaldis, Baillie, Lamont, all three:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.
       

      The Lordis McConnell of Glenscorrodale,     
      Wallace, Foulkes, Forsythe, all hayle;     
      Tane piss haue thai fra this cuntrie:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me..     

       
      Rede quhat Iain Davidson screivit,     
      That nocht we be fra Britane leavit.     
      Sir Ming Campbell wuld agree:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.
       

      Flytingis by Cochrane on Salmond rain,     
      Thai mak fell heid-lines of disdaine;     
      Marcus Gardham ta, no frend he:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.
       

      Sally Magnusson and Glenn Campbell,
      With Jackie Bird dois gyve the knell;     
      And ‘Brian’s Blog’ is ere nought free:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.     
       

      The ‘ConDem’ pact is butt ane mirage,     
      Sen mycht we haue the ‘ConFarage’;     
      So short, so quick, of sentence hie:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.     

       
      James Murphy of Renfrew East,     
      Howpes sen on Miliband to feast;     
      Twa better gowkis did no man see:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.

       
      In Dunfermline we haue Gordon Broun,     
      Quho dyngit Alastair Darling doun;     
      Sir Willie the Ross schamit wuld be:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.     
       

      Lord George Robertson hais forsayd,     
      That thai wuld our intent mak deid;     
      Of quhom all Lordis hes maist pitie:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.
       

      Word Maister Wullie ‘Quhit can ye dae?’     
      In parle court tries verily;     
      Laydy Ruth, fu assailis oure Kynge she:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.

       
      Thoch bretheris nocht, Alexanderis twane,     
      Withe Laydy Wendy act as ane;     
      Of force I man in prayere next be:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me..   

       
      That scorpion fell has done infeck     
      And thairwyth postal votis affeck;     
      Ballot-faking and tragedie:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me.
       

      Since for the treuth remeid is none,     
      Best is that we for defeatt dispone;     
      Giff alas, defeattit , neverendum we:—     
          Timor pro Patria conturbat me..
       
       
       

    139. Chic McGregor says:

      @Eco Exile
      “I was just reading through comments here and when someone said
      Vote Yes and become a country, vote No and be a County. So I thought, voting No  – throwing the R away.”

      Or, indeed, throwing away the ‘O’ and ‘Y’ as well.  🙂

    140. Chic McGregor says:

      AAArrgh! used ‘which’ instead of ‘who’ in the second last post.

    141. Eco_Exile says:

      @Chic
      You may think that , I could not possibly comment.



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