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A different parallel

Posted on July 09, 2014 by

Last month we carried a view of the Scottish independence debate from the Canadian province of Quebec. Today we hear from the English-speaking side of the country.

In English-speaking Canada, few people seem to be aware of Scotland’s independence referendum. It doesn’t register much in the papers, much less our cheerfully oblivious TV news. The couple of friends I’ve told about it were interested, but mainly viewed the event as they would the World Cup: a distant, if intriguing, foreign phenomenon.

Conversely, Scotland’s view of Canada has been quite the opposite. Commentators on both the Yes and No sides have drawn explicit parallels with the Canadian experience, especially Quebec’s fraught history of referenda and sovereignty debate.

montreal

As a Canadian-American who’s spent a good deal of time south of the border, however, I think there’s a much more apt comparison to be made.

Canada’s bizarre love-hate relationship with our dysfunctional, arrogant, yet somehow still likeable neighbours and friends in the United States of America is both cautionary and optimistic. And it indicates the absolute need for a Yes vote.

Like any Western democracy, Canada’s has lately been throttled to within an inch of its life. We’re currently toiling under one of the least legitimate “majority” governments in our history, which got a whopping 39% of the vote in the last election. Our prime minister likes to channel various Stuart monarchs in (twice) dismissing parliament when he’s tired of it. He rules from atop a geyser of Alberta crude oil and daily rains down chunks of tar on our economic, social, and environmental hopes and dreams.

But as frustrating as politics sometimes is in Canada, the parallel Scots should keep foremost in their minds this summer is the 49th – our latitudinal southern border. For the USA presents a truly horrific vision of just how much worse everything can be.

For a start, in America there are now enough barriers and provisos in place to have reduced its democracy to state of permanent malfunction. One could argue that this has always been the case. But a few recent depredations by the hoary Democrat/Republican duopoly – a gentleman’s agreement between two of the oldest political parties in the world – feel truly unprecedented.

Ralph Nader likes to call their arrangement the “Business Party” and he should know, having run for president twice against this establishment junta. From using their influence to erase mainstream media coverage of third parties to barring all outsiders from presidential debates (in 2012 Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein protested outside one and was swiftly arrested), the Business Party openly conspires to restrict political office only to servants of the elite.

Among other things, the two-party duopoly has produced the world’s largest and most wasteful military budget. An official requirement, only recently abandoned, was that the military be able to fight two full-scale wars simultaneously. Untold billions have been profligately wasted on such wars of aggression, and while large-scale involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan seems to be in remission, relentless post-9/11 propaganda has forced an extreme level of militarism on public life.

One cannot stroll through a single city or town in the self-styled World’s Oldest Democracy without being continuously exhorted to Support the Troops, Thank the Troops, Pray for the Troops, Stand Up, Salute, Bow, Sing, or Sway In A Patriotic Anthem Sponsored By Budweiser For The Troops.

(Do anything, in short, except provide them decent healthcare, as recent scandals at the Veterans Administration suggest.)

This sports-stadium warrior-worship is a cheap but effective gloss to smooth over the insalubrious realities of living in America today. Along with costly and deadly imperial adventures, Americans must contend with levels of inequality approaching those of the late 19th century, a state apparatus at the unconditional service of Wall Street and commercial interests, corporate crime and environmental destruction on a gargantuan scale, exponentially-increasing levels of state surveillance, and of course rigid racial ghettoization in not only cities but apartheid-like prisons, schools, and law-courts.

Obviously no country can get everything right. There will always be some manner of injustice emanating from power. But one important function a smaller (in our case, less populous) and independent country can have is to serve as a living, breathing rebuke to the demonstrable failures of its larger neighbour.

Canada’s mere existence is proof that (1) a North American country can have single-payer, government-run healthcare like the rest of the industrialized world; (2) frequent and deadly gun rampages are not an inescapable feature of the Human Condition; and (3) an independent foreign policy can have positive results.

When Canada declined to join the Iraq invasion, undermining the Bush regime’s pretensions of an international “coalition of the willing.” If Tony Blair had done the same (as the UK finally did with Syria last year), great loss of life might have been averted.

On a more basic level, Canadian politics shows the admittedly few Americans who pay any attention that a rigid two-party system at all levels of government is not some “necessary evil” inherent to all democracies. In the current Parliament, five federal parties are represented in the Canadian House of Commons, which is not terribly interesting but still a damned sight better than two.

More parties in parliament makes for a larger exchange of ideas, different platforms and priorities, more choice for voters, and a healthier political atmosphere overall. The potential for parties to rise, fall, merge, and even cease to exist is also present in Canada, while almost totally absent in the USA.

I first came to following Scotland’s independence debate for sentimental, cultural reasons. As a teenager I was briefly obsessed with Highlander: the Series, starring Adrian Paul as the katana-swinging titular “Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod.” From this somewhat ridiculous wellspring I gained a greater appreciation for my own Highland Scots roots through my grandmother’s partial descent from Clan McPherson.

Such romantic affinities notwithstanding, as I started wading through the copious news, commentary, and analysis on the impending referendum, a creeping realization began to dawn in my mind. This vote, it seemed, was not merely some isolated, ethno-regional hissy-fit. It was far more, staggeringly more important than that.

Oddly enough, a correct gauge of its importance can be obtained from the quasi-hysterical outpourings of doom and apocalypticism from the anti-independence “Better Together” campaign. Establishment figures, Westminster politicians, and the corporate-controlled media are deeply worried – and they are right to be. They’re worried because Scotland is starting to look frighteningly like a democracy.

The people of Scotland have a chance not just to become a smaller and marginally better-run country. With nothing more perilous than putting a cross in a box they can secure the 21st-century English-speaking world’s first authentic, popular uprising. To finally stare Mrs Thatcher’s baleful shadow in the face and say “Yes, there is an alternative. We are the alternative”.

Most readers will need no reminder of what a wretched state the rest of the UK finds itself in these days. But a grassroots revolt to the north which rejects austerity, market-fundamentalism, foreign military intervention, weapons of mass destruction, and environmental suicide could be just what citizens of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland need. Revolutions are dangerous because they inspire others – just ask His Britannic Majesty’s Government circa 1789.

So go ahead Scotland – vote Yes and improve the world by example, just as your pioneering inventors, philosophers, writers and poets have done so many times before.

John Demmery Green is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. He’s the founding artistic director of Da Vinci’s Kitchen Dramatick Theatre Productions Companie, and his work has also appeared in popular satirical website The Lapine.

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    1. 09 07 14 11:36

      A different parallel | Scottish Independence News

    142 to “A different parallel”

    1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I thought Montreal was in Quebec?

    2. Doug Daniel says:

      Another excellent article from across the Atlantic. Isn’t it absurd that people thousands of miles away can really get what it’s all about, and yet journalists in London – and even Edinburgh – just don’t have a Scooby?

    3. naebd says:

      One time, when the issue of the referendum came up with a Canadian, the Canadian that I was talking to reflexively viewed Scotland/UK through the lens of Quebec/Canada and immediately came out with “did you know that seperatism is dead in Quebec?”. Seems like there’s always this tendency to view national movements through a lens of subjective experience.

      I think it’s more fruitful to flip the comparison to Scotland as the equivalent of Canada[smaller, northern, English speaking, more social democrat], and rUK as USA[large friendly southern neighbour].

      So if you bump into any Canadians who poo-poo Scottish independence you could gently remind them that their arguments are equally valid in favour of the cause of abolishing Canada. Just think – so Canadians would can punch above their weight as a part of the USA, have a seat on the UNSC, be protected by a nuclear shield, have work opportunities in the USA*. Anyway, how can Canada exist when it does 80% of its trade with its southern neighbour. Impossible. 🙂

      *then again, I was in the USA at the time when the Canadian guy made his comment. There doesn’t seem to be much of a barrier to moving there for work.

    4. naebd says:

      “so Canadians would can punch above their weight”

      -you know what I meant.

    5. Muscleguy says:

      An interesting comparison. Do Americans ever opine that Canada should join the Union? I grew up in New Zealand and Australia (in the form of Government ministers no less) periodically suggests that NZ subsume itself as an Australian state. The best response from NZ is that any time Australia wishes to become the West Island of New Zealand they only have to ask.

      Also at least since the Fourth Labour Government in NZ made us nuclear free and with a much more ‘non aligned’ foreign policy Australia has been much more gung ho and keen to hang onto the coattails of Uncle Sam.

      I can assure you NZ will join Australia around the time Canada joins the US and the British Empire voluntarily reassembles itself, except for the bits that were in the Roman Empire that will also reassemble.

      BTW Rev if I hadn’t spotted this on your twitter feed, which I don’t normally look at, I would not have seen this post as reloads of the home page do not have it. I clicked on the banner of this article and that version of the home page also lacks this article.

    6. Muscleguy says:

      Ah, it’s appeared now. Ignore my last paragraph.

    7. Cath says:

      I love Canada. Spent a year there in 2004-05, and it was – ironically enough – where I discovered a lot of the Scottish culture I’d missed but love now. The main effect on me though was that it increased my confidence and positivity no end. A year away from the crushing, relentless, negativity of the UK media and the stifling “You cannae dae that”, “It willnae work” attitudes that were all pervasive.

      I came back determined to be more positive and it worked for a while, but you get ground down again back here fairly fast. The thing that’s brought it back is the Yes movement and the new culture we’re building here right now, which is directly challenging all those negative attitudes.

      Oh, and Montreal breakfasts are the best in the world!

    8. Helena Brown says:

      Interesting article, I put a blog on my social site explaining why I have been absent, I have three comments from friends in the US who say they were unaware of the Referendum and want more information about it from me, which I am happy to provide.

    9. Haggis says:

      Thanks for this view from the outside looking in. Very interesting read and some inspiration to us to give it the push over the line it needs.

      The apocalyptic doom and gloom from Westminster and its lackeys is losing its power over us. We’re waking up to the fact they are worried that they’ll lose part of the host body that Westminster, the Lords and their cronies parasitise. They’re also worried that we’ll show the rest of the UK that their cloud of fear and the claims that there were no alternatives to the status quo of austerity and poverty were nothing more than an illusion.

    10. mogabee says:

      The very fact that this site facilitates really interesting articles like this is why I visit frequently.

      Thankyou Mr Green for your fascinating perspective.

    11. TD says:

      Doug Daniel
      The difference is that commentators such as John Demmery Green THINK. The UK media falls into two main categories:
      1. Those who don’t think at all and just transmit their prejudices
      2. Those who do think and who know full well what the implications are for rUK – i.e. the Scottish subsidy stops and they are diminshed on the world stage because they “lost” part of “their” territory.

      The second group are the more dangerous because they will lie and cheat to preserve what they have. The first lot just make themselves look stupid – which they are.

      This referendum is coming down to a battle between those who control the MSM and the ordinary people using web-based media, town hall meetings, face to face canvassing etc. If the stakes were not so high, I could enjoy watching this battle unfold.

      We know that in the so-called Arab Spring, the use of social media played an important part in the overthrow of oppressive regimes. But we also know that some of those regimes faught back ruthlessy. I don’t expect to see tanks deployed, but the regime will use every trick in the book to frustrate the will of ordinary people and being fair, reasonable, democratic or just will not come into their thinking.

      Be Prepared.

    12. Dr Ew says:

      Another fascinating perspective from outwith the UK.

      I liked the phrase that this is not just a “ethno-regional hissy fit” which is, of course, how it is being depicted by and to the UK mainstream. Over the winter I was in London on several occasions for business and always fell into conversations with friends and colleagues based there. It was always revealing. A couple of well-informed exceptions aside, most began by mocking (the “ethno-regional hissy fit” line), moving through dismissive, “Alex Salmond is evil”, annoyed, outraged, hostile… a few stopped there.

      Holding up a mirror to the ugly face that is the UK is for some akin to encountering the decaying portrait of Dorian Gray. It is genuinely frightening, shattering your world-view, like finding out Daddy was into child porn.

      Hostility is an understandable human reaction, born of fear.
      The No campaign certainly gets that, even if many of their supporters don’t.

    13. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Cath

      Smoked meat?

    14. Oui Things says:

      ‘Vote Yes, and improve the world by example.’

      It’s exactly this that the elite fear most. Change for the better does nothing for the greediest in society.

    15. Capella says:

      Thanks for this post. You make some interesting parallels. Re “citizens of England” (there are no “citizens” btw, we are all “subjects”) are already taking notice. The Independent reports moves to claw back power by English cities:
      ‘Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, said that “campaigning English cities” needed to “seize this window of opportunity caused by the Scottish independence debate”.;
      http://tinyurl.com/nwd2ont

    16. beachthistle says:

      Pre-Crash, a UK Finance Minister/part-time Fife MP tried to get/convince his Canadian counterpart to copy/follow him by deregulating etc. his country’s banks and finance ‘industry’. The Canadian immediately bluntly told the (no-longer-a politician) Scot he was crazy: didn’t he realise what a risk/folly it was to trust bankers and their cohorts, never mind let them off the regulatory leash?

      The pooling and sharing expert immediately teased and berated the Canadian for his caution, telling him Canada was at risk of being left behind/losing out as “everybody else is doing or going to be doing it”, i.e. following what Wall Street and London were doing. The Canadian just told the pensions expert that sooner rather than later he would regret what he had done/was doing…

      Canada’s banks were amongst the strongest/most untouched in the World during the Crash…

    17. Robert Peffers says:

      Eh!“Canadian-American”?

      What the hell is, a,”Canadian-American”?

      Are not all Canadians, from The Native American Nations to the most recent descendants of immigrants, all North Americans? Has Canada somehow been removed from the North American continent without we Europeans noticing?

    18. yerkitbreeks says:

      John’s resume explains his lovely turn of phrase. These insights from overseas ( recently there was one from Vietnam ) all endorse the Chomsky ” keep 80% ignorant ” theory which the UK MSM promulgate.

      The degradation of political debate and parties ( now like the US, Westminster has only two ) is a necessary reminder of the vehicles our corrupt power structure uses between one vote-day and the next.

    19. galamcennalath says:

      Interesting read. I enjoyed that.

      The comparison between Canadian attitudes/values/democracy and their thoroughly dysfunctional southern neighbour, do undoubtedly bear comparison between the possibilities offered by iScotland and imperial backward looking rUK.

      The description of the cosy consensus of elites and big business combined with failed democracy also seems very familiar!

      Vote YES and move on!

    20. Colin says:

      Brilliant piece. Thanks John and Wings. Thoughtful, inspiring, intelligent. Sometimes, under the weight of the mainstream press, I lose my optimism. This article is why I come here.

    21. naebd says:

      What the hell is, a,”Canadian-American”?

      A Canadian who has made his home in America – which is what people who aren’t pedants call the USA. 😉

    22. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      OT

      Guardian has gained access to a list of off-shore bank accounts in Jersey.

      The backers of the Tory Party and probably the No campaign(?).

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/08/offshore-secrets-wealthy-political-donors

    23. wingman 2020 says:

      Independence is the only cure to Thatchers enduring legacy.

      There is no other way out of this neoliberal economic disaster that she and Blair foisted on this country.

      UK money didn’t simply vanish, it shifted up and to the right. Current Westminster strategy is to maintain the trend of taking from the poor.

      Why are there so many wealthy donors to the conservative party? They want to retain the power and class system that imbalances the UK.

      If Scotland doesn’t wake up to this in the next few weeks, we are in serious trouble.

    24. desimond says:

      I have the lovely mental image of all the worlds news announcing “Scotland has voted for Independence” and all around tegh globe, people are sitting and smiling at their TVs.

      Meanwhile in London, in a dark room within an exclusive and ancient Gentlemans club, some angry old man is quoting World Party lyrics and asking “How did it come to this?”

    25. heedtracker says:

      Does Canada have the equivalent of the Labour Party in Scotland or a Johan Lamont, all the Ian Davidson’s of this world, the Orange Order, the lunatics running the BBC in Scotland and all the newspapers and so on? Future Baroness Lamont and co are fighting alongside teamGB super rich elite to protect rather different “wee things” than what what your average Yes voter longs for.

    26. bluedog says:

      ‘They’re worried because Scotland is starting to look frighteningly like a democracy.’

      Well, that’s the theory. But in practice, once the First Minister fills in the numbers on his blank cheque from the electorate and pushes Scotland into the EU, Scotland’s ‘freedom’ will be among the shortest on record. The EU doesn’t do ‘freedom’ for nations that are just 1% of its total population (5m out of 500m).

      They say the fish stinks from its head, and certainly the chief of any organisation has the ability to set an example by virtue of his own values and behaviour. Let’s take a look at the wisdom of the next President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

      “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.” — Jean-Claude Juncker.

      “We decide on something, leave it lying around, and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don’t understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back.” — Jean-Claude Juncker.

      “Of course there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would I be intelligent to bring attention to that?” — Jean-Claude Juncker.

      “I am for secret, dark debates.” — Jean-Claude Juncker.

      And Scotland may be subordinated to this clown without even a referendum to gain approval? It will be if the electorate votes Yes.

      There’s no parallel with Canada’s situation at all.

    27. heedtracker says:

      @ bluedog what’s your vote no point though?

    28. YESGUY says:

      A nice piece from outside the UK.

      Thanks for that John. Lets hope the Scots take heed and lead by example . The thought of a No vote makes me sick. It’s time we stood on our own two feet and we don’t need anyone to tell us how it should be done.

      Vote YES

    29. desimond says:

      Ive been on holiday.
      When did Duggie change his name to Bluedog?

    30. heedtracker says:

      @ bluedog, there’s your usual too small so vote no thing in there but quoting Juncker’s a bit strange. Is it that you would vote Yes if Scotland did leave the EU but you won’t vote yes because you hate the EU and so on?

    31. BigRik says:

      yes bluedog, luckily there are no liars and crooks in Westminster, eh?…. oh, hang on…

    32. Robert Peffers says:

      Capella says: 9 July, 2014 at 11:59 am

      “Re (citizens of England” (there are no “citizens” btw, we are all “subjects”)

      Allow me to clarify that, Capella.

      The bipartite, “United Kingdom”, is a strange entity in that it never did actually ever legally become a single entity.

      First of all the title, “United Kingdom”, is the legal title of a treaty to unite two kingdoms. That Treaty never even mentions any countries. It is composed of legally binding, “Articles of Union”, each of which is a legally binding agreement of a certain part of the overall treaty.

      The first of these, “Articles of Union”, plainly only unites the three country Kingdom of England and the single country Kingdom of Scotland as a United Royal Realm. No more and no less. It does not alter the status of being a country within either Kingdom.

      Article II only deals with the accession and succession to the throne of the now united Royal Realm.

      It falls to Article III to create a totally new single parliament to rule the new creation of the joint realm.

      However, the Kingdom of Scotland and the three country kingdom of England retained certain exclusive rights by that treaty. These are the Education systems remain independent as do the respective system of religion. With the Scottish religious system cannot have the Royal personage as its head. Last and very much more important is that each kingdom retained its own legal system.

      So here we get to the meat of this particular matter. In 1688 the English Parliament had their, “Glorious Revolution”, in which the still independent, (three country), Kingdom of England parliament deposed the monarch they shared with the still independent Kingdom of Scotland. This, though, could NOT depose the monarch as the King of Scots. Thus began the Jacobite uprisings as Scots defended their right to retain the monarch deposed by the English Parliament. This lasted from 1688 until 1745 and long past the treaty of union.

      Along with deposing their monarch and installing the foreign King Billy and Queen Mary as morachs of the three country Kingdom of England they took from them the royal veto over ONLY the parliament of the Kingdom of England.

      Thus it was only the three country

      Kingdom of England that became a, “Constitutional Monarchy”. are the people as subjects of the Monarchy/state.

      In Scotland the legal system that pre-dates the Treaty of Union and the Glorious Revolution still exists and it is the People of Scotland who are legally Sovereign by law and thus the monarchy/state are legally the subjects of The Sovereign People of Scotland.

      We are no ones subjects. Not even the EU of which we have been citizens as long as the Queen’s subjects in England, Wales & N. Ireland.

    33. Midgehunter says:

      @ bluedog

      That’s a perfect description of Westminster – never mind Juncker.

    34. macart763m says:

      Always been a big fan of Canada with family in Hamilton Ontario and Toronto and good friends in Montreal. Polar opposites politically, but united in their insistence that they are most definitely not like the next door neighbours. 😀

      O/T but worth spreading is this piece in the Independent.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/scottish-independence/scottish-independence-voters-previously-against-yes-vote-explain-why-they-changed-their-minds-9593134.html

    35. Robert Peffers says:

      @naebd says: 9 July, 2014 at 12:14 pm:

      “A Canadian who has made his home in America – which is what people who aren’t pedants call the USA”.

      Oh! You mean like those who ARE NOT pedants wrongly call the United Kingdom such things as, “Britain”, and, “England” and, “The Country”?

      Those kind of, NON Pedants like the Better Together lot, Orange Order and a very large contingent of the rest of the brain washed world that have been brain washed by them.

      Like the non-pedant, David Mundell who publicly stated, “The Treaty of Union Extinguished Scotland and renamed England as The United Kingdom”.
      Aye!
      Richt!

    36. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

      @Bluedog
      No need to worry. According to Better Together/No thanks we will not be allowed into the EU anyway – ever.
      So your problem solved!
      Just Vote Yes.

    37. bluedog says:

      heedtracker @ 12.41, there are a number of points.

      Firstly, within the UK, Scotland is part of an entity that represents 11% of the EU by population and therefore has a sizeable vote in the EU councils. Secondly, Cameron has been pressured by Ukip to renegotiate the UK’s arrangements with the EU, potentially clawing back elements of sovereignty surrendered under earlier treaties such as Nice and Lisbon. In addition, the UK is outside the Eurozone and has avoided the economic recession that has crippled so much of Europe, with youth unemployment of a shocking 50% in some countries.

      If Scotland votes Yes, the First Minister has a mandate (currently) to take Scotland into the EU. But that inevitably means accepting terms, not dictating terms which the UK to some extent can do. Among the terms is likely to be the EU’s standard position that Scotland adopts the Euro – so much for the talk about keeping Sterling.

      Too much is being glossed over in this ‘independence’ debate.

    38. TD says:

      Bluedog

      Do you believe in democracy? A majority of people in Scotland want to stay in Europe. We may or may not approve of Juncker, but we shouldn’t leave Europe just because we don’t like the guy currently in charge.

      Of course, it might be that a majority of people in rUK want to leave Europe, and if that is the case then they should do so. But the key question facing Scotland at the moment is whether or not we should decide these things for ourselves, or whether we should decide them as a small part of a larger country, and where we will always be outvoted.

      I hope that people do not vote in the referendum on the basis of trying to achieve a tactical victory on some political point, but rather on the broader principle of whether or not we decide things for ourselves.

      Personally, I am for Europe. But if the Scottish people decided democratically to leave, then I would respect that. Democracy is not about getting things all your own way.

    39. Adrian B says:

      Cameron has been pressured by Ukip to renegotiate the UK’s arrangements with the EU, potentially clawing back elements of sovereignty surrendered under earlier treaties such as Nice and Lisbon.

      Actually you cannot renegotiate these points. However Cameron is handing policing to Brussells:

      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4139569.ece

      David Cameron has secretly agreed to work towards the transfer of more policing powers to Europe despite worries over costs and the potential risk to innocent Britons.

    40. HandandShrimp says:

      In addition, the UK is outside the Eurozone and has avoided the economic recession

      Bluedog

      Britain did not avoid a recession. Germany has largely avoided a recession but Britain most certainly did enter recession. The Coalition have been at pains to point out that they inherited this recession from the previous administration.

    41. bluedog says:

      heedtracker @ 12.45, I’m a Unionist and believe Scotland should vote no. My concern is that Scotland is walking into a trap that is not being properly explained by the SNP leadership, always assuning they themselves have worked out the risk. There is a fundamental contradiction between the idea of independence and the idea of joining the EU; the two positions are mutually exclusive. If the EU had remained the Common Market and was no more than a big free trade zone, no problems and every nation state would have retained its sovereignty to a very large degree. But the EU is not like that, it’s run by people who seriously believe in a federal Europe where the nation states are progressively absorbed by a supra-national entity, the EU. The UK has decided not to be part of this dream and to renegotiate, clawing back sovereignty that was foolishly surrendered.

      The question therefore becomes, how would an ‘independent’ Scotland negotiate EU entry without being totally absorbed by the EU. This is a very serious point.

    42. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @macart763m says:
      O/T but worth spreading is this piece in the Independent.
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/scottish-independence/scottish-independence-voters-previously-against-yes-vote-explain-why-they-changed-their-minds-9593134.html

      Excellent piece in the Independent. Thanks MacArthur.

      Even better, there was ‘Wings Over Scotland’ advert on the sidebar of the Independent web page.

      🙂

    43. galamcennalath says:

      @bulldog

      Let’s get this first step of Independence achieved before we get into debates about the EU or all sorts other things.

      Because then, the ONLY people having those future debates will be OURSELVES. They will be our decisions, we will have to take responsibility and we will live with them.

      Until we achieve Independence ALL decisions will be forced upon us from outside.

      So just vote YES as a first step.

    44. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      Correction: Macart

    45. Murray McCallum says:

      “This is a very serious point.”

      On which planet?

    46. bluedog says:

      HandandShrimp 1.23, the UK recession was of very short duration due to skilled monetary policy management by the BoE which ensured that UK money-supply did not contract. UK GDP at no point contracted to the degree seen in most Eurozone except Germany, although in some recent quarters German GDP has been negative. Until Mario Draghi took over as governor of the ECB, Eurozone monetary aggregates were frequently negative.

    47. heedtracker says:

      @ bluedog, thing is with that kind of vote no stuff, it makes no sense. Scotland has infinitely more to gain running it’s own affairs and we know all know this.

      And it’s why you no crowd monster everything about Scotland self governing. As regards your mass unemployment frightener, the EU counties with mass unemployment are the countries with a giant national debt, just like that run up by UK.gov, which is just one more reason teamGB will not allow Scotland any control of our own oil and gas reserves. Tricky times ahead for teamGB without Scotland bluedog.

    48. bluedog says:

      galamcennalath @ 1.25pm, so when is the First Minister going to commit to a referendum on EU membership? He should make that part of his ‘independence’ manifesto. Why doesn’t he?

    49. Murray McCallum says:

      UK GDP is still below 2008 pre-recession levels. UK business investment in 2015 is forecast (by the BCC) to still be 7.5% below its 2008 level.

      Earth calling UKIP!

    50. bluedog says:

      heedtracker @ 1.32, if the First Minister wasn’t hell bent on dragging Scotland into the EU it would be a different story. Norway, which is always held up as the guiding star for Scotland, is not in the EU.

      Explain why Scotland should join the EU if it wants to be like Norway.

    51. Morag says:

      The word “undermining”. It needs to be “it undermined”, to make that a sentence. /pedant

    52. bluedog says:

      Ground control to Major MacCullum, UK GDP forecast to once again exceed that of France by 2030 or before. Yes, UK GDP took a mighty hit after the collapse of RBS. Thanks, Fred.

      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jul/05/britain-economy-forecast-global-a-list

    53. Lesley-Anne says:

      Damn it Macart you beat me to it there. 😉 So instead I’ll put up a link to wee Munguin’s piece on the same thing. 🙂

      http://tinyurl.com/lk6yn29

      Good to see an article written by someone from across the *ahem* pond by the way Demmery.

      Oh and by the way Bluedog I’m not even going to start on you with you’re “Up the union, Save the union” nonsense. Far too many people have their businesses screwed by Westminster politicians in Brussels because they do NOT listen to OUR ministers!

    54. galamcennalath says:

      @bulldog

      Which first minister might this be? And which post-independence (unionist cleansed) party did you have in mind that he might represent?

      I’ll be thoroughly digesting the manifestos of each party for the 2016 election to first independent parliament. I will consider many things before casting my vote, EU status among them.

      However, what matter far more to me is that the government elected will be OUR choice, elected by proportional representation, and the reflect the views and aspirations of my countrymen and women.

    55. desimond says:

      Im loving Duggies new name – same argument.
      its like when Jif became Cif. Same crap, different label.
      Cant be long before the Rev gets annoyed and has a word.

    56. Murray McCallum says:

      Bluedog says

      “Ground control to Major MacCullum, UK GDP forecast to once again exceed that of France by 2030″

      Ha! I like it.

      Why don’t see stick to the current time in our current planet?

      That’s all am saying my odd coloured canine friend.

    57. Black Douglas says:

      Yet another shift working 👿 or maybe the same one with another name eh duggie dug dug.

      Don’t feed the 👿

    58. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      heedtracker

      Toronto does have Mayor who make Boris look like a character out of an Enid Blyton book.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28102940

    59. Robert Peffers says:

      @bluedog says: 9 July, 2014 at 1:10 pmh

      “Among the terms is likely to be the EU’s standard position that Scotland adopts the Euro – so much for the talk about keeping Sterling”.

      Total bluster and standard Better Together lies.

      First of all the Sovereign People of The Kingdom”, of Scotland have been EU citizens for exactly the same time as the Subjects of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in the three country Kingdom Of England. Secondly the member state of the EU is NOT a country called, “The United Kingdom”, for the very simple reason that the UK is a bipartite union of kingdoms, not a country. On Scotland’s independence that United Kingdom becomes disunited and thus ceases to exist. Both partner kingdoms will thus remain EU citizens and both be required to renegotiate terms.

      Furthermare, there is no firm EU law to force member staates to join the Euro and several long standing members still have not done so. Not only that but the pound is the joint currency of the bipartite UK and thus as much Scottish as it is English.

      In any case no one can join the Euro unless they have established their own currency as on a par with the Euro and for at least several years of doing so.

      In short you are blethering mince like the rest of the Better Together band of pathalogical liars.

    60. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Hey dog, away and piss elsewhere.

      Thank you.

    61. geeo says:

      @bluedog.

      I cannot believe for even a second you actually believe that garbage.

      You seriously believe Scotland will not be in a good position to ensure a smooth transition of continuing membership ?

      Massive oil and gas reserves, huge renewable energy future, and a Country and population who are not aggressively anti EU.

      All the things the EU hate right enough…..

    62. heedtracker says:

      @ bluedog, Norway is light years ahead of Scotland sadly, for Scotland. They have a very different social contract if you will and it’s clearly nothing like the US/Anglosaxon freak show we are currently entrenched in. Can Scotland ever become like Norway? Ofcourse it can but we never will under the rule of whatever kind of democracy Westminster and all their ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s in Scotland call themselves.

      BetterTogether UKOK is based on a pack of lies and fear mongering. You are merely perpetuating their lies bluedog and you know you will lose, unless you really can frighten us all into thinking we can’t run our country.

    63. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      desimond

      like oil of Olay used to be Ulay.

      I preferred the old name.

      As for the wee mountain dweller he isn’t fooling anybody and probably best to ignore him, or send in Great Big Billygoat Gruff.

      Calling Cameron B

    64. HandandShrimp says:

      the UK recession was of very short duration due to skilled monetary policy management by the BoE which ensured that UK money-supply did not contract.

      Bluedog

      That is almost Sir Humphreyesque in its opaque depiction of the BofE printing money like there is no tomorrow to mitigate the impact of the enormous borrowing requirement.

      The Euro has had its problems without a doubt. The reason that the Euro is stronger against the pound than before all this kicked off is because we have devalued the pound so dramatically. A route that the US has also taken. This is not a course that is without longer term problems (otherwise everyone one would do it).

    65. Robert Peffers says:

      @bluedog says: 9 July, 2014 at 1:24 pm
      “I’m a Unionist.

      Jings! I hadn’t noticed!

      “There is a fundamental contradiction between the idea of independence and the idea of joining the EU; the two positions are mutually exclusive”

      Mince! In no way does the EU controll the member states as Westminster controlls Scottish matters.

      “The UK has decided not to be part of this dream and to renegotiate, clawing back sovereignty that was foolishly surrendered”.
      Mair mince – Westminster’s ConDems have decided not to be part of that dream. Westminster totally changed the, “bipartite Parliament of the United Kingdom”, into a four country union but with Westminster becoming the defacto Parliament of the country of England and thus it is The Country of England devolving England’s powers to everyone else. The Sovereign People of Scotland did not sign up to that. The Treaty we signed was of two equally sovereign kingdoms in a bipartite United Kingdom.

      The question therefore becomes, how would an ‘independent’ Scotland negotiate EU entry without being totally absorbed by the EU. This is a very serious point.

      Nah! The Question is how does Scotland have any say whatsoever in the Westminster Parliament of the Country of England?

      I’ve never heard such utterly stupid arguments in my life as those from you and they are standard Better Together falsehoods.

    66. Kev says:

      @Bluedog

      Interesting issues you have, so if the EU were in fact just a one-man evil dictatorship, with nations surrendering their sovereignty to him alone (like you claim) then why on earth do 28 democratic nations choose to remain within it? Ah I see they’re all wrong n you’re right – you sound very much like the wee Joncker you attempt to describe.

    67. heedtracker says:

      Good OT here with the Christian institute in court trying to stop child guardian Scots.gov policy but googled the Christian institute involved who are also going after Tesco for selling Pussy Juice.

      http://www.christian.org.uk/news/christians-are-evil-for-backing-marriage-says-tesco-rd-boss/

      http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/default.aspx?id=271317286

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28219353 BBC preying for AlicSamin court defeat naturally but they don’t say how many pussies it takes to make one can of pussie juice but maybe it’s more of an issue PETA and not people who think that an invisible man up in the sky gives them moral authority over everyone else. Also, I love pussie juice.

    68. Peter Macbeastie says:

      I note in Bluedog’s response one thing he studiously avoids commenting on is that people strongly suspect it’s a familiar character with a snazzy new name. Trouble is, as others have pointed out, different wrapper, same old product. And if it isn’t, perhaps it shouldn’t look so much like it is.

      I would suggest, perhaps, that silence isn’t working in wir blue mutt’s favour.

      One very clear point that must be pointed out, and one which unionists seem curiously slow to point out themselves, is that we are in the EU NOW. Is the suggestion that countries in the EU are not independent? So by that argument the UK hasn’t been an independent country since the late Nineties.

      Funny that the EU is suddenly only a loss of independence when you’re talking about Scotland, eh?

    69. HandandShrimp says:

      I don’t get the issue the Christian Institute have over the named Guardian thing. It is just a modern version of God Parents innit?

    70. Lesley-Anne says:

      Bluedog says:

      Among the terms is likely to be the EU’s standard position that Scotland adopts the Euro – so much for the talk about keeping Sterling.

      This would be the SAME E.U. standard position that covers ALL countries joining the E.U. then would it Bluedog?

      Let’s just check up on the countries of the E.U. and see if there are any who have not joined the Euro shall we. Oh look what I’ve found!

      Bulgaria joined the E.U. in 2007 and look it is NOT in the Euro, 7 years after joining E.U.
      http://tinyurl.com/phykd7v

      Croatia joined the E.U. in 2013 and look it is NOT in the Euro 1 year after joining E.U.
      http://tinyurl.com/ph887rm

      Czech Republic joined the E.U. in 2004 and look it is NOT in the Euro 10 years after joining E.U.
      http://tinyurl.com/79kdmkf

      Denmark joined the E.U. in 1973 and look it is NOT in the Euro 41 years after joining E.U.
      http://tinyurl.com/p3rs3ws

      Hungary joined the E.U. on 2004 and look it is NOT in the Euro 10 years after joining E.U.
      http://tinyurl.com/o5n9haq

      Lithuania joined the E.U. in 2004 and look it is NOT in the Euro 10 years after joining E.U.
      http://tinyurl.com/ngz9fhg

      Poland joined the E.U. in 2004 and look it is NOT in the Euro 10 years after joining E.U.
      http://tinyurl.com/qyn2h85

      Romania joined the E.U. in 2007 and look it is NOT in the Euro 7 years after joining E.U.
      http://tinyurl.com/o53hzwf

      Sweden joined the E.U. in 1995 and look it is NOT in the Euro 19 years after joining E.U.
      http://tinyurl.com/p5djyf4

      WOW! Who’d have thunk it, 9 countries out of 28 countries, not counting U.K., who have joined the E.U. and NONE of them are members of the Euro.
      http://tinyurl.com/64uk3ev

    71. Murray McCallum says:

      If the world cup final is between Germany and Netherlands it will surely have to be cancelled. How can one single Federal Sate contest the final game in a competition?

      I mean it’s like Texas playing California! Isn’t it?

      Also, the Germans and Dutch are basically the same and love each other when it comes to sport.

    72. heedtracker says:

      God parents? “Thanks for baby sitting Father” is unlikely to ever said again. UKOK institutions are beyond reason now or, why did the Saville horror come out just after he died? What and who did Saville know in the teamGB establishment, what and who knew about paedophiles like Saville or Harris at the BBC, MI5, why is the Baroness selected for the teamGB committee thing now having to defend her own appointment already, or another day of rancid teamGB corruption and you could
      ask these questions all and everyday now.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28225043

    73. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      In Scotland we can make our own decisions about the EU in due course. If it becomes as parasitic as Westminster then together with our fellow European nations we can change the EU or leave it. For now we are kicking Westminster to the kerb as it is rotten to the very core and it is never going to change.

    74. Harry McAye says:

      O/T Still waiting on my flag from Mark. Sent him a tweet but no reply and he hasn’t tweeted since June 30th. Anyone else still waiting?

    75. lumilumi says:

      Thanks, John, for this article. It’s always nice to get perspectives outwith the UK, and I think the Canada/USA and Scotland/rUK comparison was very apt.

      I’m from a small independent country (Finland), lived in Scotland for a time (hence my interest in Scottish politics) though I’m back in my native country for now.

      I don’t like the turn Finnish politics has been taking in the recent years but it’s nowhere as bad as the UK or the US. For one thing, we have proportional representation and parliaments regularly have 8-12 parties (3-4 big ones, 3-4 medium-sized ones and a varying number of small ones). All governments are coalitions and that is viewed as a good thing. More views represented in government type of thing.

      People in Scotland still haven’t quite got to grips with their PR (PR is typically multi-party consensus-seeking) Holyrood political culture. SLAB certainly hasn’t. Maybe it’s because the MSM feeds FPTP adversial (even if all the Westminster parties are actually singing form the same hymn sheet) Westminster political culture.

      (I’m especially irked by even politically aware wingers describing list MSPs as “unelected”. They were elected. Enough people voted for their party! It’s PR! Learn to live with it!!!)

      Suggest to a Finn that one single party should form the government and they’re horrified – that would be one-party dictatorship!

      Curiously, these same people naively accept as “great democracies” the FPTP UK, which is at least parlamentarian (i.e. the government must have a working majority in parliament) or the FPTP US, which isn’t even parlamentarian (the president hand-picks his cabinet/government and the parliament cannot sack the government).

      Maybe it’s the media. The few Finnish mainstream media outlets that still have correspondents in the UK or the US tend to have them based in London and Washington DC and the correspondents live in that bubble.

      Anyway, my main argument for Scottish independence is a democratic one. Holyrood is already more democratic than Westminster – it better reflects the popular vote – and imagine what it could do if it had all the powers of an independent country!

      Of course the fear is that in indy Scotland Holyrood would just become a mini-me Westminster of patronage and elites (SLAB would probably try to make it so…) but a proper, written constitution for the 21st century and beyond would preclude that. It is important that ordinary citizens (not subjects! :-D) and civic organisations have a say on the constitution. Iceland involved all its citizens.

      Imagine a future Scottish Parliament with a number of lefty parties, a couple of centrist parties, Greens, a couple of moderate right parties and maybe a couple “nutter” MSPs from the extremes of the political spectrum (they wouldn’t have any real power since the main parties wouldn’t pick them as coalition partners). That’s how democracy works in most of the democratic countries in the world. The UK and the US are anomalies, not the normal order of things. (And don’t get me started on the UNELECTED House of Lords, the ultimate in pseudo-democratic patronage!)

      Sorry for the long post but issues of democracy and ordinary people’s representation brings out this ranting person in me. 🙂

    76. Fireproofjim says:

      @robert peffers 12. 48
      What a clear explanation of the multi-kingdom system we have inherited.
      In a few paragraphs it lays out all we need to know about the Union Of Parliaments and the origins of the Jacobite cause. I congratulate you and hope I remember it!

    77. muttley79 says:

      Where did this bluedog character emerge from? He/she is really trying to argue that the UK’s economy did not have its largest financial crash since the 1930s, and there was only a very short recession (hello wages)? Who let this dolt of a dog out of its kennel? 😀 😀

    78. turnbull drier says:

      @ Harry McAye

      Yup, still waiting too… mon the flags… 🙂

    79. Defo says:

      Thanks for your article John. It’s heartening to see others beyond these shores get what the establishments game is all about, and why an Indy Scotland might ‘encourager les autres’, in these Isles and beyond, to question the status quo.

      Heedtracker, the reek emanating from Westmidden will be masked by the fragrant Baroness. Classic establishment, employ one of your own to make all the right noises, then push it into the long grass.

      Re. pussie juice. Lap it up while you can mate, stocks are limited, and it doesn’t age well. 😉

    80. Lesley-Anne says:

      Harry McAye says:

      O/T Still waiting on my flag from Mark. Sent him a tweet but no reply and he hasn’t tweeted since June 30th. Anyone else still waiting?

      Mark is on holiday Harry. Try contacting YES Clydesdale I believe they are working through all the deliveries while he is away.

      We only got our deliveries last Monday, apparently the U.K. Customs had a penchant for keeping the flags, no one knows why. Even after opening some of the boxes they still decided to hold on to them for some inexplicable reason.

    81. Jim says:

      Other than an independence campaign there is not much similarity between Quebec and Scotland.
      Scotland is actually a country, Quebec is a region of Canada, no more a country than say Texas.
      We entered into a Union with another country and we are going to have a referendum on whether that union should be dissolved.

    82. galamcennalath says:

      @muttley79

      We’ve been trolled, in the true web sense, rather than the tabloid meaning, I think. While I am more than willing to engage with a Unionist to offer some re-education, I reckon we’ve all been ‘had’. All worked up and posting counter arguments. The object was to stir, rather than debate.

      No more troll fodder from me. Lesson learnt, I think.

    83. heedtracker says:

      @ defo, they won’t stop making pussies:D

    84. TJenny says:

      muttley79 – it’s OK to let the dug oot, he’s harmless, if somewhat misguided. 🙂

    85. Dick Gaughan says:

      muttley79 says:
      Where did this bluedog character emerge from?

      They seem to work in shifts, a couple of days at a time each. It’ll disappear in a day or so and probably re-emerge as Duggie or somesuch 🙂

    86. kininvie says:

      @lesley-anne

      tbf, Denmark took a derogation from the treaty of Amsterdam (as did the UK) over the Euro. So it doesn’t have to sign up to the euro as part of the aquis. But your point is made, even without DK 🙂

    87. BigRik says:

      i assume bluenose..er.. bluedog is a Devils Advocate, coming up with bizarre nonsense to help with the debate, or he could just be nuts.

    88. Lesley-Anne says:

      Thanks for that kininivie.

      I thought I’d just keep Denmark in though just to see if our new bested friend even picked up on this point. 😛

    89. Kev says:

      @ Dick Gaughan

      As much as I don’t condone animal cruelty I think he could quite aptly return as blacknbluedug after the mauling hes had today.

    90. Muscleguy says:

      @bluedog (say woof boy, good boy)

      “so when is the First Minister going to commit to a referendum on EU membership? He should make that part of his ‘independence’ manifesto. Why doesn’t he?”

      1. Because he doesn’t share your blinkered view of the world and doesn’t have to. Sorry if this offends your worldview.

      2. Polls indicate that a majority of the people of Scotland wish to remain in the EU. So if you are running a political campaign, and unlike Project Fear, wish to turn off as few people as necessary you will run a pro EU policy to garner as many of those voters as possible. Especially when Westminster is looking to do the opposite. It is sensible and clever political calculation.

      3. They do actually think and understand that overall the EU is worthwhile and Independence will give us more power in the form of an actual direct vote in the council of ministers which we don’t have at the moment. If the EWNI (or just London) interests run counter to Scotland’s in Europe guess which one gets pushed?

      4. You should get over yourself in thinking other people should always order the world to exactly suit the way you want it. Most people get over that in adolescence. Why didn’t/aren’t you?

    91. msean says:

      Great piece,good to know we have been noticed.

    92. Fiona says:

      Another incarnation for this troll? How many lives does a dog have?

    93. macart763m says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      Sorry for the delay in getting back. My better half decided it was time to do some log stacking and hoose repairs. 😀

      Yeah, it was a corker of a piece in the Independent and one of those articles that may open a few eyes in England as to the process we see happening every day.

      @Calgacus

      Nae worries, Mac is fine. 🙂

    94. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      heedtracker and defo

      It would be the end of civilisation, as we know it Jim.

    95. lumilumi says:

      As regards the new bulldog poster, I had a giggle when I read this pish @ 1.30 pm.

      … the UK recession was of very short duration due to skilled monetary policy management by the BoE which ensured that UK money-supply did not contract.

      He probably missed the worst depression and a double-dip recession since the 1930s… The economy still isn’t up to what it was before the crash.

      skilled monetary policy management = that would be printing money.

      Well, they don’t actually have to print the money nowadays because it’s all done electronically. But it’s still funny money out of thin air. It’s got a fancy name, quatitaive easing, bit it’s still basically printing money. That’s what the UK economy is built upon. Funny money and the recent property bubble in London/SE.

      Come on, Scotland! Have an economy based on actually making, selling, researching things, making use of your skilled and educated workforce, not some funny-money jiggery-pokery!

    96. Lesley-Anne says:

      Aye you’d better keep the boss happy Macart, after all when it comes time to extend the “Darkened room” again, as we both is going to happen 😉 , we’ll need all hands on deck and we can’t have you going AWOL cause the boss won’t let you come out to play with us now can we? 😛

      With regards the article in the paper I think there may very well be more than a few heads being severely scratched or vigorously shaken after reading it. 🙂

    97. Defo says:

      BtP, Aye captain. It lubricates the parts that other juices just can’t reach. Pure energy.

    98. macart763m says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      Yeah, I reckon the worst of the shit storm is yet to hit too. On the upside though, the public are very used to the shear weight of the negative strategy after the past three years. As that article highlighted, its even been a major cause of conversion from no to yes.

      The wilder they get, the less their punches land. 😉

    99. Lesley-Anne says:

      Somehow Macart I keep hearing the phrase “punch drunk” whenever anyone from Better Thanks/NO Together, or whatever they call themselves this week, open their mouths and spew out their latest version of the old bile they have been spewing since day one. 😉

    100. macart763m says:

      Now’s the time for the folk on deck to turn up the positive vibes. We start talking about what we want from our future politics. Instead of constantly jumping from one shock, horror to the next via their meeja agenda. I reckon we should set our own and leave the buggers playing catch up. We’ve got an exciting future to be getting on with. 🙂

    101. Peter Macbeastie says:

      To be fair to Texas, the One Star State was, briefly, a country.

      Quebec wasn’t, but if they want to move for independence I can’t argue with it. Why? Because I am for self determination of peoples. Without caveats.

      That does not mean the same as ‘self determination for people when I think they should have it.’ Because I like Canada, and I don’t think Quebec particularly needs to be another country.

      I am basing that entirely on my very limited knowledge of Canadian politics, so if anyone with a greater knowledge would like to point out reasons for Quebecois independence I would be happy to learn.

    102. Lesley-Anne says:

      Woo Hoo!

      Give Macart a coconut! He’s earned it there. 😉

      I think you might just have the meeja visiting you soon Macart wanting to know why:

      1) you do not believe the lies they tell

      2) why you are trying to put them out of a job

      3) why you want the truth to be told

    103. heedtracker says:

      @ Bugger (the Panda) , it’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine. I do actually, just listened to three teens here doing work placement who were DK or No, until they went to a ref debate here in Aberdeen last week and you want to hear them laughing at the BetterTogether feels talking mince apparently. And it also says a lot about why BetterTogether don’t like debate. Those teens are ALL Yes voters now.

    104. macart763m says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      Oh that’s easy and its the same answer for all three questions.

      They simply don’t matter, they’re not relevant to the discussion taking place.

      Talking to people in the street is far more exciting, informative and interesting than anything the meeja have to say. 😀

    105. Lesley-Anne says:

      Absolutely Macart, once you actually give people the information or at the very least the places to go for the info then they will all move to YES. As we have all said numerous times in the past NO ONE is moving from YES or D.K. to NO ALL the traffic is one way TOWARDS YES! 😛

    106. Andy-B says:

      O/T.

      Sionaidh Douglas-Scott professor of European, and Human Rights law at Oxford University,has trashed the UK’s stance on the EU and Scottish independence. She said any future independent Scotland’s EU membership, should be straightforward and smooth.

      Source Daily Record no link.

    107. Andy-B says:

      Conservative MP Lawrence Robertson has started a campaign to send a team GB to the football World Cup, instead of the home nations taking part. Troy MP Robertson want to scrap the Scottish football team.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2686122/England-rubbish-football-compete-form-United-Kingdom-team-claims-Tory-MP.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

    108. Lesley-Anne says:

      Oh you just got to love those navel staring Tories Andy. 😛

      We’re shite at football so let’s form Team GB. Erm excuse me Mr Tory person but if, as you *ahem* claim, all the home are shite at football then surely putting all four into ONE team will make no difference the team will still be:

      1) made up mostly of players from England

      2) SHITE

    109. lumilumi says:

      … Better Thanks/NO Together, or whatever they call themselves this week…

      Lesley-Anne. I love how you point out the anti-independence campaign’s desperation to rebrand, relaunch because the previous ones haven’t worked.

      Love your creative twist on their many desperate slogans. Was it you who came up with Vote Nob Orders? (Very apt in light of the BT donations from all these lords.)

      The latest one. (sigh)
      No thanks.
      It’s negative, and YES Scotland are already selling teeshirts with “YES, please”.

      You’d think the UK establishment would’ve been able to recruit more competent PR and advertising for their money’s worth but the PR/ad execs are part of the establishment and just don’t get it.

      When YES wins, a shiver will go aroud the London media/PR/ad community looking for a spine.

    110. Lesley-Anne says:

      lumilumi says:

      Love your creative twist on their many desperate slogans. Was it you who came up with Vote Nob Orders? (Very apt in light of the BT donations from all these lords.)

      I would love to take credit for the Vote Nob Orders lumi, I really would, but als it was not me sadly, or perhaps not 😉 , it was another more enlightened entity on this site who *ahem* created that one. 🙂

      The thing is lumi A.S. has pointed out in a great many presentations that he has done the following:

      1) When a positive campaign meets a negative campaign the POSITIVE campaign wins.

      2) when two negative campaigns fight the LESS negative campaign wins

      So really all they had to do was actually LISTEN to what is being said and they’d have had a chance but no, they don’t do listening they only do TELLING. Well guess what WE do NOT listen to bullies and at the end of the day that is exactly what this NO whatever campaign thingy is, a group of bullies.

    111. Morag says:

      There have been “Yes please!” t-shirts available since day one. I always felt it was too subservient, but it’s certainly not a reaction to “No thanks”.

    112. lumilumi says:

      @ Morag and Lesley-Anne above

      OK, I didn’t know about “YES, please” teeshirts until Blair Jenkins sent me an email about them, right after the launch of “NO thanks”.

      And Lesley-Anne, you’ve got 2) wrong. With two negative campaigns, the MORE negative campaign wins.

      But if one campaign is negative and the other positive, the positive one tends to win. This is why the anti-independists and the MSM are in such a flap and going over the top by now.

      Because YES is positive and gathering grass-roots support, bypassing the MSM, garnering people who know the truth. They’re all, of course, demonised as nazis and vile cybernats etc. by the MSM and BBC. But demonising ordinary people might not be a very fruitful tactic.

      Scotland’s independence struggle is not ethinc but it is a challenge to the cozy Westminster system, that’s why Scotland will feel the full wrath of the “British” state, or more accurately, the “establishment”.

      You’ve seen the lords and bankers, millionaires, who want to keep Scotland. Not for the benefit of people in Scotland but for their shootin’ and stalkin’. They twist it into “rural jobs”, as if rural Scotland or rural England or rural Wales and even rural Northern Ireland wouldn’t have any jobs unless these privilidged “Downton Abbey” people came and shot animals.

      The UKOK politicians think voters in Scotland are like US trailer trash. Uninformed benefit-scronging bigots.

      Most Scots are not like that. The UKOKs are twisting facts to manufacture a media lead. Ostich – head – sand territory.

      The worrying thing is that the UK body politic want to bring US politics, which are even more undemocratic than UK politics, into the UK.

      Scotland can escape and be a normal, democratic, rich, western, European country. But not if the UK establishment has its way. This really is a revolution akin to the French one.

      According to the UK establishment, a geographically remote, sparsely populated country like Finland is too wee, too poor and too stupid. Independence would be a disaster.

      Well, our “disaster” of independence has lasted nearly 100 years (big party on 6.12.2017 expected).

      They’re a bit arrogant, don’t you think?

    113. lumilumi says:

      Oh, and to deflect any accusations of the “anti-Englishness” of a Scot indy supporter.

      I love English culture (as long as I don’t actually have to live there). Their funny and endearing quirks and their Agatha Christie and Downton Abbey worlds.

      And the Engish have invented one of the best, mad games in the world.

      I love test cricket and just listened to the England-India 1st test, so eat your hear out, Norman Tebbit!

      Er, maybe no. I supported India. I came to cricket when I lived in Australia, and as far as cricket goes, I’m AOBE.

      But the English invented cricket, so they can’t be all bad 😀

      It’s now 259-4 for India, first innings, so i’m feeling pretty upbeat. 😀

    114. Ex-Canadian-American says:

      Canadian-American usually just means dual citizen.

    115. Robert Peffers says:

      @Fireproofjim says: 9 July, 2014 at 2:57 pm
      “In a few paragraphs it lays out all we need to know about the Union Of Parliaments and the origins of the Jacobite cause. I congratulate you and hope I remember it”.

      The legal stuff is simple. In 1284 the English Monarch forced, “The Statute of Rhuddlan”. and thus annexed Wales as part of the Kingdom of England. To this day the Price of Wales is the first born of the English monarch and a prince is subject to his parent.

      Then, in 1542 the English king, who had been claiming he was Lord of Ireland, forced the Irish Parliament to pass, “The Crown of Ireland Act”. That placed the Irish Crown upon the English monarch’s head and annexed Ireland as part of the English Kingdom.

      Thus, when Jamie Saxt inherited the Crown of the Kingdom of England it included the countries of Wales & Ireland but did not form a United Kingdom for another 104 years and that as a treaty of two equally sovereign kingdoms. Which was why James was designated 1st and 6th. That is two still independent kingdoms and parliaments. It was two independent crowns on one head.

      That remained from 1603 until 1706. The problem for England was that they thought that they had power over Scotland when they overthrew James and installed William of Orange & Mary assuming they were also the monarchs of Scotland. Note that English history teaches the resultant Jacobite problem was, “A Jacobite Rebellion”, but you cannot rebel against a monarch who is not your own.

      Thus, in 1706/7, there were no signatures required from either Wales or Ireland because both countries were then part of the Kingdom of England. There is not a single mention of countries in the Treaty of Union so it is legally a bipartite treaty of Kingdoms.

      I’ve yet to see how the present set-up of Westminster is legal as it claims to still be the bipartite United Kingdom Parliament but is in fact now the de facto Parliament of the country of England. Unless of course you can tell us where the devolved parliament of England is?

    116. bluedog says:

      Robert Peffers @ 2.04pm says, ‘Nah! The Question is how does Scotland have any say whatsoever in the Westminster Parliament of the Country of England?

      Answer: Scotland currently has more MPs per capita in the UK Parliament than any other component nation. It’s a massive gerrymander in favour of Scotland.

      ‘I’ve never heard such utterly stupid arguments in my life as those from you and they are standard Better Together falsehoods.’

      We’ll have to agree to disagree. I argue on the basis of my own analysis and not on positions derived from Better Together literature, none of which I have bothered to read.

      To those posters who say, Scotland is already a member of the EU, I can only say, you are wrong. The United Kingdom is a member of the EU and Scotland is a devolved component of the UK. Scotland does not have diplomatic representation with any state or entity like NATO or the UN. That is the legal position and if you think otherwise, Scotland will learn the hard way.

      Then what?

    117. Paula Rose says:

      Bulldog, sorry, bluedug dear – I accept that you don’t bother to read BT ‘literature’, but what exactly do you read to arrive at your conclusions?

    118. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      Bluedog, on what date will Scotland cease to be a member of the EU?

    119. bluedog says:

      Brilliant, Lesley-Anne @ 2.30pm. But you’ve overlooked the essential point.

      All these micro-states have their own currency.

      The First Minister says that an ‘independent’ Scotland will keep the Pound Sterling, despite being told by the UK that it can’t. Of course if Scotland does keep Sterling, its monetary policy is determined by the sovereign of sterling, the UK’s bank of England. Independent? I don’t think so.

      Back to the main point. Assume Scotland applies to join the EU, presumably the day after a successful vote to secede. The EU will presumably ask, as they always do, and will you be joining the Eurozone? If the FM says no, we’ll be using Sterling, the UK will almost certainly object to Scottish membership.

      What then?

      You couldn’t make this stuff up.

      Then there is the little matter of Scotland’s extensive fisheries, which the UK should never have traded away in its negotiations with the EU.

      Imagine this.

      The day after secession is ratified, Scotland is no longer in the EU, so the fisheries within Scotland’s huge 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone notionally revert to Scotland. There follows a mini-boom in all those old Scottish fishing ports. But wait! The FM returns from Brussels waving a piece of paper, ‘Subservience in our time!’.

      End of fishing boom in Scotland.

      You couldn’t make it up.

    120. bluedog says:

      Paula Rose @ 10.28 asks, ‘but what exactly do you read to arrive at your conclusions?’

      Tea-leaves.

    121. Bob Sinclair says:

      Bluedog,

      ‘You couldn’t make it up’

      Looks like you have.

    122. Paula Rose says:

      ROFPML – spoof bluedog, very funny, I thought you were serious, you had me fooled!

    123. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      Yeah. He still hasn’t said the date of Scotland’s expulsion.

    124. Kirsty says:

      Oh great, another “interested” person who has nothing to do with the debate and who can’t even vote telling us what to do. Thanks. I’ll be sure to note down your observations.

      Bluedog, you’re an absolute moron. As a law graduate who specialised in constitutional law, I can assure you that you’re talking utter bollocks. Please stop. If not for yourself then for your parents; I’m sure they wouldn’t want their child to show their stupidity in an open forum.

    125. Andrew says:

      Off topic.

      The Yes Scotland Information Hub is crowdfunding for four advert trailers to cover the STIRLING constituency. These will be vital in helping secure a Yes vote in the STIRLING area for the referendum on 18th September.

      Our crowd funding page is at:

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/yes-ad-trailer-campaign

      Please visit and donate what you can afford. If you are unable to donate then please help by sharing this link on Facebook and Twitter.

      Only 5 days to go please help!

      Thank you for your support.

    126. Bigbricks says:

      Thank you for a very well written and thoughtful piece. I enjoyed reading this, firstly because it’s fascinating to see an external view of the referendum debate, secondly because the reasons you give for a yes vote are so neatly summarised (and oh so accurate).

      A ps to bluedog: intelligent contribution to the debate on this site is welcome. Intelligent contributions require some accurate knowledge of the facts, rather than repeating some of Flipper’s more cataclysmic, inaccurate and fanciful assertions. Stu has dealt with the factual inaccuracies in your posts many times in the past.

      The only point you make which seems relevant is that of a possible rest-of-the-UK objection to Scottish membership of the EU. What benefit would they derive from such a move? Since rUK will vote to leave the EU in a few years time, I honestly don’t think WM is likely to do this. The only possible reason behind such a decision would be a wish to make life as difficult as possible for an iScotland. However, politics and diplomacy is founded at least in part on public reputations and behaviour. Such a decision would not be helpful to the international relationships rUK has, nor to the image it wishes to present.
      Of course, this also ignores any discussion over the legal status claimed by the UK as “continuing state”. I’d imagine any Scottish Government might be likely to challenge that if their EU membership was being vindictively frustrated by WM.

    127. bluedog says:

      Kirsty @ 0100 says, ‘Bluedog, you’re an absolute moron’.

      Oh great, a newly minted law grad, but possibly not yet admitted and just an intern.

      From the rules of the blog, ‘…try to avoid puerile name calling’.

      You say, ‘I can assure you that you’re talking utter bollocks.’

      So why not substantiate your assertion? That you do not leads to the inevitable conclusion that you don’t understand the position yourself. Certainly your post seems unlawyerly. Didn’t they tell you in law school that opening any dialogue with ad hominem is poor negotiating technique?

      Finally, ‘Oh great, another “interested” person who has nothing to do with the debate and who can’t even vote telling us what to do.’ Freedom of speech means that any one, that’s any one at all, can participate in any internet debate. Neither the blog nor the law of the land has introduced some kind of qualification for commenters. If there was such a requirement this blog itself, based as it seems to be in Bath, would presumably run foul of the SNP thought-police.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2545901/Cybernats-unmasked-Meet-footsoldiers-pro-Scottish-independence-army-online-poison-shames-Nationalists.html

    128. bluedog says:

      Morag Graham Kerr 11:04 pm says:

      ‘Yeah. He still hasn’t said the date of Scotland’s expulsion.’

      Talking to me, Morag? the answer is I don’t know. Nor would anybody else.

      As to the time, I can predict 5pm, or close of business.

    129. Morag says:

      The fUK is going to want so much from iScotland that it isn’t going to be in any position to get stroppy about EU membership. Share of national debt, pensions obligations, agreement to a reasonable timetable to get Trident out, all sorts of areas where Scotland could dig its heels in if necessary.

      Also, once a Yes vote is a done deal and they can’t retain any hopes of scaring us away from voting Yes, the likelihood is that they’ll get a bit more reasonable. It’s a pattern you see with many of the Commonwealth countries. All sorts of nastiness and spokes in wheels, but once it’s all settled it’s smiling ambassadors and people folding up flags in a respectful manner and effusive welcomes to the newly-independent country.

    130. bluedog says:

      Bigbricks @ 08.49, thank you for your remarks, I guess time will tell.

    131. Morag says:

      Well, there you go, Bluedog. You don’t know when or how Scotland would be expelled from the EU, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. If you don’t have a date, you’re whistling in the dark.

      I was wondering if you’d read this, and had any comment?

      http://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/eu-certainty-heres-a-certainty-we-cant-be-expelled/

    132. bluedog says:

      Morag, it’s all conjecture. Legal opinions from the most eminent legal eagles regularly crumble in court. If you had any experience of civil matters you might understand this. What is currently being said by the EU, in the form of Juan-Manual Barroso, is that Scotland needs to apply for membership in its own right and it may not succeed.

      It follows that the rest of the world may not obediently fall in to line just because the SNP has declared 24th March 2016 as independence day.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/10641833/Jose-Manuel-Barroso-nearly-impossible-for-Scotland-to-join-EU.html

    133. Morag says:

      Oh for goodness sake, Barroso was doing Cameron’s dirty work for him in the hope of getting support for the position of Secretary-General of NATO. Cameron pretended he’d support Barroso, then after Barroso had done what he wanted, didn’t follow through.

      Barroso is not the EU, he’s currently out in the cold, and his so-called opinion has been rubbished a dozen times by people in a position to know.

      I see you’ve moved from categorical declaration to “it’s all conjecture”. That’s a start. The point is that the EU is repentlessly expansionist, and it has zero motive for wanting to expel Scotland. It would be a legal and logistical nightmare. Not to mention losing a country inhabited by EU citizens, fully compliant with EU laws and regulations, and in possession of an eyewatering amount of natural resources.

      We’ll know about a Yes vote on 19th September 2014. Formal independence day isn’t until 25th March 2016 or something like that. That 18 months is going to be taken up by negotiating something. If you think the EU is going to be pressing for these negotiations to take the route of forcibly expelling a new country that wants to be a member and has all the advantages I outlined, you’re delusional. The 18 months is going to be occupied by negotiating the terms of Scotland’s continuing and seamless membership. It’s that simple. Get over it.

    134. Morag says:

      Relentlessly, even….

    135. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Juan-Manual?

      Is that a Haynes manual?

      The name is Jose-Manuel.

      Other people seem to have copped you on the rest of your nonsense, but I would just like to point out that posting a Daily Mail link earlier and a Telegraph linke more recently as some sort of evidence counts as comedy. These papers are four square against Scottish independence and distort facts and outright lie with equal measure where Europe is concerned even when Scotland isn’t mentioned.

    136. gerry parker says:

      Morag,
      It’s my feeling that after a Yes vote, the EU will be coming to us.

    137. Brotyboy says:

      @ Andrew

      Give it a fucking rest.

    138. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      Indeed, Gerry. Before the vote they have to keep Westminster reasonably sweet, thinking about the position if there’s a No. Once Yes is a done deal everyone will just have to get on with sorting things out.

      We’ll know about a Yes vote on 19th September 2014. The new country of Scotland couldn’t possibly be forced to be outwith Europe until 25th March 2016. So what will the EU be saying in the mean time? “No we definitely want to throw you out and make you grovel to get back in”, or “Since you are already fully compliant and all your citizens are EU citizens and we really really want to hold on to all that fish, renewable energy and so on, let’s discuss the terms under which you become a member in your own right on 25-3-16”?

      Guess.

    139. Jean-Marc Laurin says:

      A very good article. The only hypocritical part of it is that the author downplays the Québec sovereignist movement to an “ethno-regional hissy-fit”. So am I to understand that Scottish independence is good but Québec independence is bad because 85% of the population speak another language on top of all the aforementioned arguments ? Culture and language preservation is the only caveat? We too seek better wealth distribution, national economic policy autonomy, a renewed and fairer democratic system, massive investment in renewables and treating native people as equals within our government system that will have the advantage of putting the inherent value of every citizen first instead of his perceived profit-creating potential or profit-hindering social position. If its good for Canada, its good for Quebec. What if Scotland still spoke 85% pict or Gaelic, would sensible arguments be automatically discredited ?

    140. naebd says:

      Robert Peffers: bibble bibble.



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