The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Bombs not benefits

Posted on April 04, 2013 by

Much has been and will be written about David Cameron’s visit to Scotland today, during which he’s expected to vigorously advocate the continuation and renewal of the UK’s nuclear “deterrent”. Which didn’t deter Iraq from invading Kuwait, or Argentina from invading UK territory in the Falklands, but never mind.

(We’re also not clear on why North Korea or Iran would have any sort of beef with an independent Scotland anyway, as opposed to the UK. It seems to this website that the surest way for Scotland to avoid even the microscopically minuscule future prospect of an attack from either nation is to disentangle ourselves from Westminster’s much-hated foreign policy with all possible haste.)

slimpickens

But none of it will be as telling as a single line in the Telegraph today:

“Mr Cameron insists the Trident programme offers good value – at an annual cost of 1.5 per cent of Britain’s benefits bill.”

Could he have made it any clearer? The savage, failing austerity and welfare “reform” programme designed to annihilate the last remnants of civilised British society is explicitly contrasted with the “bargain” we’re getting by spending our money on a useless weapon system designed solely to murder millions in vengeance after we’re already dead. That’s what the United Kingdom stands for, Labour and Tory together.

The argument that Cameron is stealthily trying to sabotage the No campaign in order to shore up the Conservatives’ powerbase in England gets more convincing daily.

Print Friendly

    141 to “Bombs not benefits”

    1. Cath says:

      If Trident is so vitally important to UK interests, they could house it in England. Simple.

    2. dmw42 says:

      I’ve been prone to posting flippant remarks on WoS but today’s comments from Cameron have really hit a nerve. “Being part of the UK opens doors for the Scottish defence industry around the globe…When we sell Typhoons overseas, this benefits jobs and growth for companies making components in Scotland… Scotland counts for more on the world stage because it is part of the United Kingdom and Scottish defence jobs are more secure as part of the United Kingdom… Defence matters. We are stronger and safer together.”
       
      With your indulgence, I’m going to attempt to dispel these myths.
       
      On Procurement
      Would rUK be breaking the law with single tender procurement facilities not available to Scottish companies?
       
      Directive 2009/81/EC on defence and sensitive security procurementhttp://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:216:0076:0136:EN:PDF sets EU rules for the procurement of arms, munitions and war material (plus related works and services) for defence purposes, but also for the procurement of sensitive supplies, works and services for security purposes. It is tailored to the specificities of defence and security equipment and markets.
       
      In particular, Exclusions within Articles 11, 12 and 13 http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/publicprocurement/docs/defence/guide-exclusions_en.pdf makes it clear that ‘none of the rules, procedures, programmes, arrangements or contracts referred to in this section may be used for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of the Directive’. This provision serves as an explicit reminder prohibiting the use of legal structures (by rUK) that would be exempt from EU rules on public procurement with the principal aim of avoiding transparent and competitive contract award procedures without objective reasons.
       
      In UK legislation, this is enacted under The Public Contracts Regulations 2006 regulation 14 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/5/regulation/14/made which states that it can only be used  when (but only if it is strictly necessary) for reasons of extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable by, and not attributable to, the contracting authority, the time limits specified in ….(other procedures) …. cannot be met.
       
      It is therefore not designed to cover situations where a rUK government can’t be bothered to go through a tedious process, wants to give a contract to rUK companies to the exclusion of companies in other countries.
       
      So, would rUK be breaking the law if they did not offer contracts to Scotland? I’ll leave that to you to decide.
       
      On ‘safety’  
      The UK Government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) decided Coulport did not need to become a nuclear licensed site. Sunday Herald http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/clyde-bomb-base-dodges-regulation.20661013
       
      So, tell me how does the storage of weapons on Scottish soil ‘make Scotland safer’?
       
      Or is it just that there’s nowhere else to put them http://wingsoverscotland.com/vote-yes-for-a-nuclear-free-england/ and that could jeopardise rUK’s seat at the UN as it would no longer be a ‘great power’?
       
      On rUK’s Seat at UN
      Do you remember the commentary ofLord Malloch Brown http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-real-choice-that-matters/#more-29965 when he stated “The second more sort of practical diplomatic consequence people are watching for is what it would do to the United Kingdom or Britain’s standing in the world: would it in UN terms – well, I know particularly well – would it have a knock-on effect of costing Britain its Security Council seat, its permanent seat?”
       
      Lest we forget, the UK is afforded a permanent seat on the UN Security Council as it was considered a great power. That is, one the great powers considered the victors of World War II.But, a ‘great power’ is a state that is recognized as having the ability to exert its influence on a global scale and characteristically possess military and economic strength.
       
      Without nuclear missiles based in Scotland, and without revenues from Scotland’s oil, fisheries, whisky, and other direct and indirect tax contributions (corporation tax, personal tax, VAT, excise, NI et al), rUK would not possess ‘military and economic strength’.
       
      Which leads me on to another reason why rUK’s seat at the table is threatened.
       
      Let’s consider parts of the Charter of the United Nations
       
      Article 19 of the Charter of the United Nations  http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter4.shtml states that “A Member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full year”.
       
      Therefore without our taxes, rUK seriously risks defaulting in its financial obligations to the UN and could be thrown out.
       
      These dear readers are some of the primary reasons why unionists are so keen to keep Scotland in the UK, to satisfy their own self-delusion of grandeur that they’re political ‘players’ on a world stage, and none of whom would have the balls to ‘press the button’.
       
      Finally, I’ll share another extract from the UN Charter.  
       
      Article 73http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter11.shtmlstates that: “Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, and, to this end:
       a.to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned, their political, economic, social, and educational advancement, their just treatment, and their protection against abuses;
       b.to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions, according to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and their varying stages of advancement
       
      Seems to me they’re breaking that article as well!

    3. muttley79 says:

      @Rev Stu
       
      The argument that Cameron is stealthily trying to sabotage the No campaign in order to shore up the Conservatives’ powerbase in England gets more convincing daily.
       
      We have had the Scotland “extinguished” line as the official view from the British Government, then he said Scotland would not have to join the Euro, the Peter Cruddas quotes, the failure to get the No campaign name right etc.  Now, shortly after a poll said 80% of Scottish voters were against Trident Cameron comes up here to champion it (just before the rally against Trident as well).  Is there any others?  The EU referendum, while almost certainly down to the rise of UKIP in England, certainly did not help the No campaign. 
       
      Cameron just needs to let slip that there will not be any more significant powers devolved in the event of a No vote…

    4. Jiggsbro says:

      We do have to be wary of the North Koreans. They’re clearly insane. For one thing, they’re spending stupid amounts of money on nuclear weapons when many of their own people can’t afford the basic necessities of life.

    5. muttley79 says:

      @Jiggsbro
       
      For one thing, they’re spending stupid amounts of money on nuclear weapons when many of their own people can’t afford the basic necessities of life.  
       
      Can you think of somewhere else that is happening?  Given the stories about the increase in food banks in the UK? 

    6. pa_broon says:

      I wish they’d stop conflating pensions and benefits, as I understand it, pensions alone account for almost 40% of the welfare bill, it totally skews the figures.
       
      Unless of course pensions are also on the table for cuts?
       
      When you take out the welfare payments which are entirely necessary in this new neo-concentration camp (like pensions, DLA and attendance allowance) the true cost of trident is rather more than 1.5% of the so called welfare bill.

    7. Seasick Dave says:

      North Korea can barely reach Alaska with its weapons, never mind Faslane.
       
      America is only a target because of its presence in the area and the destruction of North Korea in the 1950s.
       
       

    8. Jiggsbro says:

      Can you think of somewhere else that is happening?
       
      Damn, I forgot the <irony> tags again, didn’t I?

    9. auslander says:

      They might still be hurting after the accidental showing of the South Korean Flag during the Woman’s Football Olympic event at Hampden.

    10. Rolf says:

      The argument that Cameron is stealthily trying to sabotage the No campaign in order to shore up the Conservatives’ powerbase in England gets more convincing daily.”
      Yes, that madcap theory appears less madcap each time Kim Jong Cam opens his mouth.

    11. Cath says:

      “Cameron just needs to let slip that there will not be any more significant powers devolved in the event of a No vote…”
       
      Haven’t they already done that too? The Tories devolution review was all about how more powers would need to be a UK-wide thing, so dependent on people in England deciding what they want first, then Westminster putting it to them in a referendum etc, etc. All in all a process that would take decades and likely achieve nothing at all.
       
      Darling has also said something similar. So the fact Better Together are even discussing further devolution is nothing but lies and spin. Amusingly, it’s as likely to turn away the few foot soldiers they have on the ground as anything else though, most of them being UKIP and right wing Tory types totally opposed to any devolution at all, and wanting to abolish Holyrood in many cases.

    12. steven luby says:

      Are UK politicians actually so far from the thoughts and feelings of Scottish people that they publicly support WMD within Scotland itself?
      I have pondered for many months now that opposition to Scottish Independence has and is being ‘managed’ by muppets. This said,I have reached the firm conclusion that UK politicians are simply alien creatures learning(very slowly) the ways on earth.
      How else could a leading politician embark on a rediculous trip and support WMD within a nation that rejects them and so close to the densest population possible within said nation.
      I await the message from this alien being with interest and futhermore,breath held, the MSM’s portrayal of this historic visit from the creatures of the unknown universe.

    13. Heather McLean says:

      “The argument that Cameron is stealthily trying to sabotage the No campaign in order to shore up the Conservatives’ powerbase in England gets more convincing daily.”
      Indeed!! Its beginning to look like David Cameron is the Independence campaign’s ‘secret weapon’.

    14. Robert Louis says:

      So, the USA has a stockpile of 7,700 nuclear warheads, Russia has a stockpile of 8,500, and the UK has a silly 225.
       
      Can any sane person, please explain to me the relevance of the nuclear weapons on the clyde.  It is absurd.
       
      The people of Scotland never asked for nuclear bombs based thrity minutes outside Scotland’s largest population centre, and in poll after poll, have always wanted rid of them.  All they achieve is to make Scotland a target for attack, and increase the risk to the people of Scotland.
       
      David Cameron is a joke of a prime minister coming to Scotland.  he has NO democratic mandate here, and even in England, has yet to win a general election (the Tories last won a general election in 1992, FFS!).  The only reason Westminster clings onto these WMD’s is so they can go colonial macho ‘dick waving’ at the UN.  ‘Great’ Britain indeed.
       
      Cameron and his weapons of mass destruction are not welcome in Scotland, the sooner we can be rid if both, the better.  Only a YES vote in 2014, can achieve this.

    15. Jiggsbro says:

      Indeed!! Its beginning to look like David Cameron is the Independence campaign’s ‘secret weapon’.
       
      I think of him more as a tool than a weapon.

    16. Heather McLean says:

      “I think of him more as a tool than a weapon.”
      Hahaha!! True!! I’m typing this as I wipe the coffee I spluttered over the keyboard!!
       

    17. Adrian B says:

      To understand the Korean situation you need to go back to World War II. This was not about WMDs back then – its just been ratcheted up to that level because America is still seen as the old enemy.
       
      The Korean War is often refereed to as ‘The Forgotten War’, more information is available here (other sources of info also exist):
       
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War 
       
      We seem to have however ended up in a ‘mines bigger than yours’ mentality in the West. Time to get shot of these things,  I would say. 

    18. John H says:

      I can’t think of any circumstances under which nuclear weapons could be used. It certainly would be no consolation to me in my last moments of life as we were being attacked, to know that revenge would be swift.

    19. Iain says:

      ‘We’re also not clear on why North Korea or Iran would have any sort of beef with an independent Scotland anyway’
       
      North Korea obviously enraged at numerous comparisons between their Supreme Leader, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army & First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and a wee fat guy who likes democracy, a curry and a game o gowf.

    20. Allan28 says:

      Leaving aside the iniquitous comparison of Trident costs with welfare, it is worth noting that Cameron refers to this in the Telegraph article as ‘current’ costs. If that is correct it clearly does not take into account the whole life of the Trident programme costs – nor the costs for ‘Son of Trident’ (some of which are even now being incurred). The front loaded ‘Son of Trident’ costs on current public information would have to ramp up considerably from 2016 onwards at a time when the UK economy is unlikely to be less of a basket case than it is today.

    21. Luigi says:

      Have a thought for the poor drone Ruth Davidson. The jam tomorrow promise will be all over kitchen floor by this evening. Cameron Stealth bomber heading north.

    22. muttley79 says:

      @Jiggsbro
      Damn, I forgot the <irony> tags again, didn’t I?
       
      I thought it might have been said in irony but I was not sure.  😀

    23. Dave Smith says:

      I can only imagine that even getting rid of another 200-odd of these things still goes a way to making the world a safer place.
      Lets go for it then by voting yes in 2014 – well those of you who can! 🙂

    24. Training Day says:

      Did anyone else hear the American Professor at Busan University, in a scene reminiscent of Dr Strangelove (good photo of Slim Pickens there Stu), talking on Sky about how North Korea would almost certainly lose the war at a cost of only a few hundred thousand South Korean lives?  ‘We’re talking twenty million of our own people dead, TOPS!’ as George C Scott’s character in Strangelove says..
      On another note, is there now any doubt that the MSM (and in particular our chums at Pacific Quay) are the only ones holding the increasingly absurd, pointless and downright idiotic NO campaign together?

    25. EdinScot says:

      Cameron wants us to keep paying huge amounts of money for nuclear weapons which in all likliehood will never, God forbid,  have a shot fired in anger whilst Westminster resides over an ever increasing gulf between rich and poor.  Labour or Tory it makes no difference.  They both support weapons of mass destruction and they want to keep it just the way it is with these obscenities right bang next to our highest population centre.  Let the Camerons’ and the rest of them getting  filthy stinking rich as they play their war games at the expense of the rest of us as we get jack shit.
       
      If the wannabe future PM of England wants to have these expensive toys then let him pay for them his self  instead of sponging off Scotland.  The other problem Westminster has is where in England to site these lovely nuclear weapons without their being uproar.  In light of public opinion being so opposed to trident in Scotland, Cameron and co are on a kamikaze mission.  Im also wondering could it be that Scottish Skier’s theory is closer to the mark than we know…

    26. Luigi says:

      Recent history indicates that the UK is far more likely to attack another country than either Iran or North Korea.

    27. Doug Daniel says:

      I love the idea that just because North Korea claims to be able to reach the US with nukes, that means we should all be scared. It strikes me that this is a simple case of people looking at a map of the world, drawing a line from North Korea to the USA and thinking “oh no, what if the bombs fell on us?”, forgetting that the world is actually round, and that the shortest route from North Korea to the USA is across the Pacific Ocean.
       
      There is simply no reason for Scotland to have nukes. Russia and China have them because the US has them and they (quite rightly, to be honest) still don’t trust the US not to use them. France has them because, like the UK, they still think they’re a superpower. India has them because Pakistan has them. Pakistan has them because India has them. Israel has them because it is surrounded by enemies/is a US puppet state (delete as applicable). Iran has them to stop the US wiping them off the face of the earth. North Korea has them to stop the US wiping them off the face of the earth. Finally, the US has them because they’re obsessed with meddling in other people’s affairs.
       
      Not one country that has nukes has even the slightest reason to nuke Scotland, except perhaps to stop the UK being able to use Trident. Rather than protecting Scotland, Trident is actually the single biggest cause of danger to us.

    28. Morag says:

      Recent history indicates that the UK is far more likely to attack another country than either Iran or North Korea.
       
      Well in recent history it has been other countries that have been attacked, but I’d have thought Iran and North Korea were at the top of the list to be next.  I mean, what’s the point in attacking Iraq again?  We can only ruin them so many times.

    29. Embradon says:

      As N Korea’s threats to nuke USA demonstrate, posession of WMD don’t protect you against being threatened by nutters unless you are up for a first strike.
      I’ve just asked on twitter  @embradon whether China would be justified in invading N Korea to facilitate regime change and/or anexation in the interests of stabilising the region. Any views?

    30. ianbrotherhood says:

      Norsewarrior has gone strangely quiet…is this the single issue which might sway those ‘undecided’ he keeps banging on about?
      That 80% against Trident would suggest so.
      What say ye NW?

    31. Craig M says:

      Doug Daniel
      It’s not that the UK has them because it thinks it’s a superpower; it has them because it believes that by telling the voting public that it’s not a superpower equates to electoral extinction for the particular party that makes that statement. So although the voting public can look around and see the bleeding obvious, i.e. that the UK is going to the dogs, we can all relax in the knowledge that the Lib, Lab and Cons have got the gumption to protect us all from facing the truth.

    32. Dcanmore says:

      @Embradon
      I’ve thought about this a little and I think there will be a tipping point with China. It’s one thing for NKorea to be a pain in the arse with Japan, SKorea and the USA, but to threaten China’s major global trading partners with a nuclear strike then China just might rein in N Korea (their only friend) and tell them to behave or they will take action to embarrass them. That, I think, will rattle the N Koreans a bit and maybe that is what’s needed from China and perhaps Russia too.

    33. Adrian B says:

      @Embradon,
       
      I’ve just asked on twitter  @embradon whether China would be justified in invading N Korea to facilitate regime change and/or anexation in the interests of stabilising the region. Any views?
       
      Whilst China would undoubtedly like to see stability in the area. I don’t see the Chinese getting involved at this level. Talking yes, but regime change would probably be seen as a dangerous step for Chinese. They after all still don’t completely trust the Americans and this type of intervention could have serious implications for the Chinese.
       
      Whilst North Korea clearly has a tin pot dictatorship running the country, causing further friction in the area isn’t going to help. The Korean War in the 1950’s hasn’t resolved the situation and neither will further antagonizing help. A change in outlook is required here and anything other than trying to de-couple and brake down barriers is doomed to further escalation of the situation.
       
      Have we learned nothing from the past? Sadly Scotland doesn’t have its own foreign office. I would like to hear something from Norway, Sweden and Finland as well as other small nations.
       
      The ideology coming from the US will not inspire long term confidence. The US believes that having its own population armed to the teeth prevents School massacres. Its not an ideology that I share.
       
       

    34. Ericmac says:

      Rev…. you missed a chance to title the article “Bombs Away!”

    35. muttley79 says:

      I see there is maybe a demonstration against Cameron in Govan this afternoon (judging by WoS Twitter).  Is anybody going to the anti-Trident rally in Glasgow on the 13th? 

    36. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Just gets crazier by the day.
      muttley 79 , “not be any significant more powers”. Hasn’t he already said that? Seem to remember him being quoted in The Herald, jan??  Talking pish about debasing the UK. Anybody remember? Stu, any thoughts?    Certainly the NI lads let the cat out of the bag recently.

    37. Macart says:

      He is, isn’t he?
       
      He’s deliberately sabotaging the no campaign. Either that or they want to check the water at No10. I’ve heard some truly stupid reasons for retention of nuclear arms in Scotland, but that’s right up there. Not only is everyone’s job going to disappear overnight, but somehow we’re under threat? Never mind that market forces dictate just how successful companies are in the private sector, howzabout he takes the big roundel target painted over Coulport and removes it from these islands altogether (which is by far the preferred option). Y’know show that Westminster actually gives a shit about the welfare of the electorate. Nooo wait now………..
      The scare stories are becoming more bizarre and outlandish by the day.

    38. Cath says:

      I’ve never thought Scottish Skier’s theory was that daft. It makes sense to me that, if the UK government is serious about not wanting more devolution (and the Tories and Lib Dems quite possibly are), then taking devo-max out the equation could well have been a calculated and deliberate risk.
       
      A vote for devo-max would have left Westminster in the position it would always be playnig catch up with Scottish opinion, taking years to put through legislation like the Scotland Act which public opinion has long shot past years before it even comes in. And added to that, a Scottish parliament always at semi-war with Westminster. I could understand entirely a Westminster government genuinely not wanting that situation – we’re a small part of the UK population taking a large part of its energy and resources right now (political, that is, not natural resources where they’re clearly taking ours!) It would be very difficult politically to put Holyrood back in its box, which is what most Tory/UKIP types actually want. And probably what most Labour MPs really want, if they’re honest too.
       
      So it there would be a logic to taking the position that it should be a straight yes/no, in hope of a resounding no. But if a resounding “no” doesn’t look likely in that scenario, a Yes would be a far better proposition, since a narrow “no” result would have all the same problems, especially with all the polls showing high support for more powers.
       
      For the Tories, it’s win/win. Either they achieve their resounding “no” and Dave goes down as the man who saved the union. Or Westminster rids itself of the Scottish problem, along with a lot of deadwood Labour MPs and Labour is hammered in the process.
       
      Also bear in mind, the Tories are no fans of the BBC. I suspect their continuing pushing of it right wing, and the bias issue, not only over Scottish independence, but over things like the NHS privatisation in England, will become for them a way to use it to destroy itself. Two birds with one stone – “oh look, we’ve privatised the NHS and that nasty BBC lied to you all about it and didn’t do its job – not fit for purpose either, is it? That public service model is dead.” 

    39. Dcanmore says:

      Cameron can have his Nu Trident if he wants, based in England after 2014 paid for by rUK! As for Scottish defence jobs, does he realise that BAE/Babcock/Thales are private companies? They decide where they are going to build tanks, planes, ships and parts, not Cameron or any politician. If it’s profitable to keep defence jobs and factories in Scotland then they’ll continue to operate in Scotland.

    40. JPJ2 says:

      With all this anti-independence blethering on his visit to Scotland how does Cameron think he can avoid an independence debate with Salmond-or suffer a major credibility hit if he refuses one?

    41. GH Graham says:

      While determined to vote for a return to full sovereign independence & achieve the removal of Trident from Scotland as a direct consequence of that vote, why is it that Trident is deemed no longer useful & has to be replaced?
      I recognise that some parts degrade over time much like the wiper blades or oil in yer car but is it so that the whole weapon system is simply declared obsolete thus invoking a frenzied buying spree by the purchasing department in Whitehall?
      And if the intention is to keep costs down, why doesn’t the MOD set up a standing open order system & instruct its worthies to order as many parts as is required from Crockets the Ironmongers in Glasgow, B&Q & RS Components?
      This would save on paper, time AND money.
      Glad to help.

    42. muttley79 says:

      @Macart
       
       
      He is, isn’t he?
       
      He’s deliberately sabotaging the no campaign.  Hope so Macart.  😀  Imagine the expression on Scottish Labour (Unionist brigade) and BBC Scotland’s coupons if they suspected it.  😀  😀
       
      Either that or they want to check the water at No10. I’ve heard some truly stupid reasons for retention of nuclear arms in Scotland, but that’s right up there. Not only is everyone’s job going to disappear overnight, but somehow we’re under threat? Never mind that market forces dictate just how successful companies are in the private sector, howzabout he takes the big roundel target painted over Coulport and removes it from these islands altogether (which is by far the preferred option). Y’know show that Westminster actually gives a shit about the welfare of the electorate. Nooo wait now………..
      The scare stories are becoming more bizarre and outlandish by the day.
       
      I am finding it increasingly difficult to believe that Cameron would be as politically inept as he is over Scotland without at least some calculation behind it.  PMs get in depth briefing from advisers.  When it involves Scotland I cannot imagine advice being given that he should travel up here to extol the benefits of Trident (see latest poll in Scotland over lack of popularity of WMD) and then compare it favourably to dismantling the Welfare state.  Cameron is also visiting Govan!  I find it very difficult to believe that he is not attempting to piss off as many Scottish voters as possible.

    43. Arbroath1320 says:

      Is Cameron Kim Jong-un’s older illegitimate older half brother by any chance? 😆

    44. Luigi says:

      Cameron is not daft. He knows that if he plays hardball with the rebellious scots, he secures a win-win situation. There are two possible outcomes in 2014. If Scotland votes no, Cameron takes all the credit, if Scotland votes yes, Darling gets all the blame. The general relief and feel-good factor following a no vote would benefit the tories immensely. Combine that with a giveaway budget next year and a promise to hold a European referendum, and you have the makings of a tory landslide in 2015. I kid you not.

    45. Norsewarrior says:

      “how does Cameron think he can avoid an independence debate with Salmond-or suffer a major credibility hit if he refuses one?”
      Whilst it would be interesting to watch I don’t think an independence debate between Salmond and Cameron would help our cause. 

      Independence is about Scotland and the people of Scotland, from across the political spectrum, not about 2 party leaders – we won’t be voting for one of their parties in the hope that they’ll become the PM/FM as we would in an election. 

      And it would further re-enforce the belief among the general public that independence is all about one man and one party – Salmond and the SNP already completely dominate and control the campaign and the vast majority of the publicity, we should be promoting alternative views and policies to the SNP’s in order to attract undecided voters who don’t like the SNP or their polices. 

      Salmond would just promote his own party’s independence policies in any such debate, when the Yes Campaign has already done more than enough of that already. 

    46. Luigi says:

      The smart tories are already positioning themselves to take all the credit if Scotland votes no, and to blame Labour if Scotland votes yes.

    47. Cath says:

      “Independence is about Scotland and the people of Scotland, from across the political spectrum, not about 2 party leaders”
       
      No, but it is about 2 parliaments and which should be sovereign and take decisions for Scotland. Salmond and Cameron are the respective heads of those parliaments, and as such should debate.
       
      Cameron is PM of the Scottish people – regardless of whether we voted for him, or how much he is hated here – and wishes us to vote to keep it that way, ie that the head of the parliament in Westminster is PM for Scotland as well. Salmond is the FM for Scotland. That’s why they need to debate.
       
      A debate between Darling and chair of Yes Scotland, Dennis Canavan would also be good to see, and Canavan is an independent, ex-Labour.

    48. Adrian B says:

      The whole reason behind having  a Cameron / Salmond debate on the issues is down to the simple fact that they are opposite numbers – so to speak. They are leaders in their respective areas.
       
      Blair jenkins and Alistair darling would be a good match as each of them are the leaders of each respective campaign. This would be the better debate to have as its about each campaign rather than politician.

    49. CameronB says:

      Please correct me if I am wrong, but don’t the Americans control Trident’s guidance system? They can’t be used independently, without American say so, even if someone mad enough in Whitehall wanted to.
       
      I don’t think Iran actually has any bomb capability yet, but it is as a signatory of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. In fact, instead of the west demonising Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the major nuclear powers are legally bound under the NNP, to assist Iran in the development of her peaceful nuclear technology. I think this is on hold right now.
       
      The country now known as Iran, has not attacked anyone for centuries. The same can not be said of one of her more violent neighbors (almost), Israel, which has bee criticised for many atrocities against civilian populations, most notably in relation to violations regarding  International Law and the Gaza War. On the  topic of Israel and weapons of mass destruction, Israel is of course not a signatory of the NNP, as THERE ARE NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN ISRAEL.
       
      Chucking Trident out of Scotland will go a long way to supporting the NNP and should be seen as our moral responsibility to make sure it happens. The only way to do this is vote Yes in 2014.
       
       
       
       

    50. Doug says:

      Norsewarrior
       
      As one independence supporter to another, I would suggest you change the record.  Every post is critical of the SNP.  As you aren’t an SNP ‘fanatic’ (some may say supporter/member), it is entirely your prerogative to criticise where you feel criticism is due. However, it is becoming repetitious and detracting from the dialogue.  It may also make people tend to switch off to you. 
       
      I know you truly want to help the ‘Yes’ campaign to succeed.  As such, I look forward to hearing your views on the range of topics discussed on your blog.  Ideally what you would do (rather than what the SNP ‘fanatics’ shouldn’t be).
       
      Love and kisses…

    51. muttley79 says:

      @Cameron B
       
      Please correct me if I am wrong, but don’t the Americans control Trident’s guidance system? They can’t be used independently, without American say so, even if someone mad enough in Whitehall wanted to.
       
      As I understand it that is correct.

    52. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Blair jenkins and Alistair darling would be a good match as each of them are the leaders of each respective campaign.”

      Technically Blair Jenkins’ opposite number (campaign director) is Blair McDougall, and Darling’s (chairman) is Dennis Canavan. Wonder why Darling doesn’t fancy debating Dennis?

    53. Training Day says:

      @Luigi
      “Combine that with a giveaway budget next year and a promise to hold a European referendum, and you have the makings of a tory landslide in 2015. I kid you not.”
      Indeed so.  In my darker moments I fear that enough Scots will only wake up to reality if a Tory landslide follows a No vote. 

    54. Norsewarrior says:

      “As one independence supporter to another, I would suggest you change the record.  Every post is critical of the SNP”

      But I wasn’t criticising the SNP in that last post, merely suggesting that it would be better to have an independence debate between others (Darling and Canavan, or the two Blairs as others have suggested), rather than between Cameron and Salmond.

    55. CameronB says:

      So if we can only use Trident when and against who the Americans decide, then our nukes are essentially there nukes. Yet we get stuck with the bill. These Yanks aren’t as dumb as they might appear.

    56. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Muttley
       
      The missiles are also leased from the US and only paid for after firing.

    57. Adrian B says:

      @ Rev,

      Technically Blair Jenkins’ opposite number (campaign director) is Blair McDougall, and Darling’s (chairman) is Dennis Canavan. Wonder why Darling doesn’t fancy debating Dennis?

      Thanks for the amendment.

    58. JPJ2 says:

      I note Norsewarrior does not favour a Cameron/Salmond debate in spite of the fact that, at least in the immediate aftermath of the 2014 vote, one or other will be the effective leader of Scotland.
      Just further proof to me that such a debate is EXACTLY what “Yes” should push for.

    59. Jiggsbro says:

      why is it that Trident is deemed no longer useful & has to be replaced?
       
      Nuclear weapons rely on the interaction of fundamental particles. What fundamental particles are keeps changing as particle physics explores new and exciting avenues such as dark litter and big bosoms (or something). No one knows whether the new physics means the old bombs don’t work any more, so it’s best to just throw them away and get new ones that work with modern physics. It’s a bit like upgrading your operating system: you don’t need to, you don’t want to, you know it’s a waste of money, it’ll cause enormous aggravation but some American chap insists that it’s vitally important and they’re not going to support the old one.

    60. Macart says:

      @muttley
       
      I agree, surely, surely not that dim. Although……. 😀
       
      There is some other game being played here and its between the Tories and Labour. I don’t think independence comes into it except as a stick for either side to beat the other with. Westminster has two problems in terms of instantly severing ties with the union, which they are fully aware is broken; their big boys toys on the Clyde and a shed load of oil which underwrites a chunk of their debt. Negotiations should prove interesting.

    61. Bunter says:

      Oh dear, Cameron invokes braveheart in Govan.
      They just dont get it do they!

    62. CameronB says:

      And there was me thinking that polls carried out on behalf of MAD (and you thought it was just a goofy magazine), have shown that when asked to express an opinion regarding how they would wish to be vapourised (or poisoned slowly), the cowering masses preferred the latest technology.

    63. Adrian B says:

      @ Macart & Muttley
       
      Negotiations should prove interesting.
      I can imagine Nicola Sturgeon being quiet robust in her Negotiations – she has already proved to be rather efficient in getting things done. A greet asset to the Scottish Government and the country.

    64. scottish_skier says:

      Muttley

      I find it very difficult to believe that he [Dave] is not attempting to piss off as many Scottish voters as possible

      🙂

      Incidentally, the peak of ‘No’ and trough of ‘Yes’ occurred last October when Dave came to Edinburgh and signed on the dotted line. Been going downhill for Better Together since then polls-wise.

      With the boundary changes screwed and UKIP biting at Dave’s heels, getting rid of Scotland is imperative now. Of course all this talk of Westminster ‘re-negotiating’ with the EU ahead of an in/out vote would fit rather well; that’s exactly what will be happening when Scotland votes Yes in 2014.

      I wonder if Cameron is planning a deal with UKIP. With the right concessions I’m sure Farage would ask people to back the Tories; after all he’s no hope of actually ever making any real impact at Westminster and he’ll be well aware if people do vote UKIP in big numbers it could let Labour in by the back door. However, if UKIP keeps riding high in polls and does well in next years EU elections then Cameron will need to start looking at doing a deal. Imagine that – not just the prospect of a Tory majority, but a Tory-UKIP one; that’d be some sell for Better Together.

    65. Vronsky says:

      “No one knows whether the new physics means the old bombs don’t work any more”
       
      Allegedly, a student asked Albert Einstein if he knew anything about an upcoming physics exam.  It’s exactly the same questions as last year – said Einstein.  Doesn’t that make it too easy? asked the student.  No – said Einstein – the answers are all different.

    66. Bunter says:

      He now says North Koreas Missiles can reach mainland USA and therefore Mainland Europe as well. First Ive heard of this, can anyone confirm if this is a scaremongering lie?

    67. Elizabeth says:

      This morning on Call Kaye: Annabel Goldie’s response to  Kirsty Wark putting a caller’s point that Trident on the Clyde made us a target said:
      ” I would question that analysis Kirsty because sadly the potency of the weaponry is such that even if we shifted it from Faslane, you know, down to Cumbria or somewhere..em..the bottom line is, to any hostile aggressor, Scotland is absolutely you know, not part of the geography, they just aim for where they think the threat is. I don’t buy the argument that moving it from Faslane magically makes Scotland safer..”

    68. Jiggsbro says:

      First Ive heard of this, can anyone confirm if this is a scaremongering lie?
       
      Is that Cameron speaking to a Scottish audience? Because that’s not quite proof, but it’s fairly strong circumstantial evidence.

    69. Macart says:

      @ Bunter
       
      YEP, he’s talkin’ pants.
       
      http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/7106-major-blunder-by-no-campaign-to-place-trident-at-centre-of-indy-debate

       
      “However Mr Cameron’s claim that North Korea posed such a threat to the UK that Trident is required to defend the country was dismissed by Hugh Chalmers, a nuclear analyst at the Royal United Service Institute.  Mr Chalmers said:

      “North Korea doesn’t currently present a direct threat to the UK.”

      @Adrian B

      I don’t fancy their chances of coming away with much after a chat with Nicola.

    70. Dal Riata says:

      @Norsewarrior
      There you go again giving it your ‘the SNP is the Yes Scotland campaign is the SNP’.
       
      You’ve got your opinion about this, which is up to you to have of course. Many others here disagree with you. That has been established.Then, why do you keep on repeating this opinion of yours ad nauseum?
       
      Every time you post you bring negativity to the thread. Is it deliberate? I believe it is, and that you are no more than an agent provocateur. You don’t fool me with your talk of “we”, “us” and “our cause”. I’ve had to deal with many varieties of players at your game over the years on websites and forums, from the blindingly obvious (which you aren’t) to the clever (which you aren’t, either), and over time you get a ‘feel’ for  who’s ‘at it’ and who is genuine. And you, pal, are definitely ‘at it’. 
       
      Why don’t you just leave and give us all peace. The sooner you move on and go to another site and greet about those “SNP fanatics” over at WoS the better for us all.
       
       
       

    71. tartanfever says:

      Think Norsewarrior has a good point.
      The No campaign want the voter to identify Independence solely with the SNP and with Alex Salmond. They can paint an individual as a ‘mad despot intent on taking sole control of the country’ but you can’t do that with a wide-far reaching social movement.
      As Rev keeps pointing out here, a vote for independence is not necessarily a vote for the SNP. Thats not what the BT mob and their friends in the MSM put out there and this is what the SNP have to combat.
      So I say the bigger that groups like ‘Labour for Independence ‘ or ‘Lib Dems for Independence’ and all the social groups “The National Collective’ etc etc become, the healthier and more wide reaching our campaign will be. 
      I would love to see more of these groups being invited by the SNP to share a stage with them.

    72. Norsewarrior says:

      “Many others here disagree with you”

      And a number of others agree with me, that’s the nature of democracy. I’m not being ‘negative’, I’m positively arguing in favour of strategies that I genuinely believe will enhance our chances of getting independence. 

      “you get a ‘feel’ for  who’s ‘at it’ and who is genuine. And you, pal, are definitely ‘at it’. Why don’t you just leave and give us all peace”

      As the Rev has already said several times, he alone will decide who is and isn’t a ‘troll’ and he doesn’t want posters like you conducting a witch hunt against others, if you think I’m ‘at it’ then simply don’t engage with me. 

      You need to realise that we independence supporters are a diverse bunch, we don’t all support the SNP, and we all have different views on the type of independent Scotland we’d like to see and how we believe independence can best be achieved. That is a GOOD thing – a mixture of ideas and plans and strategies will enhance the campaign – Such diversity should be celebrated, not shut down and forced to leave in favour of sticking rigidly with one party’s independence plans and visions as you appear to want to do. 

    73. Norsewarrior says:

      “The No campaign want the voter to identify Independence solely with the SNP and with Alex Salmond”

      Exactly, and the more the SNP dominate the campaign and all the publicity – with Salmond taking part in the debates, and the Yes Campaign only promoting their policies etc etc the more the No campaign will achieve that objective. Then they can simply attack the SNP and Salmond in order to damage independence. 

      Obviously everyone knows about the SNP and Salmond and most people know what they want from independence, but I doubt most average members of the public have a clue about Lib Dems for Independence, or what the Greens or other parties want an independent Scotland to be like. 

      That’s why its crucial that these other parties get more prominence in the campaign and get their policies promoted too – in order to show clearly that independence isn’t all about Salmond and the SNP, and therefore force the unionists to address the issues of independence rather than simply attacking the SNP. 

    74. Dal Riata says:

      Re Norsewarrior’s comments:  [exasperated sigh]

    75. Norsewarrior says:

      Sigh all you want, but the fact that ‘tartanfever’ has just stated I’ve made a “good point” merely re-enforces my argument. 

      You may prefer to stick rigidly to the SNP’s independence strategy but others, like me and ‘Tartanfever’ have a different view about how best to achieve independence and we are perfectly entitled to express it without the likes of you demanding that we leave. 

      As the Rev has said, this forum is for all those who are pro-independence, not just those who prefer the SNP’s version of independence.

    76. scottish_skier says:

      Given that the SNP have been polling ~45% and getting ‘satisfied’ ratings in the range 50-60% since 2011 we might really wish the Scottish electorate did think independence was all about the SNP.

      However, there is no evidence in polls to support that assumption at all; rather changes in Y/N polls reflect events in the wider political scene on top of a long historical background.

      The only people that state independence is all about the SNP are the ones who are voting No and aren’t for turning. 

      Personally, I have never once came across someone who supported independence or was giving it thought that saw things this way; instead they were perfectly aware of the tactic being used by the pro-union campaign and were dismissing it. Hell, even ‘No’ voters I know who vote SNP happily state this.

      Anyhow, to repeat, polling evidence shows the ‘attack the SNP / associate them alone with independence’ tactic has singularly failed to have any impact on things so no need to worry much about this.

    77. muttley79 says:

      @Cameron B
       

      So if we can only use Trident when and against who the Americans decide, then our nukes are essentially there nukes. Yet we get stuck with the bill. These Yanks aren’t as dumb as they might appear.
       
      Correct, America’s nukes in Europe if you like.

       

    78. Morag says:

      Doug – 😀

    79. Galen10 says:

      @Norsewarrior
      Seems like an exercise in windmill tilting to me; I echo the words of the estimable Mr Skier – the only ones banging on about the SNP dominating the debate are those who are already convinced No voters, and a motely bunch of obscurantists who peddle their arcane and slightly batty views around the interweb hoping that anybody notices.
      Any thinking person involved in the debate can see that support for independence extends far beyond SNP members; polling suggests that around 20% of Labour voters are pro-independence for example. The reason the SNP has such a dominant position is attributable to the abject failure of the unionist parties to devlop, table and put on the indy ballot a coherent “devo-max” plan.
      History will judge them harshly because they have essentially bet the farm on a No vote, whilst offering nothing concrete as a back up. The line you are pedalling about the dangers of the indyref being seen as a creature of the SNP becomes no more convincing by dint of constant repetition; there are plenty of other voices out there, but it is hardly fair, or indeed accurate, to attack the SNP for the failure of other political parties or other groups to promote independence.
      Unlike Catalonia for example, which has a number of pro-independence parties, the “facts on the ground” in Scotland are that we only have one dominant party, the Greens and a few outliers. Similarly, where we have an almost universally hostile print and braodcast media, our Catalan cousins at least have SOME of the media on their side.
      You are of course entitled to your view, but don’t try and pretend there is any real evidence to back your whacky outlook up – it’s about as convincing as Cameron praching mass in the lugs of the Govanites; the disappointing thing is that nobody has thrown a metaphorical stool at him, or you in an attempt to knock some sense into either of you.

    80. Heather McLean says:

      “the fact that ‘tartanfever’ has just stated I’ve made a “good point” merely re-enforces my argument.”
      Norsewarrior I agree that the other pro independence parties need to ‘get the message out’ but it kinda beats me why you are on here telling everyone on this website ?? Seems to me all you are doing is wasting your time and causing animosity between yourself and other contributers on here??
      Don’t you think  that it would be far more productive and a better use of your time to contribute to the other pro independence parties blogs or websites sharing your obvious concerns and insight with them?? Perhaps to better effect as you may be the very voice they need to inspire and galvanise them into action??
       
       

    81. ianbrotherhood says:

      I don’t know about anyone else, but any time I’m reading a thread in which Norsewarrior features, I keep having to glance up at the thread-title to remind myself what the subject of discussion is supposed to be.
      On that basis alone – if I’m at all typical as a reader – he’s getting the result he wants, and he’s doing it with smoke and mirrors.

    82. Dal Riata says:

      @Norsewarrior
      More trolling 101 behaviour:
      Take over every thread.
      Go round in circles with every argument you cause.
      Accuse people of being “fanatics” if they disagree with you.
      Within the disruption leave points that people will generally agree with.
      Some posters agree with one or more of your ‘points’.
      Use these posters as ‘proof’ that you’re not trolling.
      Show ‘friendliness’ with the owner of the blog/site/forum even though you’ve been a ‘member’ for a very short time to bring him ‘onside’ against anyone who disapproves of your behaviour.
      Accuse those that point you out as being on a “witch hunt” or other such terms.
      Regular posters get upset. Some posters may even ‘take sides’……cause disruption ad nauseum.
       
      You’ve been sussed out.

    83. Heather McLean says:

      Tried to edit my comment to add this –
      It seems a wee bit futile arguing amongst ourselves when we share the common goal of Independence. Instead of attempting to ‘dilute’ the loud voice of the SNP, perhaps you ought to direct your efforts into encouraging the quieter voices of other pro independence parties to speak with a louder more effective voice??
      Only my opinion mind!! 🙂

    84. muttley79 says:

      The idea that it is just the SNP who support independence is ludicrous.  There is the Scottish Green Party, SSP, Labour voters for Indpendence, some Lib Dems, some Tories, trade unionists, non-aligned, people from the arts (National Collective, Bella Caledonia etc).  If one poster insists on only talking about the SNP in relation to independence, and is constantly criticising them, then maybe it is a good idea to ignore him/her. 

    85. ianbrotherhood says:

      @muttley79-
      Agreed, but it’s difficult to ignore when he keeps interrupting discussions with the same pish – unanswerable questions designed to sow doubt and anxiety in the vast majority of readers who (for whatever reason) don’t commit their thoughts to posts. He’s also pouncing on any perceived division between individuals in an effort to enhance his own cred (as detailed by Dal Riata above).
      He’s making the place stink – it’s just a pity he’s not a fart of the silent variety.

    86. Jiggsbro says:

      As the Rev has said, this forum is for all those who are pro-independence, not just those who prefer the SNP’s version of independence.
       
      It’s for people who are against independence as well. It would just be nice if those people could engage honestly in debate, rather than trolling and pretending to be what they are not.
       
      There is only one version of independence, by the way, but many ideas about what could be done with that independence.

    87. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “He now says North Koreas Missiles can reach mainland USA and therefore Mainland Europe as well. First Ive heard of this, can anyone confirm if this is a scaremongering lie?”

      As I understand it, there’s supposedly a SMALL chance of it hitting Alaska, which is sort of mainland USA, and that probably means it could also hit the extreme east of mainland Europe, ie Ukraine or somewhere. Don’t have a globe handy, but I think the chance of them reaching the UK is zero.

      EDIT: Pyongyang to Anchorage in Alaska is just over 6000km, Pyongyang to London just under 8700km. Depending on what source you read, even Trident only has a range of 7000km (or up to 11,000km with fewer warheads on board), and it’s orders of magnitude more advanced than anything the Koreans have. So they’ve got no chance of hitting the UK.

    88. a supporter says:

      Norse Warrior, and all the other names it uses on the Telegraph, Scotsman, Guardian et al, is a troll and it has just proved it by diverting your discussion about Trident off track and onto criticism of the SNP. He has started coming here because the sites I mentioned above no longer engage with it or they have banned it. And that is the the silver bullet for a troll. He has been doing this for the more than two years I have been visiting Independence comment sites and I’m really surprised so many of you don’t seem to be aware of it.

    89. beachthistle says:

      @muttley79

       @CameronB

      Yes it is true that US controls Trident:

      “The fact that, in theory, the British Prime Minister could give the order to fire Trident missiles without getting prior approval from the White House has allowed the UK to maintain the façade of being a global military power. In practice, though, it is difficult to conceive of any situation in which a Prime Minister would fire Trident without prior US approval. The USA would see such an act as cutting across its self-declared prerogative as the world’s policeman, and would almost certainly make the UK pay a high price for its presumption. The fact that the UK is completely technically dependent on the USA for the maintenance of the Trident system means that one way the USA could show its displeasure would be to cut off the technical support needed for the UK to continue to send Trident to sea.”

      publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmdfence/986/986we13.htm …
       
      But not only that, it gets worse!
       
      “In a crisis the very existence of the UK Trident system might make it difficult for a UK prime minister to refuse a request by the US president to participate in an attack”. GULP
       
      PS Here’s a good link re N Korea missile capability/range
      washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/04/04/map-this-is-how-far-those-north-korean-missiles-can-actually-reach/ …
       

    90. tartanfever says:

      Good points SS – you’re posts and assurance of polling figures is alway welcome and never fails to lift up my spirits.

      I was just thinking that the ‘undecided’ voters (how many of them actually exist I don’t know but polls seem to put them around 18 % or so) may be encouraged to vote ‘Yes’ not necessarily from a direct SNP message, but it might come from somewhere else.

      An old Labour type might be encouraged if they actually knew or heard more from ‘Labour for Independence’ and recognised that as something they could identify with, especially if they are calling for labour to re-engage it’s old traditions and stop this move to the right.

      Someone not into politics, but into the cultural scene might be engaged with discussions from the ‘National Collective’

      And ultimately, at present (although the polls are swinging) the No vote does have the better of us. All I’m suggesting, which I think Norsewarrior was to, is that broadening the campaign might be a good way to encourage more of the population.
      Personally I’m quite happy with the SNP message, I agree with many of their policies and I think they are doing a damn fine job in government, especially under specific circumstances but on the same hand I don’t see the harm in broadening the Yes campaign to be more inclusive of other groups, maybe that will happen nearer the time.

    91. Jiggsbro says:

      I don’t see the harm in broadening the Yes campaign to be more inclusive of other groups, maybe that will happen nearer the time.
       
      It’s already happening. The problem is that the MSM will generally only report the SNP’s campaigning. It’s important to Unionists to try to narrow the debate down to the SNP and the SNP’s policies.

    92. CameronB says:

      So Trident is a multi-billion £ confidence trick then. That being, we have an independent nuclear deterrent so don’t mess with us. Just like Scotland has been governed by a representative parliament ever since the end of WW2. Yet another benefit of the union.
       
      Glad we cleared that up then.
       
      Vote Yes in 2014.

    93. velofello says:

      Tartanfever says “I think Norsewarrior has a good point, the No campaign want the voter to identify independence solely with the SNP and with Alex Salmon”
      A good point on behalf of the No campaign perhaps? And that surely is Norsewarrior’s strategy? That is what he wants, and why he constantly talks of it.
       Dal Riata describes such behaviour neatly. 
      @ Jiggbro and Vronsky: I enjoyed your wee physics quips.

    94. CameronB says:

      You know when you know something, quite often you don’t really think about it. When you do, it is like a light-bulb going on inside your head. Well I’ve just had one of those moments, so hope you don’t mind me sharing.
       
      Scotland has never enjoyed the benefits of a democratically elected representative government. Ever. We have only had universal suffrage since 1948, and Westminster has failed to reflect the votes delivered by Scots voters, for the entire time we have all had the vote.
       
      Vote Yes in 2014, to have your voice heard.

    95. a supporter says:

      Cameron is currently being trashed on the Telegraph over his ridiculous statement vis a vis deterrence, Trident, N Korea and threat to UK.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9972193/Cameron-fact-that-North-Korea-has-technology-for-nuclear-strike-against-the-UK.html

    96. pmcrek says:

      Feel the need to point out because I havent seen this explained anywhere in the MSM, but the latest DPRK ballistic “ICBM” missile the Taepodong 2 has a regional range only:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:North_Korean_missile_range.svg

      Of course thats its projected range, its only ever been fired once and lasted 40 seconds in the air before it blew up, so its range is actually significantly less than it says in the manual say about 320 km lol.

      The next one down the BM52 Musudan was developed back in 1962 in Russia and is far from a threat to anyone with even relatively modern missile defense systems let alone cutting edge.
       
      Next we have the Taepodong 1, reverse engineered Russian Scud circa 1950’s, Kenny Miller could probably hit it with a banjo.

    97. MajorBloodnok says:

      So the North Koreans could (allegedly) get a nuke as far as Ukraine, eh?  Mind you, if it landed near Chernoble no-one would notice.

    98. tartanfever says:

      Vellofello – I don’t follow your logic, I think the No campaign will continue it’s efforts to single out and demonise Alex Salmond regardless of what Norsewarrior posts here. In fact, I may go as far to say that they’re possibly already on to that one and I don’t think we’re giving away any trade secrets !
      From what Norse warrior has posted here it’s made me think a little about how I may speak to people in trying to convince them of a yes vote. Approaching them from broad perspective of independence and not always from a specific SNP policy/economy angle may be effective.
      Talking about the benefits of a written constitution is one way, so I’m brushing up a little on recent events in Iceland.
      Re-reading Scott’s excellent article on the effect of universal benefits from the cut in the Barnett formula is probably one of the best examples of a broad non-specific party case that could be put forward.
      Maybe it makes me a little naive, but I think it’s a good idea, I’d love someone to post and tell me I’m wrong or come up with another idea, but all I hear is Norsewarrior is a troll – and to be honest, that teaches me hee-haw.
      Now I don’t know Norsewarrior from any other sites and so my only experience is what they’ve posted here and I’m just going to respond to what I read. Until Rev Stu says that it’s not appropriate then I’ll carry on.
      However, in fairness, I have produced a few posts on this topic and I’ve had more than my fair share of other posters time reading them so I’ll give it a rest now.

    99. GH Graham says:

      Is it remotely possible that Noris Warrior can post just once without mentioning or referencing the SNP?
      I’ve already placed my bets but am assuming ther are better odds on spotting Lionel Ritchie busking whilst standing naked at Dunkeld train station.
       

    100. pmcrek says:

      Major
      Nah its fine the DPRK dont currently have the technology to put a nuclear payload on a missile and fire it accurately and successfully. Nor have they ever successfully tested a rocket that could get even halfway across Russia and given that the rocket that could get halfway across is circa 1962 Soviet technology, I doubt the Kremlin is a tremblin’ 😉
       

    101. MajorBloodnok says:

      So the DPRK can’t even get into the nuclear club: no wonder they feel so ronery:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEaKX9YYHiQ
       
      (Yes I know he’s dead, but Team America is still an interesting film).

    102. scottish_skier says:

      Tartanfever

      Thought about a long post but working on a report so need to prioritise!

      Yes votes will come directly from the No. That’s where the swing is if you plot it Y vs N rather than looking at data as a function of time. 

      You have people saying N in polls who said Y before, probably the same 10% who said ‘Labour’ when asked over the telephone in late 2010 then promptly went out and voted SNP as they’d been behind them since back in 2008/9. No vote is soft as hell.

      Most DKs won’t vote, those that do will vote Yes; modest correlation there. No has little to gain from DK; little to no correlation.

      Those who were saying Yes in late 2011 are, according to the latest polls, swinging back again after getting jittery last year. They are unlikely to change their minds again once they’ve overcome last year’s nerves.

      This year should see Y and N back to level pegging, even Y edge ahead. 

      Better Together are currently like Labour were in late 2010 but this time I think they know it. How on earth did that 10% lead suddenly swing to the SNP? Well, it was never really there (for Labour) in the first place; not in people’s hearts anyway.
       

    103. Archdeaconess Hermione says:

      beachthistle says:
      4 April, 2013 at 6:43 pm
      @muttley79
       @CameronB
      Yes it is true that US controls Trident:”
       
      Er, no it isn’t, and the document you quoted shows that. In fact typing the question “is the UK deterrent independent” gives you chapter-and-verse, from both official and independent sources, on exactly how it works.
       
      Yes it is operationally independent, taken on a short- to medium- timescale.
       
      No it is not AS independent as the French one. Theirs is, however, technically inferior and much more expensive.
       
      Yes, the US actually welcomes the UK and France having two operationally independent deterrents, as it makes the whole Western deterrent more unpredictable and scarier. Even if an aggressor could somehow have convinced themselves that the US could or would not retaliate, what about the other two?
       
      The Prime Minister of the nation makes a very good point. Given what’s going on out there, is this the time you really want to cut yourselves out of the UK deterrent? Are you ABSOLUTELY sure about that? Because it’s a one-way decision – once given up, it can’t realistically be got back.

    104. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The Prime Minister of the nation makes a very good point. Given what’s going on out there, is this the time you really want to cut yourselves out of the UK deterrent? Are you ABSOLUTELY sure about that? “

      Yes and yes. Next question?

    105. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Hermione
       
      I have just clocked you, Sailor Boy!

    106. Jiggsbro says:

      Even if an aggressor could somehow have convinced themselves that the US could or would not retaliate, what about the other two?
       
      Yes, because if the US doesn’t think its enormous arsenal is sufficient, the UK or France could go it alone with theirs. For a couple of minutes.
       

    107. CameronB says:

      Archdeaconess Hermione says:

      “The Prime Minister of the nation makes a very good point. Given what’s going on out there, is this the time you really want to cut yourselves out of the UK deterrent? Are you ABSOLUTELY sure about that? Because it’s a one-way decision – once given up, it can’t realistically be got back”. (my highlighting)
       
      How on earth do you know what is going on in NK, clarvoiance?
      YES
      GOOD
       
      P.S. What’s with the new name, is it some sort of statement?
       

    108. Adrian B says:

      @ Hermoine,
      AYE, glad we got that cleared up.
       
       

    109. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Rev.Stu
      @CameronB
      Dam, the two of you beat me to it.

    110. Macart says:

      Why yes, yes I am absolutely sure.

    111. The Man in the Jar says:

      Oh My God!
      We are under threat from a dictator with WMD`s.
      Whatever shall we do?
      I know lets invade and liberate the population.
      Then we can kill lots of yellow people instead of brown ones!
      Hurrah! 😉

    112. CameronB says:

      @ TMITJ
      My Wi-Fi bummed out so I didn’t get a chance to edit. Then I spotted the Rev’s comment above. Such is life, eh?

    113. The Man in the Jar says:

      While the Archdeaconess is here. Would she perhaps like to comment on George Osbournes linking of the Philpot Murder trial to “benefit scroungers” using the deaths of six innocent children to score cheap political points. Come on Hermionie. You’re a good Tory please give us your opinion.

    114. The Man in the Jar says:

      @CameronB
      I was walking the dog!

    115. CameronB says:

      I couldn’t resist posting this on the Telegraph article on Dave’s speech. Am I a nasty cybernat now?
                                      ——————————————

      The PM’s speech wasn’t really in keeping with The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT. Was it?

      With evidence probably no better than the rubbish that was extracted under torture and then used to ‘justify’ the invasion Iraq, surely Dave knows that this sort of spin needs strong support from the MSM, leading the story weeks if not months in advance.

      Perhaps this is why there are more Giant Pandas in Scotland than elected Tory MPs.

    116. Pope Jiggsbro says:

      P.S. What’s with the new name, is it some sort of statement?
       
      I’m guessing ‘Archdeaconess’ outranks ‘Rev’. Childish.

    117. Iain says:

      Wasn’t Trident and all the scary (mainly Islamic) things it deters a recurring obsession of the troll who disappeared in a cloud of internet sex-related ridicule? What was he called, SM732, something along these lines?

    118. Jimbo says:

      Norsewarrior: “we should be promoting alternative views and policies to the SNP’s in order to attract undecided voters who don’t like the SNP or their polices.”
       
      Yes, I agree. While campaigning for independence I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve told me they’ll be voting NO because they don’t like Alex Salmond. They are only outnumbered by the people I’ve spoken to who think the referendum is a vote along Party lines.
       
      No matter how much I’ve tried to educate them that they’re voting for their country’s future, not for a Political Party or for a particular politician, the ‘I can’t stand Salmond’ attitude is hard to overcome. The Unionist MSM has done a great job in demonizing him. Maybe he should step aside in favour of Nicola Sturgeon, who seems to be more popular.

    119. The Man in the Jar says:

      @CameronB
      Only if you own a tinfoil lined Tam o Shanter.
      Its in the cybernat rulebook.

    120. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Hermionie
      Re my comment at 9.42pm
      No didn’t think so!

    121. scottish_skier says:

      Jimbo.

      people who’ve told me they’ll be voting NO because they don’t like Alex Salmond

      Erm, anyone who would choose to decide the future of their country based on whether they like a single person or not is probably not going to change their minds. The kindest thing to do would be to just smile and move on.

      The Yes campaign have no need whatsoever to convince such people to vote Yes as they represent a small minority.

      Mr Salmond, while not being everyone’s cup of tea, has been getting satisfaction ratings between 50 and 60% since the 2011 election. That’s not bad going really for a politician. 

      As I’ve said previously, there is no evidence to suggest the SNP are really being conflated with independence to any meaningful extent. That would require the electorate to be rather stupid. They are not as has been demonstrated many times over the years. Surprisingly, the pro-union campaign has seemingly not noticed this.

    122. velofello says:

      @ tartanfever: I’m absolutely not being critical of you. I just believe that norsewarrior by constantly conflating the Yes campaign with the SNP as dominant is mischief. It has been pointed out to Norsewarrior several times that the Yes campaign is solely about independence, not about political policies of individual political parties yet he/she persists. 

    123. Jiggsbro says:

      That would require the electorate to be rather stupid.
       
      This would be the electorate that agreed with Nick and think Labour look after the workers?

    124. Dal Riata says:

      @tartanfever and @Jimbo
       
      Please beware and do not succumb to Norsewarrior’s trolling traps. He/She/It is here to sow seeds of discord only. Note how he/she/it has dominated almost every thread since they appeared on this site only a few days ago – job done.
      Please do not be taken in by any of the faux concern and repeating of his/her/its ‘The Yes Scotland campaign is but a mouthpiece for the SNP’ shtick, it’s fakery done to induce unrest, if you will, within the community of those who post regularly on this site.
       
      Please do pay note of what @a supporter said on this very thread at 6.40pm about Norsewarrior, an already well-known troll on other internet sites.

    125. GH Graham says:

      If a voter, given the opportunity to choose to return their country to full sovereign independence, the first such democratic option in over 300 years, reasons that Mr. Salmond’s personality is the singular, most important excuse for choosing to remain a part of a corrupt, bankrupt & wholly inquitable Great British society, then that person is hardly for turning.
      I predict that not even a free bar of gold delivered to their front door would be sufficient to change their mind, such is their indifference to the truly depressing state of British government & it’s increasingly poor & desperate society.
      And if visual & cultural references such as a nice 3 coloured flag, autumnal visits by an aristocratic dynasty to indulge the poor & the retention of viewing rights to Eastenders are what are considered not negotiable & inalienable British rights, then we should embrace these poor souls with our empathy & pity.
        

    126. Dcanmore says:

      I’ll reiterate what Dal Riata has said … Norsewarrior has spent the last two years trolling very extensively with anti-SNP/Salmond rhetoric. He/she lures you in with sensible comment then goes on a ‘SNP fanatics’ rant designed to disrupt a thread. Norsewarrior does this until he/she is banned from making comments on that particular site. Needless to say this person is now banned from several sites including The Scotsman and The Telegraph (quite a feat). This person has been looking for another home but he/she doesn’t look for harmony but instead searches out dissonance.
       
       

    127. charlie says:

      It’s also possible that a long future list of ex-MPs and ex-Ministers of Defence could fail to get well paid jobs as consultants and directors with defence companies if we don’t have nuclear weapons, research please 😉
      Sorry if this appears 3 times

    128. Adrian B says:

      @ Hermione
       
      Are you ABSOLUTELY sure about that? Because it’s a one-way decision – once given up, it can’t realistically be got back.
       
      Lets cut the pretence over Tridents replacement – Dave, George and Danny don’t have and cannot find the money to replace Trident. It simply isn’t going to happen. Labour mounted up a debt and left the UK poverty stricken. The coalition government in Westminster will have doubled the size of the debt by 2015. nuclear power – No thanks, Trident on the Clyde – No Thanks.

    129. Macart says:

      @Adrian B
       
      Strikes me that this is Dave’s chance to get out from under commitment to replace. Officially he’s got to follow through, but an independent Scotland doesn’t and in fact due to the non proliferation treaty wouldn’t be allowed to. Dave knows this.
       
      If you wanted to save 100bn and still have your own debt underwritten within a currency union to an oil rich, cash rich state, what would you do?

    130. dmw42 says:

      TMIJ – We are under threat from a dictator with WMD`s.
      Yep, goes by the name ‘Dave’
       
      Pope Jiggsbro / CameronB
      I’m guessing (s)he’s been promoted to Arsedeaconess. I’ll be really disappointed if (s)he hasn’t made Imperial Grand Wizard by the end of the year.

    131. Norsewarrior says:

      “Accuse those that point you out as being on a “witch hunt” or other such terms.”

      That wasn’t my accusation, it was the Rev’s. It’s him who stated that there was a ‘witch hunt’ against me on here from the likes of you.

      As he said, and as I’ve asked you repeatedly, if you think I’m a troll then simply don’t engage with me. It is him who will decide who is and isn’t a troll, so please stop throwing around your unsubstantiated accusations and disrupting the blog.

    132. Cath says:

      Here you are NorseWarrior. I’m not quite sure what your politics are, but here is a group entirely separate from the SNP wishing to pursue a totally different agenda yet out there bashing the drum for independence and very much part of the Yes Campiagn
       
      http://internationalsocialist.org.uk/index.php/blog/black-monday-scotlands-revolt-against-the-british-establishment-must-begin-now/

    133. Barontorc says:

      Just for the record Norsewarrior – I have never engaged with you and never shall at any time – I would invite all other contributors to totally ignore you also. It’s just so easy to flick on past, like swatting a midge. So sorry and bye!

    134. Dal Riata says:

      @Norsewarrior
      “…so please stop throwing around your unsubstantiated accusations and disrupting the blog.”
       
      More trolling 101: Blame the person pointing you as a troll with accusations of what you, yourself are doing to gain sympathy from unsuspecting members or visitors to the site.
       
      Tsk, tsk, you’re not doing a very good job of covering your arse here, are you?!
       
      Here, below, we have another two people on this very string who know all about you and the games you play. More ‘substantiated’ evidence of who you are and the trolling behaviour you take with you around internet sites.
       
      And by the way, how rubbish of a troll do you have to be to get banned from the Scotsman AND the Telegraph!!! Dearie, dearie me, poor show troll/boy/girl!!
       
      a supporter says:

      Norse Warrior, and all the other names it uses on the Telegraph, Scotsman, Guardian et al, is a troll and it has just proved it by diverting your discussion about Trident off track and onto criticism of the SNP. He has started coming here because the sites I mentioned above no longer engage with it or they have banned it. And that is the the silver bullet for a troll. He has been doing this for the more than two years I have been visiting Independence comment sites and I’m really surprised so many of you don’t seem to be aware of it.
       
      Dcanmore says:

      I’ll reiterate what Dal Riata has said … Norsewarrior has spent the last two years trolling very extensively with anti-SNP/Salmond rhetoric. He/she lures you in with sensible comment then goes on a ‘SNP fanatics’ rant designed to disrupt a thread. Norsewarrior does this until he/she is banned from making comments on that particular site. Needless to say this person is now banned from several sites including The Scotsman and The Telegraph (quite a feat). This person has been looking for another home but he/she doesn’t look for harmony but instead searches out dissonance

    135. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “He/she lures you in with sensible comment then goes on a ‘SNP fanatics’ rant designed to disrupt a thread.”

      Even assuming that were true, it’ll only succeed if you let it by, for example, going on endlessly about them being a troll. Do you see?

      I’ll say it for a third and hopefully last time – I’m aware of the allegations. I’m watching. I’ll decide who’s a troll and who isn’t. Can we move on or am I going to have to get annoyed?

    136. Norsewarrior says:

      “Just for the record Norsewarrior – I have never engaged with you and never shall at any time”

      Er….that’s nice for you and of course its your prerogative, but I’m not sure exactly why you think I’d be interested to know that? 

    137. Norsewarrior says:

      “we have another two people on this very string who know all about you and the games you play. More ‘substantiated’ evidence of who you are”

      The ‘substantiated evidence’ you’ve provided is nothing more than the unsubstantiated claims of a couple of other posters. 

      As the Rev has again repeated, it is he who will decide who is and isn’t a troll.

      I am discussing the issues of independence and putting forward positive arguments that I believe will improve our chances of getting independence, its YOU who is disrupting the thread by endlessly going on about people being trolls and encouraging others to do likewise – I’d suggest there is more evidence that YOU are a troll than there is about anyone else. 

    138. Cath says:

      NorseWarrier, if you are pro-independence, don’t you think your time would be better spent out there campaigning for it, perhaps with the Radical Independence Convention, or Socialists for independence, Labour for Indy, the Greens, or whatever your politics is?
       
      As I’ve said before, we are all “the Yes campaign”. It’s grassroots and relies – as the future of an independent Scotland will – on people campaigning, arguing and voting for the changes they want to see. You want people to see something other than the SNP? Fine, go out and show them. Many others already are. All you appear to be doing here is denying those people exist.

    139. Norsewarrior says:

      “NorseWarrier, if you are pro-independence, don’t you think your time would be better spent out there campaigning for it”

      How do you know I’m not already? Anyway there’s not much point in the likes of me campaigning on something at a grassroots level if the upper echelons of the campaign aren’t broadcasting the same message.

    140. MajorBloodnok says:

      Norsewarrior said: “Anyway there’s not much point in the likes of me campaigning on something at a grassroots level if the upper echelons of the campaign aren’t broadcasting the same message.”
       
      I know, pointless isn’t it?

    141. Dal Riata says:

      @Rev
      Aye, nae bother, Stu, it’s your blog and you set the rules of course. Having had to deal with trolls on sites I’ve had and moderating on others, I was just trying to give others a head up.
      Anyway, that’s it for now, I’ll not say any more about this person.



    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.




    ↑ Top