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Fair’s Fair: the Brexit case for indyref 2

Posted on September 20, 2020 by

As a right-of-centre English conservative, there are Scottish National Party concepts I haven’t so far been able to comprehend. Perhaps it’s because I don’t follow Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford. Should I keep an eye on what The Scotsman is saying?

SNP leaders talk in the same sentence of a “free” and “independent” Scotland having a future as a member of the EU. My grasp of those words is not theirs. Distinguished lawyers – be they Remainers, Leavers or Don’t-Care-Just-Pay-My-Billsers – all agree that a series of European Court of Justice decisions have established the unqualified supremacy of European Union laws – disguised as “Regulations and Directives” – over the national laws of EU states.

By 1970, the court ruled that Community law must take precedence even over the constitutional laws of member states — including basic laws guaranteeing fundamental rights, such as in Internationale Handelsgesellschaft mbH v Einfuhr- und Vorratsstelle für Getreide und Futtermittel.

I see this as vassalage, not independence.

I can’t understand why the SNP hasn’t seen how Brussels – and the European Central Bank – deals with small countries it thinks have not grasped the programme. Perhaps they didn’t hear Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis talking about his country’s euro crisis:

“Europe, in its infinite wisdom decided to deal with this bankruptcy by loading the largest loan in human history on the weakest of shoulders … What we’ve been having ever since is a kind of fiscal waterboarding that has turned this nation into a debt colony … What is being offered to the Greek people is circuses with no bread. And the circuses are not even funny.”


“Why did they force us to close the banks? To instill fear in people. And spreading fear is called terrorism.”

Would the Scots be content surrendering their sovereignty in the EU envisaged by Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator?

“The world of tomorrow is not a world order based on nation-states or countries. It is a world order based on empires … in which we as Europeans, and you British, can only defend your interests, your way of life, by doing it together, in a European framework and in the European Union.”

I was confused, during the 2014 referendum, when Alex Salmond said an independent Scotland would retain sterling as its currency. When he said “It’s Scotland’s pound and we’re keeping it”, he was envisaging an arrangement whereby the Finance Minister in an independent Scottish government would have interest rates in his or her free country set by the Bank of England under a governor appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in London. The suits at the European Central Bank were probably puzzled, too.

But as someone who’s been a Brexiteer since before the UK made the great mistake of joining the embryonic European Union in 1972, I can’t see a scintilla of a moral or logical case justifying the rejection of a demand for a second independence plebiscite, if made manifest in a mandate given to the Edinburgh government next year.

It was the Brexit vote that first put the state of the Union and its profoundly flawed devolution settlement on the agendas of the chattering classes in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast – and, doubtless, Dublin. The Scottish independence movement got a reviving wind, as did conjecture around dinner tables and at the BBC about the ways in which Mrs May’s “precious Union” might crack up.

Older readers might remember what a British prime minister, Harold MacMillan, said when he was asked what would fix his government’s course. “Events, dear boy,” he replied, “events.” The 1956 Suez fiasco put MacMillan into Downing Street, and a spies-and-sex scandal in 1963 would help to turf him out.

The COVID-19 event and the different ways in which the UK’s four governments have stumbled from one blunder to another has shone a powerful torch on the union’s creaking foundations, and what’s been revealed has come as a bigger surprise in England than elsewhere in the union.

“Why,” a traveller returning to London from Portugal recently asked, “can’t there be a single UK quarantine policy?” The question was put to a BBC Radio 4 reporter, which was appropriate because one of the intriguing achievements of the BBC since its creation in 1927 has been to render – south of the Solway-Tweed line – “British” and “English” interchangeable.

The word “England” was heard rarely on the corporation’s radio stations before the plague other than in contexts in which it couldn’t be dodged: cricket, football and rugby coverage, and weather forecasts.

More significantly, the reality of the UK’s constitutional muddle is beginning to bubble up in public discourse. An English Tory MP this month, while talking about the different and ever-changing quarantine regulations across the UK, referred to the “English parliament”. It was, patently, a slip of the tongue, since he must know – I assume – that the last time one of those was seen was 1707.

MPs in the three Unionist legacy parties – I fear we must acknowledge the existence of the Liberal Democrats – now talk about the Four Nations, which brings me to the problem Brexiteers on both the right and left have when denying Scotland another opportunity to make a choice about its future.

For a great many of us in the Brexit movement, the argument was not fundamentally about immigration numbers, the financial cost of EU membership, or the best ways in which to sell and move cars, kettles, cows and Cognac across Europe. Neither was it about any particular EU law that might or might not be useful or useless.

It was at its heart a struggle to restore the right and liberty of a country – albeit at this point a polity comprising four nations – to elect directly the people who make the laws of their state and remove them. It was about restoring the democratic government of a free nation state.

Our philosophical starting point could be best summarized in the words of two English politicians who sat on opposite sides of the Commons chamber but who shared a deep regard for the warp and weft of the democracy as they saw it rooted in these islands.

One was Peter Shore, a nonconformist left-wing minister in the Labour governments of the 1960s and 70s, and an unwavering opponent of UK involvement in the European project. The other was Margaret Thatcher. Both could be described as nationalists.

Shore said when the Commons was asked in 1972 to accept the Treaty of Rome:

“It is a treaty – the first in our history – which would deprive the British Parliament and people of democratic rights which they have exercised for many centuries.

I can think of no treaty, to cite only one characteristic of the Rome Treaty, in which the British Parliament agree that the power to tax the British people should be handed over to another group, or countries, or people outside this country, and that they should have the right in perpetuity to levy taxes upon us and decide how the revenues of those taxes should be spent.”

He added later: I did not come into socialist politics in order to connive in the dismantling of the power of the British people.” He voted against all of the European treaties and opposed UK participation in elections to the European Parliament.

Mrs Thatcher, meanwhile, in 1988 delivered a speech at the College of Europe in Bruges that set the Conservative Party’s Eurosceptic fuse alight:

“We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.

Working more closely together does not require power to be centralized in Brussels or decisions to be taken by an appointed bureaucracy.

We want to see Europe more united and with a greater sense of common purpose, but it must be in a way which preserves the different traditions, parliamentary powers, and sense of national pride in one’s own country.”

What both of these people – Thatcher somewhat later than others such as Hugh Gaitskell, Tony Benn, Enoch Powell and Ernie Bevin – could see coming down the track was the step-by-stealth creation of exactly what the project’s founders had in mind from its origins in the 1920s: a country – or a state – called Europe, its ancient nations reduced to mere counties.

The decades-long struggle by EU-sceptics to regain the sovereignty of the nation they called Britain might, once upon a time, have been recognizable in Ireland as a quest for nothing other than Home Rule.

But now we know there is no such nation as Britain. It was a construct cobbled together by England for three centuries and its end is approaching, if not imminent. It is being seen off by the Brexit vote, the coronavirus plague and the very devolution settlement that was designed to preserve it but that would inevitably fail to do so.

Westminster’s devolution legislation was a recognition of the legitimacy of nationalism, at least in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It had not a clue – and still hasn’t – what to do about England, where the so-called main parties have failed to come up with a satisfactory answer to the West Lothian Question, a phrase coined by Enoch Powell after the then Labour MP for that constituency raised the problem repeatedly in devolution debates.

One Labour politician – albeit a former one – who has subjected the devolution mess to a forensic study in the light of the Brexit vote is Professor John Denham, a minister in Blair and Brown administrations and now Director of the Centre for English Identity and Politics at the University of Winchester.

In a 2018 lecture, “A nation divided? The identities, politics and governance of England”, he explained concisely what a parliament is for and, in the context of West Lothian Question, which might also be called The English Question, noted:

“England is now the only part of the UK governed permanently on most domestic policy by the UK government and not by its own elected parliament or assembly.

Of course, people say that England is so big within Westminster that the distinction is a technicality, a matter of form not a matter of substance. This is to miss the point about what a national parliament is. English Votes on English Laws have given English MPs a veto on legislation but, in the words of one authoritative study, it has not yet given England a voice.

The Commons does not provide a forum and focus for the politics of England in the way that the elected bodies of Scotland, Wales and, Northern Ireland do for those parts of the union. There is no crucible for England’s national debate.”

So this is the tangle my Brexiteer friends – Tories, Labour, UKIP folks – appear unwilling or unable to unravel. They fought for the right of what they thought was a nation – Britain – to make a choice about its future. Their philosophical case was flawless, it was just that the nation they believed they were safeguarding didn’t and doesn’t exist.

But the moral basis of that campaign has been established and is there to be taken and asserted by the SNP with the voice Scotland’s parliament, the country’s crucible for national debate, gives it.

What makes the Union so “precious” for those who see it as such? Mere history and sentiment? They undoubtedly have weight in the affairs of nations and their alliances, but they do not fix constitutions in stone.

Or an intellectual inability to accept the mortality of all unions, even those that have survived for three centuries? Possibly; it was quite beyond the comprehension of EU Remainers that Britain’s obviously unhappy 48-year marriage with Brussels could ever be brought to an end.

Yanking Britain out of its place in the Brussels Empire – a servitude Oxbridge and the BBC judged everlasting – was the act of radicals. That radical spirit on the Tory right will be needed again if it’s clear that the majority of Scots are as displeased with the British union as the British – or chiefly, the English – were with Europe.

What could the UK’s prime minister do if the Scottish government went ahead with a referendum without Westminster’s consent? The Madrid Solution – send in the riot police to drag old women out of the polling stations? There is no coherently defensible alternative to saying Yes when Scotland asks for the opportunity to say “We’re out”.


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  1. 20 09 20 16:56

    Fair’s Fair: the Brexit case for indyref 2 | speymouth

153 to “Fair’s Fair: the Brexit case for indyref 2”

  1. WhoRattledYourCage

    This is actually the kind of post we need more of. My brain is ticking over in fifteen different directions right now, including what Stu’s motivation is in publishing it. Grinning widely.

  2. kapelmeister

    Mr. Kernek writes rather well. I see he says he’s a large C Conservative which is interesting. It could be that it will be Labour and not the Tories who turn out to be the real last ditch defenders of the union.

  3. Republicofscotland

    What Westminster Brexiteer politicians can’t comprehend is that those who support Scottish independence feel roughly the same way, about this union, as they do about remaining in the EU.

    I often hear right wing Tory politicians speak on the radio or tv, about how the EU has compromised UK sovereignty and that Westminster (Brexiteers especially) needs all its powers to govern for the good of the people. Swap out the EU of course for Westminster and we have the current situation in Scotland, bearing in mind though its likely an independent Scotland would rejoin the EU in some capacity after independence.

  4. Richard

    From an Irish perspective many see Ireland’s EU membership as actually enhancing our independence after being very closely tied to the uk economy for so long( obviously we still are but not to the same extent)

    Of course some sovereignty is lost so I can see why some SCots Indy supporters are against EU membership, but the other way of looking at sovereignty is that larger countries are also sharing their sovereignty for everyone’s benefit , it’s not a one way street like many brexiteers think.

    Here are some impacts of EU membership on Ireland , many of the benefits Scotland will now be losing.

  5. Betty Boop

    At last we hear a coherent argument regarding the union/unions from across the border.

  6. Confused

    I don’t see the point of this article.

    Unrestricted EU love is not part of Scottish Nationalism; the point is what do you get in relative terms.

    English folks using quasi-indy arguments about brexit are being intellectually dishonest – there is no comparison.

    Personally, I would like indy Scotland to leave the EU about 10 years into indy – simply because it is too rich.

    The EU is like a dinner party with some people you like, some you don’t, with a dress code.

    The UK is like being stuck in a lift with a boring kleptomaniac.

    There is a strain of righwing englander argument on the web : scot nats are “selling out to EU globalists” but remaining chained to London is “freedom”.

    Mainly tho – I don’t care what the english say, think, or anything that happens to it. They fucked up their own midden and now are looking for someone to blame.

    At least the author does not blame the EU fot “letting in all the pakis” – a common refrain.

    The english have no identity anyway because they cannot separate english from british – this is a root problem.

  7. Pete

    Great article and one I can agree with.
    As a unionist, Brexit supporting, conservative, proud Scot I too think that Scotland should have another independence vote if the SNP campaigns for it and wins the next election.
    I don’t relish leaving the UK but, if my compatriots vote for it, then, hey- ho, that’s democracy.
    Last time there were too many uncertainties, and, this time, I would wish there to be a reasonable lead up time in which the deal was done with the UK government regarding currency, share of debt, and other related matters. In addition the situation regarding rejoining or otherwise the EU should be clarified in order that voters would know what they were voting for.
    I haven’t, obviously, thought this through in any great detail but, in principle, I agree with the writer.
    Time to settle this.

  8. Lochside

    FFS…an English tory Brexiteer giving us his patronising advice.
    Why not get Farage on next? Beware Geeks bearing gifts, as the old saying (almost says).

    This site, along with the whole movement needs clear leadership not engaging with our enemies.

  9. kapelmeister


    Yes, it is extremely difficult now for countries to resist being members of a larger economic bloc. The benefits are manifold, for Ireland, as they have been for Scotland.

  10. kapelmeister


    You sound a bit intransigent. I disagree with a lot in the article but it’s interesting nevertheless.

  11. Johnny

    This was a very intelligent, thoughtful, logical and fair-minded read. A delight to read.

    May engage more closely with individual points but wanted to register appreciation of the piece in any case. A delight amongst much sludge (in general on Brexit and the U.K. union, rather than on this site I mean, before Stu goes tonto!).

    Thank you, David.

  12. Republicofscotland

    Lochside@ 4.02pm.

    I don’t see it that way, the last five or six paragraphs, are written by someone who sees the inevitability of Scottish independence. Due to the focus of Westminster politicians acting on what’s good for England, but not what’s good for the other Home nations.

  13. Betty Boop

    @Richard, 3:46pm

    As with Ireland, I think many Scots understand that is a union there must be give and take and the EU is considered more benign than the UK and has brought many benefits to areas which the UK parliament tends to ignore.

    A bilateral union where one partner is just so much bigger than the other signatory (and indeed the other nation and province involved) just does not work when the larger “partner” can so easily over-rule. The EU is a quite different union, in my view far more democratic and there is a measure of safety in numbers as it is more difficult for one or two countries to impose policy upon the others. That’s one of the reasons a comparison between the two unions can be made.

    Whatever any of us think about the EU, I appreciate the tone of David Kernek’s post.

  14. CameronB Brodie

    “Their philosophical case was flawless, it was just that the nation they believed they were safeguarding didn’t and doesn’t exist.”

    Cough, splutter. Er, no. Just no. Not unless you’re a fan of political and legal practice that supports racism and authoritarianism.

    The Revenge of Farage: Right-Wing Populism at The 2019 UK Elections

    While the UK Independence Party and the Brexit Party performed poorly in the 2019 UK elections, the right-wing populism they espouse is not a spent force. Rather, in what may be the most important British election in decades, their presence was a deciding influence on the course of the election, and on the eventual victory of the Conservative Party.

  15. WhoRattledYourCage

    Interesting that the Tories wanting to sell off the UK to the USA to asset-strip is not once mentioned this article. For some reason.

  16. leither

    some of my best friends are kippers….

  17. Richard

    kapelmeister says:
    Yes, it is extremely difficult now for countries to resist being members of a larger economic bloc. The benefits are manifold, for Ireland, as they have been for Scotland.

    Betty Boop says:
    Whatever any of us think about the EU, I appreciate the tone of David Kernek’s post.

    – yes I totally agree with both of you

  18. CameronB Brodie

    It’s a no-brainer folks. EU membership would enable Scots to enjoy protection of their Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, where as Westminster is determined to deny you have a legal right to have legal rights.

    Conflicts between EU law and National Constitutional Law
    in the Field of Fundamental Rights

  19. Neil Mackenzie

    “Should I keep an eye on what The Scotsman is saying?”

    I almost laughed out loud.

  20. Johnny

    Cam: re produce etc.

    If we were independent, could we not just copy food standards of the EU anyway even if we were only in EFTA or something?

    If so that suggests that there are more than two options and not just “stay with WM for bad standards” and “be fully in the EU for good standards”.

  21. WhoRattledYourCage

    ‘Neil Mackenzie says:
    20 September, 2020 at 4:42 pm
    “Should I keep an eye on what The Scotsman is saying?”

    I almost laughed out loud.’

    The guy’s not a Scottish political anorak, and he tells you in the article he’s English, in his 70s or 80s. What would he know aboot the media in Scotland? And for all you know, given that he’s published here, he might just be joking.

  22. CameronB Brodie

    As for;

    “That radical spirit on the Tory right will be needed again if it’s clear that the majority of Scots are as displeased with the British union as the British – or chiefly, the English – were with Europe.”

    50th Anniversary Blog Series
    No 31: Radical right populism: is it about inequality or ethnic nationalism?

  23. CameronB Brodie

    The radical right posses an international threat open and liberal democracy, just so you get some balance. Scotland needs to move in the opposite direction from these cats, at the quickest speed possible.

    Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy
    Volume 34, 2018 – Issue 3: SI: Social Policy and Populism: welfare chauvinism and identity politics in a Europe on the brink of Brexit

    The social policy agendas of populist radical right parties in comparative perspective

  24. Caroline Corfield

    I find it interesting that the writer considers the sovereignty of nations such as Hungary and Spain to have been so over-ruled as to make their – oh wait, no it hasn’t. They and indeed Poland have been able to enact laws and take actions which rather loudly proclaim their indifference to the general civilising efforts of the EU. Yes what they did to Greece was serious, but the Greeks also shouldn’t have tried to enter the Eurozone until they actually met the criteria, and the Eurozone is not the EU. There are two areas I can think of, where laws exist without a nation’s sovereignty – maritime law and the International Court of Human Rights, are we to abandon those too?

    England doesn’t have its own parliament because when the devolved parliaments were set up, no English MPs at Westminster wanted to set one up. They tried regional devolution within England but it’s quite clear without the current Mayoral financial incentive the idea of ‘breaking up’ England into regions is one the English representatives and at least as far as the North East of England is concerned, the electorate don’t want. There is already a north/south divide and I suspect no one wanted to see that gain strength inside a country they all consider themselves part of, and I agree with that sentiment.

    English MPs outnumber everyone else so it would have been perfectly easy to set up a devolved assembly for England, and the reason in my mind that they chose not to, is that they would then be subject to the same fiscal restraints as Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and we can’t have that can we? How could capital expenditure on London’s sewers, putting drains in on the M25, digging a tunnel to France be accounted for only in England’s budget? Far better to claim these are in the UK’s interest and charge them directly to the Treasury. Not like the new Forth Bridge, or the dualling of the A9. If the whinging Scots can’t be blamed for spending all the money, then it would certainly fall next to blaming the lazy, feckless North of England instead, and the collapse of the Red Wall would never have happened.

    To be fair to English MPs however, it is in fact those Scottish MPs in the unionist parties who seem to do the most to tie Scotland to the U.K., possibly because they don’t believe there would be a resurgence of their party’s policies after independence (I disagree, Scotland can easily be conservatively minded, if a tad wetter than what is current, and a swing back to left of centre is also perfectly reasonable), more likely it is they’d rather pretend to be important in a ‘big’ Parliament than do real representation in a small Parliament, less booing and haw hawing and more consensus doesn’t seem to suit our current crop of Scots unionists.

  25. Hatuey

    That’s a really great article.

    And the argument works the other way around too — on what meaningful, legitimate, principled, or philosophical basis did Sturgeon think that it was legitimate to go around on a bus pledging to stop England’s Brexit?

    If it’s our right to disengage with the UK, it’s England’s right to disengage with the EU.

    Herein lies the gift of Brexit and the amateurish, opportunistic, diabolical failure of Sturgeon; Brexiteers basically made the argument for Scottish Independence, if only we had a leader who was prepared to listen and capitalise.

  26. Orlando Quarmby

    “There is no coherently defensible alternative to saying Yes when Scotland asks for the opportunity to say “We’re out”.”

    Only an English Tory could have written that laughably arrogant conclusion to a stultifyingly dull & inaccurate comparison of the nature of Scotland as a politically annexed region of the Greater England Project (thinly veneered as ‘the UK’) and an independent Scotland in Europe. Because in asserting the sovereignty of its people it would be entirely contradictory to that assertion if Scotland accepted it had to *ask* England for the *opportunity* to say “we’re out”. Being sovereign means not asking permission to exercise your sovereignty.

  27. Neil

    kapelmeister says:

    “Mr. Kernek writes rather well. I see he says he’s a large C Conservative which is interesting.”

    Not all Cs are Conservatives but all Conservatives are Cs.

  28. CameronB Brodie

    Caroline Corfield
    Excellent post and nice to see you’re still around. Of course political opinion is want to put a slant on things, that’s why I do my thing the way I do. 😉

    Full text.

    European Union Health Law
    7 – Rights: health rights as human rights

  29. Socrates MacSporran

    An interesting article by Mr Kernek – although I found much in it with which I could disagree.

    I feel too, Mr Kernek, like many English people, believes they took over Scotland in 1707.

    He also fails to mention the third option, that an independent Scotland does not join the EU, but, instaed joins Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland in EFTA – the European Free Trade Association.

    This option has much to commend it and I would hope, post-Independence, we had a serious conversation within Scotland about whether to rejoin the EU or to join EFTA.

  30. Iain Donald

    This was an interesting read. But I disagree with the point being driven that England doesn’t exist. You can’t say on one hand, Britain doesn’t exist while arguing on the other, England doesn’t, either. The rest of the UK outside of England has been anglicised to a large degree. It’s English votes and English MPs who decide policy and the future of Britain.

    WM is primarily an English Parliament.

  31. CameronB Brodie

    I’m not simply hostile to Conservatives, though I don’t think the radical right can be correctly described as conservative. Neo-fascist would probably be more accurate.

    The concept of sovereignty in contemporary continental political philosophy

    The concept of sovereignty is one of the central concepts of modern political philosophy. However, faced with processes of economic globalization as well as legal and political universalism, contemporary political theory struggles to account for the exercise of state power in terms of the traditional understanding of sovereignty.

    This survey article reviews the most influential conceptualizations of sovereignty in contemporary continental political philosophy. These include Schmitt’s defense of sovereignty and Agamben’s rejection of sovereign politics as well as a number of theoretical attempts to account for the complexities of sovereignty and its adaptation to new political circumstances.

  32. Johnny

    Iain Donald: I don’t think the writer is saying “England doesn’t exist”.

    In fact, I think he’s acknowledging that they’ve been confusing “Britain” with “England” for a long time.

    Unless it’s a different David Kernek he seems to have still been referring to Brexit as having been a British (rather than English decision) as late as January of this year in an Irish Examimer article.

    So if that’s the case, he’s clearly been thinking about the reality of who chose this course in 2016, which is better than head-in-the-sand media thickos like Carole Malone screaming “you’ve just got to accept it, Jock!”.

  33. twathater

    @ Caroline Cornfield I agree with what you are saying, it would have been EASY to have a english parliament set up but NO then we would be EXPOSED as taking advantage of Scotland’s vast resources to enrich and modernise england, much easier to ABSORB the wealth as the whole uk and produce LIES to assert Scotland’s poverty and subsistence

    As for the EU, being a full member with ALL the associated benefits aligned with all the negatives (as postulated) remains for Scottish citizens to determine

    Once again as others have said I personally am not interested in the English reasons for demanding Brexit it is THEIR choice, but Scots have the right to determine their future whether that is as a full member of the EU or a member of EFTA which is THE POINT OF INDEPENDENCE, it is not for an english acting as a uk parliament right to force an EQUAL PARTNER to concede to their demands

  34. McDuff

    I`ve been thinking about our corrupt bias MSM and its hatred of independence.
    Unlike Ireland Westminster can`t send troops into Scotland to prevent us leaving the UK so apart from MI5 involvement they use the media as a propaganda weapon and that weapon is owned and controlled from outside Scotland.
    So looking ahead to the day we secure our freedom what do we do about that same MSM which is 99% anti Scottish and which will definitely attempt to undermine the new Scottish state on a daily basis with the agenda to demand another referendum to rejoin the UK.
    Ireland had the benefit of the Irish sea and the non existence of a controlling corrupt multi media entering their living rooms every day.
    We must counter these parasites who will attempt to infect and disrupt our new country with considerable ferocity.

  35. leither

    I notice @breeks is absent from this WOVS ukip lite article

    cat got yer tongue?

  36. mr thms

    I like this date for the referendum 10-9-8-7-6-5-4/3/21

  37. leither

    this article is irrelevant.

    once indy, the best outcome for us in the short term would be CU/SM. There are a number of options here, EFTA or an EU ruling etc, This would mitigate the immediate and dire consequences of leaving the SM/CU.

    once indy, in the long term, we would need to see what our options were vis a vis full EU membership. that could take 18 months to 2 years to confirm and could quite easily require another referendum. I would support, the Euro and full military integration etc.

    however, once indy, in the long term, it will no longer be the concern of westminster, bojo, ukip, David Kernek, Stu Campbell or anyone else in England.

    isnt that the point of Indy?

  38. Beaker

    Socrates MacSporran says:
    20 September, 2020 at 5:25 pm
    “…the third option, that an independent Scotland does not join the EU, but, instead joins Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland in EFTA…”

    Actually sounds like a good option. Perhaps the SNP could put this forward as another choice when discussing EU membership. But of course they are currently engaged in internal politics.

  39. CameronB Brodie

    Comparative studies in cognitive biology and cognitive psychology, offer good insight into why England voted for Brexit. This is because our politics are an articulation of our bio-psycho-social identities, which reflect our cultural upbringing as well as our bio-neurological individuality.

    That’s why I know what eugenics looks like, that’s eugenics but pronounced as BREXIT. Or possibly GRA amendments. Remember, Gove has re-structured England’s education system so as to pump out parochial and racist little Englanders. So Scotland certainly has no sustainable future standing under Westminster’s ill-established legal authority.

    Latest research combining social and political surveys with objective cognitive testing suggests that “cognitive flexibility” contributes to formation of ideology. The study finds correlations between cognitive thinking styles and support for Brexit.

  40. Big Jock

    I remind everyone that Scotland voted 62% to remain full EU members. Indeed the last poll had the same numbers.

    Surely as democrats. It’s what the majority want, and this must be recognised.The only reason there is even a question about full EU membership, is because of English nationalism.

    Scotland voted to remain. It would do so again. There is currently no mandate for EFTA or half in half out. Perhaps in the future it may change. But right now this is not even an interesting debate.

  41. Colin Alexander

    Few English /British nationalists recognise the hypocrisy in fighting for the re-establishment of UK national sovereignty from the EU, whilst at the same time, being vehemently against any weakening of UK Union power concentrated in WM.

    Centralised power in London dominated by English MPs and Lords is a good thing. You can’t have enough power in London.

    Imperialist ambitions is something democrats and believers in national self-determination should always be wary of. Unions are not necessarily always bad. Mutual support and co-operation is a good thing. But, concentration of power in the hands of the few inevitably leads to serious abuses of power. We see that in the UK Union. We’ve even seen that in the SNP.

    I voted Remain. I voted Remain to dilute power between two Unions both of whom have little interest in Scottish aspirations. I voted Remain to try and force the SNP into bringing indyref2 as promised in their manifesto, despite the conditions attached. It is now clear there was never any intention of indyref2 being delivered. The conditions were written as a guarantee of no indyref2, so the SNP thought.

    That was then. Now, I’m in a Scotland completely ruled from London and partially administered from Edinburgh by a “government” and “parliament” along with an independence movement that tries to maintain an SNP/Labour lie that the Scottish Parliament exercises Scottish democracy.

    I’m not saying I admire English nationalists but we should admire that they fought for the restoration of English national sovereignty.

    Whereas, the SNP and political “leadership” of “pro-indy” politicians and their Unionist colleagues are an absolute shower of spineless, servile, colonial administrators. They bend the knee to the “sovereign” power of Crown in UK Parliament and bend in the knee in homage to the superiority of English constitutional law re-badged as UK constitutional law.

    They talk about restoring Scotland’s national sovereignty but, the height of their ambitions is to serve Empress Elizabeth, UK Union and their careers in the Holyrood colonial or WM imperial parliament whilst begging permission for democracy.

    Maybe Scots are so pro-European Union compared to their English neighbours because, Scotland’s people have never known national sovereignty in over 300 years. Scotland has also historically looked to Europe as an ally against English Imperialist ambitions over Scotland.

    Scotland’s population, apart from the rich and aristocratic elite, have NEVER had any real sovereign power, except for one day on Thursday 18th of September 2014. Those that voted YES were outvoted by the rest.

    The physically dead who voted No by postal vote. The morally dead Scottish sectarian bigots whose love for a Protestant only monarchy and Protestant state religions meant more to them than Scotland’s freedom. Then there was the feart. Then there was the “new Scots”, the vast majority of whom are middle-aged or elderly English who will always view England and Britain as the same thing, who will NEVER see themselves as anything but English-British, so fear and loathe Scottish sovereignty as an attack on their English-British national sovereignty and personal identity.

  42. Papko

    kapelmeister says:
    20 September, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    “You sound a bit intransigent.”

    The penny is dropping for you Kapelle?

  43. leither

    cant wait to read the chapeter about the EU in the wbb2

  44. Mags

    Genuine question. What makes you think that there will be an election next year? Sturgeon is on a power trip a dictator, under her and johnson we are now under a totalitarian regime. They want subservient slaves and slaves don’t get to vote. It won’t be long till were doing what New Zealand/Australia is doing, curfews and armed police etc. Folk are throwing away their freedoms and rights that thousands of soldiers fought and died for in world wars. I personally don’t believe there will be any elections ever. Thats how i see things i can’t see it changing?

  45. Joe

    @Cameron B Brodie

    ‘Comparative studies in cognitive biology and cognitive psychology, offer good insight into why England voted for Brexit. This is because our politics are an articulation of our bio-psycho-social identities, which reflect our cultural upbringing as well as our bio-neurological individuality.’

    So with this being the case why are we so happy to look at the near future of Europe where the demographic trends point to Europeans being a minority within a few generations and still pretend that this will still be actually Europe at that point?

    Or is it only English people we apply these same rules to?

    So if English people suggest there are too many people of much too alien a culture being imported they can pretty much point to your own argument?

    Isn’t this the whole argument of the real (not civic) nationalists in a nutshell?

    ‘Remember, Gove has re-structured England’s education system so as to pump out parochial and racist little Englanders.’

    I hope so. Its about time the native inhabitants of this island started getting some backbone and rejecting the idea that to hold Scottish, or English or British values in the face of 7th century religious teachings isn’t a bad thing.

    Its happening. People are waking up and getting angry at being seen as some sort of 2nd class people in their ancestral homeland.

    Im with the English 110% on this.

    Slingers of Critical Race Theory BS should take note.

  46. Derick fae Yell

    That was an unexpected, and interesting, perspective to read on a Scottish Independence site. Thanks to Mr Kernek for writing, and Stuart for publishing. Refreshing.

    EFTA is the only practicable route to engage with Europe in an acceptable timescale without excessive economic pain and legislative overload. The timescale for EU accession is long, the compromises, budgetary pressures and legislative requirments to meet the accession criteria are as yet not acknowledged by too many. See this for informed detail

    Let’s lose the magical thinking and see the options clearly

    Ideally EFTA-EEA would be the medium term destination for Scotland. Personally I think it would be a good long term option like our most successful neighbors. That would be a rational compromise between the 62% who voted remain and the 38% who voted leave. I am not inclined to simply tell over a third of my fellow countrymen and women that their wishes are simply to be discounted and trampled into the dust. A more inclusive and intelligent politics would leave the ‘winner takes all’ UK culture behind.

    Both the SNP and Greens are in favour applying to join the EU. Until now there was no option for those who support independence, but not EU membership in the first instance. Now there is

    The ISP will look to renew trading ties with Europe by joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as an initial step. We will also look at the merits of joining the Nordic Council, which has Scandinavian member states with a similar climate and economic profile to ourselves.

  47. Joe

    Additionally: if England can’t teach English children English values then you are pretty much saying that England has no right to continue as a nation.

    If you were to say that about any non-white nation you’d be in violation of anti racism laws.

  48. CameronB Brodie

    I don’t use words like “fascist” or “eugenics” without good reason.

    Origins of spatial, temporal and numerical cognition: Insights from comparative psychology

    Contemporary comparative cognition has a large repertoire of animal models and methods, with concurrent theoretical advances that are providing initial answers to crucial questions about human cognition. What cognitive traits are uniquely human? What are the species-typical inherited predispositions of the human mind? What is the human mind capable of without certain types of specific experiences with the surrounding environment?

    Here, we review recent findings from the domains of space, time and number cognition. These findings are produced using different comparative methodologies relying on different animal species, namely birds and non-human great apes. The study of these species not only reveals the range of cognitive abilities across vertebrates, but also increases our understanding of human cognition in crucial ways….

  49. Derick fae Yell

    Forgot to say that EFTA means being outside the EU customs union.

    which means no customs border from Gretna to Berwick. Which means a ‘softer’ Anglo-Scottish Border. Which means the ‘Border’ is less of an obstacle for people who are risk-averse, to vote Yes

  50. Betty Boop

    @Caroline Corfield, 4:59pm

    Nail on head, Caroline.

  51. Kininvie

    Interesting. The main quarrel I have is the lack of distinction between having sovereignty, and deciding what to do with that sovereignty. England-as-Britain has sovereignty and used it, first to join the EU and then to leave it. Scotland does not have sovereignty to do anything. Once we have it, it will be our choice as to what to do with it.

    In short – the Brexit argument applies as far as regaining sovereignty goes. It does not apply as far as subsequent decisions go.

    What does England-as-Britain propose to do with its newly-regained sovereignty? No one knows. Sunlit uplands and oven ready deals don’t really count as a pragmatic solution.

  52. CameronB Brodie

    We don’t need to be racists parochial insular to regain our national sovereignty. I’m not suggesting the law will liberate us, but we will get nowhere unless our politics start taking part in the defense of international law and order. Rather than supporting it’s siege from the populist right. The future is more than grim if we don’t.

    Racism and the Narrative of Biological Inevitability

  53. Col.Blimp IV

    Big Jock says:
    20 September, 2020 at 6:25 pm
    “I remind everyone that Scotland voted 62% to remain full EU”

    No we didn’t.

    “We” voted for the UK to remain in the EU.

    I did so, solely on my expectation of England voting to Leave, for no other reason than to highlight the differences between Scotland and England.

    How I would vote on an Independent Scotland joining would depend on the terms, the material differences between full membership, EFTA and independently negotiated trading etc arrangements.

    IMHO Global Capitalism is a bigger threat to you, me and our descendants than Westmonster acting to the benefit of England is likely to be in the coming decades, where the EU stands I’m not 100% sure.

    The weather on polling day and whether there is anything good on the telly that night are also factors that trumps blind loyalty to a Mantra [INDEPENDENCEINEUROPE] sold to SNP members as a tool to illustrate to a hesitant electorate that “Independence” would not be a leap into the unknown, but the mere elimination of an unnecessary and redundant layer of government.

    That most of our leadership fannies have substituted Scottish nationalism with Pan-European Devolutionism is no reason for following suit.

  54. Brian Lucey

    EFTA is all the “disadvantages” of the EU with none of the advantages. You are agreeing to be in effect bound by its rules but have no voice in making them.
    But sure.
    Also, has anyone ASKED EFTA?

  55. Monsieur le Roi Grenoulleverteetprofonde

    It would be disingenuous to not accept that Europe would be a major element of a newly re-formed Scotland.But there is also very little doubt that the UK is about to embrace the other large entity across the pond, and for the life of me I can’t say this prospect fills me with hope, an established hegemon with limited perspectives, regressive, chaotic politics and an instinct for repression. Not to mention Europe(EU) is certainly approaching a major watershed as the UK leaves, and the presence and pressure of ever more immigrants is felt.The most convincing analysis of the refugee problem suggest that the successive western military meddlings have simply exacerbated an ver more fragile, environmentally declining world world Scotland would npt be re-joining the entity it has brexited from. There is going to have to be a re-definition of what the EU is really about. The project as it was presented a few years ago(confident of progress toward a unified European state with Peter Shore’s nightmare ever more imminent) is now utterly defunct with populism, scepticism about social progress, the Greece failure,g rowing unease and the evaporation of economic confidence in many quarters, expressed as some muted and not so muted quasi neo-fascist projects throughout Europe.
    The essay above quoted Peter Shore and his suggestion that taxation and internal policy would be dictated by this aspiring European hegemon, forged in the crucible of the cold war. but this really has not happened and looks less and less likely to move in that direction.
    I suspect that what is happening is that the gravity of climate change and environmental decline is becoming ever more apparent and beginning to create waves and whatever Union we become attached to, assuming we achieve some right to choose, the result will be somewhat similar and deeply uncomfortable.

  56. CameronB Brodie

    Col.Blimp IV
    The world is suffused with the harmful influences of global capitalism and zombie neo-liberalism, though less so in nations that have taken constitutional responsibility seriously. Apparently that’s the best way to fight zombie capitalism. So we’re on to plumbs living in Scotland. 🙁

  57. Derek Rogers

    I couldn’t disagree more with David Kernek’s post. Every citizen agrees to laws and pays taxes in widening circles of authority – Hillhead Community Council, Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde Regional Council, the Scottish Government, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United Nations… Anyone who wants to privilege one of those entities over all the others just because it’s called “my country” has got a lot of serious political thinking to do.

    I agree that the EU has misbehaved – outstandingly in its handling of Greek debt and the Catalonian referendum – and it’s distressingly close to neoliberal economics, but that doesn’t mean that we should be leaving it on an English Sinn Fein (“Ourselves Alone”, remember?) platform.

  58. Derick fae Yell

    Brian Lucey says:
    20 September, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    “EFTA is all the “disadvantages” of the EU with none of the advantages. You are agreeing to be in effect bound by its rules but have no voice in making them.
    But sure.
    Also, has anyone ASKED EFTA?”

    Your first point is incorrect. EFTA itself is a membership association of states which retain full sovereignty – all decisions are made by consensus and all members retain a veto.

    This follows through into how the EFTA-EEA three are represented in the EEA Council. The four members of the EEA Council, with full voting rights, are Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and the EU Commission representing EU member positions via Qualified Majority Voting. Obviously smaller EU states have less ‘voice’ in the EU than the EFTA-EEA three.

    As for the EFTA-EEA three having less ‘voice’ in EEA (EU) decisions. It’s not as clear cut as you suggest. In any political organization the real decisions are made long before the politicians get to apply the rubber stamp at the end. That applies to the EEA/EU as much as it applies to Stoneybridge Toon Cooncil. The EFTA states are involved formally, and informally, in decision shaping, long before it gets to the politicians. Yes, the EFTA members don’t have a Minister in the Council of Ministers, and hence don’t have a vote at the final stage. But the DO have influence. Forget the UK majoritarian mindset. Europe works by consensus, wherever possible.

    Has anyone asked EFTA?

    There’s no guarantee that Scotland would be accepted for EFTA membership, any more than there is that Scotland would be accepted for EU membership. But it is inherently simpler and faster to agree with four, than with 27, without the ‘integration’ agenda of the EU. An EFTA of Five, including Scotland, would control the territorial waters of the North Atlantic from Rockall to Greenland, to the North Cape and down to Berwick. Most of Europe’s renewable energy resources. Scotland’s membership would strengthen EFTA, which is an incentive for the Four to accept our membership

  59. Andrew Orr

    No “vassalage” in the rulings of the two courts. Read them.

  60. Col.Blimp IV

    Derick fae Yell

    From an environmental viewpoint, it would seem that EFTA-EEA would be the better option, it’s members having fishing as a larger part of it’s economy than than the EU, would be more inclined to safeguard it’s sustainability.

  61. Breeks

    You would NOT be surrendering Sovereignty to Europe. That is bollocks.

    The UK didn’t surrender Sovereignty to Europe. If it had surrendered sovereignty, it could not have chosen to leave Europe entirely of it’s own volition. It’s National Sovereignty was entirely intact throughout, and never once in jeopardy.

    The Brexiteers deliberately obfuscate formal agreements which the UK willingly entered into, (the Single Market they hate was actually a UK led initiative), and berate these agreements as representing an erosion of national sovereignty when they are absolutely no such thing. They are liars!

    It is only in the UK Union where you will find the National Sovereignty of one signatory nation being routinely compromised, denigrated, and colonially usurped by the other signatory to the bilateral Treaty between them, and that is where we find Scotland, trapped inside a Union and denied a sovereign veto over Westminster’s obnoxious and brazen disregard for Scotland’s sovereign Constitution and what is stipulated in the Articles of the Treaty of Union.

    This Brexiteer’s article cannot even be bothered to engage with the root cause of Scotland’s disaffection, merely announce he is perplexed by our “non sensical“ position. The author is disingenuous in his sincerity and actually couldn’t care less. He cannot understand the logic of Scottish Independence because it is an departure from the BritNat narrative and thus of no interest to any BritNat Tory gobshite. His condescending advice to us would be to stop manufacturing grievances and fall back in line, putting our shoulder to the British wheel like we did in the good old days.

    I would bet money he’s also a proponent of the “once in a generation” garbage that is also the typical Tory fare. It’s all the same interminable yawn.

    There is no nation called Britain. Soon there will be no United Kingdom, and it cannot happen soon enough, so Scotland can engage properly and constructively with it’s friends and neighbours in Europe on our own terms, without addressing them in the derogatory way so favoured by the British, and being continually embarrassed by arrogant British petulance and sadly misguided exceptionalism.

  62. Fireproofjim

    Oh, Stu, You spoil us with your six articles in three days. We are not worthy. Well, some of us are.

  63. Stoker

    “…The Tory Government, without electoral support in Scotland, had sabotaged democratically endorsed legislation at Holyrood for the 1st time. And they did it to force through Brexit – which was also rejected in Scotland. The AG was key to this.”

  64. Jock McDonnell

    David, thanks for this. I like it when Wings brings in different streams of thought. Also of interest is Neal Ascherson in the recent London Review of Books.

  65. CameronB Brodie

    The constitutional “need” for Brexit was entirely fabricated, and fed to a public traumatided by austerity, and conditioned through a narrative of populist, white, English/British nationalist rhetoric from the radical right. All of this on top of British nationalism’s historical antipathy to all things continental this side of the Atlantic. Is there any wonder I’m ragging?

    Research & Politics, First Published May 23, 2018
    Populist referendum: Was ‘Brexit’ an expression of nativist and anti-elitist sentiment?


    Was the outcome of the United Kingdom’s ‘Brexit’ referendum to leave the European Union a visible and consequential manifestation of right-wing populism? After all, skepticism in the UK towards the EU predates the recent rise of European right wing populism. Original survey data show, however, that the interaction of nativist sentiment and anti-elitist attitudes, the cocktail of right-wing populism, led to widespread support for Brexit, even while controlling for other factors.

    Although hostility to immigrants was an important factor, nativists were particularly prone to vote ‘leave’; if they also did not trust political elites, a crucial element of populism. Further underscoring this explanation is the conditional effect of anti-elite sentiment. The relationship between anti-elite sentiment and support for leaving the EU only exists among those with high nativist sentiment; among those low in nativist sentiment, anti-elite feelings did not increase support for Brexit.

    Brexit, populism, public opinion, referendum voting

  66. leither

    maybe the wee blue book 2 could have perforated margins so those delivering them can remove the bits they dont agrre with?

    eg, the anti covid mask chapter, the ukip heavy pro brexit chapter etc.

    that should work 🙂

  67. Mist001

    RE the original post by David Kernek.

    I don’t mind reading other peoples points of view but you have to ask, ‘what’s he doing here?’

  68. Stu hutch

    When the author says brexit was not fundamentally about immigration I’m afraid that was for me when the mask slipped.if he really wants to be honest. Which I dont believe he does Brexit was wholeheartedly about immigration england is fundamentally a racist country it always has been.every country they have invaded has been raped pillaged and set on fire once they have been rejected.famine to many millions.driven from there homes for the enrichment of the few.and yes I am aware we scots are complicit.but in context has England had a famine inflicted on it by an invader like Ireland or its citizens cleared from there lands because the lairds made more money from sheep I think not.he talks of the eu parliment that will not be a friend to scotland.forgetting to mention how english mps piss on our mps when they walk through the our committees are stuffed with english mps.lucy frazer mp I say no more.this man is a clown a tory brexit clown.why are we giving him oxygen.

  69. crazycat

    @ Big Jock at 6.25

    I remind everyone that Scotland voted 62% to remain full EU members…

    There is currently no mandate for EFTA or half in half out

    In the same way that Devo-Max did not appear on the ballot paper in 2014, there was no mention of EFTA in 2016 – quite rightly, because that was not an option and the question was about the UK‘s membership of the EU.

    It’s possible, of course, that everyone who voted Remain would prefer EU membership to EFTA, and that anyone who preferred EFTA either voted Leave or abstained.

    But you can’t know that. There might not be a mandate for EFTA (because no-one has been asked about it) but there is clearly some support for it, whether as an interim measure or an end-goal.

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding your post, but it seems to me that you are suggesting that EFTA membership should not even be considered, because of the outcome of a referendum which didn’t mention it!

  70. Hatuey

    Mags says:
    20 September, 2020 at 6:53 pm
    “Genuine question. What makes you think that there will be an election next year?”

    There’s real potential here for Holyrood to be closed down in the same way, and for similar reasons, that Stormont was closed. When you think about it, the situations are very similar.

    I can easily imagine a situation unfolding that resulted in several cabinet resignations, not just one or two, and I don’t have a clue what would happen after that.

    The Covid crisis doesn’t exactly help matters. And it would potentially present a nice opportunity for Boris to throw his weight around.

  71. CameronB Brodie

    Daily Express article.

  72. Mist001

    “I remind everyone that Scotland voted 62% to remain full EU members…”

    It could therefore be argued that 55% voted to remain in the EU in 2014 because an independent Scotland would have been out of the EU had it succeeded.

    And funnily enough, being in or out of the EU wasn’t that big a deal for Scotland in 2014.

  73. holymacmoses

    Writing which makes one do a bit of thinking, thanks to Mr Kernek for the article and Wings for the platform

    “What makes the Union so “precious” for those who see it as such? Mere history and sentiment? They undoubtedly have weight in the affairs of nations and their alliances, but they do not fix constitutions in stone.

    Or an intellectual inability to accept the mortality of all unions, even those that have survived for three centuries?”

    My response to the first question here would be that political ‘Unions’ are formed to achieve more power and control: most people don’t like to let go

    As to the second question I would say that perhaps an intellectual disinclination to accept the immorality of many unions as well as the mortality of all unions may have a part to play

    “Yanking Britain out of its place in the Brussels Empire – a servitude Oxbridge and the BBC judged everlasting – was the act of radicals. That radical spirit on the Tory right will be needed again if it’s clear that the majority of Scots are as displeased with the British union as the British – or chiefly, the English – were with Europe.”

    Is a sentiment I totally agree with. And here we have a the rub. ‘How to stir the Scots to achieve enough of that hot political temperament necessary to ‘go for it’?
    Since the ’45 the scots have suffered a continuous onslaught of diminishment and disparagement and often the only way they get really, really fired up is when they’re fighting for someone else in order to ‘show them’ just how good they really are.
    We need to believe in ourselves. Mr Salmond got us to do that. I fear Ms Sturgeon has bedded us back down into a comfortable acceptance of ‘what we could have been ‘. We need to get really,really angry with Westminster, so angry that we become determined to rid ourselves of their disgraceful behaviour. Ms Sturgeon has done damage in this area by trying to bring down Mr Salmond and make him less than he is: it is shameful to try to destroy a good man, and in this case, even more shameful because Alex Salmond represents so much of the independent spirit of Scotland and in taking him down, she hurt the people of Scotland. That behaviour should come back to bite her, and I sincerely hope it does , but that may well depress a number of Saint Nicola’s disciples and even worse, some of Scotland’s people.
    But we do have very strong people in the wings ready and able to take up the challenge. Most of them will be up for the fight and ready to make the Scottish people proud of themselves.
    There’s nothing like ‘ACTION’ to stir things up and we need to create a viable alternative for people who want independence but don’t want the status quo of SNP and a few Tory, Labour, Lib Dems and Greens as ‘hingerson’
    As a wee aside: It would be good if the Proclaimers came up with an amazing anthem for us. The right music stirs the blood and the emotions and makes people feel good

  74. Colin Alexander

    Most people are unaware of how much of what we consider to be Scots Law legal rights only became part of Scots Law only because the British-Scottish Establishment were forced to accept it because of the EU.

    The Equality Act 2010
    Data Protection Act 1998 / GDPR Data Protection Act 2018
    Also many aspects of laws regarding employment and consumer rights;
    political asylum laws to name but a few.

    EU / EEA Nationals were also not subject to UK Immigration rules when they exercised EU legal rights regarding unification of their families and freedom of movement. EU Law overruled tougher UK immigration laws.

    The rulings of the ECJ have also had a huge impact on the interpretation of law in the UK.

    Then there is the Council of Europe’s European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights(which is nothing to do with the EU but the EU Law has also highly influenced by its case law) .

    All of these have been viewed by English / British nationalists as undermining and attacking the sovereignty and independence of British sovereignty.

    Labour and Tory Govts have repeatedly actively worked to prevent UK citizens from having enhanced human rights that other countries have agreed to ( even if they then breach those rights).

    Remember this: as part of the doctrine of Crown in Parliament sovereignty, UK Parliament not only creates any law it wants to, it is also the highest court, not answerable to any other court, unless it chooses to.

    So, Brexit means absolute and unlimited power for UK Parliament – in reality, absolute power for Boris Johnson’s Tory Party. Abolition of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights ( Human Rights for individuals) was done immediately with Brexit. UK Parliament asserting absolute sovereignty of UK Parliament and stripping the Scottish Parliament of powers is just the start.

    You have been warned.

  75. McDuff

    My response to the article by this Thatcher loving Tory is I know not an intellectual one, but here it is anyway.

  76. Robert Graham

    Well a interesting point of view

    I wasn’t going to comment until I read the cunning plan on WGD , not sure if it’s Baldricks cunning Plan but along the same lines . By the way you lot are the scum of the earth , just saying like

    The Cunning Plan is to wait , wait until all the old NO voters check out ,

    Eh noticed a little Flaw in the Cunning Plan tha might have been overlooked namely Old codgers tend to pop off around the same age so for every NO voter that pegs out chances are a YES voter will also hit the dust , funny how Mother Nature tends to keep everything in some kind of order .

    This Cunning Plan has been devised while completely ignoring Mr Murrells comments that have been published in black and white for all to see , and while the Witch from the East , Garavelie can’t be arsed checking the spelling it’s not important just as she is not important, anyway while the spreader of shite covers pages of Newsprint with total shite , instead of calling a truce it looks like the FMs office are still intent in getting Alex,

    How anyone can ignore what is happening around them and is currently being played out in a parliamentary inquiry because it’s so serious , points to people in Denial because of the prospect of their trust in their own perception being crushed is beyond them ,

    Well folks of the Cunning Plan gang , yer in for a fkn real disappointing few weeks or maybe even months so buckle up a get your comfort blankets ready I guarantee Tears Before Bedtime , and by all means have a go and give folks here get that Superior Stare and snarky comment in the comfort of yer wee gang hut where you are protected from the bad WOS gang, mind how you go now .

  77. Daisy Walker

    I find the trouble of debating about Scottish Indy with the good people of England is

    1/ they know fine well that their country asset strips ours and so they absolutely have to play the ‘daft laddie’ card of ‘what do you mean’ ‘where’s the evidence’, or ‘I don’t really follow politics’.


    2/ They genuinely don’t know, and they really, really don’t want to know the details, because it would make them feel uncomfortable.

    The author of the above article, believes every word he wrote, I have no doubt.

    What it fails to take into account, is the very concept of ‘British’ enables England and England’s Government at Westminster to do all sorts of nasty things to other people and other countries and always keep it at arms length. For that reason the creation of an ‘official’ English Government was always never going to happen, as it would rob them of their most valuable Propaganda tool. And the movers and shakers within know this fine well.

    Next time you meet a No voter, and they call you a Scottish Nationalist – call them an English one, hiding behind a Union Jack and with the word British stamped on it.

    Then ask them, if they realise they are racist, imposing a Government on another country – against that countries democratic wishes, while asset stripping the country bare. Just because they elect a Boris, or a Maggie, or a Dave, or a Tony, to do it for them, doesn’t mean they are not culpable.

  78. Robert Graham

    A timely reminder by Coilin 9:35 pm

    Can I add for people that are not aware Labour and Donald didn’t magically devise Devolutionand give it willingly to the people of Scotland ,

    The Labour government were dragged kicking and screaming by the Council of Europe upon threat of expulsion from the EU , even then Dewar assisted by others in the Labour Party did everything they could to block it ,stymie it’s implementation , and when that failed he just had to have a wee act of vindictive Spite to make him feel better, this was to alter Scotlands Maritime border with England , So looking east from Arbroath is actually English waters aye yer a treasure Donald it’s not a bloody statue that should have been put up a the top of Buchanan st it should have been Gallows and while he was living , Bitter you f/n better believe it .

  79. CameronB Brodie

    I acknowledge different views are healthy to consider but only if those views are healthy.

    “So this is the tangle my Brexiteer friends – Tories, Labour, UKIP folks – appear unwilling or unable to unravel. They fought for the right of what they thought was a nation – Britain – to make a choice about its future. Their philosophical case was flawless, it was just that the nation they believed they were safeguarding didn’t and doesn’t exist.

    But the moral basis of that campaign has been established and is there to be taken and asserted by the SNP with the voice Scotland’s parliament, the country’s crucible for national debate, gives it.”

    The above is probably as far from the truth as it gets, and political discourse without truth undermines democracy.

    Waiting for Rights: Progressive Realization and Lost Time

    The obligation of ‘progressive realization’ under the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights is often interpreted in light of available resources – this chapter examines, instead, the variable of time.

    Noting that delay of rights is akin to denial of rights, Young explores the various ways in which accountability models, at the international level, have elaborated on concrete, and temporal, benchmarks. These include the minimum core, and non-retrogression doctrines, and the exercises in comparative rankings.

    These are important sources of accountability, especially for positive obligations. And yet with the promise of rights, law nevertheless structures the expectations of rights-holders. This chapter examples how ‘waiting’ for rights may be an especially passive, disempowering, and anti-solidaristic experience and in so doing reveals greater insight on a tension with underlies the recognition of fundamental material interests as rights.

    progressive realization, time, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, accountability, minimum core, non-retrogression, rankings

  80. CameronB Brodie

    I specialised to work in overseas development, and this is the sort of stuff I was taught to ensure folk gained full access to due process in law and access to justice. Unfortunately, our law officers appear to view the law through the lens of British constitutional practice, which is no longer compatible with the Common law. So can we please get a grownup to take a look at this situation for us?

    Implementing the Right
    to Development
    The Role of International Law

  81. Bob Mack

    On Wee Ginger Dugs site they are actually complaining about this article. It would never occur to them that Stu is giving us an insiight into what the opposition are thinking.

    Instead Stu is being paid by forces to inhibit Indy.

    It’s not just Westminster who we have to force to open their eyes.

    It’s also Indy supporters who are even more blind.

  82. Beaker

    @Daisy Walker says:
    20 September, 2020 at 10:06 pm
    “I find the trouble of debating about Scottish Indy with the good people of England is
    1/ they know fine well that their country asset strips ours… Just because they elect a Boris, or a Maggie, or a Dave, or a Tony, to do it for them, doesn’t mean they are not culpable.”

    Being a picky bastard here, it is not the English you need to convince, but the people of Scotland. The oil argument is well known, but that is now confusing given that Nicola has said there is a climate emergency and oil is not important for independence. So exactly what assets are currently being stripped?

    “Asset stripping” is a stupid phrase to use. It doesn’t present a clear message. Fine for the party faithful but most people aren’t interested in sweeping statements.

  83. ElGordo

    See the daily record is also now going full on “Nicola Sturgeon’s Government” on all their articles now.

    Be an interesting couple of weeks.

    Attacks on all fronts, red cards and early baths.

  84. Hatuey

    Habib Steele says:
    20 September, 2020 at 9:14 pm
    “Please respond to this article in the Daily Express.”

    Leave this to me, everybody.

    It’s senseless crap.

  85. kapelmeister

    The Alliance For Unity in the Express article, may I remind folks, is George Galloway’s new political vehicle. That’s what the silly wee man has come to. Being taken up by the Daily Express.

  86. Stan Broadwood

    Daisy Walker 10.06pm

    “…the good people of England…”.

    I hope to fuck you are talking for yourself numbnut.

    Don’t get me started on the racist bastards to the South of our border.

    Should you not be out chappin doors, gettin your Nicola up to 60%, then get straight back to the Wee Gingerbread Man’s website.

  87. CameronB Brodie

    I do like the subtle ones. 😉

    Human Rights Explained
    Fact sheet 5
    The International Bill of Rights

    After the end of World War II a series of conventions and declarations began
    to articulate universal human rights.

    A convention (sometimes called a covenant) is a binding treaty, coming into
    force upon ratification by a certain number of States. Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties provides that: ‘Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good

    A declaration is not legally binding but carries moral weight because it is adopted by the international community….

  88. Hatuey

    If they had any sort of convincing response to the allegations, Sturgeon and her cohorts would be shouting about this everywhere. She would be all over the papers and the TV News providing them with more ammunition to use against Salmond.

    The silence tells you everything you need to know.

    They have no response, no excuse, and no explanation. That in itself suggests it’s probably worse than any of us think.

    The Garavelli article didn’t even touch on the core issue of corruption which implicates the whole establishment.

    Dark times.

  89. CameronB Brodie

    I honestly think a grass-roots petition to international law may be required, and I doubt the effort would be fruitless. We do have Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, as well as biological and environmental rights, even if our legal Establishment and Westminster are not prepared to acknowledge and support them.

    Civil Rights in International Law: Compliance with Aspects of the ‘International Bill of Rights’

    Prepared for the Workshop on Global Constitutionalism: Process and Substance Thursday 17th January – Sunday 20th January 2008, Kandersteg, Switzerland

  90. Hatuey

    CameronB, didn’t anyone tell you, International law was basically dismantled along with Iraq?

    If the UN can’t do anything to save millions of Iraqis, Palestinians, and the starving millions, etc., etc., etc., what makes you think anyone will give a toss about this comparatively trivial crap?

  91. CameronB Brodie

    International law and international human rights law has been under intense attack since Iraq but it’s not dead yet. Anyway, is its’ jeopardy really a good reason to abandon supporting it, just when it needs our support and we need its’ jurisprudence like never before?

    National Discretion and International Deference in
    the Restriction of Human Rights: A Comparison
    Between the Jurisprudence of the European and
    the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

  92. Awizgonny

    The constitutional way forward has actually little to do with what Westminster thinks or whether the UK or anyone else recognises an independent Scotland.It’s first and foremost to do with becoming independent in a way that the SCOTTISH PEOPLE will accept, on both sides.Everything else is secondary.

  93. CameronB Brodie

    ….has been 🙂 oops

  94. C Griffiths

    Every single indy supporter I know of (apart from one or two) back indy in order to get Scotland to rejoin the EU. A family of 27 indy nations working together, co-operating, in mutual respect, is a million miles away from the Uk. Staying in Brexit bound Uk means isolation and lower standards from food to health & safety.

  95. CameronB Brodie

    Someone needs to think of how to make supporting the international rule-of-law politically attractive in Scotland. That’s terrible, eh?

    The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law
    Part III Structural Principles, Ch.19 Proportionality

  96. CameronB Brodie

    Brexit will no doubt lead to unnecessary premature deaths in Scotland, so I hope Scotland’s law officers are content with their judgement and practice.

    Journal for Constitutional Theory and Philosophy of
    Law, 22 | 2014
    Constitutional Rights and Proportionality

  97. Awizgonny

    @ CameronB Brodie

    “Someone needs to think of how to make supporting the international rule-of-law politically attractive in Scotland. That’s terrible, eh?”

    Your point being?

  98. CameronB Brodie

    sorry….lead to avoidable premature deaths….

    INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Constitutional Justice and the Principle of Proportionality Sucre, Bolivia 7 December 2018

  99. CameronB Brodie

    My point, which I think fits with the last couple of WOS posts, is that the Scottish legal Establishment have a strange way of supporting the law UNIVERSALLY. They appear “ambivalent” towards Brexit, and happy to ignore the entirely unconstitutional nature of the project.

    Brexit blew the union apart, but it’s only now it threatens peace in Ireland that there’s an issue!? If ever there was a nation of slaves it’s Scots, who bend the need to legal sharp practice and sectarian bigotry promoted within our community. Fuck me but it’s hard to be Scottish and still look the world in the eye.

    The Effects of International Human Rights Law on other Branches of Public International Law

  100. James Che.

    Ending the EU treaty through Westminster and their voters, = ending treaty of union through our voters and referendums.
    But seldom do unionist consider that it is not just themselves that can feel discontent with the rules forced upon them from others. The people of Scotland did not want this union from the start, it was imposed upon them, that feeling has come down generation after generation.
    And Scots throughout generations have not forgotten, that they were not asked, and never voted to be joined in a Treaty of the Union, with England,
    It never occurs to them that the Scottish people want their country back, their laws back, their right to choose their own way of life, the right to choose if we want our NHS, the right to say we do not want a nuclear weapon of mass destruction on our doorstep, or ammunition dumped in our sea, and we watch the big and owners whom do not live here for tax evasion reasons let Scottish land become derelict, while their are so many people homeless.
    We may not be any better at running our own country than a Tory Westminster, but we could not do much worse,
    England has had nearly 300 years to make Scotland rich beyond its dreams, from the natural resources Scotland has,
    Instead we have suffered, bailing out banks, austerity, food banks, selling our national health service, reductions in railways ( Beecham) reduction in fishing, shipyards, (thatcher) hundreds of other subjects, and now covid and lock downs with people unemployed, etc, etc.
    What we do with independence or who we join up with would be our choice, for the first time in more than 300 years we might, just might get up off our knees and put our caps back on our heads.

  101. CameronB Brodie

    If our law officers are not prepared to support international human right law, then I suggest the task really is up to us.

    Chapter 1: International Human Rights Law and the Role
    of the Legal Professions: A General Introduction

  102. Awizgonny

    @CameronB Brodie

    Ah got ya. I agree – the very same kind of people who foisted the Union on Scotland in 1707 are of course those in the Scottish Establishment now. Which of course now includes swathes of SNP MPs, MSPs and Government ministers and apparachiks. Rule of law is a moveable feast to them rather than a firm principle. Hence my belief that it should be the Scottish electorate that should be satisfied regarding both the right to decide and the actual decision, rather than Westminster or NATO or the UN or whoever. That way no-one will give a toss about the duplicitous machinations of the Establishment.

  103. James Che.

    The letter “L” disappeared at the beginning of land, it should read, big land owners. Sorry.

  104. CameronB Brodie

    Totally. It’s our choice….however, our media environment is rather biased, and it’s next to impossible for the politically disinterested man and woman in the street to make good decisions in their own and their community’s best interests. That’s why the rule-of-law and a governmental duty of care are so important. As is a respect for Natural law in public law and public policy, not forgetting constitutional jurisprudence.

  105. James Che.

    Can anyone enlighten me,
    This morning I watched the bbc old black and white coverage of queen elisabeth 2 coronation.
    When the crown was about to be settled on her head, the mannie said, I crown you with the crown of England?
    What, no crown of Britain, or uk.
    Nor indeed later on was she officially crowned with the crown of Scotland?
    Has anyone else spotted this?

  106. Lukas Scholts

    Cameron’s; “ is its’ jeopardy really a good reason to abandon supporting it”

    No. I didn’t propose abandoning it. I propose that it’s useless generally and likely to be exceptionally useless as far as our particular predicament is concerned.

  107. Scot Finlayson

    Could be, the way things are going, that England voting for independence might be our best chance of Scotland getting independence,

    if Mr Kernek was to help form an English National Party i would be happy to contribute to their success.

  108. CameronB Brodie

    Lukas Scholts
    Care to share what your opinion is based on?

    Guide: ESCR Litigation
    2.2 From justiciability to access to justice

    With growing jurisprudence emerging from domestic and regional judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, and with the adoption and entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, the theoretical debate around justiciability of ESC rights has been largely overcome. Nevertheless, important procedural and practical issues still represent challenges for judges and lawyers who adjudicate and litigate ESC rights….

  109. CameronB Brodie

    What’s the last thing Lord Business expects Master Builders to do? Follow the rules. 🙂


    Adopted by the Venice Commission at its 106th Plenary Session
    (Venice, 11-12 March 2016)

    Endorsed by the Ministers’ Deputies at the 1263rd Meeting (6-7 September 2016)

    Endorsed by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe at its 31st Session (19-21 October 2016)

  110. CameronB Brodie

    doh, that’s follow the “instructions”. 🙂

    European Journal of International Law, Volume 26, Issue 2, May 2015, Pages 417–443
    Determining Customary International Law: The ICJ’s Methodology between Induction, Deduction and Assertion

  111. Andy

    I think the biggest confusion seems to lie with those who dont understand the concept of Democracy where the vote goes to the majority. In or out of the EU the choice should be made in Scotland not England. I would trust the EU to legislate over Scotland long before I trusted England and especially English Tories in particular when it comes to basic Human and workers rights.
    Nobody should confuse Scottish Independence with EU membership. We dont lose our Independence or Sovereignty to the EU.

  112. K1

    Seriously. Load of utter shite. England acts as if Scotland is its possession. It is not. European Union does not act as if all the countries are owned by Brussels. England is little britain and the Tories are the conniving bastard elite little rulers who make sure you all remain as subjects, the trouble they’ve had wi Scotland for centuries now, is that it’s full of Scots.

    No amount of tortured false equivalencies and comparisons with Scotland and the EU justifies the utter stupidity of leaving the EU and no amount of patronising pish with respect to the unique weirdness that is the UK state with the terrified of losing Scotland unionist mindset in denial that it is nothing but territorial wealth, specifically Scotland’s wealth that lies at the core of ‘why’ they wish to hold on to their possession with such determination.

    Brussels nor any other nation within the EU did not do to the UK state what England done to Scotland during our last indyref. They didn’t say you can have one referendum and that’s yer lot, they didn’t impose the terms, they didn’t have every nation on national tv every fucking night telling us we’d be doomed if we left, they didn’t gang up on us and get the royals involved, they didn’t fear monger in the extreme in collusion with the EU state broadcaster* to ensue those countries that wanted us to remain were outnumbered by those in favour of leaving.

    No, what the Tories and Labour and Libdems did was create a campaign of fear, the England Tories used the Scots Labour as front people while they put their hands in their pockets to pay for the propaganda to frighten our pensioners into believing if they voted Yes, they wouldn’t get their pensions the next day, these were Tory backed activist.

    Tell me did the UK gov have to ask the EU for a section 30 order, did they have to ask for permission?

    But no of course it’s the big bad EU state that you’ve polished your grinding axe on for decades, did ye ever think to look closer to home for an example of how badly a so called actual State can decide how they can do exactly as you accused the EU of doing with Greece? How they can create an illusion that a country, a thousand year nation is a basket case, that it’s only by the generosity of England that Scotland the scroungers are managing at all?

    Did ye ever think tae educate yourself before submitting that woeful ignorant garbage atl, this isn’t a new opinion, this is the same tired and worn threadbare outmoded thinking that we’ve had enough of.

    England wants to throw itself off a cliff, by all means but don’t justify your ignorant outlook by comparing it to our movement, we have three hundred years of history that informs us that England has fleeced us, and not just us, your very own polity too. The Tories, old royalty dressed up as ‘democrats’ sucking up all the wealth impoverishing the millions that have been born into needless poverty.

    The EU hasn’t a look in when it comes to the Machiavellian machinations of the Tories red blue and yellow, but I don’t see England rising any time soon to fight for their freedom from that true bondage.

    We don’t need permission, sooner England and more saliently the current blue incumbents realise that then and only then may we even begin to discuss real democracy and real freedom to choose our own destiny.

    * oh…there is not EU state broadcaster. Sigh.

  113. Effijy

    Within the EU Scottish Whisky is protected as a national brand.
    If we are dragged out there is no reason French Whisky might be
    Produced, technology can ensure it’s similar and has no tariffs.

    Labour leader Corbin says workers unite, but not European ones.
    He says Ireland should be unified, Palestine freed, but Scotland
    Shackled and resources stolen just like they did with the McCrone
    Report and the 6,000 square miles of our maritime waters.

    As unelectable as the English National front for Scots

  114. Bob

    Isn’t it funny how so many column inches and discussions center on the pros and cons of decisions that an independent Scotland may/could/might/should make that may be different to England/Britain/UK/Westminster.

    The point of independence, in itself, allows those decisions to be made. That’s the point. About time we focused the media on Scotland as an independent country and what that means.

  115. Big Jock

    This is another incredibly worrying aspect of the single market bill. Something we should all be angry about.

  116. Wee Chid

    “The word “England” was heard rarely on the corporation’s radio stations before the plague other than in contexts in which it couldn’t be dodged: cricket, football and rugby coverage, and weather forecasts.”
    The writer doesn’t listen to old programmes, obviously. Don’t know how many times I have cringed at Welshman, Secombe, proudly referring to himself as an “Englishman” on re-runs of the Goon show for example. Try listening to 4 extra and see how many times the word England is used like subliminal propaganda stuffed down our throats. Neither does he seem to realise that “Britain” or the “UK” means the same as England to folks south of the border”
    Just another Conservative English punter who doesn’t understand much about Scots or Scotland.
    I don’t give a stuff whether we are in or out of the EU I do care that we get out of a toxic union with a country doomed to perpetual Tory rule.

  117. Rm

    Scotland’s leaders have been educated by the british educational system, until they can think and act in a Scottish only way our leaders will play by Westminster’s rules, we’ll never achieve anything if we don’t get different kinds of people as leaders, our leaders just sit and take it all no response, no fight and no respect for the people who voted them in to achieve independence, when you really look at it their still a part of the english establishment playing games, earning good money and a good pension but still not doing what they’ve been voted in for, it has to be real patriotic leaders taking Scotland forward.

  118. The Isolator

    This article lays bare our out and out stupidity as a nation.FFS the UK means old England in English minds.It’s not difficult in the slightest, as for the article deary me.

  119. Contrary

    There are arguments for and against membership of the EU.

    There is no comparison between the EU and the U.K. Unions: they are wholly dissimilar. Even the phrase ‘membership of..’ – you would never use that phrase to describe Scotland in the UK. I think most people know the whole list of ways in which they are different, it doesn’t take much thought. E.g. A veto on certain votes in the EU isn’t something afforded Scotland in the UK – as evidenced by the Brexit vote itself. Sovreignity? Pah.

    England had the best deal ever with the EU – they were mad to vote to leave and do it so it won’t retain any of the benefits. Would Scotland get such a good deal – we’d need very strong negotiators to do so, and I see very little evidence we have those skills in leadership positions at the moment, but it is a possibility, we aren’t powerless because we have lots of juicy resources that many in the eu would want to get their grubby paws on. We just need to stop behaving like beggars.

    EFTA is a possibility – A smaller collection of countries, easier negotiation etc. One thing I note though is that of the enormous amount of beaurocracy needed to comply with EU regulation while not a member – this was stated in evidence by a Norwegian official to a Lords committee way back at the start of Brexit stuff when they still thought a deal would be done. I note that Norwegians regularly appear to get a referendum on the question of EU membership to check it’s still the case – it’s a close vote apparently. Imagine that!? Being allowed to change your mind and being asked the question again. Novel idea.

  120. Wee Chid

    James Che. says:
    21 September, 2020 at 2:12 am
    “Can anyone enlighten me”

    “On 24 June 1953, following her coronation at Westminster Abbey, the crown was carried before Queen Elizabeth II in a procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the High Kirk of St Giles, Edinburgh, where the Honours of Scotland, including the crown, were presented to The Queen during a National Service of Thanksgiving.”

    From the Wiki article on the “Crown of Scotland” (The Honours of Scotland))

  121. Contrary

    Oh and as regards Alex Salmond’s insistence on using the pound in 2014 – he has stated this was the wrong stance to take (Richard Murphy states in his latest video on why Scotland should have its own currency video on You Tube).

    He was right in that it IS our pound too – but it was not wise to suggest we should be fiscally controlled by a foreign central bank. We need our own central bank and our own currency, and we have to have had fiscal autonomy, successfully, for a period of time before consideration is given for joining the Euro. There is no other choice, and we need this freedom for our own self-worth, we need government that is willing to actually run the country instead of relying on handouts – our own money given back to us in pocket money!

  122. Mark

    Conversations with a Big C in the Bath and Duck.
    David my mate. I’ve wrote this piece on brexit I couldn’t possibly put my own name to it do you think you could stick yours down mate.
    No problem Campbell why can’t you put your name down. You see the thing is I do this thing about Scottish independent but I really just don’t like the Scotwomen. Because none of them fancied me when I lived there
    You don’t live in Scotland you don’t have a vote in Scotland why.
    I know I can’t believe I get away with it. It’s like foreign interference in foreign women’s politics

  123. Socrates MacSporran

    Contrary @ 8.38am sent me to Wikipedia to look-up how Switzerland votes, very interesting and worth reading.

    A much better system than what we have had foisted on us by the English.

  124. Effijy

    Just a reminder that the Bank of England is supposed
    To be the all equal partners bank of a United Kingdom?

    Obviously it’s the Bank of England sold by England for England.

    When the Irish beat England into submission they used the pound.
    Even raped English colonies like Egypt and Syria used the pound.
    Spain’s rock of Gibraltar uses the pound, but the Scotland that
    England’s Westminster say the love can go f*** itself.

    I don’t give a damn what Scotland’s currency is called.
    What’s in a name? It our currency as an independent

    I’m In Rome right now and the exchange rate I got in the high street was
    €1.05 to £1.
    With Brexit and mismanaged UK Covid you will see fall to less than a Euro
    when last time here it was other €1.20.

    This will make affording foreign holidays that much harder and importing goods
    From Europe that much more expensive.

    I can see a second 10 years of austerity looming thanks to Westminster.

    Leave Now!

  125. Ottomanboi

    The English need to define who and what they are. Usually that is done on the basis of history and culture, however, the ‘liberal’ bias against such definitions in the current socio-political sphere, even in Scotland, how is that to be done?
    British is a convenient term for defining nationals of non European heritage in England. Black, Asian etc British but seemingly not Black, Asian etc English. Why the special Label? We have Asian and Black Scots, what’s the problem?
    Should Scotland ultimately dissolve the Union the term British would become a historical usage, the meta-nationality of the signified state having ceased to exist as a political fact.
    There is something inherently historically racist and ‘superior’ about the term too.
    Return it to the histories, in company with its empire.
    England, as much as Scotland, may need to total ‘phenomenological’ reboot.
    Both have centuries of perceptions and prejudices to set aside and block in order to uncover the thing itself.

  126. Grouse Beater

    “An English Tory MP this month, while talking about the different and ever-changing quarantine regulations across the UK, referred to the “English parliament”. It was, patently, a slip of the tongue.”

    Was it hell!

    It was the outcome of a colonial mentality.

    “The Infamous Ledger”:

  127. Breastplate

    Ffs Mark, is it not your big sister’s turn for the ipad.

  128. Frank Waring

    Day-to-day, what matters most is not so much where power resides, as what is done with power by those who possess it. I guess, on internal evidence, that John Kernak is as old as I am (born 1944), and in the world we grew up in, it was common intellectual currency that the power of government should be used to empower all its citizens to lead secure, fulfilled and rewarding lives.
    The great cultural change that began with Mrs Thatcher, was to believe instead that the great democratic imperative is to reduce or eliminate as far as possible state-collective activity in all everyday practical and economic life.
    I am an Englishman who has lived 95% of his adult life in Scotland: and I’ve watched with growing horror the way this underlying philosophy has filled the country where I grew up with a hard, callous, competition-obsessed and corrupted squalor.
    Fundamentally, what made me into a Scottish independence supporter was the perception that in practice this cancer has not spread nearly so far in this country. I think most Scots are ashamed as I am to live in a land where ordinary people have to ask a charity for food for their children: I’m sorry to say that I’m not sure this would be true in England, now.

  129. Joe


    Do the Chinese need to define who and what they are? What about Turks? Japanese?

    If I (a 100% Scot) go and live in Japan, somehow become perfect with the language and customs am I ever really Japanese?

    Neither the English, nor the Scots, need to ‘redefine’ anything.

    What needs to be considered is how we as a people are being redefined by others and utterly reject it.

    A nation is a people. Not a land mass. Not a national drink. Not an anthem.

    This is pretty much recognised the world over by everybody except those of European heritage who are being brainwashed into being the only nations who voluntarily dilute their national (people) identity.

    Scottish nationalism will fail because as far as this brand of nationalism is concerned ‘anyone can be a Scot’. That makes ‘being a Scot’ of absolutely no relevance and disregards the true nation of Scotland.

    The funny thing is if anybody went to any other part of the world outside of Europe and tried to sell this pish it would be rightfully laughed at. Just as I am now.

  130. Breastplate

    Great comment Frank.

  131. Effijy

    Tory incompetent Dido Harding who heads up Track and Trace says
    No one could have predicted a second wave?

    Actually I think most people on the plant predicted one but let’s try to excuse
    you as it must be difficult saving lives while stuffing your pockets.

    The Downtown Abbey extra, Reece Mogg says people should stop carping about not
    Being able to get a test.
    If you are in the cabinet you can get a test immediately for you and your family, can’t you
    Michael Gove.

    One should be ready to die when one’s country has to waste money on saving plebs.

    Get Lord Snooty’s nose out of Scotland’s trough!

  132. Frank Waring

    ‘David Kernek’, sorry, I do apologise: the interesting streams of comment your thoughtful article has generated, were just too long for my goldfish brain!

  133. Colin Alexander

    James Che @2.12am

    The last UK monarch to receive a Scottish coronation was Charles II.

    What Purring Betty’s oath agreed to was this: “Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland…”

    Purring Betty was never crowned Queen of Scots. She was later presented with the Scottish Crown Jewels. There was no Scottish coronation.

    “Charles II was the last monarch to be crowned in Scotland. The ceremony took place at Scone, the ancient place of Scottish enthronement, in 1651”. *


  134. Colin Alexander

    The Claim of Right 1689 which deposed James VII and installed William and Mary as co-regents stated: James VII acted as King without ever taking the oath required by law, as James II (VII) had received an English coronation only.

  135. The Laird

    “have failed to come up with a satisfactory answer to the West Lothian Question, a phrase coined by Enoch Powell”


  136. johnj

    Excellent article which asks all the questions which most of us know lurk in the background. The similarities and motives behind Scottish Independence and Brexit are startling and must be addressed.

    I’m coming round to the idea that a post-independence Scotland should be looking at Norway for its model of a relationship with Europe.

  137. Ron Maclean

    @James Che et al

    Wasn’t there some controversy at the time because Betty was wearing her joggers at the presentation?

  138. Stan Broadwood

    Covid19 News briefing on the BBC telling us it is being taken by the “UK” Chief Medical Officers.

    Here was me thinking the Scotland, Wales and N Ireland had their own independent Chief Medical Officers.

    Or us this the English media playing word games, where England suddenly becomes the UK?

    The English don’t want to be labelled the highest infected nation within the UK, so they try to lump the four Nations together.

    Trying to wipe Scotland from the map.

  139. Stan Broadwood

    England, UK,

    UK, England.

    In the eyes of the arrogant English, they mean the same place.

  140. Colin Alexander

    My view about the EU/ EFTA / EEA or any other option post-indy is that we’ll cross that bridge if we ever reach it.

    That would be for the people of Scotland to decide. Unlike now, when UK Parliament’s English MPs decided for us.

    But,first things first, liberating Scotland from colonial slavery.

    As support for indy rises: the Imperial noose tightens.

  141. Daisy Walker

    @ ‘Stan Broadwood says:
    20 September, 2020 at 11:41 pm
    Daisy Walker 10.06pm

    “…the good people of England…”.

    I hope to fuck you are talking for yourself numbnut.’

    Dear Stanley, I’ve been called many things over the years – but ‘numbness’ isn’t one of them.

    The rest of your comment was racist.

    Kind regards

  142. susanXX

    I tend to agree with you Joe, civic nationalism can be taken to extremes and is being by the SNP.

  143. Grouse Beater

    “Would the Scots be content surrendering their sovereignty in the EU envisaged by Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator?” Kernek


    This illustrates Kerneks bigotry.

    All nations offer a degree of sovereignty to a neighbour state, usually for mutually beneficial trade arrangements, sometimes to halt hostilities. Every nation in the world is interdependent for one reason and another.

  144. Robert Graham

    Stan @ 11:20

    Yeh agreed can’t be arsed watching this won’t be medical facts , it’s a propaganda exercise dressed up in a a White coat to give it some semblance of the Truth ,

    As usual the other nations don’t count we all know Britain is England , the UK is English I guess it makes English people feel better about being all together one nation as Cameron used to say

  145. Woodside Wullie

    Westminster is and always been an English Parliament. We are just barely tolerated guests.

  146. Iain More

    I voted to leave EU but right now I consider EU more benign than the Psychopathic Brit Tories ruling us and I don’t even consider the EU benign in the first place. We are just a colony for the Brit/English Tories to fuck over at will time and time again. What the fuck are the SNP playing at basically? Get us out of this place like yesterday!!!

  147. James Che.

    Wee chid are you saying that when the queen was crowned in England, with a English crown in a English ceremony, that she was presented with the Scottish crown the same day during the coronation , this is not so.
    When she returned from the coronation ceremony to the palace, she and her family waved to the pubic from the balcony, the crowning and coronation of queen Elisabeth finished on that day. You cannot do add ons of the coronation day on a different day in a different country because you forgot to be crowned with a British crown.
    Colin Alexander is correct, she was not crowned queen of Scotland in Scotland, and she was not crowned as queen of Great Britain in either England or Scotland,
    saying some words before or after the actual coronation is not valid. She was crowned queen of England with the English crown. This is fact.
    If the church elite and Westminster thought the coronation to be all inclusive, as including Scotland,
    why the need to come to Scotland at a later date to be presented with the crown of Scotland, and although she held the regalia of Scotland in her hands, she was never crowned with it. Fact.
    So the the Abby, the elitist, and the queen of England considered the two events as separate,
    The coronation in England was not inclusive of being crowned queen of Great Britain, ie, queen of the joined kingdoms of England and Scotland with annexed wales included,, as should have been according to the treaty oh the union. These were treated as two separate issues,
    The queen and her family are not officially queen in Scotland other than by the sovereign consent of its people,
    which begs the separate question as to why we ask for royal assent to our Scottish parliament or referendums.

  148. holymacmoses

    I’m interested in folk who don’t think that ‘Scottish’ is an identity.
    Over thousands of years, indigenous people have survived and complied and improved their lot in these northern climes. Bowing to the seasons and the weather and adapting to the soil and the landscape.
    Incomers who come here to live today recognise, intrinisically, the features and values of folk who have historically been reared in that landscape and culture

    Civilisation forgets to acknowledge the formative power of nature on the character and culture of a country at their peril

    The Romans recognised a border and built a wall as close as they could to where they perceived the change came. The wall may be artificial the difference between England and Scotland is real.

  149. CameronB Brodie

    If only our party of hope was not led by those who are of the opinion they need Westminster’s permission to do anything, as this tells me the party of hope hasn’t a clue about how to support the rule-of-law. Enabling English fascism to determine Scotland’s future, simply isn’t compatible with democratic practice, though given the FM’s approach to the law, I don’t actually think the FM knows how to support democracy.


  150. David

    Did anyone notice the demolition job Ed Miliband and Angela Raynor did on our PM this week

  151. Thomas Valentine

    A somewhat absolutist spiel. The kind of logic that says it does not matter if the leg has gangrene, if you can’t save the whole body intact let the man die.

    No one is looking for splendid isolation and absolute independence. It’s a matter of restoring as much independence as reasonably possible. Clearly Scotland will have more power over it’s affairs and economy in the EU or EFTA.

    But I must say it seems strange claiming as the writer does, a preference for pre 1973 UK conditions. Before joining the EEC or before the USA sent the £ pound and UK economy into a tailspin? Where was your non EU independence then? Apparently in Mrs Nixon’s change purse. Along with your Polaris arming codes.

    Perhaps Unionist like to say “special relationship” but it looks a lot more like “toady”. Which all makes the choice really between independence in the context of the EU or kicked toady of what increasing looks in future to be a hard right one party American government. A choice between being heel deep in mud or neck deep in American manure.

  152. Christian Schmidt

    You have to laugh about this Brexiter’s ignorance of EU law. The 1970 ruling by the German constitutional court that he quotes (Internationale Handelsgesellschaft mbH v Einfuhr- und Vorratsstelle für Getreide und Futtermittel, aka Solange 1) actually says the exact opposite – it establishes that state constitutional law trumps EU law. The judgement gave a variety of reasons, mainly about lack of EU parliamentary democracy and judicial independence.

    It was a separate 1986 judgement (by the same court) that then ruled that the EU institutions had changed that EU therefore has primacy (Solange 2). But even that explicitly stated that EU law only had priority because EU constitutional law (i.e. the various treaties) protected basic rights as good as the German constitution. In other words, if at any time the German constitutional court would find that a basic right is not protected, then German law would take priority – hardly an abdication of sovereignty!

    In practice the question of supremacy has been a non-issue. There have been very few cases that made a noticeable difference to the UK parliament can and cannot do – the UK government have been in the hot water a bit more, but that was because Britain lacked a supreme / constitutional court itself. Since it has one, as I am sure many will have noticed during Brexit, the UK government gets bad judgements from its own court rather than the EU courts – just like the German government occasionally finds itself on the received end of GErman constitutional court decisions…

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