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One nation under St George

Posted on October 03, 2012 by

We’d be getting a little nervous at the moment if we were citizens of Northern Ireland who wanted to stay part of the United Kingdom. Because over recent weeks and months, the concept of the UK has been increasingly pushed aside, in favour of that of Great Britain. (A construct which, of course, excludes the entire island of Ireland.)

The home team at the London Olympics, lavishly celebrated at the Labour conference yesterday, was branded “Team GB”, rather than “Team UK”, and although there are three devolved administrations and parliaments within the UK, only two of them were featured at the same conference’s “Better Together” session.

The situation in Northern Ireland is none of this site’s concern. But it’s not just the Unionists across the sea who ought to be worried. Because on the strength of what Ed Miliband said in his keynote speech yesterday afternoon, Scotland and Wales face a future of being absorbed, in every practical sense, into a Greater England.

Last week we linked to an excellent piece by Robin McAlpine of the Jimmy Reid Foundation. Speaking of the apparent insanity of Scottish Labour’s policy shift against universal benefits, it contained a passage that’s worth repeating here in its entirety:

“But what is most awful of all is when you explain this strategy in simple language. Lamont wants to unite Labour by cancelling devolution. That’s the only way I can read this. She has systematically gone through every area where the Scottish Parliament (largely through the actions of Labour itself) has differentiated itself from Westminster politics and she has abolished the differentiator.

The big selling point of devolution was Scottish solutions to Scottish problems. Scotland’s biggest problem has been that it really likes a strong welfare state and adheres to the principle of universalism. It has voted this way over and over. Yesterday it seems that Lamont called time on this experiment. She has signalled her intention to pull the party in line with the UK Party, means testing everything, breaking down universalism, championing fiscal conservatism.”

(Our emphasis.) It’s a notion we’ve highlighted before on this very site, but Lamont and Miliband’s speeches, as well as the visual design of Labour’s conference, has thrown it into sharp focus. Take a look at the image at the top of this post, which shows the Union Jack as reimagined by Labour this year. (We’ll gloss over the fact that the colours have been somewhat pastellised to ensure there isn’t a single bit of red to be seen anywhere at a Labour conference.)

The dark blue of the Scottish Saltire has been faded away to a pale, insipid shadow of its proper self. The narrow red bands of the Cross of St Patrick have been inexplicably turned to blue – a blue so faint it’s invisible except under very close, brightly-lit scrutiny – and the image is cropped so closely than almost nothing of either can be seen anyway, leaving an implication of only the St George’s Cross of England. (The Union Flag already had no representation of Wales, of course.)

Many representations of the flag at the conference, including the most prominently-displayed one (the one on the speakers’ lectern) don’t even include the faded blue bastardisation of the St Patrick’s Cross at all. They are, in fact, a washed-out and stylised version of the flag of “Great Britain”, expressly meaning England and Scotland alone, of 1606. The Labour conference version of the flag has quietly airbrushed both Northern Ireland and Wales out of the UK, and only a fading trace of Scotland is left.

But much more importantly, as noted in the pieces linked above by both ourselves and the Reid Foundation, it’s not just in the field of graphic design that Labour is blurring the whole of the UK into England. Political differences are being actively eroded too. Johann Lamont, as well as refusing to commit to seeking significant new powers for the Scottish Parliament, has repeatedly refused to rule out handing currently-devolved powers back to London.

Under a future Labour government – should such a thing ever exist – it’s becoming steadily more clear that Scotland will not be permitted to set an example of a social-democratic alternative ideology to the current English neoliberal consensus subscribed to by all three parties. Scottish Labour has already announced that most of the popular benefits of devolution will be scrapped, and that it will adhere without deviation to the policies of English Labour, using the oft-aired justification that it “cares the same about children in Motherwell as in Manchester”.

(Welsh Labour is still clinging to its few scraps of individuality, but we’re confident pressure will be exerted on it soon, and of course there’s no Northern Irish Labour.)

In reality, the referendum will not be a choice between independence and greater devolution, or even between independence and the status quo. Instead it’ll be a choice between independence and a rolling back of devolution, to the days of Thatcherite governments in Westminster imposing their will directly onto the rest of the country, with the devolved parliaments merely acting as rubber-stamp proxies.

All four nations will become – as Ed Miliband explicitly said no fewer than 46 times yesterday as he spoke of unity and of his “faith” – one nation. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will cease to meaningfully exist as anything but sports teams (if even that). Which nation that one nation will be is plain beyond any rational doubt. The colours, quite openly, have already begun to fade from the flag. England will prevail.

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  1. 07 10 12 10:04

    Kettles, kids and kindness with a bit of culture and politics on the side – Scottish Roundup

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58 to “One nation under St George”

  1. Alex McI says:

    Well Stu when you put it like that it’s truly frightening. But it looks like that’s what they are trying to sell us. Im not for buying it but I wonder how many will still cast the vote for that shower, without stopping to ponder the consequences.

  2. Holebender says:

    Ein Volk… Ein Reich… ye ken the rest.

  3. Doug Daniel says:

    I initially thought they were ignoring Northern Ireland too until I remembered they don’t contest the elections there (which you’ve also pointed out, of course). As a result, I think it’s perhaps fair enough that they just had speakers from Scotland and Wales, although it does, in itself, highlight one of the reasons we’re already not “one nation”.

    But scrubbing the St Patrick’s cross from the flag is a different matter. It’s a slap in the face to Northern Irish people – unionist or republican – effectively saying they’re not important to the UK.

    I didn’t like the way Ed spoke about this stuff in the speech either. If Scotland chooses to stay in the UK, it has to be because Scottish unionists have won the debate. If that happens, then fair enough, I just have to accept I live in a place full of folk who are happy to pretend they live in a country when it suits them, but in reality just want the responsibilities of a region. It’s sad, but I can live with that.

    What I won’t live with is the idea that Scotland has been kept in the union because people like Ed Miliband have “fought” to keep us. No Ed, you don’t fight to keep us, you let us decide for ourselves. Fighting to keep us sounds too much like colonialism for my liking. I won’t accept that.

    If unionists want the constitutional question to be settled once and for all in their favour, they have to win it fairly. No dirty tricks. Of course, they can’t resist doing so, which is why we’ll win.

  4. balgayboy says:

    Pissing against the wind..they are. These nutters have still not got into the 21st century yet. 2014 will give them a real kick up the ass and then watch the scottish branch of these low life scramble to align themselves with an Independent Scotland..enough said.

  5. Jeannie says:

    It does rather look as if the Labour MPs are in charge of Johann Lamont, rather than Johann Lamont  being in charge of the MPs, as she keeps reminding us.

  6. Tearlach says:

    Annoying though it is, there is a reason for the “Team GB” at the Olympics. Following the setting up of the Irish Free state, Eire established its own Olympic Committee, representing the whole of Ireland. There was an then agreement with the UK Olympic committee (aka British Olympic Association) that NI Athletes could compete for either team, and hence the UK team would be known as GB.
    Some of us may be old enough to remember that the only Gold won by Team GB in the 1972 Munich Olympics was by the NI Athlete (albeit born in England) Mary Peters.

  7. scottish_skier says:

    N. Ireland is half gone already. Various economic powers devolved to it that Scotland was not given. The vote is largely split between those that take the Tory whip and those that don’t turn up at Westminster. N. Ireland has it’s SDLP which is actually a ‘real’ left labour party, and it’s not as if the catholic/republican vote are going to like Ed’s jackery much is it, so he doesn’t care.

    I expect N. Ireland to become increasingly autonomous to the extent it is FFA/Devo maxed with no MPs in Westminster. If Scotland becomes independent, even within some new loose UK currency/monarchy bilateral defense uniony thing, N. Ireland will shortly follow. Maybe that’s being dealt with too while the Scottish Government and Tories do their referendum ‘deal’….

    As for Ed’s grand vision of ‘one [british] nation’. What planet is he on? Has he even been to Scotland? The man’s off his rocker if he thinks that’s going to work up here.

  8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Annoying though it is, there is a reason for the “Team GB” at the Olympics.”

    I know. I was going to link to it in the piece, but forgot. I do think that the UK is planning to let go of NI ever so slowly, though. It’s an anachronism, and there’s no room for those in the monochrome world of neoliberalism.

  9. Morag says:

    I was in the car at lunch time and heard some of this stuff on Radio 4.  An interviewer was talking to people around the conference hall about the “one nation” slogan, and asking what they thought it meant.  One respondent said he thought it was all to do with “the Scottish…. sorry, I nearly said ‘the Jocks’…. wanting to go it alone.”

    Odd choice of words.  If you’ve just stopped yourself from saying something politically incorrect that immediately sprang to your lips, why spoil it all by then actually saying it?  Just couldn’t resist, wanted to get it in anyway I think.

    And they say we “hate the English”?

  10. pa_broon says:

    I watched highlights of Milibands speech, I also listened to the reactions from commentators and labour people who all seemed to agree it was a masterful performance blah blah blah.

    Really? Do they think anyone actually believes that kind of crap? Will his speech be turned into votes? No, they won’t because he’s Ed Miliband. I expect the turn out at the next general election to be very low indeed because the choice is, like Ed’s speech, a load of shit.

    I didn’t bother with the mitherings of Lamont, she’s dead in the water. I still haven’t figured out whether she’s just amazingly stupid or completely out of touch or both.

  11. scottish_skier says:

    Check this oot.

    When you go to

    It sends you to this:

    Aye, the Great English Britain flaggery stuff.

    Looks like Ed is begging the English to ask us to stay part of their nation.

    Wasn’t like that a couple of days back. 

  12. Holebender says:

    Someone over at BBC Scotlandshire has spotted that Labour seems to have given up on recruiting candidates for Holyrood. Mind you, they don’t seem to be bothered about councillors either! See
    “From Welsh Assembly Members to MPs to City Mayors, Britain needs strong, committed, Labour representatives.”

  13. Jeannie says:

    I just tend to think there’s a real credibility problem for the Labour Party in terms of the manifesto it presents in Scotland for the election of MSPs and the one it presents in the UK as a whole for its MPs.
      How exactly can it be in favour of free university tuition in Scotland whilst, at the same time, be in favour of imposing university fees in England and allowing its Scottish MPs to vote on the matter even though it only affects students in England and doesn’t affect their own constituents in Scotland (unless they go to university in England).  
    And, if you’re an MP in Scotland trying for re-election, what exactly these days do you tell people you’re in favour of? Tuition fees? Trident?   Vote for me, because…………..  ?  What do these people do exactly nowadays anyway?
    That’s why they want “one nation”, just so long as it’s England.

  14. James Morton says:

    Oddly one nation conservatisim was seen by Disraeli as a means of appealing to the working class and putting the whigs on the wrong foot. He did this; he claimed, to prevent the formation of a two tier state – rich and poor. Now roll on a 130 years and thatcher and her brood demolish it in favor of monetarisim, though she would famously deny this in an interview – the interviewers face alone is priceless –
    But Major, Blair and Brown never did anything to repair the damage and the gap between rich and poor has widened to almost obscene levels. We see idiotic levels of wealth being transferred form the public purse to private hands. Defence spending projects that just soak up cash, the olympics, the Jubilee, PFI – but no more spending on social justice? Thats just too pricey apparantly.
    Milibands one nation labour is as dead as disco – just as dead as Camerons Big Society. The fundementals needed to make it work are gone. If you can’t get the basics right, nothing you do will make a difference. Like putting a coat of paint over wall thats falling to bits, putting new roof tiles on when the wooden supports are rotten. Changing the colour of a logo when the policies are the same.
    Recently Compass had a series of talks about this on the conference fringe – Once again they were going to promote the positive case for Union. It was just the same old Keech and on one nationism – their big idea was to have a national holiday promoting one nationism. At the end of the day, its a strawman idea hanging on a very shoogly peg indeed

  15. Jeannie says:

    @scottish skier
    Just checked it out.  My gut reaction? BARF!

  16. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I would say that this smacks of DESPERATION, but on second thoughts it’s WORSE, far worse  than that!

  17. James Morton says:

    I would expect them to attack the SNP on anything and everything – when it comes to promoting their own policies, you will find a very parochial & little scotlander approach. Bus services, potholes, community services, local issues about law and order.
     At the council elections the labour candidates only concern it seemed was to protect the subsidy for First bus and pot holes and fixing schools – you know the sort of thing they should have been dealing with. Reading it, you’d think they hadn’t been in power since the last elections.

  18. scottish_skier says:

    @Jeannie & 1320 Both barf and certainly desperation. However, with respect to the latter, this does fit well with a last ditch attempt to stop something that now appears inevitable. Which comes back to the referendum ‘deal’ being made behind closed doors.

    It’s going to be very interesting to hear what this ‘deal’ is indeed…. 


    EDIT and RE the policy differences between holyrood and Westminster; the more these diverge, the more the union becomes unsustainable.

  19. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just talking with my partner and we’ve both come to the same conclusion. This stinks of 1707 Mark II. They didn’t get away with it in 1707 and they’ll no get away with it noo! There were something like TWO years of riots in 1707 and if they try anything similar now there will, undoubtedly be riots again! I’m not suggesting that we do riot, but I reckon there will be riots non the less if these “comedians” from South of the border try anything similar to 1707. We have come too far this time for our future to wrecked by a bunch of Hoo Ray Henrey’s telling us what to do and how to think!

  20. scottish_skier says:

    Funnily enough, a visit to the:

    Takes you to:

    <whistle emoticon>

    Not a surprise that though is it. 

  21. blunttrauma says:

    The cross of St. George wasn’t even red, it was as purple as Miliband’s tie.

  22. Cranachan says:

    Ed Milliband and his ‘one nation’ phrase reportedly uttered 46 times has me worried. This implies one nation = one government. Seems that this could be the lead-up to dismantling   the Scottish Gov if we fail to vote for Independance in 2014, and Labour succeed in the 2015 general election. No mercy for the rebellious Scots, they will be crushed because of their sedition (National Anthem verse 6).   

  23. scottish_skier says:

    Handily, if you type ‘one nation’ on google, first up is this:

    One nation conservatism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    One nation conservatism (also known as one nationism, or Tory democracy) is a form of British political conservatism that views society as organic, and values  

    Hotly followed by various stories about Ed and Labour. 

  24. Morag says:

    Regarding what Scottish Skier said at 2.36.

    That’s something I was mulling over in relation to what he was saying earlier.  If the SG and the WG are busy sorting this out like civilised grown-ups, then obviously Labour are completely shut out from the process,  So one might expect them to be flailing around in some desperation.  Which is arguably what we’re seeing.

    As SS said, Scotland is only going one way.  When I was a child, independence was by way of being a pipe dream.  I remember discussing the results of the 1966 GE in history class, and being rather startled that over 100,000 people had voted SNP.  (I believe the party had candidates in less than a third of the seats at that time.)  I thought, that’s 100,000 grown-ups with actual votes that actually voted SNP.  It’s not just a silly juvenile fantasy.

    By 1974 the party had 11 MPs.  By 1979 we had a devolution referendum.  Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the demand for increased self-determination just grew like Topsy.  By the time of the 1997 referendum the purpose had actually become, not to satisfy the asiprations of the Scots, but to stop further demands.

    Even though we might not be seeing a clear majority for full independence right now, these polls are all skewed by the concept of “devo-max” of some sort or another, whether explicit or implicit.  The demand for “more please” is absolutely overwhelming, although it may be expressed in different ways.

    What isn’t being asked is, how will you choose if it’s between independence or the status quo, or even a rolling back of the powers of Holyrood.  Of course they won’t ask that, because we’re not supposed to know that’s the actual choice.  They know they’d have a massive independence majority to that question.

    But as so many people have pointed out, further devolution is not going to be on offer.  Westminster won’t countenance it.  It would fatally unbalance the workings of the UK.  The English voters won’t stand for it.  And if it was delivered anyway, it would only be another stepping-stone.

    I wonder if Cameron has seen this.  It’s not going to go away.  Westminster can try to grant more devolution, but it won’t be enough and it wiould just widen the split anyway, leading to more of the same in another ten years.  Or it can block anything meaningful and try to claw back some powers, and make Holyrood into what it was supposed to be, a rubber-stamping talking-shop to implement Westminster’s policies.  That won’t work either.  People will keep voting SNP,  It’s another recipe for instability.

    If we’re thwarted this time, even if they achieve a no vote in the referendum, there is no way Scotland is going to settle happily into being a compliant happy little north Britain county.  It’s going to go on and on, and even if they stop another referendum there’s always the nuclear option – a majority SNP vote in a Westminster general election.  We DO have a referendum every time there is a GE, and actually we’ve been told that quite often.

    So have they realised the best way to handle this is to bring it to a head and facilitate the inevitable?

  25. Dal Riata says:

    Talking of Northern Ireland, at the recent march in Belfast to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Ulster covenant, the head of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, had this to say:
    “We are delighted to welcome members of the loyal orders from England and Scotland. They too have demonstrated their loyalty to the crown and our Scottish brethren have publicly opposed any suggestion of independence for their country.“We are all very clear about our long-term vision and that is to stay within the United Kingdom.”

    ‘One nation’, eh! … Bitter Bigots Together!? Not for me and my family, thanks!


  26. scottish_skier says:


    Excellent summary.

    Yes, there’s 2014, 2015, 2016 and so on….

    What a mess it could all become.

  27. Jeannie says:

    It sort of makes some sense to think that Labour would position itself as “one nation” and the saviour of the UK if it thought that the Tory position was the opposite. But I’m not quite getting what you’re saying, guys, about the “deal” you think is being done.  Could you maybe explain a wee bit more as I think it’s gone over my head. Do you mean they’ve come to an arrangement that they will then put to the electorate instead of the original question?

  28. Bofh says:

    ‘England Will Prevail’ ?

    over my dead body.


  29. scottish_skier says:

    Jeannie. This stuff is me speculating, but not without a basis for it. However, I’ve not got insider info or anything…. 😉
    If you ask me, independence is shaping up to look just like devo max. £, lizzie etc
    There are lots of little things flying around that when you add them all together, start to make sense.
    For example, did you notice the word ‘state’ as part of a referendum came from Westminster?
    Imagine if you asked the public this:
    Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent, sovereign state within a new Union of the United Kingdoms?
    Or something along those lines. You’d get like 70% yes.
    With that union of course being monarchical, currency, fiscal pact, likely bi-lateral defense agreement too, as neatly explained to the electorate beforehand. Down the line though, sovereignty has clearly been transferred to Holyrood, Scotland is ‘independent’ (like e.g. an EU country is within the EU), sends an ambassador to the UN etc and the world’s your oyster.
    Now imagine the Tories said ‘Well, we are against you voting yes (cough), but would agree to this set-up if you vote Yes’. They might take stick from Labour for this, but could easily deflect it by saying ‘we support the current union but respect the will of the Scottish people….’
    In return for example, the whole SNP ok to NATO initially thing is a request of the Tories to make the WMD move to England issue much less problematic.

    Basically, if you sell this to the electorate correctly, you’ll get a resounding yes. 
    As I’ve said before and noted by Morag. There are three bites at the cherry in succession; 2014, 15 and 16, with more to follow and this is only going one way; has been for 60 years. If they keep fighting it, it just gets more and more messy; potentially disastrous for London. Think of the disaster if there is no pre-agreement and Scotland votes yes – it would be an independent country with an effective veto on London’s WMDs. Horror of horrors!
    Ultimately, the union is based on a treaty and if Scots vote Yes, then there is nothing London can do at all. Scotland is suddenly ‘independent’. Think about the implications!
    London has neither the power nor the will to fight this anymore as it would have in days gone by (and failed of course). It needs to sort out England and I imagine is getting increasingly irritated by the wee 8.4% tail in the northern wastes wagging the British bulldog.

  30. tartanfever says:

    In the athletics, I thought we were ‘Great Britain and Northern Ireland’, which they shortened to Team GB. I haven’t come across the name Team UK before.

    Talking of Northern Ireland and the march at the weekend, I read that Charles Green from The Rangers had been in town to meet supporters clubs. (sorry to go O/T)

    Rev Stu, if you haven’t come across this already, it may be of interest. Not sure how reliable this extract is, but certainly makes for interesting reading. 

  31. Jeannie says:

    Ah, I see what you’re getting at.  Interesting.  And with no Scottish MPs, it’ll be that wee bit harder for Labour to win a good majority at Westminster. I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for England.

  32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Rev Stu, if you haven’t come across this already, it may be of interest. Not sure how reliable this extract is, but certainly makes for interesting reading.


  33. Doonfooter says:

    Scottish Skier interesting thoughts on there being ” three bites at the cherry in succession; 2014, 15 and 16,”
    I have for some time now thought that if there is a narrow “yes” victory in the 2014 referendum there is every possibility of Labour going to the Holyrood polls in 2015 with a “we know you’re sacred you’ve made a mistake. Vote “No” now by voting Labour and we’ll make it all right for you……”

  34. Morag says:

    Scottish Skier’s speculations interest me a lot.  I think, maybe this is just wishful thinking.  I’ve done a lot of wishful thinking about this over the years.

    But hey – the wishes have come true!  It takes longer than you think, but it has all happened.  In the early 1990s I wanted independence NOW.  It’s 2012 and we’re still not there, but in retrospect we can see the road we’ve been on and we can see where it has been leading.  If you’d told me in 1993 that in less than 20 years we’d have a parliament in Scotland with an overall SNP majority and be working towards an imminent independence referendum, I’d first have clocked you one for naming a date so far in the future, and then fallen into ecstasies.  So although I wouldn’t bet the house on what SS is saying, I’m taking him fairly seriously.

    Nobody has actually achieved this.  You can’t manufacture something like this out of nothing.  Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel didn’t make Poland and Czechoslovakia independent, they facilitated it.  They provided the vehicle for what the people actually wanted.  If the people hadn’t wanted it, they would have got nowhere (or not even started).  Alex Salmond is our facilitator, but if he hadn’t existed someone else would have had to do it.  If the SNP hadn’t existed, we’d have had to invent it.  Because this isn’t something imposed from the top down, this is something welling up from the very soul of the nation.

    Of course movements can rise up and fall away, but I think we’re past that stage now.  The Tories may have been right in the 1980s and 1990s, to deny a devolved parliament.  They thought it would be a slippery slope.  Labour thought it would release the pressure and prevent the pressure cooker exploding.  Well, that didn’t really work out for them.  If we hadn’t had Holyrood, would we just have knuckled under forever?  I don’t know, and that’s in the “alternate universe” category now.

    It can’t really go back now.  There isn’t a devolved settlement short of independence that’s capable of delivering a stable relationship between Scotland and England.  If they gave us devo-max, it would be inherently unstable in its very nature.  If they try to retain the status quo or roll back devolution, the pressure cooker is going to start bulging again.  This is going to go on until we have independence.

    I wonder if Cameron sees it.  Westminster can either go on fighting a rearguard action and have the Scottish issue constantly on the agenda threatening to upset the applecart, or it can figure out what a stable setlement is going to look like and smooth the path to getting there.

    I didn’t think Cameron was bright enough.  On the other hand, Salmond is bright enough, and pretty persuasive too.  If he’s been drawing Cameron a picture, he might actually get it.  I’ve going to go on thinking wishful thoughts with Scottish Skier, and hoping this time it doesn’t take 20 years.

  35. bigbuachaille says:

    I agree with you that, in the event of 2014 being unsuccessful, this simply will not go away.  Cameron ridiculed the Referendum from the outset as a “Neverendum”, which prompted Ian Hamilton, in his heroic essay, “On Identity” to ask, “Is there a better definition of democracy than a neverendum?”
    The key to winning in 2014 will be the internet.  Blogs such as this offer the chance to reach a far larger audience than the MSM.  The BBC and the MSM will offer little in the way of support for the YES Campaign, and so we must look to high-profile writers and public figures to publicly state their position, as has Ruth Wishart.
    Ian Hamilton’s essay can be found here:

  36. Juteman says:

    Superb post Morag.
    I can hear your heart beating from here! 🙂

  37. Morag says:

    Doonfooter said:
    I have for some time now thought that if there is a narrow “yes” victory in the 2014 referendum there is every possibility of Labour going to the Holyrood polls in 2015 with a “we know you’re sacred you’ve made a mistake. Vote “No” now by voting Labour and we’ll make it all right for you……”

    If they do, it won’t work.

    First, the election in 2015 is a Westminster one, not a Holyrood one.  They can’t spin anything out of a Labour victory then, because it would be meaningless.  The SNP will still be in power in Holyrood, and 40 Labour MPs won’t be able to do anything about the independence negotiations any more than the current Scottish Labour MPs will be able to do anything about it the day after the referendum.

    By the time anyone gets the chance to vote for a new Holyrood government, we’ll be in May 2016.  By then the arrangements will be well underway and it’s anticipated that will actually be the first general election for the new independent Scotland.  If we’re mad enough to elect a big Labour majority to that with them running on a “back to the Union” ticket, we’ll deserve everything we get.  Not going to happen though.

    I have a feeling that even a fairly narrow YES majority will be liberating.  I predict dancing in the streets.  I predict a mood of national optimism that will simply drown the bitterness of the politicans who have been objecting mostly because they want their erimine robes anyway.

    I was actually thinking about he opposite scenario.  A narrow NO majority, and then 2015.  The SNP could go to the country then and say, you know that was a mistake, give us a majority and we’ll declare UDI.  The trouble is, I think it’s too soon.  It’s only about six months.  It’s possible the “jam tomorrow” might spin out till then.  If there were real discontent with the post-NO situation it would probably have to wait till 2016 and the Holyrood election, and it’s anybody’s guess what might happen then.

  38. Aplinal says:

    Interesting analysis.  I think you might well be on the right lines.  I will look forwards to the likely announcements after AS and that other bloke meet later this month.

  39. Morag says:

    PS.  I should have said, I don’t see Labour taking the chance on standing on a “back to the Union” ticket in 2015 anyway.  It would be very risky for them as a general election strategy, if they’re trying to form a government in Westminster.  It could backfire and deny then Scottish seats they might need to form that majority.

    Of course, what would happen if there was a Labour government in Westminster in 2015 which relied on Scottish MPs, and these Scottish MPs were due to be withdrawn the following year as part of the independence negotiations, is left as an exercise for the reader.

  40. Alex McI says:

     “Rev Stu, if you haven’t come across this already, it may be of interest. Not sure how reliable this extract is, but certainly makes for interesting reading.
    As far as l know it’s true, boys at the work were speaking about it, they were at some big march over in Ireland at the weekend . One of them was going on about the referendum and how “Salmond is going to turn it into the Republic of Scotland”.
    Apparently they are trying to get sections of the Celtic support on board to vote no because of the sectarian bill that was passed. Both are in agreement that it’s not right they can’t “celebrate their heritage” mental I know. But it could be a lot of no votes for the wrong reasons, I said on here before I despair of folk like this , who put twisted ideas about supporting a team before what’s good for their families. 

  41. Juteman says:

    “Apparently they are trying to get sections of the Celtic support on board to vote no because of the sectarian bill that was passed. Both are in agreement that it’s not right they can’t “celebrate their heritage” 
     So the IRA and the UVF are united against Scottish Independence?

    Better Together!

  42. Juteman says:

    I’m an atheist, but please God, let my country escape from this madhouse.

  43. Alex McI says:

    @ Juteman , crazy I know , one guy I have been trying to talk to is basically saying that this is the word passed to them from “politicians” and why should they listen to me who is getting his info from Internet blogs that have done their best to kill Rangers, how do you reason with folk like this.

  44. Holebender says:

    I was going to say this is off topic, but maybe not so much now that Norn Irn politics seems to have seeped in here. An Ulster Unionist has claimed that devolving Corporation Tax to NI will help defeat Scottish independence. I kid you not!

  45. Westie7 says:

    Has anybody else managed to get BBC Scotlandshire to work this evening?
    Wondering if it has been “Got At” 

  46. Morag says:

    It’s fine.  Except for the coffee coming down your nose when you read it….

  47. Jeannie says:

    For the love of God! I’ve just seen a party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party which can only be described as a paen to Ed Milliband.  For the second time today, my reaction is BARF!
    We were taken back to Haverstock School to listen to Ed’s teachers and pals giving their opinion of him – all positive, of course. He was brilliant, don’t you know.  We were then whisked off to Harvard to listen to the opinion of some students he lectured to there. Their opinion? – What a guy!
    Then a unique pearl of wisdom from Ed, “If you want to get something out, you have to put something in”.  How very profound.
    Well, at least now we know who to blame for Ed – the teachers of Haverstock Comprehensive.  They should be shot.

  48. scottish_skier says:

    @Morag ‘the wishes have come true!’ 

    The wishes have come true because the Scottish electorate voted for them at every given opportunity. That’s why the unionist parties have done everything to prevent a referendum.

    By the way, if you had held a referendum on independence in 1997, you’d have got a good 60% Y according to all polls at the time. Many people have no idea how close it was back then.

    There are many reasons why are we are where we are (inherent feeling of nationhood, decline of the empire, the tendency for Scots to vote more centre to left, the destruction of the post war consensus, being crapped all over by the Tories while all ‘British’ shared institutions and industries were removed from Scotland, Labour’s shift to the right etc), but ultimately, we have reached end-game. Unless a sudden wave of support for the Tories, Labour and the status quo returns, it’s over, one way or another, and soon.

    The SNP know it, the Tories know it/accept it. Labour just can’t bring themselves to believe it. You must remember that most unionist politicians – particularly MPs – are as passionate about the union as rabid nationalists are about independence. I would thus speculate Ed – who knows diddly squat about Scotland – is getting some rather misguided advice from jock associates about how to woo the Scots electorate/what the situation really is. Imagine sm753 was advising him as a Scot with his finger on the pulse and you’ll catch my drift. Otherwise, I’m at a bit of a loss to explain his one british [english] nation toryism vision for Scotland. It’s not rational, so whoever came up with the idea is a few cans short of a piss-up. I imagine we could make some suggestions here…

    Unless of course the fading to white of the saltire and st patrick’s cross with resurgent st george’s cross is actually getting ready for the inevitable.

  49. pmcrek says:

    “cares the same about children in Motherwell as in Manchester”.

    i.e. not at all.

  50. Jeannie says:

    well, he certainly didn’t care about Ken McIntosh – he couldn’t even remember his name.

  51. Morag says:

    Ed, it’s all right.  We’ll look out for the children in Motherwell.  Thank you for your concern, but we can take it from here.
    (I wonder whether he feels the same about children in Mannheim or Milan?)

  52. Jeannie says:

    Yes, I agree.  So long as one hundred of us remain alive……we will look after the children of Motherwell!

  53. pmcrek says:


    Given his abstention ten times on the Westminster votes on the necessity of an investigation into the Iraq war, we at least know how he feels about children in Baghdad!

  54. And do not forget that BBC Scotlandshire scooped this story on Tuesday in a much more rhoughtful and serious article:

    But we do like what you have done with it. 

  55. Scottish republic says:

    one or two comments here…




    It sounds fascist   


  56. maxstafford says:

    Freedom or Fascism; it’s your shout people!
    If we don’t walk away from this deranged madhouse when we get the opportunity to do just that in two years then Hell mend us!


  57. Doonfooter says:

    I don’t know if this has been posted elsewhere but I see from this mornings Guardian that One Nation Labour has it’s sights on removing universal benefits from England as well.

  58. frankieboy says:

    Its not purple, its plum, just exactly what Labour are on to.

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