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Wings Over Scotland

Peeking behind the curtain

Posted on February 15, 2013 by

In this site’s view, the single most important truth that YesScotland will need to convey to the Scottish electorate if it wants to win the 2014 independence referendum is the reality of what a No vote will mean for devolution. It’s a theme we’ve covered extensively, and will continue to highlight because it’s the core thing the Unionist campaign don’t want people to know.


All three London-run parties are engaged in the pretence that if Scots reject full control of their own affairs they’ll be showered with new powers by Westminster, despite that premise collapsing under the slightest scrutiny. But today an alert reader pointed us towards something that reveals a much more convincing reality.

Last night’s Scotland Tonight featured an extensive interview with Nigel Farage of UKIP, and the Scotsman today reports the right-wing party’s plans to secure seats in Holyrood. Alistair McConnachie is a one-time Scottish UKIP member and election candidate who caused a schism in the party some years ago after an ugly Holocaust-denial controvery which saw him suspended but then reinstated by the executive.

We haven’t been able to ascertain if Mr McConnachie is still a UKIP member, but what we do know is that he currently runs a blog and Twitter account under the name “The UK – A Force For Good”. The article below is taken from said site, though we’ve copied it here so you can read it without adding to its web traffic.

It speaks for itself. This is the true Unionist view of devolution.


The Danger of Devolution in the Context of an Aggressive Separatist Movement

Only in the absence of such a movement, is it possible to imagine devolution existing without potential damage. Therefore, unionists must always be ultra-cautious about supporting any form of devolution in a context where there is a significant separatist movement which will use such power against the union itself, says Alistair McConnachie.

Can devolution “strengthen a union”? Arguably, perhaps. If it doesn’t strengthen it, then it might, at least, maintain it. However, for both of these things to happen there must be one, overriding requirement in place.

There must be no significant separatist force which is able to manipulate such devolved powers, and to directly acquire such devolved powers, for its own ends.

In the presence of a significant separatist movement, devolving power will always be potentially hazardous to a union.

Take the United States as an example (although it is not an exact one, and although it has a written constitution which also works to bind the country together). In the USA, every State has a degree of (sometimes quite significant) devolved powers. However, in not one of the 50 States of the Union, since the Civil War, has there been a significant separatist movement arguing for a State to become “independent”. (There has been a small movement in Hawaii, which, sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with its own indigenous population, is a unique exception.)

Consequently, devolution of certain powers to each State is a relatively benign phenomenon – which does not threaten the overall integrity of the United States.

The United Kingdom, however, is quite a different country – which includes a significant separatist movement in Scotland. Therefore, devolution of power to Scotland will never have the benign affect that it has in the United States.

The Scottish separatists want to destroy the British union – and to gather to themselves as much power as possible which will enable them to do so. Any devolutionary powers will always risk being manipulated, and directly acquired by them, towards their ultimate end of political separation.

They will always seek to harness any devolved power deliberately to promote strife rather than harmony, with the overall aim of separation rather than union.

In the presence of a significant separatist movement, devolving power will always be potentially dangerous to a union. Only in the absence of such a movement, is it possible to imagine devolution existing without potential damage.

Devolution: Potentially Fatal to a Union in the Presence of a Separatist Movement
It is within this context that unionists must always assess the potential of devolutionary power to destabilise, weaken and destroy the union. It may often be the case that more devolutionary power will simply risk strengthening the hands of the separatists.

In the United Kingdom, unionists want, at the very least, to maintain the union – and, additionally, to strengthen it and to promote it. They certainly don’t want to do anything to weaken it. That also includes the serious risk that they could put power into the hands of those who would misuse that power to destroy the union.

Therefore, unionists must always be ultra-cautious about supporting any form of devolution in a context where there is a significant separatist movement which will use it to try to destroy the union itself.

As far as devolutionary powers are concerned, our guidelines must be firstly, “Promote the union in principle and in policy – in philosophy and in practice”, and secondly, “Do no harm to the Union”.

Our Plans Should be for More Union, not More Devolution

Let’s also remember that if we win the referendum to maintain the union, the time will be right to capitalise upon that positive statement by promoting ideas and plans for more union, and policies which will strengthen it, and promote it.

We don’t want to allow the separatists to turn a pro-UK vote on its head by granting them more of what they want.

They should get nothing, and where a devolutionary power has led, or is leading, to an abuse of fundamental British Unity Principles then that power should be rescinded!

They are already asking us about our supposed plans for “more devolution”, if we win the referendum. In the context of an aggressive separatist movement which wants to accrue all political power to itself, that is like us asking them their plans for “more union” if they win!

Indeed, every time separatists demand to know our plans for “more devolution” if we win the referendum, we can respond by asking them their plans for “more union” if they win the vote to break it up.

Our plans should be for more union, not for more devolution!

We should not intend to win the referendum to maintain the union, only to start looking for ways to help the separatists weaken it.

That would be winning the battle, only to shoot ourselves in our feet.

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89 to “Peeking behind the curtain”

  1. james morton says:

    Ukip like the tories before them, will know what it is like to have Scotlands boot kicked so far up their arse, that when people see them, they’ll think Doc Martins have started making hats.
    Tories, want to keep that shrinking vote – Labour are after it to. Ukip want to try and split it three ways. Fine. The more the other two try to appease that lunatic fringe, the more they scare off their own floating moderate and core voters.
    These yahoos are just what is needed to get those “don’t Knows” into Yes votes.

  2. Dan777_A says:

    WOW! what a scumbag! He couldnt care less about democracy, equality or indeed scotland. just wants to further the union as if it is the be-all and end-all of politics. Aswell as yes scotland highlighting this line of thought they must also reveal why the union must be rescinded and why it is not a “force for good”.

  3. naebd says:

    So, it turns out there’s British Nationalists.
    While I’m sure there are elements in the main British parties for whom this resonates, this is a (possibly former) UKIP member – how many UKIP MPs are there? And how does one determine the ‘true Unionist view’? Perhaps claiming a UKIP screed as the ‘true view’ is a tad simplistic.
    Then again, Willie Rennie, Alastair Darling, Ian Davidson. Hmm.

  4. The Man in the Jar says:

    What a truly nasty nasty piece of work! Utter scumbag!
    Dose he think for one moment that in the event of a no vote we “separatists” are going to roll over and accept this?
    I’m away to get my claymore from the thatch!

  5. Doug says:

    I don’t know if I should worry or pity him.  Probably the latter.
    The link embedded within that text (and the ‘interesting’ song at the end) probably deserves a little coverage too!

    “We are the Brits.
    You better get used to it.
    We’re the Brits.
    Don’t try to give us any…
    We are the Brits.
    One percent of the human race.
    We’re the Brits.
    And we are in your face.”

  6. DMW42 says:

    The reason devolution “does not threaten the overall integrity of the United States” is that under its constitution, the individual States devolved some power to the federal government – not the other way around. Our lack of a constitution has seen the British goverment walk all over us, deny us our rights, and even ‘extinguish’ our nationality.

  7. Jeannie says:

    That picture of Enoch Powell is really spooky – he looks like some kind of devious, malevolent cat.

  8. DWl says:

    isnt that Lord Monckton guy the leader of “UKIP Scotland”?

  9. Macart says:

    Dear God! I’ve seen some card carrying right wingers in my time, but that lad really gives a whole new meaning to the description. Not big on democracy is he? 
    These are the people driving the tories further to an isolationist right in both Westminster and Europe. They are, some might argue, the reason why there is now a soft or middle tory ground for the Labour party to inhabit and exploit. The general trend though for all Westminster parties is right and yet further right. If the no campaign wins this referendum, the consequences for Scotland and democracy on these islands could be awful.

  10. M4rkyboy says:

    My understanding of the American setup is that the States are sovereign and that, in union, they agree to concede control over certain things like defence and foreign policy to the Federal govt with the constitution representing the line in the sand that the federal govt cannot cross.It’s the exact opposite of the UK where we have an all powerful centralised govt that devolves outwards.In the UK without a constitution it means we are at the mercy of whatever whim the current govt decides to go off on.Detention without charge,the snoopers charter,section5 etc
    Have i got it wrong or has the UKIP boy got it wrong?

  11. Megalosaurus says:

    As ever with these nutters if you want to mess with them simply repeat exactly what they have just said back to them but switch things around a little. 
    An example:
    “The EU, however, is quite a different country – which includes a significant separatist movement in Britain. Therefore, devolution of power to Britain will never have the benign affect that it has in the United States.”
    You know, Mr. Mcconnachie, you have quite convinced me; these separatists are a threat. We should round them up, starting with your own party!
    Funny how they are always happy to preach separatism when it involves the EU.
    Hmm, you know, I’m noticing a trend… terrified of foreigners, mistrustful of Scots (who to these people may as well be foreigners), it’s as if they were xeno… no, no, they couldn’t be!

  12. scottish_skier says:

    He does neatly highlight why Scottish independence is inevitable.
    If a power is devolved, then it results in Scotland doing things differently; e.g. tuition fees, no NHS privatisation. Each incremental change results in Scotland being increasingly different to the rUK. However, as this occurs through popular mandate (elections for Holyrood) it is effectively impossible to reverse without electoral consent.
    Devolution can’t be reversed now. With only 6% support for a return to Westminster rule, ending devolution is impossible. Short of sending in the army to take over and shut down the Scottish Parliament there’s nothing that can be done to end devolution. Shutting off Scotland’s block grant finance ain’t an option; that would result in deaths as hospitals could no longer afford medicine…. schools would need to shut etc, rubbish would pile up in the streets; that would be a human rights crime of heinous proportions (also theft as it would be Scots taxpayers money being withheld). Likewise, Scotland could respond by shutting off the oil and gas, plunging the UK into turmoil. Nope, unless Scots went out and voted for an end to devolution clearly and willingly, the Scottish Parliament is going nowhere.
    Which makes independence inevitable.
    Much of the electorate don’t clearly see why no more devolution can occur. That’s why many people want it ahead of independence; they genuinely don’t appreciate the reasons why it’s not possible and are still thinking it could happen. I believe we are seeing that view change now that it is becoming obvious that no second option will appear before referendum day. Certainly, with trust in Westminster politicians in the low teens at best in Scotland, the electorate are not going to go into the booths in 2014 believing that more powers will follow. Only a cast iron unionist cross-party promise solemnly signed up to well ahead of the day would influence the outcome.
    So, even if there’s a narrow no vote in 2014 (which I remain unconvinced of based on polling and survey evidence, rather a comfortable yes is favoured), the constitutional question will not go away. Instead, the section of the electorate that fell for jam tomorrow will be standing there waiting for more powers and will vote for the parties best placed to fight for that. Which of course is the SNP, Greens, Margo etc; i.e. the independence supporting parties. Hence it would be highly likely that a majority of SNP MPs (polls indicate this is likely) would be sent to Westminster in 2015 and they would lead in Holyrood again in 2016 offering 2 further bites at the cherry. There are as many bites as you want after that.
    The unionist parties are focussing on trying to bring down the SNP for a reason; they feel if they can cause people to lose faith in the SNP then the problem will be solved. However, so long as the SNP continue to act as a reasonably competent government doing their best to run Scotland, then they’ll keep getting voted in. As we see from polls, the SNP are getting the same level of support they got in May 2011 when they won a landslide; ergo this unionist tactic is doomed to failure. Only the SNP can bring down the SNP, i.e. by making themselves unattractive to voters.
    The constitutional question will remain until it is resolved. Some form of devo max could do it, at least for a while, but that’s impossible and so unless scots en-masse start voting Labour and Tory in the same proportions as the electorate do in England, then the union is screwed one way or another.

  13. Bill C says:

    Three cheers for Alistair McConnachie! At last, somebody in the unionist camp with the guts to say what they are actually about. Some on here obviously do not like the guy, I am not exactly a fan myself, but he is telling the truth, that is what unionism is about.  The difference between him Darling, Lamont, Davidson, Wee Wullie and the rest, is McConnachie is telling it like it is. From his point of view, we are no better that the dozens of other independence movements which have tried to break free from Westminster.  We are colonials and should know our place.
    I think we should encourage Mr. McConnachie to speak freely of his plans to keep Scotland in the union. The man is an asset to our cause. Far better an honest enemy, than the parcel of rogues who wring their hands and spout weasel words about jam tomorrow, they would be more honest in offering baubles and bracelets.

  14. CameronB says:

    I am afraid that Enoch Powell was a bit before my time, but I do not think even he was quite as reactionary as this individual appears to be. Not quite “rivers of blood”, but rather disturbing none the less. As Dan77_A says, not one hint of concern for  democracy or the democratic process. Instead, we get a very clear indication of the author’s colonialist outlook and philosophy. Where would such a individual draw the line, in terms of disenfranchising those who’s opinions he objects too?
    Vote Yes in 2014.

  15. naebd says:

    “He does neatly highlight why Scottish independence is inevitable.”
    I disagree – currently No has a landslide majority. If the result of the referendum is No, then I see no reason why the current arrangements can’t bump along indefinitely, perhaps with some tightening of the screws on the SP’s room for manoevre. Meanwhile, Scots continue to live in a largely unitary British (90% English) culture, gradually assimilating further and becoming less and less likely to want independence.
    That’s one, to my eyes, plausible projection of the future.

  16. Training Day says:

    His prose style – ‘only in the absence of such a movement’ etc. – reminds you of Mein Kampf.  Just sayin’ like. 
    The really scary thing is that this could have been written by a member of New Labour.

  17. Bill C says:

    @Training Day -“The really scary thing is that this could have been written by a member of New Labour.” Easily, the difference is, he has the guts (stupidity?) to publicise what unionism is really about.

  18. David McCann says:

    I hope you can send this to John MacKay who interviewed Farage. Why on earth did Scotland Tonight interview him in the first place?
    UKIP’s vote was barely visable in Scotland last election.

  19. Doug Daniel says:

    näbd – as you know, most people in Scotland want some change – if not independence, then significantly more devolution than we currently have. There are people who are currently set to vote “no” because they think they can get what they want by voting that way. Once it becomes clear that there’ll be no more devo, the SNP simply has to stand for election on a “we’ll have a referendum ASAP, and this time you know independence is the only way to get what you want” platform, and they’ll win. The unionist ploy of “vote NO, get more devo” won’t work twice. Fuck it, if public outcry at being deceived is high enough, they could even stand on a “never mind a referendum, give us a majority and we’ll make Scotland independent” ticket.
    Pandora’s box has been opened. Whatever happens in 2014, independence will happen at some point in the next 10 years.

  20. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Stu, I agree that the YES campaign must exploit the consequences of a NO vote.
    To my knowledge three main figures of Bullshit Together have confirmed no more devolution in the event of a no vote.
    I can’t remember their exact statements.
    1. Michael Moore- The UK gov have no plans to deliver more devolution.
    2. Alistair Darling-More devolution would be trivial and would have to be agreed by all Westminster parties.
    3. David Cameron- More fiscal powers would de-stabalise the UK.
    Maybe I’m missing something. Why are the YES campaign not ruthlessly exposing this? Frightened of being lured into a trap? Keeping their powder dry?      

  21. Aplinal says:

    @Training Day
    I had the same thought.  Having read Mein Kampf out of academic interest many years ago, this piece by McConnachie was eerily reminiscent!  By my thoughts, thou shalt know me! 
    The video was pointed out to me before, and I was also struck by the subliminal neo-fascist/BNP (can I say this and not get it censored?  Some blogs don’t like ANY reference to the fascists) messages. 
    Imagine a skinhead, probably with a Union Flag tattoo on his head,  shouting “We are Brits and IN YOUR FACE!”  He may be a sad man, but dangerous nonetheless.

  22. Doug Daniel says:

    Stu – I dunno if I agree that you can take the opinions of someone in UKIP and state that this shows the true face of unionism, as if they’re just Tory unionists speaking their minds rather than trying to cushion everything in cuddly terms. I mean, if that were true, we’d be on our way to having a referendum on the EU, you’d have Tory ministers openly talking about withdrawing from the ECHR, and you’d have more Tories voting against same-sex marriage than for it.
    Hahaha! Can you imagine that? What a ludicrous thought! None of that will ever happen!!!!
    Oh, wait a second…

  23. Megalosaurus says:

    @Doug Daniel
    “Pandora’s box has been opened. Whatever happens in 2014, independence will happen at some point in the next 10 years.”
    Yeah, I’m starting to think along these lines as well. I think even if we lose the 2014 referendum, the fallout and consequences will result in independence within around 10-15 years.

  24. scottish_skier says:

    “I disagree – currently No has a landslide majority”
    You need to stop taking polls at face value. Rather, you need to look at all of them, going back at least for a decade. Also look at all voting intention polls just as much as electoral outcomes, ideally going back to the 1950’s. For example, by 2009 the SNP win in 2011 was entirely predictable; certainly once Dave walked into the Rose Garden with Nick it was. Likewise you need to understand why people respond in the way they do when asked questions, what’s influencing them, the effect of different events; there are lots of clues when you go delving into surveys on devo max etc. The No camp can rely on at least 30% of the electorate actually going out and voting no. The Yes can rely on the same; probably more motivated to do so. 10% at least will not even think about it, never mind going out to vote. That leaves you 30% who’d like a lot more powers for the Scottish parliament and are no fans of Westminster. What do you think they are going to do? These are far more likely to vote Yes or not vote at all than vote No.
    If No was looking good to win, you would not be observing hysteria in the unionist camp and there’d be no need for better together. 
    Also keep in mind there are many polls which we never see; just like the one where people are asked what they will vote if the Tories are due to win the next GE (that gets a landslide Yes to independence).

    “Pandora’s box has been opened. Whatever happens in 2014, independence will happen at some point in the next 10 years.”

    Pandora’s box started filling up 60 years ago and has been doing so steadily since then. It burst open in 2011.

  25. Triskelion says:

    I’m I the only one who thought this sounded really really scary? It sounded like some dictator talking, something you’d hear only in meetings of corporate gangsters ploting to take over the country. Or is it just me deluding because of lack of sleep? Anyone?

  26. Luigi says:

    If No was looking good to win, you would not be observing hysteria in the unionist camp and there’d be no need for better together.
    I have often wondered about this. The NO campaign seem to be in full, six-week run-in mode already, and we are still c. 20 months away from the referendum. If they are not careful, they will burn themselves out. When the YES campaign gets into gear, they won’t know what hit them!

  27. Marcia says:

    Scottish Skier
    A very good summary, I did wonder why the Annexationists (there is no Union according to Dave, just Greater England) starting to turn their fire on Nicola Sturgeon a few weeks ago. Their focus groups must have told them that she is, despite some media piffle, quite popular.

  28. Chic McGregor says:

    UKIP are just the Tories on truth serum.

  29. Luigi says:

    UKIP means UKOK

  30. CameronB says:

    @ Triskelion
    No, I don’t think you are too far of the mark. It is just as well that this particular character hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of getting in to government. Not unless the current ConDem marriage falls apart and the Tories buddy up to UKIP. Even then, I’m not sure if he is still a member.

  31. Triskelion says:

    @ CameronB
    Haha, luckily those in power seem to want us out.

  32. Dcanmore says:

    UKIP is a faction of the Tory party, and don’t forget that the BNP are a significant minority too. I’ve said before in a previous post that if Better Together are seen to be slipping, and they will under Darling, these extreme parties will become more and more vocal they’ll want to play a part in the referendum whether BT like it or not. And that is not including our wonderful ‘friends’ in Ulster. Doug Daniel is right, even if their is a no vote Scotland will still be independent in the next 10 years. The people may be duped into thinking they’ll get much more devolution, when they don’t get it the fall back will be an SNP landslide for Westminster.

  33. CameronB says:

    @ Triskelion

    orry, you lost me on that one. Could you possibly rephrase?

  34. Dcanmore says:

    Apologies for the poor grammar and spelling in my last post 🙁

  35. CameronB says:

    Same here. 🙁

  36. Morag says:

    Doug Daniel
    Pandora’s box has been opened. Whatever happens in 2014, independence will happen at some point in the next 10 years.
    Yeah, I’m starting to think along these lines as well. I think even if we lose the 2014 referendum, the fallout and consequences will result in independence within around 10-15 years.
    [Morag counts on her fingers.]
    Look, I’ve been at this seriously for 20 years.  In spirit, all my life.  I’ve known people who were at it much longer than me, and worked with some of them
    Robert Mackintyre
    Alan Macartney
    Tom Maxwell
    Margaret Ewing
    Neil MacCormick
    James Halliday
    last but not least, my own mother
    You get the message.  Need I go on?  I don’t want to go the same way.  Vote yes next year and GET IT DONE.

  37. scottish_skier says:

    The Scottish Senior Citizens party are more of a ‘threat’ to Scotland than UKIP. They did get 70% more votes than UKIP in May 11; all credit to them I say.

  38. Triskelion says:

    @ CameronB
    just that David Cameron seems to be campaigning against the “better together” for quite some time now, as has been noted on this website many times.

  39. Fiona says:

    O/T but I see the standards are stooping even lower at the BBC, if that’s possible.
    This is on the Scottish Sport part of the site
    Scottish football preview as it happened
    If they could do that we could all win the pools.

  40. Macart says:

    You know, I had a bit bit of a laugh with a couple of friends the other day about what possible sporting loss there may be out of the Notland situation. We had a wee dig about the Aussie’s wanting that urn in perpetuity and England’s name being struck off the World cups (football and rugby).
    But all of a sudden the tone darkens and then it sinks in, even the sporting world would be carnage for us. Internationals? What internationals? What national leagues in any sport? How does Westminster square that circle with international sporting bodies?
    Not so much ‘We’ll be coming’ as ‘We’ll be going’.

  41. CameronB says:

    @ Macart
    You know you are only scratching the surface. Every public institution and private businesses with Scotland in their names, even the BBC would be affected. Complete and utter lunacy. I wonder how much those who provided the legal opinion were payed and whether they will work again.

  42. Davy says:

    I caught a little of the Farage interview last night, just a couple of mins or so and my immediate impression was what a neep, and when he was asked what he would do for Scotland he started waffling,  then came out with the classic crap about big bad windmills everywhere. That was enough to change channel, and after reading this article by Alistair McConnachie my opinion about UKIP and its members is still the same, NEEPS and shite neeps at that.
    Scotland will always deserve better than self-centred, narrow minded UKIP crap.
    Vote Yes, to rid ourselves of Westminster bile and neeps.
    Alba Gu snooker loopy!      

  43. Macart says:

    Yep, carried on this convo on Guardian CiF with exactly the same warning. Everything, every nationally recognised institution and relationship changes on acceptance of a no vote.
    If you want to live in Scotland rather than Notland vote YES.

  44. Jiggsbro says:

    Mr McConnachie’s blog promises that they’ve identified 40 different positive arguments for the union, which they will describe in short articles. So far, they only seem to have done a list of ten. On closer inspection, every one of the ten is “It’s better to be British because British is better”. I suspect the remaining 30 will develop along similar lines.

  45. FreddieThreepwood says:

    @ Morag
    Hear hear! I’m one of those middle-aged guys in denial – not quite dressing younger than my age but still definitely a young man in ma own heid. It’s a shock when I pass a mirror and see the auld geezer looking back at me, I can tell you.
    Oh, how I longed for an independent Scotland when I was a teenager hitch-hiking across Europe with my Saltire on my rucksack – how I hated having to explain to folk I met what the constitutional arrangement was in the UK, why I had a British passport … even where Scotland fekkin was!
    I will never be a young Scot from an independent Scotland abroad now. But in my darkest moments I fret about even being an old Scot from an independent Scotland!
    You’re right Morag – 2014 is it. All hands to the pumps!

  46. Sword says:


  47. muttley79 says:

    ‘Much of the electorate don’t clearly see why no more devolution can occur. That’s why many people want it ahead of independence; they genuinely don’t appreciate the reasons why it’s not possible and are still thinking it could happen.’
    Is this not a danger though that enough voters will think voting No will still lead to more powers?  Also, some posters think independence is inevitable.  I am a lot more cautious about that.  If there is a No vote the media will attempt to sow divisions in the SNP, and will put Salmond under pressure to resign.  I think it is dangerous to think independence is going to happen inevitably.  It can promote complacency and a rather blase attitude.  We should be under no illusions that significant parts of the middle class in particular are hostile to independence.

  48. steven luby says:

    Scotland will never have the benign affect that it has in the United States.
    The Scottish separatists want to destroy the British union – and to gather to themselves as much power as possible which will enable them to do so. Any devolutionary powers will always risk being manipulated, and directly acquired by them, towards their ultimate end of political separation.
    They will always seek to harness any devolved power deliberately to promote strife rather than harmony, with the overall aim of separation rather than unionScotland will never have the benign affect that it has in the United States.
    The Scottish separatists want to destroy the British union – and to gather to themselves as much power as possible which will enable them to do so. Any devolutionary powers will always risk being manipulated, and directly acquired by them, towards their ultimate end of political separation.
    They will always seek to harness any devolved power deliberately to promote strife rather than harmony, with the overall aim of separation rather than union…..I don’t know who wrote this but it’s rank and taste belongs outwith democracy. It’s whole scent belongs amongst irons,shields and dying horses.
    That said,they have no concept of democracy so thats us all fucked,again,as the mass media ejaculate over another angle !


  49. Tinyzeitgeist says:

    There is another elephant in the room for those who think that westminster will devolve any more powers to Holyrood…. and it is the english electorate. Since the SNP won power and have taken Scotland in a very different direction from westminster politics, much has been made of the ‘scrounging jocks’ getting subsidised to provide things like free education, bus passes etc. Because of this propaganda, the english electorate and their MP’s will not, I repeat not, accept any further devolution. This coupled with the likely clamour to do something about the Barnet formula (cutting the block grant) will finish social democracy in Scotland and reduce our country to nothing more than a northern ‘county’ of the UK. I am convinced that once people realise the consequences of voting no, we will get our independence. The trick of course is getting this message accross! 

  50. Cuphook says:

    I just got sent this link to a Huffpost live debate from Yes Scotland and there’s an old friend of WoS representing the No campaign. She puts in a classic performance and manages to make as many trenchant points as her blog does. Ross Greer argues the Yes side very well. 

  51. Alastair Wright says:

    I watched the Farhaahaha (I keep thinking of Steve Martin pronouncing his name), when asked how many seats UKIP would get at Holyrood I thought one – but only if it gets posted to them!

  52. muttley79 says:

    O/T  This passage is from Ian McWhirter’s blog:
     “Is there a nationalist mole in Whitehall, an evil genius undermining the case for the Union?    On Monday, the UK Coalition published its legal advice on the status of Scotland after independence.  Scotland would be a new state, the government lawyers concluded,  after also identifying the religious leanings of the Pope.  There would be a lot of renegotiation to do, which is great for the legal profession, who stand to make a fortune disentangling the strands of union.” 

  53. Nikostratos says:

    Oh well ultra Extremist ukipper Unionist meets ultra extremist Nationalists
    You both have a lot in common

  54. Bill C says:

    @mutley79 – It seems S_S’s theory might be growing.

  55. muttley79 says:

    @Bill C
     It seems S_S’s theory might be growing.
    Yes it does.  If someone like McWhirter is picking up on an agenda somewhere in the UK government which is detrimental to the No campaign, then maybe S_S is right.

  56. scottish_skier says:

    Is this not a danger though that enough voters will think voting No will still lead to more powers? 
    That presents a danger, however remember my point that only ~16% of Scots trust Westminster to act in their interests. Ergo, I would speculate that while the electorate may have been willing to wait and see whether a new devolution package would be offered before the referendum (in an attempt to save the union), they will not go into the ballot box believing more powers will follow without anything concrete to back that up. At this stage, it looks that that will not happen. Even if it did, for the reasons discussed many times, Westminster would not follow through on its promises. At the same time, the electorate will keep voting for the SNP to push Westminster into keeping its promises; hence the issue would not go away following a narrow No vote.
    Note that I don’t advocate complacency; far from it. People should do all the can to help the campaign. However, the Scottish electorate are wise and know what they want; it’s not the status quo.
    As for MacWhirter… He’s no fool. Clearly thinking something is just not quite right in terms of Whitehall’s supposed attempts to save the union. Independence for just £1? Dave stating Scotland can be independent and will not hear anyone say otherwise. Scotland is pro-Europe and Dave’s going to potentially take the UK out. The Scotland Bill passed with ease…the Edinburgh Agreement all smiles and handshakes…Scottish Labour becoming increasingly hysterical and talking delusional nonsense…. Aye, seems a bit fishy tae me and MacWhirter too by the looks of it.

  57. scottish_skier says:

    The SNP are the least extreme (most centrist) political party in the united Kingdom at present. Labour – which I believe you favour – are a direct socio-economic cross between the Tories/UKIP and the BNP. See here:

    This is why Ed advocates a crackdown on immigration and One Nation Tory policies; he’s attempting to blend BNP with Conservative. The union jack waving is part of this.

  58. muttley79 says:

    “Scottish Labour becoming increasingly hysterical and talking delusional nonsense.”
    I hope you are not referring only to the last few years…. 😀

  59. kininvie says:

    McConnachie’s logic is unassailable. If you want Britain to be a nice ‘relaxing’ place to live, you certainly don’t want any aggressive separatist movements hanging around. The question for McConnachie is how he proposes to persuade these aggressive separatists to go away and cease troubling the peaceful Brits. I can think of a number of ways this could be done, even if they are not very nice ones.

  60. DougtheDug says:

    As a holocaust denier Alistair McConnachie may not be the most savoury character but he has laid out the unionist position quite logically in his article. Giving a province more and more powers is not  a good idea when there is a separatist movement there.
    It’s the faithful dog syndrome. If you have a faithful dog you can lower the fences (give more devolved powers) and let him get used to roaming around on his own in a big garden because he’ll stay put.
    With an unfaithful dog you have to keep the garden small so he’s never on his own and keep the fences high to keep him in because there’s always the risk he’ll leave.
    Of course there are other factors which mitigate against the devolution of more powers. For tax and social security it would involve splitting the relevant departments into Scottish and rUK bits. This did not happen with the original devolution of powers when the Scottish Office was just handed over the to the Scottish Parliament. The Civil Service will instinctively oppose this and its costs.
    There’s the principle of fiscal equity across the UK. All three devo reports done so far, the Lib-Dems, Devo+ and Devo More, have the principle that the Scottish Government and Scotland get no more public funding or access to additional revenue streams than anywhere else in the UK. All three rely on a top up grant to ensure Scotland gets no more than any other region of the UK. Producing any real devolution of financial power which doesn’t break this principle is impossible.
    Finally there’s the question of how much electoral advantage a platform of more powers for Scotland would be in a UK general election when there’s no threat of independence. The English electorate already think Scotland is feather-bedded so they wouldn’t see the point of wasting parliamentary time on it. Unless, and here’s the biggie, as part of some deal to shift some minimal amount of financial control to Scotland the Barnett formula was done away with and replaced by a new lesser needs based formula or simple parity with English spending. I can see that happening.

  61. kininvie says:

    @Derick  The walking, breathing, definition of swivel-eyed lunacy!

  62. Jeannie says:

    Thanks for the link.  That dubbing/interpreting was absolutely surreal when the female MEPs appeared to be speaking with a man’s voice.  I almost felt sorry for Godfrey – his gunboat tactics were just getting him nowhere with these women. 

  63. Macart says:

    Ultra extremist nationalists?

  64. Baheid says:

    Behind you !!!!

  65. Macart says:

    Eeeeeek!!! :0

  66. Grahamski says:

    Mr Campbell
    Sincere thanks for highlighting the essentially repugnant nature of nationalism.
    Encouraging to read your readers’ antipathy towards such infantile disorders.
    Well done, you…

  67. Macart says:

    Anyone that jumps out of perfectly stable aircraft………. 😀
    That’s extreme.

  68. Laura says:

    They should get nothing, and where a devolutionary power has led, or is leading, to an abuse of fundamental British Unity Principles then that power should be rescinded!
    So much for the equal union! fundamental British Unity Principles
    To quote Man in the Jar What a truly nasty nasty piece of work! Utter scumbag!

  69. Dcanmore says:

    “They should get nothing, and where a devolutionary power has led, or is leading, to an abuse of fundamental British Unity Principles then that power should be rescinded!”
    And there we have the view of the majority of Daily Mail, Daily Express and Telegraph readers in England. Devolution can’t work after a NO vote, the majority population of England (ie SE England) won’t stand for a devolved settlement for the Scots. As most of them like to say on these newspapers comments section “you’re either OUT or IN” with regards to the UK. Somehow they seem to be angry at us either way.

  70. Rod Mac says:

    I bet a £ to bucket of horse manure he is one of the Scotsman’s resident vile Unionist trolls.
    Doris or Rufus  perhaps? 

  71. DaveO says:

    Wouldn’t get too worked up about people like this chap – the world is full of such f@nnies and all right minded people (which are in fact the majority) avoid them like the plague. I do think though that if we as a nation are too (for want of a better word) timid to vote to run our own affairs then the unionists will do their best to ensure this never happens again. I actually think they tried quite hard in the early years of Holyrood to socialy engineer Scotland – free care for the elderly when it’s not available in England? There were other benefits and policies brought in under Labour that saw large numbers of people move here from South of the border.. this was not I think an accident and it’s impact to Scotlands voting demographics has been measurable.

  72. douglas clark says:

    You get a word in your nut and you play it around. That’s what happens with you isn’t it?
    Let’s take an interesting example, New Zealand. As far as anyone can tell me your wonderful Westminster simply stopped paying attention. One day, they just found out that they were an independent nation. They had become independent by abandonment.
    It seems to a lot of people here that oor David Cameron is doing exactly the same thing. There is no attempt whatsoever to persuade, nor even threaten. Your allies, hah!, appear to be producing paper after paper that, well, just don’t make sense from a Unionist perspective. Scotland was ‘extinguished’ as a country a long time ago. Is that really what you want to hear? Do you really want to try to argue a unionism red in tooth and claw?
    To what extent do you subscribe to what Alistair McConnachie has to say? Is he, perhaps, your alter ego?
    Or, at base, what do you disagree with him about?
    Because, apart from the honestly held, ludicrous contempt that comes from his lips, what is the difference between you and him? Indeed, that is too nice. Argue what the difference is between you and him, because it is not at all obvious to anyone else.
    I see you projecting exactly the same sort of shite in The Scotsman, and now here. There is nowhere you will not go to denigrate anyone that isn’t a troughing member of the Labour Party. Perhaps you will sponsor Alistair McConnachie into your august organisation?
    To paraphrase the life of a Labour member in a brutal and honest way:
    “No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
    You and Alistair McConnachie are the pigs and the men. And no-one can tell the difference any more.
    Your ex-leader Blair has had more than his own share of ‘Subway’ moments. I recall him helicoptering out of Glasgow before we even got to the SECC. OK, it’s a bit more classy that Ian Grey, but…………

    Still shite.




  73. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Morag at 5.03pm
    @Freddie Threepwood
    I was 16 in the summer of 1969 (unlike a certain Canadian singer)
    I have some great memories of that time and others.
    I was in the Army for quite a spell. Served in W. Germany first words in German Ich bin ein Schotlander. W. Berlin and a 2-year spell in N. Ireland including the time of the hunger strikes. Most of it was crap but it did have it moments. I grew up near to Hamilton (still live nearby). I remember Winnie Ewing being elected didn’t understand that much at the time but something felt good something new (to me) was stirring.
    I have travelled the length and breadth of Scotland for work and pleasure. I love this place. No plans of leaving not even for a holiday. Still got too much to see here. I love my heritage. On my mothers side back to Moidart and the Jacobites. Her family cleared in the 18th. Century. My father from an old Ayrshire family ground zero Covenanters. My grandfather worked in the cottonmills on the Clyde near Rutherglen. I have best /worst of both histories.
    I have a great love of “rock” music (hate the term) seen most of the best bands ever at their peak. They loved playing Glasgow and it showed.
    As sixty looms on the horizon (f*****g Scary I can tell you) cant describe myself as being in the peak of health but I’m not a wreck by any means.
    I have wanted this so much and for so long. Even before I fully understood what Independence meant. I am hopeful but a wee voice in my head keeps saying. Please please in my lifetime please.
    Prosperity for Scotland and no union.

  74. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Douglas Clark –
    Aye. And isn’t this the tenth anniversary of that march to the Armadillo?
    Isn’t it??? I’m not even sure meself now…
    Any healthy society would have marked such an important anniversary with some acknowledgement, but then again, the MSM  pretty-much ignored it on the day. That’s the day Swinney got up on the platform and finally declared the SNP position on the impending Iraq adventure. Up until that point no-one knew where the Nats stood. Thankfully, we now have Salmond using every opportunity to stress that this country will never again be duped into participating in such outrageous, brutal illegality. It was also, probably, Tommy Sheridan’s zenith, announcing that ‘Strathclyde Police canny count’.
    No-one will ever know for sure how many attended that day. It was certainly the biggest gathering of humans in Scotland – ever – and that’s despite many thousands of Scots also attending the London demo. Blair delivered his speech approx four hours early, then scarpered. (BTW, does anyone know if it’s true that Strathclyde Police, mindful of public-order etc, had ‘requested’ that conference organisers get their glorious leader to say his piece early-doors then GTF out of Glasgow? I was told that years ago by someone in a good position to know, but have never had it confirmed by any other source.)
    The ‘Two-o’clock’ rumpus was meant to interrupt the start of Blair’s speech, but the fact he was long-gone didn’t seem to make any difference. I was on my tod, having deliberately separated myself from other family-members because I wanted to scream at the top of my voice, not feel inhibited. The din caused by, I don’t know, 150,000 (?) people was beyond description. It was an astonishing experience and I’ll never forget it. The only thing I can imagine that could possibly surpass that thrill is being in a similarly huge gathering when we receive official confirmation that we’ve said ‘Yes’. 

  75. Macart says:

    @Man in the jar
    Simply superb.

  76. Dave Smith says:

    I did say some months ago that I felt this was turning into a ‘good vs evil’ struggle.
    McConnachie kind of proves my point.
    Some of his crap had me thinking Godwin-esque thoughts…

  77. Morag says:

    Hmmm.  I’m less than a year younger than Man in a Jar.  As it happens.

  78. CameronB says:

    Godfrey Bloom MEP, mmmm. Well as the former owner of a small business, I would suggest the man was talking absolute sense, of a kind. I was not in the position of being able to consider employing young women, or make maternity leave available to male partners (though in fact we did and paid over the national rates). The additional costs was unsupportable, in the long term.  Indeed, I was finding it harder and harder to keep up with the escalating cost incurred by much of the legislation imposed by the EU.
    Godfrey Bloom MEP, put his finger on the problem when he indicated that he is only concerned with the well-being of his country-Britain, err England, no Britain (?). You see, there has been a willful lack of investment in the social infrastructure needed to enable the UK plc. to function as a modern society that provides opportunities for all. In Mr. Bloom’s world, the natural order is for interests of capital to be allowed to exploit society for the benefit of capital. This has been the British way for centuries and hasn’t it served us well. The social policy driven by the EU is simply at odds with the laissez faire economy that Mr. Bloom aspires to. Without adequate social infrastructure, adherence to EU policy simply becomes unsustainable for many small businesses AND THEIR EMPLOYEES.
    I said some time previously, that it is a shame that UKIP has claimed opposition to the EU as there own personal stomping ground, as they do not appear to have the interests of society at heart. Instead, UKIP would work towards turning the clock back on all of the social policy reforms that have been imposed on capital since the industrial revolution. The key to achieving this, is to ensure that the UK plc. remains a low-regulation economy. The popular mantra for UKPI, and their more media savvy brethren the Tory party, is deregulate, deregulate, deregulate. In other words decriminalise, decriminalise, decriminalise. Imagine where our financial sector would be if these extremists had had there way. How long would it be before workhouses made a reappearance, and child labour became an essential component of the economy?
    Sorry for the essay, but Messrs Bloom and McConnachie shine a light on the extreme reactionary philosophy that underpin UKIP and much of the Tory party. Better together but outside the EU, yeah right. I for one have no wish to live in a deregulated Airstrip One, though this would of course be an essential first step on the road to Bangladesh.
    Vote Yes in 2014.

  79. CameronB says:

    Some inspiration for the likes of Mr. McConnachie. 🙂

    Sorry, I tried to post link but it didn’t want to appear simply as a link.

  80. CameronB says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Sorry for posting the film, I couldn’t figure how to remove it whilst posting the link. You might want to remove it as it has some adult content.

  81. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Sorry, I tried to post link but it didn’t want to appear simply as a link.”

    The trick is to remove the “http://” from the start of the URL. Curiously that means it then appears in the link in the comment, but the entire video doesn’t get embedded.

  82. CameronB says:

    Just for a laugh, though you will need to watch the film to get it.

  83. muttley79 says:

    O/T  I just read this guardian article from Peter A Bell’s referendum blog.  One passage said:
    “Ahead lies the referendum. Edinburgh observers say Salmond isn’t really focused on a vote the SNP is likely to lose but on the elections to the Scottish parliament in 2016 and how to play his hand against London over coming years. A no vote next year is likely to be felt by many Scots (including the Labour opposition at Holyrood) to be a vote in favour of additional tax and spend powers within the UK – the “devo max” option that the SNP had originally wanted to be on the ballot.”

    According to this article Salmond has already given up on a Yes vote, despite the recent rise in support for independence!  Not only that but they seem to think Devo-max is delieverable as well!

  84. Hetty says:

    Shows UKIP as they are, positively fascist. They must not be allowed any room in Scottish politics.

  85. AA says:

    Seems like some folks like to keep sucking off H M,and don’t want their parasitic union disturbed,this editor being one. . .

  86. Grendel says:

    I just game across this guys site while looking for something else.
    I couldn’t be bothered trawling through the entire catalogue of bile on there, but one phrase caught my attention:
    “Indeed, it’s morally wrong to imagine that Scotland should control its future”.

    Sadly I’m encountering more and more people like him as we near the referendum. The entrenched, unreachable, unconvertable unionist in all it’s glory.

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