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Wings Over Scotland

The Day After

Posted on January 24, 2014 by

Something annoyed us a great deal this week, and for once it wasn’t some fatuous statement from Alistair Darling or Alistair Carmichael or Ruth Davidson (though all of those were in plentiful supply too). Rather, it was a comment from a distinguished academic and professional in what was otherwise a good-news story.


The chap in question was Patrick Layden QC, former Deputy Solicitor to the Scottish Executive (as was), prior to giving evidence to Holyrood’s European and External Relations Committee, and the quote published in several papers was a troubling one.

“It seems now to be generally agreed that an independent Scotland would no longer be within the European Union and that amendments to the EU treaties would be required to admit Scotland to the EU,” he said.

“In that regard I note Sir David Edward’s query as to whether the correct legal analysis might not lead to the conclusion that both Scotland and RUK would effectively cease to be member states.

“I have some sympathy with that analysis, not least because I advanced it myself at an earlier stage, but two considerations lead me to think that it is unrealistic.

“First, there seems to be a general acceptance that RUK will continue as a member state and, in international law, general acceptance by other states carries a great deal of weight.”

Just a second, cowpoke. Since when was any of this “generally agreed”? To the best of our knowledge, it’s still very firmly the Scottish Government’s view that Scotland will NOT at any point find itself outside the EU. Their opinion, backed up by experts including those employed by the UK government, is that Scotland will remain a member (as part of the UK until 2016) while any negotiations over terms take place, at which point it will take its own seat, having never spent a single day outside the EU.

With all due respect to Mr Layden, his statement seems therefore to be tommyrot. It has been frequently asserted by those with vested interests in seeking a No vote, but certainly not “generally accepted”. And that got us thinking.

If Scotland votes Yes on the 18th of September the process of becoming independent will be lengthy and quite complex, but a number of things will change overnight. Every terrifying scare story deployed by those who wanted a No vote will instantly blink out of existence, because it will suddenly be in the interests of all parties to deal with things as quickly and co-operatively as possible, to avoid disruption to their own economy.

This reality is behind many of the UK government’s recent U-turns, most notably the one on debt. As the referendum nears and businesses become concerned about it, Westminster has to reassure them that it’s not going to commit an act of national suicide just to spite the Nats, lest they panic and flee the country.

The same principle applies outwith the UK’s borders. If Scotland has already voted Yes, there’s no longer any reason for Mariano Rajoy, say, to issue dire warnings about its EU status in order to send a message to his troublesome Catalonians. The fait accompli‘s a bogey, as they say in Possilpark.

(Of course, we already know the reality of Spain’s view anyway, however much the Scottish media sticks its fingers in its ears and shouts “NOTHING HAPPENED, NOTHING TO SEE HERE”. The short version is that no matter what Scotland does, Spain can simply say – with legal if not moral justification – that Catalonia and Scotland are not the same thing and that one doesn’t set any precedent for the other.)

So let’s indulge in a little bit of Friday-afternoon whatiffery.


It’s September 20 in Brussels, the final results of the referendum having been delivered the previous evening due to bad weather delaying ballot boxes from the Western Isles. The European Commission is meeting in emergency session to discuss the delicate matter of The Scottish Question, and a delegate makes the obvious suggestion.

“Fellow delegates – now that it’s done, for better or worse, isn’t by far the easiest thing for us to accept both Scotland and the rUK as continuing member states? They both already comply with all EU laws and rules, and it’s just so much less paperwork and hassle for us if we say, look, as far as we’re concerned this is basically an internal affair between the two of you.

Everyone’s still in all the treaties unless we all agree otherwise, keep your Common Travel Area, arrange the border issues between you and essentially from our point of view nothing changes except a small adjustment in MEP numbers at some point. No biggie.”

There would, of course, still be no shortage of forms to fill in, Ts to cross and Is to dot and all that, but isn’t it the most practical solution for an expansionist organisation that wants the highest possible number of people within its jurisdiction so long as they comply with its laws? What, exactly, are the stumbling blocks?

The one the No campaign always brings up is the UK’s rebate. But it’s difficult to see what the EU would have to gain in that area. If the rUK is regarded as the sole continuing state, then the EU presumably still has to hand over the same rebate, so it has no reason to get involved in a fight there. It can simply say “Sort that out amongst yourselves and let us know what you decide”, immediately making the rebate a subject of the negotiations between London and Edinburgh (and probably chuckling merrily to itself at London’s expense as it does so).

Almost every other aspect of the scenario is overwhelmingly in the EU’s interests to simplify as much as humanly possible, just as Sir David Edward pointed out this week. Any danger of Scotland being outside the EU, even temporarily, is just one giant headache that Brussels really doesn’t need. If it treats Scotland and the rUK both as continuing states, citing the notionally equal partnership set out by the 1707 Union, almost all of it just goes away.

Conversely, if it doesn’t, there’s potentially an even worse nightmare facing the EU. Imagine that Scotland votes Yes, but the Commission decides it’s an accession state that has to go through an application process, even an accelerated one, that stretches on beyond two years. And while that’s all still happening, the rUK votes in 2017 to leave the EU.

The prospect must keep bureaucrats and mandarins awake in cold sweats at night. Simultaneously they’d be faced with having to negotiate Scotland joining the EU while the rUK exits, with all the hideous cross-border complications that implies.

But it could be worse still. What if Scotland’s also still inside the UK by then, as a result of the UK having gone ahead with a general election in 2015 and elected a new government, possibly throwing all the negotiations up to that point in the bin? (Which, if we’re to believe the evidence given to the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster last week, is a highly likely outcome.)

The sheer mangled horror of that situation – Scotland inside the UK but trying to leave, but also negotiating to join the EU starting more or less from scratch, while the rUK strives to get out of it – doesn’t bear thinking about. The attraction to the Commission of having Scotland done and dealt with by 2016 is obvious and enormous.

We’ve been trying for a couple of hours now to think of serious roadblocks, we’ve asked people much smarter than us, and we’ve got nothing. The Scottish Government knows it’ll have to accept the theoretical commitment to join the Euro, but it also knows that it never has to be made good on, so why fret? Schengen isn’t a problem because retaining the Common Travel Area is the only sane plan for all concerned.

As we noted back at the start of this piece, it isn’t true that there’s any consensus on the rUK being given sole continuation status. It’s simply that because nobody can make a definitive statement on it there’s been little point in having the argument.

Of course, the UK government COULD settle the matter any time it chose to, because the EC has said it’ll give its official position if they ask. So we invite readers, not for the first time, to ponder why they haven’t. What’s the answer that they don’t want to hear?

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  1. 22 07 14 20:29

    Scotland’s EU membership: which side is getting it right? | Scots Landing

124 to “The Day After”

  1. TheGreatBaldo says:

    Now now Rev dinna go confusing us with yer ‘facts’ and ‘rational analysis’…

    I was gonna pull ye up on yer ‘EC’ in the last para….but then realise ye meant ‘European Commission’

    Can I get a ‘I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU MEAN !!’ anyway ? 😉

  2. desimond says:

    I pointed same out to a “Whataboutery” Unionist on Twitter last night. I said “The UK Govt has to ask regards EU membership, you should wonder why they don’t if they are apparently so confident the answer would be No”

    Strangely all fell silent.

    I fear the answer would warp their fragile little minds ( copyright Cartman)

  3. farrochie says:

    Here are some notes I made on talks given by Prof Sir David Edwards and others on “Independent Scotland in the EU”. The notion of Scotland at any point leaving the EU was described as “absurd”.

  4. Jiggsbro says:

    Realistically, did any EU bureaucrat ever say “it’s just so much less paperwork and hassle for us if…”?

  5. HandandShrimp says:

    My view, setting aside my slightly jaundiced view of Rompuy et al, is that getting out ofthe EU is not easy. I do, however, think that upon a Yes vote the EU would, far from telling us we are out, try and bounce us in tout sweet but under different terms than we are at the moment. Quite simnply, they hate the UK opt outs and rebates and think they are fundamentally un-European and unfair. That doesn’t mean that we will be offered bad terms. We may be able to do some horse trading on fishing and the like for losing the rebate and whatever vague committmemt we make towards the Euro and Schengen. If don’t I would say Ta but No Ta.

    The fact is that if we obtain our own seat at the EU table, rUK will come under ever increasing pressure on its rebate and other matters. Diminished I think Cameron would find it hard to have the same clout which of course is one of the reasons they want us to stay.

    I am however open to other views on the matter. I think the EU is one those subjects where three people can have five opinions.

  6. NorthBrit says:

    You cannot have two continuing states. You could have two successor states. But that means that both successors have to reapply for everything.

    The nightmare scenario for the “rUK” is that it has to reapply for the UN. In which case it would have to reapply for its security council seat.

    The whole of the Crawford/Boyle opinion is directed at avoiding this situation.

  7. Murray McCallum says:

    “Of course, the UK government COULD settle the matter any time it chose to, because the EC has said it’ll give its official position if they ask.”

    I do wonder what financial damages claim UK businesses may have on the UK government in the scenario that it fails to ask the EC this question and Scotland’s / rUKs membership is in some way impacted due to protracted and/or heated negotiations.

    If your export business is damaged by this governmental administrative issue, surely you would seek compensation.

    Same issue applies to individuals, e.g. travelling on holiday, international students, …

    This is all totally avoidable and completely within the control of the UK government.

  8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “You cannot have two continuing states.”

    Says who? There’s no precedent for this, and the EU pretty much makes up the rules as it goes along.

  9. NorthBrit says:

    You are completely correct for the EU. Everyone agrees on that.

    Not for the UN and other bodies. Crawford/Boyle don’t really talk about the EU “it is necessary to speculate”. Their whole paper is about UN membership. Which seems odd given everyone gets in. Unless you want to be on the security council.

    But look at what happened with Russia – hint – USSR is still listed as the member.

  10. CameronB says:

    I don’t know if this helps undermine the Crawford/Boyle opinion, but my brother pointed out that our monarch flies different standards in Scotland and England, thereby making a very public expression that her British realm consists of two separate nations, Scotland and England.

    Does Her Majesty’s Government wish to challenge our monarch on this?

  11. Ericmac says:

    The Germans ‘did a deal’ to get Easy Germany into the EU with no problem at all. Now how far behind EU regulations would East Germany have been?

  12. wee162 says:

    “Conversely, if it doesn’t, there’s potentially an even worse nightmare facing the EU. Imagine that Scotland votes Yes, but the Commission decides it’s an accession state that has to go through an application process, even an accelerated one, that stretches on beyond two years. And while that’s all still happening, the rUK votes in 2017 to leave the EU.”

    Nah, the biggest nightmare for the EU is Scotland leaving it. Imagine the precedent that sets for an organisation which claims to value democracy. Imagine the sudden explosion of unholy alliances springing up around Europe with those seeking to leave the EU joining up with those who want to secede from their current state. You’d be potentially looking at a complete balkanisation of half of Europe.

    I’m not even talking about economics, access to resources etc. Politically it’s absolutely in the EU’s best interest to not even let Scotland spend one single day outside it. It creates a precedent for a peaceful transformation into new states, but the EU would be the binding factor which increases it’s importance massively.

  13. Ericmac says:

    Damn… East, not Easy

  14. Bogindollo says:

    I’m more and more coming to the conclusion that the ‘Project Fear’ tactics are not so much aimed at the Scottish voters, but at the Yes campaigners.

    Every time there is a ‘Fear’ story (i.e. every day) the Yes campaign spokesperson(s) spend time countering the Negative ‘fear’ tactics and spend no time proposing the positive independence arguments.

    In the case of the EU ‘Fear’ stories the YES side should say;

    ‘This is just another Project Fear fairy tale – and it’s a moot point anyway, because after the EU Referendum in 2017 England will most likely vote to leave the EU, no matter what the rest of the UK vote for…..and besides,the recent Social Attitudes survey showed that Scotland is far more interested in the economic benefits that independence will bring’

  15. Ericmac says:

    Once the Scotland banned from the EU myth is busted 100% … We have to work on the ‘You will be controlled from Brussels’ myth.

  16. Atypical_Scot says:

    Don’t fix what’s not broken aye. As for the UK rebate, that’s a different kettle of fish entirely.

    I can’t see any EU member state accepting the rUK continuing to receive it. Indeed, Westminster’s probably more worried about their situation in the EU, but are keeping the focus on Scotland.

    What is it that the rUK brings to the EU table? Not fish, not oil and gas, not whisky, but a gone cold green policy and a huge financial sector that caused the international financial crisis.

    The graphs that litter google images of the breakdown of UK GDP will all have to be redrawn. As will the rUK’s unflattering refusal to integrate with the EU unilaterally.

    The EU referendum may well not happen either. Latest Osborne comments on it were either ‘out or join the euro’. That’s the end of the pound and sterling zone then.

  17. pa_broon74 says:

    Only stumbling block I can see is around the rebate which I think would have to change.

    Would Scotland not become responsible for its own subs to the EU after 2016 and would not the UK subscription be lessened to reflect that? I can’t see the rUK paying the same to the EU after being essentially decapitated economically and by population, although, I could be wrong.

    (The simplest way to work out Scotland’s due to the EU would be on a population or GDP share basis, divvied up same as everything else.)

    Carrying on from that, assuming the rUK payment to the EU is reduced should not the rebate coming back? If the UK payments to the EU aren’t reduced after independence, would the EU not be getting paid ‘twice’ for Scotland (by a new Scotland and continuing payments from rUK.)

    Equally, assuming the rebate stays the same – would that not mean rUK would be getting money that should be coming to Scotland? (Not a concept unknown at Westminster as it happens.)

    As I said… I might be missing things…

    I hope that made sense.

  18. richard says:


    like holland, belgium, france, germany et al are controlled by Brussels?

    Ipad capitalises automatically!

  19. Andy-B says:

    I think Sir David Edward’s assessment of the situation on the EU problem,of entry, is pretty close to the mark.Of course Patrick Layden QC, is entitled to his opinion on the matter.

    You could take the realistic view that along with the rUK, Scotland, may continue as a member state, after a yes vote, the lateral thinking for this is embedded in Sir David Edwards analysis, over a whole host of issues such as defence of EU waters, fishing rights. In all honestly would the EU put these and other crucial matters aside, whilst it untangles a plethora of EU laws that already exist in Scotland, just to reinstate them again. A wise man would say no.

  20. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    Saw that comment myself, and the words “ill informed self serving p*sh” came to mind. One lawyer to another, as it were (and yes, I do speak to other lawyers that way if they need setting right).

    Generally agree with your views (I helped – in a small way – to get 5 of the current member states across the threshold).

    Oh, and the application form is a modest 36 pages for new applicants. It becomes 360 pages once you’ve filled in the the blanks and ticked the boxes. 2 weeks of work for a modestly functioning bureaucracy.

  21. Creag an Tuirc says:

    Not sure if anybody has seen this before and if it’s of any relevance or not:

    “Moreover, apart from it being politically almost inconceivable, forcing a Member State
    out of the EU or EMU would inevitably give rise to tremendous legal complexities. This, perhaps,explains why expulsion has not been, and may never be, provided for in the treaties. While, by and large, these complexities would not differ qualitatively from those relating to a Member State’s voluntary withdrawal, their resolution would be even more complicated in the case of a Member State’s expulsion, because of the risk of legal challenges by disgruntled natural persons, legal entities or even countries, objecting to the loss of the rights that they or their nationals may have acquired from membership of the EU and invoking their legitimate expectation of maintaining these in perpetuity as an obstacle to expulsion.”

    This is a quote from the European Central Bank’s Legal Working Paper Series found here

  22. Davy says:

    Does this mean that after the YES vote 18th sep 2014, Jim Murphy will be open to debate with us cybernats !!

    What would we say to each other?

    Ah perhaps, we won, you lost, fuck off.

  23. Triangular Ears says:

    If you look at that second picture, there’s already a seat at the table waiting for us!

    This is the killer proof we have been waiting for.

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Damn… East, not Easy”

    I really want to visit Easy Germany.

  25. I agree that the EU would welcome Scotland as a full member state. When you look at the practicalities of excluding Scotland from the EU for any length of time it becomes clear that there is no way that it would be allowed to happen. I have previously written about this aspect, which Unionist never want to talk about –

  26. Robert Louis says:

    I wholly concur with this analysis. the EU and its phalanx of assorted bureaucrats have lots more to worry about than this type of thing. They will of course choose the path of least difficulty for the EU, then leave England/Scotland to fight it out amongst ourselves.

    People who say otherwise, are simply imagining something. In the big real world, pen pushers do what comes easiest. Why on earth would the EU wish to make a problem for themselves. It really would make no sense.

    Fact is, the United Kingdom in the political sense was formed by the treaty of union between two sovereign nations, Scotland and England(incorporating Wales without mentioning it explicitly). The ending of the treaty ends the union and the Westminster mandate in Scotland.

    I have seen much machinations in Westminster recently about what a YES vote will mean constitutionally, and nowhere does anybody even stop for one nanosecond to consider that Scots law and constitutional norms in Scotland are different to those in England/Westminster. From what I have seen, the mandarins in Westmidden, keep thinking that somehow Westminster will continue to be the final arbiter – it won’t.

    In London, they are still suggesting that after a YES vote, Westminster will need to legislate the powers to the Scottish Parliament in order to negotiate the settlement, FFS! They really do not get it at all.

    Following a YES vote, I fully intend burning a copy of the union treaty up on Calton hill, to celebrate. London for its part still has NOT got its head around the union treaty and how it will end.

  27. Chic McGregor says:

    ” That doesn’t mean that we will be offered bad terms. We may be able to do some horse trading on fishing and the like ”

    Simple, fair terms for Scotland would be a major plus. e.g.s

    Scotland lands 85% of UK fish but only gets 41% of the EU grant to the UK.
    Scotland’s farmers get the lowest EU grant of any region in the EU.

  28. handclapping says:

    Easy Germany is the one where they all speak Scots.

  29. AnneDon says:

    The UK Rebate.

    Is it not the case that this “rebate” is just the money that used to be paid to the regions, eg for roadbuilding, being pocketed directly by Westminster? I saw this notion advanced recently.

    It does bring to mind that you still see large roadsigns in the likes of Majorca, where a major north-south road is being funded by the EU.

    I used to see signs like that around Scotland, but I haven’t seen one for quite a while. Does anyone know?

  30. Ericmac says:

    Stu… East Jet have some cheap flights to Easy Germany, but only for dyslexics.


  31. Ericmac says:

    Kirche (kirk) in German is of course a Church.

    But here is some indication that we should be looking North for much of our language.

  32. edulis says:

    A lot of these opinions are political rather than legal, even from some of the legal bods. They would say that realpolitik will win the day and I would normally agree with that, but if this was done in a judicial review sort of way then the starting point would surely be the legal relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK, which is why I think the Crawford paper on the extinguishment of Scotland in 1707 was strategic in that it was a shot across the bows to influence any subsequent discussion.

    No reasonable person could say that Scotland was extinguished when it has its own legal jurisdiction and even the common currency of discussion at Westminster still alludes to the union of ‘nations’ in the United Kingdom, not forgetting the point already made in these comments that the Monarch holds to the separation of her realm with the different symbols of flags and regalia. The UK establishment may act as if Scotland is a region and not a country but how many Scottish Labour MPs would loudly proclaim that fact? That is when the punter on the streets would react to the denial of the Scottish identity.

  33. creigs1707repeal says:

    O/T Apologies.

    Yesterday I emailed Ian Small at the BBC, complaining about their threats to the academic, John Robertson at UWS.

    Just received a reply from the BBC which states that I am not permitted to use, copy or disclose the content of their reply. It didn’t say much–merely that I had to lodge any complaint through the proper BBC complaints channels. Yeah–like that’ll work.

    My point was made and I am sure Mr Small’s inbox musta fell through his desk yesterday with the number of complaints he received.

  34. Ericmac says:

    There is no better definition of nationalism than the UK threatening to exit the EU rather than solve differences.

    The fact that it is so difficult for member states to withdraw or leave, is partly down to the idea that there could be legal challenges from people suddenly expelled due to their governments exiting the country.

    In other words, what right does a government have to withdraw my acquired rights as a ‘citizen’ of the EU.

    Remember the next time anyone accuses Scotland of being nationalists… What we are doing is seeking something every country aspires to… what the UK government is doing is deliberately divorcing itself from a collective of countries that Scotland are quite happy to join.

  35. Les Wilson says:

    What problems would occur if we joined EFTA? and peg a Sc$ ( Scottish dollar,to Sterling? Can anyone give a downside?

    We would have real independence as far as I can see, we would also have our sea limits set to our sea boundaries ( same as Norway )instead of the current 12 miles that I think it is now.We would also have EU access for our goods including fish.That is for a start. I do not say this because Jim Sillers said it, I have said long before.

  36. Ericmac says:


    “Just received a reply from the BBC which states that I am not permitted to use, copy or disclose the content of their reply.”

    Was it in legal jargon? Why would they state you couldn’t use it? Unless they had hundreds of complaints and didn’t want it common knowledge?

  37. creigs1707repeal says:


    The text looks like a standard ‘legal disclaimer’ in a footnote at the end of the email:

    This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
    If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
    Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
    Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
    Further communication will signify your consent to this.

    (Note to Rev: I haven’t placed any space lines in the above BBC disclaimer text as that is how it appears in their email message).

    Given that I have no intention of replying to them, they cannot assume my consent of their terms.

  38. msean says:

    I think that in order to be seen being even handed by all,the EU will possibly treat both as successor states. I seems to be the easiest,simplest way.As for the rebate,it will go to the country still named as the uk,it will be up to the ruk to do what they want with the rebate at that point.

  39. morgan mc says:

    Ericman: nobody was asked if they wanted to be a citizen of the EU. Apparently its ok to be an EU nationalist and advocate a country called Europe. Its ok to swear allegance to the flag, anthem and currency of the EU as outlined in the Lisbon Treaty.

    Its ok for the EU Nationalists to have a border policy that favours europeans but not those who are non EU.

  40. Monty Carlow says:

    We know that the EU treaties do not specifically deal with the situation of an existing state splitting, and unionists have been keen to exploit this.

    However, much of the debate concerns what are essentially procedure and “detail” – representation, budget contributions, rebates and so on. These are hardly trivial, but are being confused with the bigger picture – the common market, free trade and removal of trade barriers, free movement of goods and services. These are the issues which concern businesses and economists, and there can be no serious doubt that they will be unaffected, even if the parties fail to agree the other “details”.

    This is clear from the basic principles of International Law and the Law of Treaties. Treaties which are for mutual benefit are binding on contracting states and successor states. The Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of Treaties reflects this at Article 34. This convention is not in force, so not automatically applicable per se, but it is inconceivable that modern European democracies would ignore these principles. (If we were dealing with rogue states like Iran or Zimbabwe it would be a different matter.)

    The application of the treaties to the geographical territory of Scotland would continue – no barriers imposed, no loss of EU citizenship, no change to existing arrangements for the UK-Ireland Common Travel Area etc. Even were we to spend years discussing the formal accession terms regarding EU participation (which I don’t imagine would be the case anyway), the common market is safe. I have yet to hear any considered argument to the contrary. Is there one?

  41. Caroline Corfield says:

    {cough} I think you’ll find the country is called The Netherlands, not Holland. If we expect other nationalities to know about us, it’s only courtesy to know about them.

  42. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    O/T – Re the mention of Zimbabwe @Monty Carlow above, I’ve been to there, and while Mr Mugabe is a very bad man indeed, there seemed to be a general belief in the country that he got shafted in the independence negotiations over the “land issue” by Lord Carrington. In fact I seem to recall hearing a radio interview with LC many years ago where he was almost boasting about this. Mugabe thought that when Labour got into power in 1997 they would play fair with him re the compensation needed to fix the land issue (bit like Scotland?). When Claire Short said “what money Mr Mugabe?” Robert then started the DIY solution by evicting the white farmers?

    For a blast of the imperial mindset (that Scotland needs to get away from in September) have a read at:-

  43. Monty Carlow says:

    The use of the term “Successor State” causes a lot of confusion. In its proper usage, a “Successor State” is a new state which comes into being. Almost all contributors and most journalists seem to use it to mean the exact opposite – a continuation of a pre-existing state. That is a “Continuing” or “Continuator” State. I have heard and read several discussions at cross purposes because of this. I recall an interview by Gary Robertson with an international law expert on GMS, where it was clear that the interviewer misunderstood what he was being told.

    “You cannot have two continuing states.”

    I agree with that statement, Rev. A continuing state continues the same legal personality of the existing state. There can only be one, since there is only one existing state. It can be, as with Czechoslovakia, that there are no continuing states, and two successor states. That may also become the case with the UK, or there could be one continuing state and one successor state. It would actually make little practical difference to us, but it might be important for rUK (seat at the Security Council and so on).

  44. Mealer says:

    Thanks,Rev.Ive been waiting a while for this.Throwing Scotland out of the EU would be extremely difficult,complicated and tiresome.It would also open a host of cans of worms which no one in Brussels wants to open.Dares to open.Why would they want to do that?

  45. Fairliered says:

    I cannot envisage a scenario where the EU would want to make it difficult for Scotland to remain a member. However, they may be pleased to use Scottish independence to make it more difficult for rUK to keep their current terms. They will also know that, whatever the UK politicians say, the City of London will not allow rUK to leave the EU.

  46. Arbroath 1320 says:

    After we vote YES in September will Mariano Rajoy still be issuing dire warnings to us concerning our membership, or not, of the E.U.? I seriously doubt it, I reckon he will be doing one of the fastest U-turns in E.U. history.

    Does Rajoy, or any other politician seriously believe that upon Scotland becoming independent in 2016 we will no longer be a member of the E.U.? If he does has he passed this information on to the Spanish fishermen?

    If, according to Rajoy, an independent Scotland finds itself outside the E.U. does he seriously think for one iota that we, an independent state would sit back and let the Spanish fishermen continue fishing in our waters, something that they would no longer be legally permitted to do.

    How does Rajoy feel about telling the French fishermen that after Scottish independence they will be banned from fishing in Scottish waters?

    Suddenly Rajoy and his position in Spanish politics appears to be on an extremely shoogley peg!

    I reckon that post independence Scotland’s ports are going to be full with Spanish and French fishing boats, with their crews filling our jails to bursting point charged with illegal fishing.


    Nothing will change from what currently happens re French and Spanish fishing boats in which case we, an independent Scotland, remain part of the E.U.

    Over to you Mr Rajoy, what ya gonna do?

  47. morgan mc says:

    Of course nobody is questioning how and when the EU had juristiction over our waters UK Scottish or otherwise. Nobidy is questioning why the EU is feart that Scotland has its own waters and how Scottish control over them is a security threat to the EU.

    Eu project fear in action. How being independent is a threat to the EU? It emboldens the national aspirations of its member states and their people who rejected the EU in referendums and were then ignored.

  48. wee folding bike says:

    “Inter arma enim silent leges.”

    Cicero (and Star Trek DS9)

  49. Fergus Green says:

    O/T Fifi Alert

    There’s someone posting under the name of DAWN currently active on the Courier comments page. This person is gloating over yesterday’s by election result and seems stylistically similar to the poster formerly known as Fifi la Bonbon and aka Kezia Dugdale. A second opinion would be helpful:

  50. Dorothy Devine says:

    OT I have just watched a piece of unmitigated drivel on ITN by Debi Edwards about Burns and how the FM is leader of the Yes campaign and fond of quoting Burns/patriotism in an effort to support the flagging independence campaign.

    I am sick of the crap served up by the media.

  51. david says:

    the wee ginger dug has info that will cheer everyone up.

  52. Churm Rincewind says:

    I do rather worry about this blog’s confidence in predicting the reaction of others to Scottish independence.

    Take Spain. They may well take the view after the event that Scottish independence is a fait accompli, shrug, and get on with it. Alternatively they may decide to be as obstructive and difficult as possible to Scotland’s membership of the EU in order to send a message to their own nationalist movements.

    I have no idea – I’m not up to speed on Spanish politics.

    My point here is that bold predictions undermine the case for independence, because they’re unfounded assertions.

    In the end of the day, do I care what Spain thinks about Scottish independence? No I do not.

  53. Rick Guthrie says:

    Friday Whatiffry
    Stu ref:In/out EU Referendum EWNI October 2017 an Independent Scotland would Veto anything/Everything the rUK was trying to negotiate or should I go to the Naughty corner for being a rotter !!

    GOod Week for Yessers



  54. Bill Walters says:

    “If the rUK is regarded as the sole continuing state, then the EU presumably still has to hand over the same rebate, so it has no reason to get involved in a fight there. It can simply say “Sort that out amongst yourselves and let us know what you decide”, immediately making the rebate a subject of the negotiations between London and Edinburgh (and probably chuckling merrily to itself at London’s expense as it does so).”

    With the greatest of respect, I think there’s a bit of a misunderstanding here about what the rebate actually is. It isn’t an absolute lump sum of money, it’s a relative calculation (it’s calculated as roughly two-thirds of the amount of money that the UK contributes above what it receives back in EU expenditure).

    So if Scotland left the UK and the rUK kept the same membership terms it wouldn’t make any difference to them – they’d still receive a rebate on however much of their contribution to the budget goes above the expenditure they receive back. There would be no need for them to negotiate with us as they’d continue to get their rebate as normal.

    The issue is whether we would be allowed to get a similar rebate on our newly independent contributions. On that count, there isn’t much cause for optimism. The rebate was negotiated when the Common Agricultural Policy accounted for about 70-80% of the budget and only exists because it would be political suicide for any UK government to agree for it to be scrapped. It’s now largely unfair on countries like France and Italy, and the idea that we could convince the rest of the EU to agree to it is a bit of a stretch at best.

    Regardless of what we could negotiate though, your analysis here seems to be treating it as if Brussels has to pay £5 billion (or some other lump sum) regardless, and that it would be up to us to negotiate how that gets divided up between Scotland and the UK. I’m afraid that simply isn’t how it works.

  55. Ken500 says:

    Fifi was a fair, wee racist. Always first to comment, but forgot to tell all the debt ladened, Labour/Unionists caused the debt with the Banking Fraud and illegal war. The condemn of the Megrahi release decision. 24/7 until Brown’s involvement in the affair was highlighted. Silence for days. A right wee madam.

    The front page of ‘The Courier’ concerns the Provost being censored, for committing taxpayers money to the 1WW ‘Celebrations’, without Council consultation. Where’s ‘something for nothing’ for a lamentable, overview of this unauthorised allocation.

  56. Edward says:

    Can we not get a large map of Scottish territorial waters made, which stretches from the area in the Atlantic around Rockall across to the North Sea (you know the one) With the words ‘See this, this is ALL ours. Scotland not in the EU, then you’ll not be having fish tonight or any other night as fishing in our waters is closed!’
    That might just get the point over

  57. Edward says:

    Something like this map could get the message over

  58. Dan Huil says:

    First things first: Vote Yes for Scotland to regain its independence. There will be plenty time to worry about EU, NATO etc. Indeed it might be for the better if negotiations go up to and beyond the next Holyrood elections since it would mean new parties in an independent Scotland putting forward clear policies on these subjects for the Scottish electorate to consider.

  59. Ken500 says:

    EU contribution

    Germany (80million pop) €25Billion
    France (70milliin pop). €20Billion
    Italy (pop ?). €20Billion

    UK (pop 62million. €15Billion

    The fall in the value of £ against € – UK pays £1/2Billion more. (UK public spending £700Billion – EU payment 100th?

    All get CAP/Grants etc. The larger (more prosperous) countries pay more. The smaller less prosperous pay less. Italy/France claim they pay higher % of UK rebate. Spain (pop 45million) pays ?

    Scotland would have to pay £1/2Billion? (one 120th) but would get most back – a neutral payment.

    EU fishing limits 12 miles + each Port has 100 mile exclusive fishing limit radius. There are few Spanish fishing boat in Scottish waters. It would not be economical. The Scottish Fishing industry export (best) products to France/Spain for top prices. The Scottish gov would also have to have conservation measures in place, or there will be no fishing industry. The fishermen have overfished the Seas.

  60. Senlac88 says:

    Hey folks,

    Regular obsessive reader here, but never commented thus far. That’s about to change! 😉

    I have a theory I’d like peoples’ opinion on with regards to this whole EU thing.

    On the one hand, we are being told that an independent Scotland would be an accession state, thrown out the EU, all its treaties and forced to re-apply for membership from outside.

    On the other hand, we are all aware just how difficult it is to negotiate an exit if you actually WANT to leave.

    So my question is this:

    In theory, if a current EU member country, say…the UK, decided it wanted to leave the EU (imagine that!) but avoid all the long drawn out processes and bureaucratic red tape, could it not simply declare independence from a post box on some uninhabited island somewhere (Sealand, anyone?), thus removing the entire country and its population from the EU and all its treaties overnight, leaving the post box on the uninhabited island as the successor state?

    I’m actually semi-serious about this. I mean, where is the difference?

  61. Andrew Morton says:

    @Bill Walters

    My understanding is that Westminster gave away Scottish fishing rights and agricultural subsidies in exchange for the rebate. If that is the case then I imagine that there will be a demand from other EU members for a renegotiation of the rebate.

  62. msean says:

    All this about Europe is moot,you have to vote Yes first.EU will then do what is collectively best for the EU,and that means Scotland IN.

    Don’t get sidetracked by Euro politics because right now Scotland has no real say.

  63. Ken500 says:

    In NATO – out NATO
    With the Crown – without the Crown
    With the £ – without the £

    Scotland is better off Independent.Cut out the middleman’s 20%?. Scotland Independent in EU.

    The EU has good social, environment, foreign policy? Laws which are better than Westminster. Working directives/maternity/environmental/renewable energy rules. Human right Laws, to which Britain was a founder member.

  64. Ken500 says:

    In recent Farming negotiations – the EU farming CAP is being lowered, with Westminster approval. The EC decided as Scotland received the lowest CAP payment if any country in the EU, as part of the UK. A concilitary payment would be made precisely for Scotland. The UK farming Minister took payment and divided it between all UK farmers including the wealthiest in the South. Then made a statement of being BT. The gall is breathtaking.

  65. stranger says:

    I live in Catalunya and I can tell you that Spain will certainly be obstructive until at least after the November referendum here. They might worry about their fishermen but losing 20% of their economy when Catalunya leaves is a much bigger concern. Add to that, that when Catalunya frees herself that the Basques will make a run for it soon after and you have a bankrupt Spain that barely exists. This is the nightmare for the EU and ECB. The euro will be in mortal danger at that point. Compared with this Scotland is insignificant, especially in the context of a semidetached UK.
    Scotland will stay in the UK but don’t expect it to be easy until it settles down with Catalunya.

  66. Ken500 says:

    Scotland is a better EU member than the rest of the UK and Spain. Scotland also has a better balanced budget.

  67. Here’s my understanding.

    A continuing state != a successor state; a successor state != a new state

    A CONTINUING state is that state which is deemed to be unchanged in terms of its legal and political recognition. It retains the rights to resources existing within its redefined borders. Nothing has altered in terms of its benefits and obligations under international treaties and agreements. It remains responsible for the entire sovereign (external) debt and remains the sole beneficiary of its assets. [Of course the details (wherein the devil resides) have changed with respect to population and territorial boundaries which will require adjustments to some agreements.]

    A SUCCESOR state is one of two or more states that emerge with the dissolution of the original state in which they were deemed to have been joined in partnership. Upon the extinguishing of that union each of the two or more states that emerge is heir to its share of the assets and liabilities of the original state. Each retains exclusive rights to the resources within its borders. Each is also nominally bound by the same treaties and agreements that were entered into on their behalf by the original state in which they were together bound [Clearly, the degree to which these international treaties and agreements remain operational in the case of each individual successor state depends on many factors. However, upon succession each state can lay claim to the right to negotiate from within the boundaries of the treaty in question.

    A NEW state is a state that is created when a portion of the territory of state ceceds. The remaining or residual state is the continuing state and retains all international rights and obligations and remains responsible for all sovereign debt . The new state is born free of external debt but does not benefit from nor is it burdened by, the international treaties and agreements entered into by the continuing state. The new state does however enjoy the benefits of all resources within its territory.

  68. Diane Sutherland says:

    Maybe we could let the rest of Europe vote on who is the continuing state, Scotland or rUK (sort of Eurovision for politics). Think I know who they’d vote for!

  69. Ananurhing says:

    Can anyone tell me, has this option been explored? I’m sure it must have.

    I’m about to be mugged of my computer by a 16 yr old with far more important things to do. I’ll look in later. I’m sure some of you erudite people with a greater understanding of such things will disillusion me of any notion that this is worth exploring.



    One of the fundamental rights of European citizens:

    Any citizen, acting individually or jointly with others, may at any time exercise his right of petition to the European Parliament under Article 227 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

    Any citizen of the European Union, or resident in a Member State, may, individually or in association with others, submit a petition to the European Parliament on a subject which comes within the European Union’s fields of activity and which affects them directly.

    Who can submit a petition?
    You can submit a petition if you are:
    a citizen of the European Union

    What subjects can your petition deal with?

    The subject of the petition must be concerned with issues of European Union interest or responsibility such as:

    your rights as a European citizen as set out in the Treaties,
    other problems related to the implementation of EU law.


    Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

    Article 19
    Protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition
    1. Collective expulsions are prohibited.

    Article 42
    Right of access to documents
    Any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, has a right of access to documents of the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union, whatever their medium.


    I seem to remember a story that The EC were working on what to do in the event of a Yes vote.

  70. Ken500 says:

    The EU recently offered Westmnster £225million? To alleviate Food Banks. Westminster refused.

    £225Million is more than half the ‘Bedroom Tax’ – £400million. In the rest of the UK £340Million? The Westminster relief fund for ‘Bedroom Tax’ – £25Milion

    Scotland ‘Bedroom Tax’ – £40Million – Relief fund £20Million. Scotland share of £225Million would have been £22Million? The ‘Bedroom Tax’ in Scotland could have been totally relieved. Without Westminster interfering.

  71. mr thms says:

    When The Scottish Executive was renamed The Scottish Government by the 2012 Scotland Act, the change of name was made retrospective. Wonder why? Could it have something to do with Scotland’s upcoming independence?

  72. bunter says:

    Nice SLab bashing debate on Batemans blog.

  73. Gray says:

    @mr thms
    Of course it was. The SNP like the Labour party were formed with the belief that Scotland should be an independent nation.

    They of course have remained true to their goals, so why wouldn’t they?

    If Labour had similar integrity we’d have been independent decades ago.

  74. Ken500 says:

    Catalonia contributes €5Billion (£4Billion) to the Spanish gov. Catalonia is more like London S/E. In Spain 5million people – 45million pop – Spain. Spanish gov/Catalonia administration corrupt. Different history. Franco (fascist) bombed the Basques, (left wing) using the German airforce during the Spanish Civil War 1937. 1933 The Great Depression. Guernica – Piccasso war protest painting. People from Scotland fought with the Basques in the Spanish Civil War. ‘Red Brigade’
    Spain was neutral in the 11WW.

    Spain only became a Democratic monarchy when Franco died 1975. Spain has a Federal system of administration. More regional autonomy. Some provinces have fiscal autonomy Murcia etc. They raise and lower their own taxee? Many parts of Spain still have a feudal economy, living off the land. Small banana plantations/holding etc. Fruit Canneries. Fruit/flower/ vegetable exportation. Ceramics etc.

    Scotland and Catalonia history/economies are quite different, not least because of the 1707 Union and the Oil industry. The EU has a principle of self determination.

  75. ronnie anderson says:

    Rev,Mr Layden made comment on a report he addmitted he had,nt read,at the last Scottish Grand committee, I think it was in answer to a question, by Pamela Nash,I should have brought this to your attention at the time,something to do with the EU.

  76. crisiscult says:

    Good article and as a former lawyer and periodically dabbling in teaching a bit of law, it’s in some ways refreshing to hear Layden setting out quite openly, as law people rarely seem to do, that law these days is of the realist school. Probably the reason they rarely do is because then it’s open for non-lawyers to use the same logic and start looking at things in realistic, real world terms; Rev Campbell’s points are completely within the same logic and probably more compelling in their conclusion.

    The problem for me is that my increasing engagement with no supporters tells me that discussions of the type above are going to make little difference to the hoi polloi and ‘technical middle classes’. A friend’s wife, for example, said recently on her facebook update along the lines that separation was putting thousands of peoples’ jobs at risk because their businesses are based in England. I think we need the beautiful skills of the likes of Rev Campbell to gather comments and evidence that dispel the bizarreness of this myth. It may seem so obvious as to be overlooked by some of the intelligentsia that frequent these pages but we need to remember that EU and jurisprudence have a select audience.

  77. Bill Walters says:

    “My understanding is that Westminster gave away Scottish fishing rights and agricultural subsidies in exchange for the rebate. If that is the case then I imagine that there will be a demand from other EU members for a renegotiation of the rebate.”

    Fishing quotas would certainly be up for debate if we were an independent state. The rebate is really a separate issue, though, regardless of any deals that may or may not have been made in the past. Unless we compromise on something else (fishing being the main thing we could compromise on) I don’t see how we could negotiate a 2/3rds rebate on our net contribution. That was a deal that only made sense 30 years ago.

    In any case, I think the analysis in the article is a bit wide of the mark as it’s viewing the rebate as a lump sum rather than a relative correction. I certainly wouldn’t make that argument very strongly as it will undermine all of the other points being made.

  78. edulis says:

    O/T Derek Bateman’s blog is saying that tomorrow on GMS there will be an item on the UWS fracas with Dr John Robertson being interviewed. A must listen.

  79. Jamie Arriere says:

    As a matter of interest, with lots of contentious issues about the EU, both with the referendum and Cameron’s plans to renegotiate powers, I went to look to see in the next week’s schedules if there was any programmes from our glorious national broadcaster on EU issues to start watching regularly – since everyone down south reckons we’re run from there, don’t they?

    Which channel? Well, BBC Parliament obviously – it covers Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff & Belfast parliaments with the occasional programme on American politics. Nothing from Brussels or Strasbourg.

    The ONLY programme on the Parliament channel reporting on European affairs is Eorpa from BBC Alba! Gaels report more on Europe than BBC London!

    Nothing on BBC4 either, and on BBC News there’s plenty of programmes on Asian Business but none on the EU.

    Does anyone else think this strange? Or wrong? Surely there’s plenty of issues & questions to be asking of the Commission or the EU Parliament. Or am I missing an unmissable programme elsewhere?

    You would think the BBC didn’t think we were in the EU.

  80. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Bateman, on UWS report:

    “I don’t know what the truth is about this research – if it’s accurate or robust – but I do know the BBC has blundered badly in its response and has already lost any high ground it could have claimed. Thank God there is still some journalistic guts among my old mates at PQ. I hear Dr Robertson will appear on GMS in the morning explaining his work and it will be intriguing to hear what the BBC management response is. At least they haven’t been able to bully Radio Scotland into avoiding what has become a very tricky and unedifying episode for the BBC, thanks to all your efforts.”

  81. 3hs long in all Prof Colley posits some possibilities about UK development following the independence vote

  82. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Reading between the lines of Bateman’s latest, are the Pacific Quay ‘natives’ revolting?

  83. Hetty says:

    Is that, ‘all’s fair in love and war, and, in law’? It took me some time to get the anything goes thing, but the law’s the law? Depends who’s upholding the law it seems…
    hmmm, surely there are few grey areas when such big decisions are being made, it is really interesting to get an insight into what is lawful, and what’s just scaremongering here. The msm thrive on lies and speculation, but it is true that ultimately, the truth will be exposed, sorry, liars.

  84. @Ian Brotherhood says:

    Reading between the lines of Bateman’s latest, are the Pacific Quay ‘natives’ revolting?

    Is Izzy normally on Newsdrive as she was tonight?

  85. ronnie anderson says:

    Rev,@Ananurhing at 8.46pm, could we no through some shit in the ring,with a Wings petition to the EU.

  86. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Younger WoS readers may not have heard of this:

    That’s almost 30 years ago, but when Auntie Beeb goes through ‘the change’, it’s glacial – hard to believe that the McQuarries and Boothmen won’t be considering whether or not to ‘allow’ Robertson any time on GMS tomorrow.

    Paranoia? Mibbes aye, mibbes naw, but it’s a cert the high heid yins at PQ will be up late tonight, brows afurrow.

    It’s one thing to scrub something that’s already ‘in the can’. It’s quite another to give live airtime to someone who has empirical proof that you’re not doing your job.

    (Must remember to set the alarm for 8.15.)

  87. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Ananurhing,git that 16yr old telt he,ll git his voteing right,s withdrawn,fur interupting Referendem/Independence
    information,or is he wan o they bedroom Cybernater,s.Good info BTW.

  88. Ian Brotherhood says:

    The revolution will not be televised?

  89. msean says:

    Jamie Arriere

    Is this what you were looking for?

    Apologies if it isn’t.

  90. msean says:

    Think it might just be an online broadcast.

  91. Pete Martin: Newspapers united on the referendum

    Far to late IMO.

  92. crisiscult says:

    Can I just ask, seeing as I’ve noticed a few pro opposition in Ukraine posts, what people’s interests are in this and why they’re coming out in support of the protesters?

  93. jake says:

    With Scotland out of the EU and having to re-apply for membership, doesn’t that raise the question of the justification for the rebate that the UK currently enjoys? It’s fine and dandy to say the rUK will become a successor state but won’t it be necessary for a renegotiation of the amount they pay in, they will after all be a much smaller country and have a smaller economy? Agriculture, forestry and fisheries make up a much larger proportion of the Scottish economy than the UK and any future rUK. I imagine there are many in the EU who would be happy to have an opportunity to force the rUK back to the negotiating table for their rebate to be reconsidered.

  94. fairiefromtheearth says:

    im glad to see people are waking up to the EU, we dont need it just another parisite.

  95. Marcia says:

    You can help raise some funds for Yes Scotland;

  96. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @crisiscult –

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but please check this out – you may see why some feel it’s relevant to what we’re usually on about here. (The fact that it’s being broadcast ‘live’ is, in and of itself, fascinating.)

  97. Patrician says:

    2 points:

    Q1, Will Scotland be out of the EU by 2016?
    Answer: Greenland.

    Q2, Will Scotland be part of the EU by 2016?
    Answer: East Germany.

    There already precedents for these situations. Not perfect fits to our situation but close enough.

  98. Patrician says:


    The tv this week hasn’t all been bad.

    Ms Davidsons face while Jim Sillars was giving her some gentle criticism was a picture. She looked as if in pain and was glancing at Mr Dimbleby to say to him this isn’t allowed, get Mr Sillars to stop.

    The woman who was complaining and going on and on that only working people should get child-care and opining loudly about how the working person was always losing out. I have to admit I laughed out loud when she said she didn’t work. I know you aren’t supposed to laugh at stupid people but sometimes you just can’t help it.

    However, much better was Ms Dugdale going on about how after a no Scotland vote there would be more devolution and Mr Dimbleby then saying why not just go for Independence. Ms Dugdale looked at him as if he had just propositioned her.

    Also, Professor Curtice on BBC2 trying to rubbish the SNP poll, then realising that he was in fact saying that all polls are rubbish and people jut answer them in whatever way gets rid of the pollster. He then I thought a bit nastily tried to turn it into a poor v rich argument.

  99. Calum Craig says:

    O/T but how would people suggest I respond to a “Scottish, British and Proud” post on my Facebook newsfeed? The guy in question is (like me) from Ayr but now lives in N Ireland and is apparently a rabid unionist… I seriously despair of humanity at times.

  100. Chic McGregor says:


    Someone on FB claimed Prof C. admitted Yes support had reached 40%. Anyone else catch that?

  101. Patrician says:

    Hi Chic

    Yes he definitely said 41% would be correct for a poor area as generally the polls were showing 39%.

  102. tartanpigsy says:

    I wonder what polls these are cos Prof JC wasn’t loudly calling his SSAS poll wrong last week.

    Are there any public polls due out soon?

    Or has he opened his mouth inadvertently about private polling info he’s privy to?

    40% mark anytime soon would be a massive lift for all of us.

    On which note, bedtime, latest Yes paper to be delivered round Lesmahagow tomorrow with Yes Clydesdale.

  103. Patrician says:

    I forgot to add, well done to the SNP spokesman on the Cowdenbeath election programme, I am sorry I didn’t catch his name. He dropped the poll results into his interview, you know the type of interview where they more or less say ya boo, it sucks loser. When he announced the poll there were some laughs in the studio as they realised they had just been had. The message was out now and there was nothing they could do about it but turn to Professor Curtice to try to talk it down.

    The poll result being announced was so unexpected the Professor just started on his rant about people saying anything to get rid of pollsters. At this point he then realised he was talking himself out of a job and he changed tack. He then basically inferred everyone in Cowdenbeath was poor and that was why they would vote yes.

    I don’t think the good people of Cowdenbeath will be sending Professor Curtice many Christmas cards this year. (For the pedants, I know they won’t have sent any last year either and it is a weak joke.)

  104. Clarinda says:

    Patrician – it was Derek Mackay.

    I was a little surprised that he confirmed that all 11000 plus of the local electorate had been canvassed but I think on being asked to confirm this for the third time he referred to 41% of all canvassed – which may not be the same thing as the whole local electorate? Still – 41% for Independence compared with 30% against is a cheering thought.

  105. call me dave says:

    Aye but Curtis is a very respected bbc political pollster and should not be held up to ridicule by the likes of us.

    I see that NNS have called out the BBC… Colours nailed to the mast!

  106. bunter says:

    Just listened to the GMS interview with Dr Robertson of UWS. Your average listener who was uninformed of the story, would have been left the same after it. Think he was well ”handled” and how strange that he had to state that he was not a nationalist. He is just an academic doing his job, no?

  107. crisiscult says:

    Ian Brotherhood

    I’ve just read that and some of it rings true, and what I take from it in particular is how distorted our UK media has been on it. I’m not sure I agree, however, with the journalist’s focus on the structures that Yanokovich has created as if this is something out of the ordinary in Ukraine (maybe I’m reading too much into his comments though). There has been a long line of power gathering, corruption, cronyism, etc unbroken since Kravchuk, perhaps reaching its nadir under Kuchma, but continuing till today.

    Our media has been trying for some time to convince us that the democratic will is towards Europe and that Russia’s evil hand is guiding the anti EU forces. That article certainly provides a good contrast to that theme.

  108. crisiscult says:


    I also heard the interview. I agree that you’ve had to have known about the story before to understand it. As a fresh listener I’d have got the following message;

    An academic has counted the number of statements pro and anti independence and has concluded that there were more anti independence, but this could be because there are just more things worthy of news coverage that are anti independence.

  109. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    patrician at 12.30

    I read the programme the same and I believe our response to the devo distraction should be “Anything devo max does independence does better”.

    Time enough

  110. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @crisiscult –

    Thanks for your thoughts on that piece. You clearly have some insight into what’s happening.

    It’s hard to imagine what sort of spin will be put on what’s happening here, even if it isn’t anywhere near as dramatic. Right now, on GMS, they’re (good humouredly) doing the whole ‘How Would Burns be Voting?’ routine, swapping quotes. I daresay the punters in Kiev are as likely to know Burns as any ordinary Scot.

    Yesterday, there was a short piece on Newsdrive claiming that a survey revealed most people cannot name more than one 20th century genocide, so I doubt they’d be fussed over some UWS report on BBC bias.

    We live in ‘interesting times’ whether we like it or not, eh?

  111. crisiscult says:

    Ian Brotherhood

    re ukraine, I lived there for 3 years and my wife is half Ukrainian, half Russian, giving her both perspectives on the nationalism elements of the Ukrainian protests. I wouldn’t say I’m that well informed on what’s going on right now cos don’t have the time to read about it. A mate lives near the centre of Kiev and a few weeks back made the point about the security forces’ actions sparking new types of protests.

    Re your point about the level of knowledge people have, someone on this site provided a link on Inverted Totalitarianism and it certainly makes you wonder, perhaps in one’s more paranoid moments, whether the ‘fascist regime that made you a moron’ is all part of the plan.

  112. Bill McLean says:

    I also thought that Derek MacKay said NO was 30% when I watched the programme and Brewer asked him to repeat twice. Yesterday people were quoting 41% YES and 35% NO – can someone confirm? As I’ve written before my own default position is “glass half empty” but I’m really disturbed by the Cowdenbeath result regardless of the Independence survey. Labour lost 734 votes but SNP lost 4975 votes since 2011. Understand mid-term, by-election as against general, popularity of former incumbent, winter night, solid Labour seat, with much respect to Natalie McGarry she is very inexperienced at this level. Following loss of Dunfermline (and I understand the circumstances there too) to one of the worst candidates imaginable and drop in the Aberdeen vote where is the positive in all of this. I read of people saying “everyone I know is a Yes voter” and how many they have converted from No to DK and DK to Yes but experiencing little of it in my area of Fife. Going back to Cowdenbeath, which was my home as a wee boy, how come when we reckon SNP and other independence supporters are so committede, we lost over 4 thousand votes. I hope to God we win our independence but I’ve seen no “bounce and it would appear the WP has made no difference. We all seem to feel that the upping of the nasties by the MSM and BBC is somehow a reaction to their fear of losing- not sure at all. I think it’s just the proximity of the vote. Hope I’m really wrong but I’m really worried. Help!

  113. Brotyboy says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    Thanks for the link to my old mate Duncan Campbell, I’ve often wondered what he was up to these days.

    I met him at the tennis club and within a few years he was being inventive with the telephone network, courtesy of having got to know an engineer or two. That must have been where it all started for him.

    He once got me to phone up a friend of his pretending to be a telephone manager to frighten him off as he was concerned that the guy’s activities would attract the attention of the authorities.

    Then about 30 years ago playing hockey for a club in London we went back to the captain’s house after the last match of the season and his wife was Duncan’s sister. I asked after Duncan and got the distinct impression that she thought Duncan was the black sheep of the family. Hardly surprising, considering they all went to The High School.

  114. Adrian B says:

    You cannot buy publicity like this – perhaps the Rev should be sending flowers to Mr Roden as a small thank you 😉

  115. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Bill McLean

    As I pointed out in a recent post the hounding across all of the media of the SNP for two years and the continuous personalised attack on Alex Salmond has the effect not of doing anything except pushing the SNP vote down.
    There is no increase in the Labour vote and a 34% turnout tells you this is exactly what is happening.

    But the media is now attacking the wrong enemy.

    The SNP and Salmond knew exactly that this would happen which is why the all party YES campaign was a masterstroke.

    And I hope we all understand the huge sacrifice Alex Salmond is making as he is daily crucified on our behalf

    The media is desperate to make this an Alex Salmond referendum. The growth of Labour for Independence, Wealthy Nation, Business for Independence, LibDems for Independence,the SSP, Greens for Independence, Women for Independence and many other non party groups is sinking this plan.

    I am still wondering at the Daily Record. A huge double page spread yesterday featuring Dennis Canavan and Jim Sillars praising independence and Labour for Indy.
    Is the Record positioning itself to support Labour For Indy? Or is it positioning itself for a YES vote in September?
    Either way we are winning

  116. Papadocx says:

    I believe LABOUR FOR INDEPENDENCE Is probably much larger than the MSM ever imagined or thought it would be. SLAB is a lot smaller than imagined and totally useless and loosing its control, same old same old.

    LFI is possibly the catalyst for the rebirth of the Labour Party, and a lot of capable people it has.

    The SS, greens, etc. are all benefitting from and contributing to this reawakening of true politics in Scotland, for the people, by the people.

    We have seen enough of these SLAB career politicians and the damage they have inflicted on this country, and the wealth they have bestowed on themselves .


  117. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Papadocx at 2.34

    Gerry Hassan reckons the actual membership of Labour in Scotland is around 6.000 only (and a significant proportion of that has now signed up for LFI). I hear that LFI is around 4,000 signed up. Labour is a divided house now and no longer an efficient enemy. The MSM is the enemy and it uses the empty Labour Party as its vehicle. Labour is now the undead of Scottish politics and the emergence of Jim Sillars will undoubtedly scare what is left of it.

    If the 41% recorded as YES voters in the Cowdenbeath canvas is accurate YES may be in a winning position right now well below the radar of the MSM.

    My feeling is that we have a big and growing vote among the well informed, the politically motivated and the online community and probably a lead in the most disadvantaged sections of our community. In between we have a largely lumpen mass of the well-to-do foolishly complacent or readily frightened and a vociferous minority with a vested interest in the status quo who find these weak vessels easy to influence.

    I find the tendency to try to fashion electoral bribes for this group distasteful. I have little time for the “£500 better off” bait as it knocks us into a bidding war which our enemies,better armed with the MSM on their side, will find easier to win.
    Better with a progressive vision to continue converting the wise who will influence all around them

  118. Bill McLean says:

    Thanks for your response Dave – above all I appreciate what Alex has done and is doing and hopefully will do for Scotland even to presenting himself as the target for the foul unionist press. I am also very appreciative of the work our foot soldiers are doing. My wife and I spent 2 hours outside the polling site in Rosyth (Kings Rd Primary) on Wednesday evening were not approached by anyone about voting SNP. We are both getting on in years but do what we can. I’m still not convinced that anecdotal comment diminishes my dread of losing nor am I convinced that all the bodies you mention will win it for us. The awful MSM and BBC Scotland rule the roost when it comes to information.Pray to God I’m wrong. Thanks again!

  119. Bill McLean says:

    Meant to add Dave that Alex Salmond came across the road in Inverkeithing a week past Friday in the pouring rain to say hello to my wife who was in the fishshop. Salmond is a great guy and knows how to talk to all people. I get really distressed when the ignorant call him names. The men who work in the fish shop are independentistas too!

  120. Chic McGregor says:

    Great article from GAP over on newsnet

    Time for a demo methinks. Smart mob preferably.

  121. bunter says:

    Bliar McD tweeting breaking scare from Sainsburys on prices should we vote YES. Should see it on the BBC very soon!

  122. bunter says:

    Strange story in Herald regards racial attack on Englishman after the Calcutta Cup match yesterday. Has to be deplored and is unacceptable whether racist or not! Unless it was a recording, the game was on Saturday was it not? It is also strange that it is deemed racist, so soon, without having any information or description of the attacker. Does corroboration not apply here? Its also unfortunate to have the English v Scotland thing with it linked to Bannockburn.

    I would hope that the police apprehend the culprit asap as well as being a deplorable attack in itself, this type of thing plays well for the dependency lot.

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