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Wings Over Scotland

The devil’s advocates

Posted on December 11, 2012 by

The Irish Times, 26 November 2012:

“The DUP will campaign against Scotland voting for independence in 2014, party deputy leader Nigel Dodds told his party’s annual conference on Saturday. The North Belfast MP said that Unionists watched with sadness the attempt by Scottish nationalists to “undo the bonds of union which bound us through history”.

“But just as we have advocated the Union here in Northern Ireland, so we will be the advocates for the union in the midst of a Scottish referendum. Just as we have been proved right here, so, I believe, the people of Scotland will see that we are better together, better when we are united as one,” said Mr Dodds.

“This party believes strongly that, together, the United Kingdom has significant influence in the world. The break-up of the Union would be financially, culturally and politically devastating for all of the British people. As Unionists we oppose any action that would erode the shared cohesion of the constituent parts which make up this kingdom,” he said.”

Yes. We saw you “advocating the Union” last week.

Today the results of the Office for National Statistics’ 2011 census have revealed that Protestants no longer make up the majority of the Northern Irish population. The percentage identifying themselves as such has dropped by 5% and fallen below 50% for the first time since records began, to 48%. (Those identifying as Catholic are now 45% of the province’s citizens.)

It is perhaps, then, understandable that Loyalists feel their sense of Britishness under threat as never before, despite this summer’s frenzied and expensive orgy of Union Jack patriotism. It doesn’t take a wild leap of imagination to see how they might consider Scottish independence a hammer blow. Since starting this website, we’ve been unable to avoid noticing that a disproportionately large percentage of the angriest defenders of the Union are those with Irish backgrounds.

Scottish independence has never been afflicted with the deadly violence that characterised the politics of Ireland for much of the 20th century. But that may be because Scottish independence was never previously a tangible prospect. The bonds between Northern Irish loyalists and those in Scotland – and particularly in the west of Scotland, the biggest stronghold of Unionism – are strong. Some opponents of independence have already been accused of flirting with the Unionist hardcore.

The chances of belligerent Unionism descending into violence in Scotland in the next two years still seem slim. We trust that the anti-independence opposition will exercise care over actions which may fan the flames. And we hope with all our hearts that in the light of the growing ugliness of the No campaign, that faith is not misplaced.

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76 to “The devil’s advocates”

  1. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
    I posted the Sun story about the individual who said on the Better Together webpage that he would like to shot at the SNP leaders.  He was banned but it took them two days to do so.  Hopefully, this was just an error.  Unfortunately, if the likes of the DUP get involved, ugliness and nastiness are bound to follow.  The media have highlighted the Scottish National Liberation Army (SNLA), SGH, and other shadowy, dodgy groups in the past.  These groups did not pose much of a threat.  Will they do so with the British Nationalists’ counterparts, who are potentially much more dangerous?  I have my doubts…

  2. Fightback. says:

    Here, through gritted teeth, is my advice to Mr. Nigel Dodds of the DUP.


  3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    muttley: Dang it, I knew there was something else I meant to link to. Added now.

  4. Arbroath1320 says:

    Could this be a veiled threat of violence towards the peace loving people of Scotland who also want Independence perhaps?
    O/T it appears that the BBC might be losing interest in the EU débâcle alrready.

    On a slighter cheerier note. Who’s up for a new electric vehicle folks?

    I’m not really into electric cars, mainly because of their lack of range. However, THIS might just tempt me. 😀
    I wonder if we can get the Scottish Government interested enough to look into encouraging a manufacturing location in Scotland. I think this machine could have a LOT of future potential. 😀

  5. M4rkyboy says:

    This is kinda off-topic but i was wondering if this new Scottish state that would apparently(according to Westminster) have to be started in the result of a yes vote would have to elect a head of state?Does a yes vote mean we are voting to remove the Queen as head of state?

  6. Dal Riata says:

    Hi Stu and others:

    With Nigel Dodds coming out with the following:“The DUP will campaign against Scotland voting for independence in 2014″,
    how do you expect this “campaign” to be implemented? Will they be doing this by using their ‘proxies’ in Scotland/UK such as the Orange Order? …Methods? What are the legalities of all this nonsense?
    Hard to get my head around this hate-filled, sectarian lot being seen as a plus for the Better Together lot!

    From Wiki:
    ‘The Democratic Unionist Party is viewed as a socially conservative right-wing party, with strong links to Protestant churches. It is softly eurosceptic, has had several prolific members come out against homosexuality and has also advocated the promotion of creationism in Northern Irish classrooms.”

    Nice, eh!

  7. muttley79 says:

    No, we are not voting to remove the Queen as head of state.  We are voting on whether to give all the powers Westminster has to the Scottish parliament.  As the SNP are governing at Holyrood, they would be the ones who would be in office to handle the transition, in the event of a Yes vote.  They have said that the Queen will remain as head of state until the elections of 2016.  Whoever wins the election in 2016 would decide who was head of state.  If there is a Yes vote, between late 2014 to 2016 there will be negotiations between the two governments, and the transfer of powers would also take place. 

  8. Training Day says:

    A timely article, Stu – hardcore Unionism (i.e. those who actually believe in the notion rather than what might be termed ‘soft’ unionism e.g. Labour MSPs who don’t understand the issue but ‘believe’ in ‘Britain in the Union’ cos they are tellt: becoming increasingly defensive and angry.  As Arbroath says, it is difficult to see Dodds’ intervention as anything other than a veiled threat.  I hope the vast majority of Scots will have no truck with these people.

  9. M4rkyboy says:

    Of course if we have the velvet divorce that everyone in Scotland expects then there would be no doubt that the Queen would continue as head of state,but it’s looking increasingly likely that Westminster have no intention of this being a velvet divorce and i was kinda wondering the ramifications for for Scotland in this respect as a new state.

  10. muttley79 says:

    I am not really following what you are saying.  If there is a Yes vote, there has to be negotiations and then the transfer of powers.  As the SNP will be in office, they will handle the transition.  They have said they want to keep the Queen as head of state, like Canada, Australia and others have done.  In the event of a Yes vote, Westminster will be in no position to dictate who our head of state is because we would be independent. 

  11. Rabb says:

    Since when did Northern Ireland become British anyway? I don’t wish to be controversial but these Northern Irish “nutters” need to back off.

    It’s sad to say but I fear their influence in the west of Scotland (Orange order members and the like) will be influencial. 

  12. M4rkyboy says:

    What iam asking is whether a new state,starting with a clean slate involves us asking the Queen to be head of state or do we inherit her as head of our new state?

  13. muttley79 says:

    As I said in previous posts, the Queen will remain as head of state.  The SNP have said they want her to remain there. 

  14. Arbroath1320 says:

    sorry I’m still O/T here but I found this which I think shows quite clearly how far away in fairy land Westminster is. In my previous post I put a link to as BBC item suggesting that AFTER we vote YES in 2014 the lights will all go out in Scotland. Here it is again to save you hunting for it.

    Well I did a minute wee search on line and came up with this pdf article. If I understand this document correctly, and it is a BIG if, then in 2009 Scotland produced 51325 GWh of electricity of which 12578 GWh was sold to England. Hence Scotland was an EXPORTER of electricity to England. Scotland utilised only 33010 GWh of electricity.

    Now the actual figures will vary year on year but I think the basics are there for all to see, Scotland EXPORTS electricity so the result of a YES vote in 2014 will NOT result in a lights out scenario in 2014, England on the other hand well that I’m not so sure about.

    The figures I quote came from chart 3 and Table 1 also show Scotland as a net exporter of electricity to England.

  15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “What iam asking is whether a new state,starting with a clean slate involves us asking the Queen to be head of state or do we inherit her as head of our new state?”

    Elizabeth II is Elizabeth I in Scotland. She is Queen of Scots separately to being Queen of England, and would therefore remain so. The union of the crowns happened 100 years before the union of the Parliaments.

  16. cynicalHighlander says:

    Scot – Eng: 1383MW

  17. rob smith says:

    They have just convinced every catholic in Scotland to vote YES

  18. Tris says:

    It’s a pity that these people feel the need to involve themselves in our affairs. 

    We did them the favour of staying out of theirs. 

  19. scottish_skier says:

    Makes one wonder what a better together ‘pro-union’ march would look like.

  20. Boorach says:

    Those who live in greenhouses; there were more than a few of the london establishment who were more than prepared to court the third reich. The Mitford sisters definitely with very strong rumours about royalty and parliamentarians

  21. Iain says:

    ‘Makes one wonder what a better together ‘pro-union’ march would look like.’

    A bit sashy, a bit flutey, a bit orangey?

  22. scottish_skier says:

    Completely OT, but..

    Apparently the number of Jedi Knights in England & Wales is in decline. Cause for concern certainly.

  23. Boorach says:


    That the march or a Jaffa cake you’re describing? 😆 

  24. maxstafford says:

    Rumours of a Death Star being constructed at Devonport are entirely without foundation.

  25. bill says:

    I take it as a threat from the DUP! Will we see violence as we get closer to 2014?

  26. James Morton says:

    You’ve got to remember that these are just simplefolk. These are people of the land. The common clay of the old Union. You know…morons.Their idea of showing togetherness is a flute band holding up traffic. They believe that the flag is the union and the union is the flag…you know, morons.
    They think that winning a debate is to shout louder and longer than the other guy. To swagger about in their foot ball strips barely covering the immense beer bellies wobbling with britishness. You know….morons.
    The Morons are coming, they’ll come two years too early and piss in the well that Better together wants us all to drink from, because you know…they’re morons.

  27. Oldnat says:


    Judging by the Orange Parade in our Public Park this year – addressed by Robinson DUP through VERY loud speakers! – their main contribution to the debate will be a huge collection of Buckfast bottles! 

  28. Fightback. says:

    The last thing the No campaign wants, I would imagine, is a bunch of bigoted nutters landing here from N. Ireland and strutting their stuff.

  29. Bill C says:

    Just over a week ago, Belfast City Council decided to only fly the Union Flag on designated days. Loyalists have been rioting on the streets of Northern Ireland every night since that decision was taken. Last night a group of masked thugs threw a lighted petrol bomb into an unmarked police car.  The female police officer in the car thankfully escaped injury.
    I think most people who have knowledge of Ulster loyalism, will be in no doubt, that given the right encouragement from their leaders, loyalists in Scotland and Northern Ireland will resort to violence to save their union.
    I fully expect there will be violence from at least two groups in the run up to the referendum i.e. 1. Loyalists 2. Agent Provocateurs of the British State who may try to discredit the YES campaign by committing acts of violence in the name of Scottish independence.
    Anyone campaigning for a YES vote should be aware that their personal safety may be under threat as tension mounts towards the autumn of 2014.

  30. Luigi says:

    Things could get ugly if the polls start to swing in favour of independence. The minor incident at the 2012 Independence Rally in Edinburgh, with union flag waving nutters, was a reminder that there are nasty elements operating. The next rally, in 2013 could be a potential flash point and hopefully the police will be prepared to protect the public. This year, the nutters were caught unawares and the march was bigger than expected. Next year, the march (and the opposition) will be better organized. I am not trying to spook y’all, but there is nothing the nutters would like more than to turn our peaceful independence rally into a brawl. Prevention is better than cure.

  31. douglas clark says:

    Bill C,
    You say:
    “I think most people who have knowledge of Ulster loyalism, will be in no doubt, that given the right encouragement from their leaders, loyalists in Scotland and Northern Ireland will resort to violence to save their union.”
    I do not want this discussion about our future reduced to that.
    If anyone, anyone at all, attempts to do that then I would be very angry.
    You say:
    “Anyone campaigning for a YES vote should be aware that their personal safety may be under threat as tension mounts towards the autumn of 2014.”
    No we shouldn’t.
    We should assume that we do not have to concern ourselves about our personal safety, in fact we should just get on with it.
    We should just assume that threats like this are exactly what they are, empty threats
    So, Bill C, not sane advice.
    That was a scaremongering piece of drek, Bill C, and you ought to be better than that.


    What do you want here?

    Fearful ‘YES’ voters, because of fearless ‘NO’ voters who would try to threaten to bully them?

    Or what?

  32. Bill C says:

    @douglas clark – Douglas I have obviously upset you and for that I apolgise. However to illustrate what I consider to be a very real threat to our democracy, please see the following:

    COPS have been put on alert after Loyalists called for a mass demo in the middle of a KIDS’ Christmas Wonderland.
    Activists want to demonstrate in Glasgow’s George Square against the removal of the Union Jack from Belfast City Hall, which has sparked riots in Northern Ireland.
    Police are monitoring a Facebook page — which has attracted 10,000 followers — calling for the demo on Saturday in the square, which is home to Glasgow’s festive family fun fair.
    The social network page said: “In support of our fellow British Citizens in Northern Ireland, can all Proud Scottish/British patriots descend on the City’s George Square at 12pm on Saturday 15th December for a mass Protest. No Surrender.”

    Read more:
    As you see events may already be beginning to take a sinister turn. I have some  knowledge and experience of how loyalism and British agent provocateurs work in defending the British State and I can assure you that I am not scaremongering.

  33. douglas clark says:

    Bill C,
    Just so’s you know.
    I am, frankly, disgusted that you could come on here and argue that violence wins elections.
    If you reply that, sometime it does, well that is true, but it is also disgusting.
    We want none of that.
    If it were to come down to it, and it will, where would you stand Bill C?
    On the right side or the wrong side?
    Will you stand outside a polling station asking folk to vote ‘YES’?
    I will.

  34. Craig P says:

    Cynical Highlander, a bit of context to the telegraph report. I’ve just finished reading a book called Being English in Scotland, published 2003. Around 8.1% of the population then was English, more than double every other minority put together. Yet the CRE recorded only 5% of total racist incidents being against the English. So 8% of the population suffered 5% of racist incidents, and 4% of the population suffered 95% of racist incidents. In addition, blacks reported incidents such as being spat upon, having their house graffitied, whereas the interviewees in the book’s worst examples were name calling, incidents of a lower severity. Conclusion in 2003: Scotland’s racism problem was not against English, but Pakistanis, Indians, blacks, etc, with sectarianism being an extra factor. If the percentage of anti white incidents has risen to 22% that does suggest something has happened, but without any further data I am inclined to surmise that most of that ‘white on white’ racism mentioned in the report is anti Irish and anti catholic in nature. (Another of the books conclusions was that a few high profile incidents were made much of in the media, even in 2003, giving the impression of a widespread problem of Anglophobia, whereas the data suggests this problem is largely non existent). 
    I do not think for a moment we should be complacent about racism, but the problem of anti English racism has to be seen in context. It is less likely than sectarianism, and far less likely than racism against non whites. 

  35. Craig P says:

    As for Nigel Dodds. Please please please come to Scotland, march around waving flags and shouting no surrender. It would do the yes campaign a power of good 🙂

  36. scottish_skier says:

    @Douglas Clark
    come on here and argue that violence wins elections.
    I didn’t read it that way, but instead marring an election, which could reduce turnout etc, cause dispute. Generally attempt to scupper it. Although I don’t foresee this being an issue; we have our own police force, judiciary, civil service…. and well, they’re Scottish. 
    And if 10,000 loyalists did do a large pro-union march, it would likely boost the yes vote. However, it’s really something I’d rather not see.

  37. Bill C says:

    @douglas clerk – “I am, frankly, disgusted that you could come on here and argue that violence wins elections.” I do not know how you could deduce that statement from my comments.  I am a democrat and abhor violence. I have stood outside polling stations for the last 40 years arguing for independence. Loyalist mobs stoned my car simply because I was flying the Saltire and the Lion Rampant and playing nationalist songs through loudspeakers, my two sons sat in the backseat terrified. I have been called a Fenian B and an Orange B because I have argued for independence.  I  have received death threats to my home, been sent unwanted packages and received threatening and ‘black ops’ ‘phone calls.
    Please do not lecture me on political violence or dedication to the nationalist cause. I have the T shirt son! 

  38. Bill C says:

    @S_S – “And if 10,000 loyalists did do a large pro-union march, it would likely boost the yes vote. However, it’s really something I’d rather not see.”  Amen to that S_S

  39. douglas clark says:

    Scottsh Skier.
    Standing up to the threats that  Bill C appears to see as a ‘game changer’ may well win us our independence.
    Frankly, I am not at all convinced that we have to bother with Bill C fears. It seems to be a general truth that most people will vote against, with the threats, not the so called threats. Which he seems to me to be, well, addicted to?
    Just sayin’…….

  40. Bill C says:

    @douglas clerk – I did not use the term “game changer”, please do not attempt to distort what I actually said. You have missed the whole point of my post. I am NOT saying that people will say no because they feel threatened. What I am saying is that there are anti-independence groups who may well use intimidation, black ops and violence to defend what they consider to be THEIR UNION. I hope that clarifies my position.

  41. Patrician says:

    @Bill C. Whilst I was in discussion with an Irish nationalist supporter some 30 years ago, he maintained that Scotland would never get independence.  His reasoning: When Scotland tried to go independent there would be a campaign of civil disobedience with a few attacks (most likely bombings) in cities and towns.  This would in turn lead to a perceived breakdown in law and order; this would be so severe that the only recourse would be the introduction of troops onto the streets of these towns and cities to “deal” with the problem.  This would then put any move towards independence on hold until order was restored.  I didn’t agree with him about this (and I still don’t), I was of the opinion that where were these troublemakers going to come from to run such a campaign. If they came from outwith Scotland it would lead to international condemnation about meddling with the self-determination of a nation.  His answer to this was simple; they march with the union flag proudly displayed every year.  At that time our assumptions were based on something like a majority of SNP MPs being elected to Westminster to cause the move to independence, the gerrymandering of the 1979 vote was still fresh in the memory.  
    This is a reason why any “militant” talk or use of military metaphors from either side makes me very uncomfortable; this could so easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I think the Yes campaign has got the tone correct and we should keep this as positive as possible.    If you look for shadowy figures then you will see them somewhere and then suddenly you will see them everywhere.
    Also following on from today’s NI census figures, it looks like one of my old mates other prediction is going to come true by 2020 or soon after, I will give him that one.   

  42. AnneDon says:

    10,000 likes on a Facebook page doesn’t mean 10,000 of them will turn out. However, involvement in anti-racist politics in Edinburgh in the 1990s showed the nascent BNP and Orangemen were virtually the same, and they viewed Nats and Catholics as legitimate targets. Then again, I remember the BNP papersellers being chased out of Livingston’s shopping centre by BOTH Celtic and Rangers’ supporter buses one particular Saturday.
    However, they don’t like to come out in the light, so our September demo is probably safe enough (!)
    On a related Belfast note, my memory of Blair’s “historic achievement” is hazy, but I think he took the easy way out. Instead of wrestling with the problem of sectarianism, he simply said that the majority of EACH community would have to vote in favour of political change. (At that time, it was expected that the Catholic population would eventually overtake the Protestant). I remember I was worried it would put the Alliance Party out of business, since they would have no status in either community, and few would have a reason to be join such a party if it meant their vote didn’t count in subsequent referenda.
    The idea the British state would get nasty if Scotland did want to go independent has yet to be tested. At the moment, they’re too busy believing the BBC that it’s only Salmond and a few malcontents.  Like the Tea Party and Fox News, these idiots want to believe their own propaganda.

    On a totally unrelated note, let us congratulate ourselves on our sang froid. 12/12/12 has arrived, but no fear of a Mayan prophecy can prevent us from airing our opinions.  🙂

  43. douglas clark says:

    Bill C,
    I am sorry if you don’t like to be challenged. Frankly, because that stuff both ought to be and should be challenged.
    You are suggesting that we are not a mature enough electorate, that we would be swayed by threats of violence into accepting the status quo, whatever that might mean.
    No we won’t.
    I can assure you that I intend to stand outside the poll, urging people to vote ‘yes’.
    Whatever the threats are. Maybe especially what the threats are.
    I suggest you do likewise and stop spreading fear
     Grow a pair!

  44. douglas clark says:

    Why I am I ‘undefined’?
    I an douglas clark, and I always have been.

  45. douglas clark says:

    Now I am who I say I am. What the ***k was goin’ on?

  46. Matt says:

    Douglas Clark I think you need to calm down. Bill C was not saying that people will be swayed one way or the other by threats of violence, all he was saying was that it is possible that violence or threats of violence could occur.

    I think we can all agree (unfortunately) that this is a possibility, and also that we sincerely hope it does not happen. If it does though, then I just hope that the police are up to the job of maintaining order, and that the idiots who start it are correctly identified and brought to justice.

  47. JLT says:

    I think we can take this news about the DUP getting involved with a pinch of salt.

    Seriously…what are they going to do?

    Orange marches have been dying on their feet in Scotland for years. All the Scottish Paliament has to do is ban them, by saying, that they foresee trouble on the streets. Same with Irish Republican marches (Question – Why do we have these Irish Republican marches in 21st century Scotland??? – it really baffles me!!).

    So, before we know it …no extremist marches in Scotland.

    If the Orange Order should do something extremely silly, say by trying to attack a SNP Minister, then the condemnation throughout the land would be way of the richter scale. We would be extremely disgusted …it would be viewed as nazi tactics. Sympathy for the ‘Yes’ vote would rocket, and at the same time, I can’t see most Scots putting up with being ‘threatened’ to vote for the Union if they are against it. To say the least …Fist-i-cuffs would ensue.

    If anyone from the Orange Order, or any other ‘group’ gets caught intimidating people in Scotland, then I would deal out ‘quick justice’ by getting their cases done the next day and locking them up for 2 years (it takes them out, and they won’t have a say in the referendum – out of sight, out of mind you could say). so, there’s your severe warning to them. 

    Scotland has an extremely volatile history when it comes to Politics and Religion …way worse than Northern Ireland. The Orange Order might be looking for that, but it could also backfire. When Scots are threatened with intimidation, we usually do stand up for our rights and freedom (as such during the Killing Time in the mid 17th century).

    At this time, I’m not worrying about the Orange Order. The DUP have enough on their plate, especially if it is true that the Protestant majority in NI has fallen below the 50% mark. What happens in Scotland at the end of the day, might be the least of their worries!!

  48. Davy says:

    Almost a year ago David Cameron tried to interfer with our referendum and that decided me to join the SNP and campaign for independence, and our Scottish government and Scotland let Cameron know in no uncertain terms that Scotland will be running the independence referendum not Westminster.

     And I am certain that Scotland will not allow any nationalists/loyalists from another country (Northen Ireland) to interfer either, this is our decision, which the Scottish people will make, no other buggers.

    A Scotland, honourable in word and deed.

    Alba Gu snooker loopy!.


  49. Juteman says:

    Listening to Call UKaye at the moment. She is a nasty, dangerous woman. 

  50. tartanfever says:

    JLT says:

    Orange marches have been dying on their feet in Scotland for years.  

    300+ marches a year in Strathclyde (mainly within Glasgow), more than any city in N.Ireland, and you say Orange Order marches are dying. I doubt it.

  51. TheeForsakenOne says:

    I’m not economic expert but this seems legitimate. It might be of interest:

    The article quoted in the blog post above can be found here:

  52. Les Wilson says:

    I think all these marches should be banned by law, they only serve to divide.
    While I understand why the DUP would feel isolated with a Independent Scotland.
    It gives them no right at all to try and influence what Scots either want or do not want to do.

    They need the Union, without Scotland there will still be a Union of sorts, however Scotland will not be included in it. There will still be NI, Wales, England with collectively 57 Million people approx.

    There, is all the support NI wants, they do not need Scotland to survive.
    What they really need to watch is that Westminster may consider the Scottish Independence a good window to somehow get rid of NI. They may be the ones who foster division, for their own purposes.

    So it is not Scottish independence that they should fear, but the very institution that they love. Scotland will remain friends with NI, unless the DUP and their proxies attempt to disrupt things here. Which of course would cause bad feeling.

    Can NI afford to lose a friend like Scotland? I would suggest not.
    With that in mind, stop these marches, be friendly, you will always get that back, as well we know, badness breeds badness. No one wants that, let us continue to be friends.

  53. scottish_skier says:

    Just to note that only 5% of Scots at best wish to return to full Westminster rule. These will include your bigots and full on neoliberal right-wingers. They’re a small group and nothing to worry about in the main. Any attempt to play dirty would only have the opposite effect to that intended.

    I might also note that in the past, the police traditionally favoured the conservative party due to its perceived tougher stance on law and order. Having discussed politics with a number of local bobbies at community events, it would seem the SNP are rather popular among their ranks nowadays….

    I think the point is that all the ‘UK state’ really has control over is the BBC, with some media influence. The police, emergency services, judiciary, civil services etc are devolved/Scottish institutions and populated by Scots; some will support full independence, some devo max, some the status quo, with very, very few supportive of anything untoward. Hence no real need for concern.

  54. Luigi says:

    Thanks for the link. The Auld Aquaintance article is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The fact that the UK economy is now on the edge (the AAA rating will be the first to go, followed by astronomical hikes in interest rates), could well explain the recent “thunder of guns” against the SNP. If Scotland does not vote YES in 2014, our share of the debt will continue to rise, and rise and rise. Stark choice – we need to make sure everyone is informed.

  55. sneddon says:

    The situation in Scotland is nothing like the situation that led to 30 years of death and the brutalisation of generations in NI.  So stop comparing apples with pears.  If the No lot can get 1.000 marchers I’ll be surprised.  The rioters in Belfast are an minority abliet organisaed by paramilitaries and full of daft laddies too yopung to have been born at the full horror of thepast and I for one cannot see the same happening in Scotland, apart from the fact it’s too cold!. how many folk here have experience in running a armed para miltary group with large support in Scotland?  In fact if anyone of either side started advocating armed struggle they’d be told quite quickly where to go by everyone.   So less of the drama queenery please.  we know what Special Branch and MI5 can do but they ‘re so transparent  it’s laughable(I remember them from the miner’s strike)  There are lots of internet warriors out there but what they say they’ll do is the opposite of what they’ll actually do. It’s all baw baggery:)

  56. mogabee says:

    With regard to the UK economy; did Max Keiser not relocate to London so he could watch the collapse that he’s been predicting for years?

  57. Ananurhing says:
     Anyone remember this nugget? Strangely enough, Jack Ramsay’s collar was never felt for this.

  58. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


    This is a better article and direct from the BBC for a bit more clout with readers as to what the Orange Order leadership think like.

  59. G. Campbell says:

    Independence would be bad for Scotland, says David Boaz of the Cato Institute, says the Scotsman.

    SCOTLAND is “one of the poorest and most socialist parts of Great Britain”, according to an influential US think-tank.

    Scotland would “discover the failures of socialism pretty quickly” if solely responsible for its own economy, the Cato Institute argues.

    It also questions First Minister Alex Salmond’s eagerness to challenge the Washington Post newspaper’s assertion that Scotland would be “unable to contribute meaningfully to global security”.

    But, what’s this…

    Independence would be good for Scotland, says David Boaz of the Cato Institute.

    “But whatever the benefits of union might have been in 1707, surely they have been realized by now. And alas, the land of Adam Smith has become one of the poorest and most socialist parts of Great Britain. So maybe a libertarian shouldn’t look forward to Scottish independence. On the contrary, I think it’s easy for Scotland to whine and demand more money from the British central government. An independent Scotland would have to create its own prosperity, and surely the people who produced the Enlightenment are smart enough to discover the failures of socialism pretty quickly if they become free, independent, and responsible for their own future.”

  60. sneddon says:

    There might be 300+ orange walks in Scotland but it’s the same people in everyone, a bit like the No campaign day of action:).  There are more bandsman on these walks  than orangemen. Lucky if the total number in the lodge in Scotland exceeds 20,0000 e.g. less than SNP party members.

  61. Bill C says:

    @douglas clerk – Abusing those who disagree with you is the politics of facism and is abhorrent to all true democratic supporters of Scottish self determination.

    @matt – Thank you.

    @sneddon – Have you ever spoken to a Loyalist paramilitary? I have, he was not a nice person and was quite prepared to do whatever it takes to defend his union, I read in the papers some time later that he had been imprisoned for gun running between Scotland and Northern Ireland.   A drama queen he was not.  As far as British security forces are concerned, I would refer you to the case of Willie McRae. Willie’s tragic death was the most serious of a number of incidents involving nationalists in the seventies and eighties. Willie’s death has never been satisfactorily explained.
    I detect a degree of naivety in some of the comments on this site.  I think we need only to look at the mind manipulation which the state broadcaster is engaged in, to realise the professionalism of forces ranges against Scottish independence. The British State has fought against independence movements for hundreds of years and is not about to give up the last vestige of its’ Empire without a fight.

  62. Vronsky says:

    Bill C’s post is very far from recommending political violence, merely pointing out that there is a risk that we might see it.  The Unionist scaremongering is a smokescreen for a real danger which they understand very well – the threat to UK global power.  Can EWNI really accept the loss of nuclear weapons, the loss of oil revenues,  the loss of distant dumping ground for nuclear hulks, the loss of remote real estate for testing depleted uranium weapons and other filth (remember the anthrax on Gruinard) and the loss of a ready source of expendable front-line troops? 
    Given a Yes in 2014, there is absolutely zero chance that Westminster will simply let us walk away – there is far too much at stake.  Their negotiations will be aimed at retaining most or all of the oil revenue, keeping the nukes in the Clyde and keeping large parts of northern Scotland available for military use – a thousand-acre Guantanamo.  Should they fail in these objectives – well, war is the continuation of politics by other means.  British strategy in Northern Ireland perhaps give us some insight into what form this war would take, and Scotland would be by several orders of magnitude a more serious loss than NI.  Faced with the loss of a wealthy colony, or even a poor one, the Brits have never hesitatated to employ violence. It’s clear enough from Paxman and his pals at the state broadcaster that to them, we are just another bunch of Zulus. 
    The only peaceful course I can see is more or less complete capitulation to EWNI demands by the Scottish negotiators (possible: they won’t all be SNP).  Even then, if a large number of Scots perceive this as a betrayal, get ready to man a barricade anyway.
    Perhaps we can avoid all this and I hope that we do, but the first step in avoiding a danger is to recognise that it exists.

  63. velofello says:

    And so some 60 posts castigating the Orange Order and today’s Herald headline is of a Celtic footballer attending a service for a murdered Reai LRA activist.
    The posts in response to the Herald article are interesting to compare with the comments posted here on this article.
    I do find it odd that a part of the UK has a restriction placed on flying the Union Jack. Why? Is it considered a provocation?
    Then I do also find it odd that a Scottish football club elects to fly the flag of another country. 
    So what to do, how to respond to the statement of intent of Nigel Dodds?

    Could we selectively ban marches (ref the flags comment above) and deny them the oxygen of publicity? i attended the Gathering in Edinburgh, a gentle friendly event and that surely has to be our stance in the face of attempted outside interference by whatever faction. 
    i certainly would support the consignment of Orange Order and irish Republican gatherings to enclosures – Ibrox, Celtic Park or the like and no marching to the venue, if this can be done without a consequential restriction on peoples’ right to march on an issue of concern to them.
    The British Empire has much to apologise for throughout the world and not just to Ireland, and indeed Scotland but why do people with a leaning towards Ireland want to demonstrate here? 
    Nigel Dodds should attend to his affairs in Ireland and leave Scotland to attend to hers.

  64. BillyBigBaws says:

    Arbroath1320 said:  “If I understand this document correctly, and it is a BIG if, then in 2009 Scotland produced 51325 GWh of electricity of which 12578 GWh was sold to England. Hence Scotland was an EXPORTER of electricity to England. Scotland utilised only 33010 GWh of electricity.”

    It’s true that Scotland is a net exporter of energy, and a vital supplier of electricity to England and Wales, but sadly we don’t get to sell it to them.  In fact, we pay a large connection charge to the national grid (£56 million in 2010 from the Highlands and Islands alone) so that we can give our excess energy to our neighbours.
    “Connection grid charges were highlighted this week after a report by Scottish Renewables… The report showed that firms in the north of Scotland face charges in excess of £56m to connect to the national grid whereas those in England actually received an £11m subsidy.  The charges have been attacked by leading industry experts who claim that the system threatens the Scottish renewable industry.”

    Of course, if we were independent, we would receive money for supplying this energy rather than paying money to supply it.

  65. sneddon says:

    Bill C I think you misinterpreted my post the, the  ‘queenery’ element I was referring to related to posters.  Ask ourselfs why there were no provo or unionist bombings in Scotland as opposed to England during the ‘troubles’. despite the bomb factories and money raising that went on in Scotland.  If it never happend then there is slim chance of it happening now.   Yes paramilitaries are not nice chaps so whats yer point?  Until it happens this is all hot air what someone may do or not do is stupid.   Your glass is consistently half full- which viewpoint  you are entitled to.  But please the endless hot air won’t solve nothing, what if this happens or that happens.   The endless ‘whataboutry’ does not do anyone any favours.  We waste our time turning knots.   In 30 years of violence the trouble in NI did not spread to Scotland.  And to be honest if a bunch of bampots want to protest in Fife and Glasgow so what?

  66. highlander says:

    @G. Campbell,
    The Daily Express have lied to its readers too about the Cato Institute report:
    “Meanwhile the SNP dismissed a report from US think tank, the Cato Institute, which described Scotland as “one of the poorest and most socialist parts of Great Britain” which would quickly fail if it became independent.
    It said Scotland would “discover the failures of socialism pretty quickly” if solely responsible for its own economy.”
    Quite staggering really. It was buried within an attack on Swinney labelling him a “Scoundrel”. Here’s the link:
    I just walked into Tesco’s to get some groceries and happened to wander round the clear plastic newspaper shelving they often have and nearly every main headline was an attack on the SNP or Scottish Government. “SHAME” on SNP over a very slight drop in teacher numbers from last year. Swinney’s “Scoundrel” tag and obviously the EU/Barosso nonsense. Quite staggering really as this has been the case every day I’ve been in.
    How the average Joe or Joanne can ever get a fair view on independence I fear is near impossible as few ever venture into the world of politics in detail like we do. The Scotsman and Express have simply lied to their readers so they’re now long past just expressing selective information or misinformation. They have actually reported white as black, knowing they’ll get away with it which is truly sad for our democracy.

  67. Silverytay says:

    Bill C @12.10    It is not just in Scotland where british black ops are suspected of murder , Google the story of Hilda Murrell the ant nuclear campaigner who was murdered before she could give evidence at the sizewell b enquiry . Her own nephew who used to be in naval intelligence had to flee the country in fear of his life due to his investigations into her murder..

  68. Bill C says:

    @Silvertay – I know of the Hlida Murrell case, apparently she knew too much, there is speculation that the Israeli secret service were also involved. There is also the case of Dr. David Kelly, who again knew too much, Diana Princess of Wales who was a threat not only to the Royals but the international arms industry and of course our own Willie McRae who also knew too much about the nuclear industry in Scotland.

  69. muttley79 says:

    @Bill C
    Do you honestly think Diana was murdered?

  70. Bill C says:

    @muttley79 – Have a read of the book Princess Diana The Evidence, by Jon King and John Beveridge. Interesting stuff.

  71. Derick fae Yell says:

    Interesting debate.  Of course the British State will respond to the existential threat that Scottish Independence poses with infiltration, dirty tricks and violence.  Why would they not? That is just standard operating procedure against any ‘subversive’ element. Look at the Mark Jacobs case which has only come to light (maybe?) because of his attack of conscience. Put yourself in the shoes of British Intelligence – what do  you do?  Argue rationally? Fund failing newspapers to pursue a commercially suicidal editorial line? Of course you do? Set off a wee bombe surprise in an Orange walk, and a wee false flag operation (shall we call this the SNLA gambit?). Of course you do.  Remember the 1820 Rising – entirely fomented by British Agents. Think they have forgotten the basic skills since then? Aye right.  Both Bill C and Douglas Clark are right to a degree. Of course they will use dirty tricks, and of course we should not be deflected by their (ultimately futile) pish.

  72. muttley79 says:

    @Bill C
    No, I do not believe that Diana was murdered.  She would have faded from view anyway.  Diana was no threat to the Royal family.  The press were getting weary of her at the time of her death.  Her driver was pissed and I would never believe the conspiracy theories. 

  73. Silverytay says:

    muttley 79   
                     I would probably agree with you over Diana apart from one thing ! as far as I am aware the white fiat that people were talking about has never been found or accounted for .    I do think that Diana was treated abysmally be the royal family , she was used as a breeding cow ! nothing more , nothing less to produce heirs to the throne . We should not be surprised at that , members of the royal family down the ages have been married but have kept a string of mistresses to keep themselves amused .

  74. Bill C says:

    @mutley 79

    I don’t really want to get into this guys, however, I will make a few points:

    1. Diana was a huge threat to the Royals. She was big news, hence the coverage of her on holiday with Dodi and the massive press presence outside the Ritz on the night she died. At the time of her death there was talk of the ‘alternative’ palace at Kensington Palace.  It was rumoured that she was pregnant with Dodi’s child, Muslim sibling for Wills and Harry and all that.  She had predicted in an interview on the BBC that she would be killed in an accident.   Her work on the banning of landmines in Angola (oil for arms deals) and Kosovo earned her enemies within the CIA and international arms dealers. Henri Paul (her driver) was not “pissed”. Experts have studied cctv footage of Paul just before the accident and concluded he was not drunk. Would her bodyguard ( British military trained) have climbed into a car if he thought the driver was drunk? There is compelling evidence that blood samples from Henri Paul were tampered with.
    2. The white Fiat Uno is interesting in that it was never found. However, what is much more interesting is that a French photographer, James Andanson who just happened to own a white Fiat Uno and was part of the press pack on the night was found dead (murdered?) in his burned out car some time after Diana’s death.
    Both Paul and Andanson had connections with British and French security services.

    This story is a bit like an iceberg, much more of it is under the surface and I have not even scratched the surface  As I say I don’t really want to get into details for obvious reasons, suffice to say it is a story which will resurface at some point in the future.  

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