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The hired help

Posted on May 04, 2013 by

One of the weirdest things about UKIP’s spectacular success in the English local elections yesterday – up from EIGHT seats to 147 – was watching everyone in the unholy “Better Together” alliance desperately trying to downplay it.

From the Labour side came the traditional cry of “It’s ridiculous to separate Scotland from England just because you don’t like who England votes for (and therefore imposes on Scotland)!”, while Tories pointed out that they’d still retained almost 80% of their seats and that anyway it didn’t really matter, because UKIP had no chance of winning a general election and indeed still didn’t have a single MP.

farage2

Of course, as we’ve noted already today, they don’t actually need one.

The staggering, glib complacency on display all over social media (in particular) yesterday was terrifying on any number of levels. Firstly, there was the assumption, based on nothing but blind faith and hope, that Thursday’s votes marked a high-water mark for Nigel Farage’s party and that the natural order would reassert itself soon enough. Perhaps it will. But we can see no reason that any of the underlying reasons for the surge in UKIP support are going to go away any time soon.

Are people going to suddenly stop holding politicians of all the mainstream parties in undisguised contempt before 2015? As they show not the slightest inclination to change the behaviour that’s made them one of the most loathed professions in the country, we’re not convinced.

Are UKIP going to embarrass themselves so badly in local government that people will desert them in droves? Perhaps. Farage himself admitted this week that his troops hadn’t been fully vetted and might contain a few loons. (Which by UKIP standards would be quite something.) But UKIP don’t control any councils, so they can enjoy the cushy luxury of opposition without having to get in too much trouble.

Are English voters about to reverse their views on the EU and immigration? Evidence for that is a little thin on the ground, to say the least. Most commentators are predicting that UKIP’s really big victory is still to come, with the European elections in a year’s time.

Are the wealthy donors who bankroll UKIP to levels other fringe parties can only dream of about to stop providing them with money now they’re enjoying dramatic success? Are far-right voters now LESS likely to vote for them instead of the likes of the BNP (whose vote vanished this week, depriving them of all their councillors in the contested councils)? Doesn’t seem awfully plausible, does it?

But in any event, as we’ve already pointed out, UKIP don’t need to be in power to influence the direction of British government. The coalition and Labour are already, within just 24 hours of some council elections, tacking to the right in a panic that Farage will steal votes from them, for both the same and different reasons.

(Both recognise that English people very much want a referendum on EU membership, and that denying them one will be electorally unpopular. The Tories are afraid of losing their core by being seen as to the left of UKIP, while Labour is petrified of being seen by the crucial swing voters of Middle England as to the left of anyone on anything.)

As the human race appears to have collectively lost the ability to tell the difference between an analogy and a metaphor, we’re a bit wary of writing this next bit. But the blasé attitude of so many people towards UKIP’s rise reminds us inescapably of that of the 20th-century German politician Franz von Papen.

He had a troublesome right-wing extremist to deal with too, and also thought he could be safely patronised, ignored and marginalised.

“Under the Weimar Constitution, the chancellor was a fairly weak figure, serving as little more than a chairman. Moreover, Cabinet decisions were made by majority vote. With this in mind, Papen anticipated ‘boxing Hitler in,’ believing that his conservative friends’ majority in the Cabinet and his closeness to Hindenburg would keep Hitler in check.

Papen boasted to intimates that ‘Within two months we will have pushed Hitler so far in the corner that he’ll squeak.’ To the warning that he was placing himself in Hitler’s hands, Papen replied, ‘You are mistaken. We’ve hired him.'”

At the risk of repeating ourselves, that’s an analogy, not a metaphor. However much the more excitable elements of the left would like to pretend otherwise, UKIP are not – isolated nutcases aside – Nazis.

But anyone who denigrates or underestimates the party’s influence on Westminster politics (and therefore on the governance of Scotland, should it have chosen still to be in the Union by the time the 2015 election comes round), whether it has MPs in the Commons or not, is a far bigger fool than anyone who was elected this week wearing a purple-and-yellow rosette.

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    66 to “The hired help”

    1. Alex Grant says:

      Excellent analysis Stu. And we need to exploit it to persuade the undecideds!
      but watch Labour who will now try to convince Scottish Labour voters that their vote is needed to save the party at Westminster and win the next General Election???

    2. Linda's Back says:

      Despite massive national TV coverage UKIP candidate came nowhere in Borders by election on Thursday.
      https://www.scotborders.gov.uk/downloads/file/5926/declaration_of_results
      Unsurprisingly most 2nd prefs went to Tories which further illustrates UKIP won’t make any headway in Scotland.  
      However UKIP’s success in England will move Tories and Labour further to the right on their anti immigration, anti Europe, anti welfare and anti Scottish rhetoric. 
      PS Herald reports BBC Question Timer  for Scots teenagers on independence on June 13  from Edinburgh.
      Will be interesting to see if BBC has a balanced YES and NO audience  or each of the four political parties have equal audience representation as evidence of the BBC’s impartiality.
       

    3. BLMac says:

      The interesting thing is that UKIP thinks it’s a good thing for the UK to seek independence from the European Union, but not for Scotland to seek independence from the UK union.

    4. Juteman says:

      Very good post.
      Folk who ordinarily aren’t interested in politics need to see what is going on in UK politics, and how it WILL affect their daily lives.
      The UK is becoming a very scary place.

    5. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      It is worth noting that the Tories still have more council seats in England than all the other parties put together and the bigger losers are Labour who made, at best, moderate gains when they needed to move massively forward.
      Actually  if I was a party leader I don’t know of I would want to win the next General Election in England if the economy has not collapsed before then.
      I am having difficulty understanding the attraction of Nigel Farage. Most Scots I know, of whatever political persuasion, think he is a pratt but then again we are very often much more perceptive politically

    6. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      The parody on Nigel Farage that appeared in the Daily Mash on 27/11/2012 seems to be highly germane.

    7. Derick says:

      Like so.  Fb has its uses. Posted your prev article and lo, a convert!

      Voting no just got a whole lot scarier. (courtesy Luigi on here)

      ttp://wingsoverscotland.com/well-that-didnt-take-long

      Malcolm Henry Johnson
      O.K. That was the straw that just broke the camel’s back. Let the record show that on 4th May 2013 I finally changed my intended vote from No to Yes. Congratulations Derick – You can mark me up as another convert.

    8. Marcia says:

      The Rev Stu’s analysis is a correct one to take. While watching a bit of the results on BBC yesterday, some candidates defeated by UKIP did not see it coming. They assumed that because they did not see any actual campaigning by UKIP other than an odd leaflet they thought they were home and dry as per usual. The media inspired tidal wave of support for UKIP easily overcame that hurdle. Paper candidates not expected to win anything found themselves elected in various councils yesterday. Some of those elected will no doubt prove to be good councillors and an asset to their local communities. Others will end up wishing they had not been elected or UKIP wish they had not been elected.
      My mind goes back to when the SNP became a force following elections. Many assume that the Hamilton by-election was the start of the SNP being a major player in Scotland. In fact in the 1966 local elections the SNP gained quite a number of seats in Fife, Stirlingshire and West Lothian. That was not driven by a media inspired surge but by local campaigning. In the 1968 election following Hamilton a good few SNP paper candidates were elected. Some should have been sectioned rather than elected although most who were elected were very good councillors and were defeated en masse when the electoral tide went out for the SNP in early 1970’s. The same thing might happen to the UKIP councillors elected yesterday. Most could all be unseated in 4 years time if they don’t do the local work.
       
       

    9. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      @Derick
       Please do extend a fond welcome to Malcolm Henry Johnson. Hopefully, Malcolm himself is able to reach out to others leaning towards NO, and help them to also see that HOPE lies with YES!

    10. Mac says:

      This lurch further to the right in England means that anyone voting NO has to explain why Scotland should be subject a hateful right wing ideology.
       
       

    11. DougtheDug says:

      “One of the weirdest things about UKIP’s spectacular success in the English local elections yesterday – up from EIGHT seats to 147 – was watching everyone in the unholy “Better Together” alliance desperately trying to downplay it.”
       
      The purpose of Better Together, which is a Labour front for Tory money, is not to ensure the betterment of Scotland but the integrity of the UK. It’s always good to remember that neither Labour, the Tories nor the Lib-Dems in Scotland care who runs Westminster as long as Westminster runs Scotland.
       
      As UKIP is committed to the integrity of the UK then it is playing the same political game on the same pitch and under the same rules as Labour, the Tories and the Lib-Dems. All it means now is that they have another player in the game.
       
      The only reason that the current LibLabCon alliance would downplay the rise of UKIP in England is because they are worried it might affect the result of the independence referendum and that would change both the pitch and the game in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
       
      How a strong UKIP presence in UK politics would affect Scotland in a continuing United Kingdom does not concern them in the least.

    12. Iain More says:

      As I said to a friend yesterday, what is the difference between Farage and Nick Griffin? Well one of them is a stockbroker!

    13. Albalha says:

      On Farage and his morning at the BBC yesterday, one of the more interesting points he made, just before 10am, to the Lib Dem person in the studio, was that in their not so good Westminster election years, the Lib Dems survived due to the support of the ‘Celtic fringe’. A support, it appeared to me, he, Farage, neither coveted and/or expected to win over.
       

    14. BLMac says:

      Fascinating how a party which is seen to be listening to the concerns of the voters (UKIP) seems to be gaining votes, while a party that is taking a topdown approach and not listening to the concerns of its voters (Labour) is losing votes. 
      Labour needs to wake up and dump its leadership.

    15. Morgwn C Davies says:

      Given UKIP’s success in the local election and their policy on the integrity of the UK I look forward to Better Together inviting them to join their campaign. What a team it would be Alistair Darling, Johann Lamont,Danny Alexander, Ruth Davidson, George Osborne, and now Nigel Farage. What a line up that would be.  

    16. Adrian B says:

      It is important to remember that this is only the first round of council elections to take place before the Indy vote in 2014.
       
      There are more council elections coming in 2014. UKIP likely do do well in EU elections too.
       
      From Wikipedia:
       
      Elections not scheduled to be held in 2013 (other than by-elections)
       

      The 32 London borough councils (next election 2014)
      The 36 metropolitan district councils (next election 2014)
      The 201 district councils in two-tier authorities (next election 2014 in the 67 councils where members are elected by thirds, and 2015 in the 127 councils where all members are elected together)
      48 unitary authorities of England (next election 2014 in the 19 councils where members are elected by thirds, excluding Bristol, and 2015 in the 30 councils where all members are elected together)

      Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_local_elections,_2013
       
      Plenty of chance for UKIP to do well in these elections as well.

    17. Graham Ennis says:

      Did anyone notice?……..We will –
      ” Retain the Scottish Parliament,l Replace MSPs with Scottish Westminster MPs   UKIP says in its manifesto.
      What are they saying?
       

    18. scottish_skier says:

      Yup, this will be UKIP’s year it would seem. EU elections should see them do really well.
      Meanwhile, this is what 600 people looks like.
      https://twitter.com/UK_Together/status/330624450393432065/photo/1
      About half that at best I reckon.

    19. The Man in the Jar says:

      Let us hope that UKIP send lots of representatives to Scotland to tell us how lucky we are to be part of Great Britain.

    20. HighlandMartin says:

      I read a comment from some Tory saying that Cameron now has to bring forward a referendum on Europe to avoid the European elections next year being used as a surrogate referendum by UKip.  Judging that the EE are only a year away and Cameron thinks he has got until 2017 if re elected and only then after a renegotiation, 
      Labour’s problem is that Ed Milliband in his wisdom, sat on the fence re calls for a referendum.  What a mess for them both.  The libdems will only be on the end of yet another squeeze.
      The Better Together will be watching the EE next year through their fingers as UKip will unintentionally help the undecided in the Indpendence Referendum to be forced to choose between a No Euro exit and a Yes.

    21. kininvie says:

      The Daily Mash again:
       
      http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/lib-dems-beaten-by-bright-orange-and-yellow-fascist-2013050367665
       
      Have to say the Mash goes much further (and better) in insult and satire than anything to be found in the Indyref sphere. I wish they’d take more interest in Scottish politics…..

    22. Luigi says:

      Does anyone have any info on the financial supporters of UKIP? Maybe it’s worth a bit of digging, just in case there is a link to BT. Now that would be dynamite.

    23. scottish_skier says:

      The fact that lots of Tories want out of Europe and UKIP are desperate to pull the UK out can only enamour Europe further to a generally pro-EU scots electorate.
      ‘Jeez if Tories and UKIPers hate the EU, there must be something very good about it’.

    24. Albalha says:

      @Graham Ennis
      The end of the Scottish Parliament as we know it and replaced by a Scottish Grand Committee of MP’s controlled by Westminster.

    25. YesYesYes says:

      Most commentators are predicting that UKIP’s really big victory is still to come, with the European elections in a year’s time”.
       
      If this happens, it would only underline the significance of what happened on Thursday but I suspect that UKIP’s really really big victory will come in 2017 when England votes to take the UK out of the EU.
       
      The silence of ‘Scottish’ Labour on this genuine threat is deafening. Rather than draw attention to this, and the prospect that, if there’s a No vote in 2014, Scotland could be out of the EU even if we vote to remain in the EU in a British referendum in 2017,  Scottish Labour chooses to talk up the ‘threat’ of a Yes vote to Scotland’s continued EU membership.
       
      Like many on the left, I have a terrible sense of foreboding about the increasing dominance of the right in England. In a number of council seats in England, the Tories, UKIP and the BNP, between them, received more than a 50 per cent share of the vote.
       
      The political discourse in England has shifted radically towards anti-immigration, anti-EU, anti-foreigner, anti-benefits ‘scrounger’, anti-‘undeserving’ poor etc. While this may win electoral support for the Tories, UKIP and the BNP – with the Labour Party lurching ever further to the right to compete with these odious people – in the densely populated southern half of England (the constituency that determines the outcome of British general elections) it can only lead to an increase, on the streets, of verbal and physical attacks on these minorities.
       
      If Scotland remains in the UK, this will surely spill over into Scotland too, and it will only get worse as the ‘British’ MSM and political classes become increasingly isolationist and self-referential, blaming the ‘other’ for its own inadequacies. This, too, is an appropriate analogy for what happened in Germany in the 1930s during an economic crisis. We can’t say we haven’t been warned. 

    26. Jimbo says:

      I think a lot of the BNP support will have gone to Farage’s Party. Many with right wing views will see UKIP as a tad more respectable – or, less tainted than the BNP.
       
      I fully expected the Lib/Lab/Con Unionist alliance to downplay UKIP’s rise and come up with all the hackneyed old claims of protest votes, no-one really takes them seriously, they’ll never amount to anything more than a Party of protest, etc. Well, the abyss is now gazing back at them.
       
      UKIP’s rise, along with the SNP in Scotland, means that the Lib/Lab/Cons now have to fight a political war on two fronts. Their backsides must be biting lumps oot their troosers. 😀

    27. G. Campbell says:

      BNP in more pro-immigrant than UKIP shocker!

      “By Northernscot- There has been a lot written over the years concerning the gradual demise of the ethnic white British races. We all know that Muslims and Africans tend to have bigger families.
      This will mean over the decades we may well end up like America, 51% non-white. So we must look at ways of building up the white population in Britain.

      There are a few ways that this can be done. Firstly immigration of white Europeans, although this causes problems in jobs and housing, in the end if they stay their children will slowly become pro-British, or their children’s children will at least.

      We need to aim between 3 and 4 children each if not more. And the bonus is that making babies is fun! So fellow [British] nationalists, less TV and more fun! Let’s do our bit for Britain and our race.”

      #bettertogether #heartfeltappealtofellowbritnats

      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ryd0z1ilkDk/UYTo5QEDneI/AAAAAAAAAL0/jkUs7hAJTc0/s1600/Members-must-use-their-members.jpg

    28. scottish_skier says:

      https://twitter.com/UK_Together/status/330624450393432065/photo/1
      LOL not even half of 600.
      Lucky if there’s just over 200 people in that room.

    29. Jiggsbro says:

      UKIP’s really really big victory will come in 2017 when England votes to take the UK out of the EU. The silence of ‘Scottish’ Labour on this genuine threat is deafening.
       
      Scottish Labour can’t address that threat because it’s only a threat if the Tories win in 2015. Addressing it is counter-productive from a Labour Unionist point of view. Better for them to punt the idea that only voting ‘No’ and then ‘Labour’ can guarantee keeping Scotland in the EU.

    30. scottish_skier says:

      Was out at the shops earlier.
      Farage’s rabid, smarmy Tory mug shot plastered across the front pages with rise of UKIP headlines aplenty.
      Game changer.

    31. YesYesYes says:

      @Jiggsbro,
       
       “Scottish Labour can’t address that threat because it’s only a threat if the Tories win in 2015. Addressing it is counter-productive from a Labour Unionist point of view. Better for them to punt the idea that only voting ‘No’ and then ‘Labour’ can guarantee keeping Scotland in the EU”.
       
      So true, which is precisely why we need to keep the realistic prospect of a Tory victory in the 2015 British general election (and its consequences for Scotland) near the top of our campaign agenda until September 18th, 2014.

    32. pmcrek says:

      YesYesYes,
      Certainly agree, we should also highlight the long term picture too, the future after a no vote means 50+ years of Tory Government out of every 100.

    33. Jiggsbro says:

      So true, which is precisely why we need to keep the realistic prospect of a Tory victory in the 2015 British general election…near the top of our campaign agenda
       
      Fortunately, we have Ed Miliband to help.

    34. Davy says:

      The idea of that type of political party having any influence on Scotland and its society makes my stomach turn. Who wants that type of twisted thinking in our country, and if labour starts squealing about voting for them to prevent ‘ukip’ being elected, just remind them they are in currently in coalition with the torys & lib-dems and are also supported by ukip in their “better together” alliance.
       
      Blue, Red, Yellow, Purple no matter the colour, they’re all fucking tories.
       
      Vote Yes, Vote Scotland.
      Caesar! Gu snooker loopy!

    35. YesYesYes says:

      @pmcrek,
       
      Certainly agree, we should also highlight the long term picture too, the future after a No vote means 50+ years of Tory government out of every 100”.
       
      Spot on. In fact, IMO, you’re making the most important point of all of us here, though we might need to re-jig the 50/50 ratio a wee bit, at least if we start from, say, 1955, the last time that the Tories won a general election in Scotland.
       
      I’ve noticed that Duncan Hotershall, among others, has tweeted, on a number of occasions, that it’s absurd of ‘nationalists’ to argue that independence would free Scotland from Tory governments for all time. But Duncan is wrong. Independence would rid Scotland of Westminster Tories for all time.
       
      Of course, that doesn’t guarantee that, for all time, there will never be a Tory government in an independent Scotland. But it does guarantee that, for all time, with independence, we’d get the government that we vote for in every single general election not, as in the UK, the government that we vote for once in every fifteen years or so, on average.  

    36. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      @pmcrek @Jiggsbro @YesYesYes
      John Redwood, Conservative MP stated on the BBC Vote 2013 (part 2, at around 25min 20 seconds) that he wants David Cameron to unite the Torys with UKIP supporters to have a common fight against the EU. For those that know how to splice out a section from this clip, it is a golden nugget. Any takers?

    37. YesYesYes says:

      @Jiggsbro,
       
      Fortunately, we have Ed Miliband to help”.
       
      LOL. Damn! I wish I’d thought of that line first (smileythingy).

    38. callum says:

      check out the manifesto for UKIP in Scotland “Restoring Britishness” http://www.ukip.org/scotland/manifesto – I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.
       
       

    39. Joe Riley says:

      scottish_skier says:
       
      4 May, 2013 at 12:09 pm
       
      https://twitter.com/UK_Together/status/330624450393432065/photo/1
      LOL not even half of 600.
      Lucky if there’s just over 200 people in that room.
       
      I’ve just counted them. I make it 170 individuals.
      Unless there are 430 people hiding in the far right hand corner, someone is telling porkies.
      They did a head count too…
       
       
       

    40. Baheid says:

      @ Luigi
       
      Sponsors of the racist, homophobic, Muslim/gypsy hating and xenophobic gathering of fascists we know as UKIP.
       Here’s a few for you to look at;
       
      Stuart Wheeler – fortune from IG index in the 70’s
      Etonian
      Investment banker
      £5 million to cons for 2001 elections. (Was and still is the largest single donation to a UK party)
      £100k to UKIP 2009
      Expelled from the Con party
      Think he is still treasurer to UKIP
       
      Paul Sykes – Property developer, internet service provider (Water Planet Online)
      £1.5 million to UKIP for advertising in 2004 Euro Parliamentary elections
      £6 million to various anti Europe groups
       
      Henry Angest – Swiss born banker
      Noted as a UKIP donator (Don’t have any figures)
      Also gives loans to the cons, estimated £7 million
       
      Lord Pearson of Rannoch – Successful in international insurance
      Etonian
      Made life peer in 1990 for services to insurance! wtf?
      Resigned from cons 2007
      His wife stood for UKIP in Kensington
      This was the guy who invited Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders to show anti-Muslim film ‘Fitna’ before the House of Lords
       
      The con party still owe Mr Angest most if not all that they have borrowed.
      The cons maybe worried about the rise of UKIP but they are as much, if not more, worried about their coffers being severely depleted with guys/fascists deserting them.
       
      Oh, did I mention that they are all fiercely eurosceptic 

    41. Jiggsbro says:

      The con party still owe Mr Angest most if not all that they have borrowed.
       
      I think perhaps you’re using ‘borrowed’ and ‘owe’ in the lay person’s sense of ‘borrowed’ and ‘owe’, rather than the political sense of ‘been gifted’ and ‘are keeping’. These will only have been loans in the sense that Mr Angest would have been expecting a repayment of some kind.
       
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9606608/David-Cameron-Honours-for-cash-No-problem.html

    42. Baheid says:

      @Jiggsbro
       
      Aye, your’e right. 
      Should of written, borrowed!?
      And the will owe, morally. (I know they don’t have much morals, but they do when it comes to their fellow trough dippers).
       

    43. Patrick Roden says:

      Paste and copied from another article:
       
      Just thinking about all the people in my area who say they intend voting Ukip from now on.

      Who’s to say that they wont win the next General Election !

      Believe me, the way people are speaking about imigration, all the extra money Scotland gets for free education etc etc, it is a distinct possibility.

    44. Patrick Roden says:

      I mentioned on another article, that Ukip will ask both the Labour and Tory Parties, what they will do to redress the unfairness, of Scotland getting more money than England.
       
      The only way both these parties can do this is to promise to cut Scotlands budget. If they fail to do this, they will continue to hemourage votes to UKIP.
       
      Just look at this…
      http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-hnU0f14z9c&h=GAQHljGkX

    45. Nairn says:

      There are definitely precedents for a UKIP surge, and this argument that we shouldn’t be too concerned because they have no seats in Westminster and therefore won’t get any is really spurious. Farage regularly refers to the rise of the Reform Party in Canada, and that is a meaningful comparison.
      Reform went from 0 seats in 1988 to 52 out of 295 in 1993 as the Tory coalition splintered. Reform, under its admittedly charisma-free leader Preston Manning appealed directly to largely-rural and suburban socially-conservative voters in a specific part of the country with complaints against the biases of the Federal government, and the apparently unfair benefits given to a part of the country that was threatening to secede, to the point of being on the verge of a referendum.
      Within 10 years, Reform would successfully pull off a reverse takeover of the centrist rump that remained of the Progressive Conservative party, rebrand itself as the Conservative party and in a further three years from that, formed a government that we still have to live under.
      Farage has three advantages I can think of over Manning. He has charisma, he appeals to a larger base and more powerful region, and has positioned himself against a more-despised, more-distant Federal centre (Brussels rather than Ottawa). I see no reason why he can’t successfully repeat the Reform example.

    46. thejourneyman says:

      Lots of salient points in this thread today.
       
      I believe the elite classes have more influence on politics and governance than the great British public are willing to consider possible. What we are witnessing now is money moving the political discourse in the UK ever further right, which became really evident when the BBC presented the percentage breakdowns of the three main parties in theses first English local elections. The Liberal democrats are no more and you can’t split the difference between the Tories and UKIP whilst most already believe there was little between the Tories and New Labour in the first place.
       
      An EU referendum appears to be a certainty in the next couple of years and if you’ve listened to UKIPs views on the Scottish Parliament then without independence god only knows what our future will look like.
       
      It is time now for any truly Scottish Labour supporters with any desire for a fairer and more equitable Scotland to step up to the plate. If they believe in having a country where we can make the right decisions for the people of Scotland then surely they can now see that independence is the only answer.

    47. Tobias Smollett says:

      Patrick Roden said:
       
      “…Ukip will ask both the Labour and Tory Parties, what they will do to redress the unfairness, of Scotland getting more money than England.”
       
      It’s a win win situation for UKIP, the SNP and the Yes campaign Patrick.
       
      UKIP can chip away at the idea of the subsidy jockies and probably gain some extra traction, credence and votes from it.
       
      The SNP will be able to capitalise on the outrageous insults coming from England to reassure us that Independence is the only feasible escape from such a right wing hell hole.
       
      English Nationalism versus Scottish Nationalism. It’s a godsend for the idiots on both sides.

    48. tom says:

      Interesting to see the respect accorded to Farage et al by media after UKIP won council seats compared to scorn and vitriol poured on Salmond et al after SNP so thoroughly trounced all the “mainstream” political parties in Scottish Parliamentary election.

    49. scottish_skier says:

      Wo man. Headlines on setting a date for the EU referendum.

      Tories shouting about moving to the right. Farage on every front page.

      Let the poll shift acceleration begin.

      Events my dear boy, events.

    50. Tattie-boggle says:

      Most people think Farrage is a Pratt but what he says when he has his free run of the media seems to relate to quite a lot of folk down south. SCARY STUFF

    51. Carlo says:

      scottish_skier says:
      4 May, 2013 at 11:51 am

      The fact that lots of Tories want out of Europe and UKIP are desperate to pull the UK out can only enamour Europe further to a generally pro-EU scots electorate.
      ‘Jeez if Tories and UKIPers hate the EU, there must be something very good about it’.
      Rubbish, I’m Scottish and I don’t know anybody who wants to stay in the EU.
       

    52. Luigi says:

      Carlo,
      I know quite a few scots who are now worried about being torn out of Europe. Interestingly, the same people who currently consider Scotland is too small to go it alone, also think the UK is too small to go it alone. Can’t have it both ways!

    53. Carlo says:

      The UK gets absolutely no benefit from being in the EU, it costs £50 million a day (goverments own words) to be in the EU and until I see proof to the contrary I’ll stick with the view that Scotland needs to be out of the EU and keep the oil and gas money and invest it in Scotland and it’s citizens.

    54. Luigi says:

      Carlo, personally, I am still undecided on Europe. There are pros and cons. The main point is without independence, Scotland will have absolutely no say on the matter.

    55. Carlo says:

      Luigi, I want an independent Scotland to be 100% independent from the union and the EU, what’s the point of swapping the union for the eu?

    56. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Carlo
      Because no one would vote for it.

    57. Luigi says:

      Whatever I feel about Europe, I want it to be the democratic choice of the Scottish people. If an independent Scotland eventually decides to remain in, or leave Europe, so be it. I will accept it. What I cannot accept is that we currently have no real say on the matter.

    58. Carlo says:

      I’ll vote yes next year in the hope that us Scots will make the correct decision (In my opinion) to get out of the EU as I believe it’ll be the best thing for Scotland

    59. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Carlo
      A reasonable stance to take. We will have the 2016 Holyrood election and that will be the time for that. In the mean time I think it would frighten many people off. We need the EU as a safety net to reassure the hesitant.

    60. Carlo says:

      It’s going to be very interesting to see the battles between the parties at the 2016 elections if Scotland votes for independence next year and what promises they will make in regards to the eu and the euro.

    61. Laura says:

      Carlo,

      I too am undecided on the EU, but we need to weigh up the pros and cons. An independent Scotland would have a bigger voice at present we have none with Westminster making all the decisions (few of which have been beneficial to Scotland)

      There is a lot more to the EU than the media portrays and given that Scotland is a major exporter of goods we certainly need to keep the free trade open to us

      By the way if it costs £50M a day, that figure is for the whole of the UK and would I think be considerably less for Scotland and would be negotiated like everything else.

      You might ask how much it costs Scotland to be in the Union.

      However, independence first, then we can battle out the EU matter in 2016 when we will have a clearer indication on how it would work for Scotland
       

    62. CameronB says:

      @ Carlo
      I’m almost certainly on zee list due to my objection to the EU and another, shall we say more militaristic, pan-national organisation. There is one thing that is absolutely certain though, I will have absolutely zero opportunity to influence a vote on membership of such organisations, without independence from the union. I know an EU referendum is on the cards in Westminster, but my vote would still be highly unlikely to actually influence UK policy.
       
      Please vote Yes in 2014, so those living in Scotland can choose which associations Scotland wants to be part of.

    63. Chic McGregor says:

      I have always maintained that deferral on the issue of EU membership to the people of Scotland in a post independence referendum, should have been SNP and other pro-indy party policy.
       
      Of course, it would not make sense to hold one, until such time that Scotland has its new EU deal and until that new deal has been tested, so I guess we are talking a time frame of between 5-10 years after independence, but ultimately it should be up to the people to decide whether we stay in or not.
       
      Apart from losing votes for indy, as it surely would, by including the EU issue in the referendum, it does not make logical sense or indeed is it democratically just.  How can people decide on EU membership without knowing how good (or how bad) a deal Scotland is going to get?
       
      Even if a majority voted for ‘Independence in the EU’ that would tie the hands of Scotland’s post independence EU negotiators since the EU side could use that plebiscite to water down any offer.
       
      But by deferring the decision to a post independence plebiscite commitment, not only would that be the correct thing to do democratically, but it would concentrate the minds of EU negotiators during the ensuing post referendum new deal negotiations.
       
      It would also have pre-empted, and I suspect  thwarted both the Barossa bluster and the effect of Cameron’s referendum promise which will no doubt have drawn anti-EU support away from the Yes campaign.
       
      However, we are where we are.  It is probably too late to introduce such a strategically and democratically correct measure into the Bill.
       
      A major blunder, IMO.
       
       
       

    64. Patrick Roden says:

      I am also unconvinced about Europe….
      but, since a big part of BT’s smear campaign against independence, has been to say that should we vote YES, Scotland would be kicked out the EU.
      BT have warned us all that this would be a financial disaster.
       
      So the rise of Ukip along with the pressure for the Tories to bring forward a referendum on Europe, will play right into the hands of the Yes campaign.
       
      Once we have our independence we can get more onformation on the pros’ and cons’ of remaining members of the EU, but for now we are all die-hard Europeans, under threat from the extremists in Ukip. 😉

    65. Chic McGregor says:

      My point is that there was no need to do anything other than promise the Scottish people the final say in a post independence referendum (after any new deal has had time to be properly assessed by the electorate).
       
      That would have kept both the pro AND anti EU support happy, it would have been an overt acceptance of the principle of ‘Sovereignty of the People’,  it would be the right thing to do democratically (which would make it next to impossible for even the U-Press_Pack to rubbish), it would have pre-empted Barrosa’s fearmongering by assuming control of the situation, it would have pre-empted Cameron’s  futurendum which will have ‘stolen’ extreme EUphobes and it would have greatly strengthened the hand of Scotland’s EU negotiators regarding the new post independence deal.
       
      To me. that was always a no brainer and I cannot understand why that simple policy was not taken on by the SNP and other PI parties.
       
      IMO it would have saved so much grief, would have maximized the Yes vote support and would have lead to the best possible EU deal for Scotland.
       
      Also, adopting that policy would, by acknowledging an alternative possible future to the EU, have allowed the Scottish Government to overtly explore alternatives as a contingency, even right now (e.g. EFTA membership) which, IMO, would be a further referendum support winner.
       
      For the record,I am pro EU myself.

    66. RSF says:

      “We shouldn’t have to tolerate the stench of Kippers being carried north of the border inside British papers.  Nor can Scotland tolerate yet another party with no backing here seeking to impose their poisonous agenda. UKIP serve as a reminder that Britain may be only in the beginnings of decline.”

      http://athousandflowers.net/2013/05/05/weekly-wanker-007-ukip-wank-holiday-bonanza/



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