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The limits of democracy

Posted on August 17, 2013 by

We’ve already noted part of Willie Rennie’s appearance on Newnight Scotland this week, reinforcing the strange phenomenon by which the Unionist parties continue to suggest that an independent Scotland would be a dictatorial state more reminiscent of Zimbabwe than a modern western democracy with a proportionally-elected parliament.

willierennienato2

But the full transcript of the segment (provided by our excellent and much-valued new transcribing department) adds a little meat to the bones. It’s fascinating stuff.

(NB YOUR PARAMETERS OF “FASCINATING” MAY VARY.)

———————————————————————————————————

RAYMOND BUCHANAN: OK, Willie Rennie, you told the Scotsman newspaper today, “If the SNP want to ditch Trident, they need to ditch NATO too.” Where’s your evidence for that?

WILLIE RENNIE: I mean nobody is denying the reports about what NATO officials have said are true. Nobody is denying that today. Even Nicola Sturgeon didn’t do that. She’s already making demands of NATO, which we haven’t even joined yet.

What I’m disappointed, actually, about, is that Bill [Ramsay of SNP CND] seems to have moved his position from last year. He said that NATO membership was inconsistent with getting rid of Trident. He said it was inconsistent. So I’m not quite sure why they’ve watered down their position. I actually agree with them – the two were inconsistent – but now he seems to have come in line. I don’t know whether he’s had a call from SNP HQ.

But the most important thing here is those people who believe in NATO as a cornerstone of our defence in Europe and with our western allies, a nuclear alliance, if they believe in NATO, they should think twice about supporting independence, because independence might well be inconsistent with being a member of NATO.

BUCHANAN: Let’s get some basics, first of all. Is Scotland in the North Atlantic?

RENNIE: Yes, of course it is.

BUCHANAN: Does it have a functioning democratic political system, based on a market economy?

RENNIE: As part of the United Kingdom it does, yes.

BUCHANAN: Would it, as an independent country?

RENNIE: Well it’s not an independent country, so it doesn’t.

BUCHANAN: If it were, do you think it would have a functioning democratic political system with a market economy?

RENNIE: I, I, I… I suppose so.

BUCHANAN: You’re not quite sure on that. Do you think it would have fair treatment of minority populations?

RENNIE: I would think so.

BUCHANAN: Do you think it would have a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict, the ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations?

RENNIE: Well, that’s where the real test comes, isn’t it? It depends what you mean as a meaningful contribution. Does it accept the fact that NATO is a nuclear alliance – which it is – which members of NATO have to accept, even if they themselves do not have nuclear weapons?

BUCHANAN: Do you think it would have a commitment to democratic civil-military relations and institutional structures, and do you think that, that, that, that, if that is the case, if all these boxes can be ticked (and most of them surely can be), then what is your reasoning for suggesting that independent Scotland would not be welcomed as a member of NATO? These are some of the entry criteria for NATO.

RENNIE: Well, what they’re seeking to do is to undermine the rest of the United Kingdom, or the UK’s nuclear deterrent, by asking, by requesting, by demanding that it leaves the Clyde. The rest of NATO might have something to say about that, if one of its key members – one of its key members – its nuclear deterrence was undermined by…

BUCHANAN: One of its entry criteria is a functioning democratic political system. If the political system determines that Scotland should be independent and nuclear-free, then surely they’re being very consistent with NATO’s principles by being democratic and expressing the democratic will of the Scottish people?

RENNIE: No, no. Because they’re seeking to undermine the nuclear deterrence of what would be another country. That’s the crucial point. They’re actually… it’s not as if they’re some kind of passive participant in this process. They would actually be actively seeking to undermine another member of NATO and its defence system.

———————————————————————————————————

It shouldn’t need pointing out that Rennie’s core point, such as it is, is bunk. Scotland would NOT be “actively seeking to undermine another member of NATO and its defence system”. Even if the rUK couldn’t find anywhere else to put Trident or come to some temporary arrangement with Scotland, it would remain protected by NATO’s “nuclear umbrella” whether it had its own nukes or not.

But the more interesting aspect is Rennie’s self-contradicting insistence that Scotland should be a democracy (or in his apparent view, newly become one) in order to meet NATO entry criteria, yet should then ignore the democratically-expressed wishes of its people if they choose to elect a party on an anti-nuclear platform.

Or possibly, he’s saying that democracy is all very well just so long as it isn’t used to decide anything important, or if it’s always supervised/controlled by a bigger partner. As a member of a party which ditched most of its 2010 election manifesto at the first sign of a junior ministerial Daimler, we suppose we can see why he’d think that.

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    72 to “The limits of democracy”

    1. Jiggsbro says:

      Or possibly, he’s saying that democracy is all very well, just so long as it isn’t used to decide anything important
       
      Democracy is fine as long as people make the right choice. It’s when they make the wrong choice that the establishment has to take matters in to its own hands.

    2. Andy-B says:

      So according to Rennie, Scotland after independence even though its a democratic society with market trading, it still might not be welcome in NATO because we dont want to house WMD’s.
       
      This statement doesnt hold water, their are 28 member states of NATO and only three are nuclear states, France, USA and the UK, the other twenty five states  are nuclear free, Scotland has a strategic position in the North Atlantic, and I for one cant see NATO shunning Scotland, however I can see Scotland shunning Rennie and his Project Fear cohorts.

    3. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      As a member of a party which ditched most of its 2010 election manifesto at the first sign of a ministerial Daimler, we suppose we can see why he’d think that.

      Then the price of their political prostitution has risen way above inflation.

      In Jim Wallace’s (err I forgot he is now Lord Wallace, which must have a measurable value—what is the going rate these days) day it was a a Ministerial Mondeo.  I wonder if it had a radio and electric windows then?

      I so wish I could find a  copy of that photo taken on the steps of Bute House.

    4. handclapping says:

      What I don’t get is his idea that Scotland’s wish to go non-nuclear is Scotland’s problem. If you build your swimming pool in your neighbour’s garden, when he asks for his garden back, its you that has a problem, not him. If its rUk’s missile, its rUK’s problem. If they are gifting us Trident, we can dismantle it as and when we want.

    5. Juteman says:

      The sad thing is, in a real democratic country, the media would eat this idiot for breakfast,
      The media is meant to expose incompetence in politicians, not cover it up.

    6. proudscot says:

      Well, at least he didn’t repeat the same arrogant MoD suggestion that the Faslane Trident Subs Base and the Coulport UK Nukes Dump Site be annexed, and thus remain UK/English sovereign territories in an independent Scotland. Mind you, the Anti-Scotland Secretary of State Mickey Moore has been strangely silent on that suggestion too. And to spread the net wider, so has the normally mouthy Jim Murphy and Anas Sarwar of Labour, not to mention the chairman of the Separashun Committee, Ian Davidson!

    7. William pirrie says:

      Modern Democracy Consists of Putting  The Mark Of An Uneducated Person (hence The X)  Agains The  name Of Another Uneducated  Person In The Belief That That Person Will Represent Your Interests.  Where Has It Gone Wrong?

    8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Dunno, William, but you were clearly off sick the day they did “When To Use Capital Letters” 😉

    9. HandandShrimp says:

      Think Jiggsbro has it there.

    10. Red squirrel says:

      He reminds me of the grinning face on an orange space hopper – which probably has a more reasoned approach to NATO. Wouldn’t be difficult.

    11. Craig M says:

      Rennie is betting on a No vote and the rewards that he think will be his due on that outcome (peerage etc). Ok Willie, we can see your loyal, you’ve convinced us.

    12. William pirrie says:

      Don’t Know What Is Happening But For Some  Reason Everytime I Enter A Post On This Site All My Words Get Capitalised, Very Frustrating.

    13. HandandShrimp says:

      proudscot
       
      Cameron kicked that suggestion into touch so the territorial issue is a non-starter and that is the crux of the matter. There would be no territorial dispute and no NATO country has the right to demand that another country NATO or not houses all its WMDs. No other country has ever done that.

    14. Alfresco Dent says:

      @ Jiggsbro
      “Democracy is fine as long as people make the right choice. It’s when they make the wrong choice that the establishment has to take matters in to its own hands”.
       
      Egypt, in a nutshell.

    15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “we can see your loyal”

      The Willie Rennie Loyal is one of the most disturbing branches of the Orange Order.

    16. Andy-B says:

      O/T Rev.
       
      I see the failing tabliods ae beginning to feel the pressure now,
      Gannet the US owners of the Herald Titles has to them to enforce job cuts at The Hearld,Evening Times and Sunday Herald, up to twenty editorial jobs are to be slashed, Newsquest  want to remove a number sub-editors, to bring costs down, The Scotsman newspaper has already snapped up several sub editors from other rags.
       
      So it begins the downfall, of the house of cards

    17. Alabaman says:

      I’ll tell you what Orr Wullie was thinking during that interview, (God, I wish they had not 
      closed Kelty bus depot, I might need a day job after this)

    18. Eddie says:

      The Orange Order itself is very disturbing, very much so. 
      That aside, Willie Rennie is obviously a floundering eejit among the NotBetterTogether camp and given that they see him as their rising star, I don’t see much hope for any of them when it comes down to some decent questions from nuetral journalists.  As things become more intense as we near the referendum date, I can only see the unionist lies grow bigger and more idiotic.

    19. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Dear Mr Rennie.
       
      Can you please read this extract from an article on Newsnet Scotland site and explain to us all WHY Scotland can NOT be nuclear free AND a member of NATO.
       
      However it has emerged that a clear precedent for a country demanding the removal of a NATO nuclear submarine base from its territory, and then acceding to NATO, has already been established.  Spain’s insistence on the closure of a US Polaris submarine base had no negative impact on the country’s application to join NATO.

      With the death of the dictator Franco in 1975, Spain began negotiations with the USA for the removal of American nuclear submarines from the joint Spanish-US naval base at Rota, near the city of Cádiz.  Following an agreement between the dictator and the US government in 1964, the base had been used to refit and support American nuclear submarines carrying Polaris missiles, and to store the missiles’ nuclear warheads. 

      A treaty between Spain and the USA agreeing the removal of the submarines and warheads was ratified by the US Senate in 1976.  The removal of the nuclear weapons system was complete by 1979.  Spain joined NATO in 1982, after its transition to democracy.

      Although Spain had insisted upon the removal of NATO nuclear submarines and missiles, this did not prevent the country from acceding to NATO or accepting the so-called “nuclear first strike” doctrine.  This is the policy by which the USA maintains it has the right to make first use of nuclear weapons in time of war. 
       
      http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/7868-nato-unionist-nuclear-attacks-undermined-by-spanish-precedent

    20. Mah auld bunnet says:

      So some folk think after Indy NATO might not let us in. We could throw the dummy oot and say. That’s a pity! I think ye better move yer missiles pretty sharpish then!”. I think they’ll soon come round and pass the entry cert. It’s unlikely to be needed though as our plans are to be more suitably roled for NATO in the North Atlantic than UK are now.

    21. Murray McCallum says:

      Lib Dem Manifesto: 2010 General Election party policy – Lib Dems would “put British values of decency and the rule of law back at the heart of our foreign policy
       
      I guess “decency” and “rule of law” at the heart of British foreign policy could never possibly extend to an independent Scotland created after a universal democratic referendum, could it?

    22. Roll_On_2014 says:

      Watching oor Wullies interview reminded me of this sketch.

      Rool Britannia, Britannia Rooles the waves…..
       

    23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Can you please read this extract from an article on Newsnet Scotland”

      …already covered on Wings a month ago, of course:

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-unnecessary-umbrella/

    24. Jimbo says:

      “RENNIE: No, no. Because they’re seeking to undermine the nuclear deterrence of what would be another country.”
       
      As opposed to: We’re seeking to undermine an independent Scotland by imposing what would be another country’s (unwanted) nuclear deterrence upon Scotland’s people.

    25. Vronsky says:

      “Do you think it would have a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict, the ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations?”

      ‘cos peaceful resolution of conflict is what NATO does, isn’t it?  FFS, I really must step back out this looking glass.

    26. Peter A Bell says:

      Willie Rennie’s role as a quote dispenser for the anti-independence campaign suggests that it may be reasonable to take him to be a good barometer of British nationalist thinking. Which is cause for considerable concern.

      Note the reluctance to allow that an independent Scotland would be a functioning democracy. Is it that Rennie actually doubts the democratic credentials of the Scottish Parliament? Is it that he has reservations about the democratic effectiveness of the electoral system which was, after all, designed by the British parties for their own purposes?

      Is it that he questions the commitment to democratic principles of the people of Scotland?

      Or could it be that, put to the test, he was torn between acknowledging Scottish democracy and maintaining Project Fear’s line that independence would inevitably lead to some kind of one-party dictatorship?

      And what are we to make of Rennie’s barely coherent babbling about “the UK’s nuclear deterrent”? Is it really the view of the British parties that rUK should be permitted to impose its WMD on another sovereign nation against the democratically expressed wishes of the people? What kind of democracy is this?

      To whatever extent it may be sensible to take Rennie seriously it seems that arrogant, aggressive imperialism continues to be a defining characteristic of the British state – even if Scotland is one of the few remaining places where this overbearing sense of unchallengeable entitlement can be exercised.

      Why would anybody vote to keep Scotland in this position? Why would anybody vote to empower people who hold Scotland, its Parliament and its people in such casual contempt?

      Why would anybody vote No in Scotland’s independence referendum?

    27. rabb says:

      One would assume that the result of the talks between the Scottish government & NATO will render Willie’s argument dead when the white paper is released.
       
      Talking about the white paper. It had better be tighter than a camel’s arsehole in a sandstorm if the undecided are to be won over in big numbers.

      The big questions need to be addressed in titanium fashion.

    28. Tony Little says:

      Can anyone with greater knowledge than me clarify what I understand is the “legal” elephant in the room.  AFAIAA the Non-proliferation treaty prohibits the development or ownership of nuclear weapons by “new” states. i.e. states that do not (did not) already have them.  Hence the faux outrage with North korea and Iran.
       
      Now, if as the Westminster/dependency campaign professes, an iScotland would be a NEW country, i.e. NOT a joint successor state, then surely as an outward-looking international supporting country seeking to stake a claim in the world, it would look to sign up to the NNP;  So it COULD NOT house WMD within its borders?
       
      If I recall, the NNP prohibits not only new states from possession, but also prohibits them from directly or indirectly supporting WMD in existing states.  So even if it wanted to, an iScotland could not house the rUK’s nukes.  Or did I get that wrong?

    29. Jiggsbro says:

      ‘cos peaceful resolution of conflict is what NATO does, isn’t it?
       
      No, NATO does military operations, for when your commitment to peaceful resolution comes up against someone else’s commitment to war. NATO is a mutual defence organisation – members agree to assist other members if they are engaged in conflict – and so it requires its members to commit to avoiding conflict if possible and avoiding dragging other countries into conflict.

    30. Tony Little says:

      @Peter, regarding the ‘democracy’ of iScotland – this has already been expressed by a Mr Anas Sarwar, has it not.  “Holyrood is NOT a democratic place in the conventional sense. It is a dictatorship of one man sitting in Bute House”.
       
      [Note to grammer teachers, where does the punctuation go in a quote – I’m not sure I had that lesson.  Thanks]

    31. Seasick Dave says:

      Psst, agent Rennie, your doing a braw job.
       
       

    32. silvermcg says:

      He hurts my head.
       

    33. cynicalHighlander says:

      He’s trying to outdo Johann in incoherent logic and after that episode its neck and neck.

    34. Jiggsbro says:

      Why would anybody vote No in Scotland’s independence referendum?
       
      We’re too blah, too blah, too blah, two world wars ,waffle, 300 years, waffle, most successful union in UK history, mumble, fat Nazi, mumble,drowning in oil, cough, Liverpool granny, erm, foreigners, blah, when will the SNP answer these questions?
       
       

    35. Tony Little says:

      @Jiggsbro
       
      But NATO shot that fox over the Kosovo conflict when it launched a series of air-raids (for over 70 days) against primarily civil targets in Serbia.  The military ones had been destroyed within days of the attacks commencing.  Serbia (Yugoslavia) was not attacking anyone in NATO, there was no “defensive” position to maintain, it was an aggressive act.  NOT what the founding principles of NATO were for.  That shark has been jumped, and of course led to the offensive employment of NATO forces in other campaigns.  [I am not going to debate the “rights or wrongs” of the bombing, simply that it took place, ostensibly outwith the NATO guidelines].

    36. Juteman says:

      OT.
      Watching the World Championships in Moscow, and the coverage has the usual Union Jackery.
      It’s strange that they don’t show the medal table, as they did every 5 minutes in the Olympics.
      Could this be that the Worlds only has sports that depend on natural talent, and not sports like Rowing that depend on a public school background?

    37. Macart says:

      He’s even funnier second time around. 🙂
       
      @Tony Little
       
      No I believe you’re spot on. Without specific permission of the ‘new’ state’s administration the non proliferation treaty would mean removal of the system at the earliest opportunity. At least that’s how I understand it.

    38. Jiggsbro says:

      But NATO shot that fox over the Kosovo conflict when it launched a series of air-raids (for over 70 days) against primarily civil targets in Serbia.
       
      Which fox? The one about engaging in military operations? I think they’ve always been pretty open about being a military alliance.
       
      Now, if as the Westminster/dependency campaign professes, an iScotland would be a NEW country, i.e. NOT a joint successor state, then surely as an outward-looking international supporting country seeking to stake a claim in the world, it would look to sign up to the NNP;  So it COULD NOT house WMD within its borders?
       
      It could house them. It just couldn’t own or operate them.

    39. Alasdair says:

      Jiggsbro says:
      17 August, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Or possibly, he’s saying that democracy is all very well, just so long as it isn’t used to decide anything important
       
      Democracy is fine as long as people make the right choice. It’s when they make the wrong choice that the establishment has to take matters in to its own hands.”

      The truth of our current democratic system  is really little more than exists to allow an exclusive minority to exercise control over the vast majority by providing the illusion of choice and influence.

      The larger the electorate the less choice and influence they have.

    40. BrianFujisan says:

      But where does Rennie: say this “Scotland should be a democracy, except if it’s inconvenient for the rUK”

    41. wullie says:

      poor wee willie he just wants to live under westminster rule. Here is a wee hint willie, you and the rest of your unionist pals can just go and live there, there is nothing to stop you, if you think it is so wonderful. This will save you all the bother of trying to drag other people with you. Just go we will be fine. That goes for everyone else that wants that kind of government. 

    42. Inbhir Anainn says:

      The 28 member states of NATO consist of the following:
       
      Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Rep, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.

    43. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      The unionist parties appear to be accepting that after independence they will be unelectable in Scotland.Hence their frequent references to a one party state.We will need new parties which will represent the interests of their electorate rather than party interests.At present,on the nuclear issue,they do not represent the views of their Scottish electorate but instead those of the establishment in London.What democracy ?

    44. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Inbhir – Thanks for your bold post but could you explain what point you are making? Thanks

    45. Tony Little says:

      @Jiggsbro
       
      Re: NNP.  You may be right, but wouldn’t ‘housing’ be a form of indirect support to the WMD owned by the rUK?  I don’t know, that;s why I asked, and it may be that you are absolutely correct.  Worth clarifying though, don’t you think?

    46. James Kay says:

      Andrew Marr’s recent thoughts on the Referendum had a lot of food for thought, with points for and against both sides. 
       
      He was quite clear, however, that if Scotland goes independent, he will be applying for a Scottish Passport. Have any other prominent politicians/commentators made such clear statements?
       
      Have they been asked? Is it time to ask each one directly?
       
      What answer, I wonder, would Mr. Rennie give?

    47. Tony Little says:

      Archie.  I assume the number of non-nuclear members as opposed to thew three nuclear ones?  So iScotland would be simply another non-nuclear member. 

    48. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Tony Little – Thanks for that.
      @ Inbhir – Thanks for your post and keep them coming. Would you be happy for an Independent Scotland to be with the non-nuclear members?

    49. Xaracen says:

      [Note to grammer teachers, where does the punctuation go in a quote – I’m not sure I had that lesson.  Thanks]
      IANAGT, but the explanation I remember is that the full stop at the end of “Bute House” is part of that sentence so part of the quote, and therefore should be inside the quotes.
       
       

    50. faolie says:

      Think Andy Marr hit the nail on the head with his reference to possible loss of Trident and the rUK’s loss of their permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
      rUK: Look, we’ll build another base in England. It’ll only take 10 years, can’t you just wait?
      US: No it’s fine really. It’s probably a great time to just give them up now. Maybe you could spend some of the savings on more ships and tanks? That would be more useful to everyone. In any case, we’ve got enough nukes for everyone anyway, don’t you think?
      rUK: But, but, but…

    51. Inbhir Anainn says:

      @Archie [not Erchie]
      Very much so, I would indeed be happy for an Independent Scotland to be amongst the 25 other non-nuclear members of NATO.  For me Trident must go as soon and as safely as possible from Scottish waters.  To answer your other query I was just humbly listing the current 28 NATO member states no more no less.  Hail Alba VOTE YES in 2014.

    52. Vambomarbeleye says:

      Hang on! a share of trident is ours. So shall we hang onto one sub. Decomission it and display it some where. That should realy piss them off

    53. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Inbhir – Thanks for your reply and yes I totally agree with you. Interesting to see the current NATO member states with your italic highlights. Hope to meet you in Edinburgh next month.
      @ Jiggsbro – When I was at Camphill Secondary Modern in Paisley, there was a teacher called Morag the Merciless. She was legendary at using the belt [tawse] for minor spelling mistakes. I wonder whether Morag on this site will be chasing you with the belt for your recent ‘baited breath’. Aw c’mon its Saturday night and the Rev is tucked into Cornish Pastie with chips. See you at Edinburgh too.

    54. SCED300 says:

      Spain had nuclear bases removed from Spanish soil and it was not undermining another country . The man is an idiot.

    55. G H Graham says:

      Rennie cannot argue against the sovereign will of the people of Scotland post independence who reject Trident nor claim that Scotland would become a single party banana republic because he is currently a member of the Scottish parliament anyway.

      So he uses the nonsensical argument that Scotland will be denied NATO membership because its sovereign independence will prevent a neighbouring country from retaining its own nuclear defence system; presumably because he also agrees with the shite claim from Westminster that the cost to relocate Trident to England would be prohibitive & dangerous.

      That Westminster coughed up 9 billion for a sports gymkhana in London last year has pole vaulted over his head. And he is yet to explain why he thinks it is perfectly safe to park nuclear subs within a pizza delivery drive from Glasgow but unthinkable that they should be within a brothel’s drive from Portsmouth or Southampton.

    56. scottish_skier says:

      OT, but glad to see anti fascist (350) campaigners well out-numbered the English Defence League (130 according to the Herald) march in Edinburgh.

      http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/69336000/jpg/_69336927_photo.jpg

      Although I might ask WTF the EDL were doing in Edinburgh anyway.

    57. Dramfineday says:

      Archie [not Erchie] says: Morag the Merciless
      Steady up Archie, tin hat on mate, from memory Morag was going to the Peebles show today to help with the YES stall. She’ll be back with guns blazing in a wee while (gulp).

    58. HandandShrimp says:

      SS
       
      I think that was supposed to be the SDL but Scotland seems to incorporate large chunks of England now. I wonder what the turnout would have been if it truly had been the SDL alone?

    59. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Dramfineday – Gulp! She’s probably at Penicuik by now, I think the invisible cloak is in order.

    60. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ cynicalHighlander – Good link and a very interesting read. Can you imagine Willie Rennie coming out with something of the same quality?

    61. scaredy cat. says:

      I’m pretty sure that we won’t be allowed to keep WMDs, since a newly independent Scotland is likely to be in the hands of the evil dictator, Salmond. Perhaps we should call in the weapons inspectors ourselves and offer to let them remove them. I mean, surely we can’t be trusted with them anyway?

    62. ianbrotherhood says:

      Rennie always reminded me of someone…couldn’t quite place it…
      http://www.atomicbooks.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/m/a/madmag.jpg

    63. Gordon SMith says:

       
      I think this type of rhetoric is in preparation for the BT media spin next year. Media Hype that if we vote yes, Alex Salmond will force the constitution to be written as a one party (SNP ) State. All the comments I get from BT, on President Salmond etc, that Scotland somehow will not be a “Democracy”, points to this being a major strategy of Project fear. This combined with the cultivation and characterisation in the MSM as Alex Salmond being a Scottish “Robert Mugabe”.
       
      Has all the element to suggest this is one of the next dirty tricks strategies of BT running up to the referendum, to be played out in the compliant media.
       
       

    64. Ghengis says:

      Who would vote for such a person?
       
      Almost nobody!?:
       
      “Despite the overall collapse of the [LibDem] party in the election [2011] he managed to be elected as an additional member for the Mid Scotland and Fife region with 5.9% of the regional list vote.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Rennie
       
      .

    65. James Morton says:

      Jesus wept, can we mention again that Norway, joined Nato back in 1949 I think it was. Has no nukes. Hell Nato is desperately trying to get into Finland’s knickers and Finland is playing hard to get and Nato likes that. But what does Finland have in common with Norway…yeah you guessed it, No nukes.
      So here is wee Willie Rennie upstairs, downstairs in his night gown talking utter bollocks. Next thing you know, he’ll be saying his party is the guarantor of change in Scotland…oh wait a minute…he’s already done that one hasn’t he?

    66. deewal says:

      Britain does not have an independent nuclear deterrent … strategic considerations as far as Britain is concerned are no longer relevant … it could only be used after authority for the use of nuclear weapons had been conveyed from the President of the United States to SACEUR [the US general at Nato]. There is another price to pay that British strategists ignore. Britain and the United States are already in Breach of the NNPT.
      The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty expressly prohibits even the indirect sharing of nuclear weapons by the states that have them. The Third World, often led by South Africa, points out the long-standing Anglo-American violation. And fear of having the issue raised limits British attention to Chinese nuclear support for Pakistan and Russian and US support for India.
      The United States would be required to remove nuclear weapons from an Independent Scotland by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
       

    67. Patrick Roden says:

      If you think about the main thrust of Willies interview ‘but but but, the point I’m making, is Scotland will be seeking to undermine another nations nuclear capability, bla bla bla)
      The man is a compulsive liar ! Scotland will be doing no such thing.
      We will be asking Westminster to re-station the weapons outside of our newly Independent country, as we are a democratic nation, in whom the majority of people want these weapons removed.
      Willie/BT/Westminster, know this is something they cannot argue against, so they have tried to pre-empt this point by releasing polling ‘evidence’ haha, claiming to show that Scots aren’t too bothered about these weapons on the Clyde, as well as the usual unionist lackeys in the MSM writing articles to back this claim up.
      So Willie, or whoever is reading wings on his and his ilk’s behalf.
       
      What polling evidence clearly shows, is that the Scottish voting public do not want either Trident or the Liberal Democrats anywhere near Scotland and if you look at the history of the Tories in Scotland, some of the more intelligent among you, might come to the conclusion, that once the Scots feel a political party has betrayed or sold them out, we don’t forget or forgive them any time soon.
       
      So all you ‘Scottish’ Lib Dems out there, think for a moment what you would like to be doing in twenty years time, because it certainly wont be a democratically elected politician in Scotland.
       

    68. john king says:

      “(God, I wish they had not 
      closed Kelty bus depot, I might need a day job after this)”
      what? when?
      whatever next the post office? Lochgelly post office ? oh wait!

    69. James Morton says:

      @ Dewal Not only do we need approval from the US for their deployment, we don’t actually own them..we lease them from the US from a pool of missiles kept in storage in the US.

    70. Morag says:

      It was quite portentous at Cardrona yesterday.  One minute the LibDem tent was there, sitting between the Conservatives and the SNP, and the next minute it wasn’t.  What happened?  The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

    71. Angus says:

      “I think that was supposed to be the SDL but Scotland seems to incorporate large chunks of England now. I wonder what the turnout would have been if it truly had been the SDL alone?”
       
      About 20 knuckle draggers were maybe residents of Scotland the rest were definitely English -I was there with the good folk and the racist right wing types were pretty sheepish (compared to us) and totally isolated by the police at a cost of god knows what drafting in hundreds of them on overtime during the festival.



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