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The monsters of Foreignland

Posted on January 23, 2014 by

If it’s Thursday, it must be foreigners. Today’s terror attack on the independence movement is an attempted pincer movement, themed (again) around the dire menace posed to us by those swarthy, primitive, untrustworthy devils who don’t even speak the Queen’s English. And no, Glaswegian readers, we don’t mean people from Dundee. We’re talking about the ones from other countries.

foreignland

Because not only do some of these unspeakable aliens want to come and work and make a life in our green and pleasant land, they also want to bomb it and kill us all.

Following hot on the heels of the EU And International Issues paper from the UK government, warning us that an independent Scotland wouldn’t have the UK’s ability to invade countries full of brown people and kill them until their lives improved, Westminster today has issued another, this time full of frightening tales (“PASSPORT TO PANDEMONIUM!”, shrieks the Daily Mail’s thoughtful and considered coverage) of how hard it would be to stop immigrants swamping the nation and the “incredible expense” that would be entailed.

(Although it’s hard to see why they’d want to come here, as the volatility of oil would within weeks have left us impoverished, wandering the streets in rags and eating tree bark to survive due to the “frankly unmanageable” economic perils of independence, as outlined by Alistair Darling last week.)

Meanwhile, the Herald concentrates on a snippet of the latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey revealing that two thirds of Scots wouldn’t feel safe if an independent Scotland had its own armed forces, and want instead to stay with the UK military in case we’re invaded by, we don’t know, Papua New Guinea or something.

As we’ve covered the immigration issue in considerable depth already – the short version is that Scotland NEEDS more immigrants, and that countries with the same sort of simple and sensible border-control arrangements currently planned by the Scottish Government have conspicuously failed to be overrun by dastardly foreign hordes – we thought we’d take a look at the second aspect.

We have, to be fair, discussed that previously too. The bottom line is that in reality, Scotland basically has no need of an army at all. We need a navy to protect sea lanes and oil rigs and patrol the coast, and air support for it, but ground forces are purely a cosmetic and job-creating exercise. In the last THOUSAND years the only nation that’s ever tried to invade Scotland has been England, and the only other military attacks on Scottish soil were a tiny handful of Luftwaffe bombing raids, essentially comprising two murderous but short-lived raids on Clydebank in March 1941.

The reason that Scotland doesn’t need an army is that it has no military enemies. But, runs the fearmonger’s argument, what if one day we did? What if foes previously unknown and unimagined hoved across the horizon, threatening to establish beach-heads in Fife? (Except Dalgety Bay, of course, which thanks to the actions of the UK Ministry of Defence is too dangerous to invade, or indeed walk your dog on.)

Well, that’s why we’d be in NATO, of course. It is now beyond any dispute that an independent Scotland would be a member of the Alliance – all four main parties at Holyrood share the policy of membership, and the idea of NATO refusing to let Scotland join is farcical. Only the most deranged lunatics continue to dispute it.

And the fact of the matter is that in the entire 65-year history of the organisation, no NATO member country has ever been attacked militarily by any other state.

“Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty, requiring member states to come to the aid of any member state subject to an armed attack, was invoked for the first and only time after the 11 September 2001 attacks, after which troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the NATO-led ISAF.

The less potent Article 4, which merely invokes consultation among NATO members has been invoked three times, and only by Turkey: once in 2003 over the Iraq War, and twice in 2012 over the Syrian civil war after the downing of an unarmed Turkish F-4 reconnaissance jet and after a mortar was fired at Turkey from Syria.”

In an entire lifetime of uncountable global conflicts, the cast-iron rule of war has been that you don’t mess with a NATO state. The only invocation of Article 5 in all of those seven decades concerned a single terror attack on the USA, not by a country but by Islamic fundamentalists of several nationalities, against which armies were useless.

(The Argentinian invasion of the Falklands doesn’t count, because the islands are a British Overseas Territory and therefore not legally part of the UK, so not under NATO jurisdiction. Alongside the 9/11 attacks, what it shows is that having your own mighty national armies offers no inherent protection against attack. Just as the US is the biggest military power on Earth but it didn’t scare Al-Qaeda, the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent didn’t stop Argentina invading its territory.)

And of course, there’s supporting evidence for the assertion that you can be safe within NATO without needing to maintain your own massively oversized armed forces. As we’ve also noted before, Iceland occupies a key strategic position in the North Atlantic – just like Scotland – but has essentially no military at all. Yet it’s been neither occupied by the Russians nor beset by terrorists.

We must admit, we’re at a loss to understand why Scots would be so desperate to cling onto the UK armed forces, which compared to an independent Scottish Defence Force offer only a greater chance to get killed or have your legs blown off by an IED in a hostile country whose natives have no desire for British “liberation”.  And even as an employment opportunity the military is a declining attraction.

We suspect the reason is, once again, the UK media. Ever since the start of the first Iraq war – and since the end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, which gave the British Army a rather less lily-white reputation – the “OUR BRAVE BOYS” narrative has been inescapable in the press. Once-sombre commemorations of war dead have been turned into great jingoistic occasions. The slightest hint of anything which could conceivably be portrayed as “disrespect” brings about a torrent of opprobrium.

With no Scottish media owned in Scotland, once again the right-wing UK press is free to shape public opinion over years and decades, as with welfare and immigration. The relentless assault on Scottish values represents, ironically, a war of attrition. And for as long as Scots can be browbeaten into the irrational belief that we must spend vast sums of money defending ourselves needlessly against imaginary foreign enemies, it’s our own people who will be the casualties.

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    102 to “The monsters of Foreignland”

    1. heedtracker says:

      Scottish territorial seas are the North Atlantic but one of the saddest aspects of Trident is how its being used to attack Scottish democracy and by Labour in Scotland especially. Vote no or you will lose 19,000 Trident Faslane/Coulport navy jobs, greats like Ian Davidson and Johann Lamont fearmonger like only the BBC/BetterTogether can.

    2. Illy says:

      Personally, I prefer the Swiss solution to the army.

      Every able-bodied male (and any able-bodied woman who wants to) recieves military training, and is issued a fully automatic rifle and enough ammo to last while they get themselves to the redoubt.

      No major maintanence costs (there’s some top-level admin, and the training time and instructors, and the initial cost of providing gear), and there’s no way they can raise an army to go invading anywhere else. But if you’re ever invaded then you have your army already deployed in every town.

    3. Illy says:

      Of course, the problem with good ideas that save the nation money is that they tend to be, essentially, “these bunch of jobs are completely unnessecary”

      Does anyone know a good way to counter that?

    4. Jimbo says:

      The Westminster elite and their compliant UK MSM are turning Scotland into a country that is engrossed with fear.

    5. Dinnatouch says:

      The only logical conclusion is that Westminster is preparing to declare war to save our Orange skinned natives from the Fishy dictators.

    6. Macart says:

      I’ve often found the best way of turning strangers and furriners into friends is to say…

      … Hello, my name is.

      Some of the best stuff happens after you act like a friend instead of an officious bully.

    7. James Kay says:

      Thank you for another informative and thought-provoking article. Keep up the good work.

      I do, however, disagree with you on one point:

      ” … but ground forces are purely a cosmetic and job-creating exercise.”

      As good members – I hope – of both UN and NATO we will be expected to have an Army. There will be defence exercises, even if we do not expect an attack; and there is frequent need for peacekeepers around the world. We eill, I hope, play a fair part.

    8. Gillie says:

      Are we seeing the outcome of a brainwashing by both the UK government and by broadcast and newsprint media.

      If you keep plugging the “TOO POOR, TOO STUPID and TOO WEE” argument every day who is to say that it won’t have an effect.

      Is this what we are witnessing – I beginning to think we are.

      The referendum debate has been well and truly poisoned and we know exactly by who.

    9. HandandShrimp says:

      The Armed Forces proposals in the White Paper looked more than adequate to me. 4 modern Frigates and 2 OPB + patrol boats would see Scottish waters far more heavily protected than they are at the moment. Not entirely sure that the Typhoon was the most cost effective choice for a Scottish Air Force but again more than adequate to protect our skies for many years to come. A Defence Force of 10,000 or so is not going to have a lot to do in Scotland and is most likely, like Ireland, going to see its troops providing UN blue helmet cover. In short, a robust package without being over the top. Enough capability to attract recruits and enough depth to ensure that there would be a career and interesting range of duties.

      It answers the questions but of course Bitter Together’s response is “it’s a wish list, stupid, poor, wee countries couldn’t possibly build frigates… or train pilots…or march in a straight line”

      I believe Alistair Carmichaelmoore’s latest is a couple of hundred pages long discussing at length why it would be so confusing if there was Scottish passport…I mean it would probably have to have the word Scotland printed on the front. Don’t people know how much printers charge these days?

    10. Murray McCallum says:

      “The Army is being cut from 102,000 to 82,000 over a number of years, with the 20,000 posts expected to be gone by 2020. Navy numbers are expected to fall by 6,000, while the RAF will lose 5,000 staff.” The Portsmouth.co.uk/news link in the article.

      So vote ‘No’ to Scotland being a country running its own affairs in order to guarantee army, navy and air force job losses?

      The desire for the Trident nuclear deterrent seems to top all UKOK defense spending priorities.

      Can’t people see beyond the parades and commemorations?

    11. John H. says:

      I hope it’s not too early to go off topic,if so I apologize. First Ministers Questions are on just now. With all the suffering taking place in Scotland today, what does Johanne La-Mont choose to ask about? How can the F.M. justify his hotel bill at The Ryder Cup?

    12. Craig P says:

      I like the idea of a Swiss-style citizen army, though we’d probably have to reduce inequality first before issuing everyone with guns…

    13. HandandShrimp says:

      Johann is a political pygmy. I know a couple of Labour diehards who are less than impressed with her performance as leader. She doesn’t interview well, she goes missing everytime something difficult crops up and, in their opinion, she fails to pin Salmond down on important issues letting him swat her away with a laugh because the question is daft.

      Clearly Johann has been told to concentrate on attacking Salmond to the point of calling him names to the detrimermnt of any actual politics but at what cost to her own reputation and that of Scottish politics? She doesn’t look as shifty as Gray did, largely due to unfortunate mannerisms to be fair, but she has substituted shifty for ill tempered. Not much of a swap.

    14. benarmine says:

      As you say Rev, an army in itself is useless. I’d like to see instead an engineering corps established to be invited ( yes, imagine, invited rather than invading ) to post-conflict areas to aid in the rebuilding of infrastructure. Training and experience for our youth and a helping hand for other nations.

    15. FlimFlamMan says:

      @Illy

      Of course, the problem with good ideas that save the nation money is that they tend to be, essentially, “these bunch of jobs are completely unnessecary”

      Does anyone know a good way to counter that?

      To the extent that money needs to be saved, lack of Trident would save a huge amount. So how about the Scottish government taking over the order for the aircraft carriers being built on the Clyde — when Westminster cancels it after September — and having them fitted out as disaster response vessels.

      They could be the flagships of a new non-military service aimed purely at saving lives, and symbolic flagships of a new approach to what it means to be a nation state; a desire I seem to see in those wanting independence.

    16. bunter says:

      BBCs coverage of FMQ scuts out just before J Baillie gets her kicking. Boo, missed the fun.

    17. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “As good members – I hope – of both UN and NATO we will be expected to have an Army. There will be defence exercises, even if we do not expect an attack; and there is frequent need for peacekeepers around the world. We eill, I hope, play a fair part.”

      Absolutely. The point of the article is specifically the bewildering attachment to a large British army. Scotland doesn’t need ground forces at all for its own defence, but ONLY if we’re in NATO (for the purposes you outline). And if we’re in NATO we don’t need a big army, because nobody will attack us, because we’re in NATO.

    18. CameronB says:

      Whitehall will always want a nuclear deterrent, as it just wouldn’t do to allow the beastly French to get one up on the English. That was the informed view of a Scots born former head of the civil service, who’s name escapes me.

      1066 and all that.

    19. Jock says:

      It’s also worth pointing out that the only threats to Scotland’s territorial integrity post WW2 has been the re-alignment of territorial waters made by labour in the 1990’s and the recent suggestion that the rUK would annex Faslane. However, your summary of the invaders to Scotland in para 6 is factually incorrect in quite a few repsects

      Irish troops were abroad in Scotland in the 1640’s.Colkitto was fighting for ownership of land in Argyll rather than in favour of the King. Later than century there were some Dutch raids on the east coast. Pepys diary mentions an attack on Burntisland. Spanish troops landed and fought in the ’19 Jacobite rising and there were French Troops in the ’45. Hanoverian (meaning troops form Hanover rather than merely those acting in support of King George) and Dutch troops also played a role for the other side at times between 1688 -1746. Sailors from America’s fledgling navy under John Paul Jones also made a brief appearance during the American Revolution although they never repeated in Scotland what they achieved in Whitehaven. Zepplins raided Edinburgh in WW1 and the Luftwaffe attacks in Scotland were considerably more than the Clydebank Blitz you mentioned. For example, St Andrews was bombed on 5 separate occasions. Moreover, there was lots of naval action from 1939 to 1945 in Scottish Waters. I believe a U-boat sank a ship off Dunbar the day before VE day.

      I agree this is another draft project fear scare story.

    20. Brotyboy says:

      @ FlimFlamMan

      Great suggestion. Another way in which an Independent Scotland could show the world another way of operating.

    21. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

      @ Cameron B

      Yes, sigh, it’s a pity the English could never see being rid of the bloody things as getting one up on anyone.

    22. MochaChoca says:

      Here’s an extract of the ever objective BBC’s ‘Live Text’ report of FMQs

      12:31: SNP’s Fiona McLeod asks about inequality in society. FM says – surprise, surprise – that independence is needed to properly tackle it.

      You can’t raise an eyebrow in a text report so instead they actually type it.

    23. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      I quite like the idea of having an assault rifle under the bed, but the social constructs aren’t in place for a citizen’s militia.

      Yet.

      He said menacingly…

    24. MochaChoca says:

      “Personally, I prefer the Swiss solution to the army”

      This view seems to be supported by many on the NO side, I frequently hear them profess that a future SDF will only be equipped with Swiss army knifes.

    25. kininvie says:

      O/T

      Wings makes it into Cybernat Watch (no surprise there)

      https://twitter.com/AlanRoden/status/426320878452736002/photo/1

    26. Ken500 says:

      Westminster centrist economuc policies depopulated Scotland. They had to emigrate all over the world. Unemployment in Scotland was a price worth paying for jobs and prosperity in London S/E.

      Now a UK SS border agency roams Scotland looking for twa Indian crooks. You couldn’t make it up!

      Scotland is half empty, thanks to the Westminster comedians.

      They can have Trident back and park it up beside Westminster and pay for it. That can make them feel very safe. There are 15K Scottish soldiers in the British Army, guarding them. Mainly because unemployment levels were higher in Scotland. Put a cordon around Westminster to save the population from the lunatics.

      If an immigrant wants to go to London S/E, they go to London S/E. It saves travel time.

      Westminster policies causes all the problems.

    27. Patrick Roden says:

      It’s not foreigners we need defending from, it’s people like Alistair Carmichael who is now embroiled in the Hancock sex case that we need protected from.

      http://politicalscrapbook.net/2014/01/in-full-lawyers-letter-demanding-rennard-style-probe-into-mp-hancock/?utm_source=politicalscrapbook.net&utm_medium=psbook_featt&utm_campaign=psbook_featt4

    28. HandandShrimp says:

      MochaChoca

      Yup, that stuck out like a sore thumb.

      The fair and impartial BBC strikes again.

      What on earth was Johann on about? Was she in a time warp? The cost of the SG delagtion to Ryder cup was dealt with yonks ago. It s a matter of record that it covered 17 people. Does Cameron have to take questions on the cost of trade missions to China etc., will Milliband if he is ever PM? Johann’s idea of being FM seems to be that you sit in a bunker eating chips…….oh wait.

    29. Geoff Huijer says:

      O/T

      Tommy Sheriden will be speaking tonight about Independence at St Bryce Kirk, Kirkcaldy at 7.30pm (Thursday).

      All welcome – bring a ‘No’ or a ‘DK’.

    30. HandandShrimp says:

      Mocha

      LOL I think it was Tuesday night I saw a letter in the Metro (well it is free) from Carmela (presumabaly Carmela Forbes a denizen of Better Together’s Facebook page) talking about how we would have no armed forces, one boat and a helicopter if the rUK Government lent us one. It was a ridiculous letter lacking any substance but not untypical of the mindless guff that prevails on the Better Together Facebook page. It is something that they will not actually engage on matters of substance but prefer to hide behind the clearly absurd in the hope that some of it will stick in minds even if not entirely believed.

    31. Ken500 says:

      Rock on Tommy

      Don’t let the ‘B’s’ get you down

    32. Flower of Scotland says:

      Wars and Armies means money ! I see Haig etc are ranking up the pressure about Syria ! It must be time for another WAR ! Would certainly be a distraction for those thinking about Independence !
      O/t. What the heck is Jim Sillars playing at . Trying to DIVIDE and RULE ! He never got over losing the leadership of the SNP to Alex Salmond ! We don’t need this interference Jim !!

    33. Richard Taylor says:

      Battle of Largs anyone? 1263 I think. Having said that, the only serious attempts to invade and conquer Scotland have been from England, at least going back 1000 years.

    34. kininvie says:

      O/T

      I see the Daily Mail’s assault on vile cybernats continues. Yesterday, Mr Roden was sent more than enough examples of worse Britnat vileness to fill a column – but no mention of that.

      He’s expanding on the theme by suggesting that closer to the day, we are all going to ‘come out in public’, presumably in a rampaging mob shouting ‘("Quizmaster" - Ed)’ at old ladies and putting people’s windaes in…at least that’s the implication.

      Oh – we are also going to buy up all the tickets for Indyref events, so that we can shout down the studiously neutral and obective panellists.

      Very clear what’s going on. Demonise Salmond, propagate fear and lothing of cybernats, portray whole of Yes campaign as SNP-driven mob of fascist lunatics.
      Plus, there’s the sub-text: cybernats are always ‘organised’ or ‘coordinated’. Yes chaps, we’re back to Bulldog Drummond or Buchan at his worst, with a web of secret conspirators posing as humble railway workers and the like, organised by a malevolent (probably foreign or Jewish) power, determined on the downfall of the British State.

      Would be sad – if it wasn’t serious.

    35. MochaChoca says:

      @H & S
      Yes, I remember that name from the BT page. I gave up trying to argue against the articles on there over a year ago after being banned and having all my posts deleted for the umpteenth time.

      Only have a quick look now and again to see how much more slowly their ‘like’ and ‘talking about’ counts are increasing compared to the YES page.

    36. Brian Powell says:

      I suppose foreigners, wanting to destroy us, could invade through the vast empty spaces of Unionist politicians heads, there is nothing there to obstruct them.

    37. jingly jangly says:

      Jock
      The Irish troops that Colkitto were probably Scottish McDonalds, in those days Irish was used to describe Gaelic Speaking people in Scotland (As well as the Irish) I do know that Colkitto did have Northern Irish Macdonald’s help him out as well but in many cases the Irish referred to were Scottish.

      Incidently many years ago, myself and a few friends made a pilgrimage to his final resting place in Mallow, Eire. We laid a wreath on a spot above his crypt.

      It could be argued that he was Scotlands greatest ever Soldier and I can strongly recommend Highland Warrior by David Stephenson, I had a first edition which like the 2nd edition I had has not been returned to me. I have just done a search on Amazon and two copies priced, one at £981 the other at £1300. Think Im just about to make some phone calls to track the 2nd Edition down, Ive given up of every seeing the 1st Edition again!!!

    38. heedtracker says:

      Tory party promised huge military investment for Scotland starting with that “super” barracks investment vote/Tory promise outside Edinburgh but since then? Super barracks canceled, 400 year old Scottish regiments shipped out to Belfast, RAF Leuchars and Kinloss gone, Coast Guard cut back to almost nothing and on it goes.

      Is Westminster demilitarising Scotland because they know they are finished up here or is that wishful thinking.

    39. HandandShrimp says:

      Mocha

      Yes I was banned after half a dozen comments. I said nothing unpleasant just my usual application of logic to the slightly “out there” assertions. Carmela being an exponent of such.

      I occasionally comment on the No to Scotland Facebook page or whatever it is called. It amuses me as it seems to primarily populated by Tories and those of a less inclusive political outlook. The chap that runs it oft, I am sure, batting his head against a wall. When he ran a tribute to Mandela it was his own side he had to take the pruning shears to.

    40. handclapping says:

      @Geoff Huijer
      If you turn up at 7:30 you’ll probably not get in as it starts at 7pm. Should be interesting, if anyone can shew that it is not all about Alex Salmond then Tommy Sheridan talking Independence on the night of a Holyrood bye-election must be among the top contenders. 🙂

    41. AnneDon says:

      Hmm, the nearest thing to an attack on Scottish soil was the attack on Glasgow airport.

      Undetected by the mighty British defence and espionage industry, the attackers were foiled by a couple of holidaymakers and an offduty security guy all out having a fag.

      So London let us down, and we ended up doing it ourselves anyway. The same old song.

    42. AnneDon says:

      Re FMQs – and anything else Lamont says: Does anyone else think that Lamont’s speechwriter is actually trying to destroy her career? He couldn’t make her look more stupid if he was working for Cybernat Black Ops!

    43. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

      @ AnneDon

      As Kinivie says, “cybernats are always ‘organised’ or ‘coordinated’”

      So JoLa’s scriptwriter is simply trying to put muddy blue water between those disciplined hordes and a helplessly disorganised wee wummin slavering away on the side of the angels.

    44. Simon says:

      Illy, “these bunch of jobs are completely unnessecary”

      Does anyone know a good way to counter that?

      Well it seems to me that in most cases the jobs really are completely unneccessary. However the people and their skills and effort are not. What we _could_ do after independence is set these people to work on things that are actually useful to society rather than a drag on society.

      I love the idea of the carriers being fitted out as international disaster relief vessels.

    45. lumilumi says:

      Greetings from a monster Foreignland!

      Finland’s defence budget is approximately €2bn (£1.65bn). For that we get about 34,000 in uniform at any one time (27,000 army, 3,000 navy and 4,000 air force). The wartime potential strength is 350,000, but then our defence forces are based on universal male conscription.

      There are, of course, professional soldiers (officers) but all able-bodied men (boys – most do it when they’re in their late teens or early twenties) have to do 6 to 11 months military training, and then remain in the reserves until they’re 40. (Women can do the basic military training on a voluntary basis, and also go on to have careers in the military.) After the 6-11 month service they are NOT given assault rifles and ammo to keep under their beds at home!

      I’m not suggesting that an independent Scotland’s defence forces should be based on compulsory conscription because it’d be politically impossible and every country’s needs are different – for instance, the Finnish Navy is relatively small and Army huge – the reason is apparent if you look at a map.

      I just gave this snippet of info to demonstrate that even small independent countries can have viable defence forces. We, of course, don’t have nuclear weapons, or even submarines, but we participate actively in UN and EU peacekeeping missions, and I think we’re now providing air cover to Iceland as part of the Nordic military co-operation.

      Finland and Sweden are not members of NATO, Denmark, Norway and Iceland are, but that doesn’t stop us co-operating.

      The Scottish government’s plans for the SDF are entirely feasible, sensible and in line with comparable modern non-nuclear nations.

    46. Chris says:

      Regarding the number of people employed at Faslane.

      I have had a quick look on the MOD website and it states that “more than 6500 civilians and Service personnel are employed on the site”. A press release on gov.uk from 23 August 2013 states that the base currently supports “6,700 military and civilian jobs, increasing to 8,200 by 2022”. Wikipedia states that “It is base to 3,000 service personnel, 800 of their families and 4,000 civilian workers, largely from Babcock Marine, forming a major part of the economy of Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire.”

      The 20,000 jobs being stated in the media is an over-exaggeration although there will of course be secondary employment in the area. A Scottish Defence Force will require maintain 6,700 jobs at Faslane through basing the Navy & Army there something it will be more than capable of doing. Civilian jobs will also still be required as present, so it is possible that employment at the site could go up especially with appropriate diversification of the existing facilities to civilian use. Also, as the service personnel in the SDF will be on the most part from Scotland, as opposed to the present RN which is formed from recruits throughout the UK, the secondary benefits to the local economy, and the Scottish economy, will be much greater.

    47. kininvie says:

      Great take on the passport nightmare from Yes HQ. Ridicule works where cold argument doesn’t:

      http://www.yesscotland.net/news/they-wont-erect-border-start-they-couldnt-get-it-work

    48. MochaChoca says:

      @H & S,

      Yes, I’m banned from there too (more than once).

      Noticed that they reposted an infographic from BT a week or two ago showing the relative levels in foreign aid given by the UK (2nd biggest budget) in comparison to other developed countries (the other big EU countries not far behind but the smaller northern way out in front on a per capita basis). But anyhow, the amount of venom and vitriol directed at the post from their own supporters was frightening basically calling for overseas aid to be immediately scrapped. WTF

    49. jingly jangly says:

      Chris
      According to the Mod in response to a FOI there are 520 civilian jobs at Faslane dependent on Trident.

    50. James123 says:

      I just read an article over on NNS and apparently the first question in the Greenock debate was “Would removing Trident leave Scotland open to attack?” That’s exactly the reason I rarely watch these debates.

    51. ronnie anderson says:

      Git they bloody 5 th colomiist,s oot Emburgh Zoo,(bugger the panda,u need tae chinge yer name).

      In case yer hivin a keek on this site Mr Murphy, Mr SALMOND FM, has no control over what I say, or do,but in calling name,s one name for you to remember, KATEY HOPKINS,keep yer heid doon,it gonna get worse,an that,s fae SLAB supporter,s/I Labour,ah,ll git roon tae you in ma ain time.

    52. Richard says:

      Chris

      I live in Helensburgh now and my wife was originally from car dross and went to school here.

      As I understand it, more than 80% of base personnel have permanent addresses elsewhere. Anecdotally, many of the large pubs are no longer open and the mod plod are not so active on the streets of Helensburgh of a weekend evening. Not sure how the base now makes a significant contribution to the local economy. Under SNP white Paper, more personnel will be based permanently in the area which will make a significant difference to the local economy AND visiting Russian fleets.

      Interestingly at an evening with neighbours, someone from the forces advised that new off base forces personnel had been advised not to buy houses in the local are pending outcome of referendum

      It should also be pointed out that only around 500 jobs are linked to trident and approx 25% are dahn sarf

    53. Richard says:

      O/T see predictive text ..

    54. Richard says:

      Scottish CND were up before ‘bayonet’ and his troops in the House of Commons. There is a minute somewhere that is well worth reading. Sorry can’t get to it but my dog is sleeping on me and my stuff is on another computer

    55. Kev says:

      O/T Regarding Cowdenbeath byelection.
      Labour candidate today says:”People can either elect an SNP candidate who will put breaking up Britain before anything else…People are fed up with the SNP putting Scotland on hold to fight a referendum”

      SNP candidate says “If I am elected I will use my vote to deliver extended childcare and to fund free school meals for children in primaries one to three, saving families at least £330 for every eligible child…
      I will back the Scottish budget and secure the council tax freeze that will save Fife households more than £1600 on average by 2016/17.”

      And I wonder who Fifers will vote for – a candidate with clear, concise policies with supporting figures or one that spouts nothing but vague, negative drivel…Pretty sure it will be the latter…

      http://news.stv.tv/politics/261402-voting-gets-under-way-as-polls-open-in-cowdenbeath-by-election/

    56. Mc Duff says:

      I think a Scottish “defence force“ is an unfortunate term as it suggests a kind of “dad`s` army outfit and although defence is what its purpose will be,i think the SNP should start and describe it as the Scottish “army“,navy and airforce. I believe this would allay fears that clearly exists in the public perception.

    57. proudscot says:

      My reservation to a Swiss-style Scottish Defence Citizen Militia, would be the unfortunately sizeable number of both Orange Order and IRA supporting bigots and fanatics we have in Scotland.

      Obviously the Swiss do not have this type of problem lurking amongst their population. We would have to do a lot of ultimately expensive background checking, before deciding which of our citizens could NOT be militarily trained and then issued with guns. Otherwise, just imagine the carnage which would ensue at any future Old Firm match, for example!

      Mind you, come to think of it, this could also have the effect of reducing the number of such knuckle-draggers in our society … hmm, maybe worth considering …

    58. Andy-B says:

      Very good piece Rev, and as you say Iceland is the perfect example, of a nation, with no need to spend vast amounts of cash on defence, why would they.

      O/T I do apologise.

      A former European Court Judge, has insisted that Scotland wouldn’t be ejected from the EU. Sir David Edward, said the EU wouldn’t risk their security by losing power over their largest sea area.

      Sir David Edward went on to say a separate Scotland’s case for a seamless transition would be boosted, by the drastic consequences of unpicking our EU rights and reassembling them.

      Sir Edward a leading expert respected by academics and MSP’s blasted EU Commissioner Manuel Barroso, and EU council President Herman Van Rompuy, and warns of dire consequences, if other EU leaders took the view that Scotland would need to reapply for EU entry.

      Sir Edward ended with the whole land and sea territory of the separating state,(Scotland), would cease to be within the jurisdiction of the EU, this would lead to very important security considerations.

      Source Daily Record no link found I’m afraid

    59. Bigdrone says:

      On the subject of defence and Trident renewal, on a recent leafletting exercise, a reason given to me by a no voter for the retention was in case we are attacked by North Korea!! It’s debateable what is worse, the above scenario or the barrage of lethal warheads from Westminster!!

    60. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “A former European Court Judge, has insisted that Scotland wouldn’t be ejected from the EU”

      Yep, that story’s next up.

    61. Edward says:

      Andy-B
      The story was also in the Herald
      http://archive.is/iMWOT

      I pointed out at the time in the article that he was right and that the EU would suddenly find itself with a very large chunk of fishing area out of bounds to EU fishermen.

      This will annoy some in Spain and Portugal who rely on these grounds for a living.

      As someone who knows Portugal specifically, can vouch that they would be more than upset to find that their supply of salted Cod had dried up! Cod being very much the main stay of the Portuguese diet.

      There is a level of complete ignorance within the EU, which is fostered by Westminster, that somehow if Scotland ends the union with England that the UK will remain as is and continue on and EU access the large fishing area will remain open , which, if Scotland somehow finds itself out of the EU, will change.

      This in itself puts paid to all the dross that spews forth from Westminster regarding EU membership

    62. chalks says:

      I see many online papers etc are reporting about this Ryder Cup stuff.

      Delegation of 18 / £54,000 = £3k for a week trip in Chicago.

      Nae bad.

    63. john king says:

      “Only the most deranged lunatics continue to dispute it.”

      Thats you telt Lord George Robertson of Balamory 🙂

    64. john king says:

      “This view seems to be supported by many on the NO side, I frequently hear them profess that a future SDF will only be equipped with Swiss army knifes.”

      Don’t forget the M.R.E.

      apparently its a beef and tomato pot noodle.

    65. Davy says:

      My passport has ran out, does this mean I will have to leave Scotland ? That question is as stupid as anything Alistair Carmichael spouts out about border controls.

      Our friends in the NO campaign appear to be getting their nickers in a twist about everything just now, infact I am surprised we can even take a breath without the UK’s help.

      Do we need fully professional Scottish armed forces, absolutely we do. One of the fundmental needs of a country is its security, it needs to know that its armed forces are large enough, trained to the highest level, and have the best equipment avaiable to ensure their citizens safety.

      If we try to do our armed forces on the cheap we will be doing our country a great dis-service, a country likes being proud of its armed services, and any person prepared to serve and put their life at risk for our country deserve’s the very best back from our country.

      The Scottish armed forces must not become plaything for our political partys to bounce back and forth between themselves just to win votes for elections. Our armed forces must be regarded as an asset to Scotland and be treated as such by all political parties through some form of joint agreement.

      Surely we don’t want the men and women whom will serve our country to end up not knowing if they are to receive their P45 everytime there is another election, you know the Westminster way.

      We may be starting fresh with our armed forces, at least it means we can get it right.

    66. john king says:

      “Tommy Sheriden will be speaking tonight about Independence at St Bryce Kirk, Kirkcaldy at 7.30pm (Thursday).

      All welcome – bring a ‘No’ or a ‘DK’.”

      Am gaun so’s greetin face 🙂

    67. john king says:

      McDuff says

      “I think a Scottish “defence force“ is an unfortunate term as it suggests a kind of “dad`s` army outfit”

      Try sayin that to the Israeli Defence Force they’d tak ye oot quicker that you could say Entebbe.

    68. Macandroid says:

      AnneDon

      “if he was working for Cybernat Black Ops”

      Shh – it’s true!

    69. lumilumi says:

      chalks @3.26pm

      I watched FMQs live today and felt like banging my head on the desk, like Nicola Sturgeon almost did. JoLa was (again) that dismal.

      I thought the whole idea of FMQs was to hold government to account on their major policies, not nag about some old hotel bill. Fair enough, a government shouldn’t squander taxpayers’ money on all kinds of foreign junkets, but, like you said, 3k per head (incl. airfare) for a week in Chicago isn’t bad. I wonder how much William Hague’s recent day jaunt north of the border cost?

      JoLa and Labour just use the FMQs as a vehicle to get their bileful soundbites out there with the help of the compliant BBC and other MSM. These petty, manufactured outrages lower the tone of political debate and bring the Scottish Parliament and, indeed, democracy in Scotland into disrepute. But that probably is their intention. Anything to keep Scotland tied to the rUK.

    70. call me dave says:

      Dispute about the Scottish Army numbers in iScotland.

      I know who I believe. Hammond might come up and give us a doing.

      http://archive.is/sgU9X

    71. desimond says:

      Reading this link about Australians becoming self-confident and shaking off any cringe factor….this could be us in the near future :

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25401024

    72. kalmar says:

      countries with the same sort of simple and sensible border-control arrangements currently planned by the Scottish Government have conspicuously failed to be overrun by dastardly foreign hordes – we thought we’d take a look at the second aspect.

      Again, I do not agree that the comparison with Ireland is a good one. Ireland *has* very well policed borders with the the mainland.
      Visa-holding non-EU persons cannot get from Ireland to England (as illegal immigrants), because of the very well policed borders.
      They *could* do so from Scotland to England, as things stand.
      (Yes, they can easily get to N.I. from Ireland – but that’s not the point, is it.)

      What’s the answer? I don’t know, but the comparison with Ireland seems like poor understanding or even misdirection, to this reader.

    73. call me dave says:

      chalk

      I agree with you, it’s a good deal. Lamont reminds me of that sign in the airport on return from foreign parts.

      ‘Welcome to the best wee country in the world’

      Imagine Lamont representing Scotland it is beyond comprehension as far as I’m concerned, that is the real ‘fear factor’.

      Bring on my Scottish passport.

    74. RoughMan says:

      @ john king & McDuff

      ‘“I think a Scottish “defence force“ is an unfortunate term as it suggests a kind of “dad`s` army outfit”’

      Try sayin that to the Israeli Defence Force they’d tak ye oot quicker that you could say Entebbe.

      …or to the Canadian Defence Forces…

    75. lumilumi says:

      Davy @ 3.49

      Indeed, I also think that the only credible alternative for the Scottish Defence Forces is a professional one. The Finnish model, which I briefly outlined above, wouldn’t work in newly independent Scotland.

      It works in Finland because of historical, political and cultural reasons. Independent Finland has always had unversal male conscription (6-12 months of military service, then in the reserves), and even now the vast majority of young men feel overwhelmingly positive about the compulsory military service. It’s a rite of passage thing, and the guys talk about their military service for years, even decades afterwards. 😀

      The Finnish “conscript army” has earned international credibility through its long standing and its proven track record in repelling the enemy in 1939-1945, and then in UN peacekeeping missions.

      A newly independent country’s conscript military force wouldn’t have that track record. A bit like credit ratings in the financial world.

      It should be noted that the Finnish Defence Forces has a core of about 9,000 professional soldiers, e.g. all air force pilots are professional.

    76. Davy says:

      I also had the pleasure of watching FMQ’s today and it was great, to actually see the mental capabilitys of Lamont, Davidson & Rennie at full blast, it was astonishing.

      The First Minister must have thought it was Xmas time again to receive so many gifts, Lamont must make her supporters cringe with her highly thought out question about expenses for the ryder cup trip. But even after he explained it to her two to three times she still did’nt get it, so he proceeded to give her a right doing on her final question.

      Davidson college question was dispatched with little more than an explaination to a child about grown up stuff and then she was sent out the room. And Willie Rennie said something about ??? well it was bound to be something about two year old’s childcare, honest I can’t remember.

      but the BBC switched it off just as Jackie Ballie was going to ask a question, I am sure it was contain something like “SNP accused or Salmond accused. If anyone does know Ballie’s question lets know.

    77. chalks says:

      @Kalmar

      Simply put, N.Ireland is part of the UK.

      We would both share a land border with the UK.

      Correct me if I’m off the chart here, but visa holders have a visa due to:

      Working here
      Studying here

      So why on earth would they run off to England?

    78. JLT says:

      Illy says:

      Personally, I prefer the Swiss solution to the army.

      Every able-bodied male (and any able-bodied woman who wants to) recieves military training, and is issued a fully automatic rifle and enough ammo to last while they get themselves to the redoubt.

      No disrespect Lily, but that seriously terrifies me. This is Scotland! Can you imagine even if a 20th of the nation was in possession of a gun!
      I have visions of ‘Gunfight at the ‘OF’ Corral’ on Old Firm days, and only god knows what the A+E would be like in every city over a 96 hour period from a Thursday night to a Sunday night!

    79. kalmar says:

      Simply put, N.Ireland is part of the UK.

      We would both share a land border with the UK.

      But that’s not relevant. The complainers are worried about illegal immigrants getting to London or the Home Counties or whatever, not NI.

      The fact that “they both share a land border” is a technicality.

      Correct me if I’m off the chart here, but visa holders have a visa due to:

      Working here
      Studying here

      So why on earth would they run off to England?

      I dunno, the streets are paved with gold or something?

      Again, this is what the scare stories assert, and pointing out that they don’t currently bother running off to Northern Ireland doesn’t answer it.

    80. Davy says:

      “lumilumi”,

      At some time in the future I could actually see a form of conscription for all 16 – 20 year olds for 6 to 12 months, with them being required to train with either our armed forces, our NHS, social services, coastguard & fisheries, police etc.

      Basicly a form of citzen training to equip them for the future ahead and for them to learn that a country does not run by its-self and to respect the organsations that do that work.

      Just a thought.

      PS, my son could do with a few months on the bins.

    81. Richard says:

      I like the title of the Scottish defence force. Clear and concise.

      The UKOK ministry of defence is in financial trouble because they spend all the money ATTACKING people with brown coloured skin in far away lands in an attempt to establish democracy there. They haven’t got the concept of defence straight in their heads.

    82. lumilumi says:

      Davy @ 4.40

      Willie Rennie asked about police stop & search, how the numbers are proportionally higher in Scotland than the rest of the UK, and how (disturbingly, I think), 500 children under 10 have been stopped & searched – I missed over how long a period ( a year? five years?)

      In a way it was a proper “liberal” question, especially the one about kids being stopped & searched, but Willie Rennie didn’¨t give much detail or facts on that.

      Alex Salmond then focussed on how knife and other violet crime has gone down, how crime is at a 39-year low, homicide the lowest it’s ever been since record began etc. He didn’t say anything about under 10-yr-olds being stopped & searched.

    83. ayemachrihanish says:

      “I believe that we live in a union of five – Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the remarkable international city state of London”.  British Nationalist & Tory Scottish Leader – Johann Lamont. 22..01.2014

      I agree with the Mayor of London,

      BORIS is right: London should keep more of its tax money. Too much of London’s GDP is transferred via the tax system to other parts of the UK, a situation which is bad for both sides. Londoners pay too much tax, and those in receipt of the cash become too dependent on it. 

    84. tony o'neill says:

      LOL,sorry but as long as there is an england,an independent scotland will need an army.

    85. lumilumi says:

      Davy @ 5.01

      I think you’d find that sort of “national service” politically (and culturally) impossible in Scotland 😀

      “Doing the military” is so ingrained in the Finnish psyche that even now alternatives are a bit frowned upon, the thinking being that “the Army will make boys men”. (That rite of passage thing.)

      Women in Finland don’t have to do military service but they can if they want to, and go on to military careers.

      Not all young men have to do military service, either. If you object to military service on religious or ethical grounds, you can do “civilian service”, which is some training (basic first aid, fire and rescue, policing, civil defence etc.) and then serving at national/local goverment, health service, non-profit organisations etc.

      Every year 5-10% of young men are deemed physically or mentally unfit for military service, and 7% opt for the civilian service but still the vast majority do the military and, in the end, seem to have enjoyed the experience – the camaraderie, the horrible officers, marching through mosquito-infested bogs or skiing with a full pack and sleeping in tents when it’s -20 celcius…

      The stories are endless, it sounds like a big boy scout camp with real guns. Bit of a safe macho thing 🙂 My dad is over 70 and did his service in the late 1950s but he immediately connects with his 19-20 year-old grand-nephews when they begin to “talk military”.

      A conscript army can provide a lot of social cohesion across generations and also across social classes. The richest and the poorest are thrown together and have the same experiences for 6 months or up to a year.

      After the initial military service men in their twenties and early thirties are every now and then called in for “refreshers” lasting 2-7 days. You can get out of them due to work or family commitments, but many outdoorsy people quite welcome the chance of getting out of the office and “roughing it” in semi-wilderness at government expense. Accumulate enough “refresher” days and you might even be promoted in your reserve military rank!

      Sorry for the long post (again) but I was just trying to explaing some cultural and practical differences about the Finnish Defence Forces and the possible Scottish Defence Forces.

      (As to the name: I think you’ll find that most countries call their military “defence forces”. Some countries just “defend” themselves in foreign countries like Iraq or Afghanistan…)

    86. Bingo Wings Over Scotland says:

      That Dad’s Army picture accompanying Rev’s article takes me back to being a kid in the 70’s. I remember asking every time it came on tv why they had union flags but Clive Dunn sang “if you think Old England’s done”. I usually got answered with a shrug, and I could never understand nobody else seemed to care.

    87. GrahamB says:

      The Argentinian invasion of the Falklands doesn’t count, because the islands are a British Overseas Territory and therefore not legally part of the UK But they are allowed to use ‘the English Pound’!

      I’ve always, well for the last decade at least, been of the opinion that we have no need for an army as we hopefully will never need to invade anyone, not even Carlisle or Berwick, and noone is likely to invade such an economic liability as Scotland. Iceland manages fine without an Army. The modern UK army is comprised of mercenaries or at best economic conscripts from extremely deprived areas.

    88. McDuff says:

      RoughMan and John King

      I am not interested in what other countries call their armed forces ,what I am interested in is votes for independence and the recent poll has indicated a lack of confidence in a “defence force“. I merely suggested a possible name change that might allay some of the insecurities felt by people who feel it might not be a proper army. I personally couldn`t give a damn what its called.

    89. Chris says:

      @jingly jangly, @Richard,

      Thanks for the info- only 520 civilian jobs related to Trident and many service personnel domiciled elsewhere. So much for the economic benefit from Trident!

    90. john king says:

      “I’ve always, well for the last decade at least, been of the opinion that we have no need for an army as we hopefully will never need to invade anyone, not even Carlisle or Berwick,”

      Well, maybe Berwick 🙂

    91. john king says:

      Bingo wings over Scotland

      It wasnt Clive Dunne who sang the theme to Dads Army it was Bud Flanangan

    92. john king says:

      “Sorry for the long post (again)”

      Really? I didn’t think it was that long 🙂

      some people can write two paragraphs and you lose the will to live before the end,

      your not one of them Lumilumi 🙂

    93. Fairliered says:

      I don’t think I should be trusted with an assault rifle! I am an evil cybernat who only lives 3 miles away from Alex (braveheart) Gallagher. Who, incidentally, like all good socialists, lives in a detached bungalow on a private estate,

    94. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Mc Duff says:
      23 January, 2014 at 2:55 pmI think a Scottish “defence force“ is an unfortunate term as it suggests a kind of “dad`s` army outfit and although defence is what its purpose will be,i think the SNP should start and describe it as the Scottish “army“,navy and airforce.

      You could, as someone else has said, add the IDF (who no one in their right mind messes with) and the likes of the SADF who are also hard as nails.

      Public perception frequently doesn’t get anywhere close to reality. The words ‘defence force,’ much like ‘nationalist,’ do not always refer to the same type of beast. A whole different animal sits under defence force compared to Walmington on Sea’s finest under Mr Mainwaring. People would realise that in short order.

    95. chalks says:

      @Kalmar – I’m pointing out reality.

      If it was you, you came over here to study in Scotland, say Edinburgh uni, WHY WOULD YOU RUN OFF TO ENGLAND?

      Likewise if you work in Scotland, generally speaking people who get visas here have very good jobs, WHY WOULD YOU RUN OFF TO ENGLAND?

      It’s nonsense, it’s complete tosh, think about it.

      And the point about N.Ireland IS RELEVANT as you may not be aware that they also receive the same welfare benefits as on the ‘mainland’ and yet they are not inundated with full time working visa holders from Dublin nor students from Dublin.

    96. Albert Herring says:

      Hmmm. Keep working as a brain surgeon in Edinburgh, or run away to London to wash dishes as an illegal alien?

      No brainer really.

    97. Dick Gaughan says:

      Isn’t it heartening to see the Unionists so concerned about losing Scottish jobs if we shut down Faslane?

      These will be the same Unionists who were barricading the pits, steelworks and shipyards to stop them being shut with the loss of thousands of Scottish jobs. Aye, right.

    98. Bingo Wings Over Scotland says:

      It wasnt Clive Dunne who sang the theme to Dads Army it was Bud Flanangan

      Thanks JK. That’s bound to come in handy in a future pub quiz.

    99. kalmar says:

      @chalks

      If it was you, you came over here to study in Scotland, say Edinburgh uni, WHY WOULD YOU RUN OFF TO ENGLAND?

      Family already there? Who knows, there must be plenty of reasons, there are certainly lots of people who would like to get into England by any means possible, including dangerous and illegal routes currently.

      And the point about N.Ireland IS RELEVANT as you may not be aware that they also receive the same welfare benefits as on the ‘mainland’

      I didn’t say anything about benefits! Illegal immigrants don’t qualify for benefits anyway. London in particular is seen as a desirable destination for immigrants, and lots of them find their way there. Northern Ireland just isn’t, and that’s why it’s a fatuous argument.

    100. Lindsey Smith says:

      When you say ther we’d only 2 raids during WW2, and those wee on Glaegow, that’s not quite right. Aberdeen had at least one raid that took lives at Hall Russell and in the town, but there wee also dumping Luftwaffe planes who offloaded their bomb bays on Aberdeen, after being too damaged by ack ack to make to Glasgow. You should look at ‘Far wir ye fan the sireen went?’ It shows how badly Aberdeen suffered.



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