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The real choice that matters

Posted on February 21, 2013 by

This is the text of yesterday’s radio interview between BBC Scotland’s Glenn Campbell and Lord Malloch-Brown, the former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations who also served as a Foreign Office minister in the last UK Labour government. It seems reasonable to suggest that (a) he’s not a rabid SNP stooge, and (b) he’s a pretty good authority on how Europe works.

mallochbrown

The interview starts with the response to a question we don’t get to hear, and we’ve excised a few “um”s, “you know”s and “I mean”s for readability. All emphasis is ours. The transcript is otherwise verbatim.

————————————————————————————

LORD MALLOCH-BROWN: “Well, I think the interest is growing, I think people have been slow to understand that Scotland really is facing this historic choice. But it’s a choice with a lot of ramifications – on the one hand it speaks to the fact that people are seeing that all over the world, but particularly in Europe, communities are seeking a kind of smaller, more intense national identity as a subset of former national units, and so people are watching that phenomenon whether in Scotland or parts of Spain or Belgium etc.

The second more sort of practical diplomatic consequence people are watching for is what it would do to the United Kingdom or Britain’s standing in the world: would it in UN terms – well, I know particularly well – would it have a knock-on effect of costing Britain its Security Council seat, its permanent seat?

GLENN CAMPBELL: The UK goverment has actually published a paper on some of this in recent days, and it has concluded that the rest of the UK, in the event of Scottish independence, would carry on regardless and would, crucially, retain its seat on the UN Security Council. Do you see it that way?

LMB: Well I think it’s risky. I mean, I think Britain and France, as the two permanent European members, teeter on the edge a bit, because there’s a growing recognition that they are over-represented compared to the rest of the world. So while I’m sure the advice is good in law, politically we are in a period where people are casting around to find a reason to open up this debate about permanent members.

At the moment that debate is a little bit in eclipse – it was more intense a few years ago – but something like this might trigger it again. And I think the other big international implication is, what if you get a combination of a sort of one-two referendum, where first the referendum is won here on independence, and then the UK votes to leave Europe? You then have this very anomalous, strange situation where perhaps hypothetically Scotland is part of Europe and Britain isn’t – or England isn’t, rather.

GC: Do you think that possibility will influence thinking in the Chancelleries of Europe?

LMB: I think, to be honest, you know, in many Chancelleries the idea of keeping Scotland but losing the rest of Britain would be, uh… a consolation prize of sorts, but it certainly wouldn’t make up for the major loss. In general at the moment, because these are all hypotheticals and combinations that it’s hard to predict, I would characterise the influence, or the interest, of the US and elsewhere in what’s happening as curiosity veering on concern, but not yet a sense that Britain’s constitutional relations are in major crisis.

GC: How involved will other countries become in our domestic debate? Will the United States, for instance, want to stick an oar in, as it has appeared to do in the wider UK debate on its future in the European Union?

LMB: I suspect the United States may be tempted to, in the same way that it tried to send a message that London would lose influence if the UK left Europe. I can see that it might similarly want to send a message that Edinburgh would have less influence on its own.

If they were asking my advice, I’d strongly encourage them to keep out of it, and I think ultimately in most capitals that would be the conclusion, that foreign unsolicited advice is only going to kind of anger Scots, and that Scots should be broadly left – or Britain and Scots, the Scottish, should be broadly left – to sort this out amongst themselves.

GC: When it comes to the vote, if there is a Yes vote for independence – obviously more consequences flow from that than from a No vote – how would Scotland’s position in the EU be dealt with, do you think? Would, politically, other EU countries be looking to keep Scotland in and smooth the way, or make things a little trickier?

LMB: I don’t think they’d have any particular reason to want to make things tricky for Scotland. I mean, I think the fact that Scotland would likely remain very pro-European would mean they’d be anxious to embrace Scotland and bring it in. So if they were going to make the issue embarrassing for anybody it’s more likely they’d make it embarrassing for London, with whom they have, you know, bigger problems.

So my own guess is whatever the legal formalities, in terms of the political will if Scotland were – being hypothetical – were to vote for independence, I think Europe would try to smooth its way into taking its place as a European member.

Now, having said that, it’s not to deny or diminish the fact that there are problems. One, on this whole issue of what does Scotland inherit in terms of rights to a seat at the table in Brussels, and secondly, we may well be at a point where there are a lot of very impatient countries to the east, impatient that they’re not getting membership that they want, and where, who would make the case “What are you doing putting Scotland at the top of the queue?”

So I can see that some might make trouble over it, but I still think that in a strange way Scotland’s always had this historically closer, better relationship with Europe than many other parts of the UK, and I think, I anticipate it would be welcomed to the table in Brussels.

GC: Without a fresh application?

LMB: I don’t know. I mean, I read the same legal advice you did, I think there are various different points of view, I just… it’s too much of a hypothetical.

GC: But what you did say with some conviction was that the European Union, its member states, might want to make things more difficult for the rest of the UK in the circumstances of Scottish independence. What did you mean by that?

LMB: The UK will by that point be winding up for its own referendum on membership. It’s quite possible that this will have made relations between London and Brussels and the other European capitals pretty ragged, and in that context, if it happens, I can see many in Europe desiring to use Scotland as a little bit of a kind of Trojan horse or cattle prod to have a go at the English.

GC: Two new member states rather than one?

LMB: Well, that’s, you know, anything is possible. But all I’m saying is that Europe, continental Europe, does not view its problem as being with Edinburgh, but with London.

GC: Let me ask you about some of the wider implications of a Yes vote for independence in Scotland. We’ve had a lot of talk in recent days about thousands of treaties requiring to be reworked for an independent Scotland, and obviously membership of international organisations like the UN needing to be sorted. How difficult a business is the setting up of a new state?

LMB: Most of that can be done pretty quickly, and I think to be honest people are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill for political reasons in some of how this is reported.

I mean after all, the UN started with 48 states, it now I think has 192 or 193 – I’m never quite sure, there are always one or two more get added between the last time I looked – and so it’s very used to bringing in states, everything from putting their flag up from outside the UN to slotting them into seats at the General Assembly to writing their names into treaties and having them sign in. This is an organisation – not THAT many things work smoothly in the UN, but the addition of a new member is something they’ve had a lot of practice at.

Frankly, the underlying issue that Scotland has to reflect on is that probably it can get in to pretty much all of these organisations with relative ease – months rather than years, and certainly if it is years a few short years – but it may in many of them have a diminished voice versus when it was part of the broader United Kingdom, and it’s going to have to make that choice.

But my own view is that this shouldn’t really be allowed to become a major issue in the rights and wrongs of independence. This is process, matters that can be solved. The real question for Scots is “Do we have a bigger voice in the world as part of the United Kingdom, or speaking with a more authentic Scottish voice on international affairs?”, and I think that’s the real choice that matters.

————————————————————————————

So what’s the short version? The noble Lord’s extremely well-informed opinion is that the UK’s permanent seat on the UN Security Council would indeed be at risk in the event of Scottish independence (contrary to the assertions in the UK government’s recent paper), and that an independent Scotland’s negotiations with international organisations like the EU and UN would be straightforward and concluded swiftly (as claimed by the Scottish Government in its transition “roadmap” document earlier this month), with Scotland’s path to accession being made as smooth as possible by all the bodies concerned.

It surely is an unsolvable mystery why the UK government keeps refusing to ask the EU for a definitive statement on the European ramifications of a Yes vote.

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107 to “The real choice that matters”

  1. It is a breath of fresh air to read something like this – it’s fair, reasonably phrased and wary of being drawn into treating the hypothetical as the factual.  Both sides could learn from this.  I couldn’t help but resonate with:

    “The real question for Scots is “Do we have a bigger voice in the world as part of the United Kingdom, or speaking with a more authentic Scottish voice on international affairs?”, and I think that’s the real choice that matters.”

    He managed to articulate with this one statement the whole crux of the international issues.  It’s commendable.

  2. Cuphook says:

    I found it refreshing to hear a politician giving an honest and considered opinion. Imagine if they all did that.
     
    On the article itself: I think we should all send a link to the BBC radio interview to everyone who has ever worried about how little old Scotland would manage in the big bad world.  

  3. FreddieThreepwood says:

    Any chance this will be the last ‘expert’ to opine on Scotland’s bureaucratic path to independence so we can get on with discussing the actual pros and cons of said independence?
    No, thought not. I await the No Campaign’s latest boffin to be wheeled out ‘ere long.

  4. Macart says:

    Ooooh nice! I think I’ll toddle along to CiF and drop a link. 🙂

  5. Scott says:

    Whisper it, but giving clout to the opinions of experienced people who know what they’re talking about, and who have no incentive to trim their every utterance to the winds of party/electoral interest, is a (small, fragile) argument in favour of the House of Lords. At least some of them.
     
    Occasionally. In an advisory-only role.
     
    Oh, nevermind.

  6. Cuphook says:

    I was trying to find out what time the result of Glasgow Uni’s referendum will be in and came across this article in Huffpost Students. It does look like more and more people are discovering the hollowness of the No campaign’s arguments.

  7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Whisper it, but giving clout to the opinions of experienced people who know what they’re talking about, and who have no incentive to trim their every utterance to the winds of party/electoral interest, is a (small, fragile) argument in favour of the House of Lords. At least some of them.
     
    Occasionally. In an advisory-only role.
     
    Oh, nevermind.”

    Actually, I pretty much agree. The execution is one thing, but the principle of an unelected chamber who can look at things without being paralysed by the need to win their seat every five years is a good one.

  8. Aplinal says:

    Rev
     
    “It surely is an unsolvable mystery why the UK government keeps refusing to ask the EU for a definitive statement on the European ramifications of a Yes vote.”
     
    I assume you mean it’s entirely solvable!  They already know the answer and don’t want to formalise it as it would support everything the Former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations had to say.  Interestingly (NOT) the BBC did not in fact give him his appropriate former title, relying instead on a former minister if the Uk government.  Quite a bias by omission IMHO.  Still, par for the course for the BBC/Pravda in Scotland.

  9. Aucheorn says:

    Cuphook
    Result about 8pm.

  10. Nikostratos says:

     
     
    ‘the UK’s permanent seat on the UN Security Council would indeed be at risk’
     
    And you can of course direct us to where he actually said this??
     
    ‘and that an independent Scotland’s negotiations with international organisations like the EU and UN would be straightforward and concluded swiftly’
     
    And you can of course direct us to where he actually said this??
     
    Perhaps you should repeat what he actually said and not
    what you imagined he said.
     
    The entire tenor of his interview can be sunned as
    ‘he thinks’ ‘my own view’ ‘it’s too much of a hypothetical.’
     
    But in snp la la land its a definite
    Lord Malloch-Brown, was briefly United Nations Deputy Secretary-General. His term of office at the UN began on 1 April 2006 and ended on 31 December 2006,
    He has an opinion as an amateur  observer  no more no less fair enough
    but bigging him up as  expert just reveals the paucity of the snp and your argument.
     
     

  11. Malcolm says:

    Anyone who can annoy John Bolton enough to demand an apology is a good ‘un in my book.

  12. Jeannie says:

    @Nikostratos
    Niko – I just love your posts.  They’re a hoot!

  13. Doug says:

    Niko
    Stu did actually transcribe the interview verbatim (unlike many other media outlets). The paraphrasing does reflect the tenor of the interview.  And whilst all opinions are, indeed, opinions, his is a well informed one of those.

    As usual you are blethering…

  14. muttley79 says:

    Does anybody think it significant that over the past few months this site has seen noticeable more posts from the likes of Grahamski and Niko?  Why have they chosen us to grace us with their wisdom, and positive thoughts for the union?  We keep getting told by the MSM and the No campaign that a No vote is virtually assured.  Yet we have had an influx of unionist trolls (with an exception for Willie Z) recently.  It is almost as if the gap between the Yes and No has narrowed…

  15. Rabb says:

    Niko,
    Was that painfull?
    Come over to the Yes camp and it’ll all go away 🙂

  16. Jeannie says:

    @muttley79
    Do you mean they’re not just doing it for a laugh? Oops.

  17. NorthBrit says:

    @Nikostratos
    “Perhaps you should repeat what he actually said and not what you imagined he said.”
    The article is the transcript of what he actually said.  RevStu got it mostly right.
    E.g. “would it in UN terms – world I know particularly well – would it have a knock-on effect of costing Britain its Security Council seat, its permanent seat?” “Well I think it’s risky. I mean, I think you know, Britain and France, as the two permanent European members, teeter on the edge a bit, because there’s a growing recognition that they are over-represented compared to the rest of the world.”
    There does not appear to be any other interpretation than the Security Council seat is at risk.
    Even by the batshit standards of SLab you seem to be clinging to sanity by your fingernails.  

  18. scottish_skier says:

    It’s good to see Niko openly questioning the views of senior Labour politicians. A brave first step.

  19. DMW42 says:

    Ah, you’ve joined us Niko, I guess your Bitter Together ‘talking points’ meeting has finished then.

  20. Alan MacD says:

    Getting a wee bit nervous about this Glasgow Uni Referendum…. I mean surely, if any demographic is sure to vote for a yes its young inspired students with the world ahead of them who havent yet been ground down into conformity …
    Anybody know how to get some updates? Anybody know anyone there….
    Im abroad right now but would certainly be trying to blag my way in if i was in Glasgow still, Canni beat a Glasgow Union for a bit of a shindig.
    Rev you got a wee article lined up?

  21. CameronB says:

    Me thinks white man speak with forked tongue.
     
    He is a career colonialist, who begins by conflating the Union with One Nation Britain. Is he going off-script by admitting that it is the permanent seat that is the jewel in the crown? There is a lot of Scottish support for NATO. Was he also acknowledging the prospect of England becoming Airstrip One, in the immediate future? He then completely down-plays the strategic Geo-political significance of Scotland, and the influence that will be brought to bear on the referendum process, by powerful outside interests (bubblegum anyone?). Spinning on a pinhead, LMB then suggest that the US might have a quiet word with the SG, to tell them we will loose international influence. Better together eh.
     
    I think LMB is winding us down, after Farage has been helped to wind us up,
     
     

  22. Cuphook says:

    @Aucheorn
     
    Thanks. STV are live blogging here but I imagine it’ll hit Twitter pretty fast. It seems to be pretty busy at the polls.

  23. Nikostratos says:

     
    NorthBrit says
    ‘mostly right.’
     
    well for the snp thats a massive step foreword i mean almost true 
    Why the obscenity??? .
     
     
    muttley79 
     
    Guess i wont be getting an xmas card of you then
    but i still consider you a friend.
     
    scottish_skier
     
    is in my Genes
     
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/schizophrenia-genes-damage-iq-as-you-age-1-2801941
     
    Schizophrenia genes ‘damage IQ as you age’
     
     
     

  24. NorthBrit says:

    @Nikostratos
    It is impossible to refer to the obscenity that is SLab without referring to it by name.

  25. Bill McLean says:

    Are the uni voters Scots residents only or is it open to anyone who attends the uni- that could make a big difference to the outcome.

  26. G H Graham says:

    The UK government mystery has been solved; they won’t ask the EU for a definitive statement on the European ramifications of a Yes vote because they already know the answer.
    It won’t be a carbon copy of what was suggested in the article above but will generally fall in line with Malloch Browns’ suggestion that the most likely outcome will be that Scotland will remain in the EU while it settles some administrative issues. And that will take at best a few months and at worst a couple of years. The same goes for the UN which all the more problematic for London.
    You see, the problem is Britain’s not Scotland’s because it creates an opportunity for other nations to beat Britain & the UN with a stick because of the substantiated perception that Britain is sitting in a chair that is too big for its arse. Moving Britain from a lounge chair to a 2 legged stool in the UN allows other nations to collectively re-adjust the power base. This worries London & Washington.
    But it’s this answer that bankrupt Britain does not want to share with anyone because it makes the transition from dependent to independent from an international perspective, all rather cosy & easy while it creates political problems for what remains of Bankrupt Britain.
    The unionists would rather Scots believe that it is so difficult, economically painful & politically damaging that it’s safer to vote no. But here’s the key. Is safer for Britain. Safety for Scotland is just a consolation prize. It is London’s interests that are at the heart of this argument. Openly arguing for London’s interests to be protected by preserving the union, makes Britain look weak, even before the negotiations have started.
    There’s your answer; puzzle solved.
    Next problem please!

  27. Keith B says:

    Meanwhile……

    ‘We’ll stay neutral,’ says US ambassador Susman – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-21535425

  28. Cuphook says:

    @Bill McLean
     
    The actual referendum is open to anyone resident in Scotland and on the electoral register. A lot of people who originate from other countries are active in Yes Scotland, and that includes students.

  29. Keith B says:

    meant to add
     
    ….interesting, especially when you concider
     
    Obama backs India on permanent UN Security Council seat – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11711007
     
    and that
     
    France Backs India’s Security Council Claims – http://www.indiawest.com/news/9055-france-backs-india-s-security-council-claims.html

  30. Braco says:

    Lay off Niko yous!
    He has proven himself A True Unionist.  Being the only one, in my experience, hounorable enough to fight for his cause to the bitter end and then take the required steps to satisfy that painful logic when it became apparent that his passion and fire had remained unwanted and unused by his political ‘betters’. Niko, as a worthy enemy, I salute you and welcome you with open arms into a free and independent Scotland (and it’s Labour Party, although I say you’d still be too good for it).   
    http://mrmxyzptlkaa.blogspot.pt/2011_05_01_archive.html 
    (death of a blogger half way down)
    Niko, to me your writings and attitudes come across as inspired by the ‘insanity’ of a dead John Brown, but your political position in today’s battlefield (again to me) makes you more of a dead ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. Is this how you would want to be viewed? You need at least to try and free the slaves if you want heart felt songs sung about you. Old Stonewall had songs and was loved, but only by those that were dependent upon him (and are all now fortunately able to sing them to him in person).
    So Niko, I am begging you, bring your otherwise humain madness to the side of the Free and I will sing songs of you! Stay where you are, with who you are with, and you can sadly only moulder.

  31. Bill McLean says:

    Cuphook – I was asking only about the uni referendum. Would it not be right that the same referendum rules apply to that? Are foreign students deemed to be resident? I don’t know!

  32. hootsmoneditor says:

    Trying to get this gravatar thingy to work.

  33. Braco says:

    Sorry you must then click on The title of Niko’s page that I linked to in my last post, for some reason?

  34. leswil says:

    Have I just heard some words of sanity?
     
    Now how’s about the MSM and the BBC in particular?????????????????//

  35. Cuphook says:

    @Bill McLean
     
    I know. I was trying to explain, too quickly to make sense, that whatever the actual rules that apply at Glasgow Uni, the real referendum is open to a great number of what the No campaign (AKA UKOK) call ‘foreigners’ as, in the spirit of Tony Blair’s ‘parish council’ jibe, it’s considered a local election. With this in mind I don’t think we need be concerned as to the rules applied at GU.
     
    Interestingly enough, I have seen one tweet from an EU student who voted NO as she was concerned as to what her status would become. We can learn a lot from this mock referendum.

  36. Braco says:

    hootsmoneditor,
    He did, horrifyingly, follow through with the ultimate sacrifice! He still has the Baws though and so I hope that you, as well as myself, will welcome them into a free, independent and socially democratic Scotland! Vote YES in 2014 (that’s you I am talking to Niko).

  37. Inbhir Anainn says:

    The result from Glasgow Uni should be announced around 8.30 p.m by Professor Noel Peacock the Returning Officer. The votes have been counted.

  38. douglas clark says:

    Stu,
     
    Thanks for the transcription. It is hard work and unappreciated.

  39. Braco says:

    Seconded there!
     
    Thanks Rev Stu.

  40. scottish_skier says:

    While it might be a bit of fun and good for getting the younger generation involved, the Glasgow uni referendum will tell us little about what 2014 will look like. No more so than polling 25,000 OAPs in the borders and getting a response from only 10% of them. You just can’t even start projecting that to a national level…

  41. hootsmoneditor says:

    @Braco
    Will they have a vote each?

  42. Inbhir Anainn says:

    Apparently 2,589 votes cast at Glasgow Uni Indy Ref the NO camp have taken the day, 967 YES votes against 1614 NO votes.

  43. Bill McLean says:

    Thanks cuphook.

  44. Braco says:

    hootsmoneditor,
    that’s exactly why I, like Vronsky, favour government by ballot!

    On minorities,
    a href=”../we-are-the-51/#comment-292969″ rel=”nofollow”>(19 February, 2013 at 9:57 am  

  45. muttley79 says:

    In regards to the real referendum I do not think I have heard anyone from the Yes campaign remark about the consequences of a No vote.  Obviously that would include the EU situation, the NHS, tuition fees etc.  I do wonder if the Yes campaign do know how difficult it will be to get the message across to the whole electorate in the time we have left, particularly as the MSM will get worse as we get to nearer the referendum? 

  46. Braco says:

    Hootsmoneditor,
    That’s exactly why I, like Vronsky,  favour  government by ballot!
    On minorities….
    Vronsky says:
     
    19 February, 2013 at 9:57 am
     
    P.S. Sorry for my last cockup.
     
     

  47. Albert Herring says:

    @Inbhir Anainn 
    Turnout 11%

  48. muttley79 says:

    So over 1600 students vote no despite Scottish Labour making it very clear that tuition fees are on there way back if we vote No in the real referendum.  Jesus wept….

  49. scottish_skier says:

    37.5% Y at Glasgow uni. That’s higher than I expected. Pity the turnout was only 10% or so.

  50. sneddon says:

    10% turnout is normal for any student election or whatever. Sometimes though I wonder what happend to student radicalism?  In the 80’s we seemed more politically engaged.  Also what kind of student wants to live in a country where if the NO vote wins they’ll be paying over the odds for their educstion.  Stupid FUDS.  But well done to the ones that could get in and vote .  As a student it’s always easier to open another bottle of wine and do nothing 🙂
     

  51. catriona says:

    I hope you’re wrong. UKania is irrelevant,

  52. Alan MacD says:

    Eh? 37.5% is a crap result, more students  felt inclined to go out of their way to vote for keeping everything the same than those who thought something needs to change? 
    Im baffled, what happened? I would expect a better result at Ibrox.

  53. Training Day says:

    So a majority of those who voted want to pay for tuition and want a privatised NHS.  Jesus wept indeed. ‘O who could have foretold that the heart, the heart grows old’?
    Still, might be a lesson that handing out placards which say ‘Yes’ might not be enough on its own to win the day..

  54. The Man in the Jar says:

    Like I predicted in a previous thread.
    Turkeys voting for Christmas.

  55. scottish_skier says:

    Yougov would have predicted 28% Y for the whole of Scotland, so this is a great result 😉
    You could see the better together facebook ‘likes’ shoot up in the 18-24 group ahead of the ballot. Basically, Glasgow Labour students association did well in getting all their members and students from middle class Glasgow Labour voting families to vote for Glasgow Labour. That’s hardly a challenge.
    I’m quite impressed with the Y vote statistically for this grouping/area.
    Aberdeen uni vote would be interesting…

  56. M4rkyboy says:

    Must say the result of the Uni referendum was quite depressing.

  57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Eh? 37.5% is a crap result,”

    Not in Glasgow it’s not. If we get 37.5% in the dark heart of Unionism in 2014, we’ll win. But I’m shocked that the turnout was so abysmal after all the hype it’s had, and even more shocked to learn that by university standards these days that’s in fact apparently a HUGE turnout.

  58. Braco says:

    M4rkyboy,
    Why do you think they organised it? Keep the head and listen to what SS said.
    Be cool everyone. (winky)

  59. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Training Day
    I agree. Handing out placards won’t work. Neither will siting round the campfire holding hands and singing Cum By Ya. I think that there is an excess of optimism in the Yes movement and that includes many “Wings” readers. Turning the other cheek is not working.
    I am concerned that we could loose this due to complacency.
    My MP. MSP. And Council are all Labour. There are areas of Scotland where the message is just not getting through. I know I live in one.

  60. scottish_skier says:

    Not in Glasgow it’s not. If we get 37.5% in the dark heart of Unionism in 2014.
    Aye. Will be better than that though for Y. Glasgow will carry it.

  61. M4rkyboy says:

    Its just the sample size and the question that worries me.I know Glasgow is unionist but uni’s tend to have a wide range of students from different parts of Scotland so to call it a Glasgow bias is maybe pushing it.

  62. Inbhir Anainn says:

    Jackie Baillie MSP (one blanket) one of the guest speakers was reported to have been vociferously shouted down throughout the duration of her short address and that Blair Jenkins was having a hardtime trying to calm those of a pro independence mind to allow her free speech without constant interruptions.  I agree with scottish_skier and the Rev Stu on their statistical analysis of the YES vote.

  63. hootsmoneditor says:

    I’m quite happy with it; subtract the Home Counties Benjamins and Jemimas and the ‘tireless’ Labour activists, a third of the vote in the ‘Heart of Darkness’ is pretty good.

  64. The Man in the Jar says:

    @scottish-skier
    I would question how many Glasgow students are Glasgow voters?

  65. The Man in the Jar says:

    @hootsmoneditor
    Re Benjamins and Jemimas.
     
    What were the residential requirements to vote? And will English students be able to vote in the real referendum? Anyone?

  66. The Man in the Jar says:

    Re my above comment.
    I am not being “racist” just wondering if English students may be different due to them having to pay fees. I would assume EU. Students would have a Scottish address.

  67. Doug Daniel says:

    It’s not just the turnout that has been depressing. The kind of reasons I’ve seen on Twitter for why folk voted No include things like “what currency will we be using and will it be strong?” and “I’m worried about what will happen to EU students.” And of course, the usual “it’s a big decision to get wrong” (which, naturally, means you vote for the status quo, even though the status quo is shit.)
     
    Seriously, how can people NOT know what currency we’ll use? It’s one of the most repeated things that we’ll be using the pound. Why can people not find these things out? Do we have to fucking spoon-feed people?
     
    I suspect a lot of this stuff will become more prominent once the Scottish Government publishes its white paper, but how many folk will still need it read to them line-by-line before they listen to the arguments?

  68. Inbhir Anainn says:

    Within the next half-hour there will be a news story on the Glasgow Uni Indy Ref ballot outcome on Jackie Bird’s BBC Scotland news programme.

  69. Alan MacD says:

    Perhaps Rev, but we aren’t talking about all of Glasgow here Are we?
    We are talking about young scholars who are most likely to vote for radical change and not your average ex shipyard worker from Govan Who only reads the daily record.
    And all this heart of darkness pish aint helping either, its not bloody Mogadishu.

  70. M4rkyboy says:

    Doug, i cannot fathom the unionist mindset one bit.It mystifies me when i hear their justification for accepting the way things are.

  71. Training Day says:

    @Doug
    Many of us have been banging on about the Yes campaign failing to match the No campaign’s command of the context and the framework for the debate at this stage. Yes, things might all become clearer with the White paper, but if we lose too much ground now by allowing myths to go unchallenged – and crucially not going on the offensive ourselves – we may leave ourselves with too much ground to recover later on, when it really matters.
    We can rationalise these kinds of results all we want (don’t we always tell ourselves that Yes voters are more likely to be motivated to go out and vote – not so, even on the pitiful turnout tonight) but we have to start getting blunt messages across now about the consequences of a No vote, ‘cos tonight suggests these messages aren’t even on the radar.

  72. KOF says:

    Re the Glasgow Uni referendum.
    I wonder which way the politics students voted? 😉

  73. CameronB says:

    Don’t worry, Auntie is here to tell tell us all that, this is the best of all possible worlds.

  74. Jen says:

    I listened to the broadcast this morning and couldn’t believe my ears!  I’m sure this gentleman will never get air time on the BBC again.  His opinions were too balanced and without the usual malice of unionism. 

  75. Inbhir Anainn says:

    Apologies correction it was Sally Magnusson on the BBC Scotland newsfeed tonight and not Jackie Bird as first intimated in my last posting.

  76. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
     
    Not in Glasgow it’s not. If we get 37.5% in the dark heart of Unionism in 2014, we’ll win. But I’m shocked that the turnout was so abysmal after all the hype it’s had, and even more shocked to learn that by university standards these days that’s in fact apparently a HUGE turnout.
     
    I disagree with that.  The SNP have traditionally had a good, to very good base in Glasgow, and the west of Scotland.  Govan has been a good area for the SNP.  In addition, the reason people think Glasgow is a unionist area is because the first-past-the-post system for Westminster has meant that the SNP have never got the representation there that they deserve.  It is only through the Scottish parliament and local elections under PR that this has begun to change.  Also, if 15% of Labour voters in Scotland support independence (according to the last poll), then there will be a potentially large element of support among Labour supporters in Glasgow for independence if LVI and others can get their message across.
     
    I believe that it is other areas that are much more prone to unionism.  These include the Borders, parts of the highlands, Orkney and Shetland.   

  77. M4rkyboy says:

    It’s early days.Still got ages to go and that is a manageable swing for us.i seen the SNP get swings like that in their sleep before.Easy game!Roll on 2014 and a bright,democratic future for Scotland.

  78. Scotrock says:

    The University of Glasgow just said NO
    Seems like the Scottist Goverment souuld now start charging for further education – they want to be like the UK fine by me.

  79. Braco says:

    Stop getting your knickers in a twist! I never voted in all my seven years as a student and I didn’t have any pals who did either.
     
    10% self selecting electorate, on an issue that is simply a political game for most at the moment. It’s like a footy match, that’s all and Glasgow Labour would have liked the odds and used Glasgow Uni Labour group’s organisation to pull out all the stops. With the MSM ready with the press opportunities if successful! So they were.  But only managed 62% on a 10% turnout. Now yous are all ‘oooh what will we do, were so rubbish, what will we do?’
     
    Well yous can all shite yourselves if you want, but you better keep eating that fiber because there’s a long way to go yet and a lot more real scares to be faced before polling day.
     
    We will still win though. (Winky)
     
     
     

  80. muttley79 says:

    @Training Day
     
     
    Many of us have been banging on about the Yes campaign failing to match the No campaign’s command of the context and the framework for the debate at this stage. Yes, things might all become clearer with the White paper, but if we lose too much ground now by allowing myths to go unchallenged – and crucially not going on the offensive ourselves – we may leave ourselves with too much ground to recover later on, when it really matters.
    We can rationalise these kinds of results all we want (don’t we always tell ourselves that Yes voters are more likely to be motivated to go out and vote – not so, even on the pitiful turnout tonight) but we have to start getting blunt messages across now about the consequences of a No vote, ‘cos tonight suggests these messages aren’t even on the radar.  
     
    I must say that this post echoes some of my doubts about the Yes campaign so far.  It has been far too nice, insipid, and reasonable for my liking.  There is a distinct lack of cutting edge.  Not nearly enough about the consequences of a No vote.  We badly need a media outlet, some newspaper to really turn up the heat on the No campaign.  I have serious concerns already about whether the message is getting through.  This talk about how it will be all fine after the publication of the White Paper is a concern as well.  It is too presumptuous for my liking.  Also, in key groups, such as the middle class and women, we are struggling badly.  The truth is so far we have never been on the offensive.   

  81. FreddieThreepwood says:

    Sorry guys. It’s the man with the MSM fixation again.
    ‘Why did turkeys vote for Christmas?’ ‘How could this happen?’ ‘Why don’t they know this shit?’
    The answer to these and many other similar questions is …… because that’s what they’ve been telt their whole lives. That’s what they’re still being telt. That’s what their parents read in their papers, that’s what every news and current affairs programme they’ve every seen has told them. 
    Get this straight – WE ARE TALKING TO OURSELVES. The social/new media is splendid, democratic, empowering etc etc – but it’s still in nappies compared to the heavily financed and street-wise old media. For a kick off – who do you think produces the vast majority of news available online? 
    God love the Rev, but he isn’t going to win the referendum even with his impressive analytics. The dead man walking that is The Scotsman – a paper I used to report for over a decade ago when it thought dipping below 100,000 was a disaster – still sells more every day than the Rev has unique users.
    I don’t want to come over all Jim Sillars, but the time to face up to the size of the task facing us is now. We simply cannot allow the BBC, STV and every single fucking newspaper in the country to continue with business as usual. Collectively, they create the environment in which even so-called switched on, media savvy students must live. 
    They must be challenged.
    (If it wisnae for the ‘toons the Rev would probably have put my gas at a peep already but …) 
    Strathclyde University Union, 10am, Saturday. Get there and get marching against this tsunami of bias.
     

  82. Scotrock says:

    To Barco
    Brilliant – thanks for the smile
    Knickers getting untwisted .. or in my case boxer shorts!

  83. CameronB says:

    It has been said before, including here on WOS, don’t stop your opponent while they are making a mistake(s). I take it the White Paper will set the agenda, so that’s when the gates will be open and the riders will be off. Perhaps the MSM is our most productive tool right now?

  84. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Braco at 10;52
    I sincerely hope that you never have to eat those words.

  85. M4rkyboy says:

    Aye,where’s yer 23% noo?

  86. Malcolm says:

    I’m disappointed at the result and the turnout. I thought Glasgow was one of the more politicised univerisities. Coupla points:
     
    When I was 20 and a student I was interested in girls and beer and drugs. Not politics. The people who were interested in politics were esteemed about as much as the long haired guys with bad skin and neckbeards in black who hit each other with foam axes in the park (really). I think my experience was fairly average. I was also a complete ignoramus, not having actually lived a life yet. I registered to vote in a general election but didn’t actually do so because it was in a school and I couldn’t be arsed finding out where it was, though it was probably a 10 minute walk away.
     
    In two years, many of these students will be in the big bad world. They’re going to find it difficult. They’re going to find out very quickly what is important, and they’re going to look for political representation that resonates with their new concerns.

  87. The Man in the Jar says:

    “Were All Doomed!”
    John Paton Laurie 1897- 1980
    (Wee smiley thing)

  88. Braco says:

    Man in the Jar,
    you keep pickling them and I’ll keep eating them!
     

  89. Braco says:

    Scotrock,
     
    You see! Your the reason we are losing. Real Scots should (at the very least) be going commando by this late stage in the campaign!

  90. CameronB says:

    @ Braco
     
    Can you provide us with a little inspiration?

  91. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Braco @Scotrock
    Real Scots don’t “go commando” especially when wearing a kilt. This disgusting habit (ever worked in a kilt hire shop?) was introduced by the British army because it could not supply underpants that did not reach down to the knee. One of those myths like an Englishman inventing the kilt.
     
    ?
     
    ?

  92. Braco says:

    CameronB,
    Certainly NOT! We are losing. We are going to lose. The BBC don’t like us, or any of the papers. Nobody reads the internet, and even if they do they don’t have any friends anyway. This ‘freedom for your Country’ rubbish is for the crows.  I am going to bed! Night Night. 

  93. Braco says:

    Man in the Jar,
    I don’t know where you are from, but in Motherwell we go commando with or without a kilt! (No matter what the government try to issue us with) 
    Any way, you’ve woken me up again and now I need a drink of water. Goodnight!

  94. CameronB says:

    Braco
    I did offer to make a £25 donation to the Rev’s kitty, on Cath’s article, made under whatever name, simply for answering a question that could have been answered by replying ABC or XYZ or any other combination. I’m still waiting. Night Night.

    ps I am currently commando.

  95. Barontorc says:

    If this Glasgow Uni result tells us anything, it is that YES campaigners need to to start talking hard ball with the Scottish people.
     Just watching J Baillie gloating on the outrageous Newsnight was a wake up call, and this follows on from the NHS waiting list issue that the FM put well and truly to bed at FMQ – but was kept rudely awake by dear old Auntie, at 6.30 news, with what followed at 11.00.
    For what reason other than anti-independence – it is really quite shocking that the despicable John Boothman, tries it on, yet again and gets away with it.
    The true facts of this blasted unequal Union are staring anyone prepared to look, in the face and I fear the young voters today at Glasgow Uni are just not looking That being so, it has to be drawn visibly to their attention. Step Up Blair Jenkins please!
    The other issue is why did only 10% bother to vote – is this indicative of propaganda fatigue setting in?
    This 2014 referendum is an opportunity for young Scots to really forge ahead, it’s their future – I hope that as the time draws nearer, the other 90% will get a grip of their civic responsibilities and stand accounted.
    I insist also that they get informed by every means available of what future prospects are if NO or YES is the return.
    And yes, it’s back to the YES campaign – get it moving people!

  96. deewal says:

    M4rkyboy says:
    21 February, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    “It’s early days.”
    It’s later than you think.
    muttley79 says:
    “I believe that it is other areas that are much more prone to unionism. These include the Borders, parts Most of the highlands ”  (Fixed that for you) 
    Fear is inbuilt in the Genes of The Highlander’s. They’ve been cleansed of this “Indy” disease for over 200 years.
    Also ATOS stalks the land unopposed. People are living on the streets and dying but their MSP’s don’t want to hear about it and unfortunately most of them think the SNP are  “The Government”. (probably because of the SNP’s links with ATOS )
    Oh and they are not on the INTERNET. They see it on the Telly or in the Paper’s.
    NO White Paper will ever reach their eyes or their ears.

  97. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I disagree with that. The SNP have traditionally had a good, to very good base in Glasgow, and the west of Scotland. “

    I shouldn’t be having to tell readers of THIS site that the SNP != independence.

  98. Tattie-boggle says:

    Glasgow Uni – 38 percent YES woohooo

  99. scottish_skier says:

    In two years, many of these students will be in the big bad world. They’re going to find it difficult. They’re going to find out very quickly what is important, and they’re going to look for political representation that resonates with their new concerns.
    Quite. Took me 9 months of applications and living in a box room on next to nothing before I finally started my career proper. A wake up call to say the least after 5 years of fun where the world was your oyster and repaying student loans was not something you needed to worry about. And that was at the beginning of the boom with the Tories gone and the future looking rosy.
    The Glasgow uni referendum simply tells us the current level of support for independence among very strongly politically active (13%) students at Glasgow University; the recruiting ground of Anus Sarwar and colleagues deep in the heart of the most unionist place in Scotland. To get 4/10 Y in a mock referendum under such circumstances is quite impressive.

  100. Aucheorn says:

    The real result at Glasgow Uni.
    3.8% Yes
    6.2% No
    90% Don’t Care.
    Students, Sheesh.
     

  101. pa_broon74 says:

    It would’ve been nice to get a yes but realistically, it was never going to happen. The vote was hosted by GUU and the QMU, is it any surprise it went the way it did? I also don’t think it says anything about Glasgow, the univeristy is a melting pot, saying people in Govan (for example) support one thing or the other is entirely moot, with respect to Govanites, I’ll bet the majority don’t attend Glasgow university.
     
    I reckon the student unions got their vote out and from my (albeit some-what out of date experience) they were mostly people by Labourites. So, business as usual, I’ll continue to gently bang the drum of reason and debunk as many lies as I can for the people around me
     
    PS: Glad I didn’t see newsnight, I cannot stand Jackie Baillie.

  102. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
     
    I shouldn’t be having to tell readers of THIS site that the SNP != independence.
     
    True, but the SNP have always been abused as a political party by unionist parties because of their support for independence.

  103. Stevie says:

    This should shut the BritNats up about Europe — this plus the fact they want out of Europe.

    Their argument is destroyed — they are now moving back to ‘CURRENCY’

    Thanks for the text

  104. Luigi says:

    The GU result was a timely wake-up call. Just what the doctor ordered. A majority yes vote in 2014 is certainly achievable, but it’s not inevitable. We have much to do before October 2014. You can argue either way about the GU electorate. However, I think the result broadly reflects where we are in the polls at present. Who said it was going to be easy?

  105. Training Day says:

    @Freddie
    “We simply cannot allow the BBC, STV and every single fucking newspaper in the country to continue with business as usual. Collectively, they create the environment in which even so-called switched on, media savvy students must live. 
    They must be challenged.”
    Agreed 100%.  But we need a focus for that challenge, and it should be the BBC.  God knows how many people I’ve spoken to who are extremely cynical about what they read in newspapers, will tell you all day long about what a lot of shite appears in them – yet they retain a blind spot about the BBC, which they think ‘by and large’ reports the truth.  Without a direct challenge to this unaccountable organisation, Boothman and his clique will continue to operate with impunity (and there’s no sign of either the SNP or ex-BBC man Blair Jenkins mounting a challenge).
    Meantime, one work colleague in here this morning is showing me the No campaign ‘one-way ticket’ mock train ticket which has appeared again on trains this morning, and another has shown me the BT leaflet he received last night.  Over at the Yes camp, silence is the code..

  106. KOF says:

    @Training Day and Freddie.. et al  I suppose.
    Agreed, getting any message out is a major problem with the BBC and MSM to rely on. The internet has many fine places to get accurate information, however, as pointed out by many, not everyone goes online. How’s about just taking things back to basics? ie Give people a bit of paper! It’s how things were done in the past. A pamphlet in black and white, A5, double sided. Ah, where would the news come from to fill these pamphlets? Well the Rev does several articles per day, I’m sure one or two could be adapted to a paper form (with the Rev’s permission, etc) or from any other site with approval. 
    All that happens after that is, who ever wants to go out and spread the word can. They just print off a copy, then get photocopies of those. They now have a thing to give out, a bit of paper for people to clutch as they come out of the supermarket. If one wants get attention, just shout “read all about it”, etc. Sound like a real paperboy, it is real news after all.
    If Better Together are using paper, which sounds expensively printed, then lets use paper too. Lets have more paper than them, but without the printing bills and the distribution costs. We take those on as individuals. We can be more flexible than them. Let them squander their money on centralised thinking.
    Think of this as guerrilla newspapers. 😉
     
    I probably didn’t explain it very well, but you’ll get the gist.



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