The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The stupidest man in Britain

Posted on April 28, 2015 by

Firstly, we’re not sure this qualifies as “BREAKING” news:


But it’s not the Daily Record’s cub reporter that we’re talking about.

We were sure we’d been going to write this story ages back, so we checked our notes and sure enough the “Miliband rules out Indyref 2” story actually broke 18 days ago.


“Ed Miliband yesterday ruled out a second independence ­referendum if he becomes prime minister next month.

Another referendum would require the UK Parliament to agree to a transfer of powers to call the vote under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998.

Asked if he would agree to such a move, Miliband said: ‘No, this was settled. Everybody said before the ­referendum that this was a once in a ­generation decision. You can’t move the goalposts after the result.'”

But the story didn’t seem to get much traction, and so Miliband appears to have held off until the dumbest possible moment to give it another bash. And the reason it’s the dumbest possible moment can be found in a fascinating focus-group report that was published on the website of Tory pollster Lord Ashcroft yesterday.

The report said this of SNP supporters:

“One thing nobody said the party should push for, and very few said they wanted, was an early second independence referendum.

We need to move on. I think everyone’s acknowledged that’; ‘I voted Yes but I don’t think you can keep having referendums until you get the answer you want. Apart from anything else, if we voted for independence people would then start saying they wanted a referendum to join the Union. It should be a generational thing, not every few years.’” 

Conversely, it found this of non-SNP supporters:

“By no means all our participants were now planning to vote SNP. Some saw the party as divisive and untrustworthy and did not support the independence agenda. But those thinking of voting SNP for the first time often had reservations of their own. There were three main concerns.

One was that the party would try to re-open the independence question, creating more uncertainty and fuelling a bitter debate that people wanted to think was settled for now: ‘They might try to lead us back into the independence thing, which would be quite frightening for a lot of people’.”

So what has Miliband achieved? He’s had no impact on people planning to vote SNP, who aren’t in as much of a hurry for a second referendum as the media would have you believe (this is also true of our own anecdotal experience of talking to SNP supporters, incidentally, because they’ve realised two defeats in quick succession really would put the mockers on the idea for decades and want to wait until they’re absolutely sure of victory).

But by promising to block a second indyref, Miliband has reassured people who might be thinking of switching to the SNP but are currently scared of the prospect of another referendum that it’s now completely safe to vote for the Nats, in the knowledge that Westminster won’t let it happen.

Never mind the sheer blockheaded, arrogant idiocy of saying that you’ll thwart the democratic will of the Scottish people should they choose to vote for a party with another referendum in their manifesto. Even viewed through a lens of pure short-term self-interest, Ed Miliband has just shot Scottish Labour in the face by taking the risk out of an SNP vote for those who were still on the fence.

We’re starting to think he’s got a big bet on 59 seats, readers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 28 04 15 17:34

    The stupidest man in Britain | Speymouth

  2. 29 04 15 12:41

    The stupidest man in Britain | Politics Scotlan...

  3. 28 07 15 00:04

    The Wheels of Inevitability | A Wilderness of Peace

161 to “The stupidest man in Britain”

  1. Kamranaut says:

    He does this sort of womblery all the time. Just when you think he’s making ground he goes and opens his mouth.

    If it’s not “Putting Guards on the Border” it’s condemning the SNP on the basis of a debunked fabrication, and now this…

    Ok, so we know he’s an utter pillock with about as much emotional intelligence as a pigeon, but surely there must be someone close to him that can advise him.

  2. Marie clark says:

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    Do you think that maybe Ed does’t want to win this election. Seems to me he’s sure going the right way about it.

    Sheesh already!

  3. Macart says:

    “We’re starting to think he’s got a big bet on 59 seats, readers.”

    I think you might be right. 😀

    Ed might want to think about that holding people to promises quote for other reasons though.

    Holding people to promises is a two way street.

  4. Finnz says:

    You have to think that Milliband has been sticking his fingers in his ears every time Sturgeon confirmed that the SNP were not intent on calling for another referendum.

    Possibly he also was a little hard of hearing when she also confirmed there would be no coalition deal between Labour and the SNP.

    I’m astonished, would be an apt response.

  5. Luigi says:

    Un-bloody-believable. Who is he talking to here?

    The only possible (but daft) reason I can think of, for this very stupid statement, is that Labour have already written off their traditional supporters that support independence, and now they are desperately trying to placate the Tory press, and also persuade a few lesser spotted Tories in Scotland to vote tactically for Labour. It won’t work Ed, we are already past the tactical tipping point. You have just inflamed your Scottish ex-supporters even more.

    Any other explanations for this dumbest of dumb moves?

  6. Capella says:

    Also, yet another example of asserting that the SNP said something they didn’t actually say.

    How many times now has Nicola stressed that the decision is for the Scottish people to make? I’ve lost count.

  7. a2 says:

    They seem to be actually more scared of having another referendum than what the result may be. The still think we are too stupid.

    Too stupid to realise that having another referendum before you are absolutely sure you can win it is counter productive.

    I’m still of the opinion that the SNP didn’t expect a Holyrood majority and wasn’t quite ready to have to follow through on their manifesto promise.

    Then again (and of course I’m contradicting myself here) if almost completely replacing a body of representation with different people isn’t a new generation…

  8. paul gerard mccormack says:

    BREAKING NEWS: There was once a VOW, so-called by the red and blue Tories. We’re holding them to it – at the ballot box.

  9. Hugh Kirk says:

    Dear Ed, Thanks for making my task up here just that little bit easier. Yours now totally fucked, Dim Jim.

  10. Ali says:

    As an SNP voter and member I think we should hold off until it’s a “slam-dunk”. If Westminster carries on the way it is that could be pretty soon though. Telling people they can’t choose is not going to improve matters (fir him)

  11. Luigi says:

    You know what folks? I am beginning to think that the scaremongers have finally convinced themselves that we will all be screaming for another referendum next week.

    Project Fear 2 has certainly worked – on themselves.

    Another opportunity for NS to reaffirm that the 2015 GE is not about independence. We must be approaching saturation point by now – has anyone in Scotland still not heard NS saying categorically that a vote for the SNP next week is not a vote for another referendum?

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:



  13. rongorongo says:

    Milliband’s petulant approach towards the SNP reminds me a little of a spoilt child on being told his cousin is coming to visit.

  14. muttley79 says:

    No one in the SNP to my knowledge actually said that the referendum was a once in a lifetime decision anyway. It was once in a generation.

    I can only think of three main reasons why Miliband has said this today. 1) He is completely incompetent/uninterested in Scotland.

    2) He is merely following the advice of people in his Scottish branch, whose hatred for the SNP is well known, such as Margaret Curran, Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy. These people cannot get past their hatred of the SNP, and presumably do not care if flies in the face of basic democratic principles. The problem with this option is Miliband must know how fucking useless they are politically.

    3) Miliband actively wants rid of Scottish Labour, he wants to see them completely hammered; so that Labour in England can stop having to factor them into consideration before making policies public (or even pretend to). Point 3) kind of merges with Point 1) completely uninterested in Scotland anymore.

  15. Graham MacLure says:

    Yep. Mr Ed’s got no horse sense.

  16. Anagach says:

    Maybe he is seeing this as a reassurance to his critical swing elements, which is the English marginals.

  17. Luigi says:

    The Brit Nats seem to assume that we are all knuckle-dragging Nazis, desperate for another referendum, as soon as we get another SNP “majority”.

    Boy, have they underestimated us.

    I’m in no hurry for another referendum – this is too much fun!

  18. Dr Jim says:

    Run Forest Run……

    Apologies to Tom Hanks

  19. jake says:

    Alex Salmond said that in his opinion, and he stressed it was just his opinion, that there wouldn’t be another referendum for a generation. With no obvious calls for another one in Scotland and a Westminster consensus stating defiantly we can’t have one anyway it looks as though he might have been right.

  20. bald eagle says:

    what does he want 59 seats for is drowning street short

  21. Fairliered says:

    He has maybe realised that he is going to be left with only Willie Bain in Scotland. Having considered Willie as a future SoS, he has realised that he needs to wipe out Willie as well!
    (Wipeout Willie – I like that!)

  22. muttley79 says:


    I think the SNP leadership would be delighted to confirm once again that there is no chance of a referendum on independence as a result of this election. They will likely be content to see what the political landscape in Scotland looks like after Thursday’s results. Let the unionists and MSM go on and on about a second independence referendum. They are going to absolutely bore people about it very shortly.

  23. Kenzie says:

    Now listen closely, Ed:

    Open mouth
    Insert both feet.

  24. Quentin Quale says:

    @ Muttley 79 – you just beat me to it with your number 3. SLab wipe-out leads to a complete rebranding and Murphy, who he doesn’t like, marginalised at the very least. Allows a new SLab under total WM control.

    Does sound a bit of thinking would be needed so let’s go for your number 1. Incompetent and no idea what is going on up here.

  25. Calgacus says:

    Dear Ed Wibblebland, We will have a referendum when WE feel like it. We are sovereign not you. Now do one.

  26. Alun Hewinson says:

    This is aimed at non-Scottish voters. The same as the Conservatives attacks on Scotland.

    The Tories are trying to scare English voters into voting Tory; Labour is trying to reassure them. None of this is really about Scotland, it’s playing to south of the border.

    Labour’s standing in Scotland right now means there’s little risk in doing this. It’s perfectly rational if you assume that Labour’s given up trying to shore up its 2015 Scotland vote. Wait a few weeks and we’ll soon be hearing a different tune.

    “We’ve heard the people of Scotland… and we’ve learned.” That phrase is a shoe-in before May is out.

  27. Luigi says:

    a2 says:

    28 April, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I’m still of the opinion that the SNP didn’t expect a Holyrood majority and wasn’t quite ready to have to follow through on their manifesto promise.

    I agree – the referendum was 5-10 years too soon, but the SG had no choice but to hold it in 2014 (victims of their own success – people still had to catch up with them). The delicious irony is that, now that it was held, the inglorious end of the union has been brought forward by at least five years. A painful experience for us all, but it had to be tested, and one day it will be seen as being a pivotal moment.

  28. Jean-Loup says:

    What really annoys me is all the talks about bitterness and division were all from the No side. I haven’t met any Yes voter who wanted Independence to “break up the Union” or some such nonsense. The Union is already broken, held together with ageing scotch tape which is slowly but surely losing its grip.

    We don’t want another referendum just to get to the results we want, we want another one because the results were stolen from us with false promises, lies and deceit.

  29. Ken500 says:

    By the time Scotland is finished with them, or those that are left, they will be begging for another Referendum. There will only be another Referendum when it is 60/40. Until then there is so much fun to be had.

  30. r esquierdo says:

    These U.K.ok politicians are all prone to jumping in with both feet.

  31. Richie says:

    I can’t tell whether you’re bring naive, parochial or duplicitous. I’m a yes voter and certainly will not be voting for grim jim’so lot, but what makes you think for a second any of that was pitched at scotland? Perhaps the daily record picked it up, but as with most electoral rhetoric for the last twenty years that was pitched directly at mondeo man in the English swing vonstituencies.

  32. annie says:

    Maybe Ed’s decided to work with SNP the prospect of dumping Jim, Mags and the other 39 must be very appealing, by all accounts none of them would win a popularity contest.

  33. Marko says:

    Bloody hell, they’re not taking any chances!

  34. desimond says:

    “We will always look out for each other” a young Ed Miliband to brother David

    This is just yet more pish empty promising..the man will do anything it takes to secure power..history tells us so.

  35. Bill Fraser says:

    If there is another referendum in the near future,it will be brought on by the shocking comment etc emanating from the media and politicians down south.

  36. Tam Jardine says:


    This myth has been allowed to take root in the media without challenge. Who has the authority to rule out a referendum? No individual – to my knowledge no one from Yes ever did.

    Saying we don’t expect there will be another one in a generation is different from saying we rule out a referendum for a generation. Saying as the adverts did, that we have this one great opportunity is not saying we rule out another opportunity.

    It is total bollocks but the unionists keep saying it over and over again…. I think they now actually believe that someone before the referendum from Yes agreed there would never be another! Do they think it was part of the Edinburgh Agreement?

    ‘Everyone said before the referendum this would be a once in a generation decision’. Well, I didn’t say that, Ed, but if you want to play it like that – it looks very much like one political generation is about to end and another begin…

  37. David Martin says:

    a2 says:

    28 April, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I’m still of the opinion that the SNP didn’t expect a Holyrood majority and wasn’t quite ready to have to follow through on their manifesto promise.

    Also agree the referendum was too soon, although it has hastened the implosion of SLAB. We needed at least another term of competent SNP government.

  38. thedogphilosopher says:

    The fact is, Independence may not be achieved for quite some time. It has all been very gradual. And with every increment of power taken, Scotland is proving itself both capable and competent.

    Now with the SNP about to have a real input into running the UK, perhaps a display of competence and commonsense will be enough to demonstrate to the UK populace as a whole that the desire for self-government stems from a democratic obligation, and is nothing to do with any kind of racial motivation.

    Independence follows as a natural and inevitable outcome.

    Just one possible scenario.

  39. manandboy says:

    Miliband is only electable with Nicola at his side, on his side.

    After May 8th and a Labour/SNP/Plaid/Green Govt., Ed will have the role of the rather clueless owner who has very clever managers.

  40. Will Podmore says:

    So does Calgacus represent anyone when he writes, “We will have a referendum when WE feel like it. We are sovereign not you”?
    So Wings now focuses its hatred on the leader of the Labour Party – ‘the stupidest man in Britain’. David Cameron must be pleased with you.
    Why is it thwarting democracy if a British Prime Minister refuses to let a minority of 8 per cent of the population of our country determine our country’s future? Secession would be rule by a minority of a minority. Unity is majority rule and is democracy.

  41. Gary says:

    Scottish Labour has now been declared officially dead.. Millibland isn’t trying to appeal to Scots he’s trying to placate the right wing.

    All that’s left is the mopping up and bayonetting – no, wait, we’re better than that. Whilst branch office try and use their secret tactical voting team to scare up a couple of seats for Labour and as many, if not more for Tory and LibDems alike, Ed has a different plan.

    Scotland is SNP, SNP will back Labour. He knows there’s no appetite for another referendum so no barrier to a working relationship.

    If Ed doesn’t deal with SNP to take government then neither he, nor any future Labour Party will be at number 10.

  42. Big Jock says:

    Might need a constitutional lawyer here. However my understanding is that in Westminster. The majority mp’s, who represent the majority of Scotland. Can leave the union by proxy, if a referendum was blocked.

  43. morgatron says:

    Word of the campaign Kamaranaut. , Womblery. Love it.

  44. HandandShrimp says:

    Ed is just trying to look “Hell Yes Tough” to English voters. I think he has given up on Scotland.

  45. Alastair says:

    I agree, this GE is nothing to do with a referendum. Its not the time, the question or the circumstance.

    What he has done is kick every Scot in the teeth with a cheap shot. But, he is one tough guy – “hell ye I’m tough” – looks down camera.

    Even if 100% of Scots wanted a referendum for whatever totally justifiable reason both Miliband and Cameron have now ruled it out. Its everything we hate about the Westminster Establishment. Is it run for the people for the will of the people or for the Establishment.

    “I posted this the other day and it is now more relevant and something to pick up on after the fury of the GE.

    On January 14, Catalonia’s centrist President Artur Mas announced an agreement with his nationalist rivals, Esquerra Republicana (ERC), to run separate tickets but with a shared road map towards secession, making September’s vote a de facto referendum on leaving Spain.

    Amazing since independence is such a key topic in Scotland that we hear nothing of what is happening in Spain. A complete media blackout. I wonder why?

    Worth tracking Catalonia’s progress. Similar issues, similar reasons.”

  46. Will Podmore says:

    The more you attack Labour, the more you help Cameron.

  47. Gary45% says:

    Milliband and Murphy,

    Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber.
    “Mind you this could apply to any member of the SLabs”.

    As said already this was an off the cuff remark by
    Mr Salmond
    What ever happened to the VOW we were promised?
    Give us the VOW, Westminster signed it.

  48. HandandShrimp says:

    Why is it thwarting democracy if a British Prime Minister refuses to let a minority of 8 per cent of the population of our country

    How very Unionist. We do not accept your imperialist definition of what is yours and ours. So it cuts no ice.

  49. schrodingers cat says:

    referendums are not legally binding and anyone can have a referendum if they so choose,

    the section 30 order that cameron signed made the ref legally binding, milliband can sign another or not, i couldnt care, as nicola said, it is for the people of scotland to decide if and when there is another, not milliband or nicola. roughly translated when the polls show 60/40 in favour of yes. if i were a unionist i would call for another right now, not wait until the polls move further towards the 60/40

    btw will podmore…..the generation ends on may the 8th 🙂

  50. Garrion says:

    He’s not speaking to the Scottish electorate. Strategically we are a lost cause. Not just that, a lost cause that he knows he can negotiate with when the tme comes. He’s talking to the SE English voter.

    Which just reinforces that, when push comes to shove, in the National scheme of things, we’re not that important.

    Vote SNP, get an outbreak of representation.

  51. Dr Jim says:

    Unless something significant happens to change things

    Remember that phrase
    And it means Ed, wee me has more power in deciding if, and, or when a referendum will or will not take place
    Wee note to Ed;
    Try to keep your big mouth shut over matters that will be none of your beeswax
    But you’ll get Telt that shortly by your bosses if we let you win
    Then Len McCluskey and the boys will keep you right

  52. Anagach says:

    “Will Podmore says:

    Why is it thwarting democracy if a British Prime Minister refuses to let a minority of 8 per cent of the population of our country determine our country’s future? Secession would be rule by a minority of a minority. Unity is majority rule and is democracy.”

    It is thwarting democracy if a majority of voting people in Scotland support a referendum and it is refused.

  53. Johnny says:

    Whether Scotland secedes from the union or not is not a decision for the population of England to make.

    On the other hand, if the latter population wishes to break the union up and secede from it themselves, then that would be their choice. Nobody should remain trapped in it against their will. To say otherwise, is to go against the principal of self-determination.

  54. John H. says:

    As I understand it we don’t need anyone’s permission to hold another referendum. Robert Peffers, where are you?

  55. Cadogan Enright says:

    I’m pretty sure that I got harrumphted by wingers last year for posting this

    Is this a told u so moment? Even though the seats were not divided up with Greens and Socialists?

  56. Big Jock says:

    Good God where to start with you Will.

    There is no country as you call it! The UK is a naton state. There is not a unitory country called the UK. or Britain. If England want to dissolve the Union they can do so in England alone. The demographics are irrelevent. The bigger country does not dictate sovereignty because there are more people in that country. How could that work in EU if the UK wanted to leave that union?

    If Britain was one nation your point would have some credence. You really are too stupid to understand the UK constitution!

  57. Giving Goose says:

    Rev, just noticed your Twitter feed of 3 Lab MPs together without a crowd.
    Do you thing Magrit is admiring Jim’s helmet?

  58. gordoz says:

    Podmore your teas oot – dae wan ! Comprende?

    Britain is not a country, its a political construct forced on a weak people without a vote.

    Miliband has just confirmed what many already knew; he’s a Blithering Idiot – sorry but he is not in any way leadership material for ruk

  59. Johnny says:

    Also we will have no more of this argument that ‘every seat Labour loses means Cameron is more likely to win’ nonsense, thanks.

    Unless there is a grand coalition, it is far more useful to think of things in terms of two blocs, one consisting of Labour and those who would support their Queen’s Speech and another consisting of the Tories and those would support them.

    Where Labour lose to the SNP, the number who would support a Labour Queen’s speech remains the same. So, if Labour do not obtain enough votes for their Queen’s Speech, it is because they have failed to win enough marginals from the Tories or because they have lost seats to the Lib Dems or others who would slither off and help the Tories pass their Queen’s Speech.

    In fact, the SNP should probably be making more of the fact that the Lib Dems who oppose the SNP in Scotland might well support the Tories.

  60. Iain More says:

    Well I am not an SNP member, I am just one of those pesky voting peasants who doesn’t know his place, so I will move the goalposts where I please.

  61. AlbertaScot says:

    Random thoughts:

    The No. 1 objective is a seriously jacked-up Scotland Act.

    Smith-Ultra – natural resources being the jewel in the crown.

    After that everything else falls into place. No need for a referendum. It will already be a done deal.

    All comes down to how badly the Stickman wants a black door with Number 10 on it. I’m guessing he’s already wetting himself at the prospect. It’s the FA Cup of the career politician.

    All this campaign stuff is just white noise.

    But toxic Ed Balls has to be thrown overboard to smooth out the process.

  62. crisiscult says:

    @Tam Jardine says:
    28 April, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Totally agree. In addition, I believe the Edinburgh agreement was in fact to prevent practical and legal uncertainty since without it, the referendum might be challenged in the courts vis a vis Scotland Act and devolved powers. At the time, Scottish Gov view was that it wasn’t actually necessary.

    From an international law perspective, some countries would view a new referendum and yes vote in Scotland (whether blocked by Westminster or not) under declarative theory i.e. in simple terms, they’d just look at the reality of whether the territory had become a state. Some countries might not recognise Scotland, but for the UK government to block it would be pretty daft for its own constitutional and social health. I know a lot of people brought up outside Scotland might not get the idea that exists among those who were brought up here: that Scotland is a country in a voluntary union i.e. not a federal territory, not a region. Indeed that theme or narrative or whatever you want to call it continued to be used by Unionist parties in the referendum e.g. we believe in our family of nations. Please stay with us Scotland; compare that with Spain/Catalunia.

  63. Macandroid says:

    @ Jean-Loup

    “Scotch Tape” – so it’s our fault again!

  64. Papadox says:

    Next Tuesday or Wednesday there will be a “leak of secret” information by some “civil Servant” that the SNP will declare UDI If they win majority of Scottish seats and a reasonable disagreement can be engineered. Released by EBC & MSM +establishment.

    The establishment have told us our votes don’t count, and we are subsidy junkies and third class peasants.

    That’s our friends Ey! SCOTLAND

  65. manandboy says:

    O/T for sure, but if Ed and Nicola are running UK, then Ed may have to start speaking the truth about Scotland – and who subsidises who. Read on :-

    Geoffrey Wheatcroft, in the Guardian, (Sorry no link, can’t do archive.) describes England’s ‘National appendicitis’ which is in fact just trapped air. Meaning that the English believe with Geoffrey, that they have a very serious problem of injustice in their relationship with Scotland, viz. that English taxpayers heavily subsidise the mostly lazy Scots, and this causes them a lot of pain.

    Here in the west of England, … there’s a mood not so much of resentment as of frustration. As long as the English taxpayer heavily subsidies Scotland, where the money is spent in a way over which Westminster has no control, while too-numerous Scottish MPs continue to legislate for England, it will be a matter not of national sentiment, but simply of representative government, and the fundamental democratic principle of the greatest good of the greatest number.

    Perhaps I could put it personally. From when devolution first appeared as a serious prospect I was instinctively opposed to it, and couldn’t quite understand why. Gradually I realised the answer: I am not an English nationalist and don’t want to become one, but faced with injustice on this scale I have had little choice. After the election, I may have none at all.”

    The Westminster Govt., knowing the truth, could alleviate the pain by dispersing the trapped air, making the English aware that it is the Scots who are subsidising the UK. But this does not suit the ruling classes, for the last thing the Establishment wish to sow is the seed of sympathy for the Scots. And so the pain is allowed to fester, because it enables Westminster to justify the taking of Scotland’s wealth.

    With Nicola at his side, maybe Ed will be the man to set the record straight, and put the English, like Geoffrey Wheatcroft, out of their misery.

  66. Tam Jardine says:

    Okay Ed – let’s look at it another way. The electorate in Scotland narrowly voted to stay in the union, so for reasons that are beyond me, they have chosen to give it a go.

    You have a chance to keep the union together, to make people who think that Westminster has no interest in them, doesn’t represent them, deceives them and robs them blind… you have a chance to rule out another referendum through your actions in the run up to the election and perhaps beyond.

    If you form a government, you can effectively rule out a referendum (on your watch only, mind) by including Scotland, by representing Scotland and making the UK a better union, by fixing the absurd constitutional mess and by improving the lot of Scottish people. You cannot do it by simply saying we can’t have another one.

    If my wife told me she was thinking of leaving but after much deliberation decided to give it another go, my response would not be ‘you’ve made your decision – now shut the **** up and get on with it’. I would instead look at what could be done – what I could do to make it work better. Telling her ‘the matter is settled’ is not a good start.

  67. Mark Rowantree says:

    Personally speaking, as I’m not a great believer in the voracity of fairly tales I certainly wouldn’t support another referendum in the next couple of years. Of course if that old political clicIt he of ‘events presents itself that would be a different story.

    The real targets of Mr Milliband’s comments are obviously voters in the crucial marginal English seats. It is these he must win to form a majority Labour Goverment and this seems to be something he is singularly failing to do at present. Historically speaking In most cases Labour governments have not had to rely on Scottish MPs for a majority. It perhaps speaks more to the decline of Labour Votes in England than a natural state of affairs in British politics.

    As far as tMr Podmore is concerned I advise him to have a long lie down with a nice cup of sweet tea. By which time he may appreciate the logical inconsistency of your argument being composed of a non-sequitur!

  68. strawdog says:

    There are a lot more shallow thinkers around these days , I blame materialism and Milliband is far from being the only one. Apart from the SNP , this election campaign has been characterised by soundbites , bribes , posing and skullduggery. ‘s Truth !

  69. gordoz says:

    All across the ‘Yes Cities’ of Scotland you can hear a cry of Utter Pish !

    Ed Miliband says ‘you can’t move the goalposts after the result’

    Aye right enough – Labour well used to moving the posts during them during the bloody game / purdah – ‘The Vow’ ??

    Captain Hypocrite strikes again.

  70. john king says:

    Calgacus is right Will,
    it is not in the gift of Ed Milliband to give us the right to have another referendum , the soveriegn will of the Scottish people supercedes the will of parliament, if we decided to secede from the union by having a referendum and the majority of Scots say yes, Milliband and westminster can whistle,

  71. crisiscult says:

    @Big Jock

    Fair enough point to bring up i.e. should UK be allowed to leave the EU unilaterally? Under EU constitution, yes they can. The rationalists out there might wonder what principle was underlying this though i.e. what is the difference between the EU and UK as both are unions. Constitutional lawyers would be more interested in what the constitution of the UK says. Since most of them are anglocentric, they view the constitution through the ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ lens which says no parliament can bind its successor. This is anglocentric because it arose from the English parliament’s tradition, not the Scots’. Anyway, can they then take back the lost parts of Ireland? Is that going to happen? International law would see that in different terms – eh, it’d say, no, little Westminster, you can’t. UK doesn’t exist in a vacuum, though little Britishers often think it does.

  72. tom mcnab says:

    Two things annoying me – the use of the word ‘country’ sometimes referring to the UK which is a union of countries – and the comment that the SNP are trying to break up the union (UK) – they want Scotland to leave the UK and be independent. If the UK leaves the European Union will that mean we are trying to break up the EU?

  73. crisiscult says:

    @Tam Jardine best post on this thread yet. Taking the analogy further, you’d be saying to your wife. Thanks for staying. I’ve taken the opportunity of locking you in the basement to cement our relationship.

  74. gordoz says:

    Didn’t someone once say – ‘Let my people go !’

    Can’t remember how it worked out for those folk who ignored this advice ?

    Any ideas ?

  75. muttley79 says:

    I reckon the SNP knew in the closing stages in 2011 that they were on course for a big win. Whether they thought it would be enough to hold a referendum, I am not so sure. In terms of getting a Yes vote I think it was probably 5 years too early at least.

    The MSM are losing sales and viewers, as many people here now know they are very biased, and on the side of the British establishment. This knowledge is good and valuable for Yes in a future referendum, whenever it is. The MSM are likely to be in an even weaker state when it comes around.

  76. ronnie anderson says:

    Dont comment tae the Troll he,ll be wanting tae stay fur Tea.

  77. gordoz says:

    New ‘Wave’ Labour Website on the way


  78. Truth says:

    He’s not stupid.

    He’s just ignorant of all things Scottish. It’s a requirement to sit as a labour mp.

  79. Joemcg says:

    Nothing like being told you cannot do something that you really want to do to motivate you and get the hackles up. Cheers Ed! 5/1 on a clean sweep? A bit skimpy odds.

  80. fred blogger says:

    among other things.
    labour wanted to mainly please their right wing voter pool, and who set them up for that?
    so they’re stuck with the mess they created for themselves.

  81. Tam Jardine says:


    (and if Cameron gets in)… and by the way, in the next couple of years i’ll decide if we make a clean break from all our friends and family 😉

  82. Jim McIntosh says:

    @Will Podmore

    It was a ‘Scottish Referendum’. As you well know there were voters from every party, including the Tories and the Labour voted YES. No where on the ballot paper did it state that this was a ‘once in a generation’ event.

    Alec Salmond gave his personal opinion on when another referendum should be held. I’m not an SNP member he was not speaking for me, and he never claimed to be. Best case scenario he is/was speaking on behalf of the 100,000 SNP members, not the other 1.5 million who voted YES.

    I suppose you also believe the party with the most seats forms the government, because somebody said so.

  83. Grouse Beater says:

    I see it more England letting wee, poor, weak Scotland know who is the boss and will remain boss. It’s the mentality of the arrogant English colonial writ large.

  84. galamcennalath says:

    schrodingers cat says:
    “when the polls show 60/40 in favour of yes”

    Yes, it will be on the table at that point. Anything else would be an affront to democracy.

    The whole idea of devolution of significant powers needs to run its course. IMO the Unionists are close to their limit of what they will devolve. DevoMax-ish will never happen. That has to become accepted by everyone. When it does, there will only be two choices – DevoNotMuchMore or Independence.

    We have to be given devolved powers. WM decides what we get.

    We can take Independence any time we choose. WM’s cooperation would be a democratic nicety, but fundamentally unnecessary.

    The precise timing of IndyRef 2 is more likely to be as a result to WM’s actions and attitudes, than anything else!

  85. Buidseach says:

    They think it’s all over, well it is now, what a stunning own Gooooooaaaaaaalllllll!!

  86. Robert Kerr says:

    Murphy now mentioned on-line Herald,

    Don’t click the link. No need.

    This is a direct challenge to us. as I said earlier the actual number of votes cast for SNP matter. Even Murphy says so.

    Did he clear this with “control”?

  87. Grouse Beater says:

    Plodmore: …the population of our country…

    Whose country are you referring to?

    If you mean Scotland as Greater England you can take a hike!

  88. Proud Cybernat says:

    Every seat the SNP win in Scotland is one less seat for the effing Tories.

  89. Proud Cybernat says:

    …of Red or Blue hue.

  90. bald eagle says:


    fixed that for you rebert

  91. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    crisiscult at 4.15

    Of course it wasn’t necessary. The United Nations Charter confers the inalienable right of any community to self determination and the conditions of the Scotland Act are only viable if both parties voluntarily subscribe to it.
    The Union we have with the rest of the UK is voluntary. If it was not we would not be existing in a democracy.

    We must establish with our people that we don’t have to ask anybody’s permission of we want to be independent. ( We do if we were seeking further devolution or FFA – or SFA if it will be more aptly titled if what is being paraded in front of us as extra powers is all we are getting).

  92. woosie says:

    5-1 against SNP clean-up with Coral this morning. Latest forecast 55 seats. Every time Minibrain opens his industrial size gob the forecast gain goes up. Seriously considered lumping the Woosie Towers mortgage on, but the conspiracy theorist inside me woke up.

    What if a Coral/Ladbrokes/Wullie Hill quango kidnap Ed, Murpheratu and Complete Balls till May 8th? We’d have no chance; slabber would make a massive recovery, Scotland would suffer a devastating backlash from the new etonian in Drowning Street, and I’d be homeless.

    Still, with the £1m Gogs is giving our foodbanks, I should be ok!

  93. Chic McGregor says:

    What Nicola and the SNP should do, whether they are in a position of voting influence or not after this Westminster election is the following:

    Agree to not hold a referendum during this Westminster administration.

    However, that leaves a one year overlap for the 2016 Holyrood administration.

    In the manifesto for that, they should leave the possibility of a referendum in that last year open. 2021

    A quick referendum could be held subject to review of what powers have or have not been delivered and on how Scotland has been treated and on what support there is in the polls.

    If they do not have at least that possibility then the ‘SNP’ support will evaporate.

    That support does NOT consist of fence sitters, not significantly at any rate, it is those who voted YES and those who wish now they had.

    It does not require permission from Westminster to hold a consultative referendum. Westminster can decide whether or not they will accept its result, which, again, they would or face international ignominy.

    The above would both preserve SNP support AND stops the Westminster government to book.

    Yes, it risks the SNP not getting a majority at Holyrood, but better that than settle for impotency and watch their support witter away when Westminster undermines their Holyrood government and the Brit propaganda machine successfully blames the cuts on the SNP government in Scotland.

    In fact the next best option, if the SNP do not have a possible referendum on that Holyrood manifesto, would be for the SNP to lose it to Labour.

    Which is why, if it is not present, I, a lifelong SNP voter, will not vote SNP and may even vote Labour tactically if I can squeeze my nose closed hard enough.

  94. Chic McGregor says:

    holds the westminster government to book

  95. Robert Kerr says:

    Thanks bald eagle.

    I can use archive but you would get the “you have now read three articles in the last four weeks….”

    i can’t be bothered rebooting.

    As I said,

    No need to click.

  96. frogesque says:

    It won’t be up to any of the Westminster club nor is it up to the SNP.

    It will be up to the peoples of Scotland to DEMAND a new IRef when that time is right, be it 2, 5 or 20 years from now.

    This really is Last Chance Saloon for Westminster. Play fair or GTF!

  97. ronnie anderson says:

    Stupidist Man in Britain,he’s upset awe the Village Idiots awe er the Country.

  98. wull says:

    This is just a ruse by Ed M. After the elction he knows he will have to make some kind of deal with the SNP to get into Downing Street. There are vast numbers of English voters who are under the illusion that the SNP is running a campaign for a second referendum. Having been misinformed by their media on the subject, they are completely unaware that the SNP has already ruled this out. As a Master of Illusion, Ed’s plan is to keep the illisuion going.

    His plan to milk the illusion for his own benefit is not-so-subtle. AFTER the election he will make an arrangement with the SNP that makes him PM, and falsely claim that he made it a condition that HE got the SNP to rule out a second referendum. As if HE obtained a guarantee the SNP had already long given.

    That guarantee is an integral part part of the SNP’s own long-term strategy, including its understanding of how independencve will in fact be achieved. It has nothing to do with Ed Milliband and his pumped-up illusion-based pretensions.

    So Ed, laughably, is going to pretend after the election that he got something erased from the SNP manifesto / agenda which was never there in the first place. This is what the illusionists who run Britiush politics do. Having lost touch with reality long ago, they are reduced to playing endless silly games with people’s perceptions. Makimg things – that is, lies – up as they go along.

    Ed’s first great achievement in office will be this: transforming an SNP election commitment into a concession he has wrung from them! Rabbits and hats! Thereby hoodwinking the whole of England into thinking he did something, when in fact … it was the SNP who did it.

    Ed the Illusionist is confident that the great English public is so gullible, and so easily led by their main-line-misinformers, that they will buy this nonsense without so much as a critical glance. They will gasp in awe at their new leader’s ability to sort out these subversive Scots once and for all. What strength!

    But he won’t deceive anyone in Scotland, where he will be exposed as the hot-air balloon he really is. And Nicola will have no problem convincing even the English public of the same. She’ll soon be the most popular politician in England too!

  99. Fiona says:

    If, as I suspect, many no voters really do support devo max, and chose to vote the way they did as the only option they had in pursuing their preference, then Mr Milliband has truly done something very stupid.

    As the referendum campaign progressed more and more people became convinced that we would get nothing meaningful from further devolution. Nonetheless it was not enough, and a majority decided to stay in the union. My impression is that this was not a vote for the status quo, but rather the triumph of hope over experience: the hope that we could yet build a better union. The idea has its attractions. If I thought for one moment that could happen, I might be content to go with it. Since we are in the union, for the moment it is all we can realistically do and I think that most who voted yes in the referendum are sincerely prepared to give it their best shot: that is certainly the message from the SNP, and I agree with them on this. For the day to day business of politicians has to be to try to make life better for the people, no matter what the long term goal may be. At least that is what I think: I do not believe that it is legitimate to make things worse in order to further your cause, though that is also a revolutionary idea with a long history.

    Sadly there does not appear to be any Westminster party that can even understand that idea, much less pursue it. And that, for me, spells the end of the union. It does not surprise me: I reached the conclusion long ago that improving the situation in the UK is impossible, largely because the english electorate do not share my view of what “improvement” actually means. They are perfectly entitled to take a different view: but it means we cannot work together for common goals, for we have none.

    A great many people in england and rUK do share at least some of my goals, don’t get me wrong. But there are not enough of them and they do not seem to be prepared to work for those goals in any meaningful way, to date. That, at least, is the calculation that all three Westminster parties make. You can expect nothing else from the tories, but I believe that for labour it is a profound error. I do not know how they imagine they can ever win an overall majority while they act as tories, for I do not see why any tory voter would not vote for the real thing: and it is only a matter of time before genuine labour voters turn away from them, as has happened in Scotland. Ultimately they alienate their core support, and when that happens swing voters are irrelevant

    What one could have hoped to see was a labour party which realised that Scotland is a straw in the wind for them. But they think otherwise. Presumably they do that “6 impossible things before breakfast” thing. They believe that Scottish people are genuinely different, and so what happens here cannot happen in England: and at the same time they believe that Scottish people are exactly the same, and so positions they think play well in England will also prove persuasive here. It is quite a puzzle.

    If the Westminster parties truly wanted the union to survive they would enter a genuine dialogue with the Scots, with the aim of finding a settlement acceptable to all. They are not doing that. I can only presume that they do not want to preserve the union on any terms except the status quo.

    For that reason I think those who decided to give the union another chance will change their minds. Independence is inevitable, IMO, for reasons such as these

  100. icyspark says:

    James Kelly raises a very good point regarding the Ashcroft focus groups:

  101. heedtracker says:

    Dumbass. We can’t have another referendum for a wee while anyway and Westminster won’t allow fiscal autonomy. BUT, we can get shot of SLabour and then see how Scotland grows without them.

  102. Brian Fleming says:

    As far as I can recall, “once in a (political) generation” was Alex Salmond’s assessment of what was likely. It was never some sort of pledge (how could it be?), despite the fact hysterical journalists tried hard to turn it into one.

  103. Valerie says:

    Off topic but you’re gonna want to hear this

    BBC reporting a Labour candidate called Mahmood in Lancashire has been arrested and suspended by his party for postal electoral fraud allegations.

    He is out on bail.

  104. Grouse Beater says:

    The chronically nasal geek, Miliband, is going around paraphrasing Salmond as if his own speech making.

  105. msean says:

    The Scots will decide when the next referendum is,not Mr Miliband or the Labour party. Sounds a bit undemocratic to me, to sound like he wouldn’t give his permission if everyone votes for a new referendum. Its not like as if the winner of the last indyref didn’t keep to its word,eh? Lasted all of half an hour.

  106. Fiona says:

    @ Nana Smith

    Private Eye has been reporting on her history for a while now. Can’t say I am surprised that she is to be sued, if that report is correct. Don’t know if it will stick, because IIRC she has been asked about this episode, and I believe her defence was that the chair of the risk committee can’t be expected to actually do anything to earn the megabucks she is paid. She sees the job as complete when she has asked the bank if they are doing anything naughty, and they have replied of course not.

  107. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

    Is this absurd wee twit Miliband going to rule out scottish elections in 2016 or another general election in 2020?

    It’s no up tae you wee man, it’s up tae the voters. 😉

  108. bugsbunny says:

    Murphy on Reporting Scotland blowing about building 100 000 new homes in Scotland. Didn’t they only build 6 during their last tenure? Ruth speaking to 5 oldies at a bingo hall. And Jackie Bird being as nice as pie, almost whispering tone, to Willie Rennie.

    Terrible Journalism.


  109. Iain More says:

    So he wont deal with the SNP on anything and he wont give on a Referendum. How does it go “No Taxation Without Representation!”

  110. Rock says:

    The SNP should rule out supporting a government led by the “the stupidest man in Britain” unless the queen’s speech unambiguosly includes legislation for:-

    1) the aboilition of the House of Lords

    2) the cancellation of Trident renewal

    3) a referendum on proportional representation.

  111. Famous15 says:

    There is no referendum in the SNP manifesto!

    Murphy et al wish to get a referendum back main stage to beat up the SNP.

    Any person here who rises to the bait and shouts that no one will tell them and we will have a referendum or even worse UDI are either stupid or not on our side.

    PLEASE let us get a good showing in GE 2015 before any more talk that could deny us victory.

  112. heedtracker says:

    Rancid Graun widdles all over Scottish democracy again of an evening. Another sneery twit blames Cameron and Farage for stoking English resentment at Scotland

    “Thus is Scottish resentment of English dominance fed into English resentment of the Scots – what Nigel Farage describes as “taxpayers cheesed off with money going over Hadrian’s wall” and “the Scots tail wagging the English dog”. It is a potent attack.”

    I have spent my whole Scottish life listening to our friends in the south explain how they pay for their Scotland region of bums, Rab C Nesbit style.

    Now they’re resentful. Maybe less than three dozen SNP MP’s might show up at Westminster May 8 out of 650. Can you invent a bigger bunch of ridiculous imperial masters anywhere enraged at their Scotland region not voting how they say?


  113. Fiona says:


    Relax. We will indeed have a referendum when the people of Scotland want one. That is not now, and so it is a non-issue.

    What I would like to see is the SNP pushing for a formal mechanism so that we can properly determine when the people do come to the conclusion they want one. Sovereignty of the people is hard to implement without one.

    In some countries people can start a petition and if enough people sign it it obliges the government to take some heed: we even have a dilute version of that in the UK. Be simple enough to get that set up for Holyrood, and it might be an idea

  114. Paula Rose says:

    If I wanted a referendum at this election, I’d be voting UKIP. (irony alert)

  115. Cactus says:

    Any predictions on the Glasgow % turnout for the vote?

    59 mini-independence referendums hehe 😉

  116. Macart says:


    I agree, the longevity of the union is up to Westminster. All they have to do is deliver on pledges made to the Scottish electorate. Of course they may have a problem with that since the HoL is already making disapproving noises over even the modest Smith commission conclusion. Then of course that whole guarantee of Mr Brown’s, y’know home rule, near federalism? That was never really on offer. Oh and the other guarantee of the Scottish parliament’s permanency being written into law? That’s already been binned.

    So either Ed or Dave is facing a problem in the next parliament. Just how are they going to explain to the Scottish electorate that they are not getting what they were led to expect and the Scottish electorate were led to expect that powerhouse parliament with significant powers at the very least and home rule at most.

    Then of course there is the other problem facing the next PM. Several dozen SNP MPs will command a great deal of media attention. Kicking the UKs constitutional sleight of hand into touch can’t happen. That PM and his government are going to have to stand up before the glare of the UK media and I’m sure media from further afield an explain precisely why Westminster will not deliver on the pledges made to the Scottish people.

    Its a pickle for them and Ed pretending he’s Clint Eastwood won’t make that problem or the prospect of a future referendum go away.

  117. Giesabrek says:

    Surely if the Scottish referendum was a once in a lifetime event then the EU referendum held in the 70’s was another once in a lifetime event and we have to wait another 40 years before holding another one?

    Or is it one rule for the ScotNats and none for the BritNats?

  118. Chitterinlich says:

    Said it for some time Scottish Labour are on some sort of a lose bonus.

  119. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I can’t tell whether you’re bring naive, parochial or duplicitous. I’m a yes voter and certainly will not be voting for grim jim’so lot, but what makes you think for a second any of that was pitched at scotland?”

    It might not have been PITCHED at Scotland, but it’ll be HEARD in Scotland. Labour could yet easily hang onto a dozen seats or more in Scotland. Miliband’s comments could cost him those, and that could significantly affect the legitimacy of his government in the eyes of the English press, not to mention killing Scottish Labour for good.

    As for England, by now they might rather LIKE the idea of getting rid of these troublesome Jocks who want to run their country.

  120. Rock says:

    If the Yes side had been decisively defeated in a fair referendum, there would have been no justification for another referendum for a generation.

    But at best the referendum was won by the No side with a fraudulent “vow”, at worst by rigging (in my view it was rigging).

    No one can stop the Scottish government promising a “consultative” referendum in its 2016 manifesto and then holding one if it gets an outright majority.

    What would or could Westminster do if that referendum gave a 60%+ Yes result?

  121. Chic McGregor says:

    Any obligation some may have felt to defer a 2nd referendum for a generation evaporated early on in the referendum campaign by the scurrilous tactics of the British establishment.

    There is a greater duty, to democracy itself, not to let that pass.

    Fairplay only works when both sides play fair. They have not.

  122. TInto Chiel says:


    Your piece was characteristically calm and analytical, and I enjoyed it. We are going to live in very interesting times, and soon.

    Incidentally, your sage comments on the nonsense of inflation theory recently made much sense. We now face an economic landscape with enormous amounts of Quantitative Easing but ultra-low inflation. This flies in the face of all the received wisdom: I first voted in 1974 when Ted Heath asked, “Who governs Britain (sic)?”, so I am familiar with all the old arguments. When I bought a wee house in 1982, the bank rate was an eye-watering 15.5%. The world, of course, came swiftly to an end at that juncture.

    And I agree, the people making an independent Scotland so most quickly are the Unionists.



  123. Enoughisenough says:

    Correction, the award of stupidest man in the UK goes to Nick Clegg for still thinking he is relevant in this election.

    As one alert Guardian reader commented earlier – here is his legacy after 5 years in government:

    * NHS re-organisation (not wanted by anyone other than outsourcing companies, costing us around £4billion)
    * Privatisation of Royal Mail (opposed by 80% of voters according to YouGov)
    * Privatisation of East Coast (creating a Stagecoach monopoly on all Intercity rail routes heading north)
    * Privatisation of Eurostar (which turned a profit)
    * Privatisation of the probation service (a hard right wet dream), which is now leading to mass redundancies and probation officers replaced with computer terminals.
    * Secret Courts
    * The DRIP Bill (opposed by David Davis – Conservative and Tom Watson – Labour – no word from the Liberal Democrats)
    * Massive support for TTIP (hawked by Clegg in the US – and the Whigs support full ISDS mechanisms be included – allowing foreign multinationals to sue Britain in secret tribunals if we pass laws that restrict their profits / activities in the public interest)
    * The bedroom tax (voting for it repeatedly despite pretending to oppose)
    * Cuts to 16,000 police officers, whilst trying to cut mandatory sentences for carrying knives
    * Cuts to 12,000 military personnel, whilst voting to bomb Syria. Redundancies affected soldier’s pensions and soldiers who suffered from injuries have been hit by ATOS sanctions and bedroom tax.
    * Massive cuts to legal aid
    * Fees of £1,000 for workers to bring industrial tribunals against unfair dismissal
    * ATOS / Maximus and sanctioning of the poor and disabled
    * Rising foodbank use
    * Promising to scrap tuition fees, then voting to treble them
    * Supporting the lobbying bill to muzzle trade unions and charities from campaigning agains the government (which has little effect on corporate lobbyists)
    * Further prison privatisation to G4S (with predictable consequences)
    * Blocking Zac Goldsmith’s MP recall bill (very liberal and democratic)
    * Supporting workfare, then supporting rectroactive legislation to bypass a Court of Appeals verdict ruling it unlawful
    * Supporting the disaster of ‘free schools’, trialled originally in Sweden (and found to fail there)
    * The miserable compromise of Alternative Vote, rather than Proportional Representation, which was sunk by an electorate, partially to give Clegg a kicking
    * Curtailing judicial review
    * Handing over rape crisis centres to G4S
    * Spoke of Tory VAT bombshell, then supported them hiking it up to 20%
    * Voted to oppose amendments to the Official Secrets Act which would protect whistle-blowers from from prosecution if they exposed child sex abuse (Labour / UKIP / SNP / Plaid and Green voted for the amendments, with a small number of Tories)

  124. ianbeag says:

    Rock says: 6.42
    The SNP should rule out supporting a government led by the “the stupidest man in Britain” unless the queen’s speech unambiguosly includes legislation for:-

    1) the abolition of the House of Lords

    2) the cancellation of Trident renewal

    3) a referendum on proportional representation.

    I would suggest this list should be extended to include

    4) control of broadcasting in Scotland.

  125. ArtyHetty says:

    ‘Quite frightening for a lot of people’. Now which ones would they be? The ones on zero hours contracts, or with no job and no prospects, perhaps even those who are dependent on the state for measily hand outs and at the added risk of having all that lovely cash removed by way of sanctioning. Maybe those frightened people are the disabled, or the sick, the vulnerable, the people dependent on the NHS, no the fg frightned people are the ones sitting nice and cosy and comfy, by andlarge, they have never had it so good, well they have and are frightened for themselves and their nicenest egg bank accounts and savings.

    I know what Frightens me and it ain’t Independence for Scotland thats for sure, the thought of our masters in London being at the reins for much longer is thoroughly terrifying.

  126. Chic McGregor says:

    For decades, the Unionist politicians in Scotland said “You don’t need a referendum on independence, every general election is a referendum. If you want independence all you have to do is vote in a majority of SNP MPs.”

    When the SNP got a minority Government in Holyrood and a future majority of MSPs no longer seemed impossible, they said.
    “Oh it would have to be a majority of the Scottish MPs in Westminster.

    When the SNP got a majority (against carefully made plans to thwart that) in Holyrood they said ” Oh you need a referendum.”

    Now when it looks like being a majority of SNP MPs at Westminster they are saying – what?

    You cannot have another referendum AND a majority of SNP MPs AND MSPs doesn’t count either?

    Under UN treaties and rulings on them, there is a responsibility on the Central government of a country to describe clearly, by which mechanism a region’s people may seek self determination and to not obstruct or obscure that process.

    Mr Ed is in danger of breaching the human and political rights of the people of Scotland.

  127. Rock says:


    “I would suggest this list should be extended to include

    4) control of broadcasting in Scotland.”

    That is certainly something we badly need but the SNP’s conditions for supporting a UK wide government would need to be popular with a majority of the population in South Britain.

    Labour would then not be able to blame the SNP for the fall of its minority government when (not if) it went back on its promises.

  128. Lynda says:

    Wondering how long a generation is?
    Keep hearing that that we can’t let that next generation deal with the debt of this one so we have to continue with austerity measures.Can’t have another Indy ref for a generation.
    Are they the same length of time? Genuinely interested in answer

  129. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    It is unwise to be finding reasons to put a second referendum back to 2020 or later.
    The next referendum should be held as soon as it is practicable to do so.
    The longer it is delayed the longer opponents to independence will have to skew all the circumstances.
    Politics very often moves very quickly indeed (as Ted Heath and Gordon Brown both found out as they hesitated and lost their main opportunities).
    Everything is moving in independence’s favour at the moment
    Seize the day is good advice.

    In 1916 there was a failed rebellion in Ireland. In 1918 the Irish nationalists wiped out the unionists in the General Election in all but the six counties. In 1919 these walked out of Westminster and declared an independent Ireland. Had they not done so I doubt if Ireland would now be independent as the Great Depression would have wiped every other consideration off the political map.

    We should never underestimate the power of the opponents of independence and their ability to take control of the battlefield if we give them the time to regroup

  130. Robert Peffers says:

    Could it be the none of the three Establishment Party factions, Red/Blue or Yellow actually want to be the Establishment faction in power at the de facto parliament of England when the Union disunites?

    So all of them are delighted there is deadlock and no overall control, so they are able to slope shoulders and say, “It wasn’t us to blame – it was those SNP, Plaid Cymru, Greens and DUP separatists wot dun it?

    None of them look to have anything to gain in Scotland now so probably think disunion is inevitable so intend to, “Lie back and enjoy it and think of England”. as they get screwed.

    Now where have I heard that phrase before?

  131. Paula Rose says:

    @ Lynda 8:05 – no-one can agree.

  132. R-type Grunt says:

    @ Will Podmore

    Is Scotland a country?

  133. Fred says:

    Watched Miliband at Jimmy Reid’s funeral, the workies stood outside the Govan yard gate to pay their respects as the hearse passed, Miliband & photographer siezed the opportunity for a photo-shot with the guys.

    Jimmy Reid wouldn’t have pished on Miliband or his glaiket brother.

  134. BOB Mooney says:

    Let’s get down to earth and be practical over all this talk of another referendum by the wet knickered press, yes most are bunch of big lassies, the people of this great country of Scotland are the ones who will decide and not the press or our politicians.

    If the majority wish Independance we will pull our socks, and our drawers up, and get on with it and make our own mistakes and laugh along the way while our children and grand children in the future will thank us in memorium.

  135. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    I am surprised that nobody has picked up what the Smith Commission says about this.

    To quote…

    “18. It is agreed that nothing in this report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose. ”

    So why are Cameron and Miliband ruling out a referendum when the Smith Commission which their Scottish Parties agreed to, has this very important clause included.

    I think that makes it quite clear – Independence when the people of Scotland so choose.

    Not when Westminster lets us choose.

    I think it is called democracy.

  136. Peter A Bell says:

    With respect to Stu Campbell, I think he is missing the crucial point here. It is not about whether or when we have another independence referendum. It is about the right of the people of Scotland to choose to have another referendum. It is about our right of self-determination.

    By stipulating that they will not allow a second referendum, both Miliband and Cameron are denying the people of Scotland their fundamental democratic right to determine how they are governed. They are seeking to broaden the scope of the existing technical requirement for consent from the UK Parliament to establish a prohibition on any form of constitutional referendum which would have the effect of challenging the union.

    The intention is to put Scotland’s relationship with the UK on a similar constitutional basis to Catalunya’s relationship with Spain. The purpose is, not merely to prevent another referendum in the short- to medium-term, but to put in place an absolute legal ban on the people of Scotland ever again having an opportunity to have a say on the constitutional question.

    We may not need a campaign for a second referendum at this time. But it is vital that we defend our right of self-determination. We must, by all means, keep our eye on the ball of our immediate political objectives. But it would be tragic if, when we do lift our heads, we discover that somebody has stolen the pitch.

  137. gordon says:

    It’s referenda not referendums…….

  138. Fiona says:

    @ gordon

    No, it isn’t.

  139. Peter A Bell says:

    Oxford English dictionary,

    Referendums is logically preferable as a plural form meaning ballots on one issue (as a Latin gerund, referendum has no plural). The Latin plural gerundive referenda, meaning things to be referred, necessarily connotes a plurality of issues.

  140. Will Podmore says:

    Peter Bell claims, “By stipulating that they will not allow a second referendum, both Miliband and Cameron are denying the people of Scotland their fundamental democratic right to determine how they are governed.”
    No, in every general election every person in Scotland has a vote, their fundamental democratic right to determine how they are governed.

  141. Will Podmore says:

    Big Jock, Britain is one nation. If you set Scots against English, you are just as divisive as Cameron is, when he puts forward an ‘English Manifesto’.
    In democracies, there is no right for national minorities to secede. Even Salmond acknowledged that a referendum held without Westminster’s consent would be illegitimate, saying, “An agreement with Westminster was necessary to put the referendum beyond legal challenge.”
    Secession without legitimacy would be just like Ian Smith’s illegal declaration of Rhodesia’s independence.

  142. Peter A Bell says:

    From Encyclopædia Britannica:

    The UN Charter clarifies two meanings of the term self-determination. First, a state is said to have the right of self-determination in the sense of having the right to choose freely its political, economic, social, and cultural systems. Second, the right to self-determination is defined as the right of a people to constitute itself in a state or otherwise freely determine the form of its association with an existing state. Both meanings have their basis in the charter (Article 1, paragraph 2; and Article 55, paragraph 1). With respect to dependent territories, the charter asserts that administering authorities should undertake to ensure political advancement and the development of self-government (Article 73, paragraphs a and b; and Article 76, paragraph b).

  143. Peter A Bell says:

    Britain is not a nation. It is, to paraphrase James Kelman, the name that the ruling elites give to the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state.

    Salmond used the words “beyond legal challenge” advisedly. He DID NOT say that the referendum would be illegitimate without the consent of the UK Parliament. It is neither honest nor clever to attempt to misrepresent his statement.

  144. Roger says:

    It’s the auld sense of entitlement again

  145. Will Podmore says:

    So Peter, according to the UN Charter the state of Britain has the right of self-determination in the sense of having the right to choose freely its political, economic, social, and cultural systems. And the British people has the right to constitute itself in a state or otherwise freely determine the form of its association with an existing state.”
    Are you really claiming that Scotland is a dependent territory? It isn’t, and to suggest that it is so is to demean Scotland.
    The legal situation is that holding a referendum is beyond the powers given by Westminster to the Scottish government. The Edinburgh Agreement between the Coalition government and the SNP included a Section 30 order which temporarily devolved to Holyrood the power to hold a referendum. Without that Agreement, if the Scottish government had held a referendum it would have been illegitimate.

  146. Peter A Bell says:

    The stuff about Scotland being a “dependent territory” is, of course, entirely a product of your own imagination, Let us draw a discreet veil over it to save you further embarrassment.

    As for the rest, a moderately well-informed summary of the legal technicalities… which totally disregards the political realities.

    Think about it! The Westminster elite was determined that the people of Scotland should NEVER have an opportunity to speak on the constitutional question. If there had been a politically feasible way to block the referendum, Cameron and his cronies would have leapt at it. The fact that the referendum happened is all the proof any thinking person might need that, regardless of the legal niceties, it couldn’t be stopped.

    Had Cameron refused the Section 30 order, the Scottish Government would have gone ahead with a referendum regardless. They would simply have called it a “consultative” plebiscite. Westminster would have had no input as regards the formulation of the question or anything else. Because the referendum was “only” consultative and because the British state had tried to block it, the result would almost certainly have been a substantial vote in favour of independence.

    That referendum would have taken on its own political legitimacy and would have been effectively binding. Something that Cameron’s advisers certainly realised, even if you are unable to get past those legal technicalities.

  147. Will Podmore says:

    So Peter, why then did you quote the bit from Encyclopedia Britannica about dependent territories? What point were you trying to make?
    If Scotland had gone ahead and called a referendum, it would have been breaking the law. So the result would have had no legitimacy. If Salmond had followed your advice and treated your hoped-for result as binding, he would have been copying white Rhodesia’s Ian Smith’s illegal UDI. Nice company.
    Fortunately, Alex Salmond does not advocate rebellion.

  148. Peter A Bell says:

    The piece from Encyclopedia Britannica was intended to aid your understanding of self-determination. It doesn’t seem to have worked.

    Again, you exhibit a woeful lack of awareness of political and constitutional realities. A consultative referendum would not have been “illegal”. And it would not have been the Scottish Government that would have been forced to treat the result as binding. Cameron would have refused to recognise a massive majority in favour of independence (by whatever way the question was put) at his peril. The result would, in fact, have been much as we see happening now – a huge surge in support for the SNP; wipe-out of unionist parties in Scotland; and growing demand for another referendum.

    As I stated before, however blind you may be to these realities, Cameron obviously wasn’t. As evidenced by the fact that he opted not to continue trying to block the referendum.

    It is perplexing to me that some people, yourself included, appear to take comfort in the idea of an elected dictatorship in which the executive can do whatever it wishes regardless of what the people say. I’m not sure what the perverse attraction is.

  149. Fiona says:

    @ Peter A Bell

    I think it is a fundamental difference between Scottish and English approaches to constitutional law.

    The english genuinely believe in parliamentary sovereignty, and they value it quite highly. The scots genuinely believe in sovereignty of the people, and they value that quite highly.

    The difference is masked by the lack of an established mechanism for determining and implementing the scottish concept: which is a major flaw in the union, though not often very obvious in our day to day political lives. But it is central to this particular question and so has come to the fore.

    A consultative referendum is just such a mechanism, arguably. And is seen as such by scots, I think. But that just doesn’t make sense to an english person steeped in parliamentary sovereignty

    I don’t think that is a bridgeable gap.

  150. Peter A Bell says:

    You are absolutely right, Fiona. The concepts of parliamentary and popular sovereignty are totally incompatible. And that is the fatal flaw that will end the union.

    I’m not so sure, however, that people in England are actually as comfortable with the concept of parliamentary sovereignty as you suppose. Or, at least, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be if they were ever induced to contrast it with the concept of popular sovereignty.

    What we know is that, while parliamentary sovereignty is never fully explained, it is sold very, very hard as the “British way” of doing democracy. And, of course, if it is British then it must be best. Even to question that is to invite condemnation.

    One of the main reasons that the British establishment is panicked by the rise of the SNP is that it may bring increased awareness of the idea of popular sovereignty and provoke people in the rest of the UK to start questioning the status quo.

  151. Will Podmore says:

    Peter writes, of “elected dictatorship in which the executive can do whatever it wishes regardless of what the people say.” The British people say that we want to stay united. The Scottish people also said this in the referendum.
    Cameron and his ilk may believe in parliamentary sovereignty, I don’t. I back popular sovereignty.
    The British people should have the say about how we are governed and what our country is. No national minority should trump the wishes of the whole people.

  152. Peter A Bell says:

    With precious hope that the point will be grasped I repeat yet again that democracy is a process and not a one-off event.

    You say you believe in popular sovereignty. Many who voted No in the referendum would make the same claim. And yet every one of them voted AGAINST the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. Every one of them voted FOR the parliamentary sovereignty they feign to reject. Are they dishonest? Or are they just too stupid to know what they are voting for?

    Oh! And democracy is still a process.

  153. Will Podmore says:

    The No voters voted for the sovereignty and unity of the British people. The question was not, do you want parliament to be sovereign? It was, do you want Britain to stay united?
    Peter, you then reveal your real attitude to democracy and to the people you claim to support when you accuse the majority of Scots of being either dishonest or stupid.

  154. Peter A Bell says:

    You really don’t get this, do you? The entire concept of sovereignty is a complete mystery to you. I’ll have one last go at trying to explain it to you.

    To put it as simply as possible, for your benefit, sovereignty may be defined as supreme or ultimate authority. The principle of parliamentary sovereignty holds that parliament is sovereign and the legitimacy of government is derived from the Crown in Parliament.

    Popular sovereignty means that the people are the ultimate authority and that government derives its legitimacy from the people.

    The British state is founded on the principle of parliamentary sovereignty. If you voted No on September 18 2014 then you were voting to remain part of the British state. By definition, therefore, you were voting in favour of parliamentary sovereignty.

    Because parliamentary sovereignty is wholly incompatible with popular sovereignty by voting for the former you were necessarily and inevitably voting against the latter.

    If you told other people that a No vote was a vote for popular sovereignty you were dishonest. Although perhaps not intentionally so. Because if you genuinely believed that a No vote was a vote for popular sovereignty then you were stupid. The only benefit of that stupidity being that it exempts you from being labelled a liar.

    On the basis of your earlier comments, I accept that you are unlikely to comprehend any of the above. But nobody can say I didn’t try. This exchange is ended.

  155. Will Podmore says:

    Peter, you claim that “The British state is founded on the principle of parliamentary sovereignty.” The state may well be so. But state is not the nation. The state is a capitalist state, a machine for enforcing the rule of the capitalist class.
    The British nation is founded on the sovereignty of the British people, who are the true source of our national sovereignty.
    Yes, we all oppose the British capitalist state, the source of wars, injustice and exploitation.
    But we all belong the British nation, which will, when we so decide, destroy that instrument of minority capitalist rule.

  156. Paula Rose says:

    Which British state would that be dear?

    Can’t find it in my world gazetteer.

  157. Grouse Beater says:


    Plodmore is an arch egotist. He is compelled to answer every post with a negative otherwise his feelings of inadequacy are exacerbated.

  158. Peter A Bell says:

    Podmore is also an idiot who imagines the British state is “founded on the sovereignty of the British people”. There is no explaining that depth of deluded stupidity.

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top