The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

UDI is the answer

Posted on August 09, 2015 by

Alert social-media users will have noticed that it’s hard to avoid a constant low-level buzzing from a faction of the Yes movement, calling on the next Scottish Government (in the event, as currently seems likely, that it’s another SNP majority) to issue a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, or UDI for short.


And in the context of achieving Scottish independence UDI is indeed the answer, if we assume that the question is “What’s the stupidest thing the SNP could possibly do?”

If you look up UDI on Wikipedia, you get a handy historical primer:

“Prominent examples of a unilateral declaration of independence other than Rhodesia’s UDI in 1965 include that of the United States in 1776, the Irish Declaration of Independence of 1919 by a revolutionary parliament, the attempted secession of Biafra from Nigeria in 1967, the Bangladeshi declaration of independence from Pakistan in 1970, the (internationally unrecognized) secession of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from Cyprus in 1983, the Palestinian Declaration of Independence from the Palestinian territories in 1988, and that of the Republic of Kosovo in 2008.”

Brighter readers will perhaps note that none of these ventures went particularly well.

– The US declaration of independence triggered an eight-year war with an uncountable death total and a vast economic cost which played a major part in bringing about the French Revolution.

– Rhodesia’s declaration set in motion a 15-year civil war with tens of thousands of deaths until it was withdrawn. Independence was eventually granted democratically and the country became Zimbabwe, which is of course now a model nation.

– Ireland’s 1919 declaration followed (and endorsed) that made outside the Dublin Post Office during the 1916 Easter Rising, and UK citizens should need no reminding about how that played out over the next century.

– Northern Cyprus has at least avoided a civil war (so far), but is still internationally considered part of Cyprus 32 years after declaring itself a sovereign state.

– We’re not even going to start on Palestine. Let’s just say that its status is still the subject of some dispute and then run away really really fast.

Pretty much the best outcome of a UDI to date is that of Kosovo, formerly part of Serbia, which itself is formerly part of Yugoslavia. Nobody knows how many people died in the Kosovan civil war (which predates the declaration), but despite substantial recognition from UN members Kosovo is not yet a sovereign state.

Readers may quite reasonably feel that any independence strategy for which Kosovo is the best-case scenario needs no further discussion among rational adults, on purely utilitarian grounds – UDI simply doesn’t work. But UDI for Scotland in particular is a dumber idea still, for all sorts of reasons.


The most obvious is that Scotland just had a democratic referendum on the subject, which resulted in a close but clear victory for No. The Scottish people were not denied self-determination. They had a free and fair vote on it, conducted by a government which was in favour of the principle, and they determined to stay part of the UK.

A referendum is a uniquely unambiguous way of establishing a population’s opinion on any matter. People vote for a political party in an election for a whole raft of reasons, and may even do so while actively opposing some of that party’s policies.

(Every mainstream UK and Scottish party, for example, supports continuation of the monarchy, so republicans voting SNP, Labour, Lib Dem or Conservative are all doing so with reservations.)

But with a referendum, there’s no mistaking the majority view. A Scottish Government issuing a UDI barely 18 months after the electorate had explicitly and directly rejected independence wouldn’t be democracy, it’d be something more akin to a coup d’etat.

(And one that on a purely practical level was doomed to certain failure, because there’d be no chance whatsoever of the revolutionaries controlling the armed forces.)

Scotland is not Catalonia, which is being refused the legal democratic option by Spain. There is no justification to dodge the ballot box unless the SNP stands on an explicit platform of a second referendum and is refused by Westminster. But even that scenario is a swamp of uncertainty.

If the polls don’t change, Westminster might just call the bluff. If it didn’t, the Scottish Government might try to go ahead anyway – the question of whether Holyrood has the constitutional right to run its own referendum was avoided by the Edinburgh Agreement, not settled, and the legal battle might drag on for years.

UDIers shrug all this off with a casual air: “If UDI is in the manifesto and the SNP win, nothing else matters. That’s a democratic mandate.” But that argument carries no weight in international law. If a party won an election on a platform of immediately invading its neighbours or exterminating everyone called Gerald, it wouldn’t make those actions legal.

And the case is in any event built on a wildly optimistic assumption – that the SNP would win a majority on that manifesto. We know that a substantial minority of SNP voters, probably somewhere around 15%, actually oppose independence. Many more would undoubtedly be scared off by a policy as drastic as UDI.

(Some for the reasons outlined above, some for simpler pragmatic ones – polling still doesn’t show a Yes lead – and some on principle, such as the fact that it’s both disrespectful and usually counter-productive to ask the electorate the same question that it just answered, with no substantive change of circumstances having occurred, as if it was simply too stupid to have understood the question the first time.)

It’s easy for Nats carried away by May’s result and the booming current opinion polls to forget just what a stupendous and unlikely achievement the 2011 majority was. Holyrood’s electoral system was of course expressly designed to prevent such a thing from happening, and the SNP’s vote wouldn’t have to fall very far before it was back in minority territory again.

(And obviously none of the other parties would contemplate voting with the SNP on UDI for a microsecond, so it’d have to be majority or bust.)


Finally, as well as UDI being utter madness in its own right, the fact is there’s simply no need for it, because there are two very plausible scenarios for a legitimate second indyref within as little as six years.

One that’s been often discussed (including in today’s Sunday Times) is the 2017 EU referendum, specifically the possibility that the rUK votes to leave and Scotland to stay in. Public opinion would very likely consider that enough of a significant material change in circumstances to justify another vote, especially as this time businesses would be very much on the Yes campaign’s side.

(We’ll leave the merits of the EU post-Greece out of it for now.)

The second is if Labour elect Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper as their new leader and get trounced in 2020, as they would. (An outcome which is of course also possible if they pick Jeremy Corbyn.) The opposition parties in Scotland are said to have recently agreed that the 2016 Holyrood parliament would serve five years rather than four, in order to avoid a clash with that UK general election.

What that would mean would be that the SNP could stand for election at Holyrood in 2021 saying “Look, the Tories are now going to have been in power for at least 15 years and probably 20. You gave them a chance, but they shafted you on The Vow. Austerity is killing the country. It’s time to get out once and for all.”

According to polls, most Scots already think the Scotland Bill doesn’t live up to the promises made by the Unionist parties during the No campaign, and it’s hard to picture Scottish Labour having recovered to be a serious electoral threat by five years from now, so barring some pretty dramatic unforseen events the Nats’ chances of getting a majority with an indyref2 mandate, and winning it, would be strong.

So we’ve established that UDI is dangerous and stupid, it doesn’t work, it’s morally shaky and there’s realistically no chance of the SNP winning a Holyrood majority on it. Conversely, a little patience presents the Yes movement with two viable scenarios for securing a second referendum by sane means within just a few years, during which time the political and demographic winds will almost certainly be in their favour.

As a choice, it’s a no-brainer. Anyone thinking of kicking off an internal civil war in the SNP by demanding a cast-iron commitment to a second indyref in the 2016 manifesto should expect no support from the sensible. If you’ve got a problem with troublesome enemy submarines, trying to win the battle by pointing your cannons at the floor of your own ship is the route to catastrophe.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 09 08 15 15:43

    UDI is the answer | Speymouth

  2. 10 08 15 17:56

    UDI is the answer | Politics Scotland |

  3. 19 09 15 12:54

    Jack Foster: We’ve Maybe 15 Years & Another Defeat Before Independence | NewsShaft

  4. 25 09 15 20:52

    » We’ve Maybe 15 Years & Another Defeat Before IndependenceJack Foster

  5. 12 02 19 14:05

    We’ve Maybe 15 Years & Another Defeat Before Independence – Jack Foster | Scotland

369 to “UDI is the answer”

  1. HandandShrimp says:

    UDI is a weapon of last resort. It could only be used if there was a clear democratic mandate for independence and Westminster tried to block the move, arrest independence activists etc. It would almost certainly result in some sort of conflict and it would be unpleasant.

    It cannot be a policy or a stated aim. It can only be a reaction to intolerable pressures and subversion of the democratic will. It should be hoped that such pressures and undemocratic activities will not occur in modern Europe but of course that is not to say they could not.

  2. Jimmy The Pict says:

    The time for the next referendum has to be when the Tories start cutting finances of pensioners. Either directly or indirectly.

  3. Ken500 says:

    The SNP members will put up a resolution on another Referendum, and the membership will vote. Then it will be put in a Manifesto and the rest of the electorate can vote. Then if a Referendum is called, there will be a vote. The electorate can vote. It is up to the people in Scotland.

  4. David Smith says:

    It sticks in the throat a bit but of course you’re right. Kosovo in particular is a bad example, being a gangster state, essentially set up in the interests of organised crime and geopolitical mischief making. UDI is a scarcely credible option given that half of our people still lack the self belief required to be a normal country. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK. I guess we just have to work hard at countering the corporatist media and educating our fellow Scots and hope we can stick another five, ten, twenty years of out of control “Free” Market Extremism. (Sucks teeth) It’s gonna be a big job…

  5. Andy Ellis says:

    Fully agree that calls for UDI are politically autistic, but the commitment to being able to call indyref2 during the course of the next Scottish parliament is vital. It doesn’t have to be a cast iron guarantee to hold it by a particular date, it should however be a clear commitment that the SG will hold when and if it sees fit given the circumstances.

    It’s not a matter of provoking civil war within the party, it’s a matter of capitalising on the engagement of indyref1, being patient and giving the britnats enough rope to hang themselves. The brexit debate (probably irrespective of the outcome), more years of Tory imposed austerity, and the failure of britnat establishment and elites to deliver even on the thin gruel of devo-min, will be all that’s required to enable the calling of indyref2 and a Yes vote in it.

  6. handclapping says:

    Another reason to not is that we have not analysed why Yes didn’t win and what we have to do to change the result next time. We dont even have a body doing this. The SNP is a political party and is not the Yes campaign nor should it be as Scottish Independence is more than politics.

    Anybody putting their faith in the SNP to lead us to Independence is mistaken. The SNP is only part of the journey and they and we need to recognise that and set about creating Yes 2.1 to push forward the analysis and action to move 45 to 60 without forcing people into politics.

  7. Betsy says:

    This really can’t be said enough. UDI is obvious lunacy. A Indyref2 in 2016 runs it a close second, which is why the UK government appear to by trying to provoke another referendum asap.

    If I thought we had a chance of winning I’d be jumping up and down for a referendum next week but the numbers just aren’t there yet. We failed to convince enough folk last time, our energies would be better spent getting bigger and better rather than agitating for a second indyref or worse UDI.

    Loving peoples enthusiasm and passion but a bit of common sense and patience wouldn’t go amiss.

  8. Mealer says:

    I don’t detect any desire for UDI amongst the ACTIVE members of the SNP.

  9. Itchybiscuit says:

    Aye Rev, it has to be a democratically achieved independence or nothing.

    Alienating almost 50% of the population by declaring independence without a referendum would be a recipe for disaster. Sure, we can win independence with the backing of 51% but it would be a wholly democratic process in contrast to the undemocratic imposition of UDI.

    I’m all in favour of an independent Scotland but I don’t want Scots spending the next generation fighting amongst themselves over questions of legitimacy (whatever that means). Slowly, slowly, etc.

    Thanks for being here Rev – your country needs you! ;o)

  10. Indiaosaka says:

    ‘Pretty much the best outcome of a UDI to date is that of Kosovo, formerly part of Serbia, which itself is formerly part of Yugoslavia.’

    No, I think that would be Belgium.

  11. Calum Craig says:

    *Some* sort of commitment to having the option of another referendum needs to be in the 2016 manifesto, otherwise how could we call a snap ref in 2017 in the case of Brexit?

  12. Gallowglass says:

    Excellent stuff Stuart, your best article by far in recent months in my opinion. A topic well deserved of a candle to light it up.

    UDI would be a disastrous policy.

  13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “No, I think that would be Belgium.”

    Kosovo was definitely never part of Belgium, man.

  14. Democracy Reborn says:

    Stu, agree 100%.

    Interesting piece on ‘separation’ from the New Statesman, 6/3/14 : Slovakia, its “Velvet Divorce” from the Czech Republic in 1993, one of Europe’s ‘quiet successes’. Parallels with Scotland quite striking:-

    “a small, mountainous European country of just over 5 million people celebrated its 21st anniversary as an independent nation. Since independence, it has enjoyed some of Europe’s highest growth rates, with strong inward investment encouraged by low taxes, and has become an active member of the European Union, stoutly defending its own interests…. [It was] known until its “Velvet Divorce” from the Cech Republic in 1993 as the smaller, less developed and weaker part of Czechoslovakia. Now it scores higher in almost every economic indicator.”

    “…Czechs and Slovaks appear to get on better now than they did when they shared a country, constantly bickering as they did (just like the Scots and English) over whether one ‘subsidised’ the other or ‘dictated policy’.”

    “In conversations with Slovak politicians and observers, I have heard the same upbeat point again and again. ‘We have grown up politically. We don’t have anyone else to blame anymore. We are responsible for our own decisions’.”

    Incidentally, Slovakia became a member of the World Bank and IMF on day 1 of independence. It became a member of the UN after 19 days. Czechoslovakia was not a member of the EU in 1993, but both countries went on to join the EU in 2004. It was Slovakia, not the Czech Republic (previously seen as the economically more vibrant) that was the first to adopt the Euro, at the time when that was seems as a mark of respectability.

  15. Dan Watt says:

    Thanks Rev. I have been trying to point out to various yes dreamers on Facebook etc. how utterly futile UDI would be for Scotland.

    So many people seem oblivious to the fact that the UK armed forces would be all over Scotland quelling the rebellion almost as soon as it started.

    UDI is impossible without a military and even then dubious to say the least.

  16. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    UDI is, indeed, a ‘low-level buzzing’, indeed, so low that I had not noticed it until I read the recent post. You are right to discredit it, but, just by doing so, you have probably given the concept unnecessary publicity. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    Those of us who support independence are democrats and support decisions taken via the ballot box after a proper debate. We lost the referendum, and we accept the decision as an expression of the view of a majority of those voting after an unprecedentedly high turnout. However, accepting the decision does not mean that we abandon the cause of independence. We must keep the issue alive, consider why we failed to get a majority, address issues which proved decisive for some NO voters, and adapt to changing circumstances, and things have changed significantly in the past 11 months. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    How much of the UDI “agitation” is being produced by trolls, by unionist agents provocateur, by right wing commentators, etc., who are seeking to splinter the pro-independence body? THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    Let us continue on the democratic, discursive and respectful path.

  17. heedtracker says:

    Can’t see mark 2 UKOK BBC Project Fear creep show allowing Brexit, in exact same way they wouldn’t allow a YES win. But it’s only a 12 tory majority and look at how fast exact same noble and honest tory democrats bottled it over their fox hunting thingeee. By 2020, their historic Scotland bill fraud may look very different from this current very bizarre shyste.

    Tortoise and hare, Scotland.

  18. Milady de Winter says:

    We really need to get the currency issue sorted ASAP and draw up plans for a national bank. If we can convince people the currency and associated banking & economics structures CAN work we are more than half way there. 6-7 years sounds a long time but I also believe that is the realistic timeline we would be looking at.

  19. Cath says:

    Great piece Stu. Generally, the people who are calling for another referendum ASAP, or for UDI, are the same ones who were confidently predicting in the week before the referendum that we’d definitely win and “everyone” they spoke to was yes. They’re often also the same people who were claiming they were managing to convince “every” no voter they spoke to to convert to yes.

    In short, their judgement isn’t necessarily the best.

  20. Edward Andrews says:

    The people who are pushing UDI simply haven’t thought the matter through. I know a wee bit about the Irish history, and the philosophical basis of what Sinn Fein did in 1919 was very different to that which pertains in Scotland in 2015. We have had a Referendum, and while some of the madder people are casting aspersions on the veracity of the result that is whistling for the moon. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    The fact is that we were only ahead on one poll for one weekend, the rest of the polls showed us behind, and anyone who worked outside the 4 winning areas knew that we would loose. The wonder of the Referendum is that we did as well as we did. In the future we will have a rerun of the Referendum and win, but the people who are making the noises are either fools or agent provocateurs seeking to de-stabilise those who are setting down for the long hall to victory in 2020 or thereafter. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    Wee hint; to get away with UDI you have to have your own people under military control and your own terror on those who step out of line.

  21. Jamie Shepherd says:

    The unfinished business of indyref1 is devomax/the vow/home rule/ffa which has been blocked by the establishment after clear promises were made. Many no voters did so only on the strength of these promises. If, as is likely, there is a vote on a motion to include indyref2 in the 2016 manifesto, then a sensible thing would be to propose an amendment for some form of devomax referendum instead. Such an amendment would delay the higher-risk indyref strategy until 2021, and give a voter-mandate for powers which up till now have been merely empty politician’s promises.

    The flaw in 2014 was not having enough existing autonomy to convince people the numbers would work. Although gradualism may not be liked by all within the Yes movement, as a strategy it has the ability to deconstruct arguments against indy by taking on powers and filling in blanks with hard data.

    If such a referendum took place and gained a majority, the horse-trading in its wake would take us to a clear point where all avenues for a satisfactory devomax settlement would be exhausted. We would then either have the powers to walk the walk and show the numbers, or the whole business of devomax would be seen as a sham and the ground would be laid for indyref2 in 2021.

  22. CameronB Brodie says:

    What HandandShrimp said.

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “*Some* sort of commitment to having the option of another referendum needs to be in the 2016 manifesto”

    My expectation is that the manifesto will indeed reserve the right to call a referendum if circumstances dictate, but will not actually call for one in the parliamentary term.

  24. Onwards says:

    The obvious manifesto pledge is the OPTION for the Scottish Government to call a referendum. That principle should be in every single future SNP manifesto. The simple argument should be that the people should ALWAYS have the chance to decide. That’s hard to argue against.

    And if there is a future referendum, then I reckon it should be on ‘Self-Government’, and not contain the word ‘independence’ which comes across as ‘on our own’ to many people. It’s a vote loser.

    Scotland will never be completely independent in the modern world – but the word can be taken two ways. Sovereign or Isolated.

  25. Taranaich says:

    I’m not going to get into the UDI thing, but what concerns me is the polls.

    Nearly everyone agrees that it would at least be beneficial for the polls to show 55-60% in the polls before we can even think of another referendum – but how on earth are we going to make that happen?

    The polls throughout the Referendum campaign grew and grew, because we had a central campaign advocating it and a clear goal in sight. 11 months later, the polls aren’t far along from what they were at all. All the while, Project Fear’s still going strong, but Yes is gone on an official level.

    If we’re to get the polls on our side, then we need to get on it. Are we just to assume the Unionist parties, who fought a referendum from taking place in the first place, will let the SNP hold a referendum without a manifesto commitment? Yet without a referendum, how can we have an organised pro-independence campaign with no date in sight?

    It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation: how can we build support for independence without tying ourselves to a referendum, without setting up the possibility of a referendum?

  26. Cath says:

    “Wee hint; to get away with UDI you have to have your own people under military control and your own terror on those who step out of line.”

    Also, for it to really be justified you’d probably have to be in a situation where your own people are already living under that kind of regime now and need to escape it.

    Even if you include Jimmy Saville and the very worst of the Tories, the UK is not a bad place to live. It’s perfectly fair and justified for people to want to know what they/we will gain for independence and why it’s worth the risks and changes it would entail.

    Those who want independence need to make that case, and – although you can certainly say the referendum wasn’t entirely fair and the UK state and media made making the case virtually impossible – the fact is it has to be done. As long as it isn’t, it’s no good ranting that people have been misinformed by the BBC or media. The fact is, plenty people out there are perfectly happy with the world they live in, which is created in part by the media narratives they hear. Not everyone wants their world view challenged, and no one has a right to force it onto them. If there was some dictatorship making their lives miserable, they’d know about it – that’s why the media and unionist parties trying to paint the SNP as dictators isn’t working either.

    People aren’t stupid – even if they don’t have all the facts (no one does) they have a decent sense of what they’re told versus their lived experience. UDI would be one sure fire way of making people think the SNP really are dangerous looneys. There is no short cut to persuading people and if that isn’t possible or doesn’t happen, then neither does independence. That’s the long and short of it.

  27. Cath says:

    All the while, Project Fear’s still going strong, but Yes is gone on an official level.

    Project fear did a hell of a lot more to persuade people over to Yes than the Yes campaign did. That still going while Better Together politicians are all made Lords and no more real powers are delivered shouldn’t worry us.

  28. Capella says:

    On the other hand, Norway declared itself independent from Sweden then held the referendum (which overwhelmingly endorsed it).

    In early 1905, Christian Michelsen formed a coalition government consisting of liberals and conservatives, whose only stated objective was to establish a separate Norwegian corps of consuls. The law was passed by the Norwegian parliament. As expected and probably as planned, King Oscar II refused to accept the laws, and the Michelsen government resigned. When the king declared himself unable to form a cabinet under the present circumstances, a constitutional crisis broke out on 7 June 1905. Later that day, the Storting voted unanimously to dissolve the union with Sweden, taking the line that Oscar had effectively abandoned his role as King of Norway by refusing to appoint a replacement government. Norway considers 7 June to be the date that it regained its independence, even though Norway had possessed the legal status of an independent state since 1814.

  29. Andy Ellis says:

    @Democracy Reborn

    From memory the Czech/Slovak velvet divorce came about via parliamentary vote though, not popular referendum or plebiscite? I agree there are some parallels, but the disparity in sizes and historical context aren’t that similar.

    One of the issues talking about Scotland (and Catalonia and Quebec in similar contexts with respect to referendums, UDI, relations with their larger entity) is the fact that there are few if any similar situations to guide us, the international community, or international law (such as it is!) and even between those 3 examples there are significant differences as well as commonalities.

    Discussions which came out of the post referendum Clarity Act in Canada are quite instructive though, particularly the statements of the Canadian Supreme Court and the respective position papers put by both the Federal Government and the Quebec National Assembly. In short the Supreme Court posited an obligation on the part of the federal authorities in Ottawa (and indeed the Quebecois) to negotiate in good faith in response to a Yes vote grounded on a clear question and clear Yes vote.

    Failure to show such good faith, or indeed the intransigent attitude displayed by Madrid vis-a-vis the legality of a Catalan independence referendum, would potentially be grounds for UDI.

  30. keaton says:

    It’s weird that it even needs to be pointed out what a democratic affront it would be to declare UDI less than two years after a No vote.

  31. Craig Miller says:

    People who ask for a firm committment to Indy Ref 2 are not “trouble makers ” or tactically illiterate , they tend to have tender principles and an inate distrust of gradualism as an eventual deliverer of full Independence , i personally have given no prior committment to campaign for better union , or to a party of devolution , for a believer in sovereignity such a prior committment would be political defeatism ….

  32. ahundredthidiot says:

    UDI would be tantamount to a declaration of War with London and Project Fear would be on steroids backed up with Redcoats. Modern day Culloden all over again.

    Democratic route via the ballot box. What Yes.Scotland didn’t do enough of was talk about what was going to happen POST REFERENDUM – because when you show that sort of vision through repeated comms over and over again, do people start thinking past the vote – and the vote takes care of itself.

    For Example – ‘within 24 months of a Yes vote the SNP, as a political organisation, will be dissolved to make way for new elections’

    And to be ruthless: ‘pensions will rise at 0.5% above the rUK for a minimum of 5 years in the New Scotland’

    We didn’t TALK about it as if it was a done deal. It was all ‘should we, shouldn’t we’ which goes around in circles getting nowhere.

  33. G H Graham says:

    If anyone wants a lesson on the outcomes of declaring unilateral sovereignty, they need only review the last 400 years or so, the actions of the British during their expansionist ambitions for their now faded & tattered Empire.

    And despite the heavy parchment & scrolled aspirations, anointed by a woman wearing a pompous hat, the Acts of Union 1707 were the result of negotiations between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries.

    The obvious omission is of course the representation of the people which neither parliament could claim. Indeed, support for the Act in Scotland was only achieved as a consequence of substantial bribes to a tiny minority of aristocrats.

    And how many people actually voted for this lop sided bondage? Two hundred & fort four from a population of around one million with a quarter of that number, living in the highlands.

    That’s what a UDI looks like when it’s in the interests of the British.

  34. cirsium says:

    Well said, Rev.

    @milady de winter, 2.53pm

    We really need to get the currency issue sorted ASAP and draw up plans for a national bank. Agreed.

    This is an interesting article on Catalonia.

  35. scottieDog says:

    I’m pretty sure indy ref 2 will figure in the manifesto in some form.
    What we need now is a scottish monetary commission to thrash out a scottish currency proposal

  36. Dr Jim says:

    Not one member has expressed the notion of UDI in my presence ever
    It’s the noise of Twitter and Facebook mostly from people who just like to make noise
    It’s funny how loads of people not even members of the SNP talk about what’s going on in it

    If anybody wants to know what we’re talking about, it’s easy, they can join the party instead of making up crap that doesn’t exist within the party

    Anyway the Regiment is only 11.600 strong at the moment and all the light artillery from Norway is still in the Great Glen although the helicopters have been deployed and located in readiness

    Plus I haven’t got my armband yet which gives me total authority to slaughter all Sneery Liberal Democrats

    Looking forward to that

    Have I said too much?

  37. Alex Birnie says:

    I was thinking of changing my name to Gerald by deed poll, but just to be on the safe side, I think I’ll stick with Alex – thanks Rev!! 🙂

  38. galamcennalath says:

    “SNP could stand for election at Holyrood in 2021 saying “Look, the Tories …… You gave them a chance, but they shafted you on The Vow. Austerity is killing the country. It’s time to get out once and for all.” ”

    Why not stand in 2016 on something similar, but conditional? By May 2016 it will be obvious what the DevoCameron will look like. It should be obvious from WM that Labour are useless. Everyone should have the measure of what this particular tribe of Tories are about.

    The SNP could stand on “you have 12 months to deliver what you promised, or we reserve the right to ask if it’s time to get out … if and when the people so desire”

    Allows flexibility. Is a firm commitment, but only if people want it.

    My problem with 2020 onwards is this current situation where the SNP hold an absolute majority will not continue indefinitely. It happened in 2011. If it happened again in 2016 we should accept that as the miracle and opportunity which it is!

    No pro-Indy majority in Holyrood, no referendum, no independence.

  39. Tam Jardine says:

    Calls for UDI are simply an emotional response – an understandable anguish at the referendum result and the forces Scotland is up against.

    When we feel the task is impossible, or so close to impossible and the odds stacked in favour of the enemy… and the media is playing the same apocalyptic drivel on loop. In dark or gallus moments I have demanded this course though in the cold light of day I don’t really intend to say goodbye to my wife and bairns to take up arms against the British Army.

    I see why Stu has written this piece but that doesn’t mean I think that UDI has no place in the independence movement vocabulary. The phrase says to me: “ultimately we decide and have options open if the worst comes to the worst.” A last resort is not something to work towards.

    One thing I disagree with – tearing up the treaty of union maybe sounds like all the other secessionist movements but as Robert Peffers has pointed out on numerous occasions, if the legal representatives of the soverign people of Scotland (our MPs) decide to withdraw from the treaty then that is a very different beast to Dumfries and Galloway breaking away from the UK to form a completely new country.

    It may bear comparison in effect but legally I don’t see them in the same terms at all. Am I wrong?

  40. Joemcg says:

    Speaks volumes and shows where Scotland stands in this union that the govt. would probably send the British army in to quell a UDI style rebellion. Can these braindead no voters not see that?

  41. CameronB Brodie says:

    How can the indyref be considered to have been “free and fair”, when the information environment was distorted beyond any credibility, in favour of a No vote? Much of the electorate might as well have been voting to decide what flavour of cheese Kepler-438b is. Obviously there would have been no grounds for complaint if this had been due solely to the privately owned MSM. But to have been lead by the state broadcaster and the civil service? “Free and fair”?

    P.S. I’ve got an invisible helicopter you might like to take a look at. One careful owner….

  42. Tam Jardine says:

    … and although I would not advocate taking up arms I do think all those who can should seek employment in areas where they may be able to level the playing field a little in time for the next referendum.

    Sometimes I think we play too nice.

  43. Onwards says:

    Taranaich says:

    9 August, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I’m not going to get into the UDI thing, but what concerns me is the polls.

    Nearly everyone agrees that it would at least be beneficial for the polls to show 55-60% in the polls before we can even think of another referendum – but how on earth are we going to make that happen?

    That’s the thing. It looks like independence support grows when the focus is on the constitution.
    Many people just accept the status quo, and are basically scared of any change, even if it is for the better.

    Currency is always going to be the main stumbling block.

    The ideal conditions would be a friendly independence settlement with a future UK government accepting a sensible currency zone in advance. But that is unlikely to ever happen now that the Project Fear bluff was successful.

  44. frogesque says:

    UDI would be a disaster. We can gain Indy by democratic means, we just have to be stronger, better and more willing to engage with those reasonable folk who had real misgivings about jobs, pensions and currency.

    An ‘It’ll be alright on the night’ attitude will not cut it. We have to have solid answers.

    As a practice run IRef#1 was brilliant even though it didn’t produce the result we all wanted. The operation WAS a success and the patient hasn’t died, just needs a little more corrective surgery that’s all!

  45. Vambomarbeleye says:

    So that’s why all the tanks are south of the border. Remember they have sent tanks into Scotland before. They have form.

  46. Brett says:

    Attention to poster: “Milady de Winter”

    I totally agree on the currency issue as it was weak point in the campaign leading up to the 2014 Referendum.

    Most all currencies are not backed by anything, such as gold or silver anymore. All the major currencies are known technically as FIAT Currencies! (Which, if those here are unaware of, should Google the term “FIAT Currency”; However, if Scotland had it’s own currency backed at the least by its resources, land and GDP, even after subtracting its fair share of the UK National Debt on a per capita basis; Scotland, if it were a company, would be the largest IPO (Initial Public Offering) in the world at present.

    Brett Wilson

  47. Proud Cybernat says:

    Can we not just change ‘Gerald’ to ‘Gideon’?

  48. msean says:

    We have to play a long game now. I would love to be able to support udi,but leaving without your assets of oil and international recognition etc is not on. I agree that circumstances will change at some point,but the brexit won’t be it. There is a lot of noise about leaving,but they won’t be so stupid as to do so,surely?.

    Meantime,a nod to a second referendum will have to be included in the manifesto as the loss of the first one has robbed Scotland of any kind of leverage in dealing with Westminster. If you have nothing to bargain with,they will do what they have been doing,riding roughshod over Scotland because there is nothing to make them stop and think.Also,just because they can,we voted no,allowing them to do so.

  49. r esquierdo says:

    The 2016 manifesto must have some wording on a second referendum. Otherwise in my opinion their will be an exodus of party members. A lot of the new members signed up on the euphoria created by the referendum. My personal fear is that the iron may grow cold with time. The next time round and there will be a next time the slippers and kid gloves have to come off. We allowed ourselves to be bullied with lies and intimidation. UDI is not the answer.

  50. One_Scot says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here, but to be honest, I believe any referendum that has 800,000 postal votes out of what, 3.5 million, is probably always going to end in tears for the little people.

    I think the day we become Independent, is the day they decide to give us it, and that could be a very long time away.

  51. Johnny says:

    Rev Stu @ 2:49pm

    I suspect he means that Belgium was the most successful example of secession when it broke from the Netherlands in the 1830s or whenever. Different times, though, and it is apparent that not all in Belgium are happy with the status quo there (Flander/Wallonia strife).

  52. James Barr Gardner says:

    UDI – Not smart at all!
    Vote SNP + Green – Smart?
    Vote SNP + ScotSoc – Getting Smarter.
    Vote SNP + SNP – Top of the Class, the Smartest way to go!

  53. a supporter says:

    “As a choice, it’s a no-brainer. Anyone thinking of kicking off an internal civil war in the SNP by demanding a cast-iron commitment to a second indyref in the 2016 manifesto should expect no support from the sensible.”

    I agree with your analysis vav a UDI but you’ve gone off piste in your last paragraph. A commitment to a second Referendum sometime in the future,is NOT the same as UDI, and such a commitment MUST be in the manifesto for HR2016 since everyone except the undead EXPECTS one in the future.

  54. Doug Daniel says:

    Excellent, we can now just link to this whenever some nutter comes out with the UDI crap instead of wasting effort trying to reason with them.


    Cath is spot-on about not having convinced folk. Folk have to understand, if all the crap we’ve gotten from the UK over the past 40 years or so hasn’t been enough to convince folk, then another few lies won’t do it either. If someone doesn’t think being dragged into an illegal War is a good enough reason to get out, then chances are they’re not going to give too much of a shit when welfare isn’t devolved.


    We need to realise that a sizeable number of folk don’t really give much of a toss which government is making decisions – all they’re caring about is keeping their head down and getting on with their lives with as little trouble as possible. If we don’t convince such folk that independence is BENEFICIAL to them – and not simply non-detrimental – then they will always vote for what they consider to be the no-change option.

  55. One_Scot says:

    Feel free to shoot me if you want, but if that referendum was ‘fair’ in any sense of the word, then I’m a monkeys uncle.

  56. Marie Clark says:

    For me UDI is a complete non starter. The upheavel and the probable violence it would cause ain’t worth it.

    I agree with milady de winter @2.53 “we really need to get the currency issue sorted ASAP and draw up plans for a national bank.

    I also think 2016 is far too soon for indyref 2. Maybe we should be starting a conversation about drawing up our own constitution as well. Perhaps a commission with someone like Cannon Wright to lead it. Don’t all jump on my head, it’s just a suggestion.

    By the way guys, have some of you been taking brave pills or something with “this would be a really good place for a paragraph break” nonsense.

    Better watch, there’s a beardy man with a hammer behind you.

  57. Johnny says:

    “Currency is always going to be the main stumbling block”.

    I sincerely hope that there is some thinking going on to negate that one. When it comes around, any news Yes campaign should have something ready which they do not need to rely on their opponents to agree with publicly.

  58. Geraldine says:

    I like the invade neighbouring countries and kill everyone called Gerald. That gets my vote.

    I fucking hate Geralds.

  59. galamcennalath says:

    CameronB Brodie says:
    “How can the indyref be considered to have been “free and fair”. ”

    Free and fair is stretching it somewhat!

    It might have been closer to “fair” if the Unionists were about to deliver on their winning promises.

    By the end of the campaigning it was going like this …

    YES were telling us of the opportunities which lay ahead for an independent Scotland.

    NO were telling of the Super Home Rule Max Federalism we’d get after a NO. And, telling us of the dreadful apocalypse which would descend with a Yes win.

    Balanced, it was not. Hope versus fearmongering and lies.

    Perhaps it was a mistake for Yes not to spell out more clearly what a No win would inevitably mean. But that’s another debate.

  60. I am just having another argument with a UDI supporter on ”NO RED TORIES” facebook page. His name on facebook is KEVIN GRAY. I used this article and he decried it and stated Wings ridicule anyone who talks about rigged voting etc etc. I pointed out that he ridicules anyone who disagrees with his views.

    I have for weeks now been answering his posts when I come across them. His own facebook page is ”Unilateral Declaration of Independence Movement”. He constantly slags the SNP and manipulates others to do the same. I know other indy supporters are not with the SNP, but the level this guy goes to is divisive. I have never seen a post where he says anything about the Lab, Con or Lib Dems.

    I originally thought he was a security service person, at worst, or unionist troll at best. It appears that our Brian Doonthetoon has met him so I may have been wrong on that score.

    What I don’t think I’m wrong about is divisions within ourselves with talk of UDI will only play into the hands of the unionists/establishment/westminster.

  61. Dr Jim says:

    Diss iss vat iss going to happen, zeir vill be ien shnaap votingg vich ve vill lose und den zer vill be vor

    Und zen ve vill all be destroyed.. Mbwahahahaha

    Onlee cockaroachess vill be left

  62. heedtracker says:

    “Democratic route via the ballot box. What Yes.Scotland didn’t do enough of was talk about what was going to happen POST REFERENDUM”

    YES Scotland got flattened by NO currency union mostly. Imperial master No.2, flies RAF jets up to Embro for his 2 minute NO currency union speech, no press Q or A’s natch, good lunch, back to No.11. JOb done.

    2014 was a very good year for hard core UKOK propagandists. This is all it took from rancid The Graun twerps, although 2 of rancid’s “big guns” have been lets say spiked, which is pleasing.

    Watching the sheer thrill of victory on Jackey Bird’s latest botox job, as BBC Scotland 6pm news went massive with NO currency union for Alex Salmond, it was all a forgone conclusion, for now.

    If anything Project Fear teamGB probably shocked that there weren’t even more proud Scot buts.

  63. unchillfiltered says:

    Agreed that UDI is untenable although of course as recently as the 1980’s a majority of Scotland’s Westminster seats was considered enough for the nationalists to claim their prize. The goalposts have fairly moved around since then.
    What we need is some form of ‘limited UDI’ and this is where a new independence geared financial institution comes in. Where we can put our money where our mouth is – flex our muscles and change things form within, ethically and to the advantage of the Scottish people. It could snowball into a huge force for change.

  64. steveasaneilean says:

    Excellent demolition Stu.

    To declare UDI in the absence of overwhelming evidence of a vast majority of Scottish citizens in favour of independence would be nuts.

    Regardless of the fairness or otherwise of last September’s vote we can only succeed when it’s clear that it’s the direction the significant majority want to take. When that occurs we do it by the vote and establish the democratic principle at the heart of us getting our independence – start as we mean to go on.

  65. Democracy Reborn says:

    The legality of UDI in the context of Rhodesia was decided by the Privy Council in 1968.

    The case was Madzimbamuto v. Lardner-Burke & Another. The majority of the court (4:1) held UDI to be unlawful. The majority decision was given by Lord Reid, a Scottish judge.

    Applying the reasoning to a ‘Scottish UDI’, the position is short and simple, and essentially this : undivided sovereignty over Scotland vests in the Crown in (the Westminster) Parliament by virtue of the Acts of Union. WM has granted limited devolved powers to Scotland in terms of the Scotland Act 1998. All other powers are reserved to WM. The power to declare Scotland independence is not dissolved. The Treaty of Union is expressly reserved under the 1998 Act.

    The 1998 Act has full effect in Scotland, depriving the Scottish Parliament of the power to declare UDI. Accordingly, any purported UDI would be usurping the sovereignty of WM, its exercise therefore being unlawful and invalid.

    No UK troops were ever sent to Rhodesia to quash the ‘rebellion’, only sanctions applied. I suspect though that if Rhodesia shared a land border with the UK, things may well have been different.

  66. frogesque says:

    unchillfiltered says:
    9 August, 2015 at 4:35 pm
    Agreed that UDI is untenable although of course as recently as the 1980’s a majority of Scotland’s Westminster seats was considered enough for the nationalists to claim their prize. The goalposts have fairly moved around since then.
    What we need is some form of ‘limited UDI’ and this is where a new independence geared financial institution comes in. Where we can put our money where our mouth is – flex our muscles and change things form within, ethically and to the advantage of the Scottish people. It could snowball into a huge force for change.

    Is there legal restraint on Scotland using another currency (say ‘a guid Pound Scots’) alongside the plated steel tokens and plastic notes used now?

  67. John Hopkins says:

    First class article Rev. I agree 100%. I also agree with other comments that a fuller, more open and honest debate as to why indiref failed is yet to be had. This may even reinvigorate the wider Yes movement.

  68. Simon Barrow says:

    Spot on. UDI is ridiculous. Pushing for an early referendum re-run when all the political and economic indicators are that it will be lost again would be monumentally counter-productive. Nicola’s course is strategic and steady. Of course sections of the media and opponents of independence would *love* a battle royal at the next SNP conference. I hope hot-heads spoiling to trigger another poll as soon as possible understand all this… But I suspect many of them are the same people who believed up until the last that there would be a big Yes win, who console themselves with every conceivable “we wiz robbed” story, and who still don’t understand the feelings and thoughts of a substantial chunk of people we have to win over (and not simply dismiss or abuse for their decision last time). Politics can be painful. But it has to be done.

  69. Dan Huil says:

    Agree with most of what you say, Rev. But can I put forward this scenario?

    The SNP include in their 2016 election manifesto a call to hold a second referendum, though not neccessary during the next Hollyrood parliament. The SNP wins a majority in 2016. Scotland votes to stay in the EU but ruk votes to get out. The Tory cuts have a seriously debilitating impact of the most vulnerable in society; Labour, LibDems and even some Tories in Scotland can’t deny this impact. The SNP continues to ride high in the polls. They decide to hold a second referendum just before the end of the 2016-20 [21?] Holyrood parliament or immediately after another 56+ Westminster result. Westminster, still under Tory control, refuses to recognize another referendum, declaring it illegal before it even happens.

    What then? Holyrood holds it anyway? Even if some unionists in Scotland boycott the vote? What if it’s a clear majority in favour of independence but Westminster refuses to recognize the result?


    Or perhaps a “softer” version of UDI where Holyrood quietly goes about its business as if Scotland were independent? Withdrawal of MPs from Westminster. New national TV station. New central bank. New currency. New laws for gathering taxes, new arrangement with oil companies, new navy to peacefully blockade Faslane…

    Difficult in the short-term; worth it in the long-term.

  70. John Moss says:

    UDI is a valid option.

    I don’t believe in ruling anything out.

    If we choose that option then do you really think that the rUK would go to war with us let alone ask other countries to subject us to sanctions? I think not.

    UDI should be put to our people fair and square.

  71. a supporter says:

    Dr Jim. Come off it stop criticising Twitter users. Most of the people tweeting about politics and the SNP are sensible people and there is no doubt in my mind that SNP would not be where it is without the twitterati. Hell the SNP and its MPs and MSPs use Twitter to pass on their views.

  72. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    Once, a majority of SNP MPs in Scotland would have been seen to be a mandate for independence. 56 out of 59 would have been beyond the wildest dreams of us in the seventies.

    Times change I suppose… or is it just the goalposts being narrowed in favour of the union?

  73. Dan Huil says:

    So, in short, if Westminster refuses Scotland a second referendum there is nothing we can do – legally.

  74. woosie says:

    I suspect the UDI thing is being cultivated by MI5/orange odour. O/o can ( and have begun to ) say that civil war will follow, scaring Scots off independence altogether. Ulster is too close, and the troubles too recent, to consider that.

    It’s not a starter. lets erase it from our sensible discussions.

    There are plenty of corrupt, deviant practices at uk gov level for our fine wm team to get over to the Scottish public meantime. If the majority of Scots prefer to live under the control of these buffoons, with daily disgraceful events emerging, then democracy is pointless.

  75. gus1940 says:

    For UDI to succeed the resultant independent governmnt would need money to operate which means the ability to collect taxes.

    Can anybody suggest how said independent government would manage to stop businesses sending their employees PAYE and NI and their own VAT and Corporation Tax to HMRC.

    The same appies to Excise Duty, Road Tax, Inheritance Tax and all the other taxes currently paid to WM.

    Apart from the problem of enforcing payment of said taxes to Holyrood even if they managed that they would require to conjure out of thin air immediately the necessary IT Systems to carry out the job.

    What must go into the SNP Manifesto for 2016 is simple – The Powere to call a referendum at any time during the term of said parliament if and when the governmnt considers it correct to do so.

  76. The 1979 Referendum was probably fiddled. The 2014 Referendum was probably fiddled. Make sure the next Referendum is properly supervised by a third party, say Russia.
    There is no way Scotland will walk away from the UK.

  77. NN says:

    Worked out for the best in the long run for the USA, Ireland, Belgium and many others in the past. Concentrating only on the short term is a bit naughty, similar to the Project Fear efforts to scaremonger by constantly highlighting the initial set up tasks and difficulties of independence in general.

  78. Iain More says:

    There are a remarkable number of individuals who think the British State will play fair when it comes to Referendum. They have a history of fiddling them.

    It is so bloody simple to a non SNP voter like myself that the SNP gives the corrupt sleazy heel dragging British Govt an ultimatum. The SNP should put the following in their 2016 manifesto and that is “The British Govt is to deliver Devo to the full Max within one year of the 2016 Holyrood vote or Scotland goes UDI.”

    I am assuming that pro Indy Parties will get 50% and plus 50% of the seats in that election and fro me the above would be the settled will of the Scottish public without the need for any further rigged Referendums.

    Hell will freeze over before the crooked corrupt sleazy British Establishment hands over any further genuine devolved powers over anything that truly matters. We have seen plenty of heel dragging since the Referendum last year despite the VOW and we have seen more heel dragging since the GE.

    Those who drag in Zimbabwe and Ireland into the debate do a great disservice to everybody who wants to see and Independent Scotland. Oh and during the Referendum itself we had few if any friends at all internationally, we were on our own.

    Put UDI in some form to the Scottish people in next years election. Scotland cant afford another generation of Tory Brit Establishment viciousness and that is what we are going to get, that is what we are getting in fact. Scotland cant afford to play the game of Unionist heel dragging any longer.

  79. Onwards says:

    Dan Huil says:

    9 August, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    So, in short, if Westminster refuses Scotland a second referendum there is nothing we can do – legally.

    There is nothing that would boost independence support more than the Tories ruling out another referendum – if there is a democratic mandate for one.

    It would one of the biggest gifts that the SNP could imagine.

  80. HandandShrimp says:


    I recall those days. Securing 95% of the seats was a pipe dream back then. Now they polls suggest we are even further ahead than in May.

    Changed days indeed.

  81. Tinto Chiel says:

    Was the result of the referendum legally binding or merely advisory under the terms of the Edinburgh Agreement? I seem to remember some posters here saying the referendum was not legally binding. If so, this seems a further obstacle.

    This may seem a stupid question but I’m still asking.

    Does anyone have chapter and verse?

  82. Scotsnomad says:

    Looking at those that have declared ‘UK I’m sure that eagle eyed readers would have noticed that the majority of those had ‘British’ involvement at some stage, all except Kosovo ! You would think that the UK govt would get the hint!!

  83. arthur thomson says:

    UDI would inevitably bring violence. The British state and its supporters just love violence. The violence would harm Scottish people. The whole point of independence is to benefit Scotland. I would never support any course of action which would harm a single hair on the head of a single Scottish child.

    Children all over the world have been maimed and killed as a result of the macho actions of people who have claimed to be their liberators. We are too clever and too mature to copy that madness.

    We have occupied and still occupy the moral high ground. We have not lowered ourselves to the incessant lies, bullying and deceit of our opponents. We are winning because of that. We must and will win without resort to violence.

  84. donald anderson says:

    I would say that UDI would only be feasible if the SNP, or whoever, won all the “legal” requirements and The British Government still refused. History shows that they are daft enough to refuse.

    It used to be a simple majority of SNP members would declare Independence. Many can’t understand why the 56 don’t retire to Holyrood and do just that.

  85. Scotsnomad says:

    I’m sure that eagle eyed readers will have also noticed that the majority of those going for ‘UDI’ were going for it against their oppressive colonial masters, oh wait what the heck that’s the UK! You would have thought that the UK would have learned by now!

  86. Dan Huil says:

    @Onwards 6.27pm.

    I agree with you completely. However, even if opinion polls in Scotland showed that 99% of people wanted a referendum Westminster could still, legally [legally as far as Westminster is concerned], refuse to allow Scotland to have one. The same would apply if the polls showed 99% of people in Scotland wanted independence.

    If we ever get to such a scenario then I, as someone who wants to see Scotland regaining its independence, can only see one solution: an “illegal” one.

  87. Jon Ross says:

    Another referendum will have the same result as the last. Regardless of how large our majority is, they will not allow us to leave. If not UDI then what?

    Power is never freely given, it is only ever taken. If your vote had any power, it’d be illegal.

  88. Onwards says:

    Anyone reckon if some sort of 2-way question would be feasible, and more likely to achieve a successful result ?

    Basically more powers – with an independence backup.

    Along the lines of:

    “The Scottish Government intends to negotiate a ‘Devo Max’ settlement with the UK Government.
    If negotiations are unsuccessful, should the Scottish Government take on full sovereign powers?”

    I am thinking that more people support home rule than full independence. But we will never get significant home rule without negotiating power – as it is then just a small step to upgrade to independence.

  89. heedtracker says:

    HandandShrimp says:
    9 August, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I recall those days. Securing 95% of the seats was a pipe dream back then. Now they polls suggest we are even further ahead than in May.

    Changed days indeed.

    So what do you old soldiers think we take from the 56?

    We’re heading for a dream toryboy Snatcher Thatcher dynasty, Bliar, Broon, Cameron, Osborne, the four horseman of the UKOK apocalypse.

    A knackered old leftie like Corbyn has no real chance but Scotland does.

  90. Andrew Morton says:

    I agree with the Rev. about many things, but two in particular; the idiocy of all this UDI talk and


  91. fillofficer says:

    UDI is a desperate measure being considered by desperate NATS because of the desperate antics at the referendum. they will never let us win a referendum. NEVER. we WILL have to take it. 56 out of 59 MP’s should have done it. we really are being too patient. I’m desperate

  92. Brian Ritchie says:

    “The US declaration of independence triggered an eight-year war with an uncountable death total and a vast economic cost which played a major part in bringing about the French Revolution.”

    hmmm, I see your point but I can’t help thinking that the results were ultimately for the good. 😉

  93. HandandShrimp says:


    Mundell’s peevish squeaks that we should wait and see all the great changes he is going to make to the Scotland Bill suggests to me that Cameron collared him and said fix it so you keep that bloody woad covered savages off my back in the HoC.

    I think the 56 have already made an impact but I doubt Mundell’s ability to deliver and I think the 56 will have to do battle long into the night to keep on pressing the Tories. If Corbyn wins and Labour rally behind him that might actually help…but I am not sure the Labour behind the scenes players will thole a Corbyn win.

  94. Democracy Reborn says:

    @Tinto Chiel

    The Edinburgh Agreement gave the Scottish Parliament the legal power to hold the referendum.

    As regards whether a Yes result would have been legally binding, there is some division of opinion. But the prevailing view seems to be that it was highly unlikely the Agreement was legally binding. There are good articles on the subject by Christine Bell and Aileen McHarg on the Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum website.

    The Agreement simply stated that the two governments would “respect” the result, and would work “constructively” whatever the result was. But it was silent on what either government must do to respect the result.

    In the event of a Yes vote, Christine Bell’s view was that “Historical statements, precedent and the statements of the current UK government seem to make it clear that a Yes vote will be implemented by the UK government and that this is not contentious. However, the exclusion of any firm commitment to implement the result should perhaps still be noted…..”

  95. galamcennalath says:

    The EU will curb any excesses the UK state might contemplate, I believe.

    I suspect events in Catalunya shortly might clarify a lot for Scotland.

    The essential thing is to have a clear democratic mandate to move forward.

  96. mike cassidy says:

    Hey, UDIers!

    I’ll make your shitstirring task easier.

    The current Tory majority is 12.

    Why not just dig the guns out from under the patio and shoot the 6 Tories with the smallest majorities. Seven, if Mundell isn’t one of the six.

    Instant hung parliament and the mother of all by-election days.

    All at the cost of only six – or seven — lives.

    Wake up, morons!

    Democratic politics is the only game in town. And no matter how dirty it gets, that’s where we will get independence if we get it at all.

    In the UK context, Scottish independence with blood on its hands is not an independence I would rejoice in.

  97. Macart says:

    Superb dissection Rev and couldn’t agree more.

  98. James123 says:


    My problem with 2020 onwards is this current situation where the SNP hold an absolute majority will not continue indefinitely. It happened in 2011. If it happened again in 2016 we should accept that as the miracle and opportunity which it is!

    I agree, we know the situation now, the SNP are in an incredibly strong position whilst their Unionist opponents are in disarray. Support for independence is apparently at around 48%, tantalisingly close to +50% needed. In the next 5 or 6 years we don’t know what the situation will be, it could well be a lot less favourable than it is now and we could be looking back at a missed opportunity.

    One of the arguments for not having indyref2 sooner rather than later is that there hasn’t been a significant enough change in circumstances. Really? What about all these new powers we were supposed to be getting, where are they? How about the prospect of years of very right wing Tory governments we didn’t vote for.

    Of course it would be a gamble for the SNP to propose another referendum in their next manifesto but waiting several years is also a gamble.

  99. Rock says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell,

    ““No, I think that would be Belgium.”

    Kosovo was definitely never part of Belgium, man.”

    I think the poster is talking about Belgium’s UDI from the Netherlands!

    Which might have been good for Belgium but it was an unparalled disaster for the poor people of the Congo.

  100. Dan Huil says:

    “The US declaration of independence triggered an eight-year war with an uncountable death total and a vast economic cost which played a major part in bringing about the French Revolution.”

    The new United States simply refused to repay the French for all the help it received from them. France went bankrupt, and, because of this and other factors, the revolution ensued. The “Terror” which resulted in many tens of thousands of deaths in France was indeed terrible; almost as terrible as the deaths caused by the Irish Famine a few years later. Ireland, then, ruled over by the glorious victors of Waterloo.

  101. Breastplate says:

    “The Scottish people were not denied self-determination”.
    How do you know that?
    “Free and fair”.
    No, it wasn’t.

  102. Kragos says:

    In the current climate, to even consider UDI is complete lunacy, all it would do is hand free ammunition to the Unionist parties, like the whole currency debacle last year.

  103. Rock says:

    But what about the following scenario from a certain eminent historian, whom I do not wish to name?:

    “To make that clear – if the SNP had said in their GE Manifesto they would walk out of Westminster and return to Holyrood to run Scotland it would have been legal as they represent the Sovereign People of Scotland.”

  104. Lollysmum says:

    Just spent a couple of hours on twitter debating why UDI would be a bad thing but good discussion nevertheless.

    I get the impression its the younger element of yes but not the youngest. 25-35ish. When you ask them to look at specifics & how it could work they can’t answer because they’ve little accurate info.

    Some of us older ones remember Rhodesia & Cyprus-UK sent the Ark Royal & Invincible (packed to the gunnels with marines) to Cyprus-thats how serious that separation was.Squadrons of aircraft went over there & UK wasn’t even involved in the Turkish/Cypriot dispute apart from having bases in the area.I was in WRNS at the time & we were preparing for the worst.

    Certainly makes you think twice about going into something like UDI & I don’t think Scotland’s people would support it’s government if it did so. But then again, I could be wrong but it really depends on how bad the current tory govt is in punishing Scotland for daring to think the unthinkable (as WM sees it). If it’s bad then all bets are off.

  105. Joemcg says:

    Have to agree with the above poster, 800,000 postal votes (aye right) gleaning a 70/30 result out of 3.5 million votes indicates to me that we will NEVER win at the ballot box. Sorry, it’s a busted flush.

  106. Rock says:

    Another unanswered question from a previous article:

    “A question – could the SNP take it as a given that if Scotland provided them with a majority in 2016 then that would be de facto a vote to dissolve the Union?”

  107. louis.b.argyll says:

    Indyref #2,

    The ‘think-I again-dum’..

  108. The main thrust of the Rev’s article is blindingly, obviously correct: UDI anytime soon is a moronic notion. UDI can be a valid way for a country to leave a union or escape colonisation – but only under very specific and extreme circumstances. We’re nowhere near those. At a minimum, a proven majority of the population needs to desire independence, and all democratic/diplomatic means must have been exhausted.


    On the more realistic question of when to seek another referendum, I can see the merits of what Cath and others are saying. We need to persuade people who are risk averse, and who are getting by well enough under the status quo, that there are clear benefits to independence and that the risks involved are minimal. Any discussion of drastic steps like UDI (or the spectre of an drawn-out, angry divorce from UK) is likely to spook such people. We need a carefully constructed, credible vision of what independence will look like.

    However, Taranaich has a point too: Yes wins hearts, minds and votes when there’s an active campaign going on. When it’s business as usual, the drip-drip-drip of negativity from the media erodes support for independence. The key strength of the independence movement is a visible, active, knowledgeable, positive grassroots. That’s our only antidote to the unionist media. And the best way to mobilise the grassroots is with independence on the agenda.

    So it’s got to be a careful balancing act, for the SNP leadership, and the wider movement. Always have an important issue in view for ordinary supporters to run with, always keep a referendum on the cards, constantly develop public consciousness of a positive, practicable independent future… but don’t pop the question until we’re ready.


    Yes was polling a majority for a good while after September. We’re now polling below 50% again. I reckon that this is just because people hoped that the SNP could change WM from within, and force through the ‘Vow’ – so it might be a blip, with the long term momentum still towards indy. However to keep that momentum, we need to keep active, and that means keeping independence as a realistic possibility on this side of the horizon.

  109. boris says:

    Excellent article Stu. UDI is a non-starter. It would be very divisive and doomed to failure.

    Dependent on the eventual outcome of the “Vow”.

    The Scottish electorate might,in a referendum be asked if they wished for Full Fiscal Autonomy within the UK.

    In the event a clear “Yes” vote is rejected by Westminster that matter could be referred to the EU for a decision.

  110. Craig Murray says:

    Rev. Stu, I fear you pose a completely false dichotomy.

    The large majority of states currently existing in the world only became independent during my lifetime. And a large majority of those became independent without any referendum.

    They became independent both without a referendum, and without a declaration of UDI. In the lrge majority of cases, including virtually the entire British Empire, there was a negotiation process between representative bodies or political leadership, and the Empire or other entity they were leaving. Generally speaking where it was plain a population was determined to go, the metropolitan had more sense than to push it to a confrontation or UDI, which generally works out badly for both sides, not just those seeking to depart, as the cases of Cyprus and Kosovo amply illustrate.

    So a slack and lazy piece, Rev. Let us keep our minds and our options open.

  111. Tinto Chiel says:

    @ Democracy Reborn.

    Thanks for your reply, which clarified some rather murky waters. Some wiggle room for Cams, methinks, for any future referendum.

    As for UDI, clearly, that way madness lies. It would be a gift to our enemies. There will be opportunities in the next three years to demonstrate to the people of Scotland that the Union is broken, as the Tories put the boot in more and more. When the middle-class Noes begin to feel the pinch may be a tipping point, or an EU referendum.

    UDI to me means the SNP going for independence without a mandate. It does not mean campaigning on a manifesto of declaring independence and gaining sufficient votes in a GE when circumstances dictate or in a referendum on the EU where we vote to stay in and England doesn’t.

    I am suspicious of any ambiguity regarding the status of a referendum result. It’s just another of the many hurdles which could be put in our path.

    Patience and a sense of timing will be essential. Difficult times.

  112. Francis Mooney says:

    EU ref has to be a Yes. After Greece and looking at TTIP it is not a club that we should join, but, as a means to Independence it has to be Yes to the EU. After that, hopefully, we can say Bye bye Queenie and hello Crown Estate. That will be funny!

  113. Grouse Beater says:

    There’s a strong case for civil disobedience.

    Refusing to pay this or that iniquitous tax, not paying the TV licence, refusing to implement an anti-democratic policy, that sort of thing. All require a mass grass-roots movement to achieve the desired effect.

    But those who participate should expect the police to act on behalf of the UK government, as Thatcher had them do during the miner’s strike. And a fine or imprisonment is the usual sanction.

  114. louis.b.argyll says:

    A UDI will likely be used following a YES vote, to stop any corruption and feet-dragging by Westminster.

  115. Grouse Beater says:

    Murray: The majority of states currently existing in the world only became independent during my lifetime. And a majority of those became independent without a referendum.

    Excellent point.

  116. Tam Jardine says:

    Some interesting posts but whether we talk about it or dismiss it UDI will still be there. We can rule out something that is unlikely to happen but it remains an option. I just don’t see it ever happening, or being desirable.

    The vast majority of people will never have heard of UDI whilst everyone knows that if we vote yes in a future referendum then Scotland will become independent.

    Seeing a few twitter comments does not reflect the real debate at the moment which is the timing of the next indyref. As ever we are all trying to find the perfect answer when there is none. Maybe we should ask the OBR what the oil price will do over the next few years!

    Where did we lose votes last time? No voters in the ashcroft exit poll cited the pound, the NHS(!) and pensions in that order of significance as the big 3 factors. So that is what we need to focus on.

    And once we have improved the answers and come up with a better method of delivery (something simpler like a written constitution) we need to be bold and go for it. And let’s not get into this doom and gloom about ‘no pressure but if we don’t do it this time then it’s all over’.

    That shit is firstly as incorrect as Cameron ruling out another referendum and secondly hardly helpful when we all fucking know what’s at stake and how important it is to win. Why should we litter the Internet with quotes about how the second indyref will be the final one if it fails to deliver?

    It undermines the narrative that Westminster hates, and that cannot be repeated often enough: ‘it is for the people of Scotland to decide’.

  117. Iain Leitch says:

    Although a perfectly sensible piece, if we wait another 5 years or so there will be nothing left of Scotland to become independent. The Torys will have had enough time to destroy every decent way of Scottish freedom. The young will have left the old will be dead and the rest of the nation will be hammered into submission.

  118. Rock says:

    Craig Murray,

    “So a slack and lazy piece, Rev. Let us keep our minds and our options open.”

    Hi Craig. Has your close friend, the lying Lib Dem MP Carmichael been cleared in secret by a Scottish judge?

    Why else would he have been given the Lib Dem shadow home office job?

    And in your slack and lazy comment have you forgotten that there was a violent struggle for independence in almost every colony?

  119. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Rock.

    Thus far, you have neglected to respond to my questions of you on Thursday evening. Also, you have not replied to Thepnr, on the same page, who asked you a question in the early hours of Saturday morning.

    This page would seem to be an appropriate place for reminding you.

  120. Ian Brotherhood says:


    Craig Murray getting involved now. Could become a very interesting thread… 🙂

    Now, choices, choices…popcorn or Scrumpy Jack?

    (FWIW, I make a personal UDI every morning before I get out of bed: “Me’s a citizen, not a subject, and no-one will ever make it otherwise!” So there!)

  121. Rock says:

    “They had a free and fair vote on it, conducted by a government which was in favour of the principle”

    How can you have a free and fair vote if 99% of the media, led by the state broadcaster, is biased and lets the unionists get away with every single lie they spout?

    The vote was not conducted by the government. It was conducted by the rotten to the core and biased electoral commission.

    Remember how they distributed unionist propaganda to every single household for them because the unionists didn’t have the manpower to do it?

    The postal votes?

    People removed from the electoral register for old poll tax debts?

    It was very far from free and fair.

    Regarding UDI, you are absolutely right.

  122. Stoker says:

    Roll on the day when we are all UDI:-
    Universally Dedicated to Independence.

  123. Tam Jardine says:

    Iain Leitch

    In the pics of Hiroshima in the news this week I saw a city that no one would have believed would ever be habitable again.

    We will get through 5 years of tory rule, although it won’t be pretty and large numbers of people will suffer terrible deprivation. It will cost many poor souls their lives.

  124. Grouse Beater says:

    Stoker: UDI – Universally Dedicated to Independence.

    Unswervingly … 🙂

  125. Rock says:

    Reply to comment number 116.

    I am not going to waste any more time replying to you and some other posters.

  126. Dr Jim says:

    @ A Supporter

    Read again, Nowhere in my post did I criticise all Twitter users nor do I claim to know most of them as you just did unless you have an extraordinary amount of friends

    I suggested that the noise as I put it was created there
    I also suggested folk not in the SNP seem to do the most talking about what the SNP should or should not do
    Maybe that might have been clearer (my bad)

    You suggest the MPs and MSPs who use Twitter do it to express their own views
    I would suggest you read the aforementioned views more closely
    They are all sent and used for a purpose very seldom will you see random thoughts for fun even if they seem like it

    The SNP are the most disciplined party that’s why they are where they are ( We have had to be ) every other Scottish party previously has torn itself apart through petty differences, I’m sure you could name them all, and they’re still doing it

    I suggested some time ago a direct route for all those who desire genuine Independence, join the SNP
    You don’t have to agree with every policy, differences come post Independence
    Take the membership up to a million or as near as and Independence will follow quickly

    When I suggested as much a while back everybody sneered and laughed then post Referendum 120.000 members from around 25.000

    The only thing Westminster respects and fears is Power and Scottish people Power scares them shitless that was made obvious during the Referendum

    Our MPs and MSPs are bugged Scottish Web site chatter is all monitored they know everything we say
    Except what we don’t want them to

    In Scotland, when it comes to politics, only Joe Public has the freedom to say what he likes, because in the end it’s only noise

  127. muttley79 says:

    UDI is utterly crazy. We would be far better spending the time and effort in assessing why we lost the referendum last year, and what to do differently next time. I now automatically ignore these stupid calls for UDI. To be honest I am not in any hurry for another referendum in the next decade or so. It strikes me the optimum time for another go is around 2024 or 2025. James Kelly of SGP and some others seem to be arguing for another referendum in the next 5 years or so, which I find completely unconvincing.

  128. Brad says:

    quite simply who has the No campaign possibly got that can lead them ?? Murphy, Brown and Darling are damaged goods that leaves Dugdale, Mundell, Osborne, Johnson and Cameron … during the last referendum the most common reason for people voting no was because they hated Alex Salmond “President Salmond” “King Salmond” the media had done a hatchet job on him for years demonising him … where as Nicola Sturgeon is very popular and the Yes campaign will be more savvy and starting with a bigger base of 45% compared with the 25-30% when they started the campaign …. … within the next 2 years is the best time to hold another referendum as LAbour will be split in two with the left and the blairites …. they won’t be elected in Westminster before 2030 they are a complete shambles

  129. Tinto Chiel says:

    @ Rock 8.47.

    Give it a rest. If you have read the recent posts by Fiona, Petra, Macart and Taranaich, amongst others, you will have had ample examples of how to debate constructively and deploy facts skilfully to explain your position.

    Your aggressive, scattergun approach does you no credit.

  130. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Now Rock’s getting into it!


    Sunday Night Pop-pickers, Wingers, ladies and gentlemen, and a’body else, the fireworks will be starting shortly. In the meantime, please enjoy this musical interlude featuring the late, great Donna Summer!

    State of Independence (live) –

  131. Ian Brotherhood says:

    And comment 450k will probably happen right here this evening!!

    FFS, I can’t handle this tension. Anyone got any ketamine?

  132. Grouse Beater says:

    Rock: Murray – have you forgotten that there was a violent struggle for independence in almost every colony?

    He didn’t claim otherwise. He correctly cites nations that achieved independence without a referendum. Political struggle there probably was, same as in Scotland by those determined to achieve political justice.

    And I’d be grateful if you didn’t attempt to undermine a man’s observations by telling everybody around he has a pal you don’t like. What next? His pet budgie?

  133. Stevie Cosmic says:

    I think the ‘Greece notwithstanding’ clause above is very shortsighted in the scheme of things. The events of the past few months in Greece has united both left and right factions of euro-skeptics in ways that no one thought possible, and it really is a game changer, in my humble opinion, for any UK in/out referendum.

    I’m of the opinion that the UK electorate will be bombarded, lambasted and waylayed with a stay in message from the media, but after being subjected to months of anti-German rhetoric this year, that vote (should it actually ever go ahead) is anyone’s guess right now. The UK vote was firmly in the minds of those commentators who said that Germany’s actions would be the undoing of the EU experiment; I’d wager they were correct in that regard.

    We can’t dismiss Greece, and how the Greek tragedy will play out over the next two years; it is key to how the union survives or fails. There’ve been so many people around the world that have been affected by the appalling behaviour of the German FinMin in recent months; the entire concept of the EU has now been called into question by both mainstream and less so media. It’s hard to see how that genie is going back in the bottle in just two years.

  134. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Tinto Chiel.

    Rock has a new strategy, which she has deployed since Thursday:-

    “I am not going to waste any more time replying to you and some other posters.”

    Which means, in other words, that she wants to rant, free as a bird, without any need to justify her position.

    (If Rock is a male, I apologise for my gender identification error but you do come over as, maybe, suffering from ‘time of the month’ syndrome.)

  135. Taranaich says:

    Project fear did a hell of a lot more to persuade people over to Yes than the Yes campaign did. That still going while Better Together politicians are all made Lords and no more real powers are delivered shouldn’t worry us.

    I’m not so much talking about politicians as the media and big business. It’s clear Darling, Cameron et al were counterproductive to the cause of the Union – but supermarkets warning of price rises, banks warning of runs, and the media constantly pushing the anti-independence narrative all fed the “independence is too risky” narrative – and this hasn’t been helped at all by recent events.

    That’s the thing. It looks like independence support grows when the focus is on the constitution.
    Many people just accept the status quo, and are basically scared of any change, even if it is for the better.

    It blows my mind people think the changes under the Tories are better than the changes under independence, that it’s better to trust in people with a vested interest in bleeding the rest of the UK dry to fatten Greater London than themselves. Argh.

    However, Taranaich has a point too: Yes wins hearts, minds and votes when there’s an active campaign going on. When it’s business as usual, the drip-drip-drip of negativity from the media erodes support for independence. The key strength of the independence movement is a visible, active, knowledgeable, positive grassroots. That’s our only antidote to the unionist media. And the best way to mobilise the grassroots is with independence on the agenda.

    The SNP have to concentrate on running the country as well as push for independence. It really is up to us, the grassroots, to get things done.

    Where did we lose votes last time? No voters in the ashcroft exit poll cited the pound, the NHS(!) and pensions in that order of significance as the big 3 factors. So that is what we need to focus on.

    The pound argument was a strategy that didn’t pan out because all three UK parties stood by the Big Lie (we weren’t hard-nosed enough about what would happen to the rUK if they slashed 10% of the pound’s value overnight). The NHS is so wrong I can’t even wrap my head around it. Pensions were already guaranteed by the DWP themselves.

    But because No lied about those things, and the media propogated those lies, most No voters WOULD cite those as the biggest issues, even if they’re the three issues Yes was STRONGEST on.

  136. North Chiel says:

    Some form of “persuasion ” is required as the Tory Gov and Mundell
    Will deliver no significant “new powers” unless PRESSURISED . The SNP need to “spell out”
    exactly what they consider “Devo max” to be and detail the exact requirements.Failing implementation by Westminster within a ” reasonable timescale” the Indy2 option requires to
    Be available thereafter .

  137. tony O'neill says:

    Is it not the case that the union can be dissolved at any time if either nation believes it is no longer working for them??.

  138. Tam Jardine says:


    “But because No lied about those things, and the media propogated those lies, most No voters WOULD cite those as the biggest issues, even if they’re the three issues Yes was STRONGEST on.”

    You know siting these issues is ridiculous as reasons to vote no as do I. And yet we lost so we have to look at these. In fact looking at 3? We need to look at all the reasons people voted no.

  139. Zen Broon says:

    Unionists claimed an independent Scotland would be kicked out of the EU, sort of UDI in reverse. This was always drivel given the myriad of multi-level agreements and commitments between the UK/Scotland and the EU. Multiply this a thousand times and you get the deep legal, structural and financial integration between Scotland and England. UDI is a fantasy. As BTW is a successful second indyref unless we get Yes to a steady 60%. That should be the target now.

  140. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Just being Devil’s Advocate for a second, but all this talk of ‘radical changes’ which may constitute the grounds for UDI…

    If there comes a moment when citizens realise that virtually every major UK institution is infested with interconnected networks of sociopathic paedophiles, wouldn’t that be reason enough to say ‘Okay, we’re done with this. The rot is clearly endemic and long-established, and we can’t hope to tackle all of it, but we can sort out our own wee patch. That ‘patch’ is Scotland. Leave us alone to get on with it’


  141. Grouse Beater says:

    Tam: We need to look at all the reasons people voted no.

    1. The diehard ‘we are British’ brigade.
    2. Those who feel life is fine governed by the UK.
    3. Those who believe the SNP is a dangerous rabble.
    4. Placemen, of whom there are many and influential.
    5. Those who felt question over the pound unanswered.
    6. Posh Jocks and others whose bread is buttered by London.
    7. Those who submitted to blackmail by their company bosses.

  142. muttley79 says:


    Your assessment falls down by comparing politicians from both sides, Darling and co were largely unimportant to the outcome imo. When you take on the unionist side you are up against the full might of the British state. It is not the British state of the pre-American independence era, or even just before and after the loss of all the colonies, but make no mistake we are not up against an impotent British state. It still has considerable power.

  143. Taranaich says:

    You know siting these issues is ridiculous as reasons to vote no as do I. And yet we lost so we have to look at these.

    Just had a brainwave: we print out a copy of the DWP letter, the NHSBO letter, and other documents as part of a document pack. BT CANNOT perpetuate the “pensions risk” when Yes is handing out actual government documents.

    I’d be willing to bet the majority of No voters had no idea the DWP letter existed.

  144. Nei McAdam says:

    The calls for UDI comes from a justified frustration.
    Obvious really.

  145. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Kragos at 7.46

    There was no “currency debacle” last year. Stop believing Better Together spin.

    No matter what currency position had been chosen it would have been furiously attacked to try to destablise the YES case. The share the pound position was the only sensible position to suggest during the transition to independence.
    It was attractive and reassuring to Scottish voters and that is why it was furiously attacked

    By the end of the debate every person in Scotland knew we could use the pound if we wished and that Better Together were telling lies about it.

    The aggressive and unhelpful Better Together position damaged Better Together if anybody but the issue figured at about number ten on voters concerns and my only concern was that we got diverted into an prolonged argument about it when our time could have been much better spent

  146. James Barr Gardner says:


    The Spanish Police chasing drug smugglers who hoped they would shake them off by going into Gibraltar waters are getting hacked by Hmg uk and msm.




    SO FECKED OFF AT THE MOMENT, apologies Wingers I am so fed fed up with their cache mhor. They really just do not where to stop!

  147. Kendomacaroobar says:

    Dear Wingers,

    iScot Magazine could do with your help. We have created from almost zero resources to a professionally crafted grass roots pro Scotland publication.

    We need to augment the editorial team and have a stretch goal of taking the message to those that don’t access social media.

    We’d create the first ever crowd funded TV advert in Scotland in advance of the 2016 elections. We’re ambitious – but realistic that we can’t do it without your support.

  148. Gary45% says:

    UDI will play right into the hands of the unionists.

    One of the main criteria for selection on the next Scottish Independence Referendum should be you have to have lived in Scotland for at least 5-10 years (second homes NOT INCLUDED).

    The only people who matter in the future of Scotland are the genuine citizens who actually live in ( what ever their nationality) and who care about Scotland.

  149. Joemcg says:

    Front page of the national tomorrow-Danny Beaker Alexander to be KNIGHTED! WTF! Iscariots one and all.

  150. Fred says:

    @ Brian Doonthetoon, disgraceful comment, you’re a bit of an actress yourself!

  151. G H Graham says:

    “Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.”

    Extract from second inaugural address

    Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America

    4th March, 1865

  152. Tam Jardine says:


    Great idea. I would also use resources on billboards and adverts hammering these facts home. The billboard campaign in the last referendum (the massive campaign we were all looking forward to as a gamechanger) was a wasted opportunity to skewer some of the lies.


    Most of the categories you list we could never convert. If we’d nailed 5 we could have won it.

    Pensions… getting the pension message out there more successfully might have pushed up Yes by a couple of percent.

    And if we can’t envisage improving delivery of these key messages or changing tack then we should either give up or tool up as well never win another referendum.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing – with the behaviour of the UK government, the electoral commission and BBC we should probably have cancelled the referendum and demanded the UN take over running a new referendum rather than lose one in such prejudiced conditions.

  153. CameronB Brodie says:

    Tam Jardine
    I don’t disagree. Perhaps looking at what factors influence the formation of identity, including loyalty to peer group, would help dispel all this Nazi guff the unionists are so ready to spout.

  154. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Just had a brainwave: we print out a copy of the DWP letter, the NHSBO letter, and other documents as part of a document pack. BT CANNOT perpetuate the “pensions risk” when Yes is handing out actual government documents.”

    Taranaich, this sounds like a good idea but our hub and stree stall gave out the DWP statement on pensions to OAPs in large numbers but few seemed inclined to believe it. The local Labour MP and a former MSP were spreading the usual Project Fear and Smear stuff at their stall and it was a powerful message.

    My only hope is that Project Fear has essentially shot its bolt now. Who is going to front the No Campaign now that the Tories have lost their Slab Stooges?

    Don’t think Ruthie on her tank is going to cut the mustard.

  155. CameronB Brodie says:

    Ian Brotherhood
    Talking only for myself, you’ve convinced me. How is is possible to have confidence with those charged with our governance, when so many of them are so fundamentally compromised. How much influence has been extracted from these monsters and by whom?

  156. Macart says:

    Patience can be hard ask at times, but patience is what is required. Westminster will be Westminster and provide all the argument we require.

    Let the SG and the 56 do their job of work and govern as best they can. For our part? Stay engaged, keep communicating and keep arguing at every possible opportunity. Support our young and growing new media, help our friends and community where we can, give what we can, when we can. We’re living in hard times for the poor and they’re only about to become harder.

    Folk are going to need that help.

  157. UDI by public demand or action is a non-starter. Pure fantasy. But UDI declared by our assembled national representatives is another matter entirely. Before that can happen, however, the Act of Union must be dissolved.?

  158. Grouse Beater says:

    Jim: we should probably have cancelled the referendum and demanded the UN take over running a new referendum.

    Great idea! And no postal votes!

  159. scottieDog says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill
    Yes the better together campaign would knock holes in any currency arrangement, however they could never have claimed any control over a separate currency as they did over us having a currency union ( even if it was posturing).

    This is why we need to go in with a very strong monetary argument this time whilst proposing a more democratic currency set up. The gift we have at present is Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to money creation. Even if he fails in his leadership attempt, it gets people thinking differently about money and smooths the way for a more radical approach.

  160. Tam Jardine says:

    CameronB Brodie

    Loyalty to peer group – and class prejudice against yes (seen by many from metropolitan Edinburgh as being a bunch of weegie scum). I have heard words to this effect used.

    I have also heard Glaswegians use similar phrases.

    If I’m honest Cameron I still see this as a fight between good and evil. Not helpful, not scientific but there we are.

  161. call me dave says:

    Long before devolution and Holyrood was set up old time labour supporters would sagely say that to get independence all the SNP had to do was get a majority of MP’s in Scotland…then smile.

    It was easy for them to offer independence eggs at a bargain half price if they thought there would never be any to sell.

    UDI requires a leader to call for it who commands the backing of the Scottish people. Neither of those are in place now so it won’t happen. Not enough would answer the call.

    Indy 2 will happen, when I don’t know, but it should be in the manifesto to be called when the political situation is appropriate. Tories for 10 more years can Scotland take it?
    I don’t think so…

    Will the SNP be masters of all they survey in Scotland…perhaps but not a given. They must act but when?
    Tricky times, you can’t mitigate for ever and money is scarce.

    But the short term looks good. Here’s two balloons 🙂

    PS:There’s more
    Monteith in the Hootsman.

    By taking Labour back to the days of curled-up British Rail sandwiches and the rationing of public provision Corbyn is not going back to the future but forward into the past, a past of political defeat that will be borne of putting politics into business and taking business people out of Labour

  162. Grouse Beater says:

    Ian: UK institution is infested with interconnected networks of sociopathic paedophiles

    You can argue Scotland was well and truly groomed over decades, and then when trapped by answering a call to meet, told it would get beaten up if it did not do as Westminster wanted.

  163. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Fred.

    I try, I try.

    But if someone on here gives one an impression, who are we to discount that impression?

    Ooh! I like you!


  164. CameronB Brodie says:

    Tam Jardine
    It’s those damn Kingons Tam. Sorry, wrong movie. 😉

  165. CameronB Brodie says:

    Klingons, duh.

  166. Soda says:

    People keep asking “Where did we go wrong with the last ref?”.

    Where we went wrong is that we had a referendum!

    It was too soon basicaly, even tho the SNP held firm against unionist calls to hold it sooner rather than later after the 2011 victory. They should have stated at the time that they would wait until after this years GE or even after next Mays SE before announcing a date.

    The lesson is indeed slowly slowly catchee monkey.

  167. tartanarse says:

    What kind of union is it when one part is charge? That’s not a union.

    If the part in charge describes the union as equal(which it doesn’t) then neither part needs permission from the other to end it.

    In an ideal world. Unfortunately the British empire doesn’t work like that.

  168. Clootie says:

    Nicola and Co are doing a fine job. Why not support them and achieve Independence instead of this stupid demand for UDI.

  169. Juan P says:

    Taranaich says:

    Just had a brainwave: we print out a copy of the DWP letter, the NHSBO letter, and other documents as part of a document pack. BT CANNOT perpetuate the “pensions risk” when Yes is handing out actual government documents.

    I’d be willing to bet the majority of No voters had no idea the DWP letter existed.

    Yes, yes, yes!

    I’ve been thinking for some time that we need to raise funds for a booklet/document pack like this and post to as many households in Scotland. Ideally during a period when people aren’t being bombarded with party political leaflets.

    It needs to be designed though so that a No voter will read it, or at least glance at it rather than throw it straight in the bin. e.g. It can’t be an obviously pro-independence document, can’t reference WoS/Yes Scotland etc and has to have a hook to get the target demographic to look at it.

  170. Tam Jardine says:

    CameronB Brodie

    Sounds more like Platoon we’re contemplating now… with the Scots in the jungle wearing black. Chips instead of rice.

    Starfleet versus the Vietcong… could describe a few recent conflicts we’ve been dragged into over the years.

  171. Fiona says:

    @ Soda

    I don’t think it was too soon.

    The campaign was very successful, although it did not win in the time we had. But I do not think that independence would have progressed to a very serious and quite mainstream opinion without that campaign. It focussed minds on arguments, and I dont think that would have happened without the campaign.

    It would have been nice to win outright, and I was gutted we did not. But it is wise to remember where we were at the start of the campaign. The mountain we had to climb. Independence is now a serious political option, and it was perhaps naive to think we would win first time out. The UK is a powerful state and it has both experience and resource. The demonstration of the lengths it will go to opened a lot of eyes, and they are still open.

    I agree that UDI is a last resort: but I think it may come to that, for I do not see WM conceding our right to independence, nor our right to decide when to vote on it again: we came too close to success and they will not readily risk it a second time

  172. call me dave says:


    I agree!

    In the Guardian:
    A newspaper friend reported last week that the subject of the Scottish leadership race emerged at the end of an interview he was conducting with a UK Labour grandee the previous day.

    “The chap couldn’t recall the name of either of the Scottish leadership contenders and conveyed the distinct impression that, in any case, he cared not a jot.”

    The response accurately depicts the attitude of the Labour leadership at Westminster to the Scottish party since devolution: “Just send us down your Glasgow and Lanarkshire MPs and keep your mouths shut in the meantime.” Well, as I’m sure they will have noticed by now, Scotland has stopped sending Labour MPs to London… well, apart from wee whatsisname in Edinburgh.

  173. Daisy Walker says:

    Interesting article, I agree with it and feel for those who are getting ground down by the drip, drip tactics of WM.

    But lets be clear that is exactly what it is – tactics, WM has been trolling par excellance since before computers were even thought about, its a well practised machine in the art of clinging to its colonies and asset stripping to the last, and Divide and conquor is tactic number 1. Posh privateers and carpetbaggers to the last.

    So, if it helps, I’m not seeing those who became Yes voters changing their minds, their eyes were opened and suspicions confirmed with facts.
    I am seeing No voters who you would have thought were natural Yes voters, but got hit by project fear, deeply regretting their decision, and in the cold light of day, now getting educated with some of the facts this site and others have been publishing.
    And, incredibly, I’m seeing well off, leafy suburb, true blue, tories through and through, some of them English, wholeheartedly voting SNP, for a sensible, reputable government and for Devolution wrapped up in plain, sensible business like clothing.

    And if I think back to the campaign, what worked time and again – sometimes on a long fuse – was always – best behaviour, best practise, agree to disagree, and humour. So when Nicola stands up and says – the only way for Scottish Independence is by Referendum, when she holds this moral high ground, more than anything, she enables the doubters to keep listening.

    This has been going on for hundreds of years now, and we’ve never come so close, but lets be realistic, it is going to get worse, a lot worse… those tactics again, its the only game they know, and phase 2 is to provoke, and keep provoking until they can instigate terrorism.

    Terrorists talk their language, quite apart from enabling them to make a lot of money on the side through the security forces and arms dealers – hell they can even party in the same brothels serving up under age children.

    So, quite deliberately I look for inspiration, and I see Women for Indie and their many projects, I see Business for Scotland, I see people supporting Foodbanks, I see WOS and WGD, and corrupt politicians being taken to court by the public and so many more projects, but most of all people waking up to the fact that they can do stuff.

    And when the individual is empowered in that way, that truly is independence – that’s why they’re trying so hard to grind it down.

    Silly buggers, obviously don’t know the meaning of the Scots word thraun. Inch by inch, one bit of decency at a time.

    Take good care of yourselves. Best wishes to all.

  174. Taranaich says:

    Something else that bothers me: why on earth should we expect 55%-60% Yes in polls will be respected? Even if we have a period of six months of sustained and decisive Yes majorities across the pollsters, what guarantee is there that Westminster won’t just say “tough, you had your referendum, you said once in a lifetime/generation, so that’s your lot”?

    We’ve already seen the lengths they’ll go to cripple themselves – they all but sacrificed Scottish Labour to save the Union – and we already put up with them shooting down 20 out of 20 Scotland Bill amendments, 18 of which were backed by the vast majority of Scottish MPs and the population who voted for them. They fought having the referendum in the first place.

    (Sigh) maybe I’m just frustrated that there isn’t anything to do for a while. I may be exhausted from campaigning, but it’s hard to get out of campaign mode when there isn’t an election or referendum coming up.

  175. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Grouse Beater (11.02) –

    I don’t know if you ever listen to the wee media-review slot on Beattie’s lunchtime show on RS? Thursdays.

    It’s (usually) Stuart Cosgrove and Eamonn O’Neill, but doesn’t last more than 10-15 minutes. Both – so far as I can tell – are pro-indy, with Cosgrove the stronger voice.

    Anyway, there was a show, perhaps a couple of months ago, where O’Neill made a powerful pitch for, and predicted that the whole ‘Dolphin Square’ story was about to explode.

    Then, as if by magic, we had the Sewel revelations, and the CallKaye dismissal of any debate focussing on that particular address because, in her own words, SHE KNEW was that was all about.

    I’m a ‘pleb’, but even I can see that the BBC is straining every sinew to contain the reality as a series of ‘historic’ scandals.

    The real ‘scandal’ is that we allow it to continue.

    Monks? Teachers? Prime Ministers? Carers? Lords, Ladies, and ‘Gentlemen’?

    The best defence The Establishment can come up with? ‘Boys will be boys!’ (Copyright, ‘Edwina Currie’)

    (P.S. Greville Janner used to be best known as an expert on British ‘etiquette’. Pretty-much captures the rank putridness of the whole business.)

  176. DerekM says:

    So true Rev UDI can be a total disaster and unless you have a clear majority of 70 plus % wanting it then its a non starter and should only be used in extreme circumstances like we vote for indy and they do not honour the vote.

    Though i do have to say i think Scotland would maybe be different than some of these other countries you mention,most of them were basket cases before UDI,i dont see that in Scotland and hope i never do but you are right it is a road to possible civil war.

    The SNP must stay on the democratic path of using referendum,would we the people of Scotland be as engaged as we are if it was not for the referendum,even the SNP did not think they would get the response they have.

    We were up against it from the start with a massive gap in the polls to close,the referendum was not just about independence but was a test of where we Scots stood politically,the big question was just what would we do and would we engage.

    Well we now know the answer to that.

    The next referendum will start at 50/50 and if the trend continues towards independence then we should win it out in the streets,last time we needed to persuade a lot of people next time we will have that base to start from,and is one of the reasons the onions are terrified of another referendum and are desperate to halt the momentum.

  177. Barbara McKenzie says:

    Stu did right to give people a chance to discuss this.

    Given that one would only declare UDI if there is clearly majority support for in Scotland, it seems obvious to hold a referendum instead. However, I can think of two scenarios where UDI might be justified *where there is clearly a majority supporting independence*.

    1) Westminster refuses to allow a referendum

    2) the UK approves another illegal war.

  178. call me dave says:

    Some interesting stuff on Auntie. Some licencing data.

  179. Rory Winter says:

    To confuse UDI with the inclusion of #Indyref2 in the SNP’s 2016 Manifesto, as does this writer, is a glaring error. There’s no connexion between the two. To include #Indyref2 in the Manifesto will provide the SNP with a mandate from the electorate and make any future call for a referendum that much stronger. To miss that opportunity would be fatal. At the moment the only ones blocking any discussion of #Indyref2 at Conference are the leadership. The rank-and-file should be asking why this opportunity is being ignored.

  180. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Daisy Walker (11.31) –



    More, please, anytime, and best wishes to you too.

  181. Grouse Beater says:

    Ian, I’ve an enduring compulsion to punch a few prominent people in the nose who determined Scotland should remain subservient. Unfortunately one of them is Rowling, but I draw the line at women.

    Till next time ..

  182. Big Jock says:

    We should not wait for the polls to show 60%. We take every opportunity we can get to push for independence. That means calling for a referendum as soon as we possibly can.

    Quebec waited 15 years and still lost. You go when you have momentum. Right now things are more right for winning than they were a year ago.

    Another 5 years of Tories, the lie of the vow,possibility of EU Exit,56 SNP mps at Westminster being ignored,credit crunch ,austerity 2 ,Labour finished forever in Scotland,starting at 45% not 30% in the polls,House Of Lords corruption and lies,people like Michelle Mone getting knighthoods. What fool would want to miss this chance.

  183. Les wilson says:

    UDI is a no no, it would split everything apart, despite what some say it would be self inflicted madness.
    So we have to wait, while all the time edging in the Indy direction.

    We need to have proper answers to currency, provable answers to pensions and properly explained.
    The SNP are our best chance of gaining Independence, it is their sole purpose of being, we can trust them.

    The next Indy ref will be met with all the media tirade that the first one offered, the difference is we now know how low they will sink now. We have learned much on how they work, nothing should surprise us, but their arguments are weak while their devious tactic are strong with be backing of Westminster.

    We need to be a whole lot more streetwise in dealing with them because we know they cannot be democratic, it is not in their DNA.

    We need to have thoughtful and careful planning started in the hearts of voters from a long way out to ensure success.
    I do believe a Indy ref option must be in the SNP manifesto but not help to a specific date, so that should there be extra ordinary events Indy ref 2 can be called.

    In the meantime converting no’s to yessers must be our game, accumulating to a consensus that we can convert to a Yes vote,
    our case must be solid and believable. Then we win.

  184. Training Day says:

    A cosy consensus evident on here tonight among those who retain faith in British ‘democracy’. I must admit I admire your ability to batter your heids against a brick wall without registering any deleterious effect.

    To be serious – a question to those who harangue Westminster/the BBC/the Electoral Commission/the UK civil service/the Intelligence Services at every turn on here yet think in that context that independence will be ‘granted’ via the ballot box.

    Why do you think that is the case?

  185. Barbara McKenzie says:

    DerekM 11.48 makes a good point, that, if last time is anything to go by, if you start with 50% in favour there’s a good chance the final figure will be much higher.

  186. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Grouse Beater –


    Aye, well, we all have a snapping-point.

    Sir Danny Alexander?

    I’m still not convinced that it’s real. If it is? Pah…mere words are not enough…

    Perhaps, by some weird synchronicity, the point at which Liz says’ Arise Sir Danny’ will be the moment at which she finally cracks – her marbles come a-tumble, pinball style, along with Alexander’s heid.

  187. Ally Strachan says:

    UDI is not and has never been the answer. It will not be done peacefully and will result in huge civil unrest. However, lets face it, so would ayes vote!

    Can you imagine the unrest if the SNP or yes side had offered something ‘special’ in the days before the vote and broke the Purdah period agreed in the Edinburgh agreement?The won? I think most expected Salmond to come out with something on the currency, low ball the establishment and win, but that never happened. I still find it hard to believe he never contested his currency plans and kept on the road to denial!

    There is way too many grey areas and accusations over the referendum. A referendum is only an option if done 100% fairly by both sides. IT WASN’T!

    Be it Ruth Davidson’s admission she had info that votes had been counted, be it the offer days before the vote, be it the hundreds of voters claiming their ballot papers were blank, these are all areas which have never been investigated and brushed aside by those in control.

    As normal the people are ignored. Now, UDI is certainly not the way to go, but, if you have no fair referendum, what are the people to do?

    Anybody who says this was a fair and legal referendum is kidding themselves and the SNP have let their people down by not questioning some of these issues, if nothing else why the purdah period agreements were broken! Unless of course they never intended to win?

    For me, something stinks. Yes we have all come to accept the final outcome and have all moved on, but there was more to this than met the eye. I believe it was too close to call and the only real option was cheating.

    The next referendum, for the establishment, will not be as easy to cheat for sure. I personally think it is too soon and as Cameron has stated 2020 at the earliest. I tend to agree with him, unless of course something seriously changes. They have failed to honour anything offered the days before the referendum to date. FFA, devo max, federalism, nothing. The passge of time will win Scotland her freedom, not the ballot box. The ballot box will only be the tool which is used. Every day sees more and more people wakening up to the reality.

  188. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    For the second referendum the vehicle should be the SNP.
    The honest and generous attempt to set of with a YES coalition provided a very confused and disorganised start to the campaign and was thankfully replaced eventually by what sprung up in the streets.
    Scots who want independence have no objection to marching with the SNP till that is achieved.

    Here’s a thought. If the UK Government was to launch a seriously Green agenda how much of the Scottish Greens would still support Scottish independence?

  189. HandandShrimp says:


    I didn’t think it would be that controversial given current policy for nigh 10 years but the Scottish Government’s indication that it intends to formally ban GM crops seems to have got the SNPbad lot in a lather (not to mention the usual shills for GM)

  190. Robert Bryce says:

    Why doesn’t the SNP go into 2016 with a mandate to obtain devo max? Devolution of everything with the exception of defense & foreign affairs.

    It would be a wholly democratic mandate and the penultimate stepping stone to independence.

    Beats the whole UDI bollocks.

  191. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Daisy Walker same as Ian Brotherhood great post & thanks.

  192. John Moss says:

    I’ve already said that UDI is a valid option.

    It’s a means to bringing the lie of the so-called United Kingdom to an end.

    Who said we could only do this by means of a referendum only?

    We can do as we please. We are not constrained by anyone else’s rules about achieving our independence.

    If UDI gets us what we want then let’s stop pixxing about and get it done and over with.

  193. Elaine Hindle says:

    I am one of the so called “stupid folk” who are calling for UDI, basically because I am fed up with what has been, or should I say not been happening since the general election. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    There was a great sense of optimism when the SNP got 56MP down to Westminster but that momentum has gone. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    I have voted SNP for 33 years and joined the party. I have always believed in self- determination and wish Scotland to become independent. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    Over the years I have seen my country trampled into the ground, through the Thatcher years and again this time round and it is infinitely worse. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    While we all debate about playing the long game, people in this country are dying. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    This is a terrible affirmation to have to bear in this modern day. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    We cannot allow this to continue. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    How many No voters would have voted NO if they had known that the so called “Vow” would not be upheld. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK.
    At the very least the SNP should and must put INDY2 into their manifesto, otherwise I can see people leaving the party in droves completely disillusioned.

  194. Robert Louis says:

    Robert Bryce at 1248 am,

    I understand your thinking, but the problem with devo anything (electoral mandate or not) is that it is entirely dependent upon WESTMINSTER giving it.

    I used to think it would be a viable option, but then we had the ‘VOW’ of ‘near federalism’, and the Smith commission. Westminster has now shown it intends to deliver neither, despite the vast majority of Scottish MP’s wanting and standing on an electoral platform of more powers.

    As the old saying goes, ‘power devolved, is power retained’ (by Westminster). The proof being that right now, David Cameron has the power to shut the Scottish Parliament at the stroke of a pen, he doesn’t even need a Westminster vote.

    Only an independence mandate returns the sovereignty and power to Scotland. It effectively dissolves the unwanted and undemocratic treaty of union.

    Meanwhile, Lizzie Saxe coburg and her Westminster chums have once again demonstrated their utter contempt and disregard for Scots, by apparently offering a knighthood to the cerebrally challenged, failed anti Scotland Liberal demoacrat, and general London ‘suck up’ Danny Alexander.

    For London’s gold, and all that, eh, Danny.

  195. Robert Louis says:

    Derek M at 1148 am and others,

    I wholly agree with your view, that our starting point is much better, and we should not wait (as some bizarrely suggest) until the polls show a 60% lead. Political argumentsm such as independence, do not make progress like that unless they are being aired continually, and engage with the public consciousness.

    As regards UDI, it is a generally bad idea, although, troubles aside, it has to be asked, would Ireland be independent had it not happened? All the evidence suggests no. By saying that, I am not advocating UDI, but it must be said, that given that the entire apparatus of the ‘British’ state was used against the indy campaign in 2014, including the supposedly neutral civil service and the interfering unelected head of state (who both publicly backed NO), perhaps a time might come when it would be right.

    At present, the ballot box approach is right, but we should not dilly dally, for the momentum we gained in 2014, will eventually ebb away, something which many in the YES camp fail to grasp. The SNP will not always have such a commanding electoral position, and we could once again go decades with no chance whatsoever of a referendum.

    The chance is here and now. We fail to take it at our peril.

  196. Morag says:

    I realise we have to have the debate, but I’m wary of taking sides or adopting a firm conclusion. I do agree that UDI could only be the last resort following an extremely unpleasant series of events, so that’s not even up for consideration, but the question of the timing of a new referendum is a live issue.

    Both sides have some excellent points. A premature, unsuccessful referendum would probably do pretty terminal damage to the independence movement. Far better to wait than risk that happening.

    But then, if we wait forever, we’ll never win. At some point we have to go for it. Now, we’re still teetering on the edge, and there is momentum and a still-energised corps of activists champing at the bit. The unionist parties in Scotland are on the canvas, and the SNP is flavour of the month. Obviously I’m not talking now, but 2017 or so. Longer than that and time might see these advantages fade.

    I think the most important thing is to look at all aspects, but not to rule anything out. Options simply have to be kept open, either way, and the SNP has to be ready to act and fleet of foot if and when circumstances change. Always in motion, is the future. I can’t tell when the crucial moment will come, in 2017 or 2020 or whenever. I only know we have to be ready when it does and not hang back, swithering.

    Public opinion can swing drastically, given the right stimulus. It’s not impossible something might happen – probably something Cameron does – that sends the Yes vote climbing to 55% or beyond. The worst folly would be to have pre-determined that indyref2 wasn’t going to happen until 2021, and pass up a golden moment.

  197. Bill Steele says:

    You are right about there not being enough of a popular groundswell in favour of independence to have either another referendum soon, or a UDI. You say “The Scottish people were not denied self-determination. They had a free and fair vote on it, conducted by a government which was in favour of the principle, and they determined to stay part of the UK.” You know that this is not true. From Unionists continuing to tell the Scottish people that we would lose our pensions if we were to vote YES, to BT activists, phoning seniors and repeating that lie, to Cameron going to leaders of other nations and lobbying them to come out against independence, to him persuading CEOs of big chain stores and banks to threaten to pull out of Scotland if we voted YES, to Nicky McPherson manipulating behind the scenes, to the new offer of almost Home Rule and near a Federal System, we were denied a free and fair vote.

  198. Having considered all the comments on this thread, I conclude that IndyRef2, sooner rather than later, is optimal. What about September 2018? By then, we can have pro-Indy majorities in our representation at WM, Holyrood, and on all the major local authorities, and a decision already made about brexit.

    We could be in a position to dictate the terms of a referendum, and to run it fairly with independent international monitoring, and Cameron will have had time to really foul things up with counter-rational austerity, and split the Tory party in England. The party-political opposition will be decimated, and we can run with a positive case for indy that the BBC won’t be able to subvert.

    SNP manifesto for 2016 MUST include a mandate for a referendum whenever the Scottish Government sees fit.

  199. Onwards says:

    Robert Louis says:

    10 August, 2015 at 2:12 am

    ..the problem with devo anything (electoral mandate or not) is that it is entirely dependent upon WESTMINSTER giving it.

    I used to think it would be a viable option, but then we had the ‘VOW’ of ‘near federalism’, and the Smith commission. Westminster has now shown it intends to deliver neither, despite the vast majority of Scottish MP’s wanting and standing on an electoral platform of more powers.

    Exactly – the Westminster Government will resist every significant power that can be devolved.

    This is why I think any possible future referendum on Devo-Max should have a follow-up question – with permission asked for independence to be declared if the UK government refuses to negotiate, or allow home rule.

    That gives some negotiating clout, and voters should be more likely to support independence if the Tories are seen as unwilling to grant genuine home rule within the UK.

  200. @Bill Steele @4:19am

    You’re totally right Bill, we got royally shafted. And I’d add to what you mentioned the foetid stench of a postal vote turnout without precedent in the history of universal suffrage. Our voting intentions were manipulated, and to some extent the count of votes was massaged.

    However, if a colonised nation still believes the lies of the coloniser, it’s not ready for freedom. I believe in the absolute, non-negotiable right of the Scottish people to self-determination: which means we must prove that we have a majority in favour of independence via a free and fair headcount. If the only headcount we can have is one manipulated by our opponents, then we must prove our majority despite the manipulation. UDI, without some proof of the will of the people, is the road to ruin, and plays into the hands of our erstwhile imperial masters.

    We’ll win the next referendum by a country mile – everybody knows.

  201. Ajarn Ken says:

    Hi – first post! I watched the indy ref from afar but returned to Scotland about a month before and was truly convinced the Yes would do it. There was never any doubt from what I saw and heard. I was shocked at the result as I never expected it in a months of Sundays at that time.

    What I would say on this is, far from pointing out the failings of Labour etc – as has been the case on numerous sites since the election – sites like Wings should be giving the Unionists/Tory Governments and anyone else who is No enough rope so they eventually hang themselves.

    By doing so, indy2 will be a natural progression rather than steaming in with all guns blazing which would put an end to any hopes of independence within our lifetimes.

  202. john king says:

    Big Jock says
    “We should not wait for the polls to show 60%. We take every opportunity we can get to push for independence. That means calling for a referendum as soon as we possibly can.

    Quebec waited 15 years and still lost. You go when you have momentum. Right now things are more right for winning than they were a year ago.”

    I could not agree more
    I think Camerons naked (and a little too obvious) goading is a double bluff, in reality he’s shit scared of us going back for another go and is pretending he would love us to do exactly that,
    and of course people seeing him for the oily little shit he really is see a trick and shy away from “going too early”
    what we are in danger of here is the SNP being caught in the headlights being unable to make a decision and losing the momentum (perhaps forever),
    We have a 45% base to start from, we know what prevented us winning the last one, there are no real leaders for the no camp,

    If not now then when?
    if not us then who?

    We cannot expect the SNP to be forever in the position its in just now, Jesus the Scottish parliament was set up to prevent such an outcome, it was a miracle that the SNP were ever in the position they find themselves in in the first place,
    we cannot waste this precious chance, it may never come again in our lifetimes!

    This is OUR time lets get going and finish this.

  203. Craig Murray says:

    Ian Brotherhood,

    Sorry to disappoint your hopes of a good argument last night. I am in Tbilisi at the minute (three hours ahead) and had gone to bed!

  204. Daisy Walker says:

    Dear Training day, re

    ‘To be serious – a question to those who harangue Westminster/the BBC/the Electoral Commission/the UK civil service/the Intelligence Services at every turn on here yet think in that context that independence will be ‘granted’ via the ballot box.

    Why do you think that is the case?’

    56 out of 59, working their backsides off and being an absolute barnstorming credit to themselves and their electorate.
    Over 10 million hits for Mharie Black’s first speech in WM.
    30% changing to 45% in one year, etc, etc
    Seeing the English (finally) waking up and doing a Corbyn – you think their halls would be full just now, if they weren’t just a little bit inspired by us Yessers?

    There is undoubtedly a change in pace folks, that wonderful exuberance of the Referendum, its passed.
    Please take heart, this is a different chapter, and a different pace is required. Please also give yourselves a huge amount of thanks and credit, you’ve been working flat out for almost 3 years now.

    In certain way I agree with you Training Day, the WM machine will not deliver Independence, we deliver Indie with our initiative, our community and our decency, the vote, when it comes, becomes almost incidental.

    And none of this is easy. WM tactics, first divide and rule, then provoke and keep provoking till you get terrorism. Except we have better, more constructive things to be doing.

    Take it easy.

  205. IvMoz says:

    John King 6:35

    I agree totally.

    Maybe it’s the pessimistic Scot in me but we have to have a referendum in say 2019.

    5 years is a long time in politics. We don’t know what will happen in GE2020. There is no way we will repeat the success of GE2015.

    Labour & the Lib Dems can’t get any worse & will have some sort of bounce back.

    Waiting for Holyrood 2021 to request a mandate for another referendum maybe too late.

    We have to go with the flow and huge support independence has now, put it in the 2016 manifesto & have another referendum in the next parliament.

  206. Mealer says:

    We don’t have nearly enough activists to win a referendum.Sure,a huge number of people signed up to the SNP to salve their consciences after not doing any footwork for the last campaign,but that’s not the same thing.Its a first step on the path,though.

  207. Glamaig says:

    Taranaich at 10:15pm

    Yes.. and a Wee Blue Book through every letterbox in Scotland next time.

  208. Macart says:

    Hah! Well if ever there was any doubt, its been removed now.

    Arise Sir Danny, no less and by the way, take that you rowdy lot. Probably one of the most despised politicians in Scotland and a primo co conspirator on the infamous sermon on the pound, Danny Alexander to be knighted.

    Now if that isn’t first class trolling, then I don’t know what is. 😀

    Westminster is looking to provoke the rash response. I say just give them a knowing smile and a nod. An indyref2 is inevitable and will be sooner rather than later I reckon, but it should be at a time of our choosing, not theirs.

    Let them sweat for change. 😉

  209. Fiona says:

    I think we need to give some thought to the effect that a Corbyn win might have.

    As I see it, a great many erstwhile labour supporters have left that party and voted SNP, not because they are committed to independence, but because they are in favour of social democracy and policies based loosely on the “post war consensus”, which is currently described as “the failed policies of the 1970’s” (Yvette Cooper et al)

    I do not think that the rUK electorate are that much different from the Scottish electorate, in the scheme of things. Labour assumed that they could abandon their core vote because those people had nowhere else to go: SNP offered a viable alternative for Scots and we see the result. There was indeed no alternative in rUK, but that will not last, either: it can’t.

    From the point of view of one who wants independence Corbyn presents a real challenge, I think. If he is successful I believe there are many many people who will return to the labour fold. I honestly believe that those people would prefer to achieve their goals through a revived labour party which embodied their values and applied those across the UK, rather than through independence. People have concluded it is not possible and turned to SNP: but with heavy hearts and much regret.

    If that is correct then this may well be the optimum moment for another try: though that is not certain because those same people may well wish to “wait and see” if Corbyn can deliver, if he wins. If he does not I think that will cement their decision. If he does win then much depends on what the right wing entryists do in response. The next few months will be telling, I think

  210. Robert Bryce says:

    Bill Steele.

    I can vouch for that lie as my mother in law told me that she had received a phone call from a “wee lassie” from Better Together.
    The wee lassie proceeded to tell her that she should vote no because if it was a Yes then her pension would be stopped.

    No idea where she got her number (ex directory) or that she was a pensioner. Thankfully she had been in possession of the wee blue book by then and had already voted yes by postal ballot. The “wee lassie’s” response on hearing this wasn’t pleasant.

    I’m not stupid enough to fall into the UDI trap but let’s be absolutely fucking clear on this people. The mechanics of the referendum may have been above board and democratic but the way in which the result was achieved was an absolute fucking stitch up by the establishment. Chiefly aimed at pensioners. The polling after the referendum confirmed that’s where the Yes vote fell short.

    Bide your time because pensioners are shuffling off this mortal coil every day. Those Yesers moving up to take their place in the hierarchy won’t be scared or fooled.

    It’s coming, just sit back and watch it unfold 🙂

  211. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Craig Murray (7.14) –


    I did wait up awhile but it never really got going – everyone being far too reasonable, and/or nonplussed at the news about Danny Alexander.

    There’s time yet though…

  212. Ken500 says:

    Danny Alexander cost Scotland £20Billion+ The Tories have ruined the Oil sector. 55% tax, while (foreign) multinationals making vast profits tax evade through the City of London. Two different tax systems being operated by Westminster. The rest of the UK pays less tax. £39Billion (pro rata). Scotland raises £54Billion. Total tax raised in the UK £466Billion. When the Tories came in 2010 £600Billion was raised in tax. The rest of the UK borrows and spends £90 more and tries to give Scotland £9Billion of the debt, Scotland does not borrow or spend.

    The Oil sector has changed to three on threes weeks off, which is not conducive to family life and public health.

    If the GE was an indicater, if the 16-18 year old had been included, it would have reversed the Referendum result. 1.6Million other parties, 1.6Million + 16+ SNP. The VOW has not been delivered.

  213. schrodingers cat says:

    the solution is obvious

    any commitment to hold or not hold another referendum carries dangers, we cannot forsee the future
    eg, if support for indy shoots up to 70% in 2016 and we have no manifesto commitment to hold another ref, we cannot hold one? also, if support for indy falls to 30% and we have manifesto commitment to hold another ref, we cannot avoid holding one?

    therefore, we have a manifesto commitment to

    ” consult the people of scotland as to whether or not they wish another referendum, and to hold another referendum if they so wish, at a time of our chosing”

    sorted. It gives Nicola the option,

  214. Robert Bryce @ 8.46 am.
    Robert, I’ve said this before, but it seems I have to repeat it again.
    Maybe your comment about my age group is backed up by statistics, but it’s still annoying, especially having been out no later than yesterday, campaiging.
    Again, although we have a wide diversity age-wise in our S.N.P branch, some of the most committed are pensioners, because most of us have retired, and have plenty of spare time.
    So please, to anyone commenting on this and other sites, I believe it damages our cause, independence, to criticise not only particular age groups, but other sections of our community.
    We will only achive our aim by all coming together, and not by sniping at each other over semantics.

  215. Doug Daniel says:

    Big Jock says:
    9 August, 2015 at 11:59 pm
    “We should not wait for the polls to show 60%. We take every opportunity we can get to push for independence. That means calling for a referendum as soon as we possibly can.

    Quebec waited 15 years and still lost. You go when you have momentum. Right now things are more right for winning than they were a year ago.

    Another 5 years of Tories, the lie of the vow,possibility of EU Exit,56 SNP mps at Westminster being ignored,credit crunch ,austerity 2 ,Labour finished forever in Scotland,starting at 45% not 30% in the polls,House Of Lords corruption and lies,people like Michelle Mone getting knighthoods. What fool would want to miss this chance.”

    The possibility of EU exit, the credit crunch, House of Lords corruption and lies, people like Michelle Mone getting knighthoods – that was all true before the referendum. And if it wasn’t enough to make people back independence a year ago, why on earth would it suddenly be enough now?

    This is the problem with folk assuming everyone thinks like they do. Everyone on this site already knows the UK is a stinking, corrupt, elitist anachronism that Scotland needs to get away from – but guess what? 55% of the country either don’t agree, or – and this is the important part – don’t care enough to make them vote for independence.

    People may think the breaking of the Vow is a game-changer, but it isn’t. Westminster politicians telling us one thing before an election and doing another after they’ve won is nothing new – Lib Dems lying about tuition fees, for example – but people were putting up with it before the referendum, and they’ll keep putting up with it afterwards.

    The same goes for Scotland being ignored – 55% of the population either don’t agree with the premise, or are happy for it to continue.

    A significant proportion of Scotland is happy to put up with the ongoing democratic deficit as long as it doesn’t prevent them going about their daily lives. They will not vote for changing things until we can show them that independence will provide material benefits to them. We can talk all we want about how Scotland as a whole will be a better place, but until they can see that voting Yes will have a direct, positive impact on their lives, they will continue to take the “better the devil you know…” attitude.

    We didn’t do this last year, otherwise these people would have voted Yes the first time. These people aren’t going to suddenly vote Yes just because we say “have another go, just in case you didn’t mean to vote ‘No’ last time.”

    Having another referendum before we’ve fully recognised and acknowledged this simple fact is madness, and would do far more damage to the cause than anything the unionists do.

  216. Fiona says:

    @ Doug Daniel

    I agree. One thing we really need to do is dispel the myths about the situation in the 1970’s. It was better in every way that counts and that is why the myth is made and promoted by folk like Yvette Cooper. Young people actually know that it was hell, with bodies lying unburied on the streets etc. They do not know there was full employment and that inequality was reducing, nor that the undoubted problems so trumpeted were the result of the oil price hike and not of the policies themselves. They do not know that the unemployment which was such a factor in 1979 was approaching 1 million, and that was unacceptable, though the switch to focus on inflation thereafter has made that level a dream beyond achievement. They do not know that the current be all and end all, GDP growth, was better: nor that debt, another bogey man, was lower.

    All of this has been written out of history: we need to put it back in the public arena

  217. Ian Brotherhood says:

    No newspaper is ever going to use its own editorial space to call someone a wanker, but today’s National comes pretty close.

    Can anyone have a wild guess at who they’re referring to?

  218. Ken500 says:

    Corbyn and Burnham are so ill informed or ignorant. The SNP policies are to cut Trident. They were refused permission to take the railways (transport/ferry contracts) into public ownership by Westminster. The Tories cut £38Billion of funding to electrify the rail line in the North of England. They plan to spend £70Billion on HS2 which will make rail journeys’ through Britain longer.

    Public services in the UK are controlled and provided by (foreign) State run companies from other countries making profits from UK consumers. Rail, energy, transport, banking etc.

  219. EphemeralDeception says:

    UDI, even if it passed without a physical war would leave Scotland largely isolated in the international community. It It is very clear from the behavior of the Occidental and 1st world powers (except Russia) that they want the Status Quo to continue for various reasons.

    Next Referendum: I wish a referendum soon but there are open questions that need clear methods to tackle:

    a) Postal vote issues: Broken process + likelihood of large scale fraud. Also what happened about Ruthy? The YES campaign should be more public of the risks, discourage portal voting as opposed to encouraging it. Postal votes should be counted separately and totals stated by the returning officer*.

    b) Getting Pensioner support. This is key and I think it needs a strategy to encourage the YES voting generation to convince their individual Parents and Grandparents the reasons why YES is best for them and their children.

    c) Keep a positive campaign but attack NO directly too, their tactics, their behavior in WM, that the Vow was a con. Push that a no vote is at best a downward spiral for Scotland.

    * Some here have mentioned the success of the last week of the No campaign, the vow, the BBC propaganda etc. However samples were taken of postal votes in Argyll. Most postal votes were sent while YES was at or near its peak. I would have expected a stronger yes postal vote. However the samples examined showed a dramatic No vote majority.

    Its a shame that the samples were small. Nevertheless, I think the Rev and the SNP have, (at least publicly) a blind side about this topic. I don’t know how large a fraud was attempted or if it changed the results. What I and many others are convinced about is that it was another weapon in the establishments armory and that they did use it, successfully, to boost the no vote.

  220. Calgacus says:

    The referendum was not free or fair.

    UDI only after all Democratic avenues have been blocked.


  221. Ken500 says:

    The Tories plan to guarantee the Chinese (Gov?) £Billions (double pro rata) to build a nuclear station. Situated by the sea, (in the vicinity of Bath?) which will be out of budget and over time. Where will the waste go?

    The Tories have banned wind turbines. Scotland pays a higher cost for fuel and energy (parity?) yet is near the source. A burden on the Scottsh economy.

  222. Joemcg says:

    Mealer-don’t think we will a EVER have enough activists when the oppo.have the airwaves,media and broadcasters in their pockets I’m afraid.

  223. Joemcg says:

    Curious what the comparable postal vote figures were for the GE 15 compared to 800,000 out of 3.5 million people in Scotland for indyref. Might be very revealing.

  224. Luigi says:


    I notice that the people who are confident we can win an early IndyRef2 are the same ones that promised us we would win IndyRef1.

    There’s no rush, folks. We will be independent exactly when Scotland is ready for it. No sooner, no later.

    When the time is right, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that the establishment will be able to do to prevent Scottish independence. Stop over-analysing and speculating about possible scenarios and SNP majorities etc. I can assure you that the way Scottish independence will come about will surprise most of us.

    Just have a little faith and be patient. Hang in there.

    I agree with most posters here that UDI has to be an absolute last resort. So many things, really bad things would have to happen before it could even be considered. I don’t think it will be necessary. Have faith!. 🙂

  225. Doug Daniel says:

    There was no mass postal vote fraud. There didn’t need to be. The kind of folk who tend to vote by post are the kind of folk who voted no – pensioners, well-off young middle class folk who think their time is too precious to waste walking ten minutes up the road to a polling station, and folk who live in low-density neighbourhoods (i.e. big houses with big gardens and driveways) where the polling station is actually a bit of a trek away.

    Oh, and folk who wanted the whole thing over and done with as soon as possible, rather than wanting to remember the historic day they walked into the polling booth and marked an X against “Yes”. Personally, I would have crawled through glass to vote on the day, and if I was a paranoid Yes voter, I certainly wouldn’t have trusted the Royal Mail to not lose my vote.

    Postal voting is not perfect, but the obsession some folk have with postal vote fraud is just another example of the wishful thinking stopping the movement as a whole from recognising our flaws and correcting them.

    We didn’t lose because of postal votes – we lost because we didn’t convince enough folk. It is THAT simple. As long as folk keep looking for excuses, we’re not looking for answers.

  226. Clydebuilt says:

    The time for the next referendum has to be …..when polls are showing a stable Majority for YES.

  227. Fiona says:

    @ Calgacus

    It was free, and it was fair, as those terms are applied within our current conception of democracy. You may not like the way the power is stacked, but that does not butter any parsnips. We should be proud of the fact that the result demonstrated that propaganda is not as powerful as it would like us to believe: that is a major lesson from the referendum, and it has not been lost on the establishment or the MSM, I am sure.

    I think there is more reason for hope than you imply. SNP have accepted a rigged system and have got on with the job: and they have won an overall majority at Holyrood, despite the bias against that outcome.

    If the people are determined then no rigged system can prevail, so long as hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue.

  228. Tinto Chiel says:

    Taranaich says:
    9 August, 2015 at 11:34 pm
    Something else that bothers me: why on earth should we expect 55%-60% Yes in polls will be respected? Even if we have a period of six months of sustained and decisive Yes majorities across the pollsters, what guarantee is there that Westminster won’t just say “tough, you had your referendum, you said once in a lifetime/generation, so that’s your lot”?

    This is something that concerns me. We only “got” our referendum because the Unionists thought we would lose convincingly. My fear is that they might not “grant” Indyref2. The FM has said, quite rightly, that it is for Scots to decide when the next referendum should be. What happens if Mr Cameron says we’ve had our once-in-a-generation vote?

    I think a lot of nasties are coming our way and, if our legitimate desire for a referendum at a time of our choosing is thwarted, then what? I can foresee an extreme situation where the SNP may be forced to seek a democratic mandate to leave the Union. I just don’t see the Tories ever playing fair. Either that or we fold up our tents and abandon the whole idea because we suspect not enough Scots will ever act in their best interests.

    At the moment I do not think we have a chance of winning a referendum but I am clinging to Daisy Walker’s hopeful vision that circumstances will change things in our favour. That was an inspiring post, but I still suspect the bad faith of the Establishment.

  229. Ken500 says:

    Hammond blames Africa for a drop in Europe living standards. Is Hammond for real. US/UK and France has been bombing the Middle East to bits and Europe hss been taking African resources forever. Oil etc. Hammond can’t be right in the head.

    Westminster has spent £trns on illegal wars, banking fraud and tax evasion. London is the tax evasion capital of the world. Westminster has destroyed the world economy. Brown an Blair should be in jail, along with the rest of the child abusers and murderers protected by the Official Secrets Act. Where’s the Chilcot Report.

    Hammond is starving children.

  230. Flower of Scotland says:


    I completely agree with you.

    I hope that there is something about ref2 in the next manifesto. No time set but permission to hold one when the time is right.

    Really good posts here on this thread. Liked Daisy Walker,s @11.31am.

    Yep! On Facebook, lots of people calling for another referendum now! Things aren’t going quickly enough for them. Telling them to take it easy and keep calm doesn’t seem to work!

  231. Grouse Beater says:

    Soon comes the Glorious Twelfth and my duties begin.

    First to get flushed out is Grouse Whisky in Crieff’s verdant glen, the company that demanded we vote No.

  232. Grouse Beater says:

    Ian: Can anyone have a guess at who they’re referring to?

    McTernan? The Master Bater.

  233. Grouse Beater says:

    Doug: It is THAT simple.

    Nothing in life is that simple, unless you speak of No voters.

  234. Grouse Beater says:

    The time for the next referendum has to be …..when polls are showing a stable Majority for YES.

    Surely we are closing the doors after the horse has bolted that particular stable?

  235. Joemcg says:

    Doug-I see where you are coming from but the huge take up is startling. 1 in 4 people, 25% out of our tiny population used that system rather than walk 5 minutes in most cases to the nearest ballot box. After all they can fill a form out and walk to a post box probably further away. Seems odd.

  236. Eddie Travers says:

    What a load of scaremongering one sided propaganda garbage, not one bit of evidence or logic to say why Scotland could not very successfully declare Independence, it’s the usual UDI = BAD, why no mention of the many dozens of successful declarations of Independence in the last 100yrs, this is a biased article which only cements the growing consensus that it is “SNP’s way or no way at all” THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK. But go ahead and keep painting pictures of UDI like this, selective information about war ravaged, natural resource poor countries, where ethnic cleansing and holy wars have created total mayhem and instability for many many decades, if you want to write a credible piece on the pro’s & con’s of UDI, then please at least show both sides of the coin. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK. Too many lazy Indy supporters just read and gobble up nonsense like this and moronically click “share” Instead of engaging their grey matter and doing a little research, to the uneducated this piece at first glance, would appear as though written by a BT propagandist. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK. No matter how many people share misinformation, even to the extent of going massively viral, does not make it into a valid truthful unbiased article, the old adage still stands – “If you tell a lie enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK. Scotland is a resource rich country, with as stable an economy as any other, considering all of the obstacles & hurdles being put in it’s way by the lies and criminality of both Domestic & Global Capitalism. This article does not point out that UDI is the only route to Independence in the absence of a Section 30 order signed by Cameron & Sturgeon and given Royal Assent by the Queen. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE FOR A PARAGRAPH BREAK. Dream on dreamers and accept the realisation that a referendum is NOT and NEVER can be construed as a Declaration Of Independence, it is advisory only and carries no weight in Law, nor recognition by any International Treaty. WM will not negotiate the destruction of the UK, not now and not in a generation.

  237. Cuilean says:

    White Rhodesians declared UDI, because they did not want the UK to allow full democratic voting rights to Rhodesia’s indigenous (black) people. The war, after UDI was declared by Rhodesia’a white elite, was fought by the people against their white rulers.

  238. Grouse Beater says:

    I think we should have Referendum every year, on the same day, a national holiday.

    We can treat it as a celebration though we lose, until one day we win. And we win by celebrating together with No voters, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder, until they are so drunk and pie-eyed they vote Yes, because “You’re tha’ nicest pal a Jock kid ever hiv, ‘n that'”.

    Or we can do as English do, commemorate all disasters as heroic achievements, marked by two minutes silence. We gather around a large symbolic statue to Hope, where dignitaries lay wreaths, and the BBC plays funereal music while a narrator describes the scene in hushed tones, showing flash backs to news footage of weeping Yes voters lying in the streets, and a forlorn Yes poster turning over in the wind.

  239. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    There is a lot of odd objections to a second referendum soon on here, not least the suggestion that we will again face a huge anti independence barrage in all the media.
    We will of course face a huge independence barrage in all the media whenever we chose to have a referendum which is why it is important that we support the little media we have and spread the word through promotion of sites like this.

    Incidently and entirely O/T I have just seen quite the stupidist front page headline I have ever seen in any publication (except perhaps Mad) on today’s Express. Have look at your newsagent. It’s no wonder newspaper sales are plummeting.
    “Cilla’s secret agony” indeed. Not half the agony I suffer being seen buying the bloody thing (for the next door neighbour)

  240. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Tinto Cheil Its like the preverbial piece of string In a Generation/Lifetime Your lifetime my lifetime ,our G/Wains lifetime .

    Cameron will be nuetered in that decision ,as its not his to make,every day People are rejecting authority of the Elete, roll on Holyrood & Council Elections.

  241. Grouse Beater says:

    I seem to the only person posting this morning! Has everybody gone to Embra’s festival?

    Seen any good ‘fillums’ lately?

  242. bonearrow says:

    TIME, it is the only and the most powerful answer I can
    give to your article. The westminster government is
    not just sitting back waiting for Scotland to come to
    the only conclusion that makes any sense for its existence,
    they never did in the past.
    I did notice that a lot of the examples you gave, to
    demonstrate the supposed evil of UDI, seem to be
    countries that have or had a connection to the great
    british empire. I know the argument is more passion
    than intellect for UDI but, history is our witness
    to the machinations of the british state and the
    longer we wait the longer we are giving it time to
    bring about the failure of the nationalist movement.
    They are on their back foot at the moment, they
    have never been so vulnerable. Tick Tock.
    Sorry, I cant agree.

  243. Fred says:

    @ Grouse Beater, apropos of nothing but I’m sure you’ll be aware that the guy who shot most birds in one day was………….The Maharajah Duleep Singhe, with nearly 500. 🙂

  244. One_Scot says:

    Todays Final Thought – Can you ever remember the nice kid at school ever beating the bully who was 10 times bigger than him, no neither can I.

  245. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Doug Daniel at 9.54

    How do you know? Can you explain 96% plus postal vote take up in five areas? This is actually not possible. How did McTernan and Davidson know the postal vote result before they were legally opened and counted?
    Do believe the UK establishment wouldn’t have fiddled it if they thought they had to?
    Have you read the EU’s report of UK postal ballot procedures which in no uncertain describes them as a recipe for fraud?

    Why did the most extensive and thorough canvas ever done across Scotland, supervised by an internationally renowned polling organisation, point strongly to a different result – an opinion related to our leaders?

    We, of course, can do nothing about the result now but we can make sure that supervision is done by other than an agent of the UK establishment next time

  246. jackie g says:

    Dave McEwan Hill says@10.30am

    Incidently and entirely O/T I have just seen quite the stupidist front page headline I have ever seen in any publication (except perhaps Mad) on today’s Express.

    I had a look at that Dave. Cilla (an older lady) had wait for it Arthritis shock horror!

    The best laugh was the top of the page, Still 5pence cheaper than the Daily Mail. 😕

    Why do folk read this trash 😕

  247. Fred says:

    @ Daisy Walker, keep posting hen! 🙂

  248. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I am surprised that anybody believes that “the polls” can ever safely be used as a reliable guide.

    They are often used to provide the answers their sponsors pay them for.

    They are perfectly capable of deliberately showing us leading when we are not and vice versa.

    The only reliable information is that which we collect ourselves.

  249. Fiona says:

    @ Dave McKewan Hill

    I am agnostic on the question of fraud in the postal vote. However precautionary principle applies either way. Yes, we need everyone to have confidence in the outcome of elections. Nothing wrong with putting in mechanisms to achieve that

  250. Doug Daniel says:

    joemcg: “Doug-I see where you are coming from but the huge take up is startling. 1 in 4 people, 25% out of our tiny population used that system rather than walk 5 minutes in most cases to the nearest ballot box. After all they can fill a form out and walk to a post box probably further away. Seems odd.”

    Actually, it was only 18%, or 789,512 to be precise. That’s not even 1 in 5, never mind 1 in 4. This is one of the little bits of misinformation about postal voting that gets passed around until it becomes “true” and builds to a false picture.

    And yes, it seems ridiculous, but it’s how it is. One young couple sticks in my mind who told me they’d already voted (clearly No) well in advance of the referendum. Absolutely no reason for them not to vote in person, other than they couldn’t be bothered. And it amazed me how many people are registered for postal votes at our recent by-election in Aberdeen.

    (There is, of course, a good case to be made that if folk can’t be bothered walking up the road to a polling station then they don’t deserve to have a say, but that’s a different issue from fraud.)

    Bear in mind, you can postal vote at any postbox. You can even chuck it in with your work’s outgoing mail if you don’t pass one on the way to work. I can imagine solicitors and the like doing exactly that.

    People are lazy, that’s just how it is. There’s nothing odd about them being lazy when it comes to voting – it’s one of the reasons why council by-election have such poor turnouts, after all.

  251. Grouse Beater says:

    Fred: The Maharajah Duleep Singhe, with nearly 500.

    Bliddy foreigners! They come here, take oor jobs, an’ ravish oor birds… 🙂

  252. Fred says:

    @ Brian Doonthetoon, pished last night Brian, take it as a compliment! 🙂

    @ One_Scot, aye, it was me!

  253. Taranaich says:

    Alright, I have to get this off my chest: regardless of the many, MANY issues with UDI, which the Reverend pointed out, it must be remembered that each of the nations which made unilateral declarations were already in extremely dire straits.

    The Thirteen Colonies had already engaged in violent acts of insurrection (Boston Tea Party, Gaspee Affair, Battle of Lexington and Concorde) before their declaration: war was inevitable once property was destroyed and blood was shed. Rhodesia had unreasonable demands placed upon it before the UK would consider independence – and in any case, they had a referendum, but were ignored. Ireland had been absolutely devastated by famine in the decades prior to independence, after spending decades chasing Home Rule and wrestling with their own civil unrest in the late 19th/early 20th century. North Cyprus was beset by endemic sectarian conflict, a coup d’etat, and a military invasion a decade before UDI. Palestine is nothing but a long sad cycle of invasion and occupation. And Kosovo was facing existential extinction under Milosevic – UDI followed a non-violent resistance and a pre-declaration war.

    I would argue that the reason those countries experienced such turmoil was not as a direct result of UDI (not saying that’s Rev’s position), but because of deep-seated issues specific to those nations. UDI almost certainly exacerbated them to some degree, but not necessarily caused them – nor would avoiding UDI necessarily have prevented them from happening anyway. Wars, conflict, and unrest happened before UDI, and wars, conflict, and unrest happened after. Violence preceded, violence succeeded.

    Therefore it seems unfair to say a Scottish UDI would give Scotland the same fate as those places – because Scotland is not those places. Scotland is not a colony, even if it sometimes feels like it’s treated like one; nor is Scotland caught between two nations claiming dominion over it. Scotland has distinguished itself as paying host to a peaceful, democratic revolution with minimal violence and no deaths.

    However, this also strongly suggests another important thing: those countries only engaged in UDI specifically because they had either experienced significant turmoil, violence or upheaval, or because all democratic routes were exhausted. Rhodesia had a referendum – they voted Yes by 90%: they declared UDI a year later. Kosovo (then Kosova) also had a referendum where they voted Yes, too, which was followed by UDI.

    I can understand the appeal of UDI. “What, even you, Al? Have you taken leave of your senses?” But there are a lot of people in Scotland who feel as if Scotland is already in dire straits: 1 in 4 children in poverty, life expectancy in Glasgow being worse than some warzones, a quarter of benefits claimants being sanctioned and thousands dying as a result, continuing to spend millions on weapons of mass destruction despite voting in more abolitionist MPs, continuing to suffer having their democratic mandate constantly shot down. They see the Smith commission, they see the amendments being rejected, they see Cameron saying “No indyref,” and they’re losing hope. They view UDI as being worth it in the long term, because they feel things are already intolerable.

    But Scotland still has democratic routes available to independence. We have to prove that there is still hope. As bad as things are in Scotland, there is still much we can do.

    Whenever I feel at my lowest, whenever I feel like the people of Scotland will never be able to shake the cringe, I always go by this mantra – the only people who can prevent Scotland becoming an independent nation again are the people of Scotland themselves. They, not the government they put in place, not the establishment, and certainly not Westminster’s good graces, are the key to independence. Once a majority of people are on side, there will be no stopping us. They’ll try – but there’s a reason that 51% poll scared the absolute wits out of the establishment. They know that once a sustained pro-independence majority becomes a reality, Scotland will be lost to them forever.

  254. Doug Daniel says:

    Dave: “How do you know? Can you explain 96% plus postal vote take up in five areas? This is actually not possible. How did McTernan and Davidson know the postal vote result before they were legally opened and counted?”

    101% is not possible. 96% is possible. It might seem improbable, but it’s not impossible. And if that’s coming from that report that has been doing the rounds, then I’d take it with a pinch of salt.

    And McTernan and Davidson knew the result because they’d been getting postal vote sampling data fed back to them. Just like we were. We just weren’t dumb enough to blurt it out on air.

  255. Capella says:

    I think the propaganda was very effective. The true result should have been 99% YES. The 1% NO voters represent those very wealthy people who benefit from the corrupt Westminster system. Who in their right mind would vote against their own freedom?

    The propaganda needs to be confronted. This site is a good example!

  256. Capella says:

    This site is a good example of how to do it (is what I meant!).

    I would like to see the Wee Blue Book reissued as a sort of “fact book” which could be updated annually. People who rely on the MSM are seriously misled about the Scottish economy. There needs to be a simple source of information which people can refer to whenever fear is mongered about how we could survive running our own affairs.

  257. Joemcg says:

    Ok Doug why then does the result not closely mirror the actual count? 70/30. We don’t know the demographics for certain of who voted by post. If we take your point that people are lazy it was possibly a normal cross section of the public! Also before project fear overdrive and the vow in the final week.

  258. EphemeralDeception says:

    @Doug Daniel at 9.54

    I wish I had your confidence but it is just an opinion, just like anyone else.

    Nevertheless, one fact is that the postal vote system is broken and wide open to Fraud and exploitation. My main point was that this should be addressed and it hasn’t been. The subject is never discussed. Why? Other countries make huge restrictions on postal votes or forbid it completely eg. France.

    There are several pieces of circumstantial elements that show that fraud may have occurred and every road block possible exists to prevent motivated people to go back and check. Don’t forget that major postal vote fraud has occurred in other UK elections, so there is precedent and it is not just conspiracy theory.

    I don’t think the postal vote system is fixable and would prefer that it is not used for referendums at all. What I don’t understand, even if your opinion is correct, is why you don’t think it is even worth changing before the next ref? If the yes camp can’t at least agree that postal votes need a rethink then nothing will happen and that for me is a major issue from the outset. Eg. I am not aware of any SNP branch putting it up for a vote at conference.

  259. Grouse Beater says:

    I begin my day wondering what David Torrance thinks about today’s politics…..

    …then I realise I’m wearing my Tee shirt back-to-front.

  260. EphemeralDeception says:

    @Doug Daniel

    ” they’d been getting postal vote sampling data fed back to them. Just like we were. ”

    That just proves my point. Anyone who is aware of this and doesn’t want to prevent/change the process is a part of the problem.

    Nobody can audit the postal votes. “that report that has been doing the rounds” is so weak because you simply cannot verify anything. It is beyond the pale that people are OK with such a system. I don’t care now if a major fraud occurred or not, we will never know. The problem is that it can.

  261. Ghillie says:

    Wow! What a night of excellent posts!

    (New paragraph)

    Debates, discussions, airing of views, declaring dreams, admitting worries and worst scene senarios are what help us iron out our thoughts and arguements and above all lets the many many people who read Wings but haven’t commented YET know that they are not alone on their take on how we could move forward.

    Make no mistake folks. The people of Scotland are on their road to Independence. Always have been. Always will be. When and how? That’s up to us.

    Ref#1 shook Westminster to it’s core.

    I predicted 10 years of Dark Ages and punishment if we didn’t win Independence by referendum first chance. But this is where we are and one thing Scotland has in abundance is inovative thinkers, brave and determined folk.

    Collectively, I trust that we will choose the best moment, that the continuing discussions, the continuing encouragment to believe in Scotland’s ability to run it’s own affairs will win the day.

    Wings, the people who comment here and the folk who follow this site are testament to that.

    How we win over the ‘I’m alright Jack’ brigade and ‘better the devil the you know’ lazy lot (why would anyone want to accept the devil in any guise?)is another discussion altogether!

    I’m with Luigi 9.54am: ‘Just have faith, be patient. Hang in there.’ Though I do think it will come sooner rather than later!

  262. awizgonny says:

    Although I certainly have some sympathy with the anger at the whole goddamn fix of the Referendum – “free and fair” it was not – t would of course be entirely undemocratic to declare UDI on the basis of those SNP MP selected now (or presumably, those SNP MSPs elected in 2016, since the manifesto will not have a referendum pledge, never mind a UDI one.

    But that’s not the same as what this article seems to be saying – that UDI is bad under ANY circumstance – an article peppered with the kind of nightmare precedents and ridicule of which Project Fear would be proud. As if referenda would have prevented what happened in Zimbabwe, Ireland, Kosova etc.

    And yet you yourself, Rev. Stu, put forward a scenario back in 2012 where Scottish UDI could be justified:

    So what’s changed since then?

  263. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Dave McEwan Hill, Doug Daniel. What about the statistical analysis which has been done by Dale Potter which shows significant variance with the SIR data? I am not a stats geek so only grasp the gist of it but from I have seen it appears that something does not tally. Here is a link to a range of elections, which show variance to and the SIR is way out of line with all the others.

  264. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Doug Daniel

    Indeed. If nobody dies or goes to hospital or forgets etc over a six week period. Theoretically possible but not actually possible except in North Korea or Zimbabwe.

    Here’s another one. I know of a household in this area which provided five No votes, three of which were for people who had not lived in Scotland for over twenty years. This of course is a question of eligibility which is a different weakness in the process

  265. Luigi says:

    I also think the NO voters skewed the postal vote because they didn’t want independence, but they couldn’t be arsed going out to vote. Most YES voters were excited about the historic occasion and wanted to experience going into that wee booth and planting the cross for Scotland (whatever the expected result).

    By contrast, the NO voters were not so excited about it. Worried, certainly but no real sense of occasion or history. Most NO voters didn’t want the ref to happen at all, but realised they had to vote. No motivation or perhaps a wee bit shame involved in going to vote against your country, so the easiest way available, therefore, the least evil way to them, was to vote NO by post.

    NO voters dominated the postal vote because most YES voters wanted to be there.

  266. Joemcg says:

    Alan-could you explain what those graphs are saying please? Just looks like radio frequency to me!

  267. Capella says:

    @ Alan Macintosh 11.40
    Interesting graph. Any idea what it means?

  268. Joemcg says:

    Luigi-that’s just an opinion really! Why the huge anomaly between 70/30 and 55/45? Almost 800,000 voters is the largest “poll” ever so it should be close to the actual referendum result. It wasn’t.

  269. Breastplate says:

    The idea that another referendum loss would be a our chance of independence lost forever is quite frankly PISH.
    Imagine an indyref2 2017 result of 48% Yes, 52% No or what about 49% Yes, 51% No.
    Would people be saying “Ah well, that was our chance gone forever” or would they imediately do the arithmetic to see when would be the best time to hold indyref3.

    Damage would be done if we did worse than last time, no doubt about that but doing worse doesn’t seem likely at this time.

  270. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Given that the average Lib-Dem enjoys a similar life expectancy to the Giant Tortoise, we can look forward to hearing Sir Danny’s views on this, that and whatever else for the next 50 years or so. 🙁

    If that’s not a rock-solid case for UDI (RIGHT FUCKING NOW!) I don’t know what is.

  271. Luigi says:

    Joemcg says:

    10 August, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Luigi-that’s just an opinion really! Why the huge anomaly between 70/30 and 55/45? Almost 800,000 voters is the largest “poll” ever so it should be close to the actual referendum result. It wasn’t.

    Well, IMO YES voters were far more motivated to vote in person than NO voters. We don’t have any previous indy refs to compare with, so the 70/30 55/45 discrepancy argument cannot be proven either way (another opinion!).

  272. Grendel says:

    Prior to the establishment of the Scottish Parliament (and possibl for some time after), the default position, if I recall corectly, was that should the SNP gain a majority of the Scottish Westminster seats THAT would be the trigger to declare independence.
    The referendum method provides the ‘Double Lock’ that allows those opposed to independence to elect a competent SNP Government while not immediately triggering independence. I believe they call it the “best of both worlds…”

  273. Capella says:

    @ Joemcg
    Postal votes will have gone mainly to older people and people living in rural areas. Those two constituencies were both more likely to vote NO. That could explain why postal votes were more NO oriented. Doesn’t rule out fraud but does explain some difference between the votes.

    We need to address the reasons why older people and people in rural areas were motivated to vote against their best interests.

  274. Dan Huil says:

    OT. Sorry if this is old news. New TNS poll, on ScotgoesPop, shows SNP on 62% for Holyrood constituency vote and 54% for regional vote.

  275. Breastplate says:

    Catagorically stating that there was no postal vote rigging is untrue and some people should know better.
    We don’t know if there was or wasn’t and we will probably never know. As I’ve said before we will have to deal in possibilty and probability.
    Vote rigging:
    Could they?
    Would they?
    I believe there is only one combination of answers to those questions that uses logic and reason.

  276. Joemcg says:

    I take on board all your points although it’s a pretty convenient explanation as to why
    the 70:30. It’s passed now we just have to hope the procedures and eligibility issues are made more secure next time.

  277. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Capella, Joe McG, I followed a link from here

    Dale Potter has done statisical analysis of the SIR and how it compares to all the other elections. I think (I’m not in any way clued up on stats so I’m guessing)that all elections conform closely to a normal distribution curve and the others shown indicate this. I think the magenta line is the normal curve, blue indicates ballot and black the adjusted ballot. The amount of adjustment required to bring the ballot to its closest fit is the variance which is indicated at the bottom of the graph. As I said, I’m not in any way a stats person, but this is the gist of what I am seeing. If any else wants to jump in and clarify/expand feel free to. I would like an explanation of this too.

    It is well worth having a look through the FB post at the top from Dale Potter, and read through all the comments.

  278. Grouse Beater says:

    If that’s not a rock-solid case for UDI (RIGHT FUCKING NOW!) I don’t know what is.

    Plotting against your country’s best interests, looking utterly stupid flaunting a faux dispatch box in bright yellow, and generally spouting inanities while presenting oneself honestly as a mind-numbingly mediocre politician … and you get rewarded for loyalty and reading from cue cards.

    And old saying from days riding Embra trams without paying:

    So long as you act daft you’ll get a long hurl.

  279. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Regardless of how large our majority is, they will not allow us to leave. If not UDI then what?”

    The time to call a UDI is after that happens, not before.

  280. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Worked out for the best in the long run for the USA, Ireland, Belgium and many others in the past.”

    If you’re advocating a long and bloody civil war as the route to independence, have the courage to say so.

  281. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “To confuse UDI with the inclusion of #Indyref2 in the SNP’s 2016 Manifesto, as does this writer”

    No he doesn’t. Be better at reading.

  282. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “They are on their back foot at the moment, they
    have never been so vulnerable.”

    An excellent reason not to shoot ourselves in the face and undo several years of good work, then.

    Also, this isn’t a poetry site. If you’re going to cut and paste in a comment you’ve posted somewhere else, at least have the courtesy to look at the preview pane and format it properly.

  283. Mealer says:

    When we are in a strong position to win a referendum,the U.K. government will negotiate an amicable,pragmatic settlement with Edinburgh which will allow everyone to keep face and Westminster to keep their “soft power” in the wider world.It will probably include a shared currency and a lengthy “accommodation period” for Trident.Possibly some formal arrangement for defence and/or foreign affairs.The settlement will be put to the people of Scotland for their approval in a referendum,with all the political parties backing a Yes vote.But it will be pretty much fait acomplait before a vote is cast.By giving so little new powers just now,Westminster are strengthening their hand for these future negotiations.Or,rather,they are not unduly weakening it by throwing away all their bargaining chips now.The dogs in the street know the current situation is untenable.Westminster aren’t fools.We know its only a matter of time and so do they.They had a close shave last September.They won’t risk that sort of referendum again.Nor will they arrest the Scottish Cabinet or put tanks on the lawn to avoid it.

  284. Capella says:

    @ Alan Macintosh
    Thanks. Very interesting. I have no idea about statistics so hope someone with the Knowledge will review the info and let us know whether it does show fraud in the postal ballot. Looks like it but needs followed up. For example, it could just show that the postal voters were not typical of the rest of the electorate.

  285. Joemcg says:

    Thanks Alan, still cannot make head nor tail of what Mr Potter is trying to explain or prove though! If there was an attempt to fiddle the result it seems the lax postal vote system was the route to take.

  286. Faltdubh says:

    Really interesting discussion.

    UDI is not a viable option at this preset time. It should be seen as a last resort.

    Independence will never poll into the 60s! It started at around 25-30% when the campaign started and ended with securing 45% of the vote. We required 200k more votes and Yes would have won.

    It’s too early to go back to the voters with another referendum now. We lost. We must accept we lost, and we must learn why we lost. We need to be stronger on currency and pensions.

    2016, the SNP should put a Devo Max (Home Rule, EVERYTHING barring foreign affairs, monterary control and defence) referendum in their manifesto. Polls have consitently shown support for this in to the 60s.

    This is when it would get interesting. I am fairly certain most Scots would vote for Devo Max, but what would the Westminsiter government do?

    With a Devo Max referendum, it’s not quite the gold of indy, but it’s a damn decent second place, and if Devo Max is secured, well independence will be right behind it very shortly.

    We are historically known as being a small c (cautious) nation. Whilst independence was reject by a small, but clear win for No – the 45% yes vote opens the Devo Max door.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want independence, I don’t want a big army, or want to rely on the UK for defence purposes, but bit by bit – we can secure independence, and it won’t be a long game.

    We can run rings around Wesminister without ever using the I word.

    The SNP need to strike when the iron is hot though. A new poll today has support at 62% and 54% for Holyrood. That would if I’m right return 71 SNP MSPs through first past the post!

    There will be a time though when the SNP are not popular. We wait too long, the chance will be gone.

    I hope the SNP start by sticking a maximum devolution referendum in their manifesto for 2016.

  287. Capella says:

    Of course, if there is solid statistical proof that the ballot was rigged, then the result must be declared null and void. The police would need to investigate.

  288. heedtracker says:

    The referendum was rigged right in front us, Project Fear, BBC, the purdah that meant absolutely fcuk all eg,

    “As the referendum on 18 September approaches, the Government is banned from publishing material that argues “for or against any outcome” as part of “purdah”.

    The 28-day period comes before all votes, including general elections, to restrict official information to the bare facts and stop major policy decisions to avoid biasing the upcoming vote.”

    Everyone has their shock and awe stuff to look back on, THE VOW shyste-

    “George Osborne said Scotland would be given enhanced devolution powers after a ‘no’ vote Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband have dropped engagements in England this week for a last-minute dash to Scotland as they scramble to save the union.

    This dude, head of UK civil service, Sir Nic Macpherson bragging about and rewarded for how the UK civil service also saved the UK.

    Treasury belching out endless online UKOK stuff on just how rich, happy, glorious their catastrophically shite economics makes you safe and secure in teamGB.

    And last general election, disgraced SLibdem Scottish secretary Carmicheal UK civil servants cook up their Sturgeon leak/fraud on teamGB and no one is held accountable because civil servants say it’s stressful for UK civil service.

    You can do this all day, fraudsters, liars, con artists, shyster in suits, you name it but they didn’t need to rig postal votes. Although considering what they do do professionally, they almost certainly would do if necessary.

    So that list’s just off the top of my heed, an endless quite open rigging of our referendum, run by fraudsters in action and all of it paid for by you, dear suckers.

  289. Brian Powell says:

    Apparently the UK Government spent £2.5 million on ‘selling’ its more powers for Scotland message running up to the GE.

    Makes the progress of the SNP all the more impressive.

  290. gfaetheblock says:

    Re postal votes, my wife and I both use them. They are much more convenient to use, with two full time jobs and a toddler in childcare, potential need to travel with work and the potential for the child to be ill, out of the best way to guarantee that you can vote. The referendum was such a binary decision there was little need to wait and vote tactically like you may at a parliamentary election. I do think that the postal skew reflects the demographic differences in yes and no, the old, the rural andsuburban, professional families etc.

  291. Big Jock says:

    We know from history the Brits don’t like giving things up without a fight. Look at Eire and the mess of the six counties. The Irish were promised everything and they delivered nothing.

    The Irish had to take their freedom. I hope we don’t. But UDI is the last resort should the Brits deny what we want.

    I am sure we won’t be lacking any friends in Europe if the RUK gets dragged out of Europe.

  292. Chris Downie says:

    Although a well-written, reasoned article (as per usual) it makes the all-too-common mistake of assuming that we will be allowed to simply walk away from our overlords. I’m not 100% swayed by the rigging theory (though the unusually high % of postal votes, complete lack of exit polls & suspiciously low turnout in Glasgow & Dundee are suspicious, they are not smoking guns) but if they didn’t rig the game, they certainly would have found ways to prevent us leaving.

    Their behaviour since September shows they have learned absolutely nothing from what they did to Ireland and their hollow promises of Home Rule (conversely, you could also argue Scotland hadn’t learned, either! – Hence why so many fell for it) so what makes us think we will be able to achieve our goal by continuing to “play the game”?

    For one thing, I think we should have the Council of Europe and UN delegates present at the next count… the same people should have fully commissioned exit polls… and no postal votes unless you are physically incapable of getting your arse to the nearest polling station!

  293. Blair paterson says:

    If you think udi is madness. Expecting a fair reforendum is even more mad playing by their rules you can never win they will make sure of that ,as it says in the song when will they ever learn when will they ever learn?

  294. Juan P says:

    OT but had to laugh at this BBC article on the River Tweed and the terrifying prospect that taxes raised in England might go to the Scottish Government and not be redistributed fairly south of the border.

    In particular the comments from one of the commissioners

    Nick Yonge, clerk to the commission, said: “What the people on the English part of the Tweed are concerned about is they might be asked to pay a tax to the Scottish government.
    “There is a suggestion that might then be redistributed by the Scottish government and it might not all come back to the Tweed, which of course would be undemocratic.
    “The Scottish government hasn’t said they are actually going to do that, but there is a concern that they might and it would, of course, be quite wrong to take English taxes and spend them elsewhere in Scotland.”

    Strange how it’s undemocratic when it doesn’t suit those south of the border but it’s acceptable ‘pulling and sharing’ when it impacts negatively on Scotland.

  295. gordoz says:

    Just know this will be a front page splash across all Scotlands unbiased Newspapers tomorrow right ?

    SNP 62% (+2%)
    LAB 20% (NC)
    CON 12% (-2%)
    LDEM 3% (-2%)

    Ppppfffssst – Aye sure !

  296. Les Wilson says:

    Someone correct me if I am wrong,but is it not correct that if Westminster has broken the Union agreement, and I believe it has,is this not a case where the “Union”, could legally be dissolved.

    It would never be amicable we know that, but if International law agrees this is the case. The YES have it!

  297. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Capella, As Dale says in his post, his analysis could be the evidence which might convince a sherriff to request an investigation. Then the marked up registers can be checked to determine voters against death registers etc which is alluded to in the DSF report which has been produced from Argyll and Bute. There seems to be a reluctance from certain politicans to allow this report any credence in case they’re tagged with “conspiracy nut” and it wont be published in any mainstream form.

    In any case I have passed on this, and the DSF report, to one of the 56 after a discussion at the weekend. They were unaware of it, so at the very least it is intriguing and deserves some serious consideration.

  298. Doug Daniel says:

    Joemcg: “Ok Doug why then does the result not closely mirror the actual count? 70/30. We don’t know the demographics for certain of who voted by post. If we take your point that people are lazy it was possibly a normal cross section of the public! Also before project fear overdrive and the vow in the final week.”

    But we do know the demographics of those who postal vote. And as I said in my 9:54am comment, it’s the demographics which were more likely to vote No. Add to that the fact that Yes voters were more likely to want to savour the occasion of voting in person, and the numbers get skewed even more in No’s favour.

    You might as well ask why the results in Edinburgh and the Borders didn’t match the final result.

  299. Juan P says:

    @ Juan P 1:08 pm

    Doh! I meant ‘Pooling and sharing’

  300. Joe Jackson says:

    Mind you, the three Baltic states have merely REAFFIRMED their independence from the USSR in 1991 (though their claim was that inclusion into USSR was illegal in 1941)… was the Union legal back in 1707 in terms of Scottish people’s sovereignty which is still not recognised by the rUK and Westminster… Until it is recognised one could claim that inclusion into UK was illegal (in moredrn international law terms)

  301. indigo says:

    Is the elephant in the room here not the Scotland Bill? When is the progress of that Bill likely to conclude? Before Holyrood elections?

    If so, will the SNP not come out strongly with ‘Vow broken’ therefore ‘material change’, Devo Max in manifesto (knowing that’s what a clear majority wants), failure to deliver Devo Max then leading to another referendum?

    I think it might all happen sooner than we expect.

    There is no way Mundell will deliver a Scotland Bill that benefits Scotland in any tangible way. I suspect the SNP will be planning to use that as leverage rather than the dicey topic of EU referendum.

  302. Joemcg says:

    Doug-do we know the demographics of the postal ballot? Do you have a link to the breakdown? You said lazy people would use that method. How do you know?

  303. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Someone correct me if I am wrong,but is it not correct that if Westminster has broken the Union agreement, and I believe it has,is this not a case where the “Union”, could legally be dissolved.”


  304. Big Jock says:

    As far a I am concerned when Salmond said this: “Independence can happen without referendum.”

    Two things were being cryptically suggested by him. Firstly he was politely suggesting the referendum result was not entirely fair or above board.

    Secondly he thinks that Indi 2 might work out the same way, if more or similar dirty tricks were employed.

    So how does he think independence can happen without a referendum? I leave that to people to interpret.

  305. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Doug, if the Yes voters were more likely to vote in person to savour the moment, then there should have been fewer postals if they had opted for in-person voting. So that goes against the idea that postals were so high( in total, not numbers of yes/no).

    It would be an interesting analysis of last years register and the updated one which is cross referenced with NI number. Is that possible? Dale, who I mentioned above seems to have found that 600K voters have “gone”.

  306. gus1940 says:

    Regarding Electoral Fraud my maim concern is not what happens to votes once they are submitted either Postal Votes or Votes in Person but with the make-up of The Electoral Roll.

    Imagine if every BT supporter when completing the Annual Return was to enter the name of a friend who did not reside at that address – it would not even be necessary to make up a name or enter the name of somebody who used to live there – just get a compliant friend.

    As I understand things – under the system operated for The Referendum that person’s name would go on the Roll no questions asked.

    That person could then either:-

    Vote in person as a resident at that address (as well as his real address)with the precaution that his real polling station was not the same one – in case he was recognised voting twice.

    Allow the householder to apply for a Postal Vote on his behalf. Once the PV Application Form was received complete the form, return it to the householder who would submit it. Once the PV Ballot Paper is received get the non-resident friend to complete the necessary details and cast his vote. Returning that to the householder he could then mail the PV to The Returning Officer.

    All would seem hunky dory and in order and there would be no cause for anybody to suspect fraud.

    So simple to perpetrate that it might explain the ludicrously high % of Postal Votes and the amazing number of ‘new’ voters registered in the run-up to the referendum..

    Of course YES supporters could have done the same.

    Before looking at the operation of Postal Voting the make-up of The Electoral Roll should be the first priority and I understand that the new procdure in hand will require the provision of the applicant’s NI Number which if the proper checks are made should counter what I have noted above.

  307. Big Jock says:

    Joemcg – I work with said lazy people who postal vote for everything. Young healthy people shouldn’t be postal voting. That’s not what it was set up for!

  308. Breastplate says:

    There were also Yes voters eager to fill in their postal vote and sending it off as soon as possible and then telling everyone they had already voted Yes.

  309. EphemeralDeception says:

    I despair that most people here appear to think the postal system is flawed but basically OK.

    The convenience is outweighed by the ease of exploitation.
    Only a few other countries in Europe allow it and most of thos that do, only allow for justifiable absence.

    The exceptions are Germany which started to allow it since 2008 and Netherlands that allow people to vote for 2 other people, physically, by proxy. There is also the Swiss that have referendums in the Cantons as a regular basis. There may be others. In any case, the vast majority of countries do not allow it.

    For me it is far more important and democratic that the vote is as secure and fair as possible than it is to be more convenient through postal votes. If that means a lower turnout then tough — most other countries manage it.

  310. Chris Baxter says:

    A spoke in the wheels for another referendum will be when not just the rest of the UK, but Scotland too, that votes to leave the EU.

  311. handclapping says:

    Independence can happen without a Referendum. When “seperatism 🙂 ” is polling reliably and regularly over 60% the establishment will know the game is up. Yes Scotland would be nice to have in the same way as the Gold Coast was in 1957 but it will no longer be essential as it was in 1970-2000. But in the same way that they had to let Ghana go so will they have to let Scotland go … if we get to 60%.

    UDI would and could be only a last resort. Look at the problems of Ireland where UDI was declared with c.80% approval for independence/home rule. Think on the difficulties when every second person is against you and they control all your communications. UDI has to have a huge majority in favour to be workable.

    What should we be doing in the interim apart from trying to convert the Nos, well how about “embassies” to transnational organisations making the point that there is already 45% and growing and that the UK is unlikely to play fair again so what about a bit of oversight on the actions of the UK wrt Scotland’s independence.

    Another thing we can work towards is replacing the Labour Unionist “nomenclatura” on all the quangos so we don’t get any more Southern Generals and those that matter find Unionism doesn’t pay. Oh I’m sure the UK will manage to find funds for a chosen few but the operative word is few. The thousands that are presently sucking on Government teats due to their Unionist background will start to squeal and more than a few will decide in favour of independence if the money is right. They are that sort of people.

  312. Ian Brotherhood says:

    ‘Sir Danny Alexander’ 🙂 🙂 🙂

    No comedian at the Edinburgh Fringe, or anywhere else, is ever going to devise a better one-liner. Whoever put his name on that list should be given the Perrier right now.

  313. handclapping says:

    You are absolutely right. Postal voting depends 100% on the “accuracy” of the Electoral Register.

  314. heedtracker says:

    ” Add to that the fact that Yes voters were more likely to want to savour the occasion of voting in person, and the numbers get skewed even more in No’s favour.”

    I have a postal vote and I took photos of it and took it to work to show it off. I forgot to take photos of the back of the ballot paper which is annoying as that was meant to be a grey area.

    Showing the ballot paper at work was nice and creepy because some people have visceral fear, loathing and hatred of Scotland running Scotland and it all pops out in occasion like that.

    Great Britain is England, England is Great Britain, Scotland is Great Britain…

  315. Morag says:

    It’s already been pointed out (by Lawyers for Yes) that for the postal votes to have been fiddled to turn an overall Yes into a No, the “real” postal vote would have had to be over about 80% Yes. We all knew the postal vote was going to be relatively poor for Yes for all the reasons Doug mentioned – especially the elderly and people in big fancy houses out in the countryside. There’s no way 80% of people with postal votes voted Yes.

    We always factor in that about 80% of people with postal votes will use them, even in relatively low-turnout elections. It’s convenient, it’s not easily forgotten if it’s sitting in front of you for a couple of weeks, and it avoids the possibility of being prevented from getting to the polling station at the last minute.

    Of course there was fiddling, and the loopholes need to be closed. People were registering at addresses where they didn’t actually live. It’s extremely easy to do, but with the new system this won’t be the case any more. Of course, some of these people would have been doing it to vote Yes, bear that in mind. It happened, but it was a bunch of unconnected individuals doing it off their own bat.

    What there wasn’t, was organised large-scale tampering by the authorities. So close the loopholes and make sure that only people with the right to vote actually vote, but get over the idea that “the state” could organise large-scale systematic fraud. It couldn’t.

  316. galamcennalath says:

    Joemcg says:
    “do we know the demographics of the postal ballot? Do you have a link to the breakdown?”

    Table 1, gives a good idea ….

  317. Helena Brown says:

    Och I wasn’t going to comment here simply because I am at a loss as to how we achieve Independence. Referendums do not seem to work and I think you might all be blue in the face converting some of our residents. We have a reasonably high contingent of those from South of the Border specially in the East and the Borders, even without the Festival, Edinburgh has about as many English People as Scots, and I don’t know about any of you but there are many many English accents here in my part of Fife. Now I am not in any way saying that these people voted no, but there must be as many who want to remain English as is their right but want to live in what they see as is basically a part of their homeland with little difference.
    My other problem is like Conon I remember when we would only require a majority of SNP MP’s elected to Westminster and we were home and dry, now we need a letter from our Mum around 60% pass mark and I can bet you that that will still not be sufficient.
    I have no idea what it is going to take, we still have the proud Scots Butts to contend with also.
    Yes the American War of Independence resulted in a horrible loss of life but sometimes with an intransigent partner as was the British State then and sadly now, what is the peaceful way. I would be happy to hear a constructive argument as to how we proceed. How do we set up a Central Bank, how do we keep tally on our own GDP, because one thing I can tell you and it is there will not be a fair shake from Westminster.

  318. Silverytay says:

    Regarding postal voting
    I always do postal voting due to my work as I am often required to work 7am to 10pm .

    At the referendum I managed to finish at 4pm and I promptly went home to change out of my council uniform so that I could stand outside the local polling station .

    There were 4 of us who waited after the polling stations closed to ensure that all the boxes were collected .

  319. Murray McCallum says:

    I understand that Sir Danny Alexannder has been recognised for his services to paint shop muppetry.

    His beaker is now only half empty.

  320. Dr Jim says:

    I could produce well over 100 people who didn’t fill in their postal votes themselves because “That nice (blank) lady did it all for me”

    All are residents of sheltered accommodation and care homes
    most in their 80s and upwards and quite a lot couldn’t tell you what day it is nor do they care as long as lunch is on time and it’s nice

    So how many care homes throughout Scotland are there and does it happen there too

    Previously the SNP were denied access even to post leaflets as it could upset the residents (that was the excuse)because these are council controlled

    I now have access to Four of these places on behalf of the SNP coz I’m the new nice young man, I hasten to add I didn’t fill in any postal votes for anybody

    I’m 66 BTW

  321. NN says:

    Postal voting should be strictly limited to the disabled and elderly. It should be something you qualify for, not handed out willy nilly. This would improve matters greatly.

  322. Onwards says:

    I think postal votes should definitely be restricted on issues of such importance. Only to those who have medical proof.

    Too much can change in the last few weeks. That is when the surge for YES came, and we heard of people regretting their votes already cast.

    There is just too much opportunity for small scale fraud. People voting on behalf of elderly relatives for example.
    The issue with Ruth Davidson knowing the postal percentages, could be given as a very good reason to restrict future postal voting.

    Advance knowledge of the voting was a travesty of democracy and would have totally influenced the NO campaign. Any last minute bribes could be limited to vague vows.
    If there was no widespread sampling, when the YES side took that narrow lead in the polls, we would have had CAST IRON GUARANTEES of Devo-Max or federalism.

    Instead the UK government could calculate that a YES vote was needed on the day of around 55-60% to overcome votes already cast.

  323. The Man in the Jar says:

    Perhaps Scotland should take a leaf out of the North Sentinel Islanders book. 😉

  324. breastplate says:

    And there it is again.
    A categorical statement saying the postal vote wasn’t rigged, not only that but was an impossibility.
    Who else believes it was impossible to fiddle with the postal votes?

  325. Iain More says:


    In relation to the postal votes. Aye there are lot of folk impersonating ostriches. That is being polite about it.

  326. heedtracker says:

    “Of course there was fiddling, and the loopholes need to be closed. People were registering at addresses where they didn’t actually live. It’s extremely easy to do, but with the new system this won’t be the case any more”

    Has sampling been stopped now though?

    That was really shocking to find that postal votes were opened as they arrived at counting centres weeks before 18 Sept and then examined in front YES and NO activists by entirely anonymous Electoral register people.

    If there was actual referendum fraud then this was it. I only know about it because a big thick dope like Ruth Davidson blurted out the result live on BBC tv 18 Sept and way before the count was even finished early 19 Sept.

    The adavantage for UKOK NO in sampling like this are pretty stark. For weeks, they had continual exit polls running across Scotland via their sampling and could simply change what voting NO could mean in this farce of a one month purdah.

    And then in slammed Daily Record, Crash Gordon, BBC etc with their last minute historic The VOW devo max federal UK fraud.

    Oh well what can you do. Electoral commission are no doubt above board and legit.

  327. Petra says:

    Well as a number of people have pointed out on here already UDI at this time would be an act of sheer lunacy. We’d be crazy, and seen to be crazy, if we didn’t wait until we were sure of winning Indy2.

    What woosie has to say at 5:29pm may be relevant ”the UDI thing is being cultivated by MI5 / orange odour. O/O can (and have begun to) say that civil war will follow, scaring Scots off independence altogether. Ulster is too close, and the troubles too recent, to consider that.” There may very well be agitators / infiltrators out there trying to create mayhem.

    Anyway no matter how we feel about the situation (rigged or not) probably around 50% of the electorate just don’t want to live in an Independent Scotland at all (for whatever reason) and calling for UDI could lead to violence in the streets …. the O/O et al would make sure of that ….. Westminster would then send in troops (would love to be given a reason to do so). We’d be falling right into their trap.

    Our job is to continue to work to convince no voters to vote yes next time round and we know that’s far from easy being faced with the greatest obstacle of all …. the heavily biased MSM. Mhairi Black’s maiden speech has been viewed at least 1,000,000 times. Maybe she (and other SNP MPs) should start covering some of the prior ‘off-putting’ issues such as pensions and so on and post on youtube … get some facts out there? Or put together some leaflets full of data and send to every household?

    The situation has also changed since last September with oil revenues dropping dramatically. Does anyone know if this has lost us some support? We’ll also face further changes when they elect a Labour Party Leader. If Corbyn is elected some Independence supporters may return to the ‘Labour fold’. On the other hand if he is elected and ousted shortly thereafter, as proposed by his colleagues, we may gain even more support as too may happen if any of the others are elected.

    I reckon that the SNP manifesto for 2016 must include a mandate for a Referendum to be held at a time of the Scottish Parliaments choosing. Taking into account that Independence for Scotland is the Partys main aim it should actually be part and parcel of every manifesto. Nothing radical or abnormal about that, imo.

    And no one can stop us from having another Referendum either no matter what Cameron et al say. Joan McAlpine outlined the following in the Daily Record recently:

    ”The UN have several declarations we can turn to. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) both say: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

    @ heedtracker says at 12:53 pm ”The referendum was rigged right in front us, Project Fear, BBC, the purdah that meant absolutely fcuk all eg …….”

    I’ve read your list heedtracker and agree with every word you have to say. I can sense your frustration and anger as I feel it too. I could also add some issues to your list and say it’s an **absolute disgrace** that nothing, as far as I know, was ever done about any of it, in particular the breach of purdah, other than the Celtic League reporting Cameron and his cronies to the UN.

    Hopefully we have learned (many) lessons since last September not least of all warning people about the postal vote, carrying out exit polls, inviting UN and EU observers to oversee the count and so on.

    One things for sure and that is that Cameron, Johnston or whoever better not dare set foot on Scottish soil prior to the next Referendum (purdah period) promising anything at all because we’ll all be ready and waiting for them.

  328. Petra says:

    How would you get around this other than stringent, well-organised exit polls being carried out at every polling station across the country: And I actually wonder if that would help at all.

  329. Morag says:

    Sampling hasn’t been “stopped” because it wasn’t supposed to be happening in the first place. The votes are supposed to be opened in such a way that nobody can see the front of the paper. It just so happens that sometimes the paper can actually be seen, and the observers who are there to make sure nothing is fiddled sneak a peek.

    It’s forbidden to tally what you see, even in your head, or to communicate any of that to anyone outside the room. But it’s essentially impossible to stop people doing that, and Yes were no doubt doing it too. Yes had more sense than to blurt it out on live TV, that’s all.

    The illicit “sampling” is being done by the very people who are there to observe, to prevent “the authorities” fiddling with the votes. And even when it’s done, it doesn’t actually affect the result.

    I think people need to think about what they’re advocating when they suggest that “sampling should be stopped”. You’re essentially calling for the party observers who are there to ensure that fraud doesn’t happen to be removed.

  330. galamcennalath says:

    Why did people vote NO, and more importantly how do we set about changing some minds!?

    People voted No for a variety of reasons, and almost certainly each No voter had a portfolio of reasons which added up and on balance swung their vote.

    There is no magic bullet which will by itself swing No voters to Yes. IMO we need to tackle every single issue and focus on every voter profile. Half a percent here and there will soon add up!

    The biggest one is definitely fear that their lives would change for the worst. The majority of NO voters, I’m quite sure, simply wished they weren’t being asked!

    Ashcroft’s poll of 2000 people in the hours after voting closed, has a wealth of data.

    No voters were asked to list their top 2 or 3 reasons for voting NO … Top 5 were …

    57% The Pound
    37% Pensions
    36% The NHS
    32% Tax & public spending
    29% Defence & security

    Pound & Pensions, no surprise. The case that an independent Scotland can deal with savings (I guess they mean) and pensions needs dealt with well before IndyRef2!

    No voters probably (my guess again) believed the NHS was a UK wide institution and therefore under threat. How far from the truth is that preception!?

    Tax & public spending – 32% of No voters is more than just the middle class and the rich worried that Scotland would become a high spending, government heavy country. Clearly a wide spread fear in ordinary folks that they would be worse off.

    Defence & security is a surprise to me at 29% in 5th position. A lot No voters feel safer against the troubled world beyond our borders as part UK! The idea that they are unsafe because they are UK citizens doesn’t occur to them.

    No voters clearly had a lot of negative thoughts about independence, some really were unfounded. As has already been said, No voters also need arguments about how independence could make things better for them personally.

    Turn the logic on its head. What makes a Yes voter? Top 5 …

    74% Disaffection with Westminster politics
    54% The NHS
    33% Tax & public spending
    20% Oil
    18% Jobs

    WM politics, no surprise. I think WM under the Tories is quite capable of producing some more Yes voters, by itself!

    The NHS is the No2 issue Yes voters had. And quite rightly! So the opportunity is there for all those No voters who worry about the NHS need to realise independence is the solution to their worries, not the problem.

    Tax & public spending is also an issue for Yes voters, but looked at differently. The black hole that is WM sucking resources south isn’t the way No voters saw it. No voters’ taxes are being squandered by WM too!

    Oil. again Yes voters saw oil wealth disappearing south. The message that oil is a bonus, not an essential income, needs pushed. When the price is down, we can manage. When the price it up, it’s mixed blessings – extra energy costs versus tax income. Yes voters were certainly not put off by oil! Why should they, it’s a bonus.

    Jobs. Yes voters believed jobs were safer with Independence than under WM. While some NO voters must have believed all the fearmongering, believing jobs are safer with independence is a challenge, but not impossible if those already Yes persuaded see it that way.

    Deal with the unfounded negatives, highlight the real positives. Chip chip chip … 1-2-3-10-15% converted.

  331. CameronB Brodie says:

    The Man in the Jar
    Wow. Then again, what would you do to defend your universe from ‘evil spirits’? Sorry, what have you been doing? 😉

  332. One_Scot says:

    I said this before the referendum, postal votes equals fraud, big fraud, small fraud, who gives, it’s still fraud.

  333. Silverytay says:

    To those who think postal voting should be restricted to medical conditions where people are unable to vote in person .

    What about school janitors or hall caretakers where the majority of polling stations are .
    These people can be on duty before 6am setting up and can still be on duty as late as midnight getting the school or hall ready for the following day .
    Remember that the school or hall can be miles away from where the janitor or caretaker actually stays .

  334. heedtracker says:

    “Hopefully we have learned (many) lessons since last September not least of all warning people about the postal vote, carrying out exit polls, inviting UN and EU observers to oversee the count and so on.”

    Honestly Petra, independence referenda will probably never be winnable for YES Scotland. Our friends in the south will merely adapt and hone their last Project Fearing and that spectacular The Vow defrauding.

    The Vow fraud/Smith Commission only resulted in Holyrood paye tax powers and Holyrood raising paye in the UK would be as catastrophic economically for Scotland, as the Smith Commission fully intended it to be.

    Scottish YES voters know all this, so they voted SNP May 7 and here we are. Now its all up to the 56 and UKOK/English events, with the first SNP shot fired over the poor wee English fox hunt vote. Toryboys got the message loud and clear but there is still comedy out there, like watching red and blue tory britnats currently raging at First Past the Post. Who knew there were so many toryboy electoral radicals agitating away for vote change in teamGB?

    High ukok comedy indeedee.

  335. Col says:

    The next referendum should be set up after and only after a team of international clever clogs put their heads together and come up with rules regulating how the next one is conducted so making it less possible for rigging.

  336. Midgehunter says:

    Here in Germany, when the PVs have been sent in to the election offices, the contents of the outer /first envelope are opened in the presence of the parties representatives and checked as to their validity and then checked out of the electoral register to avoid later voting again at the polling day stations.

    The inner/second sealed UNOPENED envelope with the vote is then deposited in the sealed ballot box and kept in custody until the end of the election day at 18.00hrs.

    The sealed ballot box is then sent to the counting station where it is opened and the actual PVs opened and counted.

    Before the election day count, NOBODY gets to see the PV votes.

  337. Schrödinger's cat says:

    I can’t really see why people should even be arguing about whether or not we have a referendum promise in our manifesto

    Is it beyond people’s imagination to have a manifesto commitment that gives Nicola a choice? Why are people arguing that Nicola should produce the snp manifesto 10 months before the actual election. ?

    Same for UDI, I can’t imagine the snp actually proposing such an action, but why would you remove the option?

    In what universe is this an advantage to the snp?

    The threat of UDI maybe what brings Westminster to the negotiating table wrt indyref2

    If you remove these options from Nicola by stating your intent in the manifesto, you also remove her democratic mandate even if we win the election?…

  338. gus1940 says:

    Re manipulation of The Electoral Roll it would be interesting to carry out the following exercise at various locations around Scotland:-

    Get hold of The Electoral Roll used on 18/9 and a copy of the immediately preceding year’s Roll and a phone book.

    Allowing for 16 & 17 year olds who wouldn’t feature on the old Roll
    compare the 2 Rolls looking for addresses with new entries in particular those with different surnames from the householder.

    After selecting an address look up the phone no. in the phone book – some of course will be ex-directory so move on to the next selected address.

    Ring the number, preferably in the early evening, and ask to speak to one of the new names on the Roll.

    If the answer is that they are not in ask when they will be in.

    If the answer is that the person no longer lives there ask
    when he left.

    And so on.

    Such an exercise may or may not produce some interesting results.

  339. heedtracker says:

    “The inner/second sealed UNOPENED envelope with the vote is then deposited in the sealed ballot box and kept in custody until the end of the election day at 18.00hrs.”

    That’s what I was naive enough to assume that happened here.

    As the Scottish referendum postal votes were immediately opened and examined on arrival at the count office by whoever it was opening them, what the fcuk was the point of an envelope B in an envelope A, or vice versa here in the UK?

    Even at the “its such a ridiculous waste of time sealing the ballot paper in one envelope, sealing that one in another envelope” level, with both envelopes then getting opened and recorded by whoever it is watching, as soon as the postman or women arrives day after day for at least three weeks before polling day.

    Germany has it right, Scotland/UKOK stinks.

  340. Tam Jardine says:

    So we appear to be in agreement. Commitment by SNP to hold another referendum in the next parliament at a time of the SNP’s choosing. Win the SE then see how the euro vote goes. And leave UDI as a theoretical option of last resort.

    Cool. Over to you Nicola

    (Not really how Wings works)

  341. Schrödinger's cat says:

    Commitment by SNP to hold another referendum in the next parliament at a time of the SNP’s choosing.

    Commitment by SNP to consult the people of Scotland on whether or not the scottish government should hold another referendum in the next parliament at a time of the SNP’s choosing.

  342. Schrödinger's cat says:

    Actually, the stupidest thing the snp could do is to make a commitment and effectively publish their manifesto 10 months out from the actual election,

    For those clambering for such a statement, you are in good company
    See mundell and Cameron

  343. Tam Jardine says:

    Schrödinger’s cat

    Ok. Good amendment. This is great – we can just close this thread off.

  344. Onwards says:

    Schrödinger’s cat says:

    10 August, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Actually, the stupidest thing the SNP could do is to make a commitment and effectively publish their manifesto 10 months out from the actual election

    Surely the best thing is to get it out the way so it’s not the focal point of any future campaign.
    Simply state that the SNP will ALWAYS have the right to call referendums on constitutional issues in its manifesto.

    For the simple principle that the Scottish people should always have the right to decide.
    It shouldn’t even be an issue.
    Attacking that principle is like attacking democracy.

  345. G H Graham says:

    Before you write off UDI, consider this…

    The London Establishment, the BBC, Westminster & the reliable Scottish Cringe Society enjoy dismissing the Scottish Government’s proposed alternative to the status quo of austerity Britain because they claim that it would lead to huge tax increases & a massive loss of public services.

    But the reality is, that as far as the average working in Scotland is concerned, they are already effectively taxed & burdened with basic living costs at levels that would make even hard hearted Victorian toffs wince. So stay with me, while we examine the real cost of living in Scotland while under the alleged superior economic wisdom of the Westminster elite.

    Someone working full time, earning the minimum wage (for now, let’s set that at an arbitrary £8/hr) & living alone with no dependents & certainly no car will , if lucky, be sleeping in an average rented house & have barely enough money left over at the end of each month for an emergency fund, savings, a mortgage deposit or a even a holiday in Greenock.

    Assuming he/she works full time for 37.5 hours per week & receives the statutory 5.6 weeks’ holiday per year (28 days), annual income BEFORE deductions at the minimum wage rate, is 37.5 hrs x £8 x 52 weeks = £15,600 per year. The income tax payable is (£15,600 – £10,000) x 20% = £1,120 leaving £14,480.

    Class 1 National Insurance contributions is rated at 12% which means a further reduction of £917. Net income after working on the minimum wage is £15,600 – £1,120 – £917 = £13,563 per year or £1,130 per month or £261 per week. The effective income tax rate for a single person with no dependents on minimum wage is therefore 13.1%. This is much more than eBay or Amazon.

    The average rent in Scotland is about £539 per month or 48% of monthly net minimum wage. (Source – One might want to own their own home but the maximum affordable price would be £58,500 & would require a 20% deposit of £11,700. That’s due to the three times annual gross earnings ratio. So once the deposit is paid, a balance of £46,800 at say 5% over 25 years would cost around £274 per month (principal & interest, but excluding PMI or other insurance requirements).

    But none of this matters because the average house price in Scotland is nearly three times that amount at around £160,000 (Source – So one would have to have at least £102,000 in cash for a deposit. Unless their rich auntie croaked it or they won the lottery, getting possession of an average house then would be impossible.

    Meanwhile, the average council tax rate in Scotland is £1,094 per year or £91 per month. (Source – So after income taxes, national insurance, an average rent & an average community charge, one would have exactly £500 left (44% of net income) per month to pay for electricity/gas/oil, telephone/internet, home insurance, food, clothes, consumables, work expenses etc.

    In addition, the average home fuel bill (heating, lighting & cooking) in Scotland is £112 a month, the highest in Britain by the way (Source – The poorest 20% of non-retired single adult households (those with less than £256 a week before tax) spend £22.30 a week on food and non-alcoholic drink, according to the 2012 Family Spending Survey from the Office for National Statistics. (Source: So our constantly hungry, minimum wage worker will likely have about £500 – £112 – £97 = £291 of disposable income left over at the end of each month.

    We still haven’t got a telephone or internet service which the minimum wage worker is going to need to get a job in the first place. That could cost around £30 to £50 per month including line rental. Now we’re down to no more than £261 and there’s still the cost of getting to/from work.

    Excluding cars, the average distance travelled by Scots every year is around 405 miles by local bus as the main mode for the journey, 483 miles by surface rail, 155 miles by foot, 580 miles by other public transport and 35 miles by bicycle. (Source –

    Assuming no car use, the minimum wage worker will pay for travel over a distance of some 405 + 483 + 580 = 1,468 miles per year or 122 miles per month. Mixed travel costs are tough to figure out so we’ll assume 18 pence per mile which arrives at a monthly commute cost of around £22. (Source –

    So, a person working 37.5 hrs per week, receiving an hourly rate of £8, will have £239 of disposable income left over at the end of each month once all the average costs of living & working are deducted. The effective tax rate then of just living an average life on a minimum wage in Scotland is an astonishing 79%.

    From the remaining £239 of disposable income, one might be expected to pay for a few basic necessities like a fridge & a washing machine or a new pair of shoes. Or some insurance to protect one’s minimalist personal possessions.

    Perhaps use some of it might be used to save up for an emergency fund or an occasional meal with friends & family. An early start in private pension investments might also be a worthwhile decision. Heck one could even have enough left over, to pay to receive propaganda from the BBC.

    Yes, it is possible to get by on the minimum wage but without a six month emergency fund to mitigate a loss of income due to a layoff or a chronic illness for example, life in Scotland is burdened with acute & chronic financial risks.

    This is the Britain in which, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband & the worthies at the BBC, said you were Better Together. They would say that wouldn’t they? For them at least, it really is.

  346. Tam Jardine says:

    Schrödinger’s cat 

    That consensus lasted long

  347. Why worry if unionist parties are getting their knickers in a twist about a referendum 2, let them get on with that. While they are concentrating on that they will be lacking on something else.

    SNP should ask what they’re going to have in their manifesto? Do you think they would tell everyone? They’d say we are not writing a manifesto months before the election.

    So why should the SNP?

    The SNP already gets rough treatment from the BBC, other TV stations and the media, it doesn’t seem to making any in roads into SNP poll lead. So why can’t we stop getting ourselves in a tizz. Lets run to our agenda lets not play to the oppositions agenda.

  348. Dal Riata says:

    If – and only if – Westminster et al refused to acknowledge a Yes vote to Scottish independence arrived at through a democratic referendum, then – and only then – would/should the option of UDI be exercised.

    Would the rUK really try to go the ‘It’s illegal, because we didn’t agree to it!’ route? They might. But would they go so far as to then threaten ‘intervention’ to stop it happening? Again, they might, but I don’t think they would. They would be seen throughout the world as no more than fascist dictators, no better than the other dictatorships, fascist or otherwise, they like to voice themselves as being better than.

    Or, maybe by then they wouldn’t care what anyone else said or thought about their actions such would be their backing from all those countries and institutions they lobbied before ref1 to back Better Together…

    UDI, being a final resort, would be just that – the final resort. What it would lead to no-one can say for sure.

    But if – and only if – UDI was the final resort after every other legal and lawful method had been exhausted in seeking the validity of a Yes result, then Scotland should go for it – absolutely. Never say never.

  349. Tam Jardine says:

    As a little aside, while almost everyone on this thread has all but ruled out UDI except as a last resort, how many of us think military action by the MOD was unthinkable in the event of a yes vote?

    We may never find out the plan to secure the nuclear arsenal at Farslane and Coulport. “Armageddon” was how one former officer described the contingency plan to a colleague of mine the night of the referendum.

    Well, maybe we will find out one day after all.

  350. Petra says:

    @ heedtracker says at 4:30 pm ”Honestly Petra, independence referenda will probably never be winnable for YES Scotland. Our friends in the south will merely adapt and hone their last Project Fearing and that spectacular The Vow defrauding.

    The Vow fraud/Smith Commission only resulted in Holyrood paye tax powers and Holyrood raising paye in the UK would be as catastrophic economically for Scotland, as the Smith Commission fully intended it to be ……”

    I know heedtracker I sometimes think that it’ll be nigh on impossible to win because we’re up against the might of the establishment and they have every known type of expert with a first class Honours Degree in Deviousness / Manipulation working for them, a bottomless pit of money at their disposal and a network of cronies akin to a colony of ants / nest of vipers.

    We know too that the US has been involved, backing Westminster all the way such as through wikileaks exposure of Murphy. Stands to reason anyway that with having Trident based in Scotlandshire that Independence = threat to the State and the US.

    I can just see them all sitting round a table ‘brainstorming’ and one after another trying to outdo each other with their brilliant ideas relating to scuppering our chances of ever getting Independence …. manipulation of MSM, agents trying to cause havoc online, vote rigging and so on. I also really despair of the fact that we have more and more no voters relocating to Scotland and around 70,000 Scots (mostly young) leaving the country every year.

    Additionally as you’ve pointed out the ‘Toryboys’ will make sure that anything ‘afforded’ to Scotland such as tax-raising powers will do no more (on own) than make the SNP unpopular with no one in the Scottish Unionist parties / MSM pointing out the limitations / total restrictions to anyone at all. Another of their moves will be hoping that anyone in England who stops receiving benefits, such as housing, will move to Scotland putting a further drain on our economy. Let’s face it if nothing else they’re normally 10 steps ahead of their opponent in a chess game.

    On the other-hand when their austerity measures kick in that may turn some in Scotland against the Union (or they may blame the SNP) or again if they come up with another callously imaginative, Dickensian idea such as the bedroom tax. Who knows we may even end up having a National Strike?!

    Meanwhile we’ll just have to carry on and play the waiting game until the time for implementing Indyref2 seems right.

  351. Tam Jardine 8.55.

    I wouldn’t have been surprised if after a yes vote the troops had been sent in.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Westminster doesn’t do something (false flag attack) to give them the excuse to put troops on the streets. I rule nothing out where the establishment is threatened.

    UDI would be the prime kind of thing to give them that excuse.

    Having said that, we have a serving soldier in our branch, and I asked him how many soldiers are currently serving in the British Army that are not from the UK. He said 60/40 split in favour of the Commonwealth troops. Now I don’t know for sure, but I do know that the Army gubs the Navy every year now at Rugby because their (the Army) team has about 10 fijians or other nations men playing. Lastly the Army has only about 100,000 personnel in their number now to be reduced to 80,000 with all their commitments around the world they don’t have the numbers or the other security services number to mount an operation that would have been equal to the size of the NI trouble deployments. Scotland being a much much bigger problem for them, and the fact that they are stretched in other places more so than they were in NI.

  352. NN says:

    Anyone who thinks that independence can be won with anything less than 90% is dreaming. Why? Because we’re not playing against someone who plays by the same rules. You’re trying to win a game of poker against someone who has three extra decks of cards in their pockets and is willing to flip the table or use the other players to distract you or interfere with your deck. These are people who are willing to kill around the world to maintain power and willing to sweep child murder and rapes under the carpet to keep their image clean.

  353. NN says:

    @James Caithness

    It is standard tactics for suppressing a population to maintain large numbers of soldiers that are not local to those areas or even countries ideally. This is something that the British Empire and others have used many times through history. Westminster and its military and security agencies are hardly going to be unaware of this and certainly not above taking advantage of it.

  354. Elaine Hindle says:

    Britain will never give up Scotland lets be clear about this.

    Britain has never let go of anything without a fight.

    I would like to think that the above two statements were untrue but sadly I think they may be right.

    First of all I am not advocating that we fight as I do not agree with this but it could become a future possibility, if all else fails.

    What I wish for my country is independence by peaceful means but what happens if we do have another referendum and the answer is YES are we prepared for the back lash that will ensue, because I think it will come.

    I hope for a peaceful settlement and that our nation will be free.

    I do fear there are many factions in this country who would be only too willing to cause violence, you only have to see what happened in George Square in Glasgow after the last vote.

  355. CameronB Brodie says:

    Re. unsavory factions:

    ‘Britain’s role in setting up stay-behinds throughout Europe was absolutely fundamental… it has emerged that other European countries had their own stay-behind armies – Belgium, France, Holland, Spain, Greece, Turkey. Even in neutral Sweden and Switzerland there has been public debate. And in some cases enquiries have been set up. Yet in Britain, there is nothing.

    Save the customary comment of the ministry of defence that they don’t discuss matters of national security.’ – John Simpson, BBC Newsnight, April, 1991

  356. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “So stay with me, while we examine the real cost of living in Scotland while under the alleged superior economic wisdom of the Westminster elite…”

    You’ve made a cracking case for independence there. UDI, not so much.

  357. orri says:

    In the majority of the examples given the states declaring UDI had varying levels of autonomy to begin with. All of which were miles more than Scotland has. Kind of makes the aversion to true Devo Max in some quarters puzzling to say the least. At a minimum Scotland would need a separate and unblockable method of raising funds and run the country with or without the permission of Westminster. An independent and reliable armed force might also be needed but I’m not sure you could count Police Scotland as that. Never mind that a declaration of UDI with mass support might result in riots even without agent provocateurs.

  358. Paula Rose says:

    (first SNP meeting tonight – lovely people felt at home xx)

  359. Kangaroo says:

    I agree that UDI is only a last resort option when the populace has had enough and WM wont agree to the necessary change. (I dont think they ever will agree as total control is what they want regardless of the peoples will)


    However I do think coming events will overtake things as we are looking at a total collapse of the Western monetary system in the next few months. This will mean that pensions and welfare payments will not be paid as there is no money in the pot. Then we can call a referendum and win.

  360. NN says:


    I’m not sure on the timing as it’s bold to predict it to that degree of accuracy, but all the evidence backs you up for something like that happening before too long. No guarantee there will be a ref or a win after. Bad times ahead.

  361. Haggis Hunter says:

    I learnt a lot from reading this, thanks Rev., I was all for UDI, now I’m all for keeping the options open

  362. David Allan says:

    Let us consider the merits of turning the whole issue on it’s head .

    Why not have a future referendum based on the question –

    Should Scotland Remain Part of the Union ?

    YES / NO

  363. Rhodie says:

    I hope with all decency that you were being sarcastic Rev. when you said that Zimbabwe is a ‘model nation’? I mean if you are calling Zimbabwe which is a racist state, ‘model’, then maybe you ought to get your head looked at.

  364. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I hope with all decency that you were being sarcastic Rev. when you said that Zimbabwe is a ‘model nation’?”

    Yes, of course I bloody was.

  365. John Cowan says:

    I agree that UDI makes no sense for Scotland now, but that doesn’t mean it makes no sense ever. My own country’s UDI wasn’t exactly democratic: if a referendum (which didn’t exist as a concept then) had been run, the results would have been one-third Yes, one-third No, and one-third Whogivesamerryshit. But consider the following events leading up to it, which I have transposed into the modern context:

    1) Westminster decides to solve the Mid-Lothian Question at a stroke by expelling all Scottish MPs. Why not? It doesn’t even require a statutory change, as Parliament has always had the power to expel members by a majority vote, and England is and always will be in the majority. The Scottish Parliament, however, is left alone — for now.

    2) The rump Parliament then passes an act (which gets the Royal Assent at a time when that was not yet clearly a matter of form) declaring its power to impose its decisions on Scotland and override Holyrood “in all cases whatsoever”.

    3) This is then followed by a series of changes to well-established parts of Scots law to bring it into uniformity with the “home country”. Protests by many notable Scots appealing to the British constitution, the terms of the Act of Union, and plain common sense are ignored.

    3) When there is resistance to these changes, an army is sent north from England to enforce Westminster’s decrees, and the Queen declares that Scotland is in rebellion and will be crushed.

    Wouldn’t a lot of Scottish people then think it was time for UDI? Count your blessings that world opinion has shifted enough that if Scotland decides it’s time to leave the Union, it can and will, and the above nightmare is now extremely unlikely.

    (Step 1 had no equivalent in the 1760s, as British America had no representatives at Westminster and never had had. The other steps track American history exactly, beginning with the Declaratory Act, 1766, which itself tracked an earlier Declaratory Act for Ireland of exactly the same kind.)

  366. Ian McCubbin says:

    This needs another look. While it is a last resort. The politics of UK has moved on to even more difficult terrain. Countries which caught UDI had exhausted all forms of reasonable negotiation and balloting in many cases.
    In Scotland we face an even bigger deluge of lies and voting abuses and corruption at a second referendum never mind the propaganda from MSN.
    So at least like Kosovo had we should have UN observers for a second referendum from the day of Purdue till all ballots declared.
    Even then if corruption found UDI is the way.

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