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We don’t need your pity

Posted on June 05, 2014 by

One of the most commonly-occurring arguments proffered by the left side of the No camp (regardless of how often it’s comprehensively debunked) is that should Scotland decide to leave the Union, it would condemn the English to perpetual Tory rule.

mrt

It’s essentially an appeal for Scotland to give up the chance of self-governance in order to mitigate someone else’s problem. But it could be even worse than that.

The first and most obvious objection to this appeal to self-sacrifice is that the numbers just don’t add up. The population of Scotland is about 8% of the UK electorate, so even if 100% of Scottish people turned up to vote, and all of them voted against hardline neoliberal parties like the Tories and UKIP, it’ll count for nothing if the people of England – my people, for I’m a Yorkshireman – vote marginally in favour of them.

It’s a fact that the Scottish vote very rarely has any impact on the overall result in general elections. Between 1979 and 1997 Scotland voted against the Tories, but the English voted in favour so we all got a Tory government. Between 1997 and 2010 Scotland voted Labour, but so did the rest of the UK, so even if the Scottish votes were discounted Labour would still have won.

Ever since the Second World War, the only times the Scottish electorate has played a decisive role in determining the government of the UK have been in the highly rare events of hung parliaments. And even then, in 2010 the Liberal Democrats trotted up and enabled the Tories back into power anyway, then supported all of their rotten illiberal legislation – privatisation of the English NHS, secret courts, the bedroom tax, the gagging law, retroactive workfare legislation, etc etc.

The frightening thing is that the next time around we could see the nightmare scenario of Scottish votes turning what would have been a small Tory majority into a minority, meaning that the Tories end up having to form a coalition with a gaggle of UKIP MPs to stay in power.

The law of unintended consequences makes it entirely possible that the Scottish electorate could actually make things a hell of a lot worse for their English (and Welsh and Northern Irish) brothers and sisters by sticking with us and trying to mitigate the Tory-voting south-east. But if Scotland stays in the UK in order to try to protect the English from themselves, it’s more likely to end up as a pointless self sacrifice.

Instead of remaining part of the Union in order to fight a losing battle against the neoliberalism of the Tories and UKIP, I believe Scotland would do the English a much bigger favour through independence.

Once Scotland is independent, the political landscape of the country would change dramatically. Most notably the SNP would lose their raison d’etre (and presumably a lot of their voters) meaning they would need to find a new core principle to unify the party. Independence would also have a reinvigorating effect on the other parties too.

The “Scottish Labour Party” could actually come into existence and perhaps step away from the neoliberalism-lite agenda of the Westminster leadership, and offer the people of Scotland the social-democratic Labour Party of old that they actually want.

The Scottish Lib Dems could reform as the Scottish Liberal Party and disassociate themselves from the aforementioned legacy of grotesquely illiberal Tory legislation.

Even the Scottish Conservatives could use Independence as an opportunity to abandon the Thatcherite handbook of neoliberal dogma, and perhaps try to offer more of the kind of social democratic Conservatism from the pre-Thatcher era, a brand of Conservatism that actually once resonated with the people of Scotland.

Should Scotland vote for independence, the country will almost certainly end up with the centre-left social-democratic government that most of the people of Scotland want. Instead of condemning the English in a misguided display of pity, Scotland could do us a huge favour by leading by example, and demonstrating that there’s a better alternative to the Thatcherite dogma favoured by the Westminster establishment.

If the English have the terrible combination of gullibility and apathy necessary in order to allow the Tories (or a Tory-UKIP coalition) into power in 2015, there’s not much the Scottish electorate can do to save us from our own collective stupidity.

The best thing that the Scottish can do for the English is to vote for independence, then elect a social democratic government of your own. We don’t need your pity and pointless self-sacrificing, what we need is for someone to show us that there’s actually a better way of doing things. And you’re our best hope.

.

*A version of this article appears at Another Angry Voice.

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    130 to “We don’t need your pity”

    1. Brotyboy says:

      This neatly encapsulates some of my own reasons for voting Yes.

    2. gordoz says:

      This one I think is for the Labour party members of Scotland ??

      No avoiding it guys; it came from both your and our friends in the South !

      Circulete to as many as you can including Labour for Independence.

      Wonder how Stairheid, JoLa & Jabba will take to this ??

    3. iheartScotland says:

      Vote Yes you FOOLS!!!!!

    4. MajorBloodnok says:

      I love it when a plan comes together.

    5. Bigdrone says:

      Why is there this insistence that the SNP will cease to exist after independence? They have governed Scotland very we’ll and there is absolutely no reason why they should not flourish as a party! FFS ….Johann Lamont as First Minister!!!!

    6. heedtracker says:

      Scotland’s been ruled by British left Labour for over 70 years and the rich are richer and the poor are poorer or dead. How much is Tony Bliar worth now, or Gordon Brown or Alistair Darling? Or look at all their expense fraudsters.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5351148/MPs-expenses-Ian-Davidson-paid-friend-5500-to-renovate-flat-then-took-him-shooting.html

      Labour makes you rich.

    7. David Anderson says:

      The journey from no to yes as inspired by an older person I met who I had turned on to wings and who subsequently made the jump we hope for all to make. Something positive to hold on to in the face of the mainstream media bias is the power of wings and individuals talking to each other armed with information to counter the bias and negativity.

      An awakenwing

      And me? I was reminded of my own
      Duplicity, though it did not make me
      Angry it just gave me my liberty
      Such freeing is not easy if the truth be told
      To leave behind long held beliefs of old
      I felt as if I’d somehow been renewed
      Touched inside by the language that was used
      Just reading brought a tear to my eye
      I was so happy even though I was crying
      So just know that you have had an effect
      An overflow of feeling I did not expect
      For that is such a special thing indeed
      In a world often consumed with greed
      the propoganda had left me feeling tired
      Yes it is truly great to be so inspired
      Through knowledge of what is truly going on
      That you’ve captured in your words and their wrongs
      From this day forth my eyes will remain open
      As I strive for the result for which we are hoping

    8. Craig says:

      When I started reading this I was getting major deja vu then realised I had in fact already read this at AAV. 😀

    9. Drunken Hobo says:

      Once again, it seems like an anti-democracy argument. If the people of the rest of the UK, particularly England, vote in favour of a right-wing neo-liberal Thatcherite party (and all of those other dirty words), then surely it’s for the best that they get that party? Why should Scotland deny the rest their choice? And similarly, why should they deny us our choice?

      Better Apart.

    10. Macart says:

      That ain’t no jibber jabber.

      Good post Mr Clark. 🙂

    11. Angry Weegie says:

      I would only disagree with two points.

      One is the break up of the SNP after independence, as there are no other politicians in the Scottish Parliament who could manage a p*ss up in a brewery.

      The other is the description of Westminster Labour as neoliberal-lite. They have long since passed beyond that description.

    12. Pam McMahon says:

      The “Scottish” Labour party, and the “Scottish” Lib-Dems are a joke. There are no such entities, but merely colonial off-shoots of their Westminster executives, with an eye on their pensions and a seat in the House of Lords. Maybe some of them will grow a pair after a Yes vote, when they discover that an independent Scottish electorate will not be paying for an unelected second chamber.

    13. desimond says:

      Appreciate the hopes in this but again when I see anything referencing Scottish Unionist Parties i find myself remembering the referendum adage: “See could, read wont’

      Scottish Labour live so far in denial they hae Egyptian accents( boom tisch), they still thinks the SNP popularity is a protest vote. They wont change, they will die.

      The same for Tories, Murdo Fraser saw that in his recent leadership challenge but they bottled it and went with wee Sandy Davidson. The Tories must die before they can come back, a bit like Murdo’s beloved Rangers.

      As for Lib Dems, well theyre dying and not only in Scotland.

      Will the Greens and Independent (not independence) Parties grow in Scotland and then subsequently in England,Wales and Northern ireland as more people get sick of the Big 3 dinosaurs, fingers crossed but more chance more boundary changs to remove any further danger to the trough lovers.

    14. Taranaich says:

      Read this over at Another Angry Voice, very pleased to see more exposure on Wings. *thumbs up*

    15. To quote Kris Kristoffersen :-

      “FREEDOM`S JUST ANOTHER WORD – FOR NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE”

    16. Murray McCallum says:

      “Tories end up having to form a coalition with a gaggle of UKIP MPs to stay in power”

      In the words of Rhys Ifans as Spike in the movie “Notting Hill” that’s a thought that “will make your balls shrink to the size of raisins”.

    17. desimond says:

      @Bigdrone

      Its a good question and maybe a long time ago people saw the only ideal of SNP as Independence That was then. Now I woudl suggest most folk see SNP as a party thats key ideal is to care about the people of scotland, with independence being the vehicle in which to maximise this key ideal.

      Thats probably one of the major headaches Scottish Labour cant fathom, they were allowed to let that ball drop so many times, they didnt even think anyone would ever pick it up and run with it.

    18. joe kane says:

      Another Angry Voice bog is excellent and so is the way Thomas G. Clark handles comments and arguments (and trolls) on the AAV Facebook.

      WOS and AAV are light years ahead of the mainstream news media, whose vast oceans of soul-destroying dross has to be waded through in order to find anything that looks remotely like decent comment and analysis.

    19. Nana Smith says:

      From Oxfam on twitter…

      Great Britain – a land with a reputation for fair play and equal rights is on course to be the most unequal country in the developed world. We’re posting home truths all this week.

    20. Luigi says:

      I would like to think that an independent Scotland would move away from the traditional Westminster, tribal style of politics and adopt a more progressive, consensual approach.

      Why should the Labour and SNP tribes rule the roost?

      In the short term, this is likely to happen, I suppose, but I would like to see the Greens, other left-of centre, and even new right-wing groups eventually emerge from the ashes of a burnt-out union and start working together to make a new, egalitarian country for our children and grandchildren to grow up in.

    21. Luigi says:

      My big concern is that an newly independent Scotland will inherit a lot of the Westminster, tribal, neoliberal baggage during the very important, early formative years of nationhood.

      How can this be prevented?

    22. gerry parker says:

      Well said Tom, I follow you over at AAV too. Good clear exposition of neoliberalist policies and their disastrous effects on all of us. Keep up the good work.
      When we win in September, we’ll back you in Yorkshire.

    23. gerry parker says:

      @ Luigi,
      By having a written constitution in place.

    24. gerry parker says:

      @ Luigi,
      By having a written constitution in place.

      http://www.constitutionalcommission.org

    25. Paula Rose says:

      Just a small point – when we are Independent we won’t need to stick Scottish in front of everything, it will be a given.

    26. heedtracker says:

      Westminster tribal neolib Labour will face some interesting questions with Scottish independence like, will Scotland vote for a Labour Party that is run from an HQ in London by less and less likely looking rUK PM Milliband?

      Will an actual Labour in Scotland party ever be able to replace what ever it is Johann Lamont thinks she’s doing jumping about at Holyrood FMQ’s etc?

    27. Robert Louis says:

      Luigi,

      Your final question can be at least partially addressed by a written Scottish constitution. At present in Westminster, it is oh so conevenient for all of them when they proclaim it like a badge of honour, that the UK has an unwritten constitution. It is a sham, the meaning of an ‘unwritten’ constitution is that in reality there is NO constitution. It literally changes with the weather. You cannot assert you citizen rights anywhere with an unwritten constitution. Just how the ruling elites in London like it.

      The current UK setup means that UK citizens are not provided the same protection, other democratic countries take for granted – a good example being just today, secret court trials. The UK is, with that latest move descending into a quite literal kafka-esque hell of its own making. Next you know, people will start noticing ‘disappearances’.

      One big advantage of Scottish independence will be a REAL written constitution, protecting citizen rights, and preventing the neo liberal (big money) corruption of our Sovereign Scottish Parliament.

    28. galamcennalath says:

      More than rebranding of the Scottish branches of the London Unionist parties will be needed. Firstly they will need a good clean out of people who have talked Scotland down into the gutter – those people could never be trusted ever again.

      Here’s a thought, though. After independence the Scottish Labour Party, reborn and cleansed, need only be known as the Labour Party. Similarly, there would be a Liberal Party and a Conservative Party. And by the same logic a National Party. The word Scottish will be irrelevant. To my knowledge, no independent country sticks the nation’s name in front of the individual party names!

    29. Jim Marshall says:

      Excellent piece Thomas.

      “Scottish votes turning what would have been a small Tory majority into a minority, meaning that the Tories end up having to form a coalition with a gaggle of UKIP MPs to stay in power”

      My view is that this is a near certainty. If that doesn”t scare people into voting YES then there is no hope for us.

    30. Chris Jack says:

      Another Angry Voice is legendary – everyone should read his blog. Also active on Twitter and Facebook.

    31. Robert McDonald says:

      One of the wee highlights of my day is always to rollover the pictures at the top of an article. Thanks Stu.

    32. Chic McGregor says:

      Absolutely bang on.

      And let us not forget the other assault machines which the Tories already have in pre-load condition for their siege on justice. Namely withdrawal from the European Court of Human Rights, withdrawal from the EU itself and conscription (aka ‘national service’).

      And that is without a required alliance with UKIP. In that doomsday scenario, what chance the survival of the Scottish Parliament in any form?

      I would also like to emphasise that in an independent Scotland, IMO, Scots would not want a ‘left of centre’ government which in any way, shape or form, resembles the current pile of SLABbers we have.

      Many of us suspect that the appalling ineptness and disgusting mendacity of the current contingent on offer has been a quite deliberate ploy by the Westminster apparatchiks, as one of their more subtle scare tactics.

      I do not even believe that Scots want a return to Labour of old where at least there was a modicum of principle and good intent.

      I think Scots want, and will get if we vote for independence, a competent team dedicated to a holistic improvement of Scotland with a primary view of ensuring as many of our citizens as possible can attain something like their full potential in life.

      Of course, that would be left of centre in comparison to England (or at least ‘Middle’ England) but then almost anything would these days.

      The Nordic model is the better one to hold up rather than Old Labour IMV.

      But Scotland has an opportunity to forge its own model and enshrine its principals in a written constitution which would provide a framework which would safeguard against any future tendency of politicians to stray from those principles.

      And, yes, possibly act as a beacon for others.

    33. Training Day says:

      “Firstly they will need a good clean out of people who have talked Scotland down into the gutter – those people could never be trusted ever again.”

      If watching FMQs is anything to go by, that means the entire Labour, Conservative and Liberal benches.

    34. desimond says:

      It will be good post a YES vote to always hear the old Scots vs English vote referenced as

      “And all those many many times English votes prevented Scotland having the government of their choosing” rather that always currently the focus being on “a few times that Scots vote impacted on English choosing’

    35. HandandShrimp says:

      I think it is insulting in the extreme to the English to suggest to them that they are too stupid to vote for the party they really want and that they need us to keep them right. We know who we want to vote for and they know who they want to vote for. Through independence we ensure both sides get who they vote for. I do feel sorry for the Welsh though…NI does its own thing anyway and none of their parties will ever form a Government in Westminster.

    36. naebd says:

      The frightening thing is that the next time around we could see the nightmare scenario of Scottish votes turning what would have been a small Tory majority into a minority, meaning that the Tories end up having to form a coalition with a gaggle of UKIP MPs to stay in power

      No, we couldn’t see that. Even though it is good for getting that shivery feeling down the spine it’s not going to happen. In the very unlikely event that UKIP manage to win a couple of seats (First Past the Post makes it very unlikely indeed) it would be carnage for the Tories. A UKIP surge of that magnitude would hand dozens of Tory seats to Labour, putting Miliband comfortably into #10. UKIP on 3%(?) last time deprived the Tories of a majority.

    37. Jamie Arriere says:

      Well I wasn’t particularly fussed about going to Bannockburn Live, but after reading this

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-27712992

      and the thought of the gloating in Stirling Council during their Britfest Armed Forces Day parade just miles away, I think I’ll pay the £22. Looks like some decent music on.

    38. desimond says:

      Sorry to go off-topic but Rangers have revealed their new kit

      COMPLETE WITH UNION FLAG !!!

      http://www.rangers.co.uk/media/k2/items/cache/d07d78d2fbbd361944e4a80341a9931b_XL.jpg

      Jesus wept.

    39. Duggie says:

      “the only times the Scottish electorate has played a decisive role in determining the government of the UK have been in the highly rare events of hung parliaments. And even then, in 2010 the Liberal Democrats trotted up and enabled the Tories back into power”

      Well actually in 2010 without Scottish MPs, the Tories would have had a majority and wouldn’t have needed to form a coalition with the Lib Dems.

    40. CameronB Brodie says:

      Thanks Thomas, for a helpful insight and timely dismissal of “blood and soil” trash talk.

      Re. Another Angry Voice. I wish the blogger would sort out the clash between background and text. I know I need glasses, but I’m sure others will also find it hard on the eyes.

    41. call me dave says:

      Excellent article and worth repeating to those new to WoS who are not aware of this.

      Heard today that the Lib/Dems have been lifting the hem of their skirts to Labour in the possibility of a coalition after general electíon in 2015. Whether Labour were aroused remains to be seen.

      Lockerbie appeal lodged at last. Hope it reaches a proper conclusion.

    42. YESGUY says:

      Great work again.

      You have to feel sorry for the poor rUk , lumbered with a tory govt and nothing they can do about it as we Scots have gone our own way. here’s a message to the rUK

      GET OFF YOUR ARSES AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

      Any pity i had with our buddy’s down south has gone. If they can’t see the woods for the trees then tough . They are quick to rub in that we are subsidy junkies even when corrected and don’t think the “little Englander ” is a minority because its not true. The majority are online daily abusing us for our democratic right and all over the MSM .

      The guardian comments page , along with the Hootsmon show exactly where the majority lay. They may believe the guff poured out but that is no excuse. They are too lazy to look for facts themselves and see Scotland as a whinging mob who need to be sorted out.

      If a No vote is passed we will suffer big time and the sympathy from the rUK will be non existent. We’ll have deserved it for daring to go our own way. And many see the Uk as England and it will never change. Scotland will be a shire and cash cow for westmidden to milk till there is nothing left.

      This is war.

      Every attempt to disgrace Scotland , show how useless we are hammers the nail in our coffins . This is only going to get worse.

    43. Alabaman says:

      Going O/T again Rev,
      Where is Morag ?, need her to indicate the latest twist in the Lockerbie saga, two different appeals?, does that mean in effect a straight right hand to the body,along with a uppercut to the same body?.

    44. Elliot Bulmer says:

      @Luigi: “My big concern is that an newly independent Scotland will inherit a lot of the Westminster, tribal, neoliberal baggage during the very important, early formative years of nationhood. How can this be prevented?”

      In part, through an inclusive constitution-building process and a sound Constitution that makes it clear that Scotland belongs to all its citizens, not to any party or individual.

    45. Pam McMahon says:

      It wasn’t so much a hope, than an expectation that the “Scottish” political parties would realise that their bank balances would be affected by independence, which appears to be their sole priorty in this debate, and would actually address the post-independence scenario.
      They can take the opportunity to re-invent themselves as viable and electable challengers to the SNP or they can continue to follow their national party line, and allow new parties to evolve in an independent Scotland.
      Some of them will realise that they are currently staring into an empty hole.

    46. Duggie says:

      “Instead of remaining part of the Union in order to fight a losing battle against the neoliberalism of the Tories and UKIP”

      I agree that Scotland should leave the union, but it needs to be pointed out that it is a fantasy that the Tories are gradually gaining support in the UK and that its a ‘losing battle’ against that increase – its actually the opposite.

      In 1955 the Tories got 50% of the vote, by 1979 they got 43.9%, 1992 it was down to 41.9%, and 2010 to just 36.1%, and thats only counting (some of) the elections that they won.

      Just like in America, as the UK gets increasingly diverse and multi-cultural, and younger, the right wing vote decreases – and it will continue to do so over the next 50 years.

    47. call me dave says:

      BBC spin the news on Abdelbaset al-Megrahi again, the Tripoli welcome and pressure put on him by the SG to drop his appeal.

      No mention of whether he might be innocent or what part the UK government or police had in the conviction.
      Good old BBC. 🙂

    48. desimond says:

      @Duggie
      What if you rephrase it to “Right Wing Thinking Parties”. Wouldnt that change your figures?

    49. Duggie says:

      “through an inclusive constitution-building process and a sound Constitution that makes it clear that Scotland belongs to all its citizens, not to any party or individual”

      The Green’s independence document sets out good suggestions in that regard:

      “The development of a written constitution should be led by a new constitutional convention, to be established before the end of 2014, with political parties involved but not in sole charge…work should begin immediately, on a participative and inclusive basis. There must be no constraints on the issues the convention may address; if Scotland wishes to examine alternatives to monarchy, or demand a referendum on membership of international treaties and organisations, these should not be taken off the agenda simply because of the position of the Government of the day.”

      Let’s hope the draft consitution being proposed by one party isn’t rushed through and formed into the actual constitution without the people of Scotland being given a chance to have a say on it first.

    50. Les Wilson says:

      Well, I know there is a whole lot of rhetoric over labour replacing the SNP,personally I would vote SNP in 2016.
      My reason for this is that they have coherent proposals to improve things for our most vulnerable, but much more than that in a great vision for all our people.

      They have delivered so far, if not for them we would not be having these discussions.
      However, after that will be dependent on them sticking to their policies. After the 2016 term is over, it is quite possible that Labour would make a comeback if it so deserves to. The people will decide.

      However for Labour to get back into the spot with voters they would have to sweep the old guard clean out, and start with fresh people who have Scotland’s interests at heart.
      Then people will listen, they would then have their chance to improve on their old record and possible they then get back to pole position.

      At this time Labour are not in any way prepared to govern Scotland at this important period in the Scotland story.

      For now and for 2016 the SNP are the most capable to improve Scotland, I will stick with them for that period, after that I will consider then again.

    51. Lesley-Anne says:

      Excellent post Thomas. So nice to read something from outside Scotland putting up all the points that we in Scotland continually make but are not listened to. Now if only we could get this message across to those who will vote NO cause that what is what England *ahem* needs. 😉

    52. desimond says:

      Nice wee new twist on an old theme from Duggie there, kudos!

    53. Helena Brown says:

      YesGuy, I concur I too have lost all patience with those in England. I was sick to death of arguing with them about just about everything and finally gave up. I have better things to do with my life than waste it on a bunch of people who are so damnably right all the time, even when they are wrong. That said there are lots of decent human beings in England, they are the ones who do not comment.

    54. Macart says:

      @Elliot Bulmer

      Good to see you here and couldn’t agree more. Hoping to see more of the possibilities for a constitution discussed in this run up period. Most especially on the subject civic inclusion in the process.

    55. Jenni Stewart says:

      The only people condemning England to perpetual Tory rule are the voters. If the Tories are democratically elected then those who didn’t vote Conservative need to accept a majority did. I am fed up hearing this.

      Scotland on the other hand has NEVER voted Tory, hence the need for our own democracy.

    56. Helena Brown says:

      Och Desimond, he is back! Duggie is back and the record may have had a tune up but it is still the same music.

    57. HandandShrimp says:

      Well actually in 2010 without Scottish MPs, the Tories would have had a majority and wouldn’t have needed to form a coalition with the Lib Dems

      Hasn’t made a lot of difference though. It seems that Cameron gets most of what he wants and as a pro-European the Liberals are great way of keeping his Euro-sceptics off his back.

      It has all but destroyed the Liberals though.

    58. Murray McCallum says:

      Interesting summary / book review in twitter feed of Prof Dunleavy at LSE

      http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/42463

      The authors argue that “the issues currently confronting Cameron, Clegg, Miliband et al are in fact part of a much wider institutional malaise in Britain.”

      It’s been a good thing to see Scottish voters out in independence referendum meetings and questioning politicians in open view. I hope we keep people engaged in the belief that change is possible.

    59. heedtracker says:

      @ Duggie, not bad ukok fudge today! “Let’s hope the draft constitution being proposed by one party isn’t rushed through and formed into the actual constitution without the people of Scotland being given a chance to have a say on it first.”

      Indeed, except Constitutions get amended all the time.

    60. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Hmm…

      I suppose, if you squeeze a dug’s baws really hard, its bark might be slightly affected.

    61. Duggie says:

      “Scotland on the other hand has NEVER voted Tory”

      Well we did in the 1950s, for their predecessors at least.

    62. desimond says:

      Duggie
      Come on, for a person who likes to be so very very specific in his arguments, you cant go playing that “predecessors” card.

      Shame, you were doing so well too.

    63. Bob W says:

      @Duggie

      One of these days, you’re going to have to accept the inevitable, the minority don’t get to dictate to the majority, even if some of the minority’s views may be valid.

      Remind me, how many MSPs did the Greens get and what was their percentage of the vote, in the 2011 Scottish elections?

    64. HandandShrimp says:

      True Duggie, I think we voted for the Whigs at one point too.

      Just as Blair lurched the Labour party off to the sharp suited US Democrat centre right, Maggie took the Tories off to somewhere else, somewhere foreign to Scottish politics. I don’t think the 1950s have much resonance politically. No one much under 80 participated in those elections.

      That isn’t to say that a more home grown right of centre party could not do better in an independent Scotland but it is unlikely to be anything quite like the current Tory party.

    65. heedtracker says:

      Ye olde Whigs over Scotland? I’ll get my cape.

    66. desimond says:

      Hackney carriage for heedtracker!

    67. K1 says:

      Brilliant Rev, absollutely excellently reasoned argument for why not to vote No. As you say and I wholeheartedly concur with, we would be an example… “demonstrating that there’s a better alternative to the Thatcherite dogma favoured by the Westminster establishment.”

      People are not stupid…and they like good examples of best practice, if it takes them another full frontal assault of the current direction of travel at westminster, for a generation…that is their choice. Don’t undermine our democratic choice in the referendum under the spurious notion that ‘we are letting the (left) side down’. Sharing and pooling, what a crock of ideological crap, we’ll show them what caring and compassion looks like in action.

    68. MajorBloodnok says:

      @heedtracker

      🙂

    69. Morag says:

      BBC spin the news on Abdelbaset al-Megrahi again, the Tripoli welcome and pressure put on him by the SG to drop his appeal.

      No mention of whether he might be innocent or what part the UK government or police had in the conviction.

      Gave Stu an article about the major grounds of appeal, don’t know if he’s going to run it or not. Today would be the day if he is, I would have thought.

    70. Elliot Bulmer says:

      @ Macart

      My next book, due to be published this summer, will devote considerable attention to the transition, the interim constitutional platform, and the subsequent constitution-building process. It draws on international experiences of what has been shown to work (and what does not work, too). I’m currently researching into the constitution-building processes in Tunisia and Egypt: what a difference there is between them!

      It will also discuss a range of topics not really considered in my previous book, including the key question of whether the Constitution should primarily be: (i) a prescriptive ‘covenant’ proclaiming a common vision of the good society, or (ii) a pragmatic ‘charter’ of rights and institutional rules that provides a way for people with different very visions to co-operate and co-exist in a pluralist society. (It is both, of course, since we have both common interests and divergent ones, but this distinction helps us think much more carefully about what we put into the Constitution and how much ‘heavy lifting’ we expect the Constitution to do, particularly with regard to divisive issues like church-state relations.

      (Forgive the plug).

    71. No no no...Yes says:

      Off Topic -just when you think you can’t get any more guff from BT here is the latest:
      What to buy with your £1400 UK dividend:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/12-things-that-1400-uk-dividend-could-buy

      SNP already condemned it:
      http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/jun/treasury-patronising-scots-buzzfeed-list

      Another load of votes added for YES!

    72. bunter says:

      Norman Smith tweets ”Obama warning over Scottish independence. important that the UK stay strong together.

      Eff off Obama. Unbelievable.

    73. CameronB Brodie says:

      Elliot Bulmer
      I’ve previously mentioned constructing a constitution that compels a sustainable society. Perhaps unanswerable at this point, but do you think such a document is possible, if desirable?

    74. Macart says:

      @Elliot Bulmer

      Completely shameless Elliot. 😀

      Interesting points though. Of the two forms mentioned I would suspect the second to be more likely in the absence of any second house. Something that limits the powers of parliament in accordance with the populations mandate. It would be interesting to see if collectively a third way is possible however.

      Look forward to the read.

    75. desimond says:

      meant to add, lats night “Quote of the Day”

      “An Independent Scotland would have a higher deficit than UK” – Danny Alexander

      Do you think any Uk politican will ever reference and discuss the actual debt rather than just the rate its increasing?

    76. Macart says:

      @heedtracker

      Doffs bonnet. 😀

    77. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The journey from no to yes as inspired by an older person I met who I had turned on to wings and who subsequently made the jump we hope for all to make.”

      Michty. POETRY BAN TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED.

    78. bookie from hell says:

      press going big on Obama comments,UK stronger together

      what about his pint of Guinness and Irish roots?

    79. Jim Marshall says:

      TYRAN

      Bizarre. Sure this is not a hoax ?

    80. Training Day says:

      I feel sorry for Americans who voted for Obama in the hope that he might do something, and ended up with this meretricious, vacuous, historically illiterate dolt.

    81. HandandShrimp says:

      Obama isn’t in the slightest bit interested. They are having a G7 meeting and Cameron has no doubt been pleading for back up. I wonder what he has promised in return.

    82. CameronB Brodie says:

      I just happened to be telling the Yanks about this, the other night, about the FO going around the world courting foreign disapprove of Scotland’s self-determination. I left a link to the donations page here, and an appeal to those whole believed in the principles of self-determination, democratic accountability, constitutional government and the belief that all are born equal. There is always hope. 🙂

    83. bookie from hell says:

      Douglas Alexander on Obama’s comments. It has been issued by the Better Together campaign.

      I welcome this important contribution by President Obama. His clear statement of support for the UK staying together will resonate with many of us here in Scotland.

      As a global statesman President Obama understands that interdependence is a defining feature of our modern world, and that building bridges, not putting up new barriers, is the challenge of our generation.

    84. Onwards says:

      I wonder how many people in the street actually know the population difference between Scotland and the UK?

      I remember seeing clips from a US chat show where they asked basic general knowledge and geography questions in the street, and some of the answers are astounding.
      It wouldn’t surprise me if was the same here.

      The imbalance is such that Scottish votes can occasionally swing a closely fought UK election.

      But the Tories could get NO votes in Scotland, and we are still likely to get a Tory government.

    85. bjsalba says:

      O/T this article in my local paper caught my eye

      http://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/News/40000-guns-across-the-Highlands-and-Islands-03062014.htm

      It starts:”ALMOST 40,000 rifles and shotguns are in private hands across the Highlands and Islands, it has been revealed.”

      Later on it says: “Most legally held weapons are owned by farmers and on shooting estates.”

      I don’t know much about guns but the picture alongside looks like a handgun to me, not a shotgun or rifle.

      Apparently a small number of police have been armed (it is not specified what with).

      Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Liberal Democrat MP Danny Alexander saw fit to say – “It is hard to understand why the SNP and their new centralised police force are determined to have armed police routinely patrolling our streets.”

      Typical misdirection/giving a false impression. I somehow don’t think the police will be carrying too many handguns on the streets of our highland towns when they are trying to deal with rifles and shotguns on shooting estates and farmland.

      Anything to knock the SNP government. Pretty typical Courier, pretty typical Danny Alexander.

    86. Training Day says:

      ‘As a global statesman President Obama understands that interdependence is a defining feature of our modern world’

      So the historically illiterate Obama will be demanding a return for his country to the British Empire?

      You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    87. HandandShrimp says:

      As a global statesman President Obama understands that interdependence is a defining feature of our modern world, and that building bridges, not putting up new barriers, is the challenge of our generation and he will use drone hellfire missiles on anyone who disagrees

      Dougie/Danny/whatever’s full quote

      😉

    88. goldenayr says:

      Just opened this in my email.

      “the BBC.

      Would you be interested in taking part in a short customer survey?

      Audiences are at the heart of everything we do and we are always looking to improve the service we offer to our viewers and listeners. We would welcome your feedback. Our short survey is conducted by an independent agency and will take around 10 minutes to complete. If you would be interested in taking part, please access the questionnaire using our instructions below.

      Please click (once only – do not “double-click”) on this hyperlink or paste it into your browser:

      http://survey3.cobalt-sky.com/surveys/p114355?id=CAS-2712152-N6JKT2&casenumber=CAS-2712152-N6JKT2

      Here’s one bunch that won’t be getting any pity.

      First though I’m going to check out the survey company.Their name is similar to an SiS cover org.

    89. CameronB Brodie says:

      Isn’t Obama the first US President (that we know of), to have ordered the extra-judicial assassination of US citizens?

    90. bunter says:

      Westminster and the NO campaign must be failing and looks like they’ve roped a dope to help them out.

      Uk Gov must be struggling.

    91. misteralz says:

      Number six on that lying list. I spend five times that per year in petrol. 🙁

    92. LizM says:

      I love the comment by Libby Brooks on attending Gordon Browns 1st official speech of the regulated capaign

      “Then Gordon Brown is on. And he really is on, greeted by whoops and cheers, smiling as naturally as he ever does. Striding across the stage, the Kirkcaldy colossus. He even manages to make the dread phrase ‘pool and share resources’ sound emotionally resonant.

      Then something goes awry. His speech becomes a series of pro-union bingo references, pool and share/more powers/proud Scot. Doesn’t the audience deserve a bit more.

      He repeats ‘pool and share’ so often that, by the time he gets round to the NHS and organ donation it sounds as though he is suggesting that we should pool and share our livers while we’re still using them”

      Must admit that piece made me giggle ????

    93. LizM says:

      My wee giggly thingy came out weird, a bit like GB.:-)

    94. goldenayr says:

      Checking out cobalt-sky and came across this.

      http://juliagasper.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/jon-snow-calls-english-ignorant.html

      I can feel the love.

    95. bookie from hell says:

      Barack Onawma

      a planted question-press conference

    96. scottish_skier says:

      LOL re Obama.

      ‘For the Scottish people to decide’.

      Fairly qualified statement giving a nod to the UK but not advising Scotland in any way particularly.

      If I was BT I so wouldn’t use this to suggest the US is backing Britain / against Scottish independence. That will just generate Yes votes.

      An equivalent would be reactions in the SE of England to Angela Merkel saying she believes people in the UK are better voting to stay in the EU.

      To quote from the BBC article:

      Lord Malloch-Brown, who was a minister in Gordon Brown’s government, had previously said the US would be wise to keep out of the Scottish independence debate claiming “foreign, unsolicited advice is only going to anger Scots.”

      Yep!

    97. Dcanmore says:

      @Training Day @Handandshrimp

      I take it that on the 4th of July the United States will now be celebrating ‘Interdependence Day’

    98. Grouse Beater says:

      Dear People of Scatchland

      Stay with England.
      We need to keep our nukes in your backyard.
      Yours (but not really)
      President Obama

    99. Andy-B says:

      Thanks Thomas an interesting article, as you so eloquently put it, Scottish independence, may help people south of the border in the long run.

    100. CameronB Brodie says:

      goldenayr
      I just tried commenting but they wouldn’t have it. 🙂

      Dry your eyes dear, it will help un-cloud your vision.

    101. Fergus Green says:

      Well done Stuart. This is one of your best articles and one which should hit home with Labour voters. You win a coconut.

    102. TickTock says:

      When you think about it’s been inevitable that the oligarchs who control Obama would instruct him to come out against Scottish democracy and independence. Only been a question of when.

      UK will have been warning them that too wee too poor Scotland just might be waking up to the fact that it’s not too wee too poor to be independent, that in fact it’ll be far better off without the UK, and that the population just might be about to shove a large hot implement right up the arse of the UK end of the US/UK global Ponzi & war syndicate.

      BitterTogether and the MSM will be having orgasms about this, will be crowing about it and plastering it all over the place. Obama’s “opinion” along with the soon to be immensely hyped up devo max stuff looks like being their main ploys to scare undecideds and soft no’s into voting against their own interests.

      No doubt many will fall for it, whether it’ll be enough to swing the vote on the 18th to no or not depends on the ability of activists on the ground, the alternative media and blogosphere and the strategists at the Yes campaign to get the truth in front of enough people.

      If they can, then hey easy peasy, all we need to worry about then is vote rigging and false flag events.

    103. Mat says:

      Off topic but please, please, somebody think of the poor wee roots.

      How much have Vote Nob Orders raised since we entered the ‘official’ phase?

      Coming up on a week, so lots and lots of thousands from the ordinary people, yes? Sort of.

      I’ve checked in every day, even watched the hideous song.

      Ready?

      £20. Twenty. Twenty quid.

    104. K1 says:

      oops…sorry Thomas, in my haste I complimented the Rev, rather than your good self for this post…my bad. 🙂

    105. gordoz says:

      O/T.

      News of the big ‘British Together’ Push in Glasgow (watch out for those Union Jacks)

      Taking place on Monday June 9th between 10am -12noon, somewhere in central Glasgow, Punting the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ / ‘Pooling and sharing’ / ‘No more pound’ pish :
      Oh and more powers guaranteed (what a laugh; are they!) and the strength (?), security (?) and stability (stability – there was no crash) of the UK.

      Apparently – they don’t have the deep pockets of the lottery winners to help blanket the country in advertising: (Their words) – But they do have an army of activists – so they say.

      Just watch out folks – in case you have not seen this, you have been warned.

    106. Andy-B says:

      Scotland is the most highly educated country in Europe, unless you’re Johann Lamont, who thinks Scots aren’t programmed to make decisions.

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/uk-statisticians-scotland-is-the-most-highly-educated-country-in-europe.1401977220?utm_source=www.heraldscotland.com&utm_medium=RSS%20Feed&utm_campaign=Scottish%20News

    107. seanair says:

      Strangely BBC Scotland Teletext does NOT quote Obama saying these things—merely a reference to retaining a strong ,robust, united ally and it was “up to the people of Scotland”.

    108. David says:

      OH LOOK a Squirrel

    109. JWil says:

      My own thoughts on this are that people will get bored of having the same party in power for several terms and throw the Tories out, especially if they get too big for their boots and start introducing outrageous policies. The makeup of the Tory party may also change with time and move further to the right which may not suit everyone.

      The electorate may even push for some type of proportional representation eventually.

    110. Bob W says:

      @JWiL

      “start” I thought they already were.

    111. Wee Jonny Campbell says:

      Whenever I read or hear people say that independence will force a Tory government on England for a generation, I say SO FUCK. For the first time and what may be the only time in our lives we have a chance to get the fuck away from these bastards who see us as shite on their shoes, and we’re supposed to say “ach well then, let’s vote no and keep getting pumped by the cocks in Westminster”. Fuck that. This is our time. If England votes for Tories then that’s their prerogative. Why the fuck should we consider them in our most important time? Like I said, this is our time.

      The same goes for Labour, Lib Dems and Tories once we’re free of them. Why should they even be given houseroom. Get them all to fuck.

    112. Wee Jonny Campbell says:

      I was gona apologise for swearing in my last comment then remembered we’re all adults.
      I’ve been aff the swearing for over four years now but seeing oor wee country being belittled gits meh goat.

    113. goldenayr says:

      Wee Jonny Campbell

      I could beat you on the expletive score when it comes Westminster.

      One of the reasons I no longer work for them.Ministers don’t like it when you air your views with passion.

    114. Croompenstein says:

      @LizM – He repeats ‘pool and share’ so often

      Is no one ever going to ask the doughball about pooling and sharing Trident and associated radioactive waste?

    115. David Anderson says:

      Thanks Stu, it is after all a tribute to your good self and the work of wings :-).. And I wasn’t aware there had been a ban!

    116. Clootie says:

      I prefer it if we avoided swearing. The same issues anger us all but many new readers may be put off by it. The site is too important to have this become the norm. With a few variations on the letters you can still make the point.

    117. Better Together St Kilda says:

      As in – If any punt sucks?

    118. Naldo says:

      There is no left wing side of the NO campaign. Anyone campaigning for NO is in favour of an undemocratic, war mongering, post imperial, post imperial kid on super power pile of shite. It is not even remotely left wing to hope that the UK continues to exist. All true lefties will vote AYE. The rest are lying to themselves. They don’t fool anyone else. They should stop fooling themselves.

    119. Les Wilson says:

      Just watched that little creep Douglas Alexander on STV, Rhona giving him an easy ride.He just spouted what he wanted, just keeps talking non stop. When we vote YES, no forgetting him, hope he goes and stays near his idols.
      I seriously cannot stand him, little worm.

    120. Les Wilson says:

      McDougal on 2014 absolutely gloating about Obama, leaflets are going out now with Obama on them. Got a prior nod??

      Blair Jenkins just too soppy for me, no attacks back, he needs to bite back, get angry, something!

    121. Croompenstein says:

      @Les Wilson – I agree, the deid lice is fallin aff him he needs to get animated and more forceful. He should watch the FM when he turns that wee bit angry at the end of his retorts and try that.

    122. Les Wilson says:

      Croompenstein says

      He needs to find his passion!

    123. JWil says:

      It looks like Cameron has co-opted Obama into doing him a “favour”.

      Not sure I like Rhona from STV’s style of interview. It all looks like a mindless game of tennis where she keeps batting from her prepared prompt sheet, but nothing very original or spontaneous coming from her. Kind of amateurish.

    124. JWil says:

      You could not get anyone smoother than Dougie Alexander, except perhaps Jim Murphy who was also called up to the plate,veins in neck straining, to put his tuppence worth in on the Obama remarks.

    125. Ken500 says:

      There has been interference on the Bateman site for weeks, The lying Unionists are obviously trying to take it down. They are corrupt beyond belief. They have done the same on Wings.

    126. Ken500 says:

      What has Obama got on the Western leaders – spying on them. – blackmail?

    127. HandandShrimp says:

      I have to say that No’s orgasm over Obama’s rather throw away and caveated intervention is slightly perplexing. Are they honestly saying that they think this is important. Obviously a total Blairite like Alexander who was part of the cabal that was in bed with Bush would not sneeze without permission from the Whitehouse but has he forgotten how many marched against them?

      I think Yes can use this intervention to our advantage. Let’s remind people exactly where they stood over Blair’s unconditional acceptance of all US foreign policy. Let’s show how much No is still part of that cabal. How it favours unprincipled undemocratic power over genuine aspirations for self determination.

      I hope on the 4th of July the Scottish Government send Obama warm well wishes on the celebration of US independence and how we look forward to having our own independence day.

    128. Wee Jonny says:

      HandandShrimp
      “I hope on the 4th of July the Scottish Government send Obama warm well wishes on the celebration of US independence and how we look forward to having our own independence day.”
      Ace.



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