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The Scottish Independence Movement Will Now be Very Difficult to Stop
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Predictions of the break-up of the UK may be reaching a crescendo, but they are scarcely new. In 1707, Jonathan Swift wrote a poem deriding the Act of Union between England and Scotland, which had just been passed, for seeking to combine two incompatible peoples in one state: “As if a man in making posies/ Should bundle thistles up with roses”. He goes on to say that political differences would inevitably sink the whole enterprise, as “tossing faction will o’erwhelm/ Our crazy double-bottomed realm”.

Swift was confident that the ramshackle project would founder, but it has taken 313 years for his prediction to look as if it might come true – and even then the split may not be quite as imminent as some imagine.

It is true that the last 20 opinion polls show that most Scots now favour independence, but the shift against the union is only a few years old, as is the dominance of the Scottish National Party at the polls.

Compare this short span with the Irish struggle for home rule, which was at its height from 1885 to 1918, when those seeking self-rule through constitutional means were replaced by Sinn Fein and unilateral secession. Many of the arguments used against Irish separatism – the most notable being that it made no economic sense – are now used against the Scots and are likely to be equally ineffectual.

The downplaying of Scottish self-determination on the grounds that it is less important than bread-and-butter issues by Boris Johnson during his one-day visit to Scotland on Thursday sounds absurdly hypocritical, coming as it does from a prime minister who only has the job because he promoted British sovereignty above all else in leaving the EU. Doubtless he and his advisers recognise this contradiction all too well since the purpose of his trip to Scotland in the middle of the pandemic was evidently to rebrand Johnson in Scottish eyes as “Mr Vaccine” rather than “Mr Brexit”.

It is a measure of just how rattled the British government must be by Scottish separatism that it should hope that the appearance of Johnson in a white coat claiming, contrary to the evidence, that Scots voters consider independence to be “irrelevant”, would help turn the political tide. He claimed self-destructively that giving priority to self-rule over economic benefits is “like saying you don’t mind what you eat as long as it is with a spoon”.

Catchy phrases like this must have the SNP leaders rocking with secret glee, as Johnson’s patronising words serve only to remind Scottish voters of the two main reason why they are more inclined towards secession today than in the referendum of 2014: Britain’s departure from the EU and Johnson’s shambolic response to coronavirus last year, compared to that of the competent-looking Nicola Sturgeon.

Johnson and his Brexiteer government are being force-fed the same political lesson that they once taught to others, which is that once a nationalist movement has gained momentum, become a mark of identity for people, and is a vehicle for social and economic grievances, then it is very difficult to stop it.

Yet self-rule comes in different shades of practical independence. Even if Scotland and Northern Ireland shift significantly further away from direct control by the UK government, the degree to which they can freely go their own way will be dictated by the underlying balance of power, as the Brexiteers have been discovering to their cost.

Competing pressures for union and disunion are normally analysed in the context of the UK alone, but it is more realistic and illuminating to look at them in relation to the British Isles as a whole.

Ireland gained a large measure of independence in 1921 and was neutral in the Second World War, but stayed to a surprising extent in the British sphere of influence because of the disparity in political and economic strength and the common labour market. But the British exit from the EU, while Ireland stays inside, made the two countries much more equal when it came to negotiations, particularly when there is a US administration sympathetic to the Irish.

One of the many things that Arlene Foster and her Democratic Unionist Party failed to understand was that no British leader wants to quarrel with Brussels and Washington in order to go along with the wishes of one million unionist/Protestants in Northern Ireland. A sign of the times is that few in the rest of the UK were much concerned that a chunk of their country, in the shape of Northern Ireland, remains bizarrely inside the EU and the commercial EU/UK frontier now runs down the Irish Sea.

Yet this does not necessarily mean that Irish unity is around the corner, or even the corner after that. Demography may be changing but, just as the unionist/Protestant community could not monopolise control when they were the majority, the same will be true of the nationalist/Catholic side as they become more numerous. Whatever the outcome of a border poll, in the unlikely event of it taking place in the near future, communal allegiances will stay the same. The basic premise of the Good Friday Agreement remains correct – both communities must have a veto over radical constitutional changes they do not like, if peace is to be preserved.

Ireland, north and south, is full of ominous warning for Johnson and his cabinet as they try to block and reverse the Scottish move towards independence. There are delicious ironies in watching them repeat, almost word for word, the old Remainer arguments about the advantages of economic union with a larger entity, which they once denounced. In an early period, the Conservatives had likewise failed “to kill home rule by kindness” by social and economic reform in Ireland.

ORDER IT NOW

These measures may have mitigated historic hatreds but had little lasting impact as the Home Rulers went on winning elections. It was frustration at the failure to win home rule by constitutional means, despite repeated endorsement at the polls, that handed the initiative to those advocating unconstitutional methods. In addition to the armed uprising of 1916, the newly elected Sinn Fein MPs left the Westminster parliament and established their own in Dublin.

Practical secessionism like this may still be over the horizon in Scotland, but nationalist movements everywhere in the world almost invariably respond to the path towards self-determination being closed off by becoming more rather than less radical.

The legitimacy and the visibility of the Scottish demand for self-rule will be confirmed if the SNP wins a majority in the Scottish parliament in the election in May. But Johnson’s dash through Scotland – his precise itinerary concealed to avoid protesters – highlights a crucial change in the political landscape of Britain that is already under way.

“The Scottish Question” now occupies the place once held by “the Irish Question” as a divisive issue that will dominate the political agenda of the UK for decades to come. After all those years, Swift may turn out to have been right.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Boris Johnson, Brexit, Britain, Scotland 
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  1. Alfa158 says:

    It might be to the benefit of those of us in the US if you could write another article reviewing the issues driving the modern movement for Scottish independence. I think we generally have a vague idea that there used to be a protracted Braveheart struggle to keep Scotland independent centuries ago, and today Scotland is heavily Labor. Is the drive for independence primarily a movement to preserve a Labor welfare state, and rejoin the EU?
    There doesn’t seem to be much else motivating it from our point of view over here. Scotland and England wouldn’t seem to have much else to distinguish themselves, as English is the default language for both, and they seem economically integrated. Additionally, how strong can English and Scottish nationalist sentiments still be in two countries going down the same path of becoming a mix of Native, Caribbean, African, Eastern European, and Asian demographics?

  2. lysias says:

    The current scandals involving Sturgeon and her husband may well soon result in the Scottish National Party being superseded by more radical separatists, just as Sinn Fein superseded Redmond’s Irish Parliamentary Party.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
    , @Mr. XYZ
  3. @lysias

    Sturgeon and her phony white wine separatist crowd have continued the hijacking of the SNP that took place post EEC referendum. The SNP opposed joining the EEC, as I understand it, because it saw the EEC as a threat to sovereignty, and campaigned hard against joining. The upper Highlands and Islands outright rejected the EEC, and votes were close in more rural areas. It was the heavily populated areas that carried the day. The EU is the EEC on steroids. Why would any “nationalist” party want to lose sovereignty to a different political entity. That would be like Canada`s Quebec separatists saying they want to independent from Canada, but join the US.

    • Agree: Sean
    • Replies: @Gordo
  4. @Alfa158

    Alfa, as an Englishman I (many of us) am/are bewildered by the Scottish fanatical independence ideas. The Scots seem to divide into sensible and fanatical. The fanatical hate the English Bastards (a chant I was subjected to on a train), and the sensible Scots are embarrassed by them. The beatings the Scots received at the hands of the English 500 or so years ago are replayed as though they were recent (King Edward – longshanks). The Barnet formula allocates significantly more public finance money to the Scots per head of population because the Scotland is so poor. They are supported by English tax money. The Scots waters are oil rich and they believe there is wealth to be had. If the English were given a vote we would get rid of them by an overwhelming majority. We are sick of their wining!

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  5. Sean says:

    If the basic premise of the Good Friday Agreement is that both communities must have a veto over radical constitutional changes, can someone explain why the detachment of Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK in regards to Brexit customs and border regulation is not a violation of the veto of the Unionists (“Protestants”) of Northern Ireland?

    In relation to the status of Northern Ireland, the Irish have triumphed over Britain; there is no denying it is a famous victory and shows the power of their alliances with the EU and US. However, Ireland is still relatively weak in relation to Britain, and Brexit was done not just against the wishes of the EU, but also the US. Ireland counts on American influence over Britain, however that is waning, as could be seen with Boris’s (humiliatingly rescinded under US pressure) decision to give Huawei the 5G contract for the UK. The US, EU and Ireland are fated to inexorable estrangement from Britain. Slow but sure.

    While the South have won a battle, the ‘war’ will keep going on. Eire has started something that it cannot finish, and the historical precedents are all for widening division between the UK and those trying to impose on its territory. The Irish Republic have picked their side, we will see if they can deal with the consequences.

    The Scottish King became in addition the King of England, that is how Scotland and England became one. Later it was cemented into a formal Union because Scotland’s historical independence, not least its alliances with the continent, had led to a succession of military and commercial (Darien) disasters.

    The former leader of the SNP was tried for attempted rape earlier this year. A large minority of SNP supporters who voted for independence also voted for Brexit. So the SNP might win another independence referendum if they campaigned promising to leave the EU and the UK, but the Brexit referendum result is not equivalent to one for independence at all. The SNP are adamant that they are for ‘Independence in Europe’ (the EU). They would would decisively lose another independence referendum, especially as the era of high oil prices has passed. So the trend within Britain is not schismogenesis, but a far closer union over-against the rest of the world.

    • Replies: @MarkU
  6. lloyd says: • Website

    Home rule and independence are not quite the same thing. The Irish home rulers wanted their own Parliament and law making on the lines of Great Britain’s white colonies. Full independence since the Middle Ages has never made much sense for the Emerald Isle. It took violent conflict to compel Southern Ireland into complete independence. Even then, largely symbolic. Yahoo has its UK head office in Dublin. Independence movements are fostered by the globalists as useful idiots. It took about a week for the new SNP Government to capitulate to the clutches of the Zionist Lobby. In China which should be a fervent breeding ground for independence movements with its actual regional and dialect differences not to speak of seperate dynasties, the Chinese people are blissfully ignorant. I asked my College students in China, their family origins. Their genetic differences stand out like sore thumbs, from Mongol to South Asian. I just got a blank, I am glad to say. In New Zealand, Maori tribal nationalism had all but gone, then it was stirred up by the MSM and now it is in the forefront of every issue. Absurdistan which is the customary name now by the older generation of Kiwis in counterpoint to the Maori name of New Zealand Aotearoa which is being wormed into the discourse by the MSM. I find it delicious too, the SNP’s arguments against the burgeoning independence movements by the Orkney and Shetland Island populations.

  7. Sean says:
    @Alfa158

    The movement for Scottish independence is a function of oil prices. The main problem for the SNP is they lost the last independence referendum even though it was held in 2014, when the economic case made sense. Scotland’s Oil is high cost and the golden age of oil prices is now well and truly finished.

    In the seventies when the SNP won seats in Parliament with the slogan “It’s Scotland’s Oil”, Scottish Labour dubbed the Scottish National Party the “Tartan Tories”. That era is long gone, the SNP now outflank Labour on the feelgood Left, and are very enthusiastically pro replacement immigration on demographic and business grounds.

    Ordinary SNP supporters don’t have much say on their party’s immigration policies, and although they would not like the higher level of immigration in a Scotland that had left the UK, I don’t think that would stop it happening. Western working people just don’t seem to be able to do that anywhere in relation to non European immigration.

    • Agree: 36 ulster
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Curmudgeon
  8. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Alfa158

    Additionally, how strong can English and Scottish nationalist sentiments still be in two countries going down the same path of becoming a mix of Native, Caribbean, African, Eastern European, and Asian demographics?

    Scotland is considerably whiter (and also has much less Jews) than England is, no?

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  9. Mr. XYZ says:
    @lysias

    Bannockburn 2.0 2034? 😉

  10. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Sean

    I think that you’re underestimating the effect of Braveheart, haggis, and kilts on Scottish independence! 😉

    • Replies: @Sean
  11. If Mr Cockburn says Scottish independence is on the cards it might be safe to bet the other way. The SNP is only at the beginning of coming unwrapped. Mrs Sturgeon will be slow grilled and it will be a joy.

  12. In 1707, Jonathan Swift wrote a poem deriding the Act of Union between England and Scotland, which had just been passed, for seeking to combine two incompatible peoples in one state:

    Notably, with both the jury-rigged union of the American states and the states of the British Isles,
    you find – in both cases – a conniving issue of the Hamilton’s, arranging their own wealth in exchange for dominion over the populace.

  13. Athena says:

    [email protected]
    MOSSAD IN SCOTLAND?

    (Excerpts)

    https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2020/10/mossad-in-scotland.html

    [MORE]

    ”AN ‘INDEPENDENT’ SCOTLAND WOULD NOT BE INDEPENDENT
    It would appear that there is a cunning plan to give Scotland a sort of ‘fake’ independence.

    The idea is that the Scots will be given as much independence as the North American Indians, the Australian Aborigines or the good people of Diego Garcia.

    In the UK parliament, in 2012, Angus Robertson is the Scottish National Party leader and the spokesman on Foreign affairs and Defence.

    (Angus Robertson is currently the Deputy Leader of the SNP)

    He and his colleagues supported the ‘no-fly’ zone over Libya, which involved the bombing of Libya and the killing of civilians.

    Robertson has confirmed that an ‘independent’ Scotland would join UN and Nato-led military operations abroad, if sanctioned by the UN.

    (Independent Scotland could join Nato, say SNP sources)

    Scottish National Party (SNP) sources say that the SNP is scrapping opposition to Nato membership.

    An ‘independent’ Scotland could thus be a tool of the Pentagon.

    SNP leader Alex Salmond is suggesting that an ‘independent’ Scotland would:

    1. Keep sterling and the Bank of England as its central bank, by forming a currency union with the rest of the UK.

    2. Keep the monarchy.

    3. Keep the BBC as a Scottish broadcaster.

    Military analysts believe an independent Scotland may have to retain Trident nuclear weapons as a price for defence co-operation with the UK.

    (Independent Scotland could join Nato, say SNP sources)

    So, an ‘independent’ Scotland would not really be independent.

    Rupert Murdoch is supporting Salmond.

    This explains why the SNP government in Edinburgh has:

    1. Defended the guilty verdict in the ‘rigged’ Lockerbie trial

    2. Appeared to be part of the cover-up in the Hollie Greig child-abuse case

    3. Appeared to support the establishment of al Qaeda in Libya.

    4. Appeared to turn a blind eye to CIA rendition flights.

    4. Obtained the warm support of Rupert Murdoch”

  14. @Alfa158

    The fanatical English Ourselves Alone movement was successful in giving up the vote in the EU. The Scots and Irish want full EU membership, including the vote. Both want access to the European common market and both have that for trade to a considerable extent.

    The Scots and Irish also want free labor movement with the EU, not just little England. They want to play with the big boys. The English want to pretend they’re big boys and, once upon a time, they were. [email protected]

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  15. Nick J says:

    I believe in the primacy of the nation state as the Wests basic political unit. Scotland, if a true nation should be independent.

    In being independent they do need to recognise that the English and European taxpayers are not charities. Im sure both see the Scots as a fiscal drain. Both will be delighted to cast Scotland loose.

  16. Miha says:

    The SNP wants Scotland (lowest life expectancy in Western Europe) to join the EU as an independent country. This will be a long arduous process taking several years and will be predicated on Scotland adopting the Euro (essential requirement by the EU) which has proved such a success for Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece as everyone has noticed. Meanwhile England (using Sterling) is Scotland’s biggest trading partner. Obviously a golden future awaits.

  17. @Mr. XYZ

    Scotland is considerably whiter (and also has much less Jews) than England is, no?

    Right on both counts. Indeed, for the last 100 years Scotland has been leaking Jews at an impressive rate, largely due to migration elsewhere. There are now only 8,000 of them. Their influence on business life was always minimal, now it’s non-existent. Rather like the Mafia, Jews go elsewhere if they can’t control the turf.

    • Thanks: Supply and Demand
  18. The Scottish Independence Movement Will Now be Very Difficult to Stop

    Practical secessionism like this may still be over the horizon in Scotland

    As ever, more incoherence from Cockburn.

  19. England should ship third-world immigrants to Scotland in proportion to the number of Scotch MP’s who voted for Blair’s immigration reform. If 90% voted for them, they should get 90% of them.

  20. @Alfa158

    a protracted Braveheart struggle to keep Scotland independent centuries ago

    You been listening to the hebe media again.
    Hadrians wall was built to stop the English attacking Scotland, right?

  21. @Sean

    The movement for Scottish independence is a function of oil prices.

    It would be difficult to say “is” at this point. Blair re-drew boundaries in 1999, that turned a large chunk of “Scottish” oil into “English” oil. The there is a dispute who, at the end of the day, would end up controlling the oil.
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/01/scotlandengland-maritime-boundaries/
    Otherwise I agree. Sturgeon and her crowd are treasonous gasbags.
    https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/our-national-poet/

  22. The Independence movement of Scotland reminds me a lot of the talk that has recently been in America in the South and parts of the Midwest of seceding from the US, Scotland feels alienated from the elites in London who are you could say very much like those in New York and Washington and many parts of Scotland have not to be honest been helped much by a government that spends all it’s money largely in and around London so that the parasitic finance class can enjoy a pretty decent standard of living. The key difference though is that the Scots Independence movement is very leftist but in a more European manner but that is probably down to the heavy Scandinavian influence that is present in Scotland and so in many ways they do resemble a Scandinavian country almost as much as they resemble the English. Scotland is certainly more egalitarian and less of a slave of big business i think than England is, their culture is more one where you are viewed by what you can bring, not by whether you are posh or not as is so often the case in England.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  23. Wee Nicola Sturgeon will do her duty and sabotage the independence movement from within. The Scots stand no chance.

  24. @Alfa158

    Have ye nay heard of ‘hybrid vigour’, sonny?

  25. @Sane Person

    Perhaps the Scots recall the more recent Highland Clearances, a small genocide by English standards, but one that still rankles.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  26. It would be really ironic that an independent Scotland would be governed by a political party whose personnel hate the Scottish people and won’t promote their interests as a people.

  27. oliver elkington says:

    Scotland feels alienated from the elites in London who are you could say very much like those in New York and Washington and many parts of Scotland have not to be honest been helped much by a government that spends all it’s money largely in and around London so that the parasitic finance class can enjoy a pretty decent standard of living.

    I have no quarrel with Scots, English, Irish, Welsh etc.. not the least due to ancestry from all the above, but I think you are committing the offence of selecting a particular moment in the arc of history to draw all your conclusions from.

    Off the top of my head, I think it was Bates who proffered the info that Fawkes and Catesby had commented on their desire to “blow the scotch beggars back to their mountains”, in the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot.

    Its perfectly normal to prefer ones own, and ones’ settled national routine, as well as to limit access to a nation state’s interior to those who have membership in the society. The empirical opposite is actually the unhealthy and unworkable option, in practice.

    Villages in Northern Italy or Switzerland long maintained a confederated governance alongside neighbors of different backgrounds, with little to no internal conflict, simply because they each largely abided by a recognition that this particular locale is ‘our place’. The German, French, Italian or Slavic cultures have their own places which cooperated across cultural lines, but respected the dominance of the other communities in their traditional places.

    The long forgotten mass migration from Scotland into London in particular, to the glee of industrialists and labor speculators culminated in the James Aitken / John the Painter outrage, throughout the English countryside. Aitken was only one of many such Scots career criminals to stalk the highways of England at this time,

    although quite possibly the only notable Antiquarian Bibliophile amongst the rank of transient cut-throats.

  28. Long Overdue—Act of Union was mixing clay and steel —doomed to fail.

  29. Scottish ‘independence’ — just like Catalan ‘independence’ — would be fake anyway, so it’s hard to care. Trading London for Brussels will not change much. It’d be just like trading one pimp for another: in the end, you’re still a ho!

    • Replies: @A123
  30. Gordo says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Sturgeon and her phony white wine separatist crowd have continued the hijacking of the SNP that took place post EEC referendum. The SNP opposed joining the EEC, as I understand it, because it saw the EEC as a threat to sovereignty, and campaigned hard against joining. The upper Highlands and Islands outright rejected the EEC, and votes were close in more rural areas. It was the heavily populated areas that carried the day. The EU is the EEC on steroids. Why would any “nationalist” party want to lose sovereignty to a different political entity. That would be like Canada`s Quebec separatists saying they want to independent from Canada, but join the US.

    Correct in every detail.

  31. Seriously, who cares. All this fussling over a nation or two whose only reliable product is a never ending supply of costume dramas for PBS.

    • LOL: showmethereal
  32. MarkU says:
    @Sean

    The former leader of the SNP was tried for attempted rape earlier this year.

    And acquitted of all charges. I don’t think it was fair to leave that bit out, he was falsely accused as a means of removing him from the running.

    • Replies: @Sean
  33. A123 says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    Trading London for Brussels will not change much.

    There would be change. All for the worse. Scotland is 1:4 in the UK, which gives it significant leverage. Scotland would only be 1:28+ in the EU which would make it roadkill, unless it could join a regional grouping.

    It is hard to see why Scotland would want to leave a thriving UK to join a failing & moribund EU teetering on the edge of an abyss. Does anyone really believe that the people of Scotland want to change from the GB Pound to the doomed Euro?

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @Miro23
  34. MarkU says:

    Personally I think the next referendum on Scottish independence should be open to the whole of the UK. I am English but I would certainly vote for Scottish independence. I think the time has come to recognise that the independence thing has gone on far too long, sooner or later it will happen, we may as well get it over with. The problem with a large proportion of Scots is that they have an entirely negative sense of identity, by which I mean that being NOT English is the only identity they lay claim to. What they would do without Sassenachs to hate I really don’t know. Nicola Sturgeon and the ‘Me Too’ crowd, which she shamelessly used to nobble her opponent, are thoroughly toxic and we English will not miss them, not even a bit.

    One small but vital point, if Scotland can secede from the union then some parts of it should be allowed to secede from Scotland and remain part of the union if they vote to do so.

  35. Sean says:
    @MarkU

    I think they overcharged him, for what was drunken indecent assaults on the staff at his official residence when he was first minister years ago. Giong back a bit Salmond was a 26 years old civil servant when he married his 43 year old boss of the time, make of that what you will.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9127757/Alex-Salmond-accuses-Nicola-Sturgeon-misleading-parliament.html

    You are perhaps forgetting that Alex Salmond (a former oil economist) is the former leader who basically shaped the modern SNP into a socialist party (they consistently outflank Scottish Labour from the Left on welfare benefits and refugees/ immigration) , is accusing not the basically English ran Conservatives and Labour, but members of his own party including the current SNP leader and ‘First Minister’ of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon of being the ones who were out to get him.

    In 2014, the SNP lost the independence referendum when most Scottish people voting did so against independence, Salmond resigned as First Minister of Scotland in November 2014 and Sturgeon, who Salmond’s support had been instrumental in making SNP leader, was the only candidate to stand for the First Minister vacancy. Salmond won the Westminster seat for a Scottish constituency and thus became an SNP Member of the UK Parliament in London. He became their Foreign Affairs Spokesman and lost his seat after two years in 2017. He then got a Russia Today tv show (Assange had one too as I recall). Salmond looked very obese at this time. He had been being embarrassed by a lot of expense claims for restaurants and taxis as First Minister, and has a reputation among journalists as a rather heavy drinker.

    Then the accusations came out and he was charged. Salmond voluntarily left the SNP in 2018. Despite pressure from the all the other parties, Sturgeon had never even suspended him from the party while he the attempted rape allegations were the subject of a police investigation. Salmond was no threat to Sturgeon at all, she had achieved fantastic results post referendum over the once dominant Scottish Scottish Labour. It is true that under her the SNP lost more than a third of its seats in the general election of 2017 but still was far ahead of anything Salmond achieved. Framing Salmond for rape does not seem a very tidy way of neutralising him, and would be cutting off their nose to spite their face for the SNP. Hardly necessarily for Sturgeon, when Salmond had already made made a fool of himself on RT by portraying Russia as innocent of the Salisbury nerve gas poisoning.

  36. Anon[250] • Disclaimer says:

    The SNP are just like the liberal New Englanders in the US. They whine like nothing on earth when the conservatives are in power. If Labour or the Lib Dems had Boris’ job, the SNP would be as pro-Union as possible. When Tories have control, they can’t get away fast enough.

  37. MarkU says:
    @Sean

    Framing Salmond for rape does not seem a very tidy way of neutralising him, and would be cutting off their nose to spite their face for the SNP. Hardly necessarily for Sturgeon, when Salmond had already made made a fool of himself on RT by portraying Russia as innocent of the Salisbury nerve gas poisoning.

    It was not my intention to start a protracted argument about Alex Salmond, the fact remains that he was acquitted of all the charges made against him (and that despite the fact that ‘Me too’ and ‘believe all women’ were still quite big at the time) If we play it your way then any (male) person can have their career ruined by accusations alone.

    As for the “Salisbury nerve gas poisoning” am I to believe that you are gullible enough to believe that total pile of pony? Bwahahahaha.

  38. MarkU says:
    @Sean

    He then got a Russia Today tv show (Assange had one too as I recall). Salmond looked very obese at this time. He had been being embarrassed by a lot of expense claims for restaurants and taxis as First Minister, and has a reputation among journalists as a rather heavy drinker.

    Then the accusations came out and he was charged.

    Interesting timeline !! I might have been wrong about the motives for nobbling him, perhaps publicly questioning the official ‘Skripal poisoning’ narrative was his real ‘offence’. Thanks for inadvertently bringing that point to my attention.

    Any other not-very-subtle smears against Alex Salmond that you have prepared? I must admit he is guilty of being fat and probably drinks far too much but I fail to see the relevance (except for the purposes of character assassination of course) Would you care to enlighten us as to why you bothered to mention that stuff?

    • Replies: @Sean
  39. Sean says:
    @MarkU

    Judging by the much older woman he married in his twenties, Salmond is not all that highly sexed, but I have little difficulty with the concept of a man having too much to drink then making obtuse and unwanted sexual advances to women of lower social status. As I said, attempted rape was over charging him for what the prosecution’s own witnesses said he did. If it was a frame they’d have at least said said he got his cock out, but they didn’t.

    What has Scottish independence got to do with Salmond’s paid appearances on an English language Russian government funded TV news station, where he disputed that the Russian government had poisoned someone in England for the second time? The UK government is under no obligation whatsoever to let RT broadcast anything at all in the UK.

    Salmond was not doing much for Scottish independence on his show. He was paid by Russia and denied the Russians had tried to kill a Russian traitor (I personally think the real target was his daughter who was visiting him at the time) again . The upshot of Samond defending Russia was a loss of credibility for him and Scottish nationalism. Salmond left the SNP leadership two decades ago, then left the post of First Minister of Scotland in 2014, both entirely his own decision. In 2017 he lost his seat in Parliament because the voters of a Scottish constituency rejected him resoundingly before anyone knew about the allegations of impropriety. All political lives end in failure because that is the nature of human affairs. It is in the nature of men to take risks for sex.

  40. England is, unfortunately, a rapidly browning nation. Scotland much less so.
    The 2 nations no longer look like siblings.

    In <40 years, England will be a majority-minority nation.
    Scotland will still be mostly white (its economy & climate are moderately repellent to 'BAME's).

    Will the Scots really want to be bonded to a nation dominated by blacks & browns who know nothing of Scotland besides it being the ancestral home of Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons.

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  41. @Alfa158

    The Union of England & Scotland came about because a number of Scot nobles bankrupted the lowlands by investing heavily in the Darien Scheme to establish a trading route and colony on the Panama Isthmus. Having shot their wad, union with England and being a part of a bigger commercial enterprise looked pretty appealing. The Scots can whine all they want, but at the end of the day, they, just like the Welsh, were sold down the river by their own nobles.

    In retrospect, union with England has been a great deal for the Scots, who have benefited in a number of ways, including disproportionate representation as PM of the UK, and currently being net consumers of UK taxes. It would be fun to see the SNP try to run Scotland with their policies on Scotland’s resources. They’d probably seek union again within a couple decades.

    The Westminster Parliament should do the English a favour and repeal the various Acts of Union related to Scotsland, NI, and Wales, raise the Cross of St. George over Westminster Palace, and declare Great Britain to be dead, and Pretty Good England to be open for business as the Singapore of Europe.

  42. @Sean

    You seem, sean, to have missed the acquittal of Salmond on the charges fabricated by the Sturgeon cabal, and the ongoing internecine war inside the SNP? Odd, that. The UK Column News today has an interesting segment, towards the end, on the war between lesbian factions in the SNP leadership, with a ‘pro-trans’ lesbian threatening a ‘traditional lesbian with’ rape, to be performed by male proxies, of course.

  43. @Jock Tamson

    Actually, Brits don’t turn ‘brown’ when exposed to the Sun’s rays. They go pink, then red.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  44. @A123

    I don’t recognize thriving UK versus moribund EU. The EU’s imminent failure has been predicted since 1956 by wishful thinkers yet here we are, UK on it’s knees, to quote the Russian ambassador, a disinterested assessor.

    • Replies: @A123
  45. @Sean

    Russia was kind of innocent. Skripal poisoned himself when fencing the stuff for resale for an assassination that took place a week later anyway.

  46. @Mulga Mumblebrain

    That would be Brits_v1.0 … Newer Brit versions start out brown and get browner.

  47. A123 says:
    @Philip Owen

    Russia disinterested? Sorry. That dog will not hunt.

    For reasons that I cannot follow, Putin is backing Mutti Merkel’s IslamoGloboHomo invasion of Europe. NordStream2 has only one pupose – Empowering Merkel’s Caliphate. Perhaps his goal is for 100% of Europe to collapse under misrule from Brussels?

    Fortunately, Populism is coming back: (1)

    voters might be giving these same forces a second look now that “the experts” have failed tens of millions of people in the age of the pandemiconomy. From France to Portugal to the Netherlands, the populist wave may rise once more.

    And, those who have been looking at the financial impact of secession on Scotland universally point to worse outcomes. For example: (2)
     

     
    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/european-populism-rise-again

    (2) https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/independence-could-be-costly-proposition-scotland

  48. Miro23 says:
    @oliver elkington

    The key difference though is that the Scots Independence movement is very leftist but in a more European manner but that is probably down to the heavy Scandinavian influence that is present in Scotland and so in many ways they do resemble a Scandinavian country almost as much as they resemble the English. Scotland is certainly more egalitarian and less of a slave of big business I think than England is…

    It’s surprising that there isn’t more talk of Scotland adopting a Scandinavian profile with regard to Europe – for example Norway – co-operative but independent. Norway’s union with its southern neighbour Sweden was only dissolved in 1905, with Scotland being in a similar position with regard to England.
    Scotland seems to fit in with Scandinavia ethnically and geographically but it’s a less successful place socially and economically.

  49. Miro23 says:
    @A123

    It is hard to see why Scotland would want to leave a thriving UK to join a failing & moribund EU teetering on the edge of an abyss. Does anyone really believe that the people of Scotland want to change from the GB Pound to the doomed Euro?

    The UK doesn’t seem to be thriving so much. It’s in the grip of minority Woke culture (which the public hate) and free speech going down the drain. And as for the Brexit independence myth, the UK is more of a US (Zionist) colony than it’s ever been.

    It’s debatable whether the Dollar goes down before the Euro. It’s the Dollar that has an artificially high and unjustified reserve currency status and it’s the Dollar that is floating on the biggest pile of debt. If it goes down, reserves will automatically flow into the Euro.

    • Replies: @A123
  50. Praxis says:

    No it won’t, a referendum is wholly in the hands of Westminster, and the Prime Minister. The Mussolini of Musselburgh can stamp her little foot as much as she likes, it doesn’t change a thing.

  51. A123 says:
    @Miro23

    It’s debatable whether the Dollar goes down before the Euro. It’s the Dollar that has an artificially high and unjustified reserve currency status and it’s the Dollar that is floating on the biggest pile of debt. If it goes down, reserves will automatically flow into the Euro.

    The Euro:
    -1- Floating on its own pile of debt
    -2- Huge internal rifts due to non-debt national balance of payments
    -3- Restricted Central Bank rules for operations

    You can see #2 in the TARGET2 balances. Germany has aggressively used the Euro to force other EZ countries into being export markets. This chart illustrates the economic extraction by Germany to the detriment of local employment & production of goods.

     

     

    The EUR is one good crisis away from implosion due to competing national interests and a weak, hamstrung Central Bank. The USD will eventually have to deal with Money Printer Goes BBbrrrrr. However, in the short term the strong U.S. Central Bank makes USD much safer than EUR.

    Here is the question I have asked many times, “If the USD goes down, what will replace it?” Realistically, the level of banking & currency interconnection is so high that a “USD Fail” would wipe out every other currency and bank involved in international trade.

    Commodity based bartering (e.g. Gold) is highly problematic as an alternative due to Tungsten bar fraud. Chinese controls are so bad they have been victimized by Copper bar fraud (1). How much gold in national vaults is fake?

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3091185/kingold-jewelry-secures-usus-28-billion-loans-gold-plated-copper

    P.S. Further debate on USD/EUR/RMB robustness is very off point to the topic of Scottish Independence. If we want to have this discussion, we should wait until a more relevant starting point is available.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  52. Miro23 says:
    @A123

    I’m not denying that the EU is a mess as is the Euro – but Dollar vs. Euro is off topic.

    My general point is that the UK shares many of the weakness of the US ( a sinking ship) and Scotland would be better to get clear before it goes down.

    • Replies: @Sean
  53. Sean says:
    @Miro23

    Ireland was the poorest country in the EU and substantially rural, so the EU with it farming subsidies was great for them, though they deny it. Many new EU countries now have a call on EU resources including ones in Eastern Europe that are far poorer than Ireland.

    The resources of the UK stand behind Scotland in crises such as the current one. I don’t see Scotland as a country that would benefit from the EU, which would expect it to contribute to EU funds. The SNP often point to Norway ,which has the worlds largest sovereign wealth fund and does not need to be a freeloader. That may be a big part of the reason that Norway is not a member state of the European Union .

    In the current circumstances countries like Ireland and Luxemburg, where many successful companies doing business in Britain shelter from British tax, are going to cease being given a free ride by Britain. The cost of the pandemic will and freedom from EU law will be an impetus for Britain to make emergency demands on the profits of companies like Apple. The Irish model looked attractive at one time, but with EU expansion it does not have much of a future. Scotland would be a milch cow for the EU. An independent Scotland’s working class would certainly go down under the weight of immigrants, and not just European ones. The SNP are fanatically anti racist/pro immigration.

    • Replies: @Miro23
    , @The Alarmist
  54. Miro23 says:
    @Sean

    Many new EU countries now have a call on EU resources including ones in Eastern Europe that are far poorer than Ireland.

    They’ve also got better development prospects that Scotland. A123 is basically right on Germany (the Euro supporting German exports) and Germany can also profitably base its manufacturing in Eastern Europe (communications/skills/labour cost/local market development) – factors that don’t so much apply to Scotland.

    An independent Scotland’s working class would certainly go down under the weight of immigrants, and not just European ones. The SNP are fanatically anti racist/pro immigration.

    And Eastern Europe isn’t Woke like Scotland – making happier more united countries, better for training, investment, education etc. – so it’s a good question what Scotland has to offer (without a rethink from the ground up).

  55. @Sean

    Scotland would be a milch cow for the EU.

    Scotland runs a net deficit within the UK budget, so it would likely seek to milch (melk, malke, mjölka, lypsää, traire, & mungere) the net contributors to the EU, which is probably why there is little appetite to take on an independent Scotland, notwithstanding the EU desire to punish the English in as many ways as possible for the impudence of Brexit.

    Even if Scotland gets a Norway-style deal, the SNP cannot afford to run the country on the social programmes and economic policies they have advocated. Scotland will over time sink into despair and penury. With enough Scotch, maybe they’ll fade into oblivion quietly, but Mr. Johnson might look into refortifying Hadrian’s Wall.

    The Euro is a dead currency walking, but the thing that makes it a viable flight to safety as the USD and GBP implode is the relative fraying of relations among Eurozone members that has slowed the desired evolution into a fiscal transfer union, as the little people in the net contributing countries show a keen awareness that they are footing the bill for the south (even though they may be blind to their own oligarchs plunder of the south).

  56. Sean says:

    Spain would surely try to veto entry of Scotland, because of the separatism problems Spain has would be inflamed. That is probably part of the reason the European Union Brussels has just rejected Strugeon’s application for Scotland to join the EU’s student exchange program. It was a way to boost immigration to Scotland, which is a preoccupation of the SNP. Scotland is like Northern Ireland inasmuch as the educated people leave. The working age population of Scotland is falling precipitously and yes a breakaway Scotland would be a drain, but that would not bother the EU.

    AND look at the newest members of the EU, Bulgaria and Romania. Romania is the first country in the world where there are more retirees than active workers, and we let them in. The same with Bulgaria, which has the world’s fastest-dwindling population. The young are moving out, and with a clean conscience, because they believe that tomorrow Brussels will pay for their parents. So the EU has accepted 27 million people who wanted to get inside to secure their pensions. And in the European centre they are still overjoyed to have attracted millions more than the USA. That will make us strong, they believe.”

    That said, they EU are thirsting for vengeance against Britain so they might let Scotland in despite Spain’s misgivings but I can tell you it is extremely unlikely that Scotland would vote for separation. As you point out Scotland gets a lot of governmental spending, This is partly because when the formula was worked out Labour was totally dominant in Scotland. If it was not for Scottish Labour MPs there would have been hardly any Labour governments of Britain elected. When it seemed that Scottish opinion was for independence just before the 2014 Independence Referendum, there were all sorts of incentives to stay promised to Scotland by London, that would happen again. Moreover my nephew in a very high tech international engineering firm’s Scottish facility was told along with all the other employees on the morning of the referendum that if it was Yes to leaving the UK, then they would all be out their dream jobs. There is rather high cost oil, and a relatively small private sector in Scotland; no great margin of safety for unforeseen contingencies.

    Moreover, and although underdiscussed, it is surely the most important consideration by far: Brexit removed the basis that the 2014 ‘Independence In Europe’ SNP case was made on. In 2014 it would have meant Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, yet Scotland and England would have both still been in the EU customs union. While this would have immense implications for Scottish business, it was perhaps doable. However, now Scotland leaving the UK would entail it becoming independent then rejoining the EU, and trying to continue to do business with and through England while England remained outside the EU customs union. This is a scenario very, very difficult to imagine redounding to Scotland’s benefit.

    Then again, Germany is willing to pour money down the Spanish drain to keep the single currency and German exports’ low cost, so maybe a small country like Scotland could be supported by the EU as a way of punishing England. I think Britain is going to start getting tough with the EU though. Brussels is going to find the Brits an opponent best avoided and conclude there are more important things to worry about than Scotland. It won’t come to that anyway, because most Scots understand Scottish independence post Brexit would require unbearable sacrifices.

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