sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul

Wings Over Scotland

Executive summary

Posted on February 11, 2013 by

There will be uncountable acres of newsprint expended on analysing the UK Government’s paper released today on the implications of Scottish independence for EU membership. If you’re in a hurry, though, the entire document is comprehensively and accurately summed up in these two paragraphs from Part V, Section (3):


Even shorter version: if the EU wants us in automatically (something which is plainly in absolutely everyone’s interests, including the rUK’s), then we’ll be in automatically, no matter what the small print says. And that’s that.


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44 to “Executive summary”

  1. DougtheDug says:

    It’s been said before but the decision will not be legal but political. All this legal opinion is just hot air.
    Turn it round. How would the EU benefit economically or politically if they kicked Scotland out? They wouldn’t so they won’t do it.


  2. The Hennesseys says:

    Many thanks for including links to the document. It is fascinating! and TOTALLY inconclusive. They must be betting on Scots being stupid or in thrall to newspaper headlines. Certainly it shouldn’t scare anyone who reads it. There’s all to play for.


  3. The Hennesseys says:

    It does really bother me though to see how much Scotland gave up at that treaty of union.Bought and sold for English gold isn’t the half of it!


  4. I left this  for the Express’s headline.       Sir,no one could miss your headline today,”Legal Experts Nail SNP.Fantasy” did you stop to think? If one country of the union has to re-negotiate all these treaties then so does the other country in this “Union”. Scotland is not leaving the Union ,but dissolving it,if you think that some paper work is all that matters you must have a very low opinion of your fellow Scots,me for example.Of course if you refer to us Scots as “The Scots” then you are excluding “The Scottish Daily Express” from being Scottish,are you not? Your Britnat attitude and constant attacks on the Scottish government has became rancid,and I think making more people realise that Independence is the only option for “Us Scots”. Yours faithfully,Charles Patrick O’Brien


  5. ‘You uppity Jocks are not equal in the Union, and we’ve used your money to pay for the legal advice that proves it’


  6. Albalha says:

    …….and isn’t the ‘fantasy’ remark attributed to a unnamed source?

    And this the offering from the Guardian’s man in Scotland    


  7. Peter Thomson says:

    And we pay for this lot to manage our affairs ? Small wonder we are in such disarray. There can be little question but to go for a YES vote. Those on the fence had best wake up and sign up for our own to manage our affairs. And for those unhappy, good riddance. The border isn’t so far away.


  8. Barontorc says:

    Straw poll taken in my local during the Scotland game with Italy – 12 in the group; 3 FOR YES, 4 DEAD against YES, 5 against NO or YES.

    No amount of facts would sway the 4 DEAD ever – literally brain-dead.

    The swithering 5 who are ‘unconvinced’, are direct victims of the BBC and MSM propaganda and misinformation to such an extent, they discount any facts as truthful.

    And there lies the problem; 7 of the 12 have no trust in the YES campaign facts. And of those, 5 still cling to the ‘better the devil you know – and Salmond’s a demon!’ line.

    The propaganda war is working against YES and something needs done about it.

    These 5 out of 12 people – who I count as good decent sorts, with a sense of social justice and national pride, are cast adrift by a lying, manipulative system festering with puss that needs lancing.

    Who’s gonna be our Sheriff of Calton Creek? Step up Lobey Dosser your people need you!


  9. Indion says:

    Grateful if someone could reference and provide a link for the original parent document which the above paper is Annex A to. 


  10. orpheuslyre says:

    Yes, they reach the same conclusion we’ve seen often before. This really is an ex-parrot.

    But the report is worth reading at a leisurely pace too – there is a lot of interpretive, historical and descriptive stuff going on there. Not so much by way of sharp argument. Nicola Sturgeon calls it right – they’ve been selective in their attack. But they’re not personally to blame. You can see from their report that their remit was an attack-remit, not to provise any kind of defence for the Scottish govt.


  11. pa_broon74 says:


    This bothers me as well, I don’t really mind if people want to vote no (although I think it would be wrong.) It would really annoy me personally though, if i was pursuaded into a decision by information which had no basis in reality.

    I had a conversation with someone at work, she won’t vote yes because she hates Alex Salmond, I said, so don’t vote for him – you can vote for whoever you like after 2014. Whether it makes a difference though will depend on how you vote in the referendum.

    Some people seem content to shoot the message because of the messenger. If someone told you your car was being stolen would you ignore it because you didn’t like them?

    As for this report, its another load of hot air. Scotland would have to renegotiate some treaties (UN entry would be straight forward according to Prof Crawf this morning.) He went on to say the rUK would also have some reneogitating to do and that it needn’t necessarily be difficult in any case for either rUK of Scotland. Surprisingly, while the report tells us (in Scotland) we’d be starting from scratch as a new state in terms of UK assets, it doesn’t mention anything about UK liabilities… 

    Michael Moore is on the BBC news website telling the SNP (etc) they need to start giving the Scottish people information about independence; he’s got some brass neck on him.


  12. Oldnat says:

    It’s on the Scotland Office website (though published half an hour late – I wonder if they were rewriting bits of it?


  13. Albalha says:


    The ‘I don’t like Salmond’ so I’m voting NO is something I hear as well, particularly from women, though Nicola Sturgeon is more acceptable ……. shouldn’t the YES campaign and the others signed up to it not be making more noise?

    I appreciate it is in the MSM’s interests to play it as Alex’s project and maybe they, the YES campaign, are battling away trying to be heard, I wonder though.

    It’s pretty dire that the basic message of a YES vote is a vote for the SNP is still so widespread.       


  14. FreddieThreepwood says:

    I realise there’s another posting this morning on MSM lies and distortion – but frankly you could stick a comment about that just about anywhere.
    On looking at the Herald in the newsagent’s again this morning (the guy’s getting pissed off that I never buy it, I can tell) Gardham’s take on the panel of experts advice on the pound is a cracker. It is written as if these guys off their own bat have told Salmond what he should do – NOT that he commissioned them and that they agree with the Scottish Govt’s stance. There then follows the usual litany of sneers from the usual Lab/LD/Tory suspects who all miss the point and there is NO quote at all from the SNP administration!
    So, at first glance, a vindication of an SNP policy is dressed up to look like another kicking!


  15. Stuart Black says:

    Still on the Herald, lulled into a false sense of security by the ease in which I got a comment in under McKie’s rather limp offering (positive = passive from Rev Stu, lol), I tried a longer one under the zany comic relief offered up by a J. Russell of Paisley, “yez took wir ba’ in 1707 and we’re still pissed off aboot it”. Despite attacking no-one and being fairly rational – as rational as I get anyway – there is no sign of it making an appearance, the moderation policy baffles me.


  16. muttley79 says:

    I see Willie Rennie’s claim that Scotland would have to be negotiate 14,000 international treaties has been reduced to 8,000 by the UK government’s paper.  So almost a 50% drop.  Have they also not realised that lawyers in Scotland will be attracted to this aspect of independence because it means more work for them?  Unfortunately it sounds just like the No campaign’s claims over the loss of jobs regarding Trident. 


  17. Aplinal says:

    Following up on a few comments about what is YES actually going to do about the bias.  I haven’t a clue!  It’s a sad aspect of this whole non-existent “debate” that we are fed nothing objective or factual in the MSM – and I hate the BBC most of all ion this – while at the same time they constantly spread lies and distortion about the positives for Scotland.
    Your story does not surprise me.  For generations Scotland has been force fed the pap from the Unionist propaganda machine, and we have (in the main) swallowed it and asked for more of the same.  Do Scots REALLY have such low self-esteem?  Have we bought into the TWTPTS rhetoric of the manipulative shites that have run the UK for generations that we can’t even see a better future?
    I sincerely hope SOMEONE in YES Scotland has a master plan.  I keep telling other peple to keep the faith, but the longer this one-way traffic continues, the less I am willing to do so.
    YES Scotland:  Time to get the Act together people!


  18. Wullie says:

    Think about this. If you pay a TV license fee to the BBC , you are funding the No Campaign. ????????


  19. Davy says:

    I have just read a comment by Michael Moore on the BBC site where he says , ” independence would end devolution, it is not an extension of it”, the question is ? could this be the first time he has actually told the truth and is it possible to state the more bloody oblivious.
     Vote Yes.
    Alba Gu Brath.


  20. muttley79 says:

    Do Scots REALLY have such low self-esteem?  Have we bought into the TWTPTS rhetoric of the manipulative shites that have run the UK for generations that we can’t even see a better future?
    You could argue that the collective self-esteem of Scots is low because we keep getting told by unionists that we can’t run our own affairs (that is what they really think despite their protestations to the contrary).  Unionism has been the dominant ideology in Scottish politics until relatively recently.  It is no coincidence that broadcasting in particular was not devolved to the Scottish Parliament.  It was reserved to Westminster so that the unionists could continue their ongoing propaganda campaign against independence.  On a solution to this problem, one is to support websites such as this one, Bella Caledonia, and others.  That is why getting the fund to help Rev Stu go full-time on reporting on the referendum is so important.  Another is to stop buying unionist newspapers in Scotland.  
    You could argue legitimately that independence is an extension of devolution as it secures more powers for Holyrood.  Home Rule is an ambiguous concept.  Unionists will never admit this because they want the British state to govern Scotland at all costs, this includes us hosting WMDs on the Clyde, bedroom tax, welfare cuts, block grant cuts, democratic deficit (1 Tory MP) etc. 


  21. james morton says:

    It’s important to bear this in mind. This was their magic bullet – it was meant to kill the argument stone dead. It was hinted at again an again in the press, that moore was beavering away with policy wonks to derail the referendum. After it fails, and it will fail, they will have nothing to left in the armory. They’ll have to bring out tired old arguments for the next 18 months rehashed and warmed over.
    So remember this day as you move forward. This was their best shot.


  22. jake says:

    The BBC take on this today appears to be that an independent Scotland would be treated as…… an independent country.
    Well, I’m glad that’s cleared up. No uncertainty about that then.


  23. cirsium says:

    @ aplinal
    “I keep telling other peple to keep the faith, but the longer this one-way traffic continues, the less I am willing to do so.”
    and that is exactly the reaction a campaign based on FUD wants you to have.  You need to keep on going and encouraging others.  


  24. Training Day says:

    I agree, and one way to counter the unrelieved torrents of dross coming from the ‘Scottish’ media is to start setting our own context for the narrative by getting the message directly to people’s homes – not six weeks before the referendum, but now.  What, for instance, is to stop the Yes campaign from issuing a simple message on one leaflet – ten consequences of voting Yes on one side, ten consequences of voting No on the other side – to every home?  We must not lose our hold on the context and the framing of this debate otherwise the media lies will gain more and more traction in the popular consciousness.


  25. Dcanmore says:

    I have every faith now that there will be a YES vote next year. The only propaganda that the people are going to take in will be last few months of the campaign. All this garbage now from Better Together and UK government will be forgotten about, in fact I’m struggling to remember the scare stories from six months ago without looking them up. So 14,000 treaties and 11,000 Faslane jobs are debunked and swept aside as all the others have been. The White Paper on Independence will act as a fulcrum to spear any notion the we’re ‘better together’ and the NO campaign people know very well they can’t produce the facts that will counter what will be in the White Paper content. The White Paper will also be the distraction for the MSM as it will force them to question the opposite view and ergo produce a debate. There will be a solid 35% NO vote so everyone will encounter some people in pubs/shops, on the street, in their homes that will be dead against independence. Seeds from the SNP will be planted on what structure, such as tax and social security/benefits, will look like under their stewardship in an independent Scotland. I would expect that the money gotten back from what is taken from Scotland (ie ££££billions) will pay for corporate tax cuts for business, scrapping council tax and newer taxes (such as bedroom tax) and subsidise lower fuel costs. This will all add up with people being £500-£1500 per annum better off … and to appease the trade unions and social justice organisations there is a matter of a written Scottish constitution. In a nutshell on offer to a wide spectrum of Scottish people is something so good they’ll be mad to turn it down in the face of years of nasty Tory government. And it will be the BIG positives that will smother the negative Bitter Together Unionist campaign.
    The YES campaign and the SNP have got their tactics spot on for the Independence Campaign. The length of time is to soften people up to the possibility of Independence so the fear and sudden shock of an independence vote is neutralised. Who believed in 2005 there was going to be an SNP government in 2007? And who believed that would be followed by a majority SNP government in 2011? Amazing things have happened in recent years, why not again? On this occasion time is on our side.


  26. Crisiscult says:

    Inspired by this quote on BBC article today, quote: The Scottish secretary said he was confident more devolution for Scotland would happen, but said the UK government would not be bringing forward such proposals, arguing they should come from the “grassroots”.
    So, I’m wondering what would constitute ‘grassroots’ and I’m wondering this because, although I’m for Independence, it seems pretty clear the majority want independence OR more powers (possibly all powers except foreign relations and citizenship). How do we turn those who don’t want independence but more powers into independence supporters? By some kind of petition at grassroots level that demands concrete legally binding promises from the three main UK parties for devo max or whatever. The small risk is that we/they get it. So amazingly unlikely though. Instead the demands are brushed off, forcing those into the independence supporters ranks. Is this totally naive or impractical? 

    As for the anti independence bias, I don’t see a solution other than for everyone in favour of independence to use their social networking skills to give those who are unsure the motivation to look elsewhere for their news, to question the MSM slant, to help them find sources for that e.g. this website, newsnet scotland, etc, and to hope they make up their own mind YES.


  27. leswil says:

    The Hennesseys
    Following your comment, there was an interview some months ago with the Earl of Montrose, whose descendant was one of the mottley crew who signed the Union document. He went on to try and defend what his forebearer did, by stating that they and the others who signed had lost a lot of money on the “Darian” project as if this was their excuse for the signing.
    So in plain words, they lost out on a greedy gamble, and subsequently SOLD A NATION in order to refill their coffers, WOW!
    My thinking it is just a shame that the crowds that chased them did not succeed in catching them. They would have been hanging from the tollbooth roof! 
    The following civil unrest showed this was just a self interest move by greedy people and in no way the interests of the Scottish people.
    Many of the families of those who signed are still in lofty positions, maybe their land and assets should be sold after Independence and put into social housing or something beneficial to the people of Scotland.


  28. Marcia says:

    Don’t dispare folks, keep talking to people, we can do it.
    Bad timing for the UK Govt as the resignation of the Pope has shunted their anti-independence propaganda off the BBC News 24  screens.


  29. muttley79 says:

    Why has he resigned? 


  30. Marcia says:

    Ill-heath according to the Vatican.


  31. Marcia says:

    dispare – dispair – mislaid my specs!


  32. Insch74 says:

    Was this legal position released by the Attorney General? If not then surely it is not official legal advice and will be viewed as nothing more than UK government propaganda. Are they saying this would form the basis of their rUK/Scotland negotiations?
    I had to laugh at the Daily Record’s conclusions comparing Scotland’s position to Ireland/Uk, India/Uk and USSR. Wee problem there; none of those examples were signatories to a treaty of union they were all conquered!
    If you start as a new country then could you be liable for another countries debt i.e. the UK’s?


  33. Doug Daniel says:

    Marcia – third time’s a charm – despair!
    (Although perhaps you were referring to your specs – “I’ve mislaid dis pair, but I’ve managed to find de other pair”?)


  34. Aplinal says:

    To all who responded to me – I know, I know, it’s just that occasionally I get SO frustrated by the one-way spew of lies that I let rip.  Of course I will keep sending people to here and other more supportive sites.  I have not bought a Unionist paper for years, and no longer bother to visit their sites as I don’t want to be part of the “traffic” that gives them revenue.  I will let the Rev do so on my behalf and trust him to post up the important things.
    I still hope and expect that the YES campaign knows what they are doing, but it is the unrelenting dross that can wear you down.  I hope to be back in time to register and vote in 2014!  Till then, keep up the work, and thanks for the moral support :-)


  35. The Man in the Jar says:

    I agree we really have to do something about this. Most of my friends are Yes supporters however I have tried to engage people while out and about. Not a chance! As soon as I try to tell them that they are being lied to by the MSM and the BBC I can see the look on their faces. “What next, he will be telling us that the twin towers was a fit up and that the moon landings were faked” Then they start to look and see if my bunnet is lined with tin foil!
    Surly someone and/or Yes Scotland has the wherewithal and means to take the BBC to the court of human rights. After all it is 5 million European citizens that are having their democratic rights interfered with. By a hostile state broadcaster. In addition if it went that far surly some of the BBC competitors would pick up on this and would relish giving them a right kicking in the press and on TV. That would get the message out loud and clear! Yes Scotland seem to be happy siting around the campfire singing “Cum Ba Ya” while some really shady and nasty people lurk in the shadows waiting to pounce.
    Turning the other cheek is just not working.
    I really think that wee will lose this unless something drastic is done and I dread the consequences.
    To paraphrase the poster on Mulders office wall. “The truth is out there” Its just that the bad guys wont let you see it.


  36. ianbrotherhood says:

    Did 90 mins in Irvine today on SSP stall, gathering names on anti-Bedroom-Tax petition and handing out leaflets. Don’t like being pushy or nosey with folk, but must’ve asked approx 15 – 20 about the referendum ; ALL intend to vote Yes, and expressed it in a variety of ways, some of which are unprintable even here, and make frequent reference to Cameron and his banker-buddies.
    It’s not scientific, okay, but if it’s anywhere near a representative snapshot then the polls are way, way, way off. We’re winning.


  37. FreddieThreepwood says:

    Here’s a thing that’s always bugged me (this is turning into a Nats’ Room 101) … 
    Whenever Yes/SNP bring up matters of process or administration – the mechanics, if you will, of independence – they are shouted down by No/UK as obsessing about independence to a fault, of ignoring the ‘real issues facing ordinary men and women … blah. blah, blah’.
    Yet, not only does this not apply to them apparently (see today’s effort as an example) but it also doesn’t appear to stop them demanding MORE detail on the nuts and bolts of an independent Scotland and ya-booing any failure by the Scottish government to magic them up out of thin air.
    Part of the reason this happens, I believe, is that, try as they might, Yes/SNP have yet to get it straight in people’s minds that independence – the hows and whys – is NOT a separate matter from jobs, benefits, education – some esoteric issue that is ‘getting in the way’ of dealing with more practical matters. It is absolutely crucial to bettering the everyday lives of Scots.
    Right now, we are being sucked into fighting this campaign on the ground of their choosing. We should resist. Apart from anything else (and I believe No/UK know this full well) months and months of wrangling over non-existent threats and unknowable hypotheticals will turn the populace off the whole damned subject and people will vote ‘no’ out of sheer annoyance.
    I suggest Yes/SNP simply move on. If the MSM want to obsess over every single scare story and logistical nonentity dredged up by No/UK. then let them. Our side should be talking jobs, health, social benefits, wealth creation, clean energy, fair housing … everything an independent Scotland can make happen.
    Let them fret over Willie’s paperwork.


  38. Marcia says:

    Thanks for the correction – still looking for my reading specs – not easy squinting!


  39. Dal Riata says:

    The thing is with this guff from the Vote No lot, all the stuff they twist, spin, hypothesise and lie about to make it seem oh so scary, is that, in reality, most people who have lives to live, going to work (if they have a job), feeding the kids, paying the bills, meeting their friends occasionally for a drink, etc., do not spend their time fretting over the most recent dictats from the EU and how it will affect them.

    In all honesty, the majority of the population are just not bothered that much about ‘politics’. That is not to decry their lack of interest – that’s just the way it is when other things take precedence, especially when money is ‘tight’.

    However, when the day of the referendum arrives, ‘Effie fae Easterhoose’s vote will have  as much value as ‘Malcolm from Milngavie’s: by then, the things that really matter to all the people of Scotland, the economy, jobs, extra money in the pocket, and something that is not much discussed as yet – being Scottish and what that means – will have become much clearer: this will start from the issue of the White Paper in autumn of this year.

    The ‘real’ discussion won’t start until the last few months before the referendum. It will be then that the people of Easterhouse, Milngavie and the rest of Scotland will listen to the arguments – but more than anything else, listen to what their heart is saying, ‘Am I Scottish or not?’ – and leave their mark beside what they believe is best.

    The only issue now is how the Yes campaign is going to counteract the lies and scaremongering from the ‘No’s which will be relentless in its efforts to discourage people who are ‘unsure’.


  40. Baheid says:

    ….POPE RESIGNS…. hearing on radio this is unprecedented in modern history
    Pope to be evicted from Vatican, will have to negotiate re-entry !!?


  41. silver19 says:

    Westminster say yes according to their legal unionist experts.


  42. Ken Johnston says:


    I have been reading the posts about getting dispirited etc, and how to get the message out.

    We had a guru at a branch (SNP) meeting who said it would be won  because we would all be twittering, facebooking. Well, I don’t and I don’t know anyone who does, because I’ve been asking. When I pointed this out, I was a bit dismissed. As others have said, I have found that A. Salmond is disliked, whether by being rubbished in the press, or as seen on TV. Personally, when he is being interviewed, his laughing- to me is somehow annoying. I wish he would stop it.

    The only way we will, as I see it, is to, as someone above said,  include a leaflet with the Yes campaign leaflets. Pointing out the ” how could Scotland have supported the banks, how would we defend ourselves etc” is a load of claptrap. The banks are supported by the nation that that portion of the bank operates in. ie Citizens Bank, a BOS subsidiary since 1988, Fed Reserve $300 M dollars. Who would attack us and how. As it happens, I did compose a leaflet and showed it to a couple I know. They could not be bothered to read it because it was too dense for them. I’m working class and the people I know generally are as well. They do not know their nation’s history and really do think Braveheart is the literal truth. A taxi driver I know who is Czech told me his punters think that also. They are not political, barely read papers and if they do its the Sun or Record.

    I have now started to try and incite anger, or resentment and I will probably be howled down for it,  to point out Scots deaths in WW1, 2.5:1 relative to English losses. Ours 26.4% English about 11-12% Irish 20ish. I point out that less than 1000 people or companies own 60% of Scottish land and we can not tell who they are in lots of cases. National grid charges us per g/w for sending power South, but English producers get a a subsidy.  Why do the establishment want us to stay, FOLLOW the MONEY.

    Having said all that, I am pretty hopeful. Most people I speak to support us, mostly as Ian Brotherhood said, unprintably. But thats fine by me


  43. Ken Johnston says:

     I meant to ask, is being a patriot a bit of a dirty word. Has nationalism got connotations of natzism. It’s all would we be better or worse off. Would we defend ourselves, what would become of us. What would it mean to be independent. If I can be twee, there is no “love of country” or patriotism mentioned.
    If you implied to an American, Pole or Dane, English person, anyone, that they did not have any patriotism, I think you might get you head in your hands.
    But not here.
    Did anyone see Lord Jim Wallace on the news saying Scotland coudnae dae this, or that. Christ, a Scot who seemed to be delighting in telling us Scots we should be good wee losers and dae as wee’r telt.


  44. Scarlett says:

    I am very concerned about how much of a dent in public conscience positive YES stories and the negative NO stories are having. We are right that if you don’t have the information you will not be able to make a reasoned decision. And yes the level of the information needs to be tailored to the audience. 
    How do we get the message out there? Is it really safe to assume that 2 months before the vote is the time to start? Or that the YES campaign really know what they are doing?
    I have a PR background, and have offered to work for free for the YES campaign, writing to them twice and receiving no reply.
    I guess it wouldn’t hurt to complain en-masse to the BBC about bias. I’m off to do that now.


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