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Wings Over Scotland


Further detonations

Posted on February 11, 2013 by

Observed – so far as we’re aware – by nobody, today’s UK government paper also torpedoes another core argument hitherto beloved of Unionists in the independence debate. That argument runs “Scotland and England would not be entitled to equal successor-state status, because Scottish independence would NOT in fact be a dissolution of the Union, because the current UK was formed not by the 1707 Acts of Union but by the 1800 treaty incorporating Ireland.”

The document, however, expressly blows that contention out of the water:

“36.      We note that the incorporation of Wales under laws culminating in the Laws in Wales Act 1536 (England) and of Ireland, previously a colony, under the Union with Ireland Act 1801 (GB) and the Act of Union 1800 (Ireland) did not affect state continuity. Despite its similarity to the union of 1707, Scottish and English writers unite in seeing the incorporation of Ireland not as the creation of a new state but as an accretion without any consequences in international law.

File this one for future reference, readers.

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38 to “Further detonations”

  1. Graeme Cowie says:

    The reason some argue it’s distinct is because there was no Treaty in the Irish example, rather simply two Acts of Parliament. The practical significance is minimal.

      

  2. Tris says:

    They must be boy scouts. They’ve tied themselves up in knots by opening their silly mouths and saying whatever put Scotland down best at that particular point, with absolutely no regard whatsoever to whether it had any substance or veracity.
     
    The credibility gap is now wide they will never close it.
     
    They have probably appealed to some, but only the ones who had already made up their minds.
     

      

  3. Gallowglass says:

    I’ve argued this very same point, at lengths with Unionists before.  I’m glad to see my opinion vindicated by this boomerang attack.  First comment on the website, I love your analysis.  God speed.

      

  4. muttley79 says:

    Almost at every stage of the referendum process there has been a cock up, or own goal by the British government.  Today they released a document which stated Scotland was extinguished in 1707, it is hardly the way to get people in Scotland onside.  Is it just incompetence or is there another agenda at play? 

      

  5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “They must be boy scouts. They’ve tied themselves up in knots by opening their silly mouths and saying whatever put Scotland down best at that particular point, with absolutely no regard whatsoever to whether it had any substance or veracity.”

    I think we should be careful here. I concur with Nicola Sturgeon in objecting not to the professors’ findings, but to the spin placed on them by the UK Government.

      

  6. albaman says:

    I wonder what Robert-the-Bruce, and William Wallace would have said and done
    had they had to listen to those legal arguments!. 

      

  7. kevbaby says:

    @albaman
     
    Lets get intae them? :-)

      

  8. Tris says:

    I meant the government, Rev… 

      

  9. Chic McGregor says:

    Albaman, unfortunately with only about 1/12th of the population, we no longer have the population ratio (around 3:1 – 4:1 best guesstimates) that we had which enabled us to chuck the English out of Ireland and take effective control of the northern half of England until they see sense, like we did in the 14th C.

      

  10. JLT says:

    Rev,
    “They must be boy scouts. They’ve tied themselves up in knots by opening their silly mouths and saying whatever put Scotland down best at that particular point, with absolutely no regard whatsoever to whether it had any substance or veracity.”
    I think we should be careful here. I concur with Nicola Sturgeon in objecting not to the professors’ findings, but to the spin placed on them by the UK Government.
    I agree, Rev. This is just media spin. If the SNP thought for a second that Cameron and Co were deadly serious on this report, then I think the YES campaign would be demanding a meeting with the PM and his cohorts.
    Personally, and I think I am not the only one saying this, but something really needs to be done to slap the Scottish media down. You can’t tell me that the Scottish Government can’t take a severe and firm hand with the Scottish media, and to tell it to start gettings its house in order and start telling the truth. Either that or face severe consequences. They have to draw a line in the sand themselves and end this farce. There is blatant lie telling going on, and serious decievement. It is almost slanderous to a point. There is no sensible argument from the media - just wild stories with no meat on the bones. Surely, a braodside warning that if the lies continue without any serious proof to back up wild statements from the media, then a day in court with a possible jail sentence would surely deter and bring the media to heel!
     

      

  11. Oldnat says:

    JLT
     
    Would you be happy for the UK (or any other government) doing what you suggest?

      

  12. albaman says:

    @kavbaby
    Aye 08-00hrs tomorrow, Wallace Monument, spread the word bring all the legal papers you can find, it will be cold and we will need a good fire to warm our bums!. 

      

  13. JLT says:

    Oldnat,
    This is about the Truth, and what we are not getting is exactly that …the truth.
    If we aspire to be a moral and social nation, then this sort of media propaganda needs to be stopped. I have nothing against people or the media speaking out, but this is blatant lie telling. In normal society, if I spread half lies, and half truths, say …about a member of your family, you would dragging me kicking and screaming to the courts.
    We have to have a sense of balance here, and we are most certainly are not getting it. If there are people who are orchestrating open lies, and knowing they are doing it, then yes …they should be punished severly. I find it disgusting that there are Scots who are quite willing to openly deceive their own countrymen …for what?
    If we don’t have the Truth …then what do we really have as a society going forward?
     

      

  14. Oldnat says:

    JLT
    So Governments are to define “truth”? Of course the MSM lie – but so do governments!

      

  15. JLT says:

    Oldnat,
    This is the problem that they faced in the Leveson enquiry. How do you control the media.
    Do we setup an independent body that controls what the media say or do? Some would say that that borders on Stalins Russia and Pravda, but I think we need something.
    We can’t have the media running full spread front pages with lies and then a few days later, having them place a small apology on page 13 saying, ‘eh duh…we got it wrong. Sorry’. If they get it wrong …hammer them then. Fine them a million pounds. That will make them think twice.

      

  16. Boorach says:

    I’ve got a headache with all this legal talk. International law…. what international law existed in 1707 when two separate countries entered into a ‘union of equals’ and what was the international body setting such laws?
     
    Apologies for double posting (just on previous thread) but I really would like some sort of answer

      

  17. Scotsfox says:

    I have no problem with newspapers having a view or taking a side, they’re private businesses, but outright lies are a different matter. Equal position & space should be given to corrections & that should be enforceable. As for the BBC they have a Charter obligation to fairness & balance which they are breaching in Scotland.

      

  18. Robert Kerr says:

    Perhaps Mr Graeme Cowie could advise on what legal avenues are open to us in this aspect of MSM Lies.
     
     
     
     

      

  19. Oldnat says:

    JLT
    I know you are angry about the MSM, but good cases make bad law! I suspect that you want interpretations different from yours (and mine) to be punished. Remember that you would be putting such power into the hands of governments with which we both disagree.
    Proper handling of publishing factual errors is a very different thing – and we should have that.

      

  20. Indy_Scot says:

    This just gets better and better.
     
    David Mundell on Scotland Tonight has just confirmed that he is comfortable with the fact that Scotland ceased to exist after 1707.
     
    Tories, you got to luv em.

      

  21. The Hennesseys says:

    Yes, lets ask Graeme! How to call the press on what they are doing!!!;-). The BBC which has signed a charter should certainly be vulnerable to being made accountable. Not talking here about opinion expressed by newspapers, but falsehoods deliberately expressed as fact and spin which is just another word for lying. And things like the BBC’s glitches when Nicola Sturgeon was speaking, or the clear different and far more rigorous approach they have to questioning pro-independence speakers., while letting  No speakers tell huge porkies.  I’m not for censorship at all, and maybe one can’t control bias in private news organizations, but the BBC is public, paid for by the people and taxes. They need to show a balanced view and equal number of articles by from each point of view etc….And slander should be outlawed–oh wait it is. Accusing people of liars is slander unless it is true….

      

  22. ayemachrihanish says:

    Re – David Mundell comments on Scotland Tonight.  Relax…. “never interrupt your enemy while they’re” etc, etc! 
     
     

      

  23. “David Mundell on Scotland Tonight has just confirmed that he is comfortable with the fact that Scotland ceased to exist after 1707″
     
    Now that’s what you call a fundamentalist jihadi of the Imperium. That parasitical creature of genus facundos Jockus.
     
     

      

  24. Muttley: “Almost at every stage of the referendum process there has been a cock up, or own goal by the British government.  Today they released a document which stated Scotland was extinguished in 1707, it is hardly the way to get people in Scotland onside.  Is it just incompetence or is there another agenda at play? “
     
    Not dispostive but clearly is one more hint of agency within Westminster and Whitehall bent on delivering Scottish independence.
     
    Apply Occam’s Razor and ask yourself whether the damage wrought by that 500ft-high pile of cock-ups might not be more simple explained as the work of the guiding hand of intelligent design. 

      

  25. The Man in the Jar says:

    Mundell got away with the 14,000 treaties on STV. However he did manage to come over as your typical frothing at the mouth Tory on both channels. Made me feel much better!
    He is a strange wee man. When watching him in the commons he bobs up and down with his wee folder in hand in a most peculiar manor.

      

  26. FreddieThreepwood says:

    @ JLT
    The biggest problem in trying to sort out media bias is how the biased media will report said sorting out. Witness the manufactured outrage at the perfectly reasonable and measured criticism of the BBC’s heavily edited and deliberately skewed interview with the Irish MEP on the question of Scottish membership of the EU. Even the woman herself complained. And yet … it was an ‘astonishing attack’ on the integrity of the BBC by jackbooted nationalists clearly bent on censoring the media and dictating the terms of the debate.
    Can you imagine what we’d get if we starting dragging editors into court?
    Sorry, JLT – for the moment we have no choice: smile and wave, smile and wave.

      

  27. Murtam says:

    Hi folks
    Till now I have been a “lurker” on this website.
    I have never ventured to pass an opinion as 
    a) I don’t live in Scotland (nb I say Scotland not UK or Britain) at the moment but have for nearly all my life until the turn of the last millenium.
    b)Therefore as things stand I will not be able to vote in the Referrendum in 2014.    

    However
    I was born in Scotland. That birth was registered in Edinburgh not the General register Office in London.
    I went to Primary school in Scotland
    I went to Senior Secondary school in Scotland  and received Scottish Highers (Not English ‘O’ levels or’A’ levels
    I attended teacher’s Training College in Edinburgh (a hint of how old I am) and was qualified to teach in Scottish Primary schools.
    All of that time I lived under the jurisdiction of Scots Law.
    During that time the monarch of the day sent their emissary to attend the General Assembly of the Church Of Scotland.

    I have a question therefore “Was my life all that time of  nearly 70 years a mirage, a falsehood, a dream? Where was I living? If my country had been extinquished more than 300years ago was I living in a different dimension? where has Scotland gone?

    I have read with a  growing   sense of unreality the legal back and forth about the UK government’s Paper on this and the previous thread.
    Please don’t get tied up in knots about this. May this not be in fact be a smokescreen to lay out the Unionists’ (btw how can they be unionists if Scotland was extinquished? A union between what and what?) wish list before the real bargaining begins?

     I have always been a Scottish nationalist since I heard Wendy Wood (who ever hears her name nowadays?) talk at the Mound in Edinburgh in my teens. I always voted for the political party that was available who was closest to my understanding of how Scotland should be governed. Sadly for most of my life that wasn’t the SNP as they simply didn’t have candidates in the places I was living in Scotland

    I simply cannot understand how anyone born and brought up in Scotland does not see themselves Scottish first and foremost nor how they cannot be appalled at what the present Uk government are doing to the United Kingdom.

    It has been a matter of satisfaction to observe the very civilized way that the present Scottish government have conducted their drive for the right of the people of Scotland to have a say via a referrendum on the future governance of their country. It is to hoped that this will continue to be a peaceful and unarmed struggle. Historically this has not always been the case when the people of Scotland have had to rise up to defend their identity and their freedom. 

       

      

  28. Megsmaw says:

    So the big sign that says “Welcome to Scotland” doon past Gretna is fake? a mirage? a mass hallucination? I’m confused, do I exist or am I a character in an Englishman’s dream? Are we all in the matrix?
    I like cats and pies not wee dugs and sausage rolls!…
     
    I think I need a wee session in the darkened room…

      

  29. Doug Daniel says:

    This is in keeping with what Professor Naphy from the University of Aberdeen told me in an email about the difference between the 1707 Union and the 1801 Union. (I’ve posted this in comments before, but it is worth reading if anyone missed it):
     
    The 1707 Union created a united (union) parliament for Scotland and England.  This entity (Great Britain) was then united into an additional union parliament in 1801 when it (Great Britain) was united with Ireland to form the United Kingdom ‘Great Britain’ AND Ireland.  So, as I tried to stress what ends with Scottish independence would be ‘Great Britain’.  There could still be a ‘united kingdom’ but it is hard to understand since neither Northern Ireland (a province) or Wales (a principality administratively subsumed by England in the late Middle Ages) are kingdoms (as Ireland, Scotland and England were/are).  However, the original 1707 Acts of Union (and there were two) remained in force after 1801 not least in preserving (pace the current Supreme Court) the distinctiveness and independence of the Scottish judiciary.  Again, the key point is in the title.  Ireland did not join England and Scotland as equals; it was joined with an entity comprised of two states called Great Britain.  Yes, in reality, that union (1801) was dissolved in 1919/22 and it has been a fiction that something ‘Irish’ remained.  But the important thing is that even in that fiction the distinctive character/place of Great Britain remained.  It is ‘Britain’ that will cease to exist with independence.  As I suggested this still leaves open the question of successor/secessionist state which keeps getting muddled in the discussion (a successor state would be in the EU/NATO; a secessionist state would have no national debt).  My guess is that Scotland would argue for good terms as a successor state in relation to England, et al., who would want to retain the ‘privileges’ of the UK (e.g., veto on the UN Security Council) but who would also want to avoid allowing Scotland to walk away as a secessionist state.  Most other bodies (EU, NATO, UN, etc.) would, I think, simply accept whatever was agreed by the two partners and accept both as successor states.

      

  30. Doug Daniel says:

    Or for those of us who love maths (me), here’s the Union Equation.
     
    For this equation, we require the following variables:
    Scotland = A
    England = B
    Great Britain = C
    Ireland = D
    UK of GB & Ireland = E
    Northern Ireland = F
    UK of GB & NI = G
     
    Thus:
     
    1707: A + B = C

    1801: C + D = E

    1922: E – D + F = G
    But (E – D) = C
    => C + F = G

    2014: G – A = ?
    But G = C + F and A = C – B 
    => C + F – (C – B) = ?
    => C + F – C + B = ?
    => B + F = ?
     
    But we know ‘?’ is rUK, and we know what B and F are, so we can say that rUK = England + Northern Ireland. Which, incidentally, is a completely new state which does not exist now and did not exist prior to 1707…
     
    (Unfortunately for poor old Wales, mathematics has no time for pleasantries.)

      

  31. Doug Daniel says:

    Shite, that’s far better if I use S, E, Gb, I, GbI, Ni, and GbNi instead of A, B, C, D, E, F and G…

      

  32. Chic McGregor says:

    forget it

     

      

  33. CameronB says:

    @ Doug Daniel
     
    I never got to Higher level but I managed to follow you.
     
    ——————————————————————————————-
     
    It surely can not be left up to the grass-roots to check the BBC? I am not suggesting any direct government censure or censorship, as that is a bag of angry cats. However, would it not be in the SG’s remit to invite international observer bodies to oversee things now? How many nations/states/clubies, have gone through a similar experience to what we face? Did they do it on their own and behind closed doors? How many wars have we been involved since WW2, with the explicit intent of spreading or protecting the values of liberal democracy? If this has truly been their purpose, would such oversight of the democratic process not be valued as a mark of quality? Would the world not benefit from such a positive affirmation of democracy and the free press.

    Sorry for the duplicate post, please remove the first attempt.

      

  34. Albalha says:

    @doug daniel

    Thanks for the Prof Naphy analysis, we are talking about rGB and NI = rUK? Of course if we take the line that Scotland and England ceased to exist after 1707 on the creation of GB, is there still an England or should it be referred to as rGB from now on. Unless they decide to cut relations with themselves? How can England ever exist again?

        

      

       
      

      

  35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Shite, that’s far better if I use S, E, Gb, I, GbI, Ni, and GbNi instead of A, B, C, D, E, F and G…”

    I hope we’ve all learned a lesson about posting at 2am, there.
    :D

      

  36. Doug Daniel says:

    Well, it was either that or keep fuming about Arnold Clark and their diabolical customer service.

      

  37. Aplinal says:

    I am reminded of the line, “There’ll always be an England” .. or perhaps NOT, as the Union Treaties now seem to have consigned both Scotland and England (what about Wales?) to the dustbin of history.  Oh aye, right!
     
    Realpolitik will determine EVERYTHING, lawyers notwithstanding.  I was thoroughly depressed yesterday reading the comment don the “clean slate” blog, but now I feel better.  It is in everyone’s interests to find a sensible solution once the Scottish voters make their decision.  “Old Brits” are as much interested in their perceived “position” as they are in anything else – it will be done.

      

  38. Indion says:

    Doug Daniel
    ‘rUK = E + NI’
    But – like W – NI is an accretion, albeit the bit that stuck around.
    So S + E are the original and successor states forming the UK. Our de-coupling frees England to be its self again too, even in continued use of the marital name.

      



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