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Wings Over Scotland


Lawyer, lawyer, pants on fire

Posted on September 05, 2012 by

You tend to expect legal professionals to be a bit more careful with their words than this. Over the last few days we’ve been documenting the bizarre mental collapse of staunch Scottish Labour activist Ian Smart, a practising solicitor from Cumbernauld who’s managed to arrive at the conclusion that there won’t be an independence referendum at all, but if there is and there’s a Yes vote then Scotland will almost instantly degenerate into a poverty-stricken fascist dictatorship with no elections, 100% unemployment, compulsory Gaelic in schools and cannibalism in the streets.

We don’t plan to carry on doing so beyond today, because right now it’s starting to feel like laughing at a car crash while the fire brigade are still frantically trying to saw bodies out before the petrol tank goes up. But the extraordinary breakdown Mr Smart suffered late last night on his Twitter account isn’t an isolated incident among Labour figures at the moment, and we’re a bit worried there could be a toxic leak of some sort in the water system at John Smith House which might harm innocent visitors.

The trigger was Finance Secretary John Swinney’s appearance on a fractious edition of Newsnight Scotland, in which presenter Gordon Brewer didn’t make even a token effort at concealing his contempt for, well, just about everyone. At some point early in the proceedings, Smart reached a conclusion the rationale for which escapes us:

As we write we still have no idea what that tweet means (Mr Swinney’s first words on the programme were “There will be a referendum in the autumn of 2014″). But it wasn’t until 13 minutes later that Mr Smart finally lost all grip on reality, embarking on a long string of increasingly-shrill posts shrieking that the Finance Secretary was a “liar”.

The above represents just a small fraction of the sustained toddler-like outburst. Perhaps the deranged, over-excited tone at a late hour was the result of drink being taken, perhaps not. (We’d like to make clear that we have no reason to believe such a suggestion, because we’re at least passingly acquainted with the laws on defamation, something Mr Smart seems not to be.)

But over a series of exchanges with ourselves and others, it at least became clear that the grounds for this hysterical attack on Mr Swinney were that the timing of the forthcoming independence referendum, specifically the fact of it taking place in the second half of the parliamentary term, had not been in the SNP’s “manifesto”.

We’re not sure how that would reflect on Mr Swinney’s competence as Finance Minister in any event, or how it was relevant to anything anyway (given that manifestos are not legally binding documents), particularly given that Mr Smart insists the referendum isn’t going to happen at all. But let’s take the accusation at face value and see if it’s at least factually true. To do that, we’ll need some definitions.

Here’s the Oxford Dictionary one:

Here’s the dictionary.com version:

And these, courtesy of The Free Dictionary, are the definitions from the Collins and American Heritage dictionaries:

You get the idea. According to all the most authoritative sources on the English language, “manifesto” is not specifically a written document, but merely a “public declaration” of a policy or policies. So what we need to establish is whether the SNP made such a declaration before the 2011 election or not. And that’s easy enough.

“I believe that the Scotland Bill legislation going through Parliament just now is an immediate priority, because we’ve got to get economic teeth into that legislation, in order to assist Scottish recovery. That pushes the referedum bill into the second half of this Parliament.

- Alex Salmond, speaking (from 3m 00s) on a live party-leaders’ debate on BBC 1 Scotland on May 1st 2011, four days before the election.

The announcement wasn’t missed. Scotland’s second-biggest tabloid splashed with it the next day, as did the Telegraph, among others. Between them and the national TV broadcast, we think it’s fair to say the policy was “publicly declared”, and that it thereby formed part of the manifesto on which the SNP was resoundingly elected in a historic landslide victory four days later.

(And while we don’t have the figures to hand, we’d be prepared to place a hefty wager that far more people saw and read of Salmond’s declaration on the TV and in the newspapers than ever read the printed version of the manifesto.)

Ian Smart, in other words, is lying. (Since we feel it’s safe to discount the alternative explanation that he’s incapable of reading or understanding an English dictionary.) Yet he continues to make the allegations, flatly denying empirical reality with the sort of absolute conviction that’s normally the province of the clinically delusional.

The only figure in this whole sorry farce meriting an apology is John Swinney. And perhaps also the people of Scotland who still believe in the Union, because regardless of whether we disagree with them about the country’s constitutional future or not, they deserve to have a better champion to speak for them than this.

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125 to “Lawyer, lawyer, pants on fire”

  1. McHaggis says:

    Personally, i feel it is pretty clear Ian wasn’t liking the results from your recent poll and went batshit to try and win. Independence support has its own fair share of -shall we say- “outspoken personalities”, but it is pretty clear the unionists are hogging this particularly unwanted limelight at the moment. Their shrill outpourings over the last year or so should be contrasted with the methodical approach taken by the Scottish Government.

      

  2. Iain says:

    Jeezo, obviously the ‘nowhere near as mad as Kelly & Cochers’ pill was just too bitter to swallow. One of the greatest competitive comebacks since Liverpool pulled back three against AC Milan in Istanbul.

      

  3. Adrian B says:

    I like the Jim Carrey picture above. I was thinking only the other day how close this man is to the character in The Truman Show. 

      

  4. Norman says:

    I agree with the first three comments, is that man pissed off or what!  Rerun the poll and maybe Ian Smart will calm doon.

      

  5. Juteman says:

    Like you say, it’s like a car crash. Only in slow motion, with extended pauses. Someone close to him should have a quiet word, as his behaviour seems very erratic.

      

  6. scottish_skier says:

    Labour increasingly feeling the pressure of being largely impotent/shut out of things. Well, maybe if they’d put ‘devo max’ in their 2011 manifesto they might have been in with more of shout. That and of course being in power in London and be willing to impliment it.

    You never know though, Smart might be right; maybe the Scottish Government and No. 10 have decided there’s no need for a referendum. Would make life a lot easier for AS and Dave. Scotland and the rUK agree politiely to a new relationship (one in which Scotland gets its independence/sovereignty of course) without all the embarassment (for the UK) of Scotland voting its way out in a big ‘rejection’ of Britain, beamed to tellyboxes across the globe. The English Tories are happy and so is Scotland.

    ;-)

      

  7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Labour increasingly feeling the pressure of being largely impotent/shut out of things.”

    I do think that’s fundamentally what it is. Despite being thrashed in the election they still instinctively feel that they’re the true rightful leaders of Scotland, and they’re genuinely surprised that Salmond keeps ignoring their demands.

    So they shout louder and louder (Lamont nearly lapsed into flat-out screaming several times yesterday), and when Salmond STILL keeps blanking them they’re starting to lose their minds in frustrated rage. Smart’s increasingly-lunatic tirades smack of nothing so much as a desperate attempt to be noticed by teacher.

      

  8. Galen10 says:

    The man is clearly delusional; whether it is alcohol induced is open to debate, but it would explain a whole lot. Either the claims are simply unionist trolling at their worst, or he does actually believe what he is saying. Obviously, what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, but the fact that this type of hysteria is being trotted out now with 24 months to go before the referendum, simply shows how rattled the dependency parties are, and how bereft of a positive vision they are too.

    The more of this kind of melt down we have the better; it simply makes the independence case for us; who would want to be identified with such an individual and his crazy views? It is earnestly to be hoped that come independence Mr Smart and his like will be true to their views and emigrate to rump UK where they will no doubt feel more comfortable. Whether there will be a welcome waiting for he and his like is less obvious.

      

  9. TheeForsakenOne says:

    And to think Ian Smart has been my family’s lawyer for the majority of my life. Although I was unaware of his political life until I started frequenting political blogs. It’s sad to watch him go completely mental after reading his excellent critique of the childish behaviour of the party he still believes in (For some mad reason). I just hope his breakdown isn’t affecting his professional life…

      

  10. sm753 says:

    “maybe the Scottish Government and No. 10 have decided there’s no need for a referendum. Would make life a lot easier for AS and Dave. Scotland and the rUK agree politiely to a new relationship ”

    …and meanwhile, back in Reality City…

      

  11. Peter A Bell says:

    I respect your reasons for desisting from pointing and laughing at Ian Smart, but I would draw attention to his latest demented rant (Heads of Oak) in which he seeks to deploy something called “Tafalgar Day” as the ultimate anti-Salmond device. I leave you to try and figure it all out for yourselves. – http://bit.ly/OmkQCu

      

  12. Norman says:

    SM753 Christ were have you been hiding! 

      

  13. wulie says:

    All the unionists are going batty at the prospect of losing their status as second class english people ????

      

  14. Silverytay says:

    scottish_skier
    I said last night that your scenario of Dave & A.S sorting everything out between themselves would have people in the labour party doing summersaults .
    The behaviour we are seeing now is a symptom of someone who has been in a small cage for far to long .
    They need to come out of their cages and broaden their horizons a bit ! much to their surprise they may find out that there is life after the labour party .

      

  15. Jim says:

    I was one of the people involved in tweeting with Mr Smart (jafurn50) and my problem was that I never thought he had even said what Mr smart accused him of saying. I have now watched Newsnight Scotland again and in my opinion it was Mr Brewer who said it was in the manifesto and then Ms dugdale said it wasn’t in the manifesto. Mr swinney never claimed it was and he never corrected the other two but that is not lying about it. Mr Smart has,I think, slandered Mr swinney and he should consider an apology.

      

  16. Silverytay says:

    Not to be outdone even cochrane has to get into the act by stating that A.S is surrendering to just call me Dave .  Just how crazy can these unionists get ?

      

  17. pa_broon says:

    I’m not sure why Ian Smart is being paid any attention at all, he’s one of those people who possess only a thin veneer of reason, when you scratch the surface, what you find is a very nutty fruitcake indeed.

    I now liken him and his blog to that of George Laird and Terry Kelly. He’s just bonkers, unionist supporters who have genuine opinions must cringe when they read his mithering for he does their cause real harm.

    More often, out spoken unionist supporters seem to be living in a bubble into which empirical, demonstrable truth does not pass. Someone some where said this was a nasty case of group think and I think I agree.

    Another example (and I digress) is the common refrain from commentors about cybernat abuse. Obviously you get the odd throbber here and there but mostly it seems to exist pretty much because unionist commentators say it does, not because cybernats are being particularly abusive; take the comments on the BBC piece about the SNP legislature for the coming year, I couldn’t and can’t see anything like the kind of abuse coming from the nationalists that is coming from the unionist side.

    A lot of the GB supporters commenting seem to take huge offence purely on the basis that there are people in Scotland who want to be governed by people who live in Scotland. They don’t handle rejection very well at all.

      

  18. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I’ve been ignoring Ian Smart for months, but his complete implosion over the last couple of weeks has been unarguably noteworthy, because he used to be one of the few people who appeared to have the ability to see Labour through the eyes of the ordinary public. That’s completely gone now.

      

  19. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Peter A Bell

    “England expects that every man will do his duty” is what springs to mind when Trafalgar is mentioned.  (That and “Kiss me Hardy”.  What is a “Hardy” anyway?).

    I suppose Ian Smart is therefore trying to oblige his Westminster handlers by “doing his best”.

    By the way, on the subject of historical faux pas, I had the ‘pleasure’ of watching and listening to the Edinburgh Festival Fireworks Concert last Sunday.  Apparently the programme was intended to commemorate the Jubilee and other symbols of Britishness, including a stirring piece recalling the Battle of Agincourt.

    I haven’t quite fathomed that last one out because in the 100 Years War Scotland was generally allied with France and fought against the English in France on a number of occasions (e.g. the Battle of Baugé); and although the English won most of the other battles, they started the war controlling about a third of France and ended up with just Calais.  C’est la guerre.

    I now look forward to Ian Smart citing The War of Jenkin’s Ear, or some such, to convey further the illustriousness of the British Empire.

      

  20. scottish_skier says:

    sm357.

    Two questions.

    1. Do you agree that Scotland would choose to remain in the united kingdom under a Tory majority in London?

    Think about this carefully, casting your mind back to 1997 when polls showed consistent majority support for independence after 18 years of the Tories, while also noting what happened as a result of the Tories managing only to lead a coalition from 2010. While the SNP were good 2007-11, the landslide was fuelled by more than competence.

    2. Do you agree that the Tories want to win a majority at the next general election?

    2014, 15, 16… Three bites at the cherry in succession. What a mess that could turn into if you didn’t make it all amicable.

    Great fun to speculate on these things. Must be very worrying for Labour – ‘What are the Tories/SNP talking about in these meetings’.

    They will be striking deals over the referendum and its aftermath, for mutual benefit, just as Peter Cruddas eluded to and has been the case ahead of every democractic independence referendum.

    Remember, independence referenda over the past 100 years have a 96% success rate (Quebec is the only one where it did not pass on two occasions, with the Yes just a whisker shy of 50% in 1995). The reason? Well, referenda don’t occur unless you have got to a position where the status quo is untenable.

      

  21. Jeannie says:

    @Norman:SM753 Christ were have you been hiding
    Norman, gonnae no encourage him.  Jist gonnae no.

      

  22. YesYesYes says:

    Given Ian Smart’s crazy idea that the SNP have no intention of holding a referendum you would have thought that this might have provided more important grounds for Mr Smart to accuse John Swinney and others in the SNP of being liars, and shouldn’t he be shouting this from the figurative ‘rooftops’ of twitter?
     
    Unless, of course, Alex Salmond is keeping his plan not to hold a referendum to himself and, like the Grand Old Duke of York, Salmond is going to lead his party, the Yes campaign, and all supporters of independence up to the top of the hill but hasn’t told any of us yet that his real intention is to lead us all the way back to the bottom again.
     
    This would certainly guarantee Alex Salmond a notorious place in Scottish history. Indeed, never mind those over-zealous ‘cybernats’ who accuse people like Ian Smart of being ‘traitors’, ‘quislings’ etc. Every supporter of independence for evermore would spit out the name ‘Alex Salmond’ with a venom and depth of hatred that would make the unionists’ present loathing of the man look like a veritable love-in in comparison. All of which leads you to the conclusion that Mr Smart doesn’t seem to have thought this through.
     
    An alternative explanation – which is no laughing matter – is that anyone who seriously suggests this may be suffering from some form of autism or, at best, has problems with self-awareness.
     
    On the topic of twitter and alcohol, I don’t do twitter myself but I have a friend (who shall remain nameless) who appears to be addicted to it. He assures me that he rarely goes on twitter nowadays without being under the influence as, on those occasions that he has tweeted in sobriety, he has compared it to an “endless mindfuck”. The only consolation I have been able to provide to him is to remind him of Sartre’s pre-twitter judgement: hell is other people. It would seem that, for many unionists, hell is Alex Salmond. 

      

  23. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I have always held the view that those who are losing the argument/have lost the argument are ALWAYS the first to turn to lies, deceit, misinformation, name calling, threats, false accusations etc.
    Isn’t that right Mr. Smart?
    Why don’t you just throw the towel in now Bubba you’ve obviously admitted defeat to yourself, your current level of non-debate is embarrassing, not just for Labour but for EVERYONE!

      

  24. Jeannie says:

    Well, that’s Nicola Sturgeon moved to a new post overseeing the referendum. 
    That wily Alex Salmond, obviously master of the old bluff and double bluff strategy, as exemplified in John Le Carre and Len Deighton novels, is now going to desperate and  ridiculous lengths in his attempts to maintain the illusion he is working towards holding the referendum he is secretly not going to hold. 

      

  25. James Morton says:

    This pretty much confirms my earlier posts – The unionist camp are directing their fire and hatred towards a phantom version of Alex Salmond. Their strawman arguments and ad hominem attacks against Salmond and the SNP, quite frankly beggar belief.
    It’s not a sign of madness, it’s a growing sense of panic fed by the narrative fallacy they have created as part of their “better together” campaign. They are fighting this campaign based on a series of falsehoods in defence of something that no longer exists, all to attack a man and a party they don’t understand.

    When this is challenged and disproved it leads to seemingly erratic behaviour and outbursts. Expect more of this as the clock ticks ever forward to 2014. One week is a long time in politics, two years will seem like eternity to people like Ian Smart.

      

  26. Juteman says:

    That’s just a red herring, Jeannie. It was about to become public that she was eating babies, so had to be moved from ‘Health’,

    Sorry for stealing your next blog entry, Ian.

      

  27. scottish_skier says:

    Juteman
    It was about to become public that she was eating babies

    Don’t you mean ‘accused’ of eating babies?

      

  28. Juteman says:

    I heard her admit it on Newsnight. Ian will back me up! :-)

      

  29. Jeannie says:

    @Juteman
    It was about to become public that she was eating babies, so had to be moved from ‘Health’,
    Whit?  Eating babies?  At exactly the same time as they announce all that extra nursery provision! Is there no end to their dastardly cunning? So they eat the babies  so they won’t actually need to provide all that extra nursery time that they’ve just promised – more LIES!  U No Hoo will have a field day with this!

      

  30. sm753 says:

    S_s

    “Remember, independence referenda over the past 100 years have a 96% success rate ”

    Bzzzt! Category error. Attempt to generalise conclusions about unique events.

      

  31. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sorry sm, there is nothing wrong with S.S.’s statement.
    Remember, independence referenda over the past 100 years have a 96% success rate (Quebec is the only one where it did not pass on two occasions, with the Yes just a whisker shy of 50% in 1995).”
     
    In fact he is quite correct to make this statement. If, as he says only one referendum failed to be won then, by a matter of simple deduction, all the other refernda were won. Nothing wrong with that statement at all.
     
    “Bzzzt! Category error. Attempt to generalise conclusions about unique events.”
     
    Following your logic that S.S.’s statement is about UNIQUE events then we obviously can say the same thing about almost anything else can’t we, like for example the “on time arrivals/departures” of trains or aircraft for example. If we follow your logic then there can be no such thing as on time arrival/departures percentage figures because EVERY arrival/departure is a UNIQUE event!
     
    Wait, hold on a minute. We DO get percentages for on time arrivals/departures and yet NOBODY questions these figures due to each instance being a unique event do we?

      

  32. Galen10 says:

    I know it’s probably not wise to engage with trolls like Ian Smart, but I did feel the need to immolate a few of his straw men in the comments section of his blog…… at least it made me feel better. Is it true this man is a lawyer…..? Given the output of his blog, and the reasoning on display, I wouldn’t trust him to argue in a debate with remedial primary school children.

      

  33. pa_broon says:

    Arbroath.

    This is a main plank in the unionist’s battle plan, if a thousand people tell them they’re talking mince, they’ll listen to the one person who says they’re talking pure unadulterated sense, that person will most probably be Ian Smart.

    Or indeed, who ever sm753 is.

    We should call it the Smart Criteria.

    Do the vast majority of people agree with what you’re saying? No.
    Is there anyone who agrees with what your saying? Only me.
    Does the preponderance of evidence support your position? No.
    Do you support your position? Yes.
    Then what you’re saying is the truth.

      

  34. Peter A Bell says:

    The only question about historical statistics on referendums is the extent to which they indicate a trend which we can extrapolate to future elections. I’m not sure this is the case. More plausible is the alternative perspective on what we may derive from such data. Namely, that there is something inherent in YES campaigns that makes them more likely to win.
     
    Or perhaps the statistics tell us nothing more than that independence referendums tend to happen at the point in time when the electorate is most ready to embrace constitutional change. Basically, the very fact that Scotland’s independence referendum is happening indicates that it is most likely to succeed.

      

  35. McHaggis says:

    “Basically, the very fact that Scotland’s independence referendum is happening indicates that it is most likely to succeed.”

    A fundamental point, very well put,  that is the real reason the unionists are terrified at the prospect.

    Essentially they were happy to sneer that a referendum would never happen etc etc until their bubble got well and truly burst in 2011. Essentially what we have now is a ‘Dad’s Army’ style ‘Don’t Panic’!!! as the run around from pillar to post on a daily basis with shrill and absolutely foundation-less assertions… Jeezo, we even see Labour and Tory standing shoulder to shoulder on the issue…

    as the Scottish Government quietly and conscientiously gets on with the business of putting the appropriate legislation in place and organising the ‘Yes’ campaign with others. 

      

  36. Erchie says:

    Ian Smart was correct, obviously John Swinney lied.

    John Swinney said nothing a out it being in the manifesto.

    John Swinney is a liar.

    Ergo, by not mentioning it, John Swinney LIED BY OMISSION!

    Ergo, he DID say the manifesto said there would be a referendum in the second half

    Ergo John Swinney is a liar, as the printed manifesto didn’t specify a date

    QED! 

      

  37. An Duine Gruamach says:

    I’m looking forward to the last week or so of the referendum campaign.  I’m sure Mr. Smart will be glorying in the parties who’ve always opposed the holding of a referendum forcing the only parties who were in favour of holding one to hold one.  Or something.

      

  38. Peter A Bell says:

    Mr Smart will spend the last two weeks of the election campaign trying to figure out a “lawyers” excuse for having got it so magnificently wrong when he assured all foolish enough to listen that the referendum would never actually happen.

      

  39. scottish_skier says:

    P.A. Bell
    Basically, the very fact that Scotland’s independence referendum is happening indicates that it is most likely to succeed.

    Yes, that’s what I was eluding too at the end of my post. While all those 47 referenda in the past 100 years or so were in different countries with different histories – ergo ‘unique’ in that sense - what ties them together is that you don’t get to the stage of people going out and voting for independence without good reason. If you are at that stage, then there must be very good reasons why. To have an electorate vote in favour of holding an independence referendum, or at least in the knowledge that this is what their vote could well result in (which could therefore ultimately lead to actual independence), suggests a very sizeable proportion of the electorate want this with another fair sized proportion giving it serious thought. Which is of course what polls for Scotland say (not one, but all together).

    The other thing that happens is once you reach the stage that an independence referendum is actually going to occur, then those ‘undecided’ who may have never really sat down and did their research, must then make up their minds for real. Typically, in such circumstances, the state/empire/union which people are voting for independence from reacts negatively to the referendum as it is a threat to said state/empire/union. Also, if the referendum is happening, it suggests that this state/empire/union has pissed off the bit wanting to leave for a considerable length of time and is so struggling to offer reasons to persuade it to stay. Without good, positive reasons offered to stay, negativitiy/scare stories/threats etc are the tactics used historically. This tends to ultimately backfire and drive people towards independence which is generally always offered in a positive light.

    The UK, in its current form, really can’t survive what is happening. History tells us that. This is why no doubt moves are afoot behind closed doors to make sure it does not cause major shocks to the system.
                 

      

  40. megabreath says:

    “I do think that’s fundamentally what it is. Despite being thrashed in the election they still instinctively feel that they’re the true rightful leaders of Scotland, and they’re genuinely surprised that Salmond keeps ignoring their demands.
     
    Yes,well put.The fact is the labour party are increasingly aware of the peripheral part they play in Scottish politics and they dont like it one bit.The result is we have mad rants like this and the spectacle of Tom Harris welcoming the possibility of Conservative governments as some kind of corrective oppositional principle of democracy while all the time looking as if he actually welcomes such a government.They are all over the place.

      

  41. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I saw on Reporting Scotland that the Lamentable one was moaning, as expected, about the changes that have been made to the Scottish government’s front bench. Now the question has to be asked, I think, why is Lamont so upset that Nicola Sturgeon is leaving Health? It couldn’t possibly be because she thought Nicola was doing a GOOD job is it?
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=365107576900589&set=a.136650206412995.35100.136640179747331&type=1&theater

      

  42. sm753 says:

    S_s
     
    “Remember, independence referenda over the past 100 years have a 96% success rate”
     
    Oh really?
     
    By my count there were some 27 “independence referenda” in this period. (You can quibble the number up or down by one or two; it makes no difference.)
     
    20 of these – 76% – were in favour. Oh golly gosh.
     
    But hang on, no fewer than 16 of these 27 referenda were held either in the context or aftermath of a full-on shooting war, and/or the collapse of one of the largest totalitarian dictatorships in history. The 1958 vote in Guinea was similarly part of the collapse of a colonial empire.
     
    Only 11 took place in circumstances remotely similar to those in Scotland today. Of the 11, 7 failed.
     
    Of the 4 “successful” independence referenda, those of the Faroes in 1946 and Western Australia in 1933 – were ignored. This leaves us Norway in 1905, and Iceland in 1944.
     
    So, far from S_S’s “96%” claim, we actually find that no part of a prosperous, peaceful, integrated state has voted for independence by referendum since 1944. In fact to the contrary: on 7 such occasions, the referendum has been defeated.
     
    This must be another one of these Nat myths which crumble into a pile of drivel when you check the facts.
     
    I have no doubt that people will be able to quibble about some minor matters, but the substantive point holds.

      

  43. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    That’s a pretty compelling argument, especially as it’s so comprehensively backed up by sources and oh, wait a minute.

      

  44. scottish_skier says:

    The 96% success rate comes from Prof Matt Qvortrup. He was on various unionist expert panels due to having well ‘written the book on referenda’.

    Quick link search to the original story:   
     
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/252253/Scots-referendum-yes-10-times-more-likely-to-succeed

    Was reported widely at the time.

      

  45. Arbroath 1320 says:

    But hang on, no fewer than 16 of these 27 referenda were held either in the context or aftermath of a full-on shooting war, and/or the collapse of one of the largest totalitarian dictatorships in history.


    So what are you saying sm?
    Surely you’re not advocating that we should go to war with Westminster for a few years BEFORE holding OUR referendum!
    Are you MAD?

      

  46. Derick fae Yell says:

     
    pa_broon says:
    The Smart Criteria.
    Do the vast majority of people agree with what you’re saying? No.
    Is there anyone who agrees with what your saying? Only me.
    Does the preponderance of evidence support your position? No.
    Do you support your position? Yes.
    Then what you’re saying is the truth.
    Pure genius. bad form to mock the afflicted, but hells funny!
     

      

  47. Tearlach says:

    O/T but linked to Ian Smarts titter breakdown. This bizarre rambling from Carron Lindsay on the Lib Dem Voice website is worth a read and a chuckle. MP Pete Wishart’s twittering about the westminster re-shuffle, and a comment about a Panda, is an example of “SNP’s twitter tirade against Moore and Swinson” Cybernatry at its worst……

    http://www.libdemvoice.org/snp-mps-twitter-tirade-against-moore-and-swinson-30060.html#comment-219376

      

      

  48. sm753 says:

    S-S, Mr Campbell, et al:
     
    So I’m being tasked by Mr Campbell for not providing sources when s_s can only provide the, er, Daily Express???
     
    The comment thread on someone else’s blog is hardly conducive to producing an authoritative, sourced and footnoted piece. I’ll do it myself on my own blog when I have time.
     
    But in the meantime, I would genuinely welcome any challenges to the picture I presented. I’m sure you know where to look.
     
    Not sure that’s it worthwhile, however, since my original (oblique) point about a “category error” was that “independence referenda” are so rare and so different in their fundamental characteristics and circumstances that they do not constitute a valid statistical universe.
     
    To say “xx% of independence referenda give a positive result, therefore this gives valid information about the next one” is simply a meaningless, content-free statement.
     
     

      

  49. scottish_skier says:

    Aye, the daily express is a bit too left-wing/scottish nationalist leaning.

    Here are the original sources.
     
    http://www.pulaval.com/catalogue/referendum-souverainete-comparaisons-critiques-commentaires-9484.html

    http://pa.oxfordjournals.org/content/61/4/713.extract

    Totally agree that such referenda are rare (for a specific country/state, but globally 1 every 2 years on average is fairly regular I suppose). As I said earlier, they only happen when the status quo becomes unsustainable.  
           

      

  50. sm753 says:

    Marvellous, you have provided links to sources which cannot be accessed by non-subscribers. One is in French. Not much use to the rest of us, n’est-ce pas?
     
    Possibly you could, either here or on my blog, give a list of the “46″ referenda claimed, and we can all check the circumstances of them and see how many are remotely relevant to Scotland today.
     
    But as already said, 46 in a century is nowhere near any sort of statistical validity.
     
     
     

      

  51. scottish_skier says:

    http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/cds/staff/qvortrupmmatt.html
    m.qvortrup@cranfield.ac.uk

    Maybe just ask him if you are really in doubt.

    I happily reply to questions on my publications (O&G production chemistry).

    bonne nuit…

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/llog/duty_calls.png   

      

  52. douglas clark says:

    Tearlach,
     
    Carron Lindsay, it seems to me, is mixing up political tweets by politicians, with your actual voter who may, or may not, be a cybernat. I am on the side of the rights of the voter to speak to power. Which, for all it’s other faults, the internet allows us to do.
    Caron, whilst siding with the blessed Alan Cochrane, actually appears not to know the difference.
     

      

  53. Adrian B says:

    Mean while, over in Catalonia, those pesky separatists are at it again!

    http://rt.com/news/free-catalonia-independence-resolution-448/ 

    Scottish_Skier – approved of the links. 

      

  54. douglas clark says:

    sm753,
     
    It is true that Eire separated from the UK after a shooting war. It is also true that New Zealand became independent by default. The latters independence was because nobody in Westminster stopped it, it just sort of crept up on them.
     
    We have the opportunity to avoid the former. That is what a referendum is for. A velvet divorce is a desireable end in itself.
     
    I would cast this back at you. Please provide your list of 27 referenda, then we can add or subtract to it to our hearts content.
     
    In God we trust, the rest bring evidence………

      

  55. McHaggis says:

    @sm

    “So I’m being tasked by Mr Campbell for not providing sources when s_s can only provide the, er, Daily Express?”

    I would bet my mortgage that your own source, undeniably, is the sole preserve of the internet flunky, Wikipedia.

    Hardly in a position to criticise are you?

    For me, I prefer to listen to quotes, even from the Express, from a professor who specialises in the subject rather than you, who regurgitates wikipedia. 

      

  56. tartanfever says:

    And to think law professor and ex BBC legal man Bonnington was having a go at Holyrood for undermining Scots Law last week. I think Mr Bonnington should maybe direct his concerns a little closer to home.

      

  57. sm753 says:

    Somebody else brought statistics into this. I have stated my position – statistics about referenda are actually irrelevant.
    But it’s the person who introduced the “96% of 46 referenda” who needs to provide the evidence. Not me.
     
     

      

  58. McHaggis says:

    sm753

    so it IS wikipedia.
    Nicely researched. Did it take you all day to find the relevant page?

    Stats I know nothing about and personally, I feel that being able to admit my own shortcomings like that, keeps me level headed.

    Unionists, and particularly those such as you smeee, NEVER admit to being wrong or simply not knowing much about any given subject. Your arrogance, such as it is now and was up to early May 2011, will be your undoing.

      

  59. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Seems to me that he already has sm.
    I guess from your statement “I have stated my position – statistics about referenda are actually irrelevant.” that ALL statistics are irrelevant, after all that IS the implication of your statement.

      

  60. sm753 says:

    Well that’s two replies from folks proving they know nothing about statistics.
     
    Carry on. Keep listening to “scottish_skier” telling you that 70-30 polls against your precious “independence” don’t matter, because apparently “96%” of all independence referenda produce a “positive” result.
     
    Believe that if you want to, but it’s not going to help.

      

  61. McHaggis says:

    Its so funny watching you spin smeee -
    some things never change.

    The only poll that matters is the referendum vote.
    As for stats, can you provide us with a note of your own qualifications on the subject? No, you won’t because you NEVER answer questions EVER, you just spin off to some other topic.

    As for precious… well it seems absolutely clear that you are the one grasping with both hands Gollum-like to your ‘precious’ union.

    What I believe is the result will be much better for nationalists than 70:30 and that is what is driving you to complete distraction. You know it and the panic is tangible.
    Hey, it might not be enough to get over 50%, but your sphincter which is twitching right now will be in complete spasmodic breakdown in the weeks before the poll. 

      

  62. douglas clark says:

    sm753,
     
    I have invited you to provide your own facts. Give us your list. And any supporting evidence. Otherwise you are just mouthing off. Which I cannot believe you would do.

    27 you say? Lets have chapter and verse on it OK?

      

  63. Arbroath 1320 says:

    D.C. he won’t do that.
    If he does then he knows his argument is OVER!
    This is standard unionist policy in action. Lies,deceit,accusations,untruths and threats. NO PROOF!
     

      

  64. douglas clark says:

    Arb,
     
    Of course he won’t. But I’d rather this thread ended with you and me agreeing rather than him being left with the last word. Of course, if he can bring evidence to the discussion, that would be good…….
     
     
     
     

      

  65. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just a wee bit O/T but illuminating none the less.
    We all are calling for the Bitter camp to come up reasons why we are better together. Well folks it looks like our questions have been answered!

    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/5761-curran-undermines-no-campaign-saying-qwe-dont-need-more-of-the-sameq

    “In an interview on STV’s news at 6, Ms Curran commented on the UK government’s many failures in Scotland and said, “We don’t need more of the same.”
     
    So I take it from this latest “exclusive” on the inner workings of the Labour party that they will now be coming out in their droves to support Independence!

      

  66. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “But it’s the person who introduced the “96% of 46 referenda” who needs to provide the evidence. Not me.”

    No, it’s both of you. The correct response to dubious data is to challenge the person providing it to name their sources, not double the amount of uncertainty by adding your own.

      

  67. scottish_skier says:

    I’m quite happy to take Matt Qvortrup at this word, but I guess we could all chip in and get sm753 some Amazon vouchers for Christmas?
    Personally, I’m content to conclude that the historical rule of thumb is if you get to the stage of having a referendum, it’s because the status quo is a no-goer.
     

      

  68. sm753 says:

    “The correct response to dubious data is to challenge the person providing it to name their sources”

    Very well. This evening I will open up my spreadsheet and get out my list of 27.

    I take it we can rely on S_s to provide his list of “46″.

      

  69. pa_broon says:

    This is classic example of unionist diversionary pedantry.

    Are statistics conclusive? No, I don’t think any one is saying that, they just point out certain preponderances in terms of direction.

    But, never let reasonable debate get in the way of a spot of sophistry, because referenda don’t all happen in the same context (no shit sherlock) then no other referenda can possibly be considered as an example.

    Perhaps this is the fabled positive case for the union, that referenda don’t always take place in similar circumstances, we’d better cancel ours because on this basis unionists have won a concise victory, we should all just pick up our jumpers and go home.

    The rather hilarious thing is, people like SM sit at home and smugly think they’re carrying their arguments in favour of the status quo forward, that they’re blowing the nationalist arguments out of the water left, right and centre.

    You’re not, all you’re doing is demonstrating and underlining that you have no substantive argument in support of the union. Its this smug assumption that people will always defer to the union as the default purveyor of truth that will finally do for the UK.

    Apart from anything else, its really fucking patronising, Westminster has been patronising UK citizens North and South of the border for decades and I think they’re really fed up with it, we have a chance to break away which is exactly what we should do and hopefully, it’ll be a driver for change all over the British Isles.

      

  70. MajorBloodnok says:

    Actually sm753 is just a common or garden troll and gets a rise out of seeing honest folk taking him seriously.  Best to ignore him because that’s what he doesn’t want.

      

  71. McHaggis says:

    “Very well. This evening I will open up my spreadsheet and get out my list of 27″

    Why not just provide the direct link to Wikipedia you have used? – you don’t need to spend any time cutting and pasting each into a spreadsheet. 

      

  72. sm753 says:

    Er, the positive case for the Union is that, on the whole and in the long run, Scotland is better off, safer, more secure and more stable. It is also ethnically and culturally richer, more open and more diverse, and is part of a beacon to the world showing the virtues of a democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-entity state.

    It’s only the umpteenth time I’ve written that or seen it from others – do you have trouble reading it?

      

  73. MajorBloodnok says:

    Until I see this on a spreadsheet I’m not convinced.

      

  74. scottish_skier says:

    I’m waiting for the Scots Tory and Labour vote shares to suddenly soar to the 50% odd highs they used to enjoy in the heady days of the 1950-60’s post-war consensus. Those were the days. British Rail, British Steel, British Coal, British Telecom, British Gas, British Petroleum, British Leyland…. Aye you heard me: British. Shared national industries and institutions that bound the nations of the UK together in a common purpose. That and of course god, queen and the empire.

    All gone now apart from Lizzie and the BBC. Sun set on the empire in 1997. All those national industries shut down or flogged off. Maggie wasn’t ‘building one nation’ as she proudly said her politicies were doing, she was doing the opposite.
    If a sudden revival of post-war togetherness occurs, with everything in Scotland turning ‘British’ again, we’ll know the better together campaign were right on the mark in their predictions and the nats will be quashed for all time.
     

      

  75. Peter A Bell says:

    Not so much an argument as a string of vacuous, jingoistic assertions. Only a “positive case” in the minds of those already persuaded of the ineffable righteousness of the divinely ordained British state. You fail.

      

  76. Adrian B says:

    sm753

    Steven Noon’s first two articles differ on the’ better together’ economic case. 

    http://stephennoon.blogspot.co.uk/ 

    There is also a rational case that not having everything centred around London and it’s growing number of runways that if Scotland created more of it’s own cultural and business links then that would continue to widen our ethnical links with many other countries. Scotland has very different needs here, we need high quality immigration to assist the existing skill set that the country already holds.    

      

  77. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    @SM753

    “Er, the positive case for the Union is that, on the whole and in the long run, Scotland is better off, safer, more secure and more stable. It is also ethnically and culturally richer, more open and more diverse, and is part of a beacon to the world showing the virtues of a democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-entity state.”

    Yet you fail to back up any of those assertions with facts, preferring to live in the “fuzzy” world of feelings rather than empirical data.

    1) Scotland is better off – How?

    Financially – We are tied to a tax regime set up to suit SE England. We are living with the after-effects of lax financial oversight of the banking sector and the unfettered excesses of the London banking system. As a result we are suffering the worst Austerity in 100 years and due to Barnett Consequentials there is no hiding behind devolution… cuts are coming and we have NO ROOM TO MANEOUVER within the framework of the UK.

    2) Safer – How?

    Defence – We are currently sacrificing conventional forces in order to fund the renewal of an outdated cold war nuclear weapons system that has no conceivable purpose or opponent other than as a grandstanding big boy’s toy. Our forays into the middle east have made Islamic militancy worse and radicalised a generation. We are not set to see an end to this and will remain a target of extremism due to this. We have not just responded to aggression but taken part in illegal invasions and interventions in other states. We continue to send our young off to die in these pointless wars.

    Policing – Policing (like the Scottish legal system) is already independent from Westminster so it will not change upon independence.

    3) More Secure – How?

    Our borders are not being properly monitored after the SDSR cut out our recognisance craft. Even the Russian navy was able to moor off of the Scottish coast and a ship had to be dispatched from Portsmouth to intercept them. By the time it arrived they were gone. Ireland has better recognisance resources at present. Our customs systems are a joke and our approach to immigration and asylum needs radical overhaul.

    4) More Stable – How?

    In the boom of the 80′s Scottish industry was laid waste to by Thatcherite economic plans, the Nu Lab experiment let the brakes off public spending and racked up the debt and the result is the opening of the gates for the mad neo-liberal scorched earth policies of the Tories. That’s the sort of rollercoaster that we can be well shot of.

    5) More Ethnically and Culturally Richer – How?

    Are there only Curry Houses, Art Galleries and Theatres because of the Union??? Scotland is a far more outward looking and positive to other cultures than many down south. We will not be deporting culture on independence.

    6) More open and more diverse – How?

    Why would we be less open and less diverse??? The diversity comes from those living here and we aren’t going to be undertaking mass deportations, in fact we are looking to attract more people to live here and contribute to Scotland. Will we be less open as an independent country? No. The openness comes from the culture of the people who live here or are you saying the Union is some sort of soothing cure to a uniquely Scottish Xenophobia (of which there isn’t a shred of evidence)???

    7) A beacon to the world showing the virtues of a democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-entity state – How?

    The democracy to which you refer has the least democratic form of voting anywhere in the world in FPTP. A system so poor that it is the system of choice for dictators wishing to appear democratic, just ask Mugabe in Zimbabwe. The MP’s are unaccountable except for at elections and yet there are never any alternatives that can be chosen given the nature of FPTP. The politicians are corrupt and only interested in feathering their own nests and all of this is looked over by a second chamber of UNELECTED Lords that are there through Cronyism and privilege (along with Bishops of the Church of England – but its apparently alright by you to have another countries church interfering in the governance of our country).

    The multi-ethnic parts of our country are put down and made scapegoats by the MSM with the public conned in to hating Immigrants, Asylum Seekers, The Disabled, The unemployed etc… etc… all in the name of convenient patsy’s to hide the failures of government on.

    At the same time the Multi-entity rhetoric falls down when the UK is constantly conflated with England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland given short shrift and passed over for investment in favour of the more populous SE England, a situation that continually sees the Multi-Entity parts of that vision suffer as resources are pulled to the centre.

    How is any of that a “beacon to the world”?

    In short, merely providing your feelings on these subjects does not alter the fact that you also need to provide concrete reasoning behind those feelings or it’s all just SPIN. Fuzzy displays of feelings don’t cut it in the debate on our future!

      

  78. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Why on earth do we need to be part of a MASSIVELY failing union when we can have a bigger role in the U.N. DESPITE being part of the failed U.K.
    No one more important than Ban Ki Moon himself, U.N. Secretary General, has made this point very clear in a letter sent to Alex Salmond. Now if the U.N. Secretary General has the foresight to recognise the potential of Scotland who is going to DENY us our rights at the U.N. as an Independent country. With praise like this coming from Ban Ki Moon about a country that is part of a FAILED union things can only get BETTER as an Independent country.
    http://www.robedwards.com/2012/06/scotland-to-get-bigger-role-in-un-after-praise-from-ban-ki-moon.html

      

  79. Davy says:

    Well, first about Ian Smart I have read his article in labour hame a few times then I went back and read it a few more, and I’m buggered if I can make any sense of it.

    And welcome back to (sm753 aka 357ms aka Michael) foo’s the weather doun south, I see your being grounded is now over and I look forward to your enlighting replys to Scotlands future as an Independent nation or should I say “state”, as I dont want to hurt any unionist feelings.

    Carryon Macduff and bambozzle us with your logic, I need a laugh.
      

      

  80. David Briggs says:

    Silverytay says:


    Not to be outdone 
    even cochrane has to get into the act by stating that A.S is surrendering to just call me Dave .  Just how crazy can these unionists get ?

     
    In the way that the Allies at the end of World War One surrendered to Germany in the railway coach at Versailles?
     
    Was watching the Scottish Government programme debates part one and two. Alex Neil’s and Mike Russell’s closing contributions were quite outstanding. To anyone who hasn’t checked out both and missed the entertainment, do so for your own delectation.

    news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/scotland/default.stm

     

      

  81. sm753 says:

    Ah, the widely known Mr Bell.
     
    You give a pretty good description of any SNP manifesto.
     
    “Not so much an argument as a string of vacuous, jingoistic assertions. Only a “positive case” in the minds of those already persuaded of the ineffable righteousness of the divinely ordained Scottish state. You fail.”
     
    See what I did there?

      

  82. sm753 says:

    Mr Minto
     
    1-7: No. Wrong.
     
    Endex.

      

  83. sm753 says:

    Now as for what I said I would do:
     
    Pro-independence referenda in peaceful, stable, democratic circumstances: Norway 1905, W Australia 1933, Iceland 1944, Faeroes 1946.
     
    Pro-independence referenda in civil war / imperial collapse circumstances: Guinea 1958, Slovenia / Tatarstan 1990, Croatia / Macedonia / Ukraine / Georgia / Transnistria 1991, Bosnia  / S Ossetia 1992, Eritrea 1993, Moldova 1994, E Timor 1999, Kurdistan 2005, Montenegro 2006, S Sudan 2011.
     
    Anti-independence referenda: Puerto Rico 1967/1993/1998, Quebec 1980/1995, Bermuda 1995, Nevis 1998.
     
    I have already stated that I find this sort of analysis risibly irrelevant, but I think this beats “oh I read it in the Daily Express”.
     
    Carry on believing that “97%” of referenda have pro-indpendence results. This will suit our Purpose very well.

      

  84. Peter A Bell says:

    I see what you did. You embarrassed yourself with your inability to come up with something original.

      

  85. douglas clark says:

    I recall this.
     

    sm753 says:
     
    September 6, 2012 at 9:57 am
     

    “The correct response to dubious data is to challenge the person providing it to name their sources”
    Very well. This evening I will open up my spreadsheet and get out my list of 27.
    I take it we can rely on S_s to provide his list of “46?.”
     
    Perhaps foolishly I assumed that our hero would share his data with us. Perhaps he only intended to look at it himself, but that could not be the case, could it?
     
    The evening has almost gone. Whilst it says 21:30 on my computers clock, it feels more like midnight. It is perhaps just the excitement of the occasion, but I, for one, am waiting with bated breath for this information.
     
    ( An aside – what exactly is bated breath?)

      

  86. Arbroath 1320 says:

    ( An aside – what exactly is bated breath?)
    D.C. is this not a “benefit” of being part of the union? :lol:

      

  87. sm753 says:

    DC
     
    Well I’ve given you MY list. That’s enough for you to go and check up on them, nicht wahr?
     
    Repeat: statistical analysis of global referendum results is literally meaningless. But my contribution still beats “I read it in the Daily Express”.

      

  88. sm753 says:

    Ah, Mr Bell again.
     
    “I see what you did. You embarrassed yourself with your inability to come up with something original.”
     
    No, I illustrated something fundamental. You, as a Nattist, for some peculiar reason have made some deep emotional commitment to “independence”. You profoundly believe this will solve all problems and make everything better. You are thus incapable of absorbing any factual information demonstrating otherwise.
     
    No point in me making a factual argument here; the minds of the audience are warped and closed. All I can do here is pick at the faults of the mindset and see if anyone actually starts to think critically. Exactly how many “Scottish Futures Bonds” have been sold since 2007? Can anyone actually show me, from the online Records of the Scottish Parliament, where and when the Declaration of Arbroath was “enshrined” in law?
     
    Do carry on.

      

  89. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Very well. This evening I will open up my spreadsheet and get out my list of 27.

    What’s the timescale for your list of 27 appearing here sm?

    As you can very well imagine there is the occasional reader on this site who might be interested in your list.

    You are so certain that S.S. has a list of 48 that can NOT be verified, surely the least YOU can do to convince us the readers of this site is for you to post your list. You regularly ask for others to provide the evidence surely it is only fair that we ask you to provide your evidence.

      

  90. douglas clark says:

    Ah! SM753,
     
    Getting in just under the wire!
     
    Well done.
     
    I would have thought that decolonialisation might provide a few more examples than you list. For instance, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania appear to have elected their own governments and then obtained their freedom. i’d imagine, though I haven’t researched it, that many other parts of the ex Soviet Union would claim a democratic mandate for their subsequent separation from parent Russia.  I’m not sure how you want to play this game. It seems to me that a plebicite by the people effected ought to be enough to see their claim, and indeed outcome, as a legitimate measure. If you vote in a government, locally, that wants separation is that enough? Bangladesh comes to mind.
     
    But more germane is perhaps the complete collapse of the British Empire. Is it at all reasonable to see the surrender of an empire as not being about independence?
    Most of the Acts of Parliament since WW2 were about allowing nations to go their own way.
     
    It is like a mixed up Proclaimers song:
     
    Nigeria, no more,
    India, no more.
     
    We don’t need a ‘Letter from America’ to see just how disgusting the British Empire actually was. We see it in our day-to-day lives. That they have the right to administer us and that we have no right to have a better opinion of ourselves than that.

    The mere idea that we – the Scots – should be less than free of Westminster, than almost everyone else is -  you will perhaps recall the map of the globe on which the sun never set – is risible.
     
    The rest of the World told Westminster to go away.
     
    So should we.
     
    Frankly, Westminster wouldn’t have done any of that – the independence stuff -  without local opposition to their hegemony. If we stand up to their nonsense, we will also win an independence ballot.
     
    I would be interested to know what percentage of the Westminster debt that any of these countries took on their independence.

      

  91. Adrian B says:

    sm753 says:
    September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Er, the positive case for the Union is that, on the whole and in the long run, Scotland is better off, safer, more secure and more stable. It is also ethnically and culturally richer, more open and more diverse, and is part of a beacon to the world showing the virtues of a democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-entity state.
    It’s only the umpteenth time I’ve written that or seen it from others – do you have trouble reading it?

    So not at all misty eyed Government propaganda.

    One day I hope that you manage to wake up to how this world works. This is the rubbish that gets peddled by those that benefit from keeping the likes of you in your place. By accepting this better together vision you are not only being incredibly complacent but have aided and abetted in giving your masters the green light to further line their pockets while all the while they suck the life blood and spirit out of you. Keep bowing and scrapping sm753, your masters like people to appreciate them. It makes them feel more self important and self propagates the myth that everything is just fine.  

      

      

  92. james morton says:

     
    @sm753
    It may have been those things once – But that was a different time, it was a different Scotland. Since the time of Thatcher we have seen those positive visions torn down and replaced with something far more cruel. From the poll tax to care in the community – From ID cards to open ended wars – The harvesting of disabled people by ATOS for simple profit – Families crippled by rising energy costs while MPs fleece the country with outrageous expenses. Public sector workers made to feel like parasites, while banks get more public money – Young students crippled with debts – Our old people made to take out huge loans to pay for “basic” care. Council tenants to be made homeless, the unemployed to be used as cheap unpaid labour. Education to once more be the domain of the wealthy. The selling off of our Hospitals and our schools.
    All the while the English grow to believe that they and they alone pay for everything in Scotland, while Scotland contributes…nothing. They pay for our prescriptions, our TV licences, our schools and our hospitals. All this while the “better together” camp sit by and say….nothing.  This is what your Union has become…a place in the mind of many in England, were Scotland is a kept nation. Only able to be taken seriously because of Union. Only able to have a military because of Union. Only able to have schools and colleges because of Union, Only able to win medals in the Olympics because of Union. From the clothes on your back to your job…only possible because we are in Union with England.  Too wee, too poor, and too stupid. Moaning Scots and dependent on benefits. That is how we are viewed. If that was true…any of it…what does say about us and who among us would vote for Independence. Also who among the English would tolerate something as grossly unfair as that. What does it say about the Union…if in 300 years Scotland simply has not advanced one jot as a nation. But if it’s not true…what does it say about the state of the Union, that those that profess to love it, must scare people into staying. It would be a self evident truth if the Union did serve Scotland’s interests and no one would be of a mind to leave. But that old concept of Union is long gone. Thatcher may have weakened the foundations, but Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron have kept hacking away at it. They didn’t replace it with something new to believe in. They didn’t replace it all, and there is no hope whatsoever that Miliband has anything better to offer. There is nothing left of what used to define the union, except for the institutions that still exist in Scotland.
    Are you really prepared to take the gamble that your Union will save Scotland from the insanity of this current Government. Are you prepared to gamble all you have that New Labour will undo the damage done to the UK and safe guard Scotland’s interests?  Looking at the last dreadful years of Labour in power and what followed after…the only safe bet to protect Scotland is independence from Westminster and the rest of the UK.
    I am believe that there is an expression in America  called “Old World Blues.” It refers to those so obsessed with the past that they can’t see the present for what it is. Their gaze is constantly looking backwards to what they believe was a better time, while the world moves on around them.
    Time for you and the others to quit your navel gazing and pay attention to what is happening, right here and right now. If your party can’t even save the Status Quo from the lunacy unfolding in Westminster, then you will have to accept as many on this board accepts, that it is time for the Union to end.

      

  93. Doug says:

    Smee.  I think you missed a few.  Damn Wikipedia list matches your list, but there are definitely more…

    In addition:

    Djibouti from France 1977 (Affar and the Issas)
    Aruba from Holland (1977)
    Bahrain from Iran (1970)
    Cambodia from France (1945)
    Ciskei (South Africa Bantustan – very dubious) 1980
    French Somaliland from France (1967)
    Latvia from USSR 1991
    Lithuania from USSR 1991
    Malta from British Empire 1964
    Mongolia from China 1945
    Nagorno-Karabakh (disputed) 1991
    New Caledonia from France (largely boycotted -  not carried) 1987
    Western Samoa from UK (1961)
    S Rhodesia from UK 1964 (v controversial)
    Turkmenistan from USSR (1991)
    Ukraine from USSR (1991)
    Uzbekistan from USSR (1991)

    Speaking of category errors, Puerto Rico wasn’t specifically seeking independence, but deciding which relationship with the USA suited (ranging from independence –> unincorporated teritory –> commonwealth –> statehood) and has had 5 (6 by the end of this year) such referenda.  The individual islands of the Dutch Antilles have undergone a similar process over time.

    I may have missed more, but no doubt you can correct me about any I have omitted ;-)

      

  94. douglas clark says:

    Doug,
     
    I feel very confident in adding Bangladesh separating from Pakistan to your list.

      

  95. pa_broon says:

    sm753 says:
    September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Er, the positive case for the Union is that, on the whole and in the long run, Scotland is better off, safer, more secure and more stable. It is also ethnically and culturally richer, more open and more diverse, and is part of a beacon to the world showing the virtues of a democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-entity state.
    It’s only the umpteenth time I’ve written that or seen it from others – do you have trouble reading it?”

    It doesn’t matter how often you type this for people to read, its still facile nostaligic unsubstantiated shite.

    I was actually expecting something a bit more concrete, like facts and figures but this? Really? Are we supposed to be holding back tears or vomit?

    Do you know, the biggest threat to the independence argument is lack of a cohesive opposite argument, is this what you’re trying to do? I almost look forward to a unionist actually coming out with something positive and substantial, but this vapid drivel? Seriously?

    With this one comment you’ve proven again that with so many unionists, the phrase, ‘if you have to explain, they’d never understand’ is true.

    PS: A ‘multi-entity state? Did you run that one up the flag pole to see who’d salute? Do fuck off.

      

  96. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Er, the positive case for the Union is that, on the whole and in the long run, Scotland is better off, safer, more secure and more stable. It is also ethnically and culturally richer, more open and more diverse, and is part of a beacon to the world showing the virtues of a democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-entity state.”

    That’s really not a “case”. That’s an assertion based purely on faith, since of course Scotland has not been an independent nation at any time remotely akin to the present day in order to make a comparison. What are the bases for any of those claims? In what way does the Union specifically promote “openness” and “diversity”, for example, given the anti-immigration stances of all three London parties compared to the pro-immigration stance of the SNP?

    In what way does the Union make us “safer” than an independent Scotland would be, given that UK foreign policy has made us a terrorist target? In what way are we more “stable”, given that we’re running a catastrophic deficit and debt requiring an unprecedented bonfire of our public services? In what way are we a “beacon of democracy”, since all three main parties (though only two can ever win) stand for all-but-identical ideologies and regularly achieve large absolute majorities on barely a third of the vote?

    Lawyers don’t just stand up in court, say “My client is innocent” and sit down again. That’s not a “case”, it’s a plea.

      

  97. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    That’s not a “case”, it’s a plea

    But more tellingly is when I asked for reasons HOW and cited the arguments against this view the answer I got was:

    sm753 says:
    September 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Mr Minto
     
    1-7: No. Wrong.
     
    Endex.

    Since when has anyone been able to answer HOW with NO in the English language???

    It shows 3 things:

    1) An unwillingess to debate
    2) A lack of arguments to back up the spurious claims
    3) An arrogance that says that Unionists dont have to answer to anyone and we should all just accept what they say as gospel.

    p.s. I would like to apologise for the auto correction of Reconnaisance to Recognisance in one of my previous posts. Darn computers…

      

  98. sm753 says:

    Doug
     
    “Djibouti from France 1977 (Affar and the Issas)
    Aruba from Holland (1977)
    Bahrain from Iran (1970)
    Cambodia from France (1945)
    Ciskei (South Africa Bantustan – very dubious) 1980
    French Somaliland from France (1967)
    Latvia from USSR 1991
    Lithuania from USSR 1991
    Malta from British Empire 1964
    Mongolia from China 1945
    Nagorno-Karabakh (disputed) 1991
    New Caledonia from France (largely boycotted -  not carried) 1987
    Western Samoa from UK (1961)
    S Rhodesia from UK 1964 (v controversial)
    Turkmenistan from USSR (1991)
    Ukraine from USSR (1991)
    Uzbekistan from USSR (1991)”
     
    Thanks. Interesting. Firstly, some of those are actually on my original list. Second, what I COULD do is check to see whether all these actually involved referenda per se, rather than parliamentary votes. The Bahrain – Iran case, for example doesn’t actually seem to have involved either.
     
    But there is actually no point, since all these cases are either USSR-collapse or end-of-colonial-empire examples (with the latter clearly involving issues of vast distances, racial issues and so on). They are thus totally irrelevant to the Scottish case.
     
    All you’ve done is prove my contention – that examples of prosperous, peaceful, democratic, integrated states splitting themselves up are actually very, very rare.  And the “success” rate in those cases is well below 50%, especially in modern times.
     
    So the claim that “97%” of independence referenda result in a “yes” vote is clearly fatuous nonsense.
     
     

      

  99. Juteman says:

    I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts.

      

  100. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’ve just seen the man on the moon. :lol:

      

  101. Stakhanov says:

    Ahhh Ian Smart,  former president of the Law Society of Scotland, the very same solicitor [EDIT BY REVSTU: allegation censored pending evidence]
    Copy judgement available on “crooked lawyers”
     

      

  102. MajorBloodnok says:

    Yes, we have no bananas.

      

  103. pa_broon74 says:

    /quote
    sm753
    says:

    September 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Lots of stuff. 

    /end quote

    Mmm, “…collapse or end-of-colonial-empire examples…”  Aye, because they would be a terrible examples right enough.

    Smart Criteria has been invoked.

      

  104. Galen10 says:

    @sm753

    “All you’ve done is prove my contention – that examples of prosperous, peaceful, democratic, integrated states splitting themselves up are actually very, very rare. ”

    The point is that rarity of such events makes it very difficult to draw any other conclusion than  each of these cases has to be examined on its own merits. The general thrust of the argument advanced is of course correct; taken as a general classification, referenda tend to result in votes to split, rather than votes to stay together. As others have already noted, in most cases you look at, by the time things have gotten to such a pass, the centrifugal forces tend to be stronger than the centripetal ones.

    The point for the UK however that it remains “sine qua non”; there are simply no there readily comparable situations. The Union has endured for 300 years, having been imposed on a generally unwilling Scottish people by the ruling class in an era where they could easily do so. Unlike many other unions however, Scotland was left with a large degree of autonomy over its legal, educational and religious systems; it may have been integrated, and taken part in the British imperial project, but it wasn’t totally subjugated, nor did it become subsumed as just another county, or North Britain.

    We can all be thankful that the struggle for Scottish independence has not been characterised by violence, civil war, terrorism or political repression. The lesson that the re-establishment of Scottish independence can teach the rest of the international community is clear; people of goodwill, irrespective of their passionately held beliefs, can solve their differences peacefully.

    It is true that what we are contemplating is a huge and important decision, deserving of the closest consideration. Scotland as a nation is certainly more than capable of not only surviving, but thriving as an independent state; even the most hidebound of unionists will grudgingly concede the point, since to do otherwise flies in the face of not only of considerable evidence, but exposes them to the justified charge that they not only lack faith in the ability of their own fellow countrymen, but also lack any vision for a positive future.

    The current UK political settlement isn’t working, even on its own terms for the whole of the UK. The  unionist consensus is dead; the general social, political and economic interests of the Scottish and English people have diverged to such an extent that only independence can now rectify the situation. FFA or devo-max is not on offer, and can in any case never be delivered through the deeply corrupt Westminster system. 

    Only full independence can deliver the required outcomes for the Scottish people, and it is a huge indictment of the British ruling class and the unionist parties that they have not proven equal to the task of reforming the current system to accommodate a federal arrangement short of full independence which would probably have satisfied the majority of Scots. 

    As your own “defence” of the Union (such as it was!) demonstrates sm753, all the Unionists really have to offer, despite Gideon’s protestations the other night on STV, are misty eyed appeals to the olden days, and circular arguments that we are better together. The unionist camp can’t “prove” their predictions that independence will inevitably result in some dystopian nightmare, any more than supporters of independence can “prove” independence will result in the progressive egalitarian paradise many wish for.

    It isn’t hard however to see which vision is more positive. 

      

  105. scottish_skier says:

    sm753 says:

    S_s
    “Remember, independence referenda over the past 100 years have a 96% success rate ”
    Bzzzt! Category error. Attempt to generalise conclusions about unique events.

    You’re obviously putting a lot of time and effort into making this ‘error’ of generalising conclusions about unique events.  

      

  106. Waqar Ali says:

    Cognitive dissonance seems to be the big thing on the unionists side.  But then again, as anyone who’s studied psychology will tell you, it takes a phenomenal mind to break out of that. We should be feeling sorry for them really…

      

  107. sm753 says:

    “You’re obviously putting a lot of time and effort into making this ‘error’ of generalising conclusions about unique events.  ”
     
    Hardly – one search, one spreadsheet, done. Useful info gained. Claims about “97% of referenda” now unlikely to be seen again.

      

  108. sm753 says:

    @Galen 10
    “As your own “defence” of the Union (such as it was!) demonstrates sm753, all the Unionists really have to offer, despite Gideon’s protestations the other night on STV, are misty eyed appeals to the olden days”
     
    I see no point in expending huge amounts of effort putting up detailed factual and statistical arguments in this place, where I’m just going to be howled down. I do all that stuff in my own sandpit. And I have done it; crunched the numbers and worked out inconvient truths like the fact that Ireland spends more on its Foreign Office than Scotland does on its share of the UK FCO, and gets a lot less foreign representation and influence for it. Same for broadcasting, defence, etc etc and so on.
     
    I’ve analysed the North Sea stats and shown that oil & gas production are less than half of their peak and heading downwards at an accelerating rate. Note I did NOT say “running out”; read the words.  I’ve also looked at renewables, and questioned the SNP and Salmond’s personal obsession with them since they do not produce one penny of direct tax revenue; on the contrary, they consume vast subsidies.
     
    So thanks but I will keep my argument here to the simple: better off, safer, more secure, more stable, more influential. Better together, really.
     

      

  109. Galen10 says:

    @sm753

    Ah yes, the old “I’m not going to show my working, you’ll just have to trust me” gambit. Nice try but it won’t wash, sorry.

    Defence is one of my areas of interest as my PhD was in International Relations. There is vanishingly little doubt that an independent Scotland could spend LESS on defence than it currently contributes to the general UK defence budget, and be more secure, better defended, and geo-strategically better off.

    The kind of forces we would need, the roles they would be expected to play, and the equipment they would need are not  hard to discern. We only have to look at similar sized states close to us like Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Of course we wouldn’t be contributing to WMD’s and ill-considered wars in Iraq either. You can be sure that none of the state mentioned above would have been left essentially defenceless as Scotland was recently when the Russian Navy anchored in the Moray Firth before the RN managed to dispatch a ship from Portsmouth to do anything about it… I mean it’s not as if we have any harbours in Scotland is it…. oh.. wait…

    Playing the “we wouldn’t be able to defend ourselves” card is as specious as the “The Americans will ostracise us for getting rid of Trident, and stop visiting/buying whisky/investing in scotland”, or that newest Unionist gem “the Clyde shipbuilding industry will collapse”, as though a Scottish Navy wouldn’t need to build ships in future.

    The fact that you are unwilling to share your detailed arguments is because you either don’t have them, or because they simply don’t stack up. One can’t help but assume the same will be true of your self professed knock out blow about how the oil is running out etc., etc. It isn’t, and won’t for a long time yes. The UK government may have pissed a lot of the benefit up a wall over the past decades unlike our Norwegian friends, but it isn’t too late to prevent them wasting what is left. There are plenty of experts in the oil industry who would flatly contradict your view…. and somehow, I’m much more likely to trust them than someone who CLAIMS to have done the maths, but isn’t willing to share the result.

      

  110. Juteman says:

    As someone who has worked at the ‘coalface’ (drill floor). i can confirm that the US folk i have worked with will run for home at the first sign of independence. Not.
    My experience over 30 years is that Yanks don’t give a shit who you are, as long as you can get the job done.
    Thinking they will just walk away is laughable.

      

  111. scottish_skier says:

    sm 753 Hardly – one search, one spreadsheet, done. Useful info gained. Claims about “97% of referenda” now unlikely to be seen again.

    Apart from when Prof Matt Qvortrup – the referenda expert who has worked for the pro-union camp – talks about it again at some point (it was 96% BTW). 

    Why don’t you write a rebuttal to his/Jean Laponce’s work and see if you can get it published if their research gets your goat so much?  

    As I said before, you can even just e-mail him and I’d imagine he’d reply. I reply when people ask about my own research. That’s why academic papers have ‘corresponding author’ details. 

      

  112. Arbroath 1320 says:

    “I’ve analysed the North Sea stats and shown that oil & gas production are less than half of their peak and heading downwards at an accelerating rate.”
     
    I assume, of course, that your analysis has taken into account the use of NEW technology in the oil fields that will INCREASE oil flow from the fields.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-19497064

      

  113. Adrian B says:

    sm753

    “I see no point in expending huge amounts of effort putting up detailed factual and statistical arguments in this place, where I’m just going to be howled down. I do all that stuff in my own sandpit” 

    I know you put your detailed, careful constructive and thoughtful analysis here:

    http://nat-mythbusting.blogspot.co.uk/ 

    Direct quote from Sm753 December 2011:

    “And then to make things even better, up pops some Nat MEP (Alyn Smith) saying: “Give it six months and I think you will find the UK sinking a lot faster than the eurozone is. The eurozone is getting its act together. ” ”

    Tuesday 10th January 2012


    GOTCHA! Cameron forces Salmond into early Referendum date announcement
     
    I didn’t come up with it, the folks over at Tory Hoose did.

    Couldn’t think of a better way of putting it, so simply decided to nick it.”

     

     

      

  114. scottish_skier says:

    Dave and Gideon are playing a blinder with the ‘we’ll hold our own referendum’ thing; they know it will drive up support for independence while at the same time figure correctly that the average Joe will not necessarily realise the UK government are powerless to hold any sort of referendum/election in Scotland without the consent of the Scottish Government/support of the scottish civil service (which answers to the Scottish government).

    Gideon’s recent ‘I know what’s best for you jocks’ speech in one of the most anti-tory cities in Scotland is quality. AS and him will be having a wee laugh together when Darling is not looking.  

      

  115. sm753 says:

    @Galen 10
     
    “that newest Unionist gem “the Clyde shipbuilding industry will collapse”, as though a Scottish Navy wouldn’t need to build ships in future.”
     
    Er, any putative “Scottish Navy” would need something like 4 or 5 “ships”, as Norway does. That would keep the Clyde yards busy for around 6 years, after which they would assuredly close.
     
    On the other hand, the UK Royal Navy will, once the CVFs are finished, be ordering 13 Type 26 frigates. Then a dozen or so global sloops. Then a couple of landing ships. Oh, now its time to replace the Type 45s. And so on.
     
    A continuous stream of work, see, which means yards stay open. It would be nice if one or two of those yards were in Scotland, but under “independence” all that work could and would be exclusively done in England.
     
    It’s called “economies of scale”. Better Together.
     
    (Oh, don’t bother whining that I’m picking and choosing which of your “points” to answer. I have better things to do with my time.)

      

  116. douglas clark says:

    According to Wikiperda the following is the Norwegian Navy:
     
    5 heavy frigates, 6 submarines, 14 patrol boats, 4 minesweepers, 4 minehunters, 1 mine detection vessel, 4 support vessels and 2 training vessels. The navy also includes the Coast Guard.
     
    I have no idea what the outcome of a separation might be in terms of a deal on boats, but it seems to me that the Clyde might be kept quite busy. What with all those  heavy frigates, submarines, patrol boats, minesweepers, minehunters, mine detection vessels, support ships and training vessels.
     
    There would also be approximately 3700 personnel employed in looking after them.
     
    Just saying.

      

  117. Iain says:

    ‘all that work could and would be exclusively done in England’
     
    Any idea then what Defence Secretary Hammond meant when he said that new frigate contracts would be awarded on purely economic grounds, or why even now French yards are being asked to tender for the maintenance and refitting of our still inchoate aircraft carriers? Perhaps he’s a bit confused.

      

  118. douglas clark says:

    My comment is awaiting moderation?
     
    Bloody hell. What the heck is that all about Rev Stu? You don’t do that, do you? Tell me if I’ve gone over the score and I will rephrase any comment I make here. But, as far as I recall, I have only reacted to a couple of comments on here that I consider incredibly negative.

    And you have published both of them.

      

  119. Galen10 says:

    @sm753 5.20pm

    The Norwegians have 5 frigates, all commissioned between 2006 & 2011. In addition they have 4 Oksoy class minesweepers and 4 Alta class minesweepers (the fifth Alta class was lost at sea in 2002). They also have 6 Ula class submarines, 6 Skjold class missile patrol boats/corvettes, as well as numerous fast combat boats for their special forces, and coastguard vessels and a couple of support vessels.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Royal_Norwegian_Navy_ships

    The Danes currently have a somewhat larger force than the Norwegian, predominantly built in Danish yards, including 6 frigates:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_of_the_Royal_Danish_Navy 

    Neither of these are trivial forces, and certainly represent a better stab at protecting their respective countries than the current RN deployments in and around Scotland (as amply demonstrated by their recent inability to keep the Russian Navy from more or less doing what they liked in the Moray Firth).

    Whether a future Scottish navy would in itself provide enough work to keep the Clyde ship guards is impossible to tell, but it is at least as plausible as relying on the UK government, which has shown itself quite prepared to place defence equipment orders (including non-combat ships) with foreign defence contractors.

    It is of course open to shipyards in an independent Scotland to try and win work elsewhere on their merits, and on price… atho’ plenty of other countries prefer to place defence orders for such systems only with their national contractors.

    So in truth, you have absolutely no evidence that the Clyde shipyards would be adversely affected by independence, anymore than I or the SG or SNP can guarantee they will do better. What you can’t do is make spurious claims that they are bound to fail, or would never get any business from the rump UK or indeed other foreign governments.

    The Scots should promote closer defence and security collaboration with Norway, Denmark and Iceland, (and also to a lesser extent Sweden and Finland) in particular which would seem wholly sensible from a geo-political standpoint. The greatest threat to the security interest of all those countries is a resurgent Russia throwing it’s weight around in the seas and skies around these countries, and there would be considerable scope for defence collaboration both in armaments procurement, exercises, joint patrols and intelligence gathering.

    None of the above is rocket science, but it is patently beyond your understanding as your superficial analysis of defence matters on your blog demonstrates. 

      

  120. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I see we’ve moved on to the good old Royal Navy “discussion.
    This would be the SAME navy who had patrol ships built in Poland, I think.
    This would be the SAME navy who wanted 12 replacement MARS ships. Of course this was later changed to 4. The building of these ships went of course to a U.K. yard.  Oops, sorry, they are being built in KOREA! Funny I never knew Korea was part of the U.K.
     
    Nice to see that Westminster pulls out the old “your yards will close” line, but only when it suits THEM. I wonder how many shipyard jobs could/would have been saved if ALL these new ships big and small were built in the U.K. INSTEAD of overseas?
     
    At least with an INDEPENDENT Scotland I think there is a damned good chance ALL our naval ships WILL be built in Scotland! I’m also damned sure OUR navy will consist of MORE than sm’s 5 ships. If Norway can get by with 26 ships then I would imagine we would be around the same figure.

      

  121. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “My comment is awaiting moderation?
     
    Bloody hell. What the heck is that all about Rev Stu? You don’t do that, do you?”

    I adjusted the Akismet settings a couple of weeks ago, but it still gets very antsy about any comment with links in it – it’s nothing to do with me. Normally I see stuff pretty quickly and manually approve it where necessary, but if I’m out and away from a network signal, things have to wait until I’m online again. I don’t know what else to do about it – it SHOULD be auto-allowing anything with fewer than four links, but it clearly isn’t.

      

  122. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    Hilariously sm753 believes that we will only have 6 vessels in an independent Scotland…
     
    The Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) already has 3 Fishery Protection Vessels, and 2 aircraft for the purposes of monitoring and enforcement in the waters around Scotland.
     
    Additional Fishery Protection Vessels were previously provided by the Fishery Protection Squadron of the Royal Navy which was based at Rosyth until 1994 when the Fishery Protection Squadron was moved to Portsmouth as part of the Strategic Defence Review (SDR). Since then all Fishery Protection operations in Scottish waters have been conducted by SFPA vessels – Another Union Benefit no doubt!

    We already pay for this and sm753 thinks upon independence, with the ability to spend our £3.5 billion contribution that we currently make, that we will somehow only manage 3 more vessels.
     
    Comedy Gold.

      

  123. MajorBloodnok says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing the looks on the Better Together crew’s faces when details emerge of what the Scottish Navy will look like and therefore what opportunities there will be for the Clyde shipyards.

    In fact it has been very interesting seeing all of the Unionist cards being laid face up on the table over the past six months - and the game hasn’t even started yet.

      

  124. Adrian B says:

    sm753

    Er, any putative “Scottish Navy” would need something like 4 or 5 “ships”, as Norway does. That would keep the Clyde yards busy for around 6 years, after which they would assuredly close.

    I can assuredly assure you that as normal you are talking complete mince. The conservatives in London Town are taking you and Ruth Davidson for a ride.

      

  125. Celyn says:

    “… instantly degenerate into a poverty-stricken fascist dictatorship with no elections, 100% unemployment, compulsory Gaelic in schools and cannibalism in the streets. …”

    No no, there won’t even be any streets for cannibalism to happen in.  All civilisation and infrastructure will immediately vanish and the sky will fall.  Plagues of locusts too, most likely.    :)

      



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