Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

Alex Salmond has been accused of attempting to rewrite history after he dismissed as a “collective myth” his promise before the 2014 independence referendum that there would not be a rerun for a generation or even a lifetime.
The former First Minister claimed he had not used the phrase “once in a lifetime” in a 2014 television interview to describe the vote and insisted he had instead said it was the “opportunity of a lifetime.”
However, footage and an official transcript of the interview showed he did use the “once in a lifetime” phrase when asked whether he would pledge not to “bring back another referendum” if the nationalists lost.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr on the Sunday before the September 2014 vote, Mr Salmond said: “In my view this is a once in a generation – perhaps even a once in a lifetime – opportunity.”
– The Telegraph, 19th March 2017

Alex Salmond said “In my view this is a once in a generation – perhaps even a once in a lifetime – opportunity.” Therefore, there should not be another Independence Referendum for a generation, “perhaps” even a lifetime. After all, Alex Salmond said it, therefore it was a “cast-iron promise” which must be upheld:

We already know the SNP is perfectly happy to break the vow to the people of Scotland that the 2014 result would stand for a generation.
But it’s another thing entirely for Mr Salmond to claim he did not actually make this cast-iron promise to voters. The people of Scotland will see through this latest bluster from a man who walked into the poorest communities in Scotland and sold them a lie about the economic case for independence.
Ian Murray, who has a cheek talking about another party breaking a “vow” to the people of Scotland

Why do people think this is an argument? It’s stupid. It’s utterly, utterly stupid.

Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror

So, a couple of days ago, Tracey Ullman did a wee sketch featuring Nicola Sturgeon & Mhairi Black kidnapping beloved victim J.K. Rowling in an attempt to blackmail her into supporting not just Scottish Independence, but “Scottish Supremacy.” It’s yet another sketch that portrays an SNP leader as a maniacal Bond villain, a surprisingly popular meme amongst certain commentators.

alexsalmondasblofeld

In fairness, you can see why the British Establishment would cast the SNP as the bad guys: you don’t get much more British Establishment than James Bond.

You might think I’d be shocked, appalled, disgusted and outraged by this, as indeed I have something of a hair-trigger for this sort of thing.

On the contrary, I believe this to be hilarious. A fantastic work of satire, brilliantly biting, ruthlessly incisive, an absolutely merciless evisceration of its targets… it’s just that Nicola Sturgeon, Mhairi Black, the SNP, and the Scottish Independence movement aren’t the targets at all.

Continue reading

Where We Are, And Where We’re Going

bettertogethereu-1

“So that’s it, then? We’re leaving the EU, the single market, the customs union, all that.”

“That’s right.”

“But Scotland voted Remain.”

“No, the UK voted Leave. Scotland voted No, therefore, chose to abide by UK-wide decisions – including the EU referendum.”

“Voting to stay in the UK doesn’t mean voting for Scotland to be treated as a region, and have its democratic mandate ignored.”

“Well, you should’ve voted Yes then, shouldn’t you?”

“But you told us that voting Yes meant we would be leaving the EU.”

“That’s right.”

“So if we wanted to stay in the EU, we were to vote No.”

“Yup.”

“So we voted No, but ended up being taken out of the EU anyway.”

“Aye.”

“So if we voted Yes, we’d be out of the EU. If we voted No, we’d be out of the EU. So you’re basically saying that Scotland has no way of staying in the EU, even though we voted 62% to Remain?”

“Correct.”

“Even though dozens of EU ministers, officials, and politicians have outright stated that if Scotland wanted to stay, it could stay?”

“Ah, but Spain and Belgium-“

“If Spain, Belgium, or any of the 27 countries were serious about preventing Scotland from retaining or regaining EU membership, then why are so many EU politicians, ministers, and officials saying Scotland could stay? Why would they say Scotland could stay if there was a possibility we could not?

“Ah, but the deficit-“

“The same applies. If the deficit was a barrier to Scotland retaining or regaining EU membership, then why are so many EU politicians, ministers, and officials saying Scotland could stay?

“But, but, all the separatist movements”

“Everything you say – anything you say – does not address that simple question. If Scotland could not retain or regain EU membership – whether it’s because of vetoes, deficits, or fears of separatist movements – then why are so many EU politicians, ministers, and officials saying Scotland can stay?

“Why don’t you respect democracy? The UK voted to leave the EU, and you don’t want to: Scotland voted to stay in the UK, and you want to Leave!”

“If England & Wales want to leave the EU based on a vote compromised by a gerrymandered franchise, that’s their business – just as if Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar want to Remain in that same vote. The people of Scotland voted for a party with an explicit manifesto commitment to hold a second independence referendum in these exact circumstances.”

“But we were voting as Britain, not England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland!”

“That’s not what you told us during the independence referendum: it was all about being a Partnership of Equals; of Scotland leading, not leaving, the UK; of solidarity with the people of England and Wales without sacrificing our distinct Scottish identity. By saying we’re voting as if Britain is one nation, you’re refuting your own arguments about this “family of nations.””

“So you’d just swap London rule for Brussels rule?”

“The EU doesn’t pretend to be a country. The UK didn’t have to get permission to hold a referendum. Brussels didn’t control the UK’s media coverage through the entirety of the campaign. Stop trying to pretend the UK and the EU are the same – otherwise, why would you favour one and not the other?”

“Why are you so against British independence, you hypocrite?”

The UK has never been anything but independent. Don’t confuse empire and dominion with sovereignty and self-determination.”

“Och, why don’t you just get on with it and hold indyref2 already?”

“Don’t mind if we do. You’re welcome to join us.”

Believing in Independence

democratic-deficit

If you vote “No” in a referendum on the question “Should Scotland be an independent country,” then you are voting against Scottish independence. This should not be a controversial statement. For those who do not want Scotland to become an independent country again, it is entirely logical. For those who claim to support Scottish independence, it is utterly nonsensical.

So when Jim Fairlie – an “SNP Chief” who has not been in the SNP for 36 years, and in fact stood against the SNP in Perth in the 2007 Scottish Election for the Free Scotland Party – says he will vote No in a second Scottish Independence Referendum:

By tying the second independence referendum to EU membership, it will split the national movement. It will split it right down the middle. Because there are far more SNP supporters who are just as opposed to the EU as they are to being a member of the UK.

If Nicola Sturgeon ties the EU to a second independence referendum, she will lose, because people like me, who have fought for independence since I was 15 years of age, will vote no.

By doing that she has made it impossible for a lot of nationalists to vote for independence, tied to the EU, because it’s not independence. What they’re offering is a choice between two unions, and that’s a false choice.

… I have to wonder if Mr Fairlie understands what the point of Scottish Independence actually is.

Continue reading