Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the tag “Salmond”

So, Should Scotland be an Independent Country?

In a day’s time the die will have been cast, the polls (in Scotland) will have closed and it (the referendum) will be all over bar the counting.

But what of the aftermath?

Until the last week, the most fearful aftermath for me has been that of a “YES” vote, because I feared (and still fear) a very fractious 18 months as Salmond demands that the whole UK bends its sovereign will to the “Sovereign Will” of the Scottish Separatists, followed by ill-feeling and disillusion as the impossibility of negotiating and delivering Scotland’s Future becomes clear.

But in the last week “the three fools” have created a similarly worrying aftermath if they get a “NO” vote. For they have made promises – slightly less vague than Salmond’s – for which they have no mandate and they may face problems in getting those promises through the House of Commons (the Sovereign will of the whole of the UK). Failure to deliver these rash panic-driven promises will be portrayed as a betrayal.

Now both results have a worrying aftermath – and both sides have demonstrated what is wrong with politics. Politicians will say what they think they have to say to win – implementation is a secondary consideration. The legacy of spin?

So what do I think is going to happen – and what would I like to happen? Read more…

Bullying – Mr Dour vs Mr Cocky

The Scottish Independence Referendum seems to boil down to:

  • Scotland’s Future promises the world – an un-negotiated package presented as a certainty.
  • “Mr Cocky” claims that a “YES” will be Scotland’s Sovereign Will and should be respected and that “Mr Arrogant” should grant everything in Scotland’s Future.
  • Many who identify as Scottish before they identify as British, want this to be so.
  • “Mr Dour” (and others) point out that Scotland’s Future is only a prospectus and we do not know that it will be granted.
  • “Mr Arrogant” and friends says it won’t be granted and predict quite a different outcome to “Mr Cocky’s”.
  • “Mr Cocky” (in full bluster mode) calls this bullying.

But who is the bully?

Read more…


I suspect that we are now seeing two “debates” about Scotland.

  • Within Scotland there is a vigorous debate going on with much soul-searching between:
    • a self-confident, self-contained “Yes” campaign that knows what it wants and thinks it can see the way to get it. They have traction.
    • a stuttering, disparate and increasingly desperate “No” campaign that knows what it does not want but cannot coherently vocalise what it does want. It is slipping.
  • Outside Scotland there is a horrified “shadow” semi-debate that lacks any structure or discipline – typical of debates amongst the disenfranchised.

Examples Quotes:

These quotes rather sum up the situation, and illustrate why the Union may be lost. Read more…

In the deep Brown stuff

On Monday, Mr Brown told journalists at a Westminster lunch: “I think it would be a good idea if David Cameron did debate Alex Salmond, but I’m not involved in the negotiations.”
BBC News Website 10 June 2014 : Scottish independence: MP ‘anger’ over Brown debate call

Cats pigeons and a lot of the deep brown stuff! I don’t think Cameron will fall for it (I hope not, it would be Salmond’s trump card). Read more…

Post “yes”: a 2014-2018 hypothesis

In yesterday’s Guardian (16 April 2014: Scottish referendum: the UK is on shifting sands – we can’t assume survival) Martin Kettle argued that post a “yes” vote, there could be very difficult times for both Scotland and the rest of us with tough and divisive negotiations dragging on well beyond the Scots Nats’ planned “independence day”.

I could not agree more with this article: Read more…

Unconsciously Uncoupling the United Kingdom

I am feeling increasingly uncomfortable about the approaching Scottish Independence Referendum.

I write as a typically mongrel Briton with ancestors from Scotland, Ireland and England (yet to discover any Welsh). I live just south of the border, so I have no vote. Without grandparents born in Scotland, I will not have any post-independence right to Scottish citizenship. I will have significant “foreign” roots and foreign cousins.

Salmond has played his campaign with great skill whilst the Anti/No Campaign/”Better Together” group seem (from this side of the border) to have little traction and no consistent coherent message.

I don’t want to see an Independent Scotland but I am becoming convinced that independence is best for those living in Scotland. Read more…

Scottish Independence

From “south of the border” (just) this issue seems to be becoming a bit of a mess. I don’t have a vote (despite Scottish roots) and do not envy those who do. The line between agreed facts and asserted aspirations seems to be very blurred. Perhaps this is inevitable as this is not an agreed “divorce” (c.f. the Velvet Divorce of the Czech Republic and Slovakia).

The vote is to leave the UK – “to be independent”, if the vote was that the UK be split, that would be different, but then everyone within the UK should have a vote.

There are implications – whatever the question – for the rest of the UK. Read more…

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