Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the tag “Scotland’s Future”

London media and Scottish Independence

In Tuesday’s Guardian George Monbiot bemoans the (mainly London) media coverage of the Scottish Independence Referendum.

Living within their tiny circle of light, most senior journalists seem unable to comprehend a desire for change. If they notice it at all, they perceive it as a mortal threat, comparable perhaps to Hitler. They know as little of the lives of the 64 million inhabiting the outer darkness as they do of the Andaman islanders. Yet, lecturing the poor from under the wisteria, they claim to speak for the nation.

… But to those within the circle, politics still begins and ends in Westminster. The opinions of no one beyond the gilded thousand with whom they associate is worthy of notice.
The Guardian 16 September 2014 : How the media shafted the people of Scotland

I accept the examples of “gilded circles” which always make me feel queasy, but I wonder whether good old (bad old?) geographical remoteness plays a bigger part? Read more…

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…

Contempt from both sides

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Today we see the three “main” UK party leaders publishing a “Vow” in the Scottish newspapers designed to get Scots to vote “No”. This vow has not been through the House of Commons and there is no evidence that the (English dominated) House of Commons would support further concessions or appeasement (call it what you will) of “rebellious Scots” – particularly without the English getting similar concessions. 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…

Waking Up to “Waking up to a ‘self-mutilated’ UK”

In London, the Tory mayor Boris Johnson said Scotland going independent would be “an utter catastrophe”.

“We are on the verge of trashing our global name and brand in an act of self-mutilation that will leave our international rivals stunned, gleeful and discreetly scornful,” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
BBC News website 8 September 2014 : Scottish independence: Darling denies No campaign ‘panic’

Wake up and smell the coffee, Boris! Your mate Dave set things up so that the “we” you refer to are powerless and disenfranchised. What you say may well be true, but consider how the franchised (in Scotland) will react to your outburst: 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…

Scotland: 17 days to “go”

Two “leader’s debates” down and 17 days to go – yes, a fortnight on Thursday, those in Scotland vote on the future of the UK.

Living a bit south of the border, I don’t like not having a say – but that is what our dysfunctional Prime Minister decided on when he concluded the Edinburgh agreement with Salmond.

The consequence is a real risk of the break up of the United Kingdom, if not this time then next time. If it is to happen I think a “next time” YES is probably best. 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…

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