Don’t Blame Leave Voters

I’ve been reading many comments on Facebook, Social Media and watching the news etc as many of us have since the historical vote to leave the European Union.

I feel that a lot of people, from those voting remain, the media, to politicians, to business are pretty much blaming leave voters for what some people view as this monumental mess that is the United Kingdom and the EU this weekend.

Let’s be honest here. The failure to convince many to vote remain, resulting in the narrow vote to leave, lays with the politicians, with Westminster and with the EU. They have all bowed to big business, vested interests, those with money. They have lived in a Westminster and Brussels bubble and left behind the very people they were there to protect. Reasons for a leave vote are many but for some who voted leave immigration appears to have been a huge issue, an issue that from some of the comments are ill-informed and just plain wrong. However, the fact that many people don’t have the information is the fault of the people themselves, the media and again the politicians in Westminster and the EU. They have ignored the fact that people had serious concerns with the free movement of people, not just here but across the EU in general. Ignorance may not be an excuse for the vote to leave but the politicians have buried their heads in the sand, telling people that they knew better while implying they were either racist or thick, or both, for voicing their fears when they tried to tell them. Across the UK and the EU people have told politicians that austerity had to stop, that another way had to be found to fix the problems that we face in the UK and EU today, but as usual they didn’t listen and embarked on Project Fear.

Put aside the stupid in fighting with the Conservative Party over Europe for the last 40 years and you see that the warnings have even been there for the last few years and the politicians have failed to listen, and failed to hear. While they have rolled out the flag, celebrated Britishness and the Royals at every opportunity to try to mask the real state of this country outside of London and the South East, the resentment has grown. The resentment in what the United Kingdom has become has been then given greater traction by a right-wing media, both print and television, and by decisions made by right-wing and neo liberal politicians fighting their own agenda, both here and in the EU. When people have nothing, they have nothing to lose and will hit out in any way they can when you have pushed them far enough. The Conservative and EU agenda of austerity, supported by both the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats in the main, have punished the poor and vulnerable for the failures of those parties and their mismanagement of the economy and their failure to govern for all rather than the few.

The EU may fall over this, and if in the coming days they take the bully route, try to punish the United Kingdom, then they get it wrong again and over the coming days citizens in the EU will see this project for what it is and given that many countries such as Greece, Sweden and Holland have leave movements of their own and have elections coming up very soon will compound the problems and this could result in more countries voting to leave.

When you build a project that serves the big two of Germany and France, who then design and dominate a system that protects the few, the powerful and big business, forcing everyone else to dance to your tune, even when they were crying out for change, you still ignored their cries. What did you expect to happen in this scenario. The simple reality is that the UK and the EU is failing because of it, because of this failure to not listen to the many.

When you leave the people behind, when you choose to live in your own little political bubble you ignore and lose touch with the reality around you. You then react with horror when the voters bite back. You compound the problem further by telling those people they are stupid, they didn’t understand what was at stake, that they have destroyed the UK when in reality you were in fact stupid, you ignored the reality around you and you, the politicians, and the vested interests are to blame no one else.

So where does this leave us in Scotland. It leaves us with a decision to make in the medium to longer term. The SNP have indicated they will seek a mandate to have another independence referendum at some point soon. It is their right to do this but I would urge caution. While the majority (63%) have voted to remain in the EU and will be taken out against their will, I don’t see a huge ground swell of change towards a YES vote.

I remain a committed YES voter, and there are many committed NO voters who will never ever change their minds no matter the circumstances, but the argument for independence still has to be won. Even though I voted leave, and without major change to how the EU operates would vote NO to joining, the leave vote may well move some over to YES but again great care needs to be taken. It’s time to draw breath, see where we are in a couple of months time, speak to the EU and find out what the situation is regarding an independent Scotland joining should that be the journey we take, then make your case for Indy2. Lose a second referendum and there is no going back, there is no 3rd vote. We have one more chance, the need for clear heads and clear minds has never been greater than now.

But let’s also not lose sight of the fact that we are where we are today because of the politicians.

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32 comments

  1. daibhidhdeux

    Let’s be honest back, and thank you for your thoughts, but one reaps as one sows not just because of the professional politicians but our craven complicity as voters.

    I suggest the UK is dead now and should be buried with decency.

    • Anonymous

      daibhidhdeux

      People have to take responsibility for how they vote, totally accept that but for me the politicians will be the ones who are judged on this one. Not so sure the UK is dead yet, time needs to be taken and discussions with the EU because countries like Spain and the Netherlands may not want to encourage independence for Scotland given their own troubles.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. Gary F

    Bruce

    Agree with pretty much everything you just wrote.

    To call another referendum now is moronic. It is unwinnable.

    Currency and economics are the major issues stopping No voters moving to yes – nothing has changed, infact it is currently much worse.

    I assume the SNP will want us to keep the pound. So we are proposing to leave the UK (the currency issuer), join the EU and then expect to get growth after trashing our currency and pissing off our biggest export market and monetary policy maker – completely bonkers!!

    If this is what the SNP plan to offer tis time I think I will be voting no – a position I thought I would never take.

    • Anonymous

      Gary

      I agree, we need to take a step back and let the dust settle. The EU are angry, the majority of Scots are worried and angry, many in other parts of the UK are angry and some afraid. It’s time to just breath a little and then look at this afresh. There are a lot of things to take place, I would not be surprised if the EU comes up with an offer to Westminster that they will put to another vote. If not then we need to be very careful in how we move forward, England is our biggest market lol. I would suspect though that any hope of joining the EU will come with the euro attached to be honest.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

      • Gary F

        Again, no argument from me with what you just said.

        A proposal to adopt the Euro would mean the whole Independence movement is dead.

  3. Anonymous

    Gary

    I don’t see how Scotland would be excepted without it to be honest and for me if we are in the EU then we are in all the way , no half measures. Saying that I will probably vote against joining if the issue comes up as the EU is part of the problem and why I voted leave.

    Thanks

    Bruce

    • Gary F

      Yes, if we as a country wish to be “all in” then the Euro would be sensible. You know as well as me this position is a non starter.

      There may be a lot of people who voted no to independence who feel betrayed (rightly so) by Brexit and are currently proclaiming they would now vote yes. I believe these people when informed of the possibility of Euro adoption and the possibility of tariffs being applied to our exports to the UK (64% of our exports if I remember correctly from the independence campaign) will turn back to NO quick smart. I also believe support will dwindle from the yes camp as the dogs dinner of monetary and fiscal policy will be laid bare for all to see.

      The Euro project can only survive long term through political and fiscal Union (a US of Europe) although even this will probably not save it. Very shortly the whole Eurozone debt problem is going to cause major problems again as the financial bailouts run out and more are required.

      It is funny to watch the EU finance ministers trying to bully the UK into starting the whole Article 50 process. They must be absolutely crapping themselves. As George Soros has stated the EU project is pretty much a dead duck now. Wonder which EU member state is the next domino!!

      God, how I hope this is the catalyst for destruction of the whole neoliberal world project.

      • Anonymous

        Gary

        It will be interesting to see how they will try to sort it all out at the EU level. I think it’s pretty much finished but they will fight for it. If the UK is definitely out then I would not be surprised if Westminster offers the home nations a federal solution and as I have said in the past I could live with that if we are stuck with the U.K.

        I suspect that things will calm down, hopefully the SNP won’t be stupid and jump I’m with both feet as I am not convinced that people would vote YES so soon. We will just have to wait and see how the cards fall.

        Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your opinion.

        Bruce

  4. b

    Given a choice of

    a) being outside the EU under Westminster
    or
    b) being an Independent Scotland directly under the EU

    I will take b) any day of the week.

    • Anonymous

      b

      It seems that would be the preference of a few people, time will tell what will happen but there will be more change I guess.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  5. lanark

    The SNP have to gain a concrete guarantee that Scotland would be admitted to the EU without risk of a veto. If not the whole issue of a referendum is sunk. I’m glad my leave vote has helped to end Cameron’s leadership and torpedoed Davidson’s plan to get a nice English safe seat for 2020.

    I also think that a referendum should take place nearer 2025, when we are facing a different demographic. The wartime/baby boomer generation will never vote Yes under any circumstances.

    I think Alex Salmond adopted what I would call a Scottish Free State idea (keeping the Pound, the Windsors etc), to avoid frightening moderates. I always think that he is a brilliant long term strategist who would have been happy to let his inner republican loose when things had settled down. If Scotland gets independence I can’t see keeping Sterling being a long term solution.

    • Anonymous

      Lanark

      I agree with you on the EU, without a cast iron guarantee with the EU I would not even consider holding a referendum. I suspect that the Tories will offer proper federalism to the UK to keep together and as I have said previously I could live with that. I’m also in no rush for another referendum, things have to be allowed to settle down no matter the pain.

      I agree with you about currency, if we are to go into the EU then we will have to adopt the euro whether we like it or not, it won’t be a choice in my opinion. Davidson is going nowhere, all this rubbish about her as a leader of the Tories is nothing but bullshit, she is below average at best and if it wasn’t for Dugdull would be slated every week. Labour are finished in Scotland that’s a cert now.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

    • Gary F

      Lanark

      I was thinking a couple of years after the next Scottish elections would be the best time for the next referendum. The SNP has to get a Scottish currency up and running before that point. Adopting the Euro or keeping the pound is not independence. If you do not control the money supply you do not have control full stop.

      The Euro countries are moving towards a USE and i personally want nothing to do with it.

      Was at a family party last night and we discussed the possibility of a referendum for independence on the back of the EU decision (everybody voted leave). Twelve of us voted yes in the last referendum and all twelve said they would vote no if the independence referendum was based on reentry to the EU. Nicola needs to very careful here as I do not believe there is a clear relationship between EU membership and Scottish independence.

      • lanark

        Gary F

        You are right about the timing of the next vote. For me the best strategy would be to commit to another referendum in their 2021 manifesto. They would then have an overwhelming mandate.

        The EU is definitely heading towards a USE, either that or a complete collapse. Your position and that of your family is interesting and seems more in line with Sillars. It is a position which is often derided by many pro independence supporters but it shouldn’t be and it shouldn’t be ignored either.

        I wouldn’t object to a trade/economic agreement between Scotland and the Scandinavian countries and Ireland to offset a Central European bloc.

        • Gary F

          Yes, I agree the Euro countries require complete political and fiscal Union. Anyone that currently complains about democratic deficit with Westminster then advocates EU membership – which would have to mean Euro adoption and therefore by definition being integrated into a European superstate – blows my mind with the lack of logic displayed.

          As much as I detest the British Establishment I find it frankly laughable that anyone could consider the EU as some bastion of progressive social values. The fiscal positioning of the Southern states of the Euro is nothing more than a neoliberal wet dream and the treatment of Greece is nothing less than a neoliberal punishment beating. Ask the Greek youth how much they appreciate the Social Chapter, work protections not much use when you can’t get a job. I’m sure they are delighted with all their productive state assets being privatised and the highly successful EU backed austerity program currently causing their economy to boom. Never forget the phenomenal support the EU family gave to a completely rooked Greece when they had to deal with the unprecedented levels of refugees from the West’s misadventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, etc.. The argument seems to be that this isn’t the real EU, they don’t really mean to push neoliberalism on their members – look the Social Chapter their soft and cuddly really!

          Oh and by the way, many European banks are failing stress tests and the whole Euro debt crisis is about to kick off again. A stunning backdrop to campaign for leaving the UK to join the EU.

          Sorry, I’ll step off my soapbox now. But yes I’m sure loads of people who voted for independence feel exactly the same way as I do with regards the EU.

          Instead of grandstanding NS should be ensuring all powers passed back to the UK are devolved in full and used to boost the Scottish Economy. I’m hoping that she is actually threatening the referendum to gain extra devolution from Westminster but I’m not convinced that is the case.

          • Anonymous

            Gary

            I would tend to agree with you on that one. The only way to probably save the EU is ever closer union and I would not vote for that in a heartbeat. I guess we will have to see what Germany come up with as let’s face it France will pretty much go along with them. Westminster I think will offer the home nations federalism and PR to keep it together in some way. It doesn’t have to be a race to the bottom suggest and I think people in Scotland might just find that they will have to get close to the rest of the home nations should the EU decide to play hard ball. But I do agree with the EU on their wish to just get stuff started now no waiting around too long, that doesn’t help anyone.

            Bruce

  6. bjsalba

    Back to the pound are we?

    What is the ISO code for the pound?

    It is GBP. Yes that is right. The Bank of England and WM Treasury cannot stop Scotland using the pound. They never ever had the right to do so.

    As for being forced to use the Euro I suggest you ask the Swedes.

    • Anonymous

      Bsj

      I’ve been watching euro news and the general feeling seems to be that anyone wanting to join the EU in future will have to adopt the Euro. Looks like it will not be an option but there will also be the problem of Spain who look like they will veto Scotland and N Ireland so the only way in looks like accepting all conditions, assuming that scenario comes around which I doubt

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  7. YESGUY

    EU Rules state quite clearly u must join the ERM for minimum 2 years first so NO EURO for us . We will use the Pound Sterling …. how many times has NS stated this for goodness sake….. 😦

    The referendum will be called in the 2 years rUK set up thier leave plans….. the papers are full of this now .Eu telling UK ur out no way back unless u re apply and that wont be till your gone . Hurry up we will not wait for u to sort out a new PM …. its everywhere in every paper inline and off . EU wants r UK out now ,, Scotland will be accepted with ease .

    Get a grip Grumpy ….the UK is finished . Scotland will be indi by 2018 ..

    wakey wakey folks .. YES 2 is now

    • Anonymous

      YESGUY

      I think the UK is certainly looking like it’s on the way out. I also remain a committed YES voter but following euro news over the last couple of days it is becoming clear that the EU are about to embark upon changing a lot of rules and one of the things I have heard is that any new members, which an independent Scotland might be viewed, will have to adopt the Euro and will not be given membership until their economy converges. That makes sense to me, they are about to take a huge hit financially and they are not just going to let Scotland use the pound, I would be shocked if they do. Listening to Merckle, and Holland also, it looks like Germany and France are going to push for greater political union within the EU to try and fight off other leave movements within the EU. As as I have said people need to take a step back, nothing is guaranteed and while we have a lot of goodwill it won’t mean much if we try to set down conditions on any future membership of the EU if it comes to that. I suspect if we are to go in then the EU will demand that we are in the whole way, I totally understand that.

      Good to hear from you again, thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

    • Gary F

      Of course it comes down to currency. It is by a country mile the most important issue.

      I watched NS this morning and it was clear she has no idea what the currency position would be and that she would need to take advice before a government position was reached.

      Keeping the pound makes no sense at all if we plan to leave the UK and go back into the EU with the prospect of ever closer political and fiscal union. Effectively we would be setting ourselves up for the same fate that the southern states of the Euro have at the moment. The problems they have are because they do not have political and fiscal union with the countries controlling the issuance of the currency

      As NS stated indyref2 is not a rerun of the first one because of Brexit.

      I’m not convinced Spain will allow Scotland entry without a new application because of their own issues with Catalan and Basque nationalism.

      We also have no idea what the trade arrangement will be between the EU and the UK but this detail will impact something like 64% of our exports. Scotland being back in the EU would mean the end of free movement between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

      I don’t share your certainty that the referendum will be won I called now.

      • Anonymous

        Gary

        I am not certain a referendum would be won and hope I have not implied that. I have stated I think people need to take a step back and take a breath. I agree with you on the currency, why would the EU for one minute allow an independent Scotland to join and then use the pound, that won’t happen in my opinion. I suspect that Scotland would have to agree to the whole range of EU rules and I don’t think Scotland would go for it to be honest. I think the UK will offer federalism and that for many will make them want to stay. I voted leave and an EU moving ever closer to political union would hold no attraction for me. No one knows as no country as large as the UK has left before. The EU may impose tariffs and then so will the UK, it will be tit for tat. It may even be the making of the UK and another boom, who knows. I would not trust the bankers in any way or many of the politicians spouting shit like they always have. Time will tell and I also agree with you on Spain, I think they will block any of the four nations from joining.

        Interesting times.

        Thanks for commenting.

        Bruce

        • Gary F

          Sorry Bruce

          My comment was aimed at those implying that it was somehow obvious that the pound would be the currency after Indyref2 and reentry to the EU.

          To me it is blatantly obvious the pound would be suicidal to adopt in such a circumstance and with no currency of our own (I know we can use the pound but we are not and never will be in control of issuing it!!) then the Euro and United States of Europe it must be.

          I state again this is a non starter and I hope NS and the SNP wise up pretty sharpish.

          I totally agree that everyone should calm down and see how things develop.

          Gary

  8. lanark

    I really enjoy the articles and comments here, it’s really good to hear alternative views that differ from the party line. I must make it clear that I am committed to independence and I don’t believe in the UK at all.

    I see myself as an internationalist that believes all peoples should have their own nation if they so wish. That’s one of my misgivings about the EU, just as it was with the old USSR. Whatever my doubts, I will vote Yes next time.

    • Anonymous

      Lanark

      I will vote yes also and no to joining the EU if it doesn’t change. There is little point in voting YES then jumping into a project that may just push for more political union. It doesn’t make sense to me. The EU for me should be about a common market , you can’t expect 27 different cultures to jump to the tune of two dominant ones within it. I still believe the politicians are to blame for this in the main but some of the things being reported down south are disgusting and I want no part of that shit. The sooner we are independent the better.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

    • Anonymous

      Lanark

      I want Independence for my country and have done so for as long as I can remember.

      I hope it doesn’t seem like I am against it!

      Without control of the supply of money you cannot be truly independent. This is just a fact but everyone seems to want to paper over it.

      As much as I want us to be independent I will not accept my country being hamstrung by a suicidal economic decision on the back of being pissed off after the EU referendum. I believe that is where we could be heading and it worries the hell out of me.

      NS and the SNP have much to do to fundamentally change how the Scottish economy operates particularly with regards fairer distribution of the wealth within it. God knows why they haven’t done anything about a Scottish currency yet as this is the biggest barrier to independence.

      In my humble opinion NS should be using the current situation to push for a federal type solution for Scotland which makes the transition to independence simple and more importantly unavoidable.

      Gary

      • Anonymous

        Lanark

        I totally agree with the Federalism thing, I think that is what will be offered by the UK as a way of trying to stave off another referendum for a little while. I also suspect that if the EU play hard ball with the UK then that will change a lot of minds in Scotland. I know that Westminster pisses people off, I know that ignorant and racist inglanders piss people off but in the main the majority of people in England are really not that different from us, other than politically, and I think that any sort of attack by the EU will re-bound very quickly. If I were the SNP I would be taking it slow and steady, this is unchartered water and no one really knows how it will turn out, as I have said before it might be the making of the UK and bring in a boom time, I doubt it but you never know. I totally agree with you on the currency issue, if you don’t control your own currency you don’t control anything. One of the problems we have in Scotland, the fact the economy is run for the benefit of London and the South East, if the UK and Westminster are not totally thick then they will see that is now over.

        Interesting times.

        Thanks for commenting.

        Bruce

  9. YESGUY

    Federalism is out / population differences too large unless you break all uk into regions. We are treated as a regions already so no big difference and in truth no one really wants that apart from LIBS. The carnage and fall out from Brexit will hamper anything being done.

    Scotland voted to stay in the Eu and we will have lots of work to do but i believe we are in good hands. Nichola Sturgeon is an outstanding Leader and will do whats best for us. Most trust her to do so . And she will employ every mp in parli regardless of party to get Scotland sorted. Patience and faith…. Yes voters have that in spades

    The Out vote has been the game changer for here and NI . politics are in such a state of flux now no one really knows whats coming next but i would rather have NS in my corner than any of the rest. Scotland will be independent now and if any have doubts then let me remind you after the last indi ref . All the scares are known and debunked. Scottish voters understand whats at stake and we will vote accordingly.

    Try giving anyone an reason for stayin IN the Uk now ….. honestly….

    England has used voted for it’s indi and Wales to , but with half its population English its no surprise .

    It’s our turn now.

    As regards the EU lets remember we already are members and there is no appetite among the states to lose all of us when Scotland and NI refuse to leave. Angela Merkles dropped huge hints that Scotland will be treated well and welcomed . We have much to offer that they could have lost with all UK leaving. French politicians and news are promoting our membership , Scotland and NI are a special case . We are already members. Thats important ..

    Business vote will be crucial and most are already pro EU.

    Lets get our Independence and if we are treated unfairly later by the EU we can have our own ref again in a few years. We have already given our FM a mandate to fight to stay in . 2/3 Scots vote remain

    Great blog Grumpy … got me thinking … It wont be easy but anything worthy is never easy and i belive in us .

    • Anonymous

      Yesguy
      I agree it won’t be easy either way. I agree with you about Nicola S, the thought of bouncy castle Willie, Dugdull or tank Girl representing Scotland would be our worst nightmare come true. The Scottish Lib Dems have put forward a motion calling for the party to have a special conference to support independence, Rennie won’t support but it looks like the conference will go ahead. If they go for it and he over rules conference again he is finished. Ruth will do as she is told and Dugdull is the branch leader of a party that is dying right before our eyes so no real opposition to an indy2 referendum other than the BBC.

      Federalism is something I suspect they will try to push, of course only if we are worse off in Scotland, but given what I heard about QT last night it seems that racism is the new inglish blood sport and we got it big time last night so they might just encourage our independence this time, esp now that oil is gone. I don’t know how the EU will react but NS will be the best person to offer an opinion, certainly interesting times watching the UK fall apart.

      Thanks for commenting to my reply.

      Bruce

    • Gary F

      Yesguy

      Federalism will require regionalisation of the UK but I think it is the fix to a number of the issues within UK politics at the moment.

      I agree Nicola is a stunning leader but i disagree completely with her on the EU and I’m sorry but i won’t just be trusting anybody to form my opinion for me.

      I don’t believe the referendum result is a game changer because although 62% of people voted to stay the vast majority on both sides really didn’t care to be honest and to try and extrapolate some kind of independence result from it is frankly silly. Even when the emotions of this decision are currently running high the latest poll for independence puts Yes on only 54%. Sorry, this will fall back as the emotion is taken out of the discussion.

      The biggest reason for staying in the UK is the currency. Nothing has changed. In fact, it is much worse now because independence would mean us following a fiscal and political path divergent from the rest of the UK. Keeping the pound would be suicidal for us. Considering we have no proposal for a Scottish currency then the only option is the Euro. Sorry but i do not believe the Scottish people at the end of the day will accept that.

      You have no idea what the business position is now because they have no idea what the trade arrangements between the UK and the EU are going to be so trying to impart wisdom on this subject is false and your opinion only. We have massively more trade with the UK than we do with the EU so it matters big time.

      Personally i don’t feel the same way about the EU and hope it starts to disintegrate now but each to their own.

      Gary

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