Wrong from the start pretty much

The closer we get to a no deal Brexit the more I am convinced the SNP strategy has been mostly a mistake. The SNP original position

was the correct position to take but they didn’t fight for it all the way.

However, as soon as Westminster refused to even discuss that position the SNP shifted to a position of fighting Brexit all the way and saving England and Wales from themselves. One of my huge moans, as a certain Liberal Democrat called Daniel reminds me every so often, is that Westminster has far too much of a say in Scottish affairs.

He is off course correct and when I reflect now it’s clear that we, and the SNP, have no right to try and force England and Wales to remain in the EU against their will. The SNP got it wrong in shifting focus away from solely keeping Scotland in the single market and customs union. Even some SNP voters agree according to the latest Wings Poll (no matter how much James Kelly questions the poll)

that negotiating a separate deal for Scotland was the best idea, although the membership is split on the issue. The SNP won’t be thanked for trying to keep England and Wales in the EU against their will, many will just hate them even more.

It’s probably too late but the fight should have been not a border on Ireland but a border between Scotland and England, Wings pointed that out some time ago that we put across the idea of a Scottish EU border. I’m convinced that he was correct. That should have been the battle from day one as it originally was, in many ways the SNP rather than be everything to everyone, as they tend to do, should have been ruthless in putting Scotland first and campaigned all the way on a Scottish EU border to keep Scotland in the single market and customs union.

It’s probably too late for that now but I am convinced we have f up big time, the SNP have f up big time as the disaster that will be leaving without a deal becomes the reality.

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20 Responses to Wrong from the start pretty much

  1. David Cameron's Secret Love Child says:

    I firmly believe that the Liberal Democrat called Daniel is a wonderful man and very intelligent

  2. Derek Thomson says:

    Absolutely brilliant film I thought. An absolute masterclass in acting by Joaquin Phoenix. Well worth a watch.

    • Anonymous says:

      I really found it disturbing and hard going but an excellent film and performance.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Derek Thomson says:

    Think I might have posted this on the wrong thread.

  4. Gordie says:

    Disagree with you Bruce pal.

  5. Alan says:

    I think you’ve missed the lesson of the Brexit process. The Leave campaigns weren’t prepared to follow through. The Cameron Government wasn’t ready to follow through. Everyone who promised it’d be the “easiest deal in history” ended up looking like a complete twat. Just as there isn’t a quickie Brexit, there simply isn’t going to be a quickie Indy(unless we get a hung parliament where the SNP can rotate Labour and Tory governments at will – eg. L280, C280, SNP50).

    If the SNP forces an independence referendum without being as utterly prepared as they can be to follow-through and deliver, they would quickly find that delivering independence has become a second quagmire.

    Due to Brexit, the biggest unknown of independence is now what happens with the Scotland-England border? Back in 2014, the notion of a hard border was so absurd because the UK and the EU would both be motivated to keep Scotland in the single market, etc., rather than forcing a hard exit and working back in. The very model proposed for the Scotland-England border used to be… Ireland’s land border(or lack thereof). But that’s clearly blown out of the water by Brexit.

    Until it is clear what sort of border the government of England will choose to have with the EU, the SNP cannot tighten up that part of the independence plan. Like it or not, that decision has a material effect upon England’s neighbours and deep, deep consequences for any independence campaign to deal with.

    Finally, as WoS has pointed out, every cheaty tactic being deployed to stop Brexit is one which we could see being used against Indy. Campbell seems to imply if they’re not used against Brexit, they won’t be used against Indy. Really? I don’t buy that, do you? They WILL use all the cheaty tactics they can anyway; my view is it’s better to expose as many as possible before Indy faces them.

    Don’t forget, we’ve had the monarchy thoroughly implicated in the past few months. Cameron’s vendetta with Johnson splashed the Queen again, at a time when she’s finally being dragged into a decision-making capacity to do with Brexit – wonderful damage to the British establishment we would not have had last year. The damage is only going to get worse over the next couple of months.

    • Anonymous says:

      All excellent points but I really do think we have missed the boat. Nicola Sturgeon announcement again yesterday saying that independence has no quick route and must be done through Westminster is a huge own goal, all Westminster has to do, as they know, is keep refusing. They know the SNP won’t do anything drastic, they know that the people won’t riot as it’s just not our way and they will have seen comments like Pete Wishart yesterday saying that yeah Westminster could abolish Holyrood and there is nothing we can do about it. I totally accept that brexit can play out in many different ways, Johnson might even get a deal before next week. If he does independence is dead for my life time and if he doesn’t the SNP have no plan b other than more of the same. If they then don’t hold a referendum by the end of 2021 they are going to pay a very heavy price at the polling booth and then we are set back yet again. I really hope I am wrong on every point I really do but when people like Craig Murray and Derek Bateman think we are further away than we have ever been I take notice, but I guess we will have to wait and see either way.

      Thank you for such an excellent explanation.

      • Alan says:

        Just look at the age breakdown in any proper Yes/No poll. The latest YouGov gives us, after excluding don’t knows:

        16-24: 70%
        25-49: 56%
        50-64: 51%
        +65: 27%
        Overall: 49%

        Still in a hurry to hold IndyRef2? It will do catastrophic things to youth-elder relations if they squeak a second No victory with the above demographics and I’m honest enough to consider that squeaking a Yes victory with the above demographics also has the potential to create problems, as in the Brexit process.

        A statistical tie just isn’t good enough. I’m not saying go to the two-thirds being proposed by certain unionists, but we NEED to bring Yes up into the 55-60% range to survive negotiations and the delivery of independence.

        Just, please, stop thinking in short-termist scales. That’s why the Brexiteers are in such a mess. Even now, none of them seems to grasp that signing a Withdrawal Agreement merely leads into more negotiations for the next three years. That the government still haven’t a clue on what future relationship to go for.

        Don’t be like the Brexiteers. Be smarter, look further, recalibrate and think in terms of how to deliver independence over a period of five to ten years. No unicorns, no fantasies. Just pragmatical realpolitik.

        • Alan
          I do see where you are coming from but it still comes back to what happens when Westminster refuses a referendum, can we really wait years for the demographics to change, who knows where the world will be in 5 years. I do think we have to move soon or it might never happen but again I hope I am wrong and everyone is correct.

          Thanks for the stats, I just did a panel base poll on Voting intentions and Scotland was a huge part of this poll, didn’t say who was doing the poll.


  6. Alan Morrison says:

    Bruce, I am afraid I disagree with you too. I think the SNP have played a blinder so far for the following 2 main reasons:

    If we want to be independent in the EU we have to be seen as pro EU and do everything we possibly can to mitigate the negative effects of Brexit (to the EU as well as the UK) to the point of trying to get it cancelled. Of course it will not be cancelled whatever we do, but for this reason we need to be seen to try. As a result of these actions, including the legal moves, the ‘mood music’ from the EU to an independent Scotland is far more positive than ever before. And as you quote Craig Murray, I will too – we need international recognition to be an independent country and recognition by the EU would see us 100% of the way there.

    Secondly by following the anti-Brexit policy the SNP have changed public opinion in England. I think a Section 30 order, or proceeding without one, will be far easier now than ever before due to this.


  7. Alan
    Craig did say that I believe in 2017 but as recently as the end of last year his view was changing as he became more concerned about SNP policy in this area, he said “My preferred route to Independence is this. The Scottish Parliament should immediately legislate for a new Independence referendum. The London Government will attempt to block it. The Scottish Parliament should then convene a National Assembly of all nationally elected Scottish representatives – MSPs, MPs and MEPs. That National Assembly should declare Independence, appeal to other countries for recognition, reach agreements with the rump UK and organise a confirmatory plebiscite. That is legal, democratic and consistent with normal international practice”. He is coming round to a plain declaration of UDI but we also know that that the SNP and the Greens would never go for that no matter how bad things got.

    Brexit seems to change every day, it appears Johnson might be close to a deal, wither he can get it through parliament is another story, he might also go for a deal that he knows won’t get through parliament to ensure a no deal brexit on 31st October. I certainly would not put that past him or his lot. I’m not sure the SNP have changed opinion in England but they may have, from friends I have in England they say that amongst leave and remain voters down south the SNP are pretty much hated by all sides as they see them wanting to take Scotland from them, many in England do see Scotland as their possession. I still think that if we really want independence we are going to have to take it, and sadly I just don’t think Scotland has the guts that’s why I tend to think that we are further away today than we have ever been. Again it’s just my opinion and I hope I’m wrong but I fear I’m right.

    Thanks for commenting.

    • Alan D says:

      You ARE wrong.

      We’ve never been closer. We’re still moving closer.

      • Alan
        Time will tell, and as I’ve said I really hope I am wrong but I can’t see there being an agreement with Westminster for another referendum any time soon and the issue may have to go to the courts. A bad brexit could shift more people to no than yes as fear sets in as it is Scotland we are talking about. But again I really do hope that I am wrong and people like yourself are 100% right.

        Thanks for commenting.

    • Alan Morrison says:

      Bruce, I don’t see Craig’s way as being in anyway shorter that the FMs and is less likely to be seen as ‘legal’ by the EU now we have set the section 30 order precedent. I have just posted on Scot Goes Pop and will repeat myself a bit here:

      FM has to continue on the Section 30 route as the precedent has been set in order to get international recognition that independence has been legally obtained. What is being overlooked is that the goalposts are about to be changed with the law currently underway in Holyrood. Currently only the Scot Gov can call a referendum and if this is on a reserved matter, like the constitution, Westminster can automatically refer this to the Supreme Court and have it judged under English Law. The new Act allows a Scottish Minister to call a referendum. In this case Westminster cannot automatically refer this to the Supreme Court but has to start any challenge in the Scottish Courts. This allows a defence under the Scots Law of the Claim of Rights, even to a matter that is reserved. This means Westminster would have to grant the Section 30 or try to challenge the Claim of Rights under Scots Law. Either way the subsequent referendum would be declared legal. This is much quicker and sticks to the 2020 timeline set by the FM, while at the same time guaranteeing a legal independence that will be recognised as such by the international community.

  8. Alan
    I have heard that before, and I wish I had kept the link, but a constitutional lawyer was of the view that Westminster would just amend the Scotland Act bye passing the Courts and get Royal Assent as it would view this as a constitutional matter if the referendum framework bill is used on a constitutional matter. I’m not a lawyer so no idea but we do know they can change the Scotland Act in a matter of hours when they want as we have seen with EU responsibilities. I just hope that we have a referendum before the end of 2021, if there is a general election before then I would like to see a clause in the manifesto that states a return of a majority of SNP MPs is a mandate for independence in respect that any referendum is refused. We really need to be putting the pressure on. We do certainly live in very interesting times.

    Thanks for expressing your opinion, much food for thought and that was what I always wanted this blog to be so a huge thanks for that.


    • Alan Morrison says:

      The original info came from Wee Ginger Dug a few months ago. But your point is addressed in the Act since it refers to all referendums, not just one on independence, and therefore cannot be amended by Westminster as dealing with reserved matters. So with the Act untouchable, the only route to challenge the specific independence referendum is via the Scottish Courts.

      • Alan
        That was where the lawyer thought would be the problem, as soon as the Scottish Government used the act on a constitutional matter then changing the Scotland Act would be the way they would go rather than the courts but again I am no expert and the info you have may well be the proper interpretation. I have a lawyer friend, I’ll need to ask him what he thinks and let you know.

        Thanks for commenting.

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