Duncan Hothersall, leading Twitter propagandist for what he fondly describes as "the international labour movement" (better known to us as the UK Labour Party, an esteemed former member party of the Socialist International), seems unhappy that one or two people have pointed out that there are growing doubts over whether the leading anti-independence donor was actually born in Scotland -
"SNP comms officer @erikgeddes just RTd @WingsScotland querying where a #BetterTogether supporter was BORN. Civic nationalism, gotta love it."
Now I must say I'm confused by this. We know for a fact that anti-independence campaigners think that two things are vitally important in determining whether or not people should have a voice in this referendum -
1) Where people live. We know this because they have criticised Alan Cumming and Brian Cox for speaking out in support of independence in spite of not currently being Scottish residents (apparently not spotting the irony that they defend to the death the right of David Cameron and Ed Miliband to speak out against independence).
2) Whether people come from Scotland originally. We know this because Labour commentators like Alastair Campbell have moaned endlessly about the SNP's supposed marginalisation of Scots living in England.
It's an established fact that Ian Taylor, the No campaign's leading benefactor, is not a resident of Scotland and will consequently not have a vote in the referendum. By a process of elimination, therefore, the justification for the donation must lie with point 2 - Mr Taylor's Scottish connections. If we've been misled about the extent of those connections, then according to the No campaign's own stated principles that must be a matter of some significance.
At this stage, let me also present to you Exhibit Y. Without question the all-time highlight of the blogging career of Ms Kezia Dugdale MSP (one of Duncan's colleagues in the "global socialist crusade") was her triumphant announcement in 2009 that there had been two maternity hospitals in the Glasgow North-east constituency in 1973, meaning that the mother of SNP by-election candidate David Kerr could have given birth within the constituency boundaries if she'd damn well had a mind to do so. In spite of the fact that the Kerr family home was in the constituency, Kezia regarded Labour's Willie Bain as the only authentically local candidate because his mother had patriotically given birth to him in Stobhill. Disgracefully, Mr. Kerr had been born in Govan, before being driven back to the constituency a few days later to commence his sham life as a local baby.
"International socialists", eh? You gotta love 'em.
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Duncan's other little obsession over the last 24 hours has been with the idea that the SNP's anti-Trident stance amounts merely to 'washing their hands' of nuclear disarmament, because only by staying in the UK can we actually vote to abolish - rather than move - Trident. The first point to make here is that the fact that the UK is one of only nine countries where it's theoretically possible to vote to scrap existing nuclear weapons (actually, make that seven - it would be a touch hard to 'vote against' anything in China or North Korea!) is surely a terrible indictment of the country that Duncan wants to remain part of, rather than a badge of honour. We regard it as a good thing that we can no longer vote to scrap capital punishment, don't we?
The second point is that, of course, there's considerable doubt over whether the UK could maintain a nuclear weapons system in its current form without access to the Faslane base. So whether Duncan likes it or not, it could well be that a vote for Scottish independence is the only truly effective way in which any UK citizens can vote for nuclear disarmament.
The third point is that the logic of Duncan's position is that anti-nuclear activists in Switzerland should presumably be seeking political union with France as a matter of some urgency. That would be a distinctly peculiar way to demonstrate their disapproval of France's status as a nuclear weapons power, but it takes all sorts I suppose.
And the fourth and final point is this - if one of the virtues of being part of the UK is that anti-nuclear campaigners like Duncan can vote for the scrapping of Trident, why has he consistently passed up the opportunity to do so? Why did he repeatedly vote for a pro-nuclear government between 1997 and 2010, rather than supporting a party that actually votes against Trident at Westminister - like, for example, the SNP?