Wednesday, July 10, 2013

UK government proposes military occupation of an independent Scotland. Will anti-nuclear No campaigners speak out against this?

One of the best teachers I ever had was a history teacher at Anniesland College. When he was explaining for us the significance of the West Lothian by-election in 1962 to the fortunes of the SNP, he mentioned that he had been a canvasser in that contest, but had only realised many decades later that he'd been a participant in something of a landmark election. He refused to tell us which party he'd campaigned for, from which I guessed that it probably wasn't the Nationalists. But he did add, when we were discussing what I presumed to be highly implausible 'what if?' scenarios, that he would be prepared to take up arms to defend Scottish independence if necessary, regardless of whether he had voted for it himself.

I hope nobody is thinking of taking up arms tonight, but I suspect there will be a great many potential No voters looking at the front cover of The Guardian, and thinking to themselves "I might be against independence in principle, but up with this I will not put". If you haven't seen the story, it's a suggestion from MoD sources that if Scotland votes for independence (which among other things will be a vote for the removal of nuclear weapons from our shores), the UK government will simply confiscate the part of Scotland which currently hosts nuclear weapons and declare it UK sovereign territory - in precisely the same way that 3% of Cypriot territory was stolen upon independence in 1960 for military convenience, and indefensibly remains under British sovereign control to this very day. Does the word 'arrogance' cover that type of mindset? Does 'cynical' cover it? If all else fails, 'imperial' and 'colonial' will certainly fit the bill, so unless this threat is explicitly withdrawn, let's never again see any smirking when the suggestion is made that London governance over Scotland is quasi-colonial in nature.

I'm sorry, but I'm not campaigning for independence for a country called 'Scotland minus Faslane'. I will not be sanguine about a foreign government occupying a part of our territory, just so that it can retain the ability to inflict a holocaust on foreign peoples that would make what Hitler did to the Jews look like a tea party. Are these really the values of our opponents? That the ability to mass murder hundreds of millions of civilians at the press of a button is so important as a national status symbol that even democracy must be subverted to that end? Can the likes of Kezia Dugdale and Duncan Hothersall look at themselves in the mirror and still support the No campaign when this is what it stands for?

Some of you will have seen the nine 'Think Independence' posters that I put together, and that Tris very kindly posted on Munguin's Republic the other day. What you don't know is that there was a tenth that Tris decided not to use. It showed a real image from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, with a human body lying in the rubble, burned beyond all possible recognition and with limbs missing. The text read "NUCLEAR WEAPONS : COMPULSORY IN SCOTLAND AS PART OF THE UK. THINK INDEPENDENCE". I deliberately set out to shock, because I felt that when people euphemistically use terms like 'minimum nuclear deterrent', they lose sight of the indescribable evil that they're actually talking about. However, Tris felt that there was a danger of it backfiring because of the graphic nature of the image, and on reflection I was inclined to agree with him. But I'm so outraged at what I've just read that I'm severely tempted to go ahead and post it right here and now - and without shame or apology.


  1. And some people thought that MM of the West Midlands was mad with his occupy Faslane spamming on the Herald.

    Do you honestly think that kezia dogface aka Fifi la Bon Bon has mirrors in her house? Or any sense of shame at all? A more odious toadie lickspittle you will never ever find.

  2. I thought they had already tried this scare tactic.

    It can't be, can it, that BT, an organisation run by a former chancellor of the exchequer has so quickly run out of scary things to spook us with, and had to 'recommencer a zero'.

    This is one that is most likely to backfire, especially as the MoD has said that it will not remove the safety regulations at Devonport that preclude their being based there, because in the event of an accident with the nuclear subs, there are over 11,000 people in the near vicinity who could be killed.

    It's hard to believe that none of the MPs who have been commenting on this, including Murphy, knows that there are a great many more people in close proximity to Faslane...

    One might point out that the couple of million people potentially in danger in Scotland are Scots, and the 11,000 in Devonport are English.

    I wonder if that could be a significant factor in the Conservative government's/Project Fear's thinking.

    In any case there seems to be nothing more designed to cause anger in Scotland, even amongst unionists (at least thinking ones, which clearly excludes the drone Murphy) than this.

    But, you may be right, James. Maybe people need to be reminded what nuclear weapons do, and why we should have no part in them.

  3. Given that Downing Street has now rejected the idea of annexing Faslane if Scotland votes "Yes",
    it would be useful if they would also confirm that it would be equally inappropriate of them to try to annexe Orkney and/or Shetland.

  4. Given that Downing Street has now rejected the idea of annexing Faslane if Scotland votes "Yes",
    it would be useful if they would also confirm that it would be equally inappropriate of them to try to annexe Orkney and/or Shetland.

  5. "Given that Downing Street has now rejected the idea of annexing Faslane if Scotland votes "Yes"."
    What, you don't think they put that up, so the Cameron could shoot it down, and make him the good cop.
    I really wish they Would go ahead with it. Make the YES campaign's day.
    I wonder if they got to the point of thinking, how would the subs actually get in and out of the base.Would they occupy the shores of the firth as well to stop any hostile actions. What about Rhu narrows.