Monday, September 22, 2014

Revisiting the idea of a pan-UK alliance for next year's general election

I was out all day yesterday, so I didn't get the chance to properly catch up with the contents of the Sunday papers, but I gather that several different SNP people floated the idea that the various pro-independence parties and groups should come together again and form an alliance for next year's general election, presumably seeking an unambiguous mandate for full Devo Max.

It would be fascinating to know if it's just coincidence that various individuals came to the same conclusion simultaneously, or whether this is a sign that the SNP leadership themselves are interested in keeping the Yes coalition going in a new form.  I think it would be absolutely fantastic if that happened - it would be the clearest possible sign that we're not returning to politics as usual, and that we're going to finish the job of realising the unambiguous democratic will of the "45% plus", ie. the clear majority of the electorate who either voted Yes, or voted No on the specific basis of a promise that sweeping new powers (repeatedly described by the media as Devo Max) would be granted. 

That's probably the best way of ensuring that the dynamism and passion of the Yes campaign continues beyond the referendum, because it would be pursuing much the same objective as before (democratic control in Scotland to enable transformative social progress), but in a realistic way that seeks to organically build on the referendum result, rather than overturning it.

Of course it takes two to tango, and I've no idea if the Greens would be interested in the idea.  But if I put myself in their place I can see plenty of advantages.  They get a reasonable amount of airtime in a Holyrood election, but in a Westminster context they become practically invisible, and a "Devo Max alliance" would be a fantastic opportunity to have Patrick Harvie as the de facto joint leader of a high-profile movement, just as he was during the referendum. To make this an attractive option for the Greens, though, it would have to be clear that the alliance wouldn't just be the SNP with the Greens tacked on - it would need to be as broadly-based a movement as the Yes campaign itself was.

And I'm wondering if there may be an opportunity to take it a step further, and use the momentum generated by the referendum to set up a temporary pan-UK alliance of progressive parties that are seeking radical constitutional change - namely the SNP, the Green Party of England and Wales, the Scottish Green Party, Plaid Cymru and perhaps Mebyon Kernow.  With a formal alliance on that scale, putting candidates up throughout the UK, and involving parties with existing parliamentary representation in England, Scotland and Wales, it's very hard to see how broadcasters would be able to do anything other than give the same coverage during the general election that they would to the three London parties - and that crucially includes equal coverage in any leaders' debates.  I certainly wouldn't object to sometimes being represented by Natalie Bennett, as long as she was making the case for full Home Rule for Scotland within a package of wider constitutional reforms.

Of course, none of this may come to pass, and the SNP may have no choice but to try to build on the momentum generated by the Yes campaign as a stand-alone party.  That's not a hopeless task, but yesterday's Survation telephone poll showing a handsome lead for the SNP at Holyrood also showed them 4 points behind Labour for the Westminster election.  That reaffirms the difficulty of fighting on 'away soil', and it's likely that Labour's lead will only increase as the London media's focus turns away from Scotland.  To keep the relentless pressure up for a huge transfer of powers to Edinburgh, we really need to be aiming to win a majority of Scottish seats next May, not for the business-as-usual respectability of 25% of the vote and a few gains from the Liberal Democrats.

So if we all want what we say we want, I think we urgently need to think out of the box, and find a way to keep the spirit of Yes going for the general election, and hopefully even expand it beyond the borders of Scotland.

*    *    *

If you'd like to help Scot Goes Pop continue until the May 2015 general election, a second fundraiser is now underway.

97 comments:

  1. The problem I have with the idea of a pro-Yes alliance is there are other policies at stake in the General and Scottish Elections and I wish to choose parties based on more than just achieving Independence (well, expat so can't but you get the idea).

    It would be a factor in how I vote but I can't imagine spending the next 10 years selecting parties based on this one policy. I would probably vote Green in the next Scottish Election.

    ReplyDelete
  2. JC : I don't want to have to spend the next 10 years voting for that one policy - I want to achieve Devo Max (or something as close to it as humanly possible) in one go. Now is the opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, this makes complete sense: build on the momentum to achieve what is realistically possible at this moment in time, using the leverage that the vote ended up being between 'DevoMax' as No, and Imndy as Yes.

    Forget whether they were just making a promise they wouldn't keep, we ned to hold them to it, secure an exceptionally strong Yes vote in the 2015 GE and then proceed to the diverse range of Yes parties for 2016. As a Green, this makes sense tome.

    And while we're at it: we need to be inclusive and positive towards No voters, not condemning. Leave the bitterness to the others. We don't want to remain the 45% for long, we want 99% of people to vote for self-determination, social justice and an end to the power of those few few folk who run away with everyone else's wealth.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Scotland is blessed or should that be cursed with North Sea oil, gas and other natural resources which London craves, plus it's a great place to dump nuclear weapons. Do you honestly believe that the London Power Elites, bankers, corporations, globalists would seriously permit Scotland to leave ? Too many vested interests.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, this all makes good sense as we can't afford to split the pro-Yes vote in May. Even with 35% of the vote (as hinted by Survation) only 1 Labour seat would fall to the SNP. The rest would all be gained at the expense of the Lib Dems, who would be left with Orkney and Shetland. Getting those remaining Labour seats will be a tough nut to crack but it's not insurmountable provided we all stick together. Let's face it, it's our only hope.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It was a Rigged Referendum, you can see plenty of evidence of the voting
    fraud on YouTube. The London Power Elite, bankers, corporations, multi nationals, run the show and they decided Scotland shouldn't have Independence, the people are irrelevant.

    Russian observers from their Electoral Commission also said the vote was rigged.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oRg-VKuE68&index=1&list=FLViYhX_d8-TseKzd1gAO7mQ

    ReplyDelete
  11. If the Ruling Elites can do JFK, rigging a referendum is small fry, Scotland is where the UK keeps it's nuclear bases, so if Scotland leaves, they'll lose lose them.

    Joesph Stalin '' It's not who votes but who counts the votes that's important.''

    ReplyDelete
  12. There's voting fraud and rigged elections in the Third World. So why would we be surprised if it didn't happen here ? In American elections it's even worse, they vote by computer screen so there's no ballot paper, no paper trail.

    JFK only got 100,000 more votes than Nixon in the 1960 Election, there's rumour of that result being dodgy. And then there's the Bush, Al Gore election in 2000 and fraud in the Florida count.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can't support Devo Max and a Pan-uk Alliance will only confuse matters.

    It is better to stick with the Yes campaign for full independence.

    We were only 5%+1 away from victory.

    When the Westminster parties have broken their last minute promises to Scotland, we should be able to make up that 5% in a second referendum.

    We also have the benefits of knowing where we need to focus in a second referendum, the over 55's.

    Let's not divide the movement when we have such momentum and such a strong base of 45% to build on.

    Let's push for full independence and settle for nothing less.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I don't understand what you mean by saying : "I can't support Devo Max." Are you saying there's a conflict between supporting Devo Max in the here and now and supporting full independence as a medium-term aspiration? There is no such conflict, and in any case I can't think of anything more likely to divide the Yes movement than constitutional fundamentalism.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Once again this was a telephone poll so it is still just a bit of a stab in the dark.

    I think the plan would be to concentrate more on the labour voters who voted yes in the yes winning areas. It won't be lost on the strategists at the SNP that Dundee apart the other areas where the SNP are strong didn't and voted to stay in the union.

    The tactic from any yes alliance would be to target the labour party in their heartlands as now the referendum is over the SNP held seats might revert back to the Tories or liberals.

    The political demography would appear to have changed completely by the result. So this tactic should prove fruitful if the interest in independence can be maintained this is where social media comes in to play.

    If the yes groups remain active and can be sustained then it will lead to exciting times ahead politically in Scotland. The resolve to carry on seams to be gaining ground with the surge in membership in the yes supporting parties.

    The SNP has added 15000 new members since Friday with the greens up 2000 and the Scottish socialist up 1000 according to the latest reports.

    This movement appears to be here to stay and growing daily as many people now say they regret voting no.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree wholeheartedly that 'Devo Max' ought to be the immediate goal and a mandate for that should be sought.

    For that to make an impact in Westminster elections there needs to be a clear idea of how voting for that will be of greater benefit that voting Labour to keep the Tories out, given that the Conservatives would be under no compulsion to acquiesce to any supposed mandate.

    Also agree that fundamentalism is going to diminish support faster than anything else.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I couldn't support any pan UK party.
    I've waited too long to escape from the UK.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm not talking about a pan-UK "party", but a pan-UK electoral alliance. Technically, the SNP already participate in a transnational party with other UK parties, because the European Free Alliance (also including Plaid Cymru and Mebyon Kernow) is a registered party at European level.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I believe Devo Max would delay full independence as many would accept it as a compromise.

    However, I'm sure any form of Devo Max we got would still leave control of important aspects such as oil and defence with Westminster.

    I am sure I am not alone in wanting to see Scotland get rid of nuclear weapons and establish an oil fund to secure the future of Scotland for generations.

    And Devo Max simply won't give us enough power for fundamental democratic change and we would essentially be left with a mini Westminster in Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "I believe Devo Max would delay full independence as many would accept it as a compromise."

    Fundamentalists in the SNP said the same thing about the establishment of the Scottish Parliament itself, but would we ever have got to an independence referendum without it? Look at it this way - Devo Max would remove at least half of the fears that people have about independence, because the relevant powers would already have been transferred without anything catastrophic happening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the good governance of the SNP in Holyrood worked against us in the referendum. Many folk see devolution as a success, under the SNP.
      Maybe we need to have Labour in charge at Holyrood for a while, so folk can see the reality of power retained at Westminster.

      Delete
  21. By definition, any future referendum is highly likely to take place at a time when the SNP hold power at Holyrood, so if that's a problem it's not one we can escape from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know the answer James, but i've started to wonder if devolution really is a trap, as has been suggested. If we give folk 'goodies' like free education, care for the elderly, etc, then why would folk that benefit from that vote to change it?

      Delete
  22. ''Maybe we need to have Labour in charge at Holyrood for a while,''

    We had that and they gave us the £700 Million Edinburgh Tram vanity project fiasco.

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Devo Max would remove at least half of the fears that people have about independence, because the relevant powers would already have been transferred without anything catastrophic happening."

    Yeah, I get your reasoning, but we have already shown that we can govern ourselves and don't need to prove that.

    What we need to show is the limitations of devolution, and what can be achieved with full independence.

    Devo Max give us less limitations to emphasis the case for independence.

    I also think that too many people would see Devo Max as being enough powers and settle for that.

    I think it's wrong to refer to people pushing for the ultimate goal as "Fundamentalists", much like calling Yes voters separatists.

    The fact is that we were so close to full independence, that I don't believe we need any half measures and the pursuit of half measure is damaging to the ultimate goal, both in terms of delaying the inevitable, but also confusing the matter.

    Let Devo Max be a solution that Westminster peruse, to prevent independence.

    We undermine our strong position if we do that for them.

    ReplyDelete
  24. As Margaret Ewing famously said, the Big Bang theory was just never going to work - people were never going to jump straight from direct London rule to full independence. It's arguable that they were unlikely to jump straight from the weak form of devolution we have now to independence. Imagine if Holyrood becomes the primary decision-maker on all political matters apart from defence and foreign affairs, and if the media has to shift their focus to take account of that change. How much more credible will independence seem then?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Devo Max Plus sounds like a detergent, it should be called Devodeception Max, crumbs off the Westminster table.

    ReplyDelete
  26. "We undermine our strong position if we do that for them."

    We undermine our strong position if we don't move heaven and earth to demand Devo Max, thus putting the London parties in the dilemma of either having to deliver something they don't want to deliver, or being seen to defy the political will of Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's nice to have the conversation but there is no question whatsoever that a huge number of the 45 and the likes of the SNP and the greens will now keep going.

    Anyone who still does not grasp the enormity of what is still happening right this second needs to take their head out of their arse.



    Peter Murrell ‏@PeterMurrell 52m

    15,710 and rising fast, welcome all @theSNP new members. Join online https://my.snp.org/join or call our new emergency hotline 0800 633 5432


    Ben Haggerty ‏@benjhagg 33m

    The SNP only need 3,500 more members to overtake the Lib Dems as third largest party UK-wide. #indyref #SNP


    allan cook ‏@allancook3 1h

    Thursday 25,642 @theSNP members. Now at 40,000. Join the SNP today. Lets double the SNP to 51,284. #snpx2 https://my.snp.org/join


    Yes Strathclyde ‏@YesStrathclyde 1h

    We need members for SNP Greens and Students for Indy at Strathy. DM with your name, email and matric number if you want to join. #45Movement



    Absolutely breathtaking and unprecedented numbers, and it is STILL going.


    Whereas I hear 'scottish' Labour are claiming 17 new members in three months. LOL Just imagine how many members they have now lost since the "VOW" collapsed about their ears.



    Cameron is apparently back to his usual mode of trying to con his gullible tory backbenchers who seem to be smelling a rat over his EV4EL posturing. Posturing that Cammie is obviously doing to annoy little Ed and more importantly out of sheer panic to try and keep the kippers at bay for the Clacton by-election.

    For the avoidance of any doubt, we on SCOTgoesPOP know scottish labour MPs and how they operate. There is ZERO chance that any Labour administration at westminster would ever touch the WLQ or EV4EL with a bargepole. Scottish labour MPs would rather boot little Ed out on his arse than give up their ability to vote on whatever they like while being able to climb unhindered up the greasy pole as ministers and cabinet members without questions over whether they should be able to do so if the WLQ applies.

    If no quick progress and enabling legislation is enacted on the WLQ and EV4EL before the next election then unless Cammie wins outright it's simply not going to happen. End of story.

    DevoMax is also simply impossible without addressing the WLQ and EV4EL. The situation RIGHT NOW is basically untenable. But when you add DevoMAX (which is, for those who still don't know, scotland being given ALL powers except defence and foreign affairs) then it is crystal clear that there has to be a concomitant change to reflect that huge shift in powers. That has to be done by reducing the powers of scottish westminster MPs so that they finally stop voting on English only matters. The SNP do NOT vote on them so it's about time labour and the lib dems finally did the same.

    That is fair and that is right.

    Little Ed and calamity Clegg can whine about it all they wish but their desperate partisan reasons for not wanting to limit their own scottish MPs are blatantly obvious.

    ReplyDelete
  28. "Imagine if Holyrood becomes the primary decision-maker on all political matters apart from defence and foreign affairs"

    If this is what Home Rule truly meant, I could support it wholeheartedly.

    And it doesn't have to be either/or. We're all perfectly capable of supporting Home Rule when necessary, while still continuing the push for independence.

    On which note, a discussion has kicked off on reddit about "An entertaining, gently pro-indy tabloid distributed free to every household in Scotland".

    Some of the comments I found of interest:

    -- Supported by ethical advertising; money saved on subscriptions to Unionist rags and the licence fee; and fundraising gigs/festivals by prominent Yessers like Frankie Boyle, Kevin Bridges, Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand, Belle and Sebastian, the Proclaimers, etc. Who wouldn’t attend a Yes summer festival with that line-up?

    -- Celebrity interviews by prominent Yessers given first to the paper

    -- Written and designed for free by our incredible team of Yes creative talent

    -- Delivered by volunteers ready to engage people in friendly chat on the doorsteps.

    It must be first and foremost an entertaining paper that anyone, and the old especially, would be happy to receive for free. The pro-indy message might even be tampered down at first, only working away on people slowly, subtly as time goes on.

    Proposals to buy up the Scotsman etc are all fine and well, but its circulation is tiny, and it's too easy for Noes or waverers to just ignore it. The same goes for internet TV and radio stations.

    We need to get the information *into people's homes*, with the bonus that delivery volunteers could also engage people in friendly chat on their doorsteps.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Scotland/comments/2h4ce0/an_entertaining_gently_proindy_tabloid/
    ---------------

    What do you think of such a project, James?

    ReplyDelete
  29. "We undermine our strong position if we don't move heaven and earth to demand Devo Max, thus putting the London parties in the dilemma of either having to deliver something they don't want to deliver, or being seen to defy the political will of Scotland."

    By all means put pressure on them to fulfil the last minute promises they made to secure a No vote, which wasn't even mini Devo Max.

    They are already under pressure and have problems delivering on that.

    Let them fail on delivering that and use it as evidence to support independence.

    Why confuse matters by switching to a campaign for Devo Max, a term they have used to describe the measly extra powers they have promised.

    And Devo Max as part of a UK alliance gets us caught up the arguments over further devolution in the rUK.

    Keep it simple, the Yes campaign made massive gains, don't throw that away by providing a distraction from that message for independence.

    If we push for Devo Max we will get less than that, it will be taken by Westminster as your starting position for negotiations.

    Independence needs to be the starting position for negotiations.

    Then we might get Devo Max to prevent independence, but we also stand a very good chance of getting independence.

    Switching to campaign for Devo Max sends out signals to Westminster that you have accepted defeat on independence and you will settle for less - this is not a good negotiating position.

    ReplyDelete
  30. "Why confuse matters by switching to a campaign for Devo Max, a term they have used to describe the measly extra powers they have promised."

    Well, we'd certainly have to reclaim the term Devo Max and explain what it really means (basically the devolution of everything apart from foreign affairs and defence), or else find a better name for it that can't be misused.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just to add that the longer DevoMAX and the WLQ goes unresolved, the louder the demands for an English Parliament will be.

    Which is why so many tory backbenchers, influential tories (Tim Montgomerie of conservativehome) Farage and the kippers are demanding it right now.

    They are somewhat unlikely to stop even if Cameron makes a "Cast Iron VOW" to have a some talking shop or commission look into it in the future/boot it into the long grass.

    ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  32. "What do you think of such a project, James?"

    Fantastic in theory, but it's just a question of funding it - I'd imagine the costs would be astronomical. And it does presuppose that a movement pushing for independence as a medium-term objective will remain in place in some coherent form, as the pro-devolution movement did after the 1979 referendum in the form of the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly. Hopefully that will happen, but it remains to be seen.

    ReplyDelete
  33. The problem with a pan-UK movement is that there is no party even close to the level of support of the SNP. Excluding the confusion of Northern Ireland, the largest part Plaid Cymru aren't competitive in Wales let alone tiny movements like Mebyon Kernow. On top of this there is no other seat in England with anything like the Demographic of Brighton Pavilion so the chance of the English Greens adding anything is virtually nil.

    It would all appear to be far too much effort for too little reward in terms of seats, all just to get a Nationwide PPB and a rep at the Leaders debate.

    A Scotland Alliance on the other hand is a very viable option. With 41 target Labour seats, 35 SNP - Scottish Alliance candidates, 5 Green - Scottish Alliance candidates and 1 Socialist - Scottish Alliance.

    Of course the Socialist candidate would be a problem as they are still very factionalised, their highest profile candidate is toxic outside their core vote and I can't think of anyone else they could put forward, certainly not Sick Note, I guess it would be Colin Fox?

    But tricky as that problem is it is far less than thinking UK wide and is probably solvable.

    ReplyDelete
  34. @I am a scot

    We on SCOTgoesPOP certainly know what DevoMAX is and aren't confused.

    The scottish public will now what DevoMAX is thanks to the 45 and soaring memberships of the SNP, Greens ans SSP. But if you insist then every time I and others on here post about it then I suggest simply adding this at the bottom of the post to make it crystal clear.

    *DEvoMAX - All powers apart from foreign affairs and defence.

    Happy now? :-)

    On another matter entirely, it's good to see the concern trolls aren't back on SCOTgoesPOP and panicking away. Hopefully they will have learned their lesson by now. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  35. "It would all appear to be far too much effort for too little reward in terms of seats, all just to get a Nationwide PPB and a rep at the Leaders debate."

    I couldn't disagree more. The SNP's failure in the 2010 election can be almost entirely attributed to their exclusion from the leaders' debates. Those debates practically WERE the campaign, and if you weren't in them, you weren't in the game at all.

    However, if a pan-UK alliance isn't doable, I certainly agree that a Scotland alliance would be preferable to the SNP going into the election as a stand-alone party.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well, we'd certainly have to reclaim the term Devo Max and explain what it really means (basically the devolution of everything apart from foreign affairs and defence), or else find a better name for it that can't be misused.

    Most importantly someone needs to start pointing out that the tax devolution being proposed is not new powers for Scotland but a way to dilute the Barnett component of the Scottish budget.

    So while they can claim Barnett is maintained, by devolving taxes which are comparatively neutral while keeping control of the taxes where Scotland overpays (Oil Revenue) and taxes where Scotland's Real share is hidden by the lack of an internal tax border (VAT and Corp Tax) the subsidy Scotland sends to rUK actually increases.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Most importantly someone needs to start pointing out that the tax devolution being proposed is not new powers for Scotland but a way to dilute the Barnett component of the Scottish budget."

    Agreed and we most certainly will.

    We will also point to thousands of comments from the unionists and the unionist media who claimed they were offering DevoMAX just to underline who little scotland should trust the liars behind the "VOW".



    *DevoMAX - All powers apart from foreign affairs and defence.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "*DevoMAX - All powers apart from foreign affairs and defence."

    Yes, I know that is what we mean by DevoMAX, but it is a term that has been used by every political party to describe different proposals.

    Whereas independence is far clearer and is the real aim.

    Why campaign for less than you want, when you may very well be offered that lesser option as a compromise?

    It weakens your position.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Why campaign for less than you want, when you may very well be offered that lesser option as a compromise?"

    Because in the immediate sense you can't campaign for something that has just been rejected at the ballot box. Yes, as a medium-term objective we are still as pro-independence as we were a few days ago, but the referendum result is what weakens our negotiating stance - DevoMax is as high as we can now go for the time being. Luckily, that's still pretty high.

    ReplyDelete
  40. "but it is a term that has been used by every political party to describe different proposals."

    Which, as I already mentioned, we are most definitely going to point out (particulary during the 2015 elections) as will only serve to underline to the scottish public that the liars behind the "VOW" can never be trusted.

    Win, win for us.

    You seem to be discounting the somewhat obvious conclusion which is that the three westminster parties will NEVER give us DevoMAX.

    So we can campaign on getting precisely what DevoMAX means and then ask the scottish public to draw their own conclusions about who they should trust when we don't get it and have to come back to full Independence since nothing else worthwhile will be on offer.

    Again, win win for us. :-)

    Nothing weak about that I assure you.

    *DevoMAX - All powers apart from foreign affairs and defence.

    ReplyDelete
  41. On the subject of the Pan-UK alliance, for those who don't know we had some incredibly inspiring assistance from Plaid Cymru. Some of whom who were in scotland and helped in Yes shops, at stalls and even canvassed locally where we were.

    Rest assured, that help will be returned and I know some in Yes and the SNP are keeping in contact. Similar things can and almost certainly will be done with SNP members and Scottish Greens going to Wales and assisting where it is required.

    With the skyrocketing membership of the SNP, Greens and SSP we will be able to do so even while obviously keeping focused on campaigning here at the same time. That help in Wales can be extended to the SNP, scottish Greens and possibly the SSP helping in other areas where they are welcomed and needed.

    ReplyDelete
  42. "Which, as I already mentioned, we are most definitely going to point out (particulary during the 2015 elections) as will only serve to underline to the scottish public that the liars behind the "VOW" can never be trusted. "

    OK, I get that logic.

    But that assumes that you get that message across in the MSM, which we won't.

    "You seem to be discounting the somewhat obvious conclusion which is that the three westminster parties will NEVER give us DevoMAX. "

    Westminster will just present a watered down proposal as DevoMAX and confuse and bombard the electorate with technical details and lies and our idea of DevoMAX will be lost.

    And it make no sense to campaign for something that falls short of what you want to try and prove that Westminster are untrustworthy.

    We already know they are untrustworthy, their "vow" is sufficient evidence to argue for independence on this basis.

    By lowering your demands you risk a situation where Westminster don't deliver (knowing that you have already lowered you expectations) and at best, impose their watered down version of DevoMax or expect Scotland to come back with their own watered down version.

    You must stand your ground and stick to your default position, let them shift toward you.

    We have 45% support and they cannot risk losing us - don't throw that power away with talk of less powers.

    "Because in the immediate sense you can't campaign for something that has just been rejected at the ballot box. ...but the referendum result is what weakens our negotiating stance - DevoMax is as high as we can now go for the time being."

    Of course you can campaign for something that has been rejected.

    It was 45% in favour under questionable circumstances.

    The 45% referendum result didn't weaken our position, it strengthened our case.

    DevoMax might be as high as we can get for now, but it's not on offer and it would only be offered to stop independence.

    So we need to push for independence, not DevoMAX.

    ReplyDelete
  43. A question for the electoral experts: any idea how that 97% registration figure might affect future voting patterns, if at all?

    Hard to see the new registrants, if they vote at all next May, doing so for the British Labour Party.

    ReplyDelete
  44. They're fking laughing at us - they hacked into the local authority electoral registers, they added 250K names and stuffed the POSTAL VOTE SYSTEM (which is an open barn door to fraud) with phoney votes and that being coupled to all the English BritNats and (Scottish BritNats too for that matter) and people who are up for their holidays and all the NO campaign workers shipped in to canvass were signed up for proxy/postal votes and that explains the ridiculous 10% lead they have when we should be celebrating our victory.
    While a postal vote system continues then we can never win a referendum.

    ReplyDelete
  45. "So we need to push for independence, not DevoMAX."

    How do you push for independence in negotiations that take place just weeks after independence has been rejected (albeit relatively narrowly) in a referendum? Obviously the SNP will be arguing for Devo Max rather than independence in those negotiations, and they'd be rightly laughed at if they did anything else.

    ReplyDelete
  46. The turnout was 85% across Scotland yet the turnout in YES cities Dundee and Glasgow was 75 %. There's an anomaly there...

    Yep it was fixed.

    ReplyDelete
  47. @I am a scot

    "But that assumes that you get that message across in the MSM, which we won't."

    Oh dear god are we back to this? REALLY? I already pointed out that the unionist media don't have a clue what DevoMAX means. The ONLY reason they were able to get away with even using the term is that it was done at the last minute in barely concealed panic and we weren't able to have the right to reply.

    Well guess what? we now have MONTHS and YEARS to point out EXACTLY what it means and we will do so with a truly massive membership and the 45 helping us. Again, on the streets, on the doorsteps and even in the media.

    "Westminster will just present a watered down proposal as DevoMAX and confuse and bombard the electorate with technical details and lies and our idea of DevoMAX will be lost."

    Defeatist horseshit worthy of a concern troll. It is NOT our idea of what DevoMAX is, it is precisely WHAT DevoMAX is. How anyone claiming to be a Yes supporter doesn't know that is frankly baffling.

    So let me point out the facts to you.

    We already HAD the three unionist parties VEHEMENTLY REJECT even putting DevoMAX on the ballot. So we all know what it is and so do they. Or didn't you have a clue about that either?

    Well ye ken noo.

    "You must stand your ground and stick to your default position, let them shift toward you."

    You can do what you like, we in the Yes campaign and the SNP will take no lessons in strategy after doing the impossible and finally letting the scottish public have their say with a colossal 85% turnout.

    We will learn lessons from missing by 5% but we are hardly going to blunder about in the comical blind panic that the unionist parties are.


    Their VOW is turning to dust and the scottish public are shown all too clearly that the three unionist parties and their media helpers are lairs.


    James has already pointed out the obvious to you about why we can have a two track approach and can't just focus on that which we have just lost. If it was too complicated for you to follow then if you ask him nicely enough he'll explain it more slowly.

    *DevoMAX - All powers apart from foreign affairs and defence.

    ReplyDelete
  48. "How do you push for independence in negotiations that take place just weeks after independence has been rejected (albeit relatively narrowly) in a referendum? Obviously the SNP will be arguing for Devo Max rather than independence in those negotiations, and they'd be rightly laughed at if they did anything else."

    What negotiations?

    Have I missed something?

    I see the Westminster parties all still proposing different things and the Scots not having any say.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Fair enough - I probably should have said 'consulation' rather than negotiations, and even that may be a sham. But either way, the SNP have to bring a realistic stance to the table.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Meanwhile, away from the unionist shrieking, a somewhat astonishing thing is still happening.


    Peter Curran ‏@moridura 6m

    SNP - 16,694 new members take party’s total membership to 42,336 as of 4pm - closing in on UK-wide membership of Lib Dems, which is 43,451!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Mick Pork it would be nice if you could at least get my name right - Iam Scott, not I am a Scot.

    Just so you know, Iam is a hebrew name.

    Also just because my views differ from your own, does not mean I do not understand the issues or am any less of a Yes Campaigner than you, and it most certainly does not give you the right to start chucking insults around.

    As for "Defeatist horseshit", my view is that campaigning for DevoMAX is defeatist.

    And yes I know that we on the Yes side understand what DevoMax is - that's not the issue.

    The issue is the No camp misrepresenting DevoMAX to voters and the media and there being a section of the community that only gets it's information from the MSM.

    It is naive to think this won't continue and that we can totally overcome it.

    "We will learn lessons from missing by 5% but we are hardly going to blunder about in the comical blind panic that the unionist parties are."

    Surely not panicking means sticking to your position of Independence?

    Your arguments seem illogical and all over the place to me and I would ask that you show me a bit more respect as a fellow Yes campaigner.

    ReplyDelete
  52. "We already HAD the three unionist parties VEHEMENTLY REJECT even putting DevoMAX on the ballot. So we all know what it is and so do they."

    When you finally grasp the simple logic of what that means get back to me. I and plenty of others in the Yes campaign know what it means even if you somehow don't.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Interesting to see so many people working themselves up into a lather about what may or may not be offered by Westminster, and so much cynicism that the vow will be honoured.

    I wonder, had the vote been "yes", whether those same posters would be on here posting with ever greater alarm about the fact a fully developed agreement on currency union had not been signed by Monday morning, claiming that Salmond had lied to them and that this invalidates the referendum result? I suspect not.

    It's pretty simple really; the Westminster powers promised "extensive" new powers and outlined what some of them will be, but they stopped well short of proposing Devomax as it is being defined on here. Of course you are entitled to push for Devomax as you understand it, but it is a stretch to claim the vow was a lie if it falls short of what you want. Part of the issue here is the casual way in which the term Devomax is used when really Devoplus is what is meant. But then that's no more casual than many of the assurances given by the yes campaign, on which you were all happy to rely. Also worth noting that Salmond derided the vow when it was made, saying: "It's totally inadequate, it's not enough. It's nothing approaching the powers that Scotland needs to create jobs, to save the health service and build a better society". So clearly he did not believe that the offer was devomax of the sort discussed on here.

    The vow was a dark moment in the campaign, a panicked and ill-considered response to the tightening polls that could, arguably should, have backfired on the no campaign. It should surprise no-one that there are now some details that need to be worked out, including how to address the unfairness presented by the WLQ. But there is no serious indication that the Westminster parties intend to renege on the proposal to devolve extensive further powers to Scotland. The Barnett formula is more at risk, but I suspect common sense will prevail and it will be left well alone for the time being. At some stage it does need to be tackled, but the Westminster leaders' rash promise not to interfere with it should mean it is safe for the foreseeable future. Tory backbenchers will drop their objections pretty damn quickly if Labour are prepared to concede on EV4EL, which I think they will have to (from internal pressure).

    ReplyDelete
  54. Flockers : "Devomax as you understand it"

    There is no room for dispute over the meaning of the term Devo Max - it means maximum devolution. Anything short of maximum devolution is self-evidently not Devo Max. The broadcasters repeatedly claimed that what was being proposed was Devo Max and nobody on the No side corrected them - so if Devo Max isn't delivered, there will have plainly been a breach of faith.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hadrian Antonine ‏@HadrianAntonine 9m

    Pro indepedence parties see enormous surge in members. SNP grows 65%. Set to overtake UK Lib DEMs. #indyref


    All those who want and demand a better scotland for all scots, be part of this incredible and unprecedented fightback.

    welcome all @theSNP new members. Join online https://my.snp.org/join or call our new emergency hotline 0800 633 5432



    I've repeated the most pertinent tweet for those rejecting and leaving the unionist parties in droves after they have shown themselves to be liars over the "VOW".

    It's also for all the 45 wanting to keep the fight going and of course for all ordinary scots who want to protect themselves from an out of control corrupt westminster establishment who will seek to harm us in any way they can after we frightened the life out of them and came so close.


    Lest you be in any doubt what is coming if we don't protect ourselves..

    David Jones ‏@DavidJo52951945 40m

    UKIP's new petition calls for- English only votes, reform of Barnett formula, new Scottish boundaries http://www.voiceforengland.com/ please sign

    ClanDonald ‏@Donald_Clan 1h

    Hey, Scotland, here's a letter to us from Taxpayer's Alliance. Feeling the love? Still glad we voted NO? http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/economics/2014/09/scotland-votes-demand-change-barnett-formula.html … #The45

    ReplyDelete
  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  57. ""We already HAD the three unionist parties VEHEMENTLY REJECT even putting DevoMAX on the ballot. So we all know what it is and so do they."

    When you finally grasp the simple logic of what that means get back to me. I and plenty of others in the Yes campaign know what it means even if you somehow don't."

    I do understand your view.

    You believe we should set them up to fail.

    But you have to appreciate that it would only be perceived as failure if enough Scots voters understand what DevoMAX really means.

    If Westminster successfully spin a DevoPLUS package as DevoMAX in the MSM, then they will have been seen to deliver and your tactic of setting them up to fail backfires.

    Also, enough with insulting my intelligence, show me the same respect that I show you.

    ReplyDelete
  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I'm not in the SNP, nor do I plan to join, but I am very interested in what path it's going to take while indy is 'off the table' (for however long that is).

    I see Sillars and then, to my amazement, Salmond resurrected the specter of UDI over the weekend. I think this is a barmy strategy that can only lead to indy being a fringe idea again, but can anyone "on the inside" tell me how much support that position has in the modern SNP? I know it was policy under the 1990s.

    ReplyDelete
  60. " if Labour are prepared to concede on EV4EL, which I think they will have to (from internal pressure).

    LOL

    There speaks someone who certainly doesn't sound as if he's ever met a scottish labour MP. This isn't some abstruse constitutional matter to them. It is visceral and
    a line in the sand they will never cross.

    I repeat, it's the kind of thing they could even try to bring a labour leader down over. So relying on their 'sense of fairness' and 'judgement' on this would be extraordinarily gullible.

    ReplyDelete
  61. James, you're not that naive. Politicians should be judged by their words, not how others choose to report them. Some would argue devomax includes full fiscal autonomy, and yet it's clear that is not on offer - it would make a mockery of the opposition to currency union to give Holyrood unlimited power to borrow. What was offered was extensive further powers. That's what will be given. It won't satisfy you, of course, but it's better than nothing, will please many, and, well, if you wanted more you should have won the referendum.

    ReplyDelete
  62. The SNP could have 400,000 members. So what?
    They still wouldn't be invited into a leaders debate at the next GE,

    ReplyDelete
  63. Callum

    I'm not in the SNP, but I suspect the way forward is a consultative referendum run by the Scottish Parliament, rather than the legislative one we just had.

    Then if Westminster refuse to recognise the result of the consultative referendum, we would have the right to declare UDI.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Pork, we'll see. You have a very parochial view of politics and see everything through the prism of Scotland. For Labour, the next general election will be won or lost in England and the substantial gains they need to make will prove beyond them if they are seen to be campaigning on the basis that their Scottish MPs should have the right to vote on matters that do not affect their constituents. There are 41 Labour MPs in Scotland. About 210 in rUK.

    Meanwhile Scottish Labour MPs will face a harsh verdict from the electorate if Labour are seen to be holding up further devolution. It's the perfect storm for Labour. Moves are already afoot within the party to force the leadership to confront the issue. I think they will have to.

    But let's see.

    ReplyDelete
  65. "James, you're not that naive."

    It's not naivety, it's entirely justified anger. The public have been profoundly misled in the most important vote they will ever participate in. You're rather sweetly absolving the No campaign of blame, in which case by definition it must be the broadcasters. So what are we going to do to hold them to account?

    ReplyDelete
  66. @Callum - Any talk of UDI was mainly a response and a warning to all the westminster idiots trying to raise the spectre of making a future Independence Referendum 'Illegal'. The repulsive new labour warmonger Jack Straw being the most obvious case but hardly the only one.


    "I'm not in the SNP, nor do I plan to join"

    You certainly don't need to Callum.

    Here are some more pertinent links for any of the 45 and other ordinary scots wishing to join in the fightback and protect themselves from a corrupt and vengeful westminster establishment.

    Ysabelle Stewart ‏@YsabelleStewart 5h

    Scottish Greens' membership page for those interested: http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/join-donate/ Ask Green tweeters about party & how it works. #the45plus

    Rattlecans ‏@rattlecans 1h

    Another Yes Party is the SSP. If ye want tae join wi hard-working @colinfoxssp and his party, here's the link http://www.scottishsocialistparty.org/join-us/

    ReplyDelete
  67. "That's what will be given. It won't satisfy you, of course, but it's better than nothing, will please many, and, well, if you wanted more you should have won the referendum."

    Alternatively, we could just hope for a UK government that is willing to deliver the wishes of the Scottish electorate. But that may be a little too much, I grant you.

    I presume the "better than nothing" line is an attempt to place yourself in the shoes of an independence supporter and imagine how you would feel in our position. I fear that attempt at empathy may be a doomed endeavour.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thanks, folks.

    I honestly can't see the modern SNP suggesting anything like UDI, even after a non-binding consultative referendum of the kind they have in Catalonia from time to time. The capital flight would be horrific - something that the SNP went to great lengths to prevent during the campaign (hence CU, share of debt, negotiated separation etc etc). To be honest, my politics are a lot of more radical than the SNPs so I wouldn't rule it out on principle, but I expect Nicola will batter down that suggestion fairly sharply if she's elected First Minister. Apart from anything else, I suspect it's electoral kryptonite.

    ReplyDelete
  69. It's artificial and self-serving anger.

    I am not absolving the No campaign of blame - see what I wrote on here the day it was announced. It was rushed and ill-considered. The WLQ and other issues now being debated were immediately apparent. The scope for misunderstanding and disappointment amongst some - not you, but genuine floating voters, was obvious.

    But, leaving aside the risible concern of any yes supporter about a campaign being profoundly misleading (EU membership, ambitious oil projections, currency union et al), you have to ask honestly how many people were profoundly mislead. They would have to be people (i) with an understanding of what devomax is that accords with your description; (ii) who either did not read or hear the vow, or who believed they had misheard it and in fact thought the media's summary was better; (iii) who placed reliance on the media's use of the term "devomax"; (iv) who either did not hear Alex Salmond's rebuttal of it, or did but disregarded it; (v) who did no further investigation into the vow; (vi) whose vote was influenced by it.

    No doubt you will find lots of astroturfers now saying they fall into that category but in reality it is likely to be a very small group.

    And, crucially, the detail has yet to be published.

    If the powers offered are not "extensive" you will have every right to complain. But as implied in my first post, I sincerely dout you or Pork would be on here fretting about the lack of a concluded currency union if it was a "yes" vote. Certainly your heart would not be bleeding for the "profoundly misled" yes voters.

    This is not the first time a politician has has had a complex and nuanced position boiled down to a soundbite. Unless you are telling me you assiduously avoid using terms such as "bedroom tax".

    Lots of people are using the term devomax to describe this. Doubtless some politicians have. I have. But the proposal from the Westminster 3 was clearly not everything bar defence and foreign policy.

    ReplyDelete
  70. "You have a very parochial view of politics and see everything through the prism of Scotland."

    Not at all. I predicted the kipper rise and that their rises and falls in polling this year would mirror last year. And so it has. I predicted, long, long ago that Clegg was toxic and nothing could be done to change that. And so he is. I pointed out that Cammie would be forever watching his back as he tried to appease his angry backbenchers while posturing away to try and see off the kippers. Which is precisely what he is doing over EV4EL with the Clacton by-election looming.


    "There are 41 Labour MPs in Scotland."

    Most of whom were directly involved in the Blair Brown wars so are certainly no strangers to sticking the knife into labour leaders and briefing against them when it suits them. Some of whom are high enough up in the labour party hierarchy to cause absolute chaos should they feel the need. If EV4EL looks remotely likely then they will.

    They do not give a flying feck about fairness. They think that after a No they should be allowed to do as they have always done on voting and proceed up the greasy pole unhindered. They expect a 'reward' from little Ed. This is hardly their idea of a reward. It is the exact opposite as they will see it.

    Little Ed knows all this which is why he's already made it perfectly clear that labour will do everything in their power to oppose it by kicking it into the long grass.

    ReplyDelete
  71. James, I know this pains you, but the wishes of the Scottish electorate, as expressed on Thursday night, were to continue to be governed as part of the United Kingdom. That wish will be honoured.

    Better than nothing is not an attempt at empathy; it's an objective, verifiable fact. You want self-government and devolution is a limited form of it. More devolution is therefore better than nothing. Unless you take the machiavellian view that you would rather be offered nothing because it will hasten independence.

    I genuinely do empathise with yes supporters who desperately wanted to win, and understand their disappointment. But I am not going to stand by and watch people get manipulated into believing that the wonderful expression of democracy we saw last week was fatally flawed. It was not. If the yes campaign had won I would have respected that decision, despite believing the victory would have owed much to some extraordinary assertions, and knowing that there would likely be a reckoning when the truth on currency and EU membership, for example, emerged. No political campaign is perfect. But people on here are skirting dangerously close to anti-democratic values, rather than doing what needs to be done, which is to accept the defeat, learn the lessons and go back to fighting for a better Scotland, starting with having a voice at the table on what powers should be devolved.

    ReplyDelete
  72. As a Dundonian I was, obviously paying a lot of attention to how the campaign was going in my city, The feedback was brilliant with a big turnout expected.

    On the night of the Referendum as the count began it was soon reported that Dundee had an amazing turnout of nearly 90%. A while later it was also reported that after the first count the vote in Dundee was 71%. and so it went into the second count.

    Three fire alarms later, that was claimed to be caused by a electronic cigarette, The turnout was down and the Yes vote was now 57%.

    Yes still won and even if Yes had got the 71% it wouldn't have changed the result, but if this was repeated in other areas?

    Ruth Davidson came on air before a single vote came in and was asked why she was so confident.

    She replied that 'people' had taken 'a little peep at the postal votes' and BT were confident that they had got their vote out!

    To have a little peep the boxes must have been opened and for BT to know that they had got their vote out, all the postal ballot boxes must have been opened!

    Whoever opened these boxes were committing a criminal offence and yet felt comfortable enough t tell BT that they had done this and what they had found...in other words it was BT activists /supporters who opened the boxes and counted the votes,

    So the question is this, how can anyone claim this election was fair and honest when one of the party leaders from the No campaign has admitted that the no campaign had enough access to the Postal Ballot Boxes to be able to open them and count the votes.

    Was a fraud committed?

    Well if these postal ballots showed yes ahead I'm certain there was, unless that is, you trust the people in the Unionist camp?

    The over 60's are said to have won the vote for No.

    Most of the postal votes are submitted by the over 60's

    hmmm!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Democracy in action.

    Richard Lyle MSP ‏@RichardlyleSnp 21m

    Now over 17,000 new members have joined the SNP since Thursday. Unprecedented in a party's history I think. Join Scotland's party.



    How now Brown Vow!

    LOL

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  74. "James, I know this pains you, but the wishes of the Scottish electorate, as expressed on Thursday night, were to continue to be governed as part of the United Kingdom."

    Keep telling yourself that if it comforts you. The victims of the terror campaign who ended up voting No will have a different story to tell over the coming years, and it won't be one of love for Westminster rule. Sorry about that.

    "Better than nothing is not an attempt at empathy; it's an objective, verifiable fact."

    Do you want to stop and have a think about that? Do you think people who want to abolish the Scottish Parliament (they do exist) would agree with you that it is an "objective, verifiable fact" that more powers for the Scottish Parliament than we already have can be described as "better than nothing"?

    ReplyDelete
  75. "Now over 17,000 new members have joined the SNP since Thursday. Unprecedented in a party's history I think. Join Scotland's party."

    That's 17,000 new members fighting for independence - not DevoMAX.

    Add to that the thousands joining the Greens & SSP - all for independence.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Flockers:

    Who exactly is proposing to overturn the result? You're shadow boxing. Your attempt to suggest that the last minute offer of what Gordon Brown called 'home rule' (that is, apart from any media "spin") was incidental to the outcome is simply preposterous. How do we know that? We know that because it's clear that Cameron in particular would never have offered it if he felt victory was assured without, for the obvious reason that is is causing him terrible political problems. The idea that the last 3 weeks of the Np cam promising 'faster change' was just campaign bluster is a total charade.

    As for all this false magnanimity and the 'get over it' stuff: the people who decide which issues matter, which issues don't, which issues are revisited and which are left to rot are the *Scottish people* and them alone. If a party stands on a platform of reopening the question of independence, then the Scottish people will render a verdict on that manifesto in democratic forums. That's democracy. Unless you think, for some reason, the normal rules of democratic governance are to be suspended until some point in the future when you think returning to the question is "appropriate".

    ReplyDelete
  77. James,

    You are being irrational. It is a fact that the only possible interpretation of Thursday's result is that the Scottish electorate expressed a wish to remain in the Union, as opposed to be independent. You regret that, but that is what a "no" vote meant.

    It may well come to pass that some "no" voters voters regret that too. Independence may happen in our respective lifetimes, or it may not. It may be a thunderbolt within five years, it may never emerge as an issue again. No-one can know. But nothing will ever change the fact that in 2014 the Scottish people voted to remain part of the union.

    Your reference to a terror campaign was crass. Views were put forward, often robustly. The yes campaign leadership was given ample platform to make known their views, you campaigned freely and without restriction. It was a fair and democratic process.

    The "terror" of which you speak was, in the eyes of its proponents, a clear-headed and sober analysis of the risks Scotland faced on independence. You were free to disagree and make the alternative case.

    Finally, it is very obviously the case that if your goal is ultimate self-governance, and you are given some self-governance (more than you had) that is better than nothing. It may not be enough for you, but it is better than nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Marsi45% ‏@DMHull Sep 20

    @greghemphill69 whit! Is this wee pledgie vow thing not true? Oh no! Why did I believe Brown & the Tory? Doh! pic.twitter.com/j7zxmJDXfv



    Amble Skuse ‏@ambleskramble Sep 20

    BBC coverage of the Gordon Brown 'vow' has already been taken down. Way to go BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29292297 …

    Unspoofable. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  79. "Add to that the thousands joining the Greens & SSP - all for independence."

    The Greens' position is more nuanced than the SNP's - that's one reason why we have to be careful about fundamentalism splitting the Yes movement. However, I agree that most of their new members will be joining partly because of pro-independence views, and that's bound to have a positive effect on the balance of opinion within the party.

    ReplyDelete
  80. It seems some people are immune to logic.

    Without a gradualist approach there would never have been a referendum. This is absolutely undeniable.

    Since independence was clearly rejected by Scotland *4 days ago*, campaigning directly for independence isn't a tenable position.

    Since Scotland voted No out of worry at the 'leap' required (fear was the driver), it's obvious that reducing the distance from 'here' to independence is the way to boost any Yes result in an independence poll. Not to mention, increased autonomy for Scotland in a workable form is a good thing.

    {cue hundreds more comments where people just don't get it}

    ReplyDelete
  81. "You are being irrational. It is a fact that the only possible interpretation of Thursday's result is that the Scottish electorate expressed a wish to remain in the Union, as opposed to be independent. You regret that, but that is what a "no" vote meant."

    No, I'm sorry, you can be as condescending as you like, but you simply don't get to define the meaning of people's votes. The question was "Should Scotland be an independent country?" - people could vote 'no' to that for all sorts of reasons that had nothing to do with an endorsement of London rule. If your side of the argument wanted to claim such an endorsement, you should have sought one, rather than trying to terrorise people with scare stories about price rises in supermarkets, pensions not being paid, Scotland being the only country in the entire world without a currency, etc, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Scotsman ‏@TheScotsman 8h

    Academic warns of 'Yes landslide' if Westminster fails to deliver more powers, prompting second referendum: http://bit.ly/1wZkVoN #indyref


    Pete Wishart ‏@PeteWishart 4h

    The promise to protect Barnett made in 'the vow' isn't in their Westminster motion. Why? http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/sep/westminster-signals-threat-scotlands-budget …

    ReplyDelete
  83. I attended a count - there were dozens of observers at the count. The counting process had multiple levels of redundancy built in to it. So can the fever-swamp MacBirthers please move on. There was no fraud that added half a million No votes.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Callum,

    I did not say any of the things you ascribed to me. I did not say, nor do I believe, that the vow was "incidental" to the decision. I have been very clear on here that I believe it is a condition that now must be delivered upon. If it is not, then Scotland will be independent soon, and I will not campaign to stop it. But I am clear that what must be delivered is what was promised by the Westminster leaders i.e. extensive further powers, not some unrealistic SNP wish list. The fact that some (including on occasion, me) have used the phrase "devomax" as shorthand does not change that.

    Nor have I ever said it is a matter for anybody other than the Scottish people when independence comes back on the agenda. I believe in self-determination. If Scotland wishes to revisit the question again in the future, it can. But I would hope you would have sufficient respect for the views of your countrymen to accept their verdict. It would clearly be absurd, for example, for the SNP to use its Holyrood majority to force another referendum tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  85. James, I am afraid you are deluding yourself. People were asked to make a simple choice between independence and the union. Whatever their motivation, their vote was an expression of preference. Voters chose - by a comfortable majority - the union. That is not me defining the meaning of people's votes. It is a stone cold logical assessment of the voters' preferences, as expressed by them.

    As to the campaign - clearly we disagree. Leaving aside your hyperbole on currency, a lot of the warnings that vexed you so much came not from the Better Together Campaign, but from leading figures in industry and commerce and respected international bodies. They were gleefully used by the No campaign, who of course put the best possible spin on all such statements, as the Yes campaign did with the smaller number of such statements that supported independence. Ultimately it was the yes campaign's failure to address these legitimate concerns and the high-handed way with which Salmond tried to dismiss them, that cost the yes campaign vital credibility. Impossible to say whether it lost you the vote, but I believe it could well have done.

    ReplyDelete
  86. "It would clearly be absurd, for example, for the SNP to use its Holyrood majority to force another referendum tomorrow."

    Ha, but of course! I think I would be as outraged at that as you.

    I wonder, however, if you'd agree that if the SNP, or any other prospective party of government at Holyrood, put a manifesto to the people in 2016 which included a referendum in indy (or perhaps one on actual devo max), and won a majority in the parliament on that basis, whether you would call for Westminster to facilitate another referendum or not?

    And I accept your sincerity regarding 'the vow', the problem however, as you recognize, is that its content is vague as to make almost impossible any judgement about whether it's been fully delivered upon. But that's an issue for the Scottish people I suppose, since they, in part at least, voted so that it would indeed be implemented.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Callum, I would need to think that through more than I have. Instinctively, I would be supportive if SNP wins a majority on the basis of a manifesto pledge to call another referendum, and therefore a mandate for another independence referendum. I would need to think about whether "majority" is the right test, having regard to the voting system, but that feels right to me. It also feels uncomfortable having another referendum so soon.

    I don't think SNP will do it (unless the vow breaks down). There is a real danger of treating the Scottish electorate with contempt, no compelling reason to think the result will be wildly different in two years (again assuming the vow holds) and the reaction from rUK would be visceral.

    I have an almost limitless tolerance for this debate for various personal reasons, but to be honest rUK is pretty weary of it. We've spent several years now debating the future of 8% of our union. We now want to spend some time on the rest of it.

    The vagueness of the vow is indeed the problem with it. We will all be back here in a few months arguing the dictionary meaning of "extensive".

    I don't think a referendum on devomax works (unless all the details are agreed between both sides in advance, in which case it seems rather pointless unless its devomax v independence).

    ReplyDelete
  88. "I would need to think about whether "majority" is the right test, having regard to the voting system, but that feels right to me."

    By majority I mean a lead in seats of the same order or greater than they have now. I wouldn't place MSPs who opposed another referendum under any obligation to vote for one.

    "I have an almost limitless tolerance for this debate for various personal reasons, but to be honest rUK is pretty weary of it. We've spent several years now debating the future of 8% of our union. We now want to spend some time on the rest of it."

    Here's the problem with that argument. We were told repeatedly throughout the campaign by the No side that the UK was a 'unique' union, one of a kind and so on. And it many senses that is indeed true. Not many states now carry under their 'umbrella' historic nations that have a history of independent statehood (Scotland and England until 1707, the north of Ireland until 1808 or whenever it was). There is a price to this "unique" set of arrangements: it will continually have to deal with the problem of national self-determination. If the Union is so amazing and indispensable, then those believe in it will simply have to deal with it, just like those of us who believe in Scottish statehood will have to "deal" with yet more existence under a state we don't want. If the Union is to persist, it will do so under the constant pressure between statehood and nationhood. If that pressure isn't "worth it", abolish the contradiction :)

    ReplyDelete
  89. I don't see that as a contradiction, it's just that there are many other pressures and priorities and I would like my (and your!) Government to focus on the economy, employment, public services, housing, justice etc. Constitutional matters are important - particularly when they relate to self-determination - but it's not a good use of time to keep revisiting the same questions. The uncertainty is also bad for the economy and investment, as well as intra-UK relations. So if it was up to me, we wouldn't be revisiting this for a while. But as I freely agree, it's not ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  90. *DevoMAX - All powers apart from foreign affairs and defence.

    ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  91. "Since independence was clearly rejected by Scotland *4 days ago*, campaigning directly for independence isn't a tenable position.

    Since Scotland voted No out of worry at the 'leap' required (fear was the driver), it's obvious that reducing the distance from 'here' to independence is the way to boost any Yes result in an independence poll."

    I have to disagree.

    It wasn't just fear, it was the "vow" as well.

    Once people realise how badly they were lied to, independence becomes the 1st choice.

    Besides we also have another Tory government with broken pledges in 2015, with a possible UKIP coalition and EU referendum, voting us out of the EU in 2017.

    Both viable triggers for another independence referendum.

    ReplyDelete
  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Flockers, is "terror" really such a different term to "shock and awe"? Who came up with that crass description?

    ... and while as a reader I've appreciated your sensible No perspective on here, "wonderful expression of democracy" does rather stick in the craw when it comes from the side that didn't want the debate at all and then spent most of the campaign trying to either shut it down or smear the side actually making debate as Nazi hooligans. Good job Friday night in Glasgow came along to remind us all of what Nazi hooligans actually look like. Sheesh.

    Yes, you won a democratic vote by a legitimate margin ... we're all North Britons now, but please spare us the pish.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Flockers:

    "But I am clear that what must be delivered is what was promised by the Westminster leaders i.e. extensive further powers"

    Can you tell me what was promised please? As it was never defined, I know that you can't, and that neither can we.

    This ambiguity serves the Westminster government to some degree, but surely we on the Yes side are perfectly entitled to use this ambiguity for our own benefit? It was described as DevoMax in the papers, and that wasn't refuted - why on earth shouldn't I demand that they deliver what I understand by DevoMax? They have left themselves open to this by their own panicked stupidity. I fully intend to make hay with this. If Yes had won, and a currency union wasn't agreed, would you be saying "It was only a bargaining position, so I'm going to let that one go"? I don't think so.

    Just for clarity - what would be the absolute minimum that Westminster could deliver for you to state that extensive further powers had been granted?

    ReplyDelete