Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Britain is now a prison - the SNP must set out its escape plan

Britain is no longer the country that most of us grew up in, and the transformation has been incredibly recent and sudden.  Every Prime Minister between Harold Wilson and David Cameron accepted that Scotland was only part of the UK on a voluntary basis and could leave any time it wished.  Even in the early days of Theresa May's premiership, Ruth Davidson was still explaining to journalists that it would be 'constitutionally improper' for London to block an independence referendum requested by a majority of the elected Scottish Parliament.  That immaculate principle of self-determination was not compromised until May's "now is not the time" schtick, which was intended to imply a deferral rather than an outright rejection of Scotland's right to choose.  But it's now clear that was merely a staging post on a quick transition towards the new colonial settlement, backed by both Tory and Labour, in which Scotland is told it will be remaining in the UK regardless of its own wishes.  The new Britain is the very Soviet-style prison that Jeremy Hunt, with a record-breaking absence of self-awareness, claimed the EU to be only the other day.  That is a truly staggering development, and the only thing even more staggering is the fact that our useless mainstream media don't seem to feel the attempted murder of Scotland's democracy is worthy of any note.

It may seem naive in retrospect, but the SNP's strategy in firing the starting gun for a referendum in early 2017 hinged entirely on the belief that Theresa May would not say "no".  It was a genuine surprise to the SNP leadership when she did, but even after that point the strategy continued to assume that her "no" had to really mean "maybe, when the pressure builds".  In the light of recent events, such wishful thinking must be dispensed with permanently.  We now know for virtually certain that a method for circumventing a London "no" will be required, and luckily two such methods exist - a consultative referendum held without a Section 30 order (which would probably need to be okayed by the Supreme Court), or a Holyrood election that doubles as an independence referendum. We need to hear from the SNP right now, or very soon, about how one or both of those methods will be used.  That does not in any way prejudge the issue of referendum timing, because regardless of whether the referendum is called next year, or in 2025, or at any point in between, it is clear that London will not give its blessing.  If the SNP is serious about Scotland leaving the prison of the UK at any point in the future, it's absolutely crucial that it now demonstrates that seriousness to the electorate by revealing its escape plan.  Not actually a difficult or challenging thing to do, but without it the credibility of the whole independence cause may start to wither, because the media will be all too eager to triumphantly have people believe that independence is automatically dead just because London says it is.

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What else has changed about Britain very recently?  Try the abrupt end of the devolution settlement as we know it.  The whole point of devolution was to end the situation that prevailed in the 1980s and 1990s when the Scottish Tories were manning the Scottish Office and arrogantly calling the shots in this country on the basis of 28% or 24% or 26% of the vote.  We appear to be right back to where we started.  Ruth Davidson, who has never led her party to anything better than second place and 29% of the vote in any election, seemingly has the right to tell the landslide winner of every recent election in Scotland to "sling her hook" when she tries to implement her manifesto.  As the defeated leader of the opposition, Davidson can apparently make "announcements" about which year in the distant future the elected First Minister of this country might possibly be "allowed" to implement the will of the people.  Oddly, our mainstream media believe this state of affairs is somehow inspiring, rather than the democratic outrage it so obviously is.

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63 comments:

  1. The independence movement needs leadership at this point.

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    1. Absolutely. And - alas! - we don't seem to be getting it. Nicola Sturgeon really has to start turning up. And if she won't do it, others around her will have to push her into it, or someone else will have to do it instead. I am sure she is trying to do the right thing, and aiming (eventually) at the right result, but - while I sympathise with the many difficulties of her situation - I think her startegy and assumptions are wrong. In my view, she should never have compromised on what the Scottish people voted ofr - namely that Scotland would remain within the European Union. The big mistake - made in the beginning - was to overrule that, and say staying in the customs union and the single market would be sufficient instead. There might be many calculated (or miscalculated) reasons why she did that, but none of them justify overruling the basic principle that people of scotland are sovereign in Scotland. She had no right to overrule the stated wish of the Scottish people, and when she tried to do so she undermined the very principle on which Scottish independence is based. Since then, instead of leading the way, she has lost the initiative. She is always behind the situation, responding to unfolding situations after they have emerged, continually postponing rather than acting, and giving the overall impression of dithering uncertainty. This inspires no one. The Yes movement is much bigger than the SNP, but needs the SNP to provide the opportunity which it will seize. You can sometimes get the impression that the SNP is more concerned with itself than it is with inspiring that wider Yes movement, without which its objective of independence can never be gained.

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    2. It looks as though it is all happening as you Anonymous people want it to happen. Keith Brown will be speaking at the "banned" Edinburgh Rally today in Holyrood Park. All SNP wants is support and it will do its best to respond.

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  2. On Twitter I read the thread by James Patrick on the whole Brexit debacle, and I reproduce it here for your readers to contemplate and I hope you don't mind. I think his reading of the situation requires the Scottish Government and all of us who want Scotland to be just a normal country again to give this some serious thought and reaction.

    The clock is really ticking, and for Scotland I believe our time is fast running out.

    "Right, I really don't care whether people listen to this Brexit thread. It's just here.

    This is a sanitised briefing. It is rated as "high level of confidence" and supported by OSINT, meaning it comes from multiple, reliable sources and is supported by open source information.
    Numerous sources have confirmed the British government is deliberately aiming for a no deal Brexit outcome in order to take advantage of extended powers available to them under the scenario - including civil contingencies and so-called Henry VIII.
    The Chequers plan is a ploy designed to engage the EU in distraction from the desired British outcome and create a false narrative at home in the UK that the EU are responsible.
    Sources claim emergency legislation is being prepared for January next year (2019) when the Withdrawal Act no deal deadlines pass - this would be 29/01 and the civil contingencies secretariat have been convened as per leaked Hammond notes recently, adding credibility.
    On Ireland: The British government hopes the EU will be forced to move first and install a hard border in Ireland in order to avoid blame itself for a situation it has created. Further sources claim the data harvested during Repeal 8th will be used in some "unity" campaigns.
    The British government has progressed trade talks with the US to the point of potential emergency supply, moving substantially beyond informal discussions - though the Trump administration should not be taken at its word, a degree of reliance on this has been factored in UK side.
    The government intends to create a tax haven on the EU's doorstep to exploit financial service deregulation. This speaks for itself.
    The British government aims to prevent France and other EU countries from properly preparing for no deal by continuing to falsely engage in the negotiations in bad faith, keeping the EU27 from moving from early stage plans to contingency measures as long as possible.
    The British government hopes this will create a ripple effect of impact so it can later pursue a "Europe in chaos" narrative of disinformation and exploit the situation. In short hoping to spread the load of no deal impact, particularly into France due to geographical impact.
    The British government hopes this collateral damage will add to planned disruption around the EU election processes next spring and they will use dissident relationships to further this - likely to include Orban.
    The British are aware that contingency planning in France has not yet reached operational unit level even in the GIGN because the general French presumption is that the British government is genuinely engaged in good faith, which they are not.
    Ends."

    James Patrick @j_amesp

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    1. Has more the a front whiff of plausibility

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    2. This could be very scary, but I simply don't believe it because it credits the Tories with far too much competence and guile.

      Last year I was part of a meeting in Westminster with a group of SNP MPs and I asked them if the Tories were really as incompetent as they looked from the outside. To be honest, I was expecting a polite “they’re doing their best under difficult circumstances” kind of reply.

      What actually happened was that they all started laughing before I’d finished the question - the Tory incompetence was not only real but was, if anything, worse that it appeared to the public, with even senior ministers having no real grasp of the realities of Brexit.

      It also appeared that they didn't understand the constitutional rules or consequences of their plans or even see why they should, and were convinced that it would all be OK in the end “because it’s us” and people will bend the rules to accommodate us.

      This “because it’s us” British exceptionalism has been at the core of Tory “negotiations” throughout and has resurfaced with a vengeance in Theresa May’s (and the media’s) response to her Salzburg setback. It may not bode well for the future – if you refuse to accept objective reality, then how can you negotiate anything? - but I think that it's a more realistic assessment of what's happening than what is essentially an elaborate conspiracy theory.

      Also, for James Patrick to be correct, all the Tory infighting and backstabbing would have to be being elaborately stage managed without anyone giving the game away. And, in any case, if they wanted to do as he says, why have all the current trauma and weakening of the Government's authority - surely it would be easier and more effective to present a united front.

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    3. That's a dangerous line of thinking.

      Even if the Tories are as incompetent as they look, it's still likely that James' predictions are what will happen - it's just what I would expect them to do if they keep not thinking ahead, and just reacting to the situation of the moment.

      Also, it's likely that that is the overarching plan, but you have to remember that Tory MPs are just footsoldiers, so most of them probably don't even know the plan. I think it's blindingly obvious that the Conservative Party have a long-term strategic planning group (probably composed of some of those rich, never-mentioned, donors) that never actually sets foot in parliament or stands for election, that actually runs the party.

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    4. I'm thinking exactly what Illy is thinking. I have been for quite a few months now.

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    5. Can quite believe that this is a plausible and actually closer to the real situation
      that is happening right now. Be in no doubt this is a dirty game being played out,, the people are simply collateral.

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  3. I find masel block by James Patrick and have zero recollection of ever interacting with him. Is he "touchy" about anything, does embdy know?

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    1. He's a very odd chap, similar to David Leask in that he sees a sinister Russian hand in almost everything. He's been pushing the "Britain secretly wants no deal" line for ages now, but I've no idea whether it should be given any credence.

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    2. I see, Leask has blocked and unblocked me a couple of times, and re the brexit thread, it is a bit James Bond
      ta

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    3. He blocked me for pointing out the flaws in his last "prediction" that a person from Glasgow was actually a Russian bot, and for asking, after it was revealed that he was talking shite, if he would apologise.
      So, on all known form...

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  4. Great article James, and an accurate exposition of where Scotland stands today. However I disagree we need the approval of the EnglandUK supreme Court to call a consultative referendum.
    They're not to be trusted to act fairly imo.
    The Brexit ref was only consultative yet the legitimacy is not being questioned.
    Apart from Scotland's difference of view and outcome we should never defer to London.

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    1. I'm just describing the legal position - any bill passed by the Scottish Parliament can be referred to the Supreme Court.

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    2. I think it's sensible to jump through the British hoops just to go through the motions of compliance and appear "reasonable".
      If Arthur Scargill had bit his lip and gone through the motions of compliance with the law, the miners would have had legitimacy for their strike and the vile Thatcher government could well have lost the subsequent election.
      Unless we can be sure of massive (absolutely massive) support for unilateral action, it will be more beneficial to the prospects of independence to go for the "establishment" option, We can imagine the reaction of the media and all "right thinking" people if the government followed a more radical route, and by "right-thinking" I don't only mean the nut-hatch wing of the British Unionists.
      Personally, I would prefer a more radical unilateral option, but it won't work.

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    3. Iain T: "I think it's sensible to jump through the British hoops just to go through the motions of compliance and appear "reasonable". "

      Completely undermines the #DissolveTheUnion predicate that in matters constitutional and Scottish, the People are sovereign. To comply is to acknowledge and accept that the people of Scotland in matters constitutional are in fact subordinate to the will of England (Part IV of the legal opinion published by HMG 2013 and adopted at policy states that that Scotland was “extinguished” when it was incorporated into England in 1707, that England continued, and that the titles “UK” and “England” are synonymous, describing the same continuing unitary state). https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/79408/Annex_A.pdf

      There is no "establishment option". That should be clear from this article. Additionally, the so-called Supreme Court in this context is naught but a confected instrument of English colonial control.

      Again, the principle of a constitutionally sovereign Scottish polity is undermined by any recognition of its subordination to the will of the English state. It is inevitable that there will be a direct confrontation between Scotland and its colonial masters over sovereignty. Scotland will never resume its independence by asking for permission.

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    4. I totally agree with you. We are sovereign but we're also outnumbered and part of a state that pays no attention to our sovereignty because that's not how they see it. I would much rather go for a radical solution and while it would make us feel great to do something, it won't bring independence about for the reasons I mentioned above.

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  5. There is heavy irony in someone demanding to know whether the SNP is serious about Scotland "leaving the prison of the UK" while insisting that we meekly accept the legal bars which form that prison.

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    1. There's a difference between "meekly accepting" something, and acknowledging it's existence.

      The bars exist. We're talking about ways to break them.

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    2. That's not what the article says. It is quite clear about NOT breaking those bars.

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    3. Independence isn't the aim. International recognition of Scotland
      as a sovereign state is the aim.
      England in its current form is a post-imperial structure, the emphasis here being on imperial.
      The most recent imperial states in europe to break up were the
      Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Similar to the UK both were supposedly multi-national unions but were in reality Greater Russia and Serbia.
      Despite the breakups being in some cases non-constitutional and also violent many of the former states of these "Unions" are either EU states or in the process of joining the EU.
      It is likely that the EU will show considerable leeway in recognising an Independent Scotland despite the specific path
      chosen to Independence.
      England along with Russia and Turkey now present the greatest external threat to the existence of the EU and this will play
      into the situation.

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  6. I can understand Tory voters in Scotland who will never support independence because the chances of a Tory government in Holyrood are non existent for the forseeable future,unless Labour assist.
    They support unionism because that pretty well guarantees them a Tory government in Greater England.
    The real problem are Labour supporters.
    I just don't get them.
    Do they really prefer Tory governments?
    The union was designed to benefit England by holding Scotland captive (imprisoned) and that still applies today,especially post Brexit.
    Labour supporters delusions of a partnership of equals,pooling and sharing and worker solidarity have all been exposed as a sham by the present Greater England government.
    It is England first and always has been in our so called union with Scotland either ignored or treated as an afterthought.
    Perhaps Scottish Labour supporters just can't stand the thought of real democracy within our country.
    And yes,despite their other delusional protestations,Scotland is a country/nation and has the right to self determination as such.
    We just have to work out the mechanics of separating ourselves from our captors that will be acceptable to the global community.

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    1. bringiton - Yes, Labour British Nationalists would most certainly prefer a Tory UK government to a Labour Scottish one. Let's picture their stalwarts:
      Alistair "Baron Splendid" Darling, Margaret "Come on, UKIP" Curran, Jack McConnell, John Reid, Gordon Brown, Baron Bottle of Cumnock and all the Low-flying Jimmies and Jimmettes.
      Their titles and expenses depend on Britain.

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  7. Our mainstream media are Tories to a man, and it is to our shame that this supposedly left leaning country stood by and worse, believe what is written.

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  8. Does look like internal polling now shows the UK parties are now convinced they're going to lose iref2. Certainly published polling strongly points to that; at least if brexit goes ahead.

    I for one would welcome the English/British saying we can't leave. It would destroy what's left of britishness in Scotland. Cameron knew only too well that if he tried to block #iref#1, he'd break the union. His best hope was to let Scots freely choose to remain British. That tipped the balance for Naw.

    I'm a staunch EU/EEA Remainer, but if the EU had tried to say it needed to give permission for the UK (or other members) to have an EUref / exit the club (and even refuse that permission!), I'd have not hesitated in voting leave, even if that did put me ostensibly in Farage's camp.

    Anyway, in the end, it doesn't matter whether England recognises Scottish indy, it's what the world thinks. Given England is sticking its fingers up at everyone and telling them 'Go back to your own countries; we don't want you stinking furriners here', it's not going to have a lot of friends going forward.

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    1. skier, how can knobs like you destroy Unionists. Your PIRA murdering bum scum chums tried and failed. We are not going away.

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    2. Baron Darling of FlippinghomeOctober 2, 2018 at 9:42 PM

      Glesga2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois

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  9. A Scottish Government was one of the two signituries to the Treaty of Union, therefore a Scottish Government can repeal the treaty if it so wishes.

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    1. THAT SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT was not elected by the masses. This Scottish government was. The Scottish people voted to remain in the Union. You Nat sis have no time for democracy, you pretend you want independence but want to give it away to the EU bourgeoisie blood suckers. You Nat sis have the same greed motive as our ancestors. You have no credibility. Up yer kilts.

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    2. Baron Bottle of CumnockOctober 2, 2018 at 9:46 PM

      GWC2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois

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    3. Baroness Moan of Mayfair BingoOctober 2, 2018 at 11:05 PM

      GWC2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois

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    4. The screams of impotent rage are hilarious.

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  10. Did not the revolting Straw J, former foreign secretary and all round war criminal and money grabbing turd not try to create a new constitution which would have outlawed independence? This was some time before 2017.
    Also the 40% rule, rejecting the covenant signed by a majority of Scottish adults, hiding the McCrone report, gerrymandering the parliament with the 73/59 split and pathetic 2 vote scam. All running against the blessed UN charter and our basic human rights.

    Our enemies are just acting in public now. And as long as our beloved quislings are propagandising 24/7 then they'll get away with it.

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  11. Offly Topic.

    1 P Bell is a grumpy old twonk.

    2. Is it a coincidence that the daily Leask is publishing the lie that Kezzie dogface only called the good rev's joke homophobic when she actually named him as a homophobic, misogynist racist.

    Curious that the divine Leasky would be party to such obvious fake news. Maybe somebody could ask him why they're doing it.

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  12. Take these English Chains from me hert an set me free. A hard border with England is necessary. Keep the English oot an nae merr o them shaggin oor precious Scottish virgins.

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  13. Lord Gove of LondonOctober 2, 2018 at 9:44 PM

    GWC2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois

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  14. Ho, ho. The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois. Ha, ha.

    Interesting thread and article.

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    1. Baron Robertson of NATOOctober 2, 2018 at 11:07 PM

      GWC2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois

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    2. I lost ma toes during a Nae Toe Exercise.

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    3. Baroness Lidl of CoatdykeOctober 3, 2018 at 6:24 AM

      Glesga2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois

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  15. It's desperately trying to communicate.
    Maybe I should make it cry again.

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  16. The question arises, are the guid folk up for the fight?
    Doing everything by the constitutional book gets Scotland nowhere.
    The voting public showed huge support for the SNP during the walkout at Westminster. This shook the Brit establishment. If there's a general election the SNP have to get radical.
    They should seek a mandate to approach the EU for a deal with the proviso it would be put to the voters for approval.
    A YES outcome would be a declaration of independence, which would be negotiated with London.

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    1. ramstam you are a comedian in your own right.

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    2. So far,all that the Tories have come up with is that Scotland rejoining the EU would be a bad deal for our fishermen.
      Some fishermen will probably benefit from Brexit but many will not once the door closes on free unfettered access to the European market for their produce.
      Cherry picking as usual from the incompetent crazy Tories.
      They have been watching too much Strictly by the looks of things and should be getting on with the day job.
      Fancy Dancer indeed.

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  17. Anyone got the details for the Edinburgh march on Saturday?
    Is the assembly point Princes Street Gardens or Johnston Terrace or neither?
    Would be nice to know.

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    1. Is it a loyalist march? I could book my bus ticket.

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    2. Glesga2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois

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    3. Feep-feep-feep & ratta-tat-tat, went the fife & drum, of the Kilwinning lodger. Shiny claes with gaudy colour.

      Steroid arms, with god-awful tattoos. And a baldy heid, in a bowler-hat. Ratta-tat-tat...... .

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  18. 1) I think your analysis is correct -- and that the better option is to turn a Scottish parliamentary election into a determinative independence vote. I don't think it's certain that we will win -- and I do think that, if the Scots don't opt for independence under these circumstances (ie, with the recent history) then they never will......
    2) I don't think Patrick's 'scoop' is likely to be what actually happens -- but if it does, I will be sure to give him full credit for his insight! For what it's worth, I still think that what Mrs May has been steering for all along, is to come back at the last minute with a deal which is as close to BINO as is politically possible -- subject to the opposite constraints of what the EU, and the broad mass of Conservative MP's, will stand for. Because of the close timing, she will then be able to say quite truly that the choice is between her deal, and a no-deal Brexit. This would be enough to convince the broad mass of Conservative MPs to vote for it, and the LibDems and a sufficient number of renegade Labour MPs as well. Even some of the swivel-eyed brexiteers would probably say to themselves -- let's vote for this now, and wreck the deal later, when we're formally out of the EU and they no longer have a stranglehold on us. Then, for eternity, we shall all be invited to admire the brilliant leadership and super-clever statesmanship of this saintly PM -- (who will, incidently, also hope to be able to keep the UK together for ever by quietly pointing out to Scots that her subtlety of mind and firmness of spirit have given us all the Best of Both Worlds).

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    1. THE NONENTYN CORBUNATUROctober 4, 2018 at 12:41 AM

      I can only dance to the tune of IRA and Islamic murdering nutters

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    2. THE NONENTYN CORBUNATUR AKA Glesga2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois and its dance to its Tory masters' tune

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    3. THE MOGG AKA The Donald AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois

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    4. The son of MOGG AKA GWC2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois and its tear-stained incoherence

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  19. It's so angry and confused.
    That's very funny.

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  20. Poor Cordelia has gone off meds.

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    1. There are no meds for its many deep-seated personal issues.

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  21. The miners gala was held at Holyrood Park for years. A great day out for families from the mining community in Scotland.
    Always had political speakers, Labour MP's etc.
    We the people have the right to march, demonstrate aye and put up a few stalls.
    This HES member is fair bealin!!
    My entire family will be there.
    Let's all stand up, march and be counted.
    The beginning of the end for London Overrule.

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    1. It looks like HES have caved in. I didn't expect that. I thought they'd have expected support from the UKOKs and the media helpers. Encouraging sign.

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    2. Glesga2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois

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  22. Another poll showing the UK on the brink of ending if Brexit goes ahead.



    @camusson
    10 hours ago

    In tomorrow’s @ScottishSun —@Survation poll suggests Brexit will push Scottish independence support to at least 50%. Results —Current Yes/No/undecided or refused 41/49/10 (Yes/No 46/54). If Brexit happens: 42/42/17 (Yes/No 50/50)
    If no-deal Brexit:43/39/18 (Yes/No 52/48) #SNP18

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    1. Cuckoo! Cuckoo! What a pile a pish.

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    2. GWC2 AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt) Auxiliaries took all week to come up with that.
      Pity it.

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