Saturday, May 25, 2019

Tom Gordon wants the pro-independence movement to pack up and go home. Tom Gordon is going to be very disappointed.

You've gotta love the anti-independence print media.  They go around calling the process of democratic self-determination "an insulting sham" and "absurdly naive", and then innocently wonder why the pro-independence movement are getting a bit ratty with them.  The latest provocation comes from the Herald's Tom Gordon, who clearly wants to make the independence issue disappear in a puff of smoke by persuading us that the whole thing is just completely and utterly hopeless.  He doesn't much mind whether we decide it's hopeless because our masters in London won't 'allow' us to exercise our democratic rights, or because we just think the task will be so fiendishly complicated and messy.  As long as we think it's hopeless, that's all that matters, so Tom is happy enough to chance his arm with an each-way bet.

First of all he tells us that the idea of a pre-2021 referendum is "guff", because any vote would "require" the permission of London, and no Tory Prime Minister will grant it.  Essentially Tom is inviting us to tremble and genuflect before the colonial rights of Westminster, which is an argument that should be dismissed with utter contempt whenever we encounter it.  The UK is either a democracy or it is a prison from which Scotland is not permitted to escape.  I presume no unionist journalist (sorry, "neutral" journalist) would conceive of the possibility that it's a prison, in which case it must be a democracy and we must have the right to a democratic choice on our own future.

Secondly, Tom informs us that even if an early referendum takes place (his "guff" scenario) and a Yes vote is won, it would be impossible to complete the process of becoming an independent country before the next Holyrood election, and therefore the SNP wouldn't actually risk a pre-2021 referendum in case that election produces a unionist majority that seeks to reverse the referendum result.  There's a pretty obvious gaping hole in that line of argument, which is that the SNP willingly took exactly that "risk" with the last referendum, which was held only eighteen months before the 2016 election.  Frankly, it's almost inconceivable that the SNP wouldn't poll strongly in a post-Yes election, because there would be a strong pro-independence vote that would want to see the job done - a similar impulse to the one which is driving the Brexit Party's vote now.  That doesn't necessarily mean there would be an outright pro-indy majority at Holyrood (although I suspect there would be), but it's hard to imagine any scenario in which the SNP wouldn't at least be leading the government, and that would make it murderously hard for unionist parties to undo a Yes vote - even assuming they'd want to do that, which is a very big if.

Tom obviously thinks that independence is going to unfold just like Brexit, but worse.  That's led him to emulate a number of unionist politicians by saying things that are monumentally stupid, but in a way that sounds superficially plausible if you don't dwell on the points for too long.  For example, he parrots a familiar Tory attack line by suggesting that unpicking a 300 year old union will obviously be many orders of magnitude more difficult than Britain's efforts to extricate itself from the EU after a mere 45 years.  But the reality is that any country that is integrated into a wider union is just as integrated after a few decades as it would be after a few centuries.  Are we really supposed to believe that it would be harder for Scotland to become independent from the UK than it was for Estonia to become independent from the Soviet Union, a state which it had "only" been part of for four-and-a-half decades?  Of course not.  So why pretend that it would be?  Well, we can probably guess.

Most countries that have become independent in recent times (not all, by any means, but most) have found the process a lot less traumatic than Brexit.  Many of the UK politicians who now support either Revoke or a People's Vote, such as Chuka Umunna, were initially willing to accept the outcome of the 2016 referendum and only reversed their position because the UK government made a pig's ear of the negotiations.  The Scottish independence negotiators are not predestined to be as useless as Theresa May.  The Scottish MSM commentariat plainly have no faith in their own country's competence, but we're not obliged to share that view.

A final thought: Tom thinks Nicola Sturgeon has "set a precedent" by calling for a second referendum on the EU to reverse the result of the first one.  But that precedent is only set if a People's Vote actually happens.  If Brexit occurs without a second referendum, as still appears to be the most likely outcome, the precedent will be that the result of the first referendum must be enacted.

28 comments:

  1. I really hope he has a niece or nephew who calls him Uncle Tom. Sounds spot on to me. A Scots Uncle Tom. I really believe we should completely ignore this troll trash. We just continue to give them oxygen.

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  2. Independence fundamentally differs from Brexit in that it's not about unpicking the union, it's about transferring sovereignty and decision making powers to Scotland. Scots will be happy to continue to have a close relationship with England, so I struggle to see the nationalistic in-fighting that has plagued Brexit negotiations being an issue when negotiating independence.

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  3. Ha. Nobody reads the Herald any more except a few ultra loyalist flute-tooting spittle-fleckled gammon. Gordon's raging hatred for Scots having a say in anything is pretty funny, though. The only thing funnier is Leask's conspiracy theory zoomerism.

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  4. He is like the postman in the Will Hay film 'Oh! Mr Porter'. "You're wasting your time."

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  5. Actually folks, my Da' a lifelong indy supporter and 84, reads the Herald daily and is adamant it's a balanced paper. Don't see it myself tbh

    Ronnie

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    1. Aye, The Herald was indeed fairly neutral a few years back.
      They finally blew it for me when Magnus Gardham was parachuted in as part of the Stop Scotland campaign.
      Because that's what it is.
      Tom Gordon is just another from the same stable as Gardham.
      I only read it because it was in the pub. Wadnae buy it if ye paid me.
      Surprisingly (or mibbe no) they had the National too.
      Antidote tae Gordon's guff.

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  6. If there was a Yes referendum vote there may not be elections in 2021, a national government that negotiates the dissolution may be required for a couple of years till the break is complete. Once we vote for independence there is no need to continue with Westminster rules.

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    1. That's a debatable point. Until independence day we'd be part of the United Kingdom, and the Scottish Parliament would continue to derive its authority from an Act of the UK Parliament. Any postponement of the election would have to be agreed.

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    2. Mithridates Bold-MingingtonMay 25, 2019 at 10:38 PM

      What a load of padoodly.

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    3. It really depends on the level of the Yes vote, anything over 60% then Westminster is in a weak position, below 55% they will try and overturn it.

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    4. Being seen to not deliver on / overturn 52% is working out really, really badly for Westminster.

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  7. Scottish Parliament derives its authority from the people of Scotland.

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    1. Sigh. I'm talking about the legal position, Anon.

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    2. Since when did Nat sis bother about legal issues. June the sixth is important historically this year.

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    3. He's ultimately right though. Scotland's future is in the hands of Scots alone.

      This is why only in dictatorships is voting 'illegal'.

      Also why Spain had no choice but to send in the jackboots to try and disrupt the Catalan iref (so it could claim the vote was not carried out fully), then close down the Catalan parliament + hold a show trial of political prisoners. Simply declaring the result as 'illegal' in a fit of pique would not have prevented Catalan indy.

      If Scotland votes Yes, as long as it's free and fair with everyone able to go out and make their vote, some sort of legal challenge by England won't cut the mustard. They will need to send in the jackboots, shut down holyrood etc. If not, Scotland moves to independence.

      This is how these things work.

      Either the 'colonial' master takes back control with full brutal anti-democratic force, or the new state moves to independence.

      Just about everything Gandhi did was declared illegal by the British; didn't matter shit. Brits had to keep beating/shooting/imprisoning people until they finally gave up and let India go.

      Rapid international acceptance makes things much easier of course. In Scotland's case, that's easier post October 31st when the UK ceases to be an EU member; if England is being awkward about indy that is.

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  8. James wrote: "Most countries that have become independent in recent times (not all, by any means, but most) have found the process a lot less traumatic than Brexit." This is an interesting point. Does anyone know of any analyses of the process of becoming independent, in countries that have achieved this over the last 40 years? I have found it very hard to access such evidence. It seems to me that a lot of the time (e.g. Baltic states, Ukraine) it has been because the controlling state has crumbled. In other situations (Czech republic, Slovakia) it has been more or less a mutual decision. Earlier, in Norway there as a huge public consensus. My guess is that what we are trying to do in Scotland (win a contested referendum) may actually be an unusual path to travel.

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    1. The UK state is currently crumbling before our eyes. You are watching the news right? :-)

      England is in open rebellion. The unionists have lost control of N. Ireland at every level of government and it's half way to reunification via the backstop. Scotland is 49% for independence first thing tomorrow morning (and by a decent margin post brexit), with Bozo is the favourite to be the last PM of the UK (cause and effect).

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  9. Anon, There's an auld saying... Where there's a will there's a way.
    In any negotiation Scotland would be in a fairly strong position, with friends in Europe and further afield.
    England UK will need a deal as much as Scotland and as with the GFA would be faced with reality.
    There may be an extended negotiation, but the ultimate prize of a democratic Scotland in control of its future is well worth the effort.
    Unless you prefer the Brexit shitstorm that's about to descend on the UK that is.
    Anecdotally I've met so many folk recently switching to Indy that it's hard to believe it's still 50/50 in the opinion polls.
    Let's see what the EU elections come up with.
    My guess is England and Scotland are now on two separate paths to different futures.

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  10. Brexit is not an inherently unionist party. It's an English nationalist party with support primarily 'English not British' voters who would dump N. Ireland and even Scotland to achieve English independence.

    The British unionist parties have lost control in all 4 home nations now it would appear.

    In Scotland the SNP + Greens dominate. In N. Ireland the unionists have lost control with the pro-EU Remain parties holding a majority (neutrals have the balance of power on reunification). In England, the English nationalists are thrashing Con + Lab, while in Wales the England/Wales nationalists + Welsh nationalists are topping the polls.

    The UK union cannot survive this. It needs the same pro-UK parties dominating all home nations, at least the GB3.

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    1. Bozo's hardcore right-wing English nationalist anti-Scottish rants on the front page of the unionist Herald this morning.

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    2. Public spending is clearly not targeting the poor and homeless. Just back from Dundee and although it is not as bad as Glasgow where you are tripping over them on nearly all streets Dundee is bad. And let us not forget that public spending also goes to the over abundance of Scottish MSPs. And the Nat sis also want to fund the lifestyles of MEPs

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  11. You are being unfair to Tom Gordon, and misunderstanding the nature of propaganda. Tom understands just as clearly as you do that what he writes is nonsense, but he has good reason to believe that a useful component of his readership will believe it. Recall that at present 50% of Scots oppose independence. Belief always trumps truth, or nobody could ever make a living from advertising.

    Or perhaps you're being too fair to him: he's not a fool, but a hireling.

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  12. Vronsky

    Tend to agree. Newspapers and their journalists tend to pander to the prejudices of their perceived readership rather than inform and guide. Tom is following a well worn path.

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  13. "The Scottish MSM commentariat plainly have no faith in their own country's competence, but we're not obliged to share that view."

    Exactly. And we're not obliged to buy their papers or pay the bbc tax. Boycott the British nationalist media.

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  14. Replies
    1. I am kind of hoping that the next General Election - in the next quarter or so - will be the next independence referendum. What say you?

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  15. I was unimpressed with Mr Gordon. He is a Casandra for our times and makes a living out of being a twat. I still buy the on-line version of The Herald, on the basis that you ought to know what your enemy is doing.

    Notwithstanding that, his ridiculousness has reached an all time peak. That is shit for brains.

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