Saturday, June 8, 2019

If you want a risk-free referendum, try living in a totalitarian state. This is Scotland, and we can't win independence without risking defeat.

I've been meaning for a few days to write a detailed response to Pete Wishart's new article, in which he claims that the experience of Quebec provides proof for his well-rehearsed belief that the maximum amount of independence referendums that Scotland can ever hold is two, and that we can't afford to lose the second indyref because we'd never get another one.  Here's the short version of the point I was going to make: the Quebec experience shows no such thing, because the Parti Québécois has in fact won two elections since the second referendum loss in 1995, and one of those victories was with an outright majority.  It therefore had the window of opportunity if it so wished to hold a third referendum, but it chose not to do so, and now the moment seems to have passed.  The PQ was recently replaced as the main Quebec nationalist force by a right-of-centre party which opposes independence but theoretically supports more powers for Quebec within the Canadian federation.  (The concept of an anti-independence nationalist party is an alien one in Scotland, but it has a long tradition in Quebec, and it arguably has some parallels in Wales - under Carwyn Jones, Welsh Labour was sometimes referred to as 'soft nationalist'.)

So this is an uncomfortable thought for Pete, who is previously on the record as wanting to delay an independence referendum until we "know" we will win it.  The real lesson of Quebec is that if you timidly hold off from calling a referendum until the moment seems perfect, you eventually find that you're no longer anywhere near government and can't hold a referendum whether you want to or not.  And if you can't call a referendum, you can't become an independent country.

As I've pointed out umpteen times before, the pre-knowledge of victory that Pete is seeking is unattainable anyway.  Public opinion in referendum campaigns is notoriously volatile, much more so that in regular elections.  Even if it was somehow realistic to think we'll get Yes support to 60% before the referendum campaign even begins (and I don't think it is), we'd feel a bit bloody silly for holding off until that point if there's a 20% drop in support within a week or two of the campaign starting.  You can find endless examples from referendums around the world of that sort of thing happening - and indeed the two Quebec referendum campaigns are themselves excellent examples of volatility.  In 1980, the Yes side were in a winning position but suffered a catastrophic loss of support as the campaign progressed, but in 1995 the swing was in the opposite direction, with Yes turning around a seemingly insurmountable deficit to draw more or less level by polling day.

Even if a 60% starting point wouldn't guarantee victory, surely it would give us a somewhat better chance than a 45% starting point?  Well, maybe, but the operative word is "somewhat".  I strongly suspect that the relative stability of independence polls in recent years is deceptive, and that once a campaign is underway we'd see a big swing in public opinion once again.  The real test always comes when the public actually focus on the choice in front of them.

Incidentally, volatility has been increasing even in regular elections.  There have been any number of occasions over recent years when we "knew" the result of an election in advance...until it turned out that we didn't.

2007 Holyrood election: SNP started the campaign with a solid lead, but ended up in a virtual dead heat with Labour.

2011 Holyrood election: Labour appeared to be coasting to an effortless victory, until the SNP completely turned it around in the closing weeks and won by a landslide.

2015 Westminster election: A hung parliament was supposedly guaranteed, and indeed masses of column inches were devoted to pondering whether majority government had become a thing of the past in Britain.  David Cameron ended up with an overall majority that virtually no-one saw coming.

2016 Holyrood election: An SNP majority government was supposedly so assured that SNP voters didn't even need to bother backing the party on the list vote.  In the end, the SNP fell two seats short of a majority.

2017 Westminster election: The reverse of 2015.  A landslide Conservative majority was a nailed-on certainty, but we ended up with a hung parliament instead.

*  *  *

On the subject of learning the wrong lessons from Canada, Stephen Bush of the New Statesman has offered the following reason for thinking that Dominic Raab wouldn't be able to follow Stephen Harper's notorious example by proroguing parliament for tactical reasons -

"One of several crucial differences between the Canadian example and the United Kingdom is that while Elizabeth II is the head of state in both, in Canada, her constitutional role is largely parcelled off to the governor-general, who is appointed by the prime minister. It’s one thing for the governor-general, who is usually a former political figure, to be drawn into politics, but quite another for the same to happen to the sovereign."

I'll freely hold my hands up and say that I don't know whether it would be legally possible for a British Prime Minister to achieve a No Deal Brexit by means of a tactical prorogation.  But I do know that Stephen's reading of the Canadian precedent is incorrect. The Governor-General at the time of the 2008 constitutional crisis was Michaëlle Jean, a Liberal appointee.  There was a great deal of speculation about whether she would allow herself to be dragged into political controversy by blocking the request of the Conservative Prime Minister for prorogation, in line with her presumed Liberal loyalties.  When she took the opposite course of action, it was firmly interpreted as her playing a straight bat by putting constitutional precedent before partisan politics, in much the same way that the Queen would be expected to in this country.  She had clearly received advice that it would be constitutionally inappropriate to decline a prorogation request from the Prime Minister.

*  *  *

2019 Scot Goes Pop Fundraiser: This is Day 9 of the fundraiser, and so far £5722 has been raised. That's 67% of the way towards the target figure of £8500. A million thanks to everyone who has donated so far, and I'm also extremely grateful to all the people who have left a kind comment with their donation. You can visit the fundraising page HERE.

138 comments:

  1. If I was putting together a plan to hold a second iref, and potentially without a Section 30, I'd write in all the papers saying I'd never do such a thing. I'd tell everyone the plan was to wait for London to say 'Yes' and the polls to be on 60%+ etc.

    Meanwhile, I'd start passing all the framework legislation I could without actually putting forward the final bill (with the date, question wording etc) until until just the right moment (e.g. brexit happens, UK government at it's weakest with even more useless/incompetent PM than the last one). People would of course dismiss all this legislation as largely unimportant as it wouldn't contain the key stuff. The media would quickly get back to England's brexit. I mean no section 30 and the jocks are contained anyway...

    That's me though. Who knows for the SNP.

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    1. And if you're a smug and mildly intelligent person who's figured that out, you'd be dumb enough to post that explanation somewhere public where the other side can read it. Thus giving the game away.

      Now we have to play "what level of yomi?" rather than being sure what level they're playing at.

      I've specifically *not* been saying some things publicly because I don't know if the other side has figured them out yet.

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    2. I was about to say that I doubt Tory politicians are stupid enough to base their strategy on what some random poster on the internet like me says, then I thought about it, and asked if I really had such doubts.

      Of course the clever politicians in London (if there are some) should see the ruse I suggest and plan accordingly. They'd know articles like the one from Wishart were just subterfuge. However, the SNP would also know that London would know this and plan for that, meaning the strategy would actually be to...

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    3. Regardless of whether the SNP leadership are engaged in some brilliant ruse, it seems unlikely that Pete Wishart is part of that ruse because he's not singing from the same hymn-sheet as them.

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    4. Nice try James, but I suspect you are part of it too!

      :-)

      Anyway, the UK government is nearly on it's knees. It always a bit of a gamble to hold on a little longer, but a touch more patience and it will be on it's knees. The entire British system is collapsing, and short of some amazing saviour coming out of nowhere to bring all brexit sides together and deliver a happy, united UK, the whole thing is going to go utterly tits up very soon.

      There will never be a better opportunity for iref2. However, chances are, it will need to be sans section 30, if simply because there is nobody in No 10 with any authority to deliver it. We are really not far away from the technocrats needing to come in an pick up the pieces in England.

      If it becomes clear the SNP are not preparing for this, then I'll be looking to vote for a party which is at the next opportunity.

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    5. "However, the SNP would also know that London would know this and plan for that, meaning the strategy would actually be to..."

      That is probably one of the best-known explanations of yomi I have ever seen. Except that someone good at yomi would only have poisoned one.

      "If it becomes clear the SNP are not preparing for this, then I'll be looking to vote for a party which is at the next opportunity."

      Same. And setting up a party and standing in every Scottish Westminster seat is well within crowdfunder range.

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    6. Your all forgetting the SCOTTISH PEOPLE are soveriegn, as confirmed by the Westminster parliament in July 2018, no section section 30 order required.

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  2. Opinions, opinions. I strongly suspect rather than settling in at Westinster Pete Wishart is simply a bit more wary than yourself of what willl happen if we are defeated a second time. He probably thinks that the British state will effectively erase Scotland from the map if we lose again. Going by what is happening in England its not an irrational fear to have. However all is not lost as I think when we do hold the next one despite the very best efforts of 'Scotland's press' it will be inevitable that we will win it.

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    1. They could try, but that way leads to civil war. We've had the namby-pambiest independence movement in history, but there are limits when even the faintest heart is facing extermination.

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    2. That's all reasonable enough, Gordie. But what I can't understand about Pete Wishart's comments is their timing.

      Yes is already at parity in the polls.

      We're weeks away from a far-right nutter, probably of the Old Etonian variety, becoming Prime Minister of the people of Scotland.

      We're a few months away at most from a Brexit the Scottish people overwhelmingly rejected. Most likely a no-deal Brexit, and the economic and social bedlam this may well bring.

      If you look at the headbangers standing for the Brexit Party, we may also be only months away from a proto-fascist government. A Trump-like lunatics taking over the asylum situation, for real.

      So let's say after all that, Yes has risen to something like 57%. Against the background of that insanity down south is Pete Wishart still going to run around insisting we're still short by 3%?

      If we were facing years of stasis there might be some justification for what he's saying, and when he's saying it. But we clearly aren't. We're looking at the most volatile and maddest political landscape of our lifetimes.

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  3. He is getting on my tits expressing that opinion in public though because it doesn't do the cause we support any good. We need solidarity from our MP's and he should shut the fuck up if he cannot say something positive in this important moment.

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  4. On the (non)parallels between Canada and the UK, I’m not sure it’s right to ask whether “it would be *legally* possible for a British Prime Minister to achieve a No Deal Brexit by means of a tactical prorogation”. The question is whether it would be *constitutionally* possible. And the answer surely is: no one knows.

    Canada has a written constitution, so everyone knows (roughly) what it is, barring some quibbles at the margin. That’s why Harper could prorogue Parliament without destroying the constitutional settlement. The UK constitution is partly unwritten, and it’s the unwritten parts which are crucial here. In this area, the constitution is what the relevant authorities say it is. And no one knows any longer who the relevant authorities are. (That’s what the whole Brexit shambles is about.)

    That’s why the queen’s decision is essentially unknowable. It wouldn’t be a matter of interpreting something that already exists: it would be constitutive or constitutional in the strongest possible sense. Theresa May has already trashed large parts of the supposed UK constitution (the Sewell convention, collective cabinet responsibility, the obligation to resign after losing key votes). Proroguing Parliament and setting the executive against the legislature would blow up much of what is left. It would be the ultimate constitutional crisis for the UK – which is why I suspect it won’t happen.

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    1. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure the question of whether the Governor-General should agree to a prorogation request from the Prime Minister is not codified in the Canadian constitution. Legally she had discretion but in practice was bound by precedent - exactly the same as here.

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    2. I don't necessarily disagree with this - I don't know either. As I said, even with a written constitution there is always some margin of uncertainty, and prorogation may fall within this margin.


      But I don't think this affects my main point. Canada has a largely known and stable constitution which allows it to withstand shocks. The UK does not.

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    3. Another thought, on precedents: a precedent is only a precedent as long as it is recognised as such by relevant authorities. As May repeatedly demonstrated, established precedents can be obliterated as long as the relevant authority - the House of Commons - is unwilling to enforce them, most obviously through a vote of no confidence.

      And another angels-on-a-pinhead question. Subordinate judges are certainly bound by precedent. But why can the monarch - the fount of all authority - not override precedents if she chooses?

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    4. The English Parliament is sovereign, not the Monarch, from before the union of the Parliaments. Like the people of Scotland being sovereign. Laws in use before the Union of Parliaments cannot be changed after the union.

      Delete
  5. If we are to use Quebec as a guide, then for iref#2, Yes should get 9% more than in 2014, so winning a comprehensive victory.

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    1. Also, Yes surged in polls by around 10% in the couple of months ahead of Quebec 1995. So, if we take the current 50/50 for Scotland, 60% on the day would seem quite possible.

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    2. True, and also the YES campaign has much more info on where the votes and support lies.
      The non-existent NO campaign on the streets is a major handicap to the BritNats.
      Their best hope is to stop a referendum.
      The SNP also needs to take the BBC etc to task for blocking Scotland's voice on both TV and radio. Pleading for fair treatment isn't working.
      Their will be a surge in support I'm sure when the campaign starts and folk know a decision has to be made.
      Also those who voted against their country's freedom in 2014 should be reminded of the feeling of despondency and defeat that was felt throughout Scotland in the days and weeks after the country's defeat.
      Who wants to repeat that?

      Delete
  6. Excellent article, James.

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  7. Pete Wishart loves Westminster. Fact, strange but true.

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  8. Food for thought. Thanks, James, and also to the others who've contributed to the discussion.

    Could it be that the moment for indyref2 to be called would be at the intersection of either the real pain of Brexit beginning to bite; or the all-pervasive obnoxiousness of any of the current crop of Prime Ministerial hopefuls and wannabes really giving even uninvolved (young) Scots the dry boak; or the Westminster regime attempting something really, really untholable and unthinkable toward Scottish democracy and institutions - or any combination thereof - and the Scottish Government / ESSEMPEEBAD being blamed (justly or unjustly) by Yoonatics and independentistas alike for letting it happen?

    Realpolitik, as I understand it, includes the leaving aside of legal and constitutional questions, or at least quibbles and niceties, in the face of overwhelming public pressure. Realpolitik really is the art of the possible, and constitutions - like all human institutions - are subject to change. Nothing lasts until the heat death of the Universe, not even the results of Scottish referendums held in 2014, before the BritNats swept down on the UK fold.

    For some reason I'm reminded of the Decembrist revolt of 1825 in Russia, in which the slogan was "Constantine and Constitution!" (There's a Wikipedia article and anecdote about it at (shortened URL) https://t1p.de/dxzfcp.)

    The constitution in question was based on the then recent American one, i.e., it was extremely liberal for the time, especially in the light of Russian history and then contemporary reality, with the difference that the Russian one was dead and explicitly set against slavery (and serfdom, which was much the same anyway).

    Scotland is not and does not want to be a totalitarian State - but it looks more and more as if the only way to escape that fate is to uncouple ourselves from the English polity, which is, not to put too fine a point on it, going down the pan. Farage and Johnson (and Trumpy, who loves'em both) are leaders of what many, including me, think of as antidemocratic forces. In many ways we are seeing the 1930s repeat themselves all over again - and we know what the result of that was.

    Just to tie a bow around it all, the antidemocratic movement in Europe and America is being both fomented - not that it needs much encouragement, ever - and funded by that Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin. Like the tsars before him and the dictators of the Soviet interregnum, Putin is dedicated to the preservation of his own power and the (unlawful) rights and privileges of the new aristocrats who back and fund him, the insanely rich and utterly corrupt oligarchs, archcapitalists of the post-Soviet era.

    I think that's quite enough of my historical asides for now, and no, we cannot wait for certainty about the result of any referendum for all the reasons you gave, James. Again, thank you.

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  9. Pete Wishart name in an article, skip and move on..................

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  10. Pete Wishart is entitled to his opinion but it holds no more weight than mine - he is keyboard player I am a guitar player.

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  11. The difference between Quebec and Scotland Quebec was conquered by the British army and claimed as a colony.

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  12. Here, GWC, when you were talking a about 'druggies sponging of the state', I never realised you were on about prospective pro-brexit UK PMs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Skier, take a break and give your frog wife some time or I will get it in for you.

      Delete
    2. Robin of LocksleyJune 9, 2019 at 9:49 AM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
    3. Gwc - yer man Sajid Javid won't win shit.

      Delete
  13. james, any idea what this is?

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/labour-face-scottish-wipe-out-unless-they-back-second-brexit-referendum-1-4943529

    Labour face Scottish wipe-out unless they back second Brexit referendum

    Labour and the Conservatives would be wiped out in Scotland at a general election if they do not back a public vote on any Brexit deal, according to polling analysis.

    The SNP would win all but the Lib Dems' four seats in Scotland, with Scottish Labour forecast to haemorrhage 40% of their 2017 votes if an election was held now.


    Analysis of polling for pro-EU campaign groups Best for Britain and Hope Not Hate found that Labour would lose three votes to remain-supporting parties for every one it would lose to the Brexit Party.

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  14. Didnae notice this yougov UK. FW up tae 6th June.

    Westminster intention. Scottish Subsample:
    48% SNP
    16% Con
    15% Brexit
    9% Lib
    8% Lab
    4% Green

    Brexiters wiping each out other out by splitting their vote 2-3 ways.

    '8% Lab'. Let that sink in.

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  15. "And if you can't call a referendum, you can't become an independent country." Kinda flies in the face of your oft stated position that we don't need a referendum if consistently denied. I agree though, you can't make a go no go choice based on polls. You need genuine, effective leadership to make a judgement others can get behind. Timing is the difficult element. But the obvious Give us a vote policy to Westminster will only works so long!

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  16. I see Dominic Raab is saying that if he becomes Britsführer, he'd use 'Emergency powers' to personally shut down parliament / bring democracy to a complete end and force through a crash out hard brexit.

    And before anyone says anything, they always say such parliament shut-downs would only be 'temporary'.

    This shows you how close to fascism the UK is; such proposals are now being openly put forward by senior cabinet.

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    1. You really are the one to go on about democracy. You never got over 2014 nor 2016 and you want the unelected EU Commission to run Scotland.

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    2. SNP + Green won a majority under PR in 2016. Remain also won a stunning victory in 2016 in Scotland.

      Westminster is currently attempting to cancel the result of the 2016 Scottish election (no Section 30) because unionist parties lost, and we even have prospective PMs talking about closing down that parliament too. So much for 'bring democracy home' with brexit eh?

      Out of interest, what's with the coming election to replace Juncker? I thought he was 'unelected'? I even get a say via my MEP. Having said that, given the commission has no law making / voting powers, you have to ask why Junker et al. have to be elected anyway. The head of the UK Commission Jeremy Heywood isn't elected.

      Delete
    3. Robin of LocksleyJune 9, 2019 at 9:51 AM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
    4. Hey wait a minute. Mark Sedwill is now head of the unelected UK Commission!

      https://www.ft.com/content/27bc1100-d77b-11e8-a854-33d6f82e62f8

      Why was he not elected by the leaders of the all the UK home nations like the head of the EU commission is? Was there also parliamentary approval like there is in the EU?

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    5. Because the European Commission is the executive branch of the EU the civil service is not.

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    6. Mark Sedwill equivalent in the EU is Martin Selmayr

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    7. and as for this:
      Having said that, given the commission has no law making / voting powers, you have to ask why Junker et al. have to be elected anyway

      The President of the European Commission is one of the most powerful officeholders in the EU, controlling the European Commission (executive arm of the EU) which collectively has a monopoly on initiating all EU legislation and is responsible for ensuring its enforcement. The President is responsible for allocating portfolios to members of the Commission and can reshuffle or dismiss them if needed. He determines the Commission’s policy agenda and all the legislative proposals it produces (the Commission is the only body that can propose EU laws); in practice, no policy can be proposed without the President’s agreement.
      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/unitedstates/en/eu-us-relations/executive-branches

      Thats why he has to be elected and Sedwill does not.



      Delete
    8. Junker has no voting powers at all. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Fuck all.

      Only EU member states (council) and the people of the EU (Parliament) have law making powers.

      He is also elected; by the member states, with their choice needing the approval of the people of the EU, through their EU parliament.

      It doesn't matter how often brexiters lie about this. He still has no voting power; he merely is charge of drafting/enforcing legislation democratically made by the people of Europe freely.

      If people in a country decide they don't want to be subject to EU laws, they can freely leave. Like the UK if it wasn't so chickenshit.

      Quite the contrast to the UK where the head of state is unelected. The upper chamber is unelected. The PM can be unelected (whoever wins the Tory leadership), election results are overturned by the central government (no Section 30), and prospective leaders even propose shutting down parliament completely, making it a fully fledged dictatorship.

      Delete
    9. And I thought it was Angela Merkel that controlled the EU anyway. With brexiters you never know. One it day it's her, the next day Juncker, the next it's Macron, then it's Italian prosecco makers...

      Lies, lies, lies...

      Delete
    10. Your original statement was regarding why Sedwill was not elected and Junker was and i gave you the answer. Not sure what everything else is about

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    11. "It doesn't matter how often brexiters lie about this (people like Juncker not being elected)."

      If that's not you, then my expansion doesn't relate to you, but is general commentary which relates to GWC's 'unlected EU Commission'.

      The commission is of course 28 commissioners put forward by the democratically elected governments of member states. While part of the executive, it has no voting rights because acts as the civil service and is not directly elected like the council and parliament. It is of course, as noted, indirectly elected in as much as the commissioners are like the UK's high heid yins in the civil service.

      Delete
    12. no the Eu commission is the executive - the commissioners are the equivalent of the cabinet members.

      The Civil service is a secretariat the commission an executive, not the same at all.

      Delete
    13. Very much like the system in the US and other countries the Head of the Executive (EU commissioner/President) sets out the laws it wants to pass and then sends them to the legislative (EU Parliament) for the directly elected representative (MEPS) to decide if to enact into law.

      Delete
    14. If you don't have the power to vote on laws, but simply draft them / revise them / enforce them at the behest of those elected to do so (and therefore the public), then you are a 'civil servant'.

      Here you go. Using the UK as an example:

      https://www.civilservant.org.uk/information-definitions.html

      The UK's (unwritten) constitution recognises three 'Estates' or independent power bases within Central Government:

      Parliament,
      The Executive, and
      The Judiciary
      (The media and journalists are often referred to as the Fourth Estate.)

      The Executive = Government Ministers and Civil Servants.


      So the EU commission are 'civil servants' like this.

      Delete
    15. The EU commissioners are equivalent of ministers, Junker is the equivalent or Macron or Trump (as examples) ie head of the Executive with no voting powers.

      Going back to your original point the reason Sedwill is not elected and Junker is is because the hold completely different posts.

      You can call Junker as civil servant but of course you will also have to call Macron trump etc the same as they hold the same position in their relative executives.

      Delete
    16. Trump and Macron can pass new laws by presidential decree.

      That's because they are president of the USA and president of France respectively.

      Junker has no such power as he is president of the EU commission (civil service arm of the executive) only. All he and the commission can do is propose new legislation or ensure current laws are adhered to. There is no president of the European union.

      Delete
    17. If there was a president of the EU, we'd need to vote to elect them.

      That might happen in the future. If it did, I'd likely support leaving as I'm a confederalist only.

      Delete
    18. There is its Junker, he may be called something else, any person who has this power
      " no policy can be proposed without the President’s agreement." (EU words not mine) is the same as a President.

      As the EU says no legislation can before the EU Parliament without him signing it off.

      Delete
    19. If the EU had a president, it would be a federation. In federations, you are not free to leave the union like the UK is free to leave the EU. I thought the UK was a confederation, but it seems the UK government is trying to make it a federation without any democratic vote on that. Hence Scotland must leave and become independent now without question; the refusal of a Section 30 alone justifies Scottish independence, just as Junker trying to block brexit would absolutely justify brexit.

      Delete
    20. All three sections of the EU executive must agree legislation. The commission (Junker and the 28 state commissioners, to ensure it is drafted correctly in accordance with EU law), the Council (member states governments) and the parliament (the citizens) must all sign it off. This goes without saying.

      It would be madness if the laws could be passed without the ok of the commission. Such laws could be unconstitutional and break existing laws for example. So all three levels must agree or it will not pass.

      This is as democratic as it can possibly be. Very, very unlike the UK.

      Delete
    21. The reason that brexit is such as mess is Brits don't understand it. They believed all the shite about it being run by Merkel, Junker and BMW. Even fucking May and Boris are that stupid as to believe this.

      Which is why they made all these daft promises of a super deal if they just had a word with Angela and Jean Claude. May even went to see these personally, dumb ass that she is. She didn't believe them when they said 'We have no powers - the EU is run my member states and citizens'. Still the idiots in London don't get it. Don't get how wee Ireland can call the shots. Why is ireland not shat on by the German EU like England shits on Scotland?

      They just don't get it do they.

      Anyway. Enough. If the EU stops being democratic and/or becomes federal, I'll become a leaver. It's for these reasons I support leaving the UK.

      Delete
    22. Skier is like the remainers. The people are stupid if they do not agree with them. Fascists in the making.

      Delete
    23. Robin of LocksleyJune 9, 2019 at 11:28 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
    24. I have lots of purses.

      Delete
    25. Robin of LocksleyJune 10, 2019 at 8:34 AM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  17. Quebec isn't a country / nation and never really has been. I mean e.g. when was the last time Scotland play Quebec in a world cup qualifier?

    It's also got devo super max as part of Canada.

    The 1995 referendum was basically 'Vote for some sort of unexplained indy if you speak Québécois French, but if you don't, well..., its harder to give you reasons why'. Still got 49% though.

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  18. I'm an occasional visitor to this site and at the risk of ridicule I want to pass on the following information anonymously. I have been told by a world class psychic medium that the UK will be led out of the EU by PM Boris Johnson and the next Scottish independence referendum will be won by Yes as a direct result.

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  19. Who is gonna win today's " football" game... Scotland or England??

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  20. Interesting.

    Yougov were testing the 2 stage vs 1 stage approach to prompting.

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/9reppai7cb/Results_VI_testing_w.pdf

    When they use the two stage approach, with people having to pick ‘other’ before being offered Green, Brexit, UKIP etc, the result (Scottish subsample) is:
    44% SNP
    19% Con
    12% Lab
    11% Lab
    7% Brexit
    6% Green
    1% CHUK
    1% UKIP

    When they ask 1-stage as per a proper ballot paper, the result is:
    51% SNP
    16% Lib
    13% Brexit
    7% Con
    7% Lab
    6% Green

    57% for pro-indy parties. 73% for absolutely Remain parties.

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  21. Electoral calculus has the far right winning the next UK GE. Excludes a few recent positive polls for Brexit too.

    https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/homepage.html

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    1. The Scottish Nat si Party are as right wing Conservative as the other mainstream parties. I do not see any far right in contention.

      Delete
    2. The pro-UK media desbribe the German AfD as 'far-right'. Farage is president of the AfD (and others in the EFDD group) in the EU parliament. Ergo, the far right are set for Government in England according to polls.

      Nobody believe your story about the 'Tartan Tories'. Nobody. Nobody at all. You are talking to an empty room. How could they when the SNP are e.g. 'Making Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK!'. You just sound dumb as fuck.

      Delete
    3. No their not. They are way short and even with the Conservatives still short. A left wing collation is more than possible though

      Delete
    4. Electoral calculus has Brexit winning the most MPs = winners of the election who should have the first opportunity to form government, either as a minority, or in coalition (e.g. with the Tories).

      Delete
    5. First opportunity yes, but would fail even with the Tories still be a minority (and would last about 5 minutes if tried to form a government) - a left wing collation would have a majority.

      Delete
    6. With the Tories, Brexit could control England, which is needed for an effective government under EVEL.

      A Lab + Lib + SNP coalition could never work unless Lab + Lib alone have majority in England. Unless that happens, Corbyn would not be PM of England and would be unable to do anything domestically. A complete lame duck when it came to the all the 'devolved' English areas (the mirror image of Holyrood's areas). How could you be SoS for Education when you can't pass Education bills but the 'opposition' could!

      So a left wing coalition would likely fall before it got off the ground.

      Delete
    7. Robin of LocksleyJune 10, 2019 at 1:17 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
    8. Skier, so you judge right and left by taxation. Harold Wilson taxed the rich during the sixties and they fucked aff tae the USA. It is called personal greed.

      Delete
    9. Robin of LocksleyJune 11, 2019 at 11:33 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  22. Strangest thing about poltics at the moment is that all sides are all talking about a no deal exit that everybody knows is going to get blocked (by a gen election then second ref or a second ref). But they have to push the line. Conservative candiates have to push it to have any chance of winning and 'remain' parties have to push it to keep the 'fear' effect going. Very strange state of affairs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A general election or second referendum (of some form) do not prevent a no deal crash out, even if there is time for these (maybe 1, but not both).

      No deal can't be 'blocked' by the UK unless the current deal is signed off or article 50 is revoked by 31st October.

      Otherwise, it's in the hands of the neighbours.

      Delete
  23. Economy contracted in April.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48579630

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If May also shows further shrinkage, we'll be half way to an official Brecession.

      Delete
    2. Capitalist economies grow and shrink Skier and there is nothing you or your fellow petty Nat sis can or want to do anything about it. Just let the EU give you guidance and pretend you are a free Scotsman.

      Delete
    3. Robin of LocksleyJune 10, 2019 at 8:47 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  24. Young James & Skier, some sights here in Brussels. Hootsmen trippin over their sporrans and stabbing themselves with their dirks. And that Scottish stagger cannot be matched anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin of LocksleyJune 10, 2019 at 8:46 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
    2. Many rangers fans are not really Scottish GWC. It's the flegs that give it away.

      Delete
    3. Only people born in Scotland can be Scottish although anyone can be a fan of Scotland even the English.

      Delete
    4. That's pretty welcoming the children of migrants GWC. Bravo.

      However, at the same time, it's pretty anti-English. 10% of people in Scotland were born in England; are you suggesting a UK EUref type franchise which excludes English residents for #iref2?

      Delete
    5. Why do you want migrants? Migration is a concequence of failed states. So you want states to fail!

      Delete
    6. England is a 'failed state'?

      It provides Scotland's largest migrant group.

      When did French Mrs SS's country 'fail'? It's wealthier than the UK (GDP per capita).

      Delete
    7. Robin of LocksleyJune 11, 2019 at 11:34 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  25. I see boris has written and article detailing eloquently how whoever wins the Tory leadership contest will be a completely unelected PM with zero mandate for anything, including governance of Scotland, so should immediately hold a general election.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/06/without-mandate-british-people-how-boris-johnson-described-gordon-brown-2007

    ReplyDelete
  26. Billy Connolly once called Holyrood a pretendy parliament.
    We'll we're mibbe no in a totalitarian state (try saying that at closing time!) but we're sure as hell in a pretendy democracy where the neighbours get to choose the wallpaper.
    Equal Union? Fake news.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Plans.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-48580971

    Nicola Sturgeon to hold talks with European leaders

    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to hold talks with European leaders as part of a visit to Brussels.

    Ms Sturgeon will meet EU President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier after making a speech on European policy.


    Talks can't be truly official yet of course. Not until after October 31st when the UK waives its member rights.

    ReplyDelete
  28. TOTAL Culzean coming online. Alone will supply 63% of Scotland's entire gas demand.

    Of course it's all for export to 'failed state' ((c)anti-English GWC) England.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-48581074

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you provide the remaining 37%.

      Delete
    2. This is of course a UK resource which will be shared equally UK style ie 8% to Scotland 85% to England.
      To be honest here, I think I'm being over generous in assessing the myth of British fair play.

      Delete
    3. Might be missing something but the gas production is owned by private companies - does not matter if it goes to Scotland, England or timbuckto the Scot Gov gets the revenue.

      Delete
    4. Yes you are missing something. The gas is in Scottish waters. England sells licenses to private companies to produce and sell the gas, with these paying taxes on production to London.

      The Scottish government doesn't get any revenues. This is entirely a reserved matter.

      Delete
    5. Muckle Flugga, I'll Muckle Flugga ye.

      Delete
    6. They get the tax revenue yes...

      Delete
    7. JUst had a browse and the Scot Gov says that it got £1.2 billion in revenue in 2017/2018 so unless the Scot Gov is lying then saying that the Scottish Government does not get revenue is incorrect.

      Delete
    8. No, you are lying. The Scottish government do not collect offshore oil and gas revenues; these are collected by HM treasury. There is no need to discuss lies like this; these are what have created nearly 50% Yes tomorrow. It's not the oil revenues breaking the UK, it's unionist lies. Have a nice afternoon.

      https://www.ogauthority.co.uk/exploration-production/taxation/government-revenues-from-uk-oil-and-gas-production/

      Delete
    9. Skier, you are right at last. The British Gov do collect tax and distribute it. Unfairly in my view as the English do not get a fair share and yet Taff, Paddy and Jock still feel hard dun tae.

      Delete
    10. That's not the Scottish government's fault GWC, but Westminster's.

      If the UK came to an end, under independence, all it's nations would get their fair share of the revenues they generate.

      Delete
    11. They would get all their revenue if independent! However how much would we pay to Herr Junkher and Co to top up their drinks cabinet.

      Delete
    12. EU is really cheap compared to UK membership.

      Delete
    13. Robin of LocksleyJune 11, 2019 at 11:35 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
    14. Give us the cost Skier.

      Delete
    15. Last I knew taxes on booze ( or '" Scotch" as we call it from Scotland go to London General Treasury. Plus by treaty flights to Scotland are restricted. Tourist $ from USA increase would be staggering without requiring people to go thru London...which is inconvenient and lots of Irish won't do.

      Delete
    16. Robin of LocksleyJune 12, 2019 at 8:22 AM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  29. Massive epic landslide landslide support for Scottish government having the final say on if there should be a new iref, when it should be, and what the question is.

    https://twitter.com/progressscot/status/1138402049924710400

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pile of garbage. So 6 people in CRApburgh want an election and you think Santa Claus is going to bring you an electric tran set. Get real and learn to read statistics. Get out of the pool!

      Delete
  30. A reserved matter being spin for UNDER LONDON CONTROL.

    ReplyDelete
  31. There is a fairly simple principle at work: If you don't even try, you cannot win.

    ReplyDelete
  32. AS mentioned couple of days ago campaigning on the basis of 'no deal' is chasing unicorns
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48598760

    The opposition day motion should pass and a motion to block no deal will defiantly pass.

    So come the 31st is will be a choice of taking the deal on the table or not leaving/second ref.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The UK leaves on the 31st October unless article 50 is revoked or the neighbours kindly give England another extension so it can waste more time.

      The commons can pass all the motions it likes. These matter jack shit. Only the above two options stop a crash out brexit.

      Delete
    2. No they really do matter. If they rule out the PM being abole to leave without a deal and the commons will not pass the deal, then the only remining outcome is not to leave.

      Like I said the PM candidates saying they will leave without a deal are chasing unicorns,

      Delete
    3. No. The other members of the EU decide what happens. That's how clubs work. The UK does not have the final say here.

      If the 27 want the UK out, it gets thrown out, even if it did revoke article 50. I (as Irish and near enough French now) think they should do this; Britain is too damaging and racist to be in the EU. The UK's presence can only do harm now. Better to push it out. If Britain breaks up and the empire mindset is lost, then the independent home nations can be welcomed in as European countries.

      Anyway, revoking article 50 and begging the 27 for forgiveness remains legally the only real way to stay in past October 31st.

      However, if article 50 is revoked without a second referendum, UK democracy is essentially over. Scotland would need to leave if simply to remain a democracy where votes are respected. I think the EU should also refuse to accept an article 50 revocation if the British people have not voted for that; it would not be the will of the people to stay. As noted, that can only mean trouble for the bloc down the line never mind the democratic outrage.

      Delete
    4. Sure the EU could expel the UK, but seeing as they have done nothing with Poland I can't see that happening. Aside from that if the UK revokes article 50 there is nothing EU can do ( it cant refuse it), UK is back as if it never left. No begging needed.

      I agree regarding referendum, which is why there will probably be one.

      Delete
    5. No, the EU could expel the UK. Any member can be expelled, although it might be legally difficult in the event the UK revokes article 50 before the 31st October.

      However, the UK is damaging the EU and all the signs are this damage is only going to get worse. France is losing patience and I support them on this. The UK is bad for the EU both economically and socially / constitutionally. I wanted Remain in 2016, but now I think the UK should be out. However, an independent England(+/-Wales) could be considered for membership, having lost the empire / that mentality.

      As for an EUref2; no party has a mandate for this and as a result, leave would likely win due to an angry backlash. The 'tying to get the answer you want' effect. A GE is needed and a winning mandate for a new EUref. Then people would more likely vote Remain.

      I would never have supported a second iref last Holyrood term. Yes lost in 2014 and that had to be respected. A new mandate by election was needed for iref2 (i.e. 2016) and I support the same for the UKEUref.

      Delete
    6. I'm assuming that if there is is a second ref you will vote to leave. After all the question would be should the UK leave/remain in the EU and you don't support the UK being in the EU.

      Delete
    7. There is no mandate to hold a new EUref in Scotland. There should not have been one in the first place; the EUref should have been EVEL. So there should be no new iref in Scotland unless a party wins a mandate for that.

      I support Scotland being in the EU, so if forced, I would vote for Scotland to Remain. People who write the questions don't get to decide what people are voting for; only the voter gets to decide that. This is particularly the case when voters are forced into a referendum, just like Scots were in 2016 and may be again.

      Delete
    8. Latest UK poll is 52% Remain / 48% Leave.

      So statistically, 50/50.

      Leave has a very good chance of winning a second EUref 'forced' upon people with no mandate. Only if a mandate for EUref2 is won at a UKGE can Remain have more confidence of winning; the people would have asked for the second referendum.

      If the SNP had tried to squeeze in another iref in 2015 'because they didn't like the 2014 result', both they and Yes would likely have been heavily punished for it. They were right to put it to the people again in 2016 and get a new mandate. This is why Scots overwhelmingly back Holyrood having the ultimate right for the new iref in polls (e.g. latest survation).

      Delete
  33. Comres has new poll out. SNP / PC at 5!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So what. I was in Wales once and every bird looked like a one eyed prison warder. I would not give them 5 and I sure as hell would not even give them 1. I was in Leeds to and the birds looked like brickie's. The roughest dogs Ok saw was in Carlisle. The birds there were build like shit brick houses and they was all fat.

      Delete
    2. They rough as nails in Gloucester too. Dogs.

      Delete
    3. You disgust me.

      Delete
  34. Seems Comres have Boris winning a hard brexit Tory majority if he makes PM.

    Brexiters return home and crash the UK out under a delusional nutter 'dear leader'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. nope Com Res has conservative over 100 short over 50 short even with Brexit Party.

      Delete
    2. No, I'm correct.

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/06/11/boris-johnson-course-140-seat-majority-general-election-becomes/

      Boris Johnson on course for 140-seat majority at general election if he becomes Tory leader, poll shows

      Delete
  35. I said previously that May's successor would be even more racist and incompetent.

    Now we have the full list of candidates with a good idea of their chances of success, I can be very confident of being correct.

    Pig head shagger Cameron was a star of PM by comparison with May. Soon we will pine for the strong and stable (by comparison) days of May's time in office.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What evidence do you have to call her a racist?

      Delete
    2. 'Go home furriner' vans...hostile environment for non-brits...windrush...not tackling islamophobia which is 'endemic' in the Tories...locking up foreign people, including children, in Dungavel without trial....

      Delete
    3. Oh and making ending the right of Europeans to live and work in the UK freely the no. 1 priority of her brexit deal. She demanded it be on the front page.

      Delete
    4. Just soundbites from you Skier. Perhaps you should aim your comments at the states who offload their surplus Labour. You should write to May and openly call her a racist. No doubt you would allow China to export a few million peasants into Scotland. Build some shanty towns round Ben Nevis.

      Delete
    5. Robin of LocksleyJune 12, 2019 at 3:25 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  36. Skier, you clearly are confused about EU nationals and racism

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin of LocksleyJune 12, 2019 at 9:27 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  37. My Skier, you are fair going at it.

    May the Lord be with you.

    ReplyDelete