Tuesday, October 20, 2020

An SNP Plan B is essential for neutralising the Tories' leaked tactics for thwarting an indyref


I normally agree with Michael Gray about most things, but I can see a rather huge logical problem with his reaction to the Tory war gaming on how to thwart an independence referendum.  The leaked tactics are not really about changing minds on independence - they're about subverting the democratic process even while support for independence is high. So if the SNP and the wider Yes movement define 'success' as strong opinion poll support for independence, in the absence of concrete progress towards an indyref or towards independence itself, we'd be playing straight into Westminster's hands.

One suggestion is that Westminster will not give a definitive 'No' to a Section 30 order in the aftermath of an SNP majority victory next year, but will instead imply that it's merely a 'No' in the short-term - essentially a rehash of Theresa May's "now is not the time" wheeze.  If the SNP leadership remain boxed in by their insistence that the Section 30 process is the only valid route to a referendum, it's not hard to see how they could be successfully strung along for years without a great deal of effort.  A vague (false) sense that a concession might be around the corner would be enough.

There's also an indication that Westminster could put together its own unilateral package on 'further devolution' (a complete joke given that the existing devolution settlement is in the middle of being gutted by the Internal Market Bill), hold a Yes/No referendum on it, and thus bypass the independence question altogether.  That could potentially be quite an effective tactic unless the SNP stand ready to force a consultative indyref at around the same time.  How else would they react to Westminster's referendum?  Urge a boycott?  Ask people to vote for new powers that are better than nothing, but spend the campaign complaining that they don't go far enough?  Neither of those options would be particularly fruitful, and afterwards Westminster would just say that the new settlement within the UK is Scotland's "settled will".

Incidentally, even the merest possibility of another Vow-style promise of more devolution should be a warning to us of the importance of making abundantly clear to people that devolved powers are being taken away right now.  The BBC are failing in their duty to keep the public informed, and the recent Progress Scotland poll confirmed that there is still considerable ignorance out there.  So it really is up to us - we can't let Westminster get away with a false narrative that the history of devolution has been a one-way process of powers being steadily granted to Holyrood.

The only part of the war gaming that looks pretty naive and hopeless is the idea that the EU can somehow be "co-opted" into saying that there is no road back to membership for an independent Scotland.  Quite how Britain is supposed to have gained sufficient goodwill with the EU during Brexit negotiations is something of a mystery.

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Steve Baker calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England in response to four bishops criticising the Internal Market Bill in a letter to the Financial Times is quite possibly the funniest thing I've read all year.

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  1. Tories really are desperate for the SNP to forget a Section 30. They're trying everything to get Sturgeon to give up at the first nervous, mumbled No from Johnson. Of course he's been ploughing millions into an internet campaign to get 'Scottish' (ahem) blogs and commenters on these to say the same: "give up on an S30...Johnson will never agree...move to plan B! Give up...there's no point in asking...we need to forget a referendum and do something much more radical that will scare the electorate and the international community...forget an S30...forget an S30...give up...give up...vote ISP...."

    Johnson's a coward, he folds when the going gets tough. It's why he wants Sturgeon to fold first. He's really hoping she just accepts his wee 'no' letter and moves to increasingly difficult plan B,C,D...

    Shit if she folds at the first hurdle on plan A with a letter enough to stop her in her tracks, she'll never succeed with more radical approaches.

    1. "Tories really are desperate for the SNP to forget a Section 30."

      Er, no. Quite the reverse.

    2. And letting Johnson say his 'No' is what has got us our indy majority, the crossover occurred as matter of weeks later as predicted.

      We need him to say 'No, No and thrice No!' Really get the Scottish electorate f'n riled at the Eton English Sieg Heil wanker.

      We'll be well over 60% on average by next June.

      It's why unionists want Sturgeon to give up on an S30 right now and go for plan B.

    3. Sorry James, but the Tories don't want an S30 referendum. They want that forgotten. That was the process the entire world watched and accepted was the 'legal' method. They absolutely don't want that pursued. If Sturgeon gives up on that after the first email saying no, huge amounts of political pressure comes off Johnson.

      I imagine he'll leak some documents soon saying that he's really hoping she keeps asking for one as he'll just keep saying no. It's what I'd do.

    4. "Sorry James, but the Tories don't want an S30 referendum."

      You're ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. That's why they're not going to allow one to take place. In view of which, I'm struggling to see how the rest of your argument makes much sense.

    5. We are going to get a lot of crap and rumours coming our way now, but there's no way Johnson isn't desperately hoping Sturgeon backs off on an S30 and Yes moves to more radical approaches which can be labelled as 'dangerous fringe!' and may even split the vote, scaring off the softer Nos.

      He can't keep saying No it looks bad abroad (after 2014) and really bad at home; the consultancy is just stating the obvious.

      It would utterly destroy the UK to keep saying No. His first No has already created a majority that might be permanent, but one that could still be held back by a split Yes vote in May 2021. If he keeps saying No, Yes will be over 60% and could even reach 1997 74% levels. One way or another if Scots don't support the UK, it cannot last. You can't take away people's right to vote then expect them to vote for you.

      The plan now is to try and split the Yes vote by saying an S30 will be refused, for now. At the same time, there's an internet campaign to try and split the Yes vote by getting people to dump the SNP and go for plan B parties. The hope is that the SNP fail to get a majority, and ideally, Yes parties as a whole fail because 5-10% of yes go to fringe parties which then don't make the threshold for seats.

      Problem is that they don't have a lot to go on to try and split Yes, so they've picked the one issue that is somewhat controversial and be used to rabble rouse; the gender recognition stuff. This is why the new Yes parties are just copying the SNP with gender recognition and plan b the only difference.

      I'm pretty confident we'd have lost a vote in the past few years. Maybe a snap vote just after brexit might have got a narrow yes, but if it had failed, we'd be really struggling to ask again.

      Now if an iref is held, changes are it will be a Yes. The more Johnson says no, the more they Yes will rise, fueled by brexit, covid etc.

      Johnson doesn't want to have to fold on an S30 because if he does, it's all over. He want's sturgeon to accept the No or her followers at least to give up on it.

    6. "He can't keep saying No it looks bad abroad"

      This is wishful thinking on stilts. We're not powerless to make independence happen...but we make ourselves powerless through choosing passivity.

    7. "He can't keep saying No it looks bad abroad"

      This is how the UK lost it's empire; it couldn't justify it to the world and the natives of occupied countries didn't want it. If the natives don't want you there, they will turf you out, eventually with dirks in the night if that's what it takes.

      We are too used to living in a Scotland that backs the union. Everything changes if Yes becomes the majority, normal position. All we know and are used to is reversed.

      And how on earth is making increasing demands for Johnson to fold and accept democracy being 'passive'?

      Being passive is folding and accepting his first pathetic wee 'No' letter. Watch the man under committee questioning; he's a pathetic, weak, bumbling fud of a man. A total coward. I wouldn't be surprise if he sneaked out of No 10 one day to run away from all his responsibilities just like he did when visiting Bute house.

      If he keeps saying No, he is the one weakened each time by that, while Yes is strengthened. Not the other way around.

      I'm not saying we ask quietly once every five years or something; I'm talking about relentless pursuit of this right up to and beyond May 2021. This is a Yes vote printing machine. Every Scot must be calling Johnson and the UK dictatorial wankers - how dare they!

      Covid has thrown a spanner in the works here because lives and jobs must come first. However, at the same time it is showing how it's better for Scots to control their own country when it comes to such situations. As soon as we are past the peak of wave 2, then talk of an S30 and iref2 must take centre stage.

      This is the way I see it anyway.

    8. You're making the same mistake the SNP leadership's making - you're assuming present Tory leadership are rational people. The thing is - they're not and they've been showing it ever since Johnson's become a PM. No - they don't care how things look abroad - I mean their image abroad is zero anyway with anyone but far right. And that's why the SNP has to have a plan about what to do when S30's refused.
      The second thing is - history shows us that independence movements are successful during the times of upheaval - Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and USSR fell apart when Berlin Wall fell and they were transitioning. Brexit's such a point for the UK.
      Also, Johnson's personally so unpopular in Scotland - and unionists in Scotland have no-one even remotely popular here who'd be able to carry their campaign, which might change in the future - unlikely, but possible.
      And, if SNP do nothing in 2021 - that would definitely (and rightly) split the movement - it'd make SNP just a party of devolution - and we already have one of those - it's called Labour.
      I doubt the present Tory bunch will go for a referendum for more devolution - because that'd be a rational thing to do and they've shown themselves to be completely irrational time after time during the last 18 months.

    9. Yes, they are not rational people. I didn't think that needed saying, although I did say things to that effect about johnson.

      He's a weak, pathetic, cowardly man who backtracks constantly, has no plan, and folds like a cheap deckchair. It wouldn't surprise me if someone knocks on No 10's door one day and finds him gone, having run out the back door because things became too difficult.

      He has zero backbone. I'm surprise anyone worries about him and his feeble No S30 threat as if that will stop Scotland's independence; something I thought I was clear about.

      However, it must be milked for another 10% Yes at least. Only unionists want folk to give up immediately.

      As for a more powers ref, they kinda need to win an elections for that. The UK government is in charge of UK-wide referendums/elections, with Scotland in charge of Scottish ones.

      I'm not sure attempting to force Scots to vote in a referendum they didn't vote for being held in Scotland only is going to win hearts and minds. If they somehow found a way, Scots will just vote for more powers and support for indy will increase further, not helping unionists at all.

    10. And to be clear, of course a Plan B is needed, but it should absolutely be kept secret for now, for very obvious reasons.

      There is no need pursue anything other than an S30 until such time as we at least have another pro-indy majority in place for 5 years. Johnson should be made to shout 'No you jock vermin' a good few more times to ensure there is no going back for the union.

    11. SS - "There is no need pursue anything other than an S30 until such time as we already have another pro Indy majority in place for 5 years."

      The gradualists manifesto - just keep putting things back and back and back - another 5 years of Tory rule is what SS is advocating. The biggest obstacle to independence is people like SS. Are these people really Independence supporters?

    12. Sorry, but you've already been well rumbled 'braveheart'.

    13. SS - unlike you I have no problem being called a Braveheart. You certainly are no Braveheart - you want Scotland to be ruled for another 5 years by the Tories - SS the faint of heart. Nothing but a sneaky Tory SS - that is you.

    14. Scottish Skier’s reading of the situation makes sense to me

  2. We can huff and puff until we are blue in the face but until there is a situation where the UK Government HAS to come to the negotiating table to negotiate our independence there is nothing, nothing we can do. They can simply ignore the wishes of the Scottish people, as they have done for so long.

    The "Establishment" will play very, very dirty. We all know that. The real question is how we force the said "Establishment" to discuss and agree a settlement.

    The "settled will" of the Scottish people would seem to be one of independence but we need to be able to demonstrate on the world stage that that is the case. It is the perception of our Claim of Right in this international forum that matters, never mind what English Tories think.

    A majority of SNP seats at Holyrood is a sure and certain indicator of the will of Scots. Enough of in-house division and talk of alternative pro-independence parties on the "list". The international community is not interested but an SNP win will strike a chord.

    Differences of opinion can be sorted out amongst ourselves at a later date. It is leverage that we need. Both votes SNP next May. Forget the day-dreamers that think otherwise and think how the rest of the world sees us.

  3. I thought the Scot Gov made it very clear that after the likely refusal of S30 they were looking at all other options. So i firmly believe that the Scot Gov do have a plan B&C but they are hardly going to tell every one about it. If as looks very likely the SNP will get a majority at the next Holyrood elections and they let the Scottish people down by doing nothing they will be finished politically as a party for independence.

  4. Good article James. It is a pity that BTL is being wasted by the trolls SS and Poopy.

  5. The SNP leadership's plan seems to be - trust Nicola. Well that didn't work out too well for Alex Salmond did it.

    1. This is just way too obvious now. You've been totally rumbled.

      It's the problem with such pretenses; they can't be convincingly maintained, so inevitably fail.

      If you focused on other things for a while, just throwing in the occasional Salmond slant, you could probably keep it going for a bit longer. But then people might not notice it at all, so it would also fail.

    2. SS doing his inspector cluseau pink panther routine again. You are the one advocating another 5 years of Tory rule. Only a Tory would want that. Your old double act with GWC was pathetic as was your new smokescreen with Poopy. You are nowt but a Tory SS.

  6. The SNP once stood for something noble - namely the freedom of the people of Scotland.

    1. Two anti-snp posts in rapid sucession. You are really trolling, sorry spoiling us today IfS!

    2. With people like SS in charge it means years more of Tory rule while the SNP leadership think up reasons/excuses to do nothing.

      At the same time the Tories attack Scotland, its people and its Parliament which SS thinks is a good thing to try and get a 70% consistent yes in opinion polls. Beginning to think the real Tories are people like SS who want Tory rule.

      Real SNP - 51% = bye bye UK

      SS's SNP - 58% = let's wait another 5 years to try and get a higher figure

  7. While today's covid numbers seem high, I understand it is because of delayed results finally being reported. As a result, on average, the new case/day rate has now not increased for nearly a week. This has not happened since full lockdown caused the first wave to peak out.

    Over the past 2 weeks, I said the data suggested to me things were slowing, and this could be seen in the new case doubling time apparently increasing. Specifically, I said if September doubling times had been sustained, cases would be much higher than they were. Ergo, we could tentatively hopeful that restrictions were having the desired impact.

    I am therefore very heartened to read this today.


    Professor Leitch says there also grounds for "cautious optimism" despite the grim statistics.

    Two weeks ago, senior advisers published a paper with evidence of infections doubling every nine days.

    On 7 October, there were 1054 positive cases. If they were doubling every nine days it would have meant by 16 October there would have been 2,500 cases, Prof Leitch says, but there were not...

    1. A'm no in the habit o' blawin ma ain trumpet, but poppy hen, this yin's fir you:

      Scottish Skier October 9, 2020 at 9:37 PM

      A look at the data and the doubling time for new cases in Scotland has been increasing since the 26th of September, a few days before I said the rate was slowing, as per Imperial College studies etc. What this means that it's taking longer and longer for each person to infect e.g. 1.7 others (R = 1.7).

      Scottish SkierOctober 9, 2020 at 9:57 PM

      The doubling time in Scotland appears to be growing quickly, which is good news. It's impossible to look at the case data and not conclude that the virus is now spreading more slowly, as of around 26th September. The initial restrictions did have an effect.

    2. Todays numbers seem normal to be honest, the most of todays figures have come from yesterdays tests(by specimen date) with the day before tests by specimen date making up the next larges amount of the figure, certainly no abnormal number of older tests in the figure. The general pattern for a week when looking at test by specimen date is 3-5 lower days then a spike for a couple of days. Yesterdays and todays figures look like they will just be this weeks high days. The 19th looks like it will be a new high.

      You are right things do look like they are levelling off. The first two weeks of October had weekly totals of circa 8000 cases and this week will most likely be around the same. This levelling off is certainly welcome as the last week of September only had 4000 cases so the possibly the restrictions came in just in time to stop cases really getting out of control as, sadly, seems to have happened in Northern Ireland.

      7 day case rate per 100,000 as of Sunday (which is the earliest date can use because of data lag is:

      Eng 177
      NI 430
      Scot 150
      Wales 163

      As mentioned in the latest Scot Gov update aside from Northern Ireland the three other countries are in the same sort of ball part in regards to cases per capita - with any variance probably largely due to testing levels (England is testing cira 20% more cases per capita than Wales and Scotland).

    3. Yes, I said they were 'normal' when the delayed results were taken into account.

      When looked at by sampling date, the spike seen 'reported date' vanished. Similar for the UK.

      My post was to 'get one over' on our troll who claimed I was talking bollocks when I said I could see things slowing the other week. While rates still showed exponential increase, the doubling time of data was definitely increasing, supporting a slowing of the spread, hopefully before the new case rate began to peak. It thankfully looks like we may be peaking out now.

      In other good news, deaths in Scotland don't seem to be increasing exponentially either. Again, the date of reporting might suggest otherwise, but not by date of death.

      PHS deaths by date of death:

      BBC graph by date of reporting:


      Of course Sturgeon etc can't really announce by date of sampling/death as the final figures here are always going to take a good few days (or even longer for a big delay) to be as good as finalised.

    4. I'm not so sure difference in case rates are solely down to testing numbers. Scotland also has lower daily / cumulative 2nd wave deaths per capita in line with the lower case rate.

  8. Nope! What is essential is a Plan A that will actually work.

  9. To change the subject a little: James, do you agree that retention of the pound sterling as the Scottish currency would put an unbreakable bar on entry to the European Union?

  10. Why do you think "the world stage" is a player here..? Westminster has already expressed and demonstrated its contempt for the UN's edicts, so I hold out very little hope for any intervention there. Similar toothlessness is shown by the handwringing inaction over Israel and Palestine, China and Formosa, et al.

    The EU _might_ be enjoined to offer support, but that can only be _after_ we've secured Independence, and the only way to do that is through enough of the Scottish electorate voting for it. I'm genuinely concerned, however, that Holyrood might not exist in its present form come May unless the Scottish Government can safeguard it against this seemingly uncontrollable gang of thieves and lawbreakers at Westminster.

    In short,if,as many seem to be pinning their hopes on, Nicola has some cunning but well-hidden Masterplan, she'd better not only be absolutely confident and assured it will work, she must also be ready and willing to deploy it.

  11. Here's the plan, a 'UK devolution' style UKOK but no idea where Scotland fits in at all re this very expensive looking talking shop. 'Evolution of devolution for England', eh?
    Their er, 'head office, is, ironically in Manchester!

  12. It all comes down to what Scots and the international community see as legitimate.

    Whether their future is determined by their votes or the UK government must consent. Whether Scots will vote in numbers to give any consultation legitmacy or be boycotted by too many unionists.

    These are questions feared by both sides and noone really knows.

    1. The international community sees Scotland as country in the UK freely, with 2014 confirming this / Scots right to self-determination. This ties in with how they always saw Scotland, including playing us at the footie, in the six nations etc. It's not like we're a region of England or something.

      The question is therefore; if Scots are free to leave, why not now? What has happened to the UK? Has it become a dictatorship that breaks international law?

      On the world stage, Scottish government must be seen to pursue the previous, internationally recognised approach, and only if it's clear that democracy has ended in the UK, will alternatives be looked on more favourably.

      The UK is very weak and has no friends right now. Johnson's government may soon collapse too, with him ousted. The man's a cowardly, incompetent, racist prick. If he doesn't run out the back door to chicken out, his own will come to stab him.

  13. It all comes down to legitimacy. What is deemed legitimate by a material amount of Scottish citizens and the international community.

    Will enough Scots, of both sides, vote in a consultative vote not sanctioned by westminster to lend it legitimacy? Will the international community give it credence?

    This is feared by both sides and nobody really knows.

  14. Few questions:

    1) Anyone know the last time Wings wrote a pro-indy article for his English blog?

    2) What about an anti-Tory one? I count about 90% anti-SNP / 10% anti-Labour and 10% anti-Lib

    3) What about a pro-EU or EEA one?

    Finally, anyone ken what Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine recommend voting for on the list?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. I assume they'll be both recommending voting for SNP on the list.
      Wing's irrelevant and just a distraction.
      But - why do you assume that everyone who criticises present SNP leadership's not going to vote for SNP on the list? I think SNP leadership are crap, but I'll be voting SNP. If they do nothing with my vote next year, then I'll forget they ever existed. Criticism's a good thing BTW. If there was more fair criticism and frank conversation and less idolatry around NS, the SNP'd be a much better party.

    2. SS - "I count about 90% anti SNP/10% anti Labour and 10% anti Lib" - you really really are obsessed with Wings.

    3. I preferred Salmond to Sturgeon, but he was a bit too full of himself. Not met anyone who idolises Sturgeon, but my mum likes her a lot.

      As for Wings; I remember when it was a pro-indy blog with good articles on GERs, currency, EU, Scottish electoral system, Tory take-downs etc. Nice left leaning slant and liberal. I was on there back in the day before the crowds arrived.

      Now it's a right-wing minority hate fest conspiracy theory site, and I even agree that you can't change sex by thinking it. ]

      Just went for a looksee the day and jee-whizz.

      I can't help but feel Campbell is a transwoman himself and full of self-loathing over it. He doth protest a wee bitty too much.

      Joan will be getting my vote again.

    4. SS - you just confirmed you are obsessed with Wings. You can slag off Campbell all you want it disnae bother me but it does show you need some help to get over whatever he did to upset you.

    5. "You can slag off Campbell all you want it disnae bother me"

      It clearly does.

      I very occasionally mention the WoS site - in part because it promotes itself as the most popular blog from Southern England in Scotland - and every time I do, you can't help but come gunning for me.

      My post above wasn't even anything to do with you, but a response to Martin. I don't recall your post even being there when I wrote mine; must have been pending moderation.

      I think you idolize him too much? Your views seem a mirror image of his own. By contrast, I disagree with e.g. Sturgeon on a range of issues, including around GRA, hence voting for Joan McAlpine SNP on the list and liking Joanna Cherry.

    6. SS - no it does'nt bother me in the least. I don't idolise anyone - unlike you with your fanboy who lies for Sturgeon approach to criminal activities.

      My views are my own. Its called having an independent mind - try it some day.

      So what did Campbell say to you that gets you all wound up. Told you before you cannae vote for McAlpine on the list - but that's right you have a problem reading. Just as well you bash rocks for a living.

  15. Ross - " or be boycotted by too many unionists"

    Two points:

    1. In the 70's a referendum was boycotted by republicans in N.Ireland. Westminster accepted the result - a precedent has been set.

    2. Put a mandate for independence in the SNP manifesto for 2021 Scot parliament election.
    If Britnats boycott it then they lose their MSPs. Also the election cannot be declared illegal or wildcat or any of that nonsense.

    1. 1. Not a precedent enough people have heard of. Also, not actually a precedent of something westminster has expressly rejected permission for and it was designed to keep the status quo. It's literally the opposite of the current situation.

      2. However a vote transpires if it's boycotted by a substantial majority/minority its legitimacy will come into question by Scots and the international community.

      I say it again. Both sides fear the strength of turnout an independence vote without westmister approval will bring. Wargaming without knowledge of the likely turnout in such a vote is incredulous. I'm not amazed neither side is asking it but it's super important.

    2. Ross, the logical extrapolation of what you are saying is that Britnats can just keep on boycotting any vote on independence and it will be invalid. So your logic would mean what is the point of any vote as the Britnats have a permanent veto.

      I disagree that it matters who has heard about it - a precedent has been set in a referendum - it matters not a jot what the referendum was about.

      I do not know how you think anyone can forecast an election turnout with certainty.

    3. No - the extrapolation of what I'm saying is if ENOUGH Scots (not britnats.. Scots) boycott a vote it loses legitimacy in the eyes of all Scots and the international community.

      If only 40percent turn up to vote all voting Yes we're not going to be taken seriously by the losing side here or partners abroad. What Westminster consider legitimate is not really the question. They will be ultimately bowed by the international community and Scots themselves , IF a material amount consider the result legitimate.

      I've not said we can forecast with certainty, that's a straw man. I've said judging how many will defy Westminster on the "right to decide" is hugely important. That includes those that will vote No but respect this right. Ultimately the country , ourselves, have to respect the result.

      I truly believe relying on an old vote noone here's heard of is wishful thinking. Nobody in the EU are going to be convinced unless the turnout is high and the result clear.

    4. Ross - why would Scots who want independence not turn up to vote for independence.

      Also none of your points negate the straightforward approach of a mandate for independence in an election.

    5. I'm quite sure now you are deliberately missing the point. If only Yes voters turn up, while a significant amount of citizens boycott, we have a low turnout and it won't be taken seriously.

      You can name-call the boycotters whatever you want but 90percent voting yes on a 40percent turnout won't be taken seriously. If you cant convince enough Scots to take part you're just playing with yourselves , not taking a country forward.

      You need a high turnout to give the vote credibility.

      If there is any doubt about what Scots want and crucially are willing to accept nobody is going to accept the result in the EU or anywhere to pressure westminster.

      R.e. vote by proxy election has its challenges but is probably where we're headed. If you're so sure that Scots would defy Westminster and vote in a referendum there's no need to cloak it in a Scots election.

      The point is nobody is sure how Scots will react on both sides. That's the fear and nobody is asking the question.

      The extent of feeling for our right to decide as opposed to Yes is key to whether any vote can be successful.

    6. If 75percent turn up and they're all yes happy days but that's not very likely. More likely to be a mix of no voters and yes voters. So, indeed, no voters actually are important and need to be convinced to take part.

    7. You can only legitimately boycott 'illegal' referendums. Scotland won't be holding an illegal referendum; the courts will deem it legitimate, free and fair if it ends up before them. Johnson's already ensuring the Scots judiciary are on our side by breaking international law, so enraging our own Tory lord Keen, that he resigned.

      Boris now has a Scots law advisor that, as far as I can ascertain, knows absolutely fuck all about civil and constitutional law, having never practiced either.


      Remember, the constitution of the UK isn't a reserved matter anyway, only certain, joint aspects are, namely the crown and the Scottish-English union of the crowns / kingdoms; something we obviously do not have the right to change the rules of unilaterally. We can only withdraw unilaterally.

      Devolution is a reserved matter, independence is not.

    8. Asking the people of Scotland how they want to be governed can never be illegal. Only Britnats and people full of the Cringe would ever think that.

    9. Ross - you totally misunderstand my position. I am for a mandate in an election. All this nonsense about referendums is exactly why. Referendums give the Britnats and their gradualist pals in the SNP the means to delay delay delay. Britnats to boycott to boycott to boycott. To claim wildcat to claim illegal. To pochle the result of a referendum.

      Referendums end up with silly statements like " no voters are important and need to be convinced to take part."

    10. Did the UK need to seek international approval/recognition when it left the EU - no.

      Scotland ending the Treaty of Union 1707 reverts back to its previous independent status. It is not separation or secession. It is the ending of a Treaty that has not served us well and never will and only Britnats want it to continue.

    11. Both - it's not me you need to convince. I agree it's our right to decide and the arguments that go with it. What i'm saying is, I hope it's the view of a sufficient amount of all Scots, both pro-independence and pro-Union.

      While No voters are a significant part of the country, therefore the electorate, it is not silly that they must take part for it be legitimate. It's imperative. You need a significant part of the country to accept the result as clear and obvious. We will not be taken seriously if the vote is only participated in by Yes voters. Unless there are so many Yes voters by vote date, that the result is clear. We are some way from this. It is not cringe to say so, it is reality.

      Convincing a material amount of Scots to participate and accept a referendum result is critical. I'm actually hopeful a call to boycott would not be heeded by enough Unionists. That we generally agree, despite our differing views, that its our decision to make. But I don't know this. This is why it's important to find this out.

      They haven't even started a campaign to boycott a vote because they fear the Scottish response to this. The SNP also fear that enough unionists can be convinced to void the result.

      We'll only have independence if Scotland answers Yes to independence. You only get that if enough Scots choose to participate.

    12. There are literally two things that need to happen

      You need to show
      Scots want it
      Scots accept the result as legitimate

      If you have a huge majority but only one opinion of the country have participated nobody in the EU/International community will give a hoot about Union of Crowns or soverign will. You need to convince your own people you have the sovergin will first. How many in Scotland believe that now please? Do you know?

    13. Ross - like so many in Scotland you have been sold the fiction that a majority vote for independence has to take place via a referendum. It does'nt.

      Again your logic re a referendum gives the Britnats a permanent veto. You are playing the Britnats game. A game in which they make the rules and can change them when it suits.

    14. My logic applies just as well to an election as well as a referendum.

    15. Ross - your logic is a recipe for nothing happening re independence.

    16. Ross - large numbers of people do not vote in an election year after year. Does that mean all the elections are declared invalid, of course it doesn't. You are just following the Britnat playbook.

    17. By saying how important it is to ensure we have a high turnout? Haha if you think we're getting independence without that you're utterly deluded. Might not be easy , boohoo , it's reality.

      If you're honestly coming at it from the angle that turnout doesn't matter we've nothing to discuss. You're not being serious.

    18. If we can't get a material amount of people to participate and accept the result you're absolutely right, we're cooking a duff cake with no eggs. One can only happen with the other.

      I have faith that we can get enough kg Scotland to believe in our right to decide which makes the case clear. If we can't though then yes absolutely , we're going nowhere until we do.

  16. London's tactics anent the Indyref are entirely predictable. DELAY, DELAY, DELAY and hope something turns up while they undermine the powers of Holyrood and the Scottish government.
    Its a game we must make sure we don't play ourselves. Siren voices like Andrew Wilson should be shunned by the YES movement.
    When the time comes our resolve to act must not be in question.
    It would be best if the decision on an Indyref is taken by the broadest possible cohort of the YES CAMPAIGN.

  17. Personally, I don't have time for people who think we need England's permission for a referendum, so should immediately give up on one and try plan B, such as making an election a vote on indy or something.

    We don't need England's permission for an iref, so I do not support folding like a cheap deck chair on the issue and trying to make an election something it's not, confusing the electorate, clouding the mandate, and looking weak internationally.

    "If people vote 50% on the first ballot paper for the SNP [there is no numbering and people don't vote for a party, but a candidate, and under FPTP not PR], that means indy!. Not on the second ballot of course [where people do vote, under PR, for a party], that's reserved for anything but the SNP who can't be trusted! Listen to Joan McAlpine and Joanna cherry and don't do what they say (by voting SNP)!

    A Westminster Election vote is where you might do such a thing if you wanted to withdraw Scots MPs from there, so withdrawing its mandate to govern Scotland under great British rules. A Sinn Fein approach. Otherwise, we proceed to hold our referendum in our own time and the English racist wanker can sit and spin.

    And Boris will fold, recognising our referendum outcome. All an S30 does is make him crawl into saying that beforehand. It's not 'permission'; that's unionist talk. The man is a weak, pathetic fool firefighting on all fronts, from the north of England to the church to the channel islands and even within his own party. The idea that we should just accept his wee 'No' letter and forget an iref is a joke. Grow some backbone folks.

    Anyone telling you that we should give up on an iref as it would be 'illegal' without an S30 / England's permission, and Boris will never ever ever give us that is a unionist.

    Beware the siren voices telling you to do what London wants, foregoing what is our right under international law/covenants, and what will be most readily recognised internationally.

  18. Wee touch of light in the distance down the tunnel. The reduction in R is welcome, but the doubling time growth (a function of the transmission time) is really good news.

    I was getting similar figures for doubling time last week. You can get rough handle on it just from cases/day numbers without the need for supercomputer. :-).

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): modelling the epidemic in
    Scotland (Issue No. 23)

    The reproduction rate R in Scotland is currently estimated as being
    between 1.2(-0.1) and 1.5(-0.2).

    The estimated doubling time for Scotland was between 10(+2) and 15(+3)

    Changes on 23rd September peak (for these numbers / spread rate) added by me, prior to tightening of restrictions.

    Clearly the initial tightening did have an effect, and we can expect the second phase to have slowed things even further.

  19. Beware the siren voice of SS who wants Scotland to suffer another 5 years of Tory rule. He is either an idiot or a Tory Britnat. I don't think he is an idiot.

    1. If I start making every second post an attack on Yes parties / politicians, and advocate we back down to London, accepting we can't have a legal referendum because Boris will just keep saying no, then aye, folk should ignore me and be suspicious.

    2. 5 more years of Tory rule is what SS advocates. Only a Tory Britnat would advocate this - yes that's you SS. I'll attack people like you who want to keep us imprisoned in the UK as often as I want.

    3. Yes, I'm sure that's what everyone thinks about me, whilst you come across as a shining 'braveheart' beacon of trust and common sense in the face of the dark southern English 'woketrans' conspiracy forces led by Sturgeon, Murrell and their London met police enforcers.


    4. SS - who is this "everyone" you think you have ownership of their views.

    5. "Everyone" certainly is not James Kelly who describes your thinking up stream as "wishful thinking on stilts". Personally with all the lies and misrepresentation that you do that marks you out as a Britnat Tory.