Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jack Straw professes hatred of democracy, as Ashcroft exit poll reveals almost half of voters are open to having a second referendum after just TEN YEARS

I can't recall which country it was, but when I was growing up I remember seeing a news report about an election somewhere in Africa, in which the President was seeking a mandate to set up a Marxist-Leninist one-party state.  The logic for the supposed legitimacy of this action was stated with cold clarity - the abolition of democracy was a political proposal just like any other, and if that proposal received a majority of votes in a free and fair election, the will of the people should be respected.  Forever.  By themselves.  Even if they changed their minds five, twenty or thirty years later.  Even as a child, I intuitively sensed there was a flaw in that argument somewhere.

But suppose it had been taken a step further.  Suppose that proposal had never actually been made, and the President had won the election and only then announced that in his view he had just received a mandate to abolish democracy.  That's the rough equivalent of what Jack Straw has just declared he'd like the London establishment to do.  He wants them to permanently abolish the Scottish people's right to democratic self-determination, keeping them prisoner within the United Kingdom forever whether they like it or not, and his justification for doing so is that Scotland has just made a permanent decision.  That'll be news to the people who actually voted No on Thursday, 38% of whom (according to the Ashcroft exit poll) said that their vote will settle the matter for no more than ten years.  It hardly seems unreasonable to suggest that if the likes of Straw had told them before Thursday that they were voting to abolish their right to ever again decide on independence, they might have been given severe pause for thought about whether they were doing the right thing, and the result may well have different - after all, only about a quarter of those 38% of No voters would have had to change their minds to swing the balance.

Overall, the Ashcroft poll shows that 48% of voters think a No vote will settle the matter for no longer than ten years, and 72% think it will settle the matter for no longer than a generation.  Just 19% take the Straw view that this was a "forever" decision.

Straw's other piece of 'logic' was that because a Yes vote would have had irreversible consequences, it's only 'fair' that the same should be true of a No vote.  But hang on just a minute here.  Who was it that was actually saying that there was no going back on a Yes vote?  That's right, it was the London establishment themselves, as part of their push to scare people into voting No.  The only thing the Yes campaign said was that it was fantastically improbable that anyone would want to reverse a Yes vote later - they didn't claim for one moment that it would be illegitimate to do so.  So the Straw argument seems to be "well, because we said that a Yes vote would abolish your right to self-determination, it's only fair that we're allowed to say that a No vote did the same thing".

On Friday I was asked to write a reaction piece for the IBTimes - as far as I can see it hasn't appeared yet, so I'll ask tomorrow if they're planning to use it, and if they're not I'll hopefully post it here instead.  But my thinking has already moved on slightly since I wrote it, because I was arguing that the SNP had to be slightly cautious about the timetable for moving towards a possible second referendum.  The reason I've adjusted my view is not just the Ashcroft poll, but the anecdotal evidence that a large section of the public are not simply open to the idea of a repeat referendum, but are positively willing it to happen.  Yesterday morning, a taxi took me to Edinburgh on my way to take part in the BBC Breakfast show again, and the driver was saying that practically every young person he'd had in the taxi since polling day had told him they were "gutted" and expected another referendum relatively soon.  It seems that much of "the 45" were not just casually won over for this particular vote - they now have the proverbial zealotry of converts, and recognise that independence is an essential prerequisite for solving Scotland's problems.

We can't rely on this mood lasting, of course.  Once the febrile atmosphere settles down, there's always a possibility that people might reframe the referendum in their memory as a disruptive event they don't want to repeat soon.  But next year's general election might give us a clue - if the SNP make significant gains, it'll be a sign that the simple fact of 45% of the electorate actively voting for independence has changed the game for good.  It would still probably be the case that there would only be two specific circumstances in which a second referendum could be contemplated within ten years - a) if the UK left the EU, or b) if the promise of more powers was completely reneged upon.  Otherwise, I think the SNP would have to make clear that they were putting independence "on ice" for a set period of time, along the lines of the stance the Coalition Avenir Québec used to take (although has now abandoned). But that period might not have to be much longer than ten years - it's just a question of gauging the public mood correctly. And of course in the meantime, there's nothing to stop the SNP and other pro-independence parties demanding the maximum amount of devolution possible within the confines of the UK, because that option most certainly wasn't rejected on Thursday - quite the reverse, in fact. Not only did 45% of the electorate vote for full sovereign independence, but according to the Ashcroft poll a further 14% of people voted No on the specific basis that more powers would be granted. That's 59% altogether - fairly convincing evidence that Devo Max is the only option that can bring Scotland together for the time being, and that can truly be regarded as reflecting the democratic will of the Scottish people.

Incidentally, my "opponent" on the BBC Breakfast show this time was the Conservatives' Mark Brown. We both arrived quite early, so I had a long chat with him. Hopefully I'm not betraying any confidences if I tell you that I asked him whether he honestly thought that substantial new powers would be granted soon, and without hesitation he said that he was sure they would be. So that cheered me up, but it does seem to me that what used to be the Yes campaign urgently needs to re-coalesce in order to maximise the pressure for the "vow" to be honoured in full.

* * *

Psychological warfare

You don't need me to tell you that the comment section of this blog has been infested with No-supporting trolls for months. But I now have quite convincing evidence that the suspicion that we also had "concern trolls" - ie. No supporters posing as "worried Yes supporters" in an attempt to sap morale - was fully justified. In particular, I'm 90% sure that the supposed Yes supporter called "Feline" was a No troll. She (if it even was a she) gave herself away in subsequent posts.

I know a number of you also strongly suspect that the "Yes campaigners" who tried to undermine the fundraiser yesterday were probably No trolls as well, but I can't be 100% sure of that.

Heaven only knows whether this has been a co-ordinated operation, but it's certainly left that impression. And it wouldn't completely surprise me if someone has paid for it to be done.

So just be careful - people leaving comments may not always be who they say they are.

* * *

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


  1. I see comments everywhere saying that 54% of under 65″s voted YES – if true its a monumental time-bomb under the union.

    The SNP has seen a massive surge in membership since Thursday see

    Greens have also gone up by 1800 new members since Thursday.

    45% voted for Scotland to be independent and if Westminster thinks for one minute that they are going to meekly accept a 55% majority thst was only obtained by Westminster and its media lackeys lying and cheating all the way through the campaign, then they had better think again.

    YES campaigners should now re-unite to form a political force (a new political party even?) even stronger than it was complete with streaming TV and Radio and online news to rival and even better the British media in every way to reach out with a message of truth to the people of Scotland that makes it the number one choice for viewing and listening to news and current affairs in Scotland.

    Then this new political force campaigns like never seen before to make Scotland’s Westminster MP’s unionist free.

    We’ve already done it to the Tories, the LibDems just need one last small push, and now the Westminster Labour party in Scotland are ripe for eradication too.

    Gordon Brown probably knows this which is why he is trying one last smoke and mirrors con-trick to try and save Labour’s neck.

    Once Scotland returns every MP as one who wants full political and fiscal autonomy we have an unstoppable political weapon to get exactly what we want.

  2. Taking a long view, and at my age it's possible to do that, there is always a substantial segment of the voting public who are nervous of change and its outcomes. They are easily swayed by negative pressure and by offers of more powers. 1979 was a great example of this.

    The lesson of that first Referendum is that the experience of the disappointment of hopes and the evidence that the fears were unfounded, fuels a determination to make the change come about.

    If you look at the historical figures, you can see that diehard opponents of change comprise about 25% of the Scottish electorate and a similar, perhaps slightly larger percentage are committed to change. That leaves just under half of the voting public committed to neither side. It's very difficult to instil the burning desire for change in this group of voters as they are characterised by a cautious, lukewarm outlook.

    That Yes was able to get as many to commit as they did was a remarkable achievement. Now the substantial group of what may be termed 'Devo Maxers' who were identified by Lord Ashcroft as being unopposed to independence, provided they could be assured that it would involve little financial risk, are looking to Westminster.

    If the Westminster parties seek to renege or give Holyrood emasculating burdens masquerading as 'powers', if they impose austerity even more harshly resulting in a loss of bus passes, free prescriptions, free personal care, free education, NHS privatisation, this group will see that they have little to lose and they will be prompting Yes to go ahead with another referendum which they will win.

    So do not despair, it is very likely that we have sown the seeds of victory already.

  3. Jack Straw is a repulsive warmonger and a liar who should spend more time worrying about his role in Iraq and torture than making moronic statements to newspapers.

    Jack Straw Lied To Parliament

    Chilcot may well end up being another toothless establishment 'Hutton' style affair (we shall see soon enough) but the Iraq calamity is most certainly not going away. So those behind it had better get used to defending themselves when all the scots and everyone else who opposed the lies keep being reminded every day of why they were right and the warmongers and chickenhawks were wrong.

    It's also somewhat instructive the Straw is also most infamous for this.

    Labour party thugs bullying and throwing out an old man who spoke out against Straw and Iraq at a labour party conference.

    That's the kind of 'democracy' Jack Straw stands for.

    As for the absurd notion that the westminster twits can disenfranchise 45% of scots on an 85% turnout.


    Nae chance.

    Anyone trying to peddle that bullshit will be asked if they thought Devolution Referendums should have been made illegal after the first one failed.

    I can assure you, there is a vanishingly small number of scots who want rid of devolution now. So unless the more powers "VOW" suddenly transforms from an incompetent joke to something meaningful then the probation period the unionist parties have all put themselves on will grow shorter by the day.

    The other thing to remember of course is that every single aspect of these supposed powers will be scrutinised and put under a blazing spotlight so scots know precisely what they involve.

    The idea that the our of touch westminster twits can hype-up half-hearted measures, and smuggle in power grabs disguised as more powers, without anyone noticing is somewhat unlikely. The SNP, the greens, the SSP and so many of the 45% will mobilise again to make sure the truth about them are known to the scottish public.

    We in scotland DO actually know what DevoMax is. We were willing to put it on the ballot remember but the unionist parties VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED IT. So the hilarity of watching the westminster bubble media and out of touch tory twits pontificating over DevoMax (when they self-evidently don't have the first idea what it means) is almost as funny as watching the "vow" collapsing about their ears.

    How now Brown Vow! indeed. :-D

  4. SNP membership up 8100 in less than 65 hours.

  5. Peter Murrell @PeterMurrell · 39m
    Busy time ahead for @theSNP HQ staff with membership growing at over 250 per hour

  6. How critical were the "more powers" really? I see that 25% of No voters said that was the most important consideration, but around 80% had the "too risky" answer in their top two considerations.

    We'd need about 40% of those who thought more powers were the most important consideration to a) totally disregard the "too risky" argument, and b) to have been stupid/gullible enough to believe the promises of more powers would come to fruition to such a degree that they feel cheated enough to switch to yes.

    I just don't see it.

    I believe to have and win another referendum the issue of economic risks will need to be addressed. Either we come up with more convincing arguments or hope that the status quo becomes significantly more intolerable (or just "intolerable" to those that are comfortable with their lifestyles just now) - something that isn't likely to happen until at least the next general election (and perhaps not until the first new budget after it?).

    Time alone may not solve the issue either - are we certain that as the 45-64 group age they won't become more risk adverse like the current 65+ group? Remember, Yes voters are less likely to make it to the 65+ group in the first place.

    Apologies for this defeatist rant: it's my first comments on the defeat and I seem to be letting out all my pent up frustration at both the result and what I perceive to be a general consensus amongst Yes voters that the No voters had baseless fears perpetrated by mainstream media and big business. Sure, without MSM bias we might have scraped a win, but without being painted into a corner over EU and (specifically) currency, it could have been a landslide.

    here's hoping we get well and truly shafted over the next few years

  7. @scottish_skier

    One of most telling things on the Referendum night was the blood completely draining out of John Reid's face when the Glasgow result was called.

    Well as we can now plainly see that was only the beginning.

    It's a pretty safe bet that scottish labour MPs and some of their hangers on at the labour party conference RIGHT NOW are shrieking dementedly at each other in outright panic.

    Little Ed's 'jam tomorrow' pay "vow" is hardly going to cut it in scotland with his laughably bad ratings.

    Scottish labour MPs who thought their 11% pay rise and westminster expenses were secure must be shitting bricks right now.

    Even if they do somehow manage to survive the onslaught in 2015 little Ed will have to choose between them finally doing as the SNP do and not voting on English only matters, or making a complete mockery of the "VOW" and risking another Independence Referendum far sooner than even we thought was possible.

    I'll be in touch with someone higher up in the SNP later to see how things are going in the entire area. After these astonishing figures, pretty damn well I would imagine.


  8. @Alistair Swanson said

    You are missing something about the elderly.

    % having a British only or British component to their identities:

    Under 30:

    Britishness is literally dying. It's why we are where we are. So yes, an element of fear in the elderly, but something else too. As each year passes, so Britishness passes into history.

    Our 18 year olds are 72% Scottish only. How did they vote?

    1. I agree that (thankfully) Britishness is dying, I'd just like to see a strategic plan to address the major concerns rather than waiting for old people to die.

  9. @Mick

    There's nothing that would give me more satisfaction right now that waving goodbye to Scottish Labour MPs next May. Might make them wonder what benefit the union has to them.

    From yougov UK wide polls, I have:

    46% SNP (rising)
    25% Labour (falling)
    15% Con (falling)
    5% Lib (falling)
    4% Green (rising)
    3% UKIP (stable)

    Looks similar in other UK polls.

    That's with SNP respondent down-weighting due to 2010 past vote weighting.

    Certainly, given we don't know whether it will be the Tories or Labour as largest party in 15, then SNP is the vote to push for devo max and if that doesn't happen...

    They have until May 16 for devo max to be signed and sealed. Plenty of time. ;-)

  10. Using the Ashcroft poll and current mortality rates, we have 40k over 65s dying each year and 50k new 16yos. That implies that in 2 years and 4 months the majority will favour a Yes vote even WITHOUT any No voters realising they were conned and converting.

    Salmond standing down allows Sturgeon to retain a Referendum pledge in 2016 as it was only Salmond who said another referendum might take a generation. As such, I firmly believe that the SNP would be betraying their principles not to offer a Referendum in 2018 or 2019.

    The institutional narrative of the BBC that there is some "settled" will with this vote is patently false and I don't see anyone in The 45 backing down in the claim for a new vote within 5 years.

    What is important, is that the broad Yes movement make sure the public is told frequently and often that without ALL Revenues being devolved, it is not Devo Max and moreover without Oil Revenues and a fair redistribution of VAT and Corporation Tax the current proposals on offer are simply an attempt to cut Scotland's budget.

    This needs shouted from the hilltops.

  11. Alisstair Sswnansson is advocating a programme of mass extermination for the elderly. At this point I must part company from the Scottish Nationalist movement. Appalled of Berlin.

  12. Scottish Mail on Sunday poll:

    49% SNP
    33% Lab
    13% Con

    Carried out on Friday. Not sure by who and what method.

  13. "I'd just like to see a strategic plan to address the major concerns"


    A) ALL the necessary data to inform that strategy is being gathered and collated right now and for the foreseeable future. Every canvass, every poll, every area leafleted, every meeting, every GOTV and registration drive, every response from questionaires, every Yes shop from every area. It is a herculean task but a very necessary one.

    B) The weak points and the strong points of the entire campaign will quite obviously be put under a microscope. That will be done entirely on the evidence without sentiment or scapegoating.

    C) We didn't get this far this fast without learning from past elections and mistakes so you can be 100% certain there will be a merciless focus on where we went wrong and where we were strongest.

    D) Not only is it way too soon to expect all those plans to be revealed (a few are though, Salmond didn't go on a whim for example) but we have no intention whatsoever of letting the westminster establishment/media and unionist parties know the precise details of all of them.

    Others can and will have their own input into what we will do next time and the independence sites and every Yes party will be full of speculation and suggestions from now on. They will quite rightly be examined thoroughly for good ideas to implement.

    We weren't the ones who went into headless chicken mode with a more powers "VOW" that is crumbling to dust in record time. That would be Cammie, Clegg and little Ed who did that.

  14. "They have until May 16 for devo max to be signed and sealed. Plenty of time. ;-)"


    It might help if the out of touch westminster twits tried to find out what DevoMax actually means because it sure as hell doesn't mean what they are claiming it does now.

    Curiously, little Ed, Clegg and Cammie seemed to know EXACTLY what it meant when they all vehemently opposed having it on the ballot. Why was that I wonder?

    Luckily there will be nothing at all to distract them from their 'considered' thoughts and "VOW" on more powers.

    Like say... the tory party imploding into civil war over Europe. (yet again) Or little Ed floundering about trying to answer the WLQ while scottish labour dissolves into factional infighting and every man for himself.

  15. It would be interesting to have repeated polls asking the question "How many years should elapse before the next independence referendum?" I suspect the average would fall rapidly once it becomes clear how little the Scottish Parliament will get in the way of significant, useable additional powers, or once the Barnett formula is scrapped and the Scottish budget cut.

    We should be pushing a demand that any referendum on EU membership should, in Scotland, have a second question "Should Scotland become an independent country if the UK leaves the EU?"

    If Westminster does actually try to do as that Straw man is suggesting, we should be prepared to pre-empt it with a unilateral declaration of independence, rather than allow our country to be finally incorporated into Greater England.

  16. "What is important, is that the broad Yes movement make sure the public is told frequently and often that without ALL Revenues being devolved, it is not Devo Max and moreover without Oil Revenues and a fair redistribution of VAT and Corporation Tax the current proposals on offer are simply an attempt to cut Scotland's budget.

    This needs shouted from the hilltops."

    It will be but the unionist parties are doing all the work for us right now as they run about like headless chickens contradicting themselves and each other every five minutes. That's hardly going to stop any time soon as the 2015 GE campaign has quite obviously started in earnest.

    Many if not most of the Greens, the SNP, the SSP are pretty much back and working flat out as the jawdropping membership figures reveal. We also have to work through all the data and info we have collected which will keep us very busy as well.

    When and if the time comes to examine actual serious proposals (instead of the current complete farce) we will mobilise all the parties and as many of the 45% as we can to make sure the truth about them is heard in every corner of scotland.


  18. Survation was telephone poll. Normally these don't favour the SNP.

    Doesn't seem to be 2011 weighted either.

  19. Now is the time we have to take people like Jim Sillars seriously. He's said today on Twitter that the key focus shouldn't be another referendum, but what he calls the "independence mandate". That means if the SNP stands on an independence mandate in 2016 and wins a majority it has the right to declare independence. There's nothing Westminster can do to stop that, no referendum campaign they can win with lies, no law to prevent it happening.

    We need to all pull together and back people like Sillars. Sturgeon won't go down this route because she's too moderate - she'll stick with Salmond's case and well-meaning though she is, it will hand the initiative back to the anti-democratic No side who will do anything to stop another referendum.

    I would urge everyone to push for Sillars or (preferably as he carries some baggage) someone else who subscribes to his ideas to take control of the party. This is the route to independence, not pinning our hopes on some referendum that may never be allowed to happen in the future. Do you really think they won't try and pass a law to prevent this?

  20. One point I haven't seen mentioned on any blog is all the international support YES had but which never made it onto MSM. Personally I found this very inspiring but folks with access only to mainstream media were just given the views of the minority opposed to our independence. We so need a media who will put across the honest facts etc and not the continual drip, drip, drip of negativity.

  21. "I see comments everywhere saying that 54% of under 65″s voted YES – if true its a monumental time-bomb under the union."

    Common fallacy. It's always assumed the tories are going to be out of power in 20 years because their core support will be frankly, dead.

    But it's wrong. The conservatives don't get old, it's the old that get conservative.

    And with scotland's population aging on average the number of oldsters happy to stick with what they know is only going to increase.

  22. "it wouldn't completely surprise me if someone has paid for it to be done."

    Arse, have I been foolishly posting stuff for free when I could have been getting paid for it :-)

    And if I was a troll, I'd be better at it. If someone thinks a blogger shouldn't have a few quid, god knows what they make of wee eck's 54k golf trip :-)

  23. "it wouldn't completely surprise me if someone has paid for it to be done."

    Arse, have I been foolishly posting stuff for free when I could have been getting paid for it :-)

    And if I was a troll, I'd be better at it. If someone thinks a blogger shouldn't have a few quid, god knows what they make of wee eck's 54k golf trip :-)

  24. I think you all should look at what alex said today in new deer. Vote snp in 2015, get a mandate for indy. 2016 - snp. Then we are in total control. Ala Sillars.

  25. The conservatives don't get old, it's the old that get conservative.

    So how come the Tory vote continues to reduce? By your logic, it should be increasing. Jeez, used to be half the population for the Scottish Unionists / conservatives.

    I think the saying is:

    People don't get more British as they age, they get more Scottish as they're born..

    Have a look at age vs natID in the census if you are interested.

  26. The Salmond concession speach has now gained clairity in my minds.

    The vote last week was one of two things; 1. lessons learned for the next time. 2. simply another step in the devolution path.

    Scotland is capable of handling more devolved powers. More powers is good for Scotland and the United Kingdom!!

    England needs devolution as well, the SNP needs to support that as well and be vocal about it. Let England know we respect them in their quest.

    It MAY turn out that four fully devolved Parliaments leaves a small footprint United Kingdom that the four nations are very happy with.

    It may also turn out that four fully devolved Parliaments means all go their separate ways but as friends.

    An EU Referendum may present a very valid opening. That opening may be that nationalists support the right of the English to vote and leave the EU as long as they respect the right of the Scots to make their own decision.

    Anyways as someone said, the Scots and English do not hate each other at all rather there is a common foe and that is Westminster.

    So for the next decade the SNP and its allies support Devo MAX, capital D and capital M. And at the same time build bridges for the English with their own devolution.

  27. @A Allen, "Using the Ashcroft poll and current mortality rates, we have 40k over 65s dying each year and 50k new 16yos. That implies that in 2 years and 4 months the majority will favour a Yes vote even WITHOUT any No voters realising they were conned and converting."

    Very interesting though that would need more scrutiny.

    But there is a component of older yes voters becoming no voters as they hit state pension age so there will be seepage.

    Regardless one can not defeat the wave.

    The SNP now needs to GOVERN and to use an old cliche "keep the trains running on time."

    Plus more powers will help. Even something as small as getting a Scottish issued drivers license from Glasgow instead of a UK license from Swansea. Or the coup would be to properly reflect Nationality on a UK Passport and allow a Scot to have Scottish on her passport.

  28. Independence supporters need to stop talking about the ballot being rigged, declaring UDI, and blaming No voters for not supporting independence imo. These are all a complete waste of time and energy.

    What we need to do is hold Unionist parties too account for their rushed promises. The SNP need to drop independence for awhile and focus on going for Devo max. James Cook said Swinney has suggested that the SNP will propose all powers short of defence, foreign affairs and Trident for Holyrood. This is a good idea. Define Devo max properly and run with it next year.

    The Yes campaign need to accept that we lost this time, but we can use the 45 per cent as a base to co-operate and as a campaigning base. We need to reach out to No voters as well, at least those who could be persuaded to support considerably more powers for Holyrood short of independence.

  29. Or the coup would be to properly reflect Nationality on a UK Passport and allow a Scot to have Scottish on her passport.

    Such a small thing to do and so easy. Would be greatly welcomed and show respect.

    Same passport with different pictures / slightly different text.

    European Union
    UK of GB & NI

    Could have her maj's Scottish arms on it.

    You can't force people to feel British, you need to give them good reasons to. Endless TV shows on 'Best of British Foodbanks' just don't cut the mustard.

    Allowing peoples to be themselves is how you promote unity in multi-national states.

  30. UDI will be enacted before a repeat referendum, mark my words, broken vows, dragged out of Europe against our wishes, the manipulation of the Barnett formula, take your pic!!

  31. Much as I've admired Jim Sillars in the past I fear he is rapidly losing credibility and the SNP should gently persuade him to whiten down. I fear he is increasingly causing potential splits in our cause.

  32. Please stop talking about's a ridiculous notion that makes us sound as if we refuse to accept the democratic process. It would win us no friends in the world and be disastrous economically. People are already backing away from the 45 moniker as it just makes an us and them...we need the 100.

  33. Sillars was great during the referendum but he clearly has no desire for us to actually succeed politically now. If we were to make the 2016 Holyrood election a proxy indyref round 2 with a yes-majority considered grounds for UDI we would be absolutely slaughtered (along with Greens etc) and it would be back to square one with a spineless Labour government doing Westminster's bidding.

    The ONLY way we can carry on with the Scottish public behind us is to push hard for real Devo Max - everything besides defence and foreign affairs. If by some miracle Westminster delivers this, we show what a success it can be and therefore prove that the case for full independence is economically watertight. If, shock horror, Westminster fails to deliver that then we have the start of the case for another referendum.

  34. The only circumstances where I'd back UDI is one where a free and fair democratic Yes vote had been overruled.

    This could e.g. apply in the case of a new referendum, as voted for in manifesto pledges, was not given permission by Westminster.

    Straw should certainly take note that when democracy is overruled, mass protests and even violence usually follow with the end the result the same, but much more messy.

  35. Salmond said last week that it was a referndum in a lifetime...the SNP adding "new referendum that isn't binding" within a year or so is not going to do anything but make it 60 not 55. We had a democratic referendum and it went against us. Let's not sound like bampots but get on with influencing Scotland for the good. I know people are hurting badly but it's happened. People are starting to move on.

  36. Yes, but trotting out the "lifetime" line would make us sound like David Cameron trying it on. What Salmond actually said was "PERHAPS a lifetime", to emphasise that there was no guarantee that another referendum would come after a generation (15 years or so) had passed. That's self-evidently true - it would have to be earned at the ballot box, just as the first one was.

  37. Yes, I'd say that next year's snp manifesto needs to call for full devo max.the ground is rope for that and it would be respecting the outcome of the referendum. If a majority of Scottish seats are SNP, there's the mandate to negotiate for it. perhaps with the proviso that failure to make good on at least "the vow" (for all that it's not worth much) would be cause for a second referendum. Whatever though, another ref any time soon has to be well justified. The no voters we need to bring over won't be convinced by anyone ignoring their vote!

  38. Are you suggesting that returning the SNP to a majority in 2016 gives another mandate for another referendum within 5 years from now?
    Personally I think going in on that ticket in the light of last week would slaughter the SNP. Last thing we need.

  39. @Anon (5:09 PM) Agreed, the right plan is to ensure promises made are promises kept and to go for Devo MAX. I only add that the English be respected and that they be supported in spirit for EV4EL.

    @Scottish Skier, with respect to nationality on a UK Passport. Keep it very very simple to get approved. Do NOT request the passport itself have any change in design, only what is printed on it.

    In the Section NATIONALITY it simply states BRITISH CITIZEN.

    Simply allow that section to read if a tick box is checked,


    Technically, your/or NATIONALITY is SCOTTISH whilst we have BRITISH Citizenship.

    Otherwise SCOTTISH (BRITISH CITIZEN) would suffice and if you did not elect otherwise it would read solely BRITISH CITIZEN.

  40. To be honest what was the "Vow." I simply read weasle words.

  41. Michael, who are you addressing that question to? For the life of me I can't see how it flows logically from anything Sandy or I said.

  42. My misunderstanding then James...apologies.

  43. Could some independence supporters pack in the UDI talk please? It is political suicide. What happens is you instantly piss of all international states in a massive way. Scotland would be completely isolated if we went down this route. It is a non starter. I really do wonder about the agendas of people advocating it as a means of achieving independence. Scottish Skier is completely right, it can only be used in the most extreme circumstances imaginable.

  44. George - I agree the vow isn't much. Given the way is been reported I guess it would be fair to say it amounts to the combination of the earlier proposals from the three unionist parties. From their point of view it is a mastery of vagueness which does make pushingfor it hard, unfortunately.

  45. Tried to reach my contact but for some reason he's way too busy to go into detail right now. A few quick words like "awesome" and "fucking unbelievable" were deemed most appropriate.

    I wonder why?

    Martin Sinclair ‏@marsinc88 1h

    10,000 new members of the SNP. A 35% increase in membership since Thursday. Another Scotland IS coming.

    Velvet Rose ‏@VeIvetRose 1h is back up, running and ready to handle the additional traffic caused by a heavy demand for new membership sign ups.

    Gerard Wilkie ‏@gerardwilkie 1h

    Labour is finished in Scotland . I have cancelled my membership and joined the SNP. #ed_miliband #Labour #SNP #YesScotland

    James Mackenzie ‏@mrjamesmack 1h

    @dhothersall @KevD63 We have way more than doubled since Thursday. Brings a fair few delightful problems.

    That'll be the first Independence Referendum killing the SNP "stone dead" then, won't it?

    LOL, LOL and thrice LOL :-D

  46. Just a thought on the troll issue. I'm torn both ways here. OTOH I value free speech and I'm reluctant to see posts deleted except on extreme grounds (racist abuse, obscenity, etc.) OTOH trolling can (quite deliberately) disrupt interesting threads and make them virtually unreadable (and trying to refute trolls just makes things worse).

    As a compromise, is there any way you could leave suspect posts in place but flag them (maybe even with a troll symbol) so that readers have the option of skipping them? This might also prod some suspect cases into revealing their true colours.

  47. we are the 45 what gives the "majority" the right to muzzle us for another generation, we have fought to long and hard to give in, and i will not listen to a concerned "anon". Politics is a process and one that does not last for vacuous time scales chosen by out "betters". We have the right to continue to fight for a better country.

  48. Anyway, with Dave busy stoking English nationalism (only English MPs for English laws stuff) to screw Ed, we might be back to the ballot box quicker than you'd imagine. Nothing surer to end the union than the English calling for their 'own parliament'.

  49. @Scottish_Skier

    Surely nothing untoward ever happens when the incompetent fop starts posturing away and gets into a bidding war with the kippers?

    I'm sure cooler heads will prevail on the tory backbenches to make certain Cammie doesn't promise the earth or make any "Cast Iron Pledges" on top of the "VOW".

    Or not..


  50. @Scottish Skier, "Nothing surer to end the union than the English calling for their 'own parliament'."

    First, it is fairness and equity for the English. Scots should want nothing but the equitable best for any of its neighbors. Our words can gain friends and allies.

    Second, It will end the Union as we/anyone knows it. It may end the Union but the four Nations may agree that a Union at that point serves all.

    I understand that the SNP does not vote on any English matters at Westminster. I would suggest that they vocally make one exception and that is to vote with any Westminster Party on any requisite vote that brings EV4EL and/or an English Parliament.

    While I believe in my heart that independence IS the best path for Scotland and by default its neighbor, having just been defeated in that regard, Devo MAX for all Nations might actually make a STRONGER Union.

    The UK with four devo max nations might become a defacto "British Isles NATO," it would also be an entity governing the Common Travel Area, also an area of a common currency union. That could be a good outcome. The Republic of Ireland could in theory rejoin that Union.

  51. Mick Pork.....

    The "Cast Iron Vow"


  52. An unrelated but very interesting little piece here:

    Turns out Better Together was using Populus for its internal polling. Some insight into the strategy too.

  53. @George

    I'm fine with a sovereign, independent Scotland working with the other countries of the isles.

    We already have the British-Irish council. I've no problem with Scotland's seat on that being like Eire's.

    However, I do think big, and see no reason why Scotland should restrict itself to 'union / close collaboration' with just immediate neighbours. After all, my second country after Scotland is France where my wife and associated extended family are from.

  54. The No campaign didn't need to target anybody. They had the BC to do it for them.

    Without the BBC then we'd be Independent. Anybody claiming that there was any other reason than this is mad, a liar or quisling bait.

  55. I think that we have a Perfect Storm coming our way which will commence when UKIP walk away with the Clacton bye-election in a few weeks time. Add to this the total collapse of the Labour vote in Scotland, the unstoppable rise of UKIP in England, the failure to implement The Vow, withdrawal from the EU ..... etc etc. It seems to me they are doing our work for us and all we have to do is sit back and watch. Independence hasn't been cancelled. It has merely been postponed.

  56. And with scotland's population aging on average the number of oldsters happy to stick with what they know is only going to increase.

    There is actually a very important diffrence here. Undoubtedly small c values to predominate as people get older but the problem with 65+s is not entirely about this.

    It is about their unshaking, complete and utter belief in the Union. Watch the vox pops with older people for the referendum, so many of them don't justify their vote - what they do is express incredulity that such a vote is even possible.

    That viewpoint will die off. Especially as the WW2 generation die out but also the Baby Boomers who have had everything from the State both when they were paying for it and now when children not yet born are paying for them.

    The concept of Britain and British is far weaker with the under 55s, if it exists at all outside of Loyalist bigots. There will be change in this area and it may only be 5 years away.

    The swing required is only 200k.

  57. James, cheers for all the work in these polls and breaking their numbers down.

    I'm glad you are going to keep going. I'll throw a few coppers your way for the new start up.

    Looking forward with progress. Devasted, of course, but joined the SNP like the 12000 other Scots did.

  58. What Labour & the MSM repeatedly said was that if we voted No, we would be getting Devo Max.

    If the MSM were making a genuine mistake (stop laughing at the back) Then since this was such an important vote, it was up to all unionist parties to ensure that they made it clear in every interview that they were in fact NOT offering Devo Max.

    They failed to do this and so were clearly party to a big lie fed to the Scots that voting No would result in large powers being transferred to Scotland.

    The process for this had to start on the 19th Sept, in order to fulfil the vow.

    What we also must not lose sight of is the complete disregard for the Purdah period and the way the Electoral Commission made no public statements, when it was clearly being breached.

    We must realise that we had our democracy stolen on these points alone, so it against this backdrop that we should inform Westminster that we will have another referendum soon.

    We simply must let them know that we will not let ourselves be treated in the way that we were by Unionist Parties as well as the BBC.

  59. I agree with Patrick Roden's comment above.

    On the age issue, I was born just after India escaped from British rule, which could be considered as the beginning of the end of the British Empire, but in formative years the Empire was still a reality. I can understand how many people of my age would have been brought up to feel pride in Great Britain and her Empire. Later generations grew up in a UK whose international status had declined, and where Thatcherism was imposed on Scotland. I am convinced that the higher Yes vote amongst older people was only partially due to the tendency of people to become more conservative as they age.

    Personally, I believe that it would be a mistake to talk too aggressively about UDI at this stage, but that the possibility of one as a last resort must not be ruled out. If the Scottish Government and the independence movement tell Westminster that they accept that independence can only ever come about through a negotiated deal with Westminster, following a Yes vote in another referendum, then we will not be allowed another referendum.

  60. "I think that we have a Perfect Storm coming our way which will commence when UKIP walk away with the Clacton bye-election in a few weeks time. Add to this the total collapse of the Labour vote in Scotland, the unstoppable rise of UKIP in England, the failure to implement The Vow, withdrawal from the EU ....."

    On the EU issue, as I posted on a previous thread, I think this referendum has shown that a EU referendum would most likely result in a vote to stay in. Big business would be massively pro staying in and you would get the same stories about business re-locating, unemployment, etc, in the event of an exit.

    What last week's referendum has also shown is that for all the passion of people who are true believers on either side there is a very sizeable proportion of the population who are cautious and will default to the status quo.

    UKIP is not an unstoppable rise in England - there are a number of seats that they could win but these have very specific demographics and where these demographics do not occur they have no chance of winning. They will win, at the very most, 10 seats and I think they would struggle to build on that.

    I would also be very cautious about predicting a collapse in the Labour vote in Soctland next year. I suspect that they will do as well as in 2010 but I suspect that the SNP will do as well (or even better) in 2016 as in 2011.

  61. Anon : The real lesson of this campaign is that the conventional wisdon that there will always be a swing back to the status quo is complete garbage. The opposite happened. So there's a real chance that the UK will leave the EU - a less than 50% chance, but definitely a chance.

  62. The real lesson of this campaign is that the conventional wisdon that there will always be a swing back to the status quo is complete garbage.

    Was there not a swingback to the 'No' side in the last few days? A ten point difference would suggest that there was, but if there is evidence to the contary I would be interested to see it.

    Also, a You Gov poll in June found that 44% would vote to stay in and 36% vote to leave.

    That is after all the problems in the Eurozone and general unhappiness about the EU but before big business start spreading scare stories. On that basis, it seems very hard to see a vote in favour of leaving.

  63. "Was there not a swingback to the 'No' side in the last few days?"

    No, there wasn't. There may have been a small swingback on polling day itself, although it's hard to distinguish that from the effect of differential turnout. In any case, so what? Any small swingback at the death doesn't change the fact that there was a net pro-Yes swing (and a substantial one) over the course of the campaign. Exactly the same thing happened in Quebec in 1995. That's the salient point in trying to judge what might happen in an in/out referendum on the EU.