Saturday, 7 May 2011


Sometimes there is so much on the to-do list that none of it gets done. It was like that last night at blogging time. What to write about? There was just so much choice, and then there was an article on Kate Bush and I was distracted.

The leader of Scottish Labour had his majority cut from 2000 to 151 and his party lost several safe seats. Everywhere the Eds campaigned in Scotland, Labour lost. The Brown Gorgon now has a SNP MSP. In England, 'Special' Ed's Labour party performed less well than the Labour leg-end Shabby Foot managed when Thatcher was cutting back. They did better in Wales but still didn't get a majority in the assembly.

There was Dai Cameroid crowing with delight at the AV referendum result that meant he wouldn't have to do anything, which is his favourite action. There was Vinnie the Wire complaining that the Tories were campaigning for Tory councillors and not for Lib Dem ones. 'Hang the Smokers' Clegg took a whipping over AV and his party was hammered north and south of the border. Good. Started listening yet, you pompous little git?

And then there was the SNP. Subrosa has a map showing a few bits of blue and red among the gorse-flower yellow. The Lib Dems are down to five seats in the Scottish Parliament and those are mainly on islands populated by the candidate, his dog and a sheep (the sheep didn't vote for him).

So far the SNP government have been relatively harmless aside from windmills and smoking bans. The idiotic idea that minimum pricing would cut down on drinking - in Scotland! - was shelved because the minority government couldn't force it through. There was none of the utter lunacy we saw under Labour's majority government in Westminster because the other parties, despite being almost all socialists, blocked as much as they could. Those days are over.

Now we'll get to see what the SNP are actually about. Now they have a majority and don't need to convince any other party to join in with their plans. Finally we get to see what those plans are.

Aside from independence, I mean. The rest of it. The details.

As for independence, Al is one slippery fish and he knows he can't just declare independence. He has to have a referendum first and there is always the chance he might lose. If he holds a referendum and loses, that's it. No more 'Watch yersel', sassenachs, or we'll tak oor oil and sod yez all, the noo'. He has to have that referendum in this parliament or he won't get in for the next one. His supporters are expecting it, but Oily Al won't do it until he is damn sure he'll win it.

The thing is, and Oily Al will know this, his supporters do not consist of even half the population of Scotland. Forty percent of those who voted, I believe the figure was. Only half the electorate voted so Al can only be certain of twenty percent of Scotland definitely voting for independence. He has an 'unknown quantity' of eighty percent, so that referendum will be a risk.

What Oily Al doesn't know is how many have noticed the big problem. Independence from the UK is irrelevant when we're all just regions of the EU anyway. It won't change a thing. I don't know how many have noticed either but I'm sure the number is growing. He'll have to balance that growing number against the number he can convince to vote 'yes'.

How many of the SNP voters gave a stuff about independence? On the table was a continuation of the council tax freeze, continued free prescriptions and no university fees. Al cannot even be certain the twenty percent who voted for him will also vote for independence. That might not have been why they voted.

In the meantime, he will use the threat of that referendum to lever concessions out of Cameron (and probably an apology for the Highland clearances, the Poll Tax, Hadrian's Wall and Russ Abbott). It's a strong hand to bluff with but if he plays that hand and loses, it's all over. Sooner or later it'll be cards-on-the-table time but until then, Al will bluff for all he's worth.

The referendum will come and I suspect turnout will be a lot better than for any election. This isn't just choosing which noses go in the trough, this is something that will have a big effect on the whole country. Sure, there'll be a 'don't care' contingent who won't vote but there are many who have strong feelings on both the 'yes' and 'no' sides. I think there'll be a good turnout but I wouldn't like to guess which side will win. I'm not even sure which side I'm on.

Al cannot be certain of winning that referendum at the moment. When he calls it, then he's sure he'll win.

Until then, watch him beat Cameron around the head with it.


Anonymous said...

Wonder what will happen if the UK minus Scotland leaves the EU, and Scotland doesn't, or Scotland leaves and the UK doesn't. Tax haven like Jersey might work. Can Scotland afford to adopt the Euro and how independent would it be if it kept the Pound? Would a new Pound Scots work? Will Scotland stay with GMT when England moves to Brussells time?

If Scotland leaves the UK it should adopt Norway's position - maintain a close relationship with the Nordic countries / British countries while staying out of the EU.

Anonymous said...

I get the impression from most of the Scots that I speak to that they don’t want independence. Obviously, the ones I meet are down here, so maybe it’s different north of the border, but certainly a quick (and highly un-scientific) straw-poll of most of the people I know tends to indicate that the majority of English people would actively like Scotland to be independent, but the majority of Scottish people want to stay in the Union.

Maybe Oily Al should try and organise his referendum in England …….

Anonymous said...


There is a critical statement in your article:

""I'm not even sure which side I'm on.""

I think that Subrosa is also of the same opinion.

So who knows who wants what?

As an Englishman, I would love to see Scotland go it alone. It would be a great relief. Maybe then we could be rid of the scumbags who are leaching off us English.

Gosh! Is that not nasty? Actually, I do not actually believe that at all, but I can well imagine a lot of people feeling that way.

Tell me again - who is financing ASH Scotland and Alcohol Concern Scotland, and all the other leaches?

john miller said...

The Scots will get their referendum on independence on the same day we get the referendum on the EU.

Salmond is astute enough to know that, even if he did win a referendum - far from certain - then the harsh reality of fiscal independence would be beyond any ministers the SNP could deal with.

No, the sight of Salmond cautioning that a referendum could not be held straightaway, until the will of the people showed they wanted it, reminded me of 646 other bastards with whom I am more familiar.

In much the same way that ASH would collectively shit themselves if tobacco were banned, so Salmond want's the carrot of independence to dangle in front of the donkey's nose in perpetuity.

Tom Paine said...

The United Kingdom is the EU member state. If Scotland leaves the UK, it also leaves the EU (just as East Germany joined by uniting with a member state). When the failed Union finally dies, to the relief of the English, it would be an act of treason not to veto Scotland's application to join. My dream job in politics would be to negotiate the end of the Union. I would particularly enjoy dividing the UK's National Debt by reference to the Barnett Formula.

subrosa said...

Eee young man, here are the correct %s.

In the constituency vote the SNP got 45.4% and in the list vote 44.1% - greatest percentage for years in the UK.

Back in 99 at the devolution referendum labour only had 33% of the vote.

What is needed is for the tories or libdems (if they still exist) to back independence or some form of it. They more or less do that with them being responsible for pressing for further powers via the Calman Commission.

Speak about the unionists shooting themselves in the feet...

subrosa said...

Auch Junican, I think Scotland could well support itself if the public service division was shaken up and the standard of education lifted to provide the international quality it once did.

Really I'm getting weary of hearing the English bleating on and on about how much Scotland is a drain on them. Poor souls, but I've - as we say up here - nae sympathy. For over 30 years England has benefitted from having the profits from Scotland's waters gush straight into their coffers. It's to slightly compensate for this that we're given a few more £ per head, just to keep us happy.

However suddenly folk see through it all. We've also been supplying, free of charge, our excess power to England and that is no small amount either.

What Eck wants to do first is to gain hold of the Scottish end of the Crown Estates to ensure that then Scotland can gain financially for the energy we supply England.

You English - you get a damned good deal from us up here. Why do you think your MPs want to hold onto us so much?

David Davis said...

The Scottich Indepepndence referendum should be voted on in England too. That will give Salmond the result he so clearly wants. And I'll take away (what's left of) the oil/gas, and the windfarms he plans to tax the Crown Lands of, while closing the door and turning out the light. We are thoroughly pissed off now, in England, with whingeing Scotch-Natz-Poltiical-Enemy-Class loathing and tail-twisting.

Let the Scottish people have a government, for a while, that by their own failure to not elect it, got in and led them to riun and disater - like the Germans got in 1933 as the cost of the same kind of misjudgement.

Save my EU Pension said...

Subrosa finishes her post with: "You English - you get a damned good deal from us up here. Why do you think your MPs want to hold onto us so much?"

The reason is as stated by Tom Paine - exit from the EU. Cameron/Clegg, etc are sh*ting themselves at the prospect.

Leg-iron said...

If Scotland keeps an independent Pound, it would drift away from Sterling like the old Irish Punt. It would also need a new name. 'Beer vouchers' seems appropriate.

I don't know how the details would work, that's up to the SNP to work out. Reliance on North Sea Oil and bloody windmills is just plain stupid. If that's all Oily Al sees as industry then he won't last a year. The whisky industry is worth a huge chunk of change but he's determined to hammer the drinkers along with the smokers.

I do like the idea that Scotland would automatically be out of the EU on gaining independence. I also like the idea of Cameron blocking any attempt the SNP made to join.

That would make the English move from 'miffed' right up to 'peeved' and they'd demand to know why they have to stay in while Scotland escapes.

They wouldn't be the only country thinking that way.

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