Scotland – will the Orange Order save the Union?

From the Herald comes the news that the Orange Order are mobilising for a “No” vote in the September 2014 referendum on Scottish Independence:

THE Orange Order has begun the mobilisation of its members across Scotland as part of its campaign against independence.
It has applied to join community councils and is involved in a series of roadshows across greater Glasgow, where it plans to lobby councillors on how it can get involved in the No bid.
Similar events have been taking place in other areas, and senior Orange figures plan to visit every one of its Scottish lodges before next year’s Glasgow Games to ensure its membership turns out…

A little strangely the report also adds:

Members of the Order have even discussed the prospect of forming a new party post-independence and believe securing seats in Ayrshire, Glasgow and Lanarkshire could see it hold the balance of power.

For those interested in the role of the Order in Glasgow politics this little kerfuffle might be worth reading.

, ,

  • Greenflag

    Scotland isn’t Northern Ireland despite /in spite of the cultural connections of both communities in NI with Scotland . This will be a shot in the arm for the pro independence voters as most modern Scots look upon the orange Order as throwbacks to an earlier age .

    Well done the OO -Foot in mouth time again -Heres a clue -leave the Scots to decide their constitutional future without the troglodytic sectarians sticking their idiocies into the election.

    BTW has the RC Church in Scotland got any stance on this referendum or the Church of Scotland ?

  • Greenflag

    Short answer Dewi

    No

    They’ll sink it . They have whats called the reverse Midas touch:( .

  • http://sammymorse.livejournal.com Gerry Lynch

    1. It’s very unlikely the referendum will come all that close to passing.

    2. The Better Together/No campaign will not exactly welcome the ‘support’ of the Orange Order.

  • Dewi

    I’m quietly confident about 1) Gerry….there’s such mutual loathing amongst the No crew that it can’t see them keeping it together for such a long campaign.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22208385
    The Ian Taylor donation might be just the start.

  • http://redfellow.blogspot.com Malcolm Redfellow

    For what it’s worth (not a lot, I admit), it doesn’t do to be looking too closely at the origins of the SNP. Douglas Young and all that. So it could be Orange pot: meet Nat kettle.

    But, no: I doubt whether anyone, either way inclined, would welcome input from the Rangers Commando Ultras.

  • FDM

    I initially thought the Yes campaign had very little chance. However you look at the fear messages that Tory central is putting out and I am not so sure.

    In so many words:

    “You won’t be allowed to be in the EU”.

    “You won’t be allowed the pound”.

    “You won’t be allowed the euro”.

    “You will have to pay your part of the national debt before you leave”.

    “You will be defenceless”.

    “All your firstborn will be sacrificed at York castle” [O.K. I made that one up before the Tories did]

    However you get the picture. Obviously there are people worried.

    God bless the Orange Order. They couldn’t steal car batteries without electrocuting themselves. Alex Salmond will be grateful, not overly so, but grateful nonetheless for their intervention.

    “Unionists” will be able to blow the dust off the “NO” card. Theres a switch people will say!

  • veryoldgit

    From an English perspective all I can say is I hope not. The thought of a NO vote is too depressing to think about.

  • Alias

    “They couldn’t steal car batteries without electrocuting themselves.”

    I’m sure they’d welcome your expert guidance on that matter.

    “Alex Salmond will be grateful, not overly so, but grateful nonetheless for their intervention.”

    Probably not as grateful as he is that the Shinners have kept their snouts out instead of assisting their fellow oppressed nationalists to gain independence from Perfidious Albion. From the Shinners point of view, they wouldn’t want the contrast between Salmond political methods and their murder campaign; and from Salmond’s point of view, he wouldn’t want to give the media an excuse to equate nationalism with sectarian savagery.

  • Pete Baker

    Another question to which the answer is no.

    That’s not to say that the Union will not be saved. It probably will.

    But it won’t be the Lodges doing. And to suggest that they might have such a role is, frankly, ridiculous…

  • Starviking

    I thibnk all this talk of “fear messages” emphasises the difference between the SNP and their opponents.

    Independance is a big step, and if it goes ahead their will be teething troubles. Opponents of independance are not only right to point these potential troubles out, they are obliged to. The SNP’s stock reply of “they’re fear-mongering, they’re negative” only show a lack of seriousness about independance.

  • Greenflag

    ‘BTW has the RC Church in Scotland got any stance on this referendum or the Church of Scotland ?’

    Anybody got an answer ?

    Is the OO the only religious organisation adopting a political stance ?

  • Dewi

    To FDM – and they are peddling the scare stories far too early – what do they do for the next 18 months? Repeat themselves?
    Pete – they are “mobilising” for a reason I suppose..
    GF – none of the mainstream churches – I’m searching for any smaller religious groups.

  • FDM

    @Alias

    Great response there Alias.

    Insult me an attack Sinn Fein in a OP about Scottish independence. Is that it? Is that the best you have in your locker?

    @Dewi

    You might be right. I would have thought that the best thing for Cameron and co. to do would be to concentrate on the positives. People get past the scare stories after a while. Is there a point of view that English types shoud stay out of the argument altogether so that they don’t rub the Scottish cats up the wrong way and hence damage the NO campaign?

    I also agree that the NO camp is far from homogeneous and could very easily fracture, helped of course with the appropriate pressure at the crack locations.

    @All

    Having experienced the Orange Order in power in this part of the world through their siamese twin the Ulster Unionist Party, surely Scotland must shudder at the thought of these knuckle-dragging fundamentalist sectarian troglodytes gaining any political influence?

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s a bit different in Scotland. Not long ago Alex Salmond was proposing a complete ban on Orange marching. He would not have been able to do this if they had any kind of political influence. The idea that they could field candidates and win seats is plainly ridiculous.

  • http://redfellow.blogspot.com Malcolm Redfellow

    FDM @ 8:58 am:

    … these knuckle-dragging fundamentalist sectarian troglodytes ….

    Now, in terms of “figures of speech”, I’d be citing that as a prime example of meiosis: “something is intentionally presented as smaller, less important, etc., than it really is; understatement (freq. ironic). ” [OED]

    There’s no need to be mealy-mouthed here, y’know.

    As for the crack locations, Riaghaltas na h-Alba is definitive: “Cocaine and crack cocaine are becoming increasingly prevalent in Scotland, although current levels of use fall well short of the “epidemic” quoted in some media stories. However, we know that cocaine, and particularly crack cocaine, can seriously affect the health of users, the well-being of their families and the quality of life in communities.” Just like the Orange Order, perhaps.

    It isn’t just the No lobby that risks coming unstitched. As of today’s issue alone, The Herald reports not just the (ill-advised?) Osborne intervention on currencies, but also:
    — that Scottish NHS staff are being denied the pay-award because the Scottish Government can’t get its finger out — with suspicions that finances are tight;
    — that the “Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs” (there’s a new feature on my horizon) are unhappy about “Stirling Council’s decision to cancel a clan gathering event similar to the well-received but financially-challenged Gathering 2009 in Edinburgh”;
    — that, despite the SNP claims about the relative success of their bit of the economy, “the number of people being fed by food banks in Scotland has increased by 150% in the space of a year”. That translates into the cruel reality of “14,318 people in Scotland, 4568 of them children” now dependent on this most basic of charities.
    — that “the CPPR think tank at Glasgow University, predicts living standards would remain on a par with the rest of the UK if Scots voted to go it alone next year … because many of the country’s big wealth generators, including oil companies, as well as drink and financial service firms, are foreign-owned.”

    Like it or not, much of the “Yes” campaign is PR smoke and distorting mirrors. The “No” lobby won’t help itself by playing the same game.

  • FDM

    @Comrade Stalin

    “Not long ago Alex Salmond was proposing a complete ban on Orange marching. He would not have been able to do this if they had any kind of political influence. The idea that they could field candidates and win seats is plainly ridiculous.”

    I did not know that. It is very interesting.

    I would go further and proscribe the OO for the good of us all. Then we might be able to stay at home in early July without feeling like you are an extra in the Billy Plays.

  • http://redfellow.blogspot.com Malcolm Redfellow

    There may be a good reason why FDM @ 9:41 am doesn’t recognise Comrade Stalin‘s point. It’s not that simple.

    The story so far …

    In May 2011, Henry Dunbar, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, directed his followers to vote SNP against Labour. This was because Labour-controlled Glasgow City Council were being uno-operative about unrestricted Orange marches. Dunbar saw this as “discrimination”, adding ““Our membership will be targeting any council which targets the Orange family in Scotland.”

    The Order then claimed the SNP’s successes in 2011 and 2012 were the consequence of this intervention.

    Salmond then crapped on his own doorstep by demanding a “fair share” of the London Olympics and scorning Olympians (cue the extraordinary neologism “Scolympians”). Result: to his acute disgruntlement (and Wee Eck has a reputation for such things) he was more roundly raspberried in Glasgow’s George Square than Osborne was at the Paralympics.

  • FDM

    @CS & Malcolm

    attrib. Comrade Stalin “if they had any kind of political influence.”

    attrib. Malcolm Redfellow “The Order then claimed the SNP’s successes in 2011 and 2012 were the consequence of this intervention.”

    So they either have political influence or they do not. Somebody is in error. I don’t know if they do or not. I take little interest in Scotland. It is the one “home nation” I have never resided in. I am interested in the overlapping bits of the Venn diagram where their affairs are related to our own predicaments here.

    Looking externally my impression from listening to commentators, who know a lot more than I do about the region, is that Salmond is personally very well respected as a leader. That there is evidence that the SNP foundered for a while in his absence and revived at his return to the leadership role. I look objectively at Scotland and can’t really identify anyone who holds the same local political prominence or commands the same level of respect? Perhaps your disparaging comments upon Salmond are fair. However I don’t see the Scottish political stage teeming with similar levels of talent? Hence surely this gives the Yes campaign an edge over their opposers?

  • JPJ2

    Unfortunately from my perspective the Orange Order will be of some use to the “no” campaign-just so long as they keep their mouths shut but deliver a lot a leaflets.

    No unionist party in Scotland has anything near to the membership base of the SNP, and so Better Together are short of foot soldiers. Much smaller attendances at Better Together events than those of “Yes Scotland” attest further to that.

  • Harry Flashman

    Slightly off the point, but relevant I suppose to the way Scots like to present their country as a forward looking, “progressive” nation (as opposed to hide-bound old England presumably) and pretend sectarian and racist bigotry isn’t in fact endemic in Scotland.

    I recall a sunny Saturday morning one August strolling through Edinburgh, when I noticed buses and traffic backed up in George Street. The cause was soon apparent when I went down to Prince’s Street and saw a big Orange “walk” proudly progressing through that fine boulevard. Actually it wasn’t the Orangemen, my own civic pride compels me to recall it was in fact the Scottish brethren of the Apprentice Boys of Derry triumphantly celebrating the relief of my home town.

    Here were dozens of bands, thousands of participants, men, women and children of all ages processing in what must have been one of the biggest cultural gatherings of the year in Edinburgh. Tourists were falling over themselves to get pictures of “The Pride of Govan Pipe Band” wheezing out their airs, “The Falkirk Young Defenders” strutting their stuff and “The Kelvinside Ladies Accordion Band” delicately playing their hymns. All quite impressive and somewhat surprising as it wasn’t something I’d witnessed in Edinburgh before.

    That evening I tuned into the TV to see reports about the parade.

    Nothing. Absolute news blackout.

    The Scottish media could not even bring themselves to report that what I had just seen had in fact happened. Oh there were fawning reports and interviews with Fringe “comedians” (although I always thought comedians were supposed to be funny), or non-event Festival plays or artistic exhibitions where the performers outnumbered the audiences by about three to one. About the big parade that had occurred a few hours earlier, participated in and witnessed by thousands, nothing, absolutely nothing.

    I suddenly realised in a very small way what it must have been like living in Poland or East Germany in the sixties and seventies.

  • FDM

    @Harry Flashman

    “I recall a sunny Saturday morning one August strolling through Edinburgh, when I … saw a big Orange “walk” proudly progressing through that fine boulevard.”

    You weren’t wearing rose tinted spectacles that day by any chance?

  • Dewi

    Good or Bad Harry there are more Orange Parades in Glasgow than in Belast and Derry combined.

  • grandimarkey

    Yes! The Loyal Orders and electoral politics in Scotland. A great tale to be told.

    Perhaps a brief look at Scotland’s brief foray into No-Popery and electoral politics may provide an insight into the likely success rate of such a venture?

    Scotland’s only No-Popery MP ever served a rather brief period of 1923-1924. Hugh Ferguson was elected as Member of Parliament for Motherwell. And his election, albeit brief, was as much about political-luck as any rabid sectarianism.

    The wish of the OO in Scotland in the early twentieth century (the beginning of what was to be a very short and abysmal ‘career’ in politics for the orders) was to be as part of the UK-wide Unionist machine as the orders in Ireland. Much to their delight they were awarded the right to two permanent seats on the Unionist’s Western Division Council. A rather meagre achievement one must say and one that didn’t last too long as the Scottish Order resigned those seats in protest at the decision by the Scottish Unionists to endorse the establishment of the Irish Free-State.

    After this the OO broke with the mainstream Unionists ad formed the rather catchy ‘Orange and Protestant Party.’ Their only election was in Motherwell in 1922 when they fielded two candidates in that mammoth of British elections the ‘Lanarkshire Education Election’ – of course; they were the only two candidates not to be elected.

    In 1922 Unionism withdrew their candidate from Motherwell in favour of a Liberal and as such Ferguson standing with OPP support came second. Labour won the seat in 1922 in the most because the liberal vote split. In 1923 after the resignation of Bonar Law the subsequent election saw Hugh Ferguson elected due to a split vote. Orangism had political representation however Ferguson himself became a figure of ridicule in the house, achieving little other than increasing Catholic sympathy and most argue leading to the unopposed 1926 Catholic Relief Act.

    In the 1924 election after the vote of No Confidence every single party in Motherwell ganged up on the OPP with the Conservatives and Liberals refusing to stand candidates allowing a straight fight between Labour and the OPP resulting in their defeat. After which the Orange and Protestant Party slid into obscurity.

    There were other No Popery forays in Scottish politics that I can recount if people aren’t too bored with the rather large story-telling but they are all just as ridiculous and depressing as this one.

    The Loyal Orders in Scotland are treated very differently than back home in Ireland.

    I’ll leave the final word perhaps to Jack McConnell, Scottish first minister 2001-2007, when discussing the Sir John Orr report into Parading in Scotland.

    “the objective will be to ensure that local rules and regulations that govern decisions about marches and parades – particularly those of a sectarian nature – are designed more effectively to regulate the number and routes of marches and especially to encourage an atmosphere in which voluntary agreements can reduce the number of marches locally without animosity and without increasing community tension.”

    That my friend’s is the former First Minister of Scotland referring to the Orange Order as of a sectarian nature. Imagine Peter Robinson saying that…

  • grandimarkey

    @Harry Flashman

    Slightly off the point, but relevant I suppose to the way Scots like to present their country as a forward looking, “progressive” nation (as opposed to hide-bound old England presumably) and pretend sectarian and racist bigotry isn’t in fact endemic in Scotland.

    Oh Harry!

    Endemic? Scotland? I’m afraid that is perhaps a rather uninformed comment. Perhaps you are just in character and making a brash statement about the natives. Flashman is easily my favourite fictional character so I understand.

    First of all, the ‘problem’ whatever that may be is not Scotland wide. Three police forces (Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders, and Fife) are responsible for policing over 85% of all processions. So if indeed sectarianism is endemic then it certainly isn’t a Scotland wide problem.

    So lets, perhaps, merely look at the Central and Western Belt; that is where the huge majority of the marches take place. Is sectarianism endemic? The simple answer is No.

    The largest religion in the west of Scotland is that of ‘No religion.’ There is no clear evidence that being from one particular religion in Scotland will affect your employment prospects. There is no evidence that anyone of a religion is discriminated against in the distribution of social payments or housing. But of course the sectarianism you describe as ‘endemic’ is probably not institutional. That would be mad, it must of course be attitudinal. Let’s take a look?

    There are quite simply no areas of greater Glasgow that have a clear majority of Protestant and Catholic. Even areas like Bridgeton, which is associated as Rangers/Protestant area has a Catholic population of roughly 40%.

    Perhaps intermarriage is the key? Over 40% of Catholics in Glasgow have non-Catholic spouses. Well it ain’t there either.

    Perhaps a distinct politics between the two communities like in good old Norn Iron? Nope. The only party that is likely to receive an unfair advantage from a religion in Scotland is the Conservatives from Protestants and even that is feckin tiny.

    I’m afraid describing Scotland as ‘endemically’ sectarian based on witnessing one OO walk that was paid little heed to is ridiculous.

    While there is no doubt that in Greater Glasgow there are issues surrounding identity, football and violence there is little doubt that Scotland as a whole is unaffected by ‘sectarianism’ and what violence seen in Glasgow is much more grey an area than simple Prod vs Cath.

    Some would disagree of course but I’ve been researching the subject for a while now for a PhD and I think the facts, as they are above, speak for themselves…

  • Harry Flashman

    “Three police forces (Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders, and Fife) are responsible for policing over 85% of all processions.”

    Those forces account for about the same proportion of the Scottish population do they not?

    Anyway, I certainly wouldn’t say that Scotland was “more” sectarian than Northern Ireland, of course not, nor even “as” sectarian as Norn Iron, but compared to the rest of the United Kingdom it certainly comes a very close second.

  • http://redfellow.blogspot.com Malcolm Redfellow

    One thing, I hope, on which Harry Flashman @ 11:50 am and I could wholly concur is that Edinburgh during the Fringe is weird — definitively, unquestionably weird.

    In which context there’s the Apprentice Boys (Edinburgh seems to sport two branches) … Last year they applied to march through Gorgie the same day as the Scottish Defence League (according to the Sunday Herald, a sub-office of the BNP) wanted a rally at the Grassmarket. Pure coincidence, of course.

    More like living in Munich around 1933.

  • grandimarkey

    Those forces account for about the same proportion of the Scottish population do they not?

    They account for 65% of the population.

    It does indeed come second, but not a close one. Northern Ireland is way, way above the rest.

    I don’t doubt either that there is a problem in the Greater Glasgow area (that’s why I’m studying here) but that is the locale, not Scotland as a whole. And what problem does exist is normally blown way out of proportion when discussed.

  • http://redfellow.blogspot.com Malcolm Redfellow

    grandimarkey @ 12:35 pm:

    Let’s apply the past tense to the ‘proportion’ argument.

    Of course, as of All Fools’ Day, we have a single force: the Police Service of Scotland/ Seirbheis Phoilis na h-Alba.

    This is touted to save £1.7 billion over 15 years (in passing: who manufactures such non-statistics?). Redundancies are greatest among eight Chief Constables and 135 police dogs.

  • Harry Flashman

    Aren’t there more murders in the greater Glasgow area on Old Firm weekends than occur in Northern Ireland in the course of six months?

    I might be absolutely wrong about that but I did recollect hearing that statistic once.

    I remember a couple of mates of mine were over in Glasgow for an Old Firm match, their hosts took them to a night club later and at about 11pm in the middle of the dance floor one reveller was set upon and had his throat slashed (happily I think he survived), the dance continued as the blood was mopped up and the casualty removed.

    My friends were absolutely stunned at this and their shock evinced surprise from their Glasgwegian friends who assumed as these guys came from a tough town like Derry they must have been well used to such incidents. Macho egos and civic pride prevented the Derry lads from admitting they’d never seen anything as appalling in all their born days.

  • Greenflag

    Heres the update on Scottish violence in comparison to the rest of the UK .

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-22276018

    Dewi may be concerned that Swansea ranks only tenth way below London (second ) and Belfast (third ). Overall violence is down even in Glasgow . On the other hand Glasgow outhomicides Swansea by almost 6 to 1 and Belfast outhomicides Swansea by almost 4 to 1 .

    Those figures are telling us something but what exactly ?

    Scotsmen who take a drink start fights ? Quelle surprise?

  • FDM

    Swansea rocks. That is all.

  • grandimarkey

    @Harry

    The work of Steve Bruce is particularly telling in the discussion of sectarianism and violence. He is an academic at the University of Aberdeen and while I personally consider his work to be quite partisan*** (Scottish sectarianism? Let’s lay this myth to rest being a case in point) he is an authority in the topic of violence and sectarianism in Scotland.

    In the book “Sectarianism in Scotland” he discusses Old Firm related murders between 1984 and 2001. While certain sections of the national-debate would argue that 11 murders took place between these years Bruce et al in their book narrow that down to 6. They do this by looking at the context, police and judicial reports and provide a pretty convincing argument as to why the others aren’t of a sectarian nature. In context that would mean that only 0.3% of murders in those years were of a ‘sectarian’ nature.

    No don’t get me wrong, in 2012 Strathclyde Police Force had the largest amount of homicides to deal with compared with any other police force in the UK, however the level of sectarianism involved in each, while hard too gauge is certainly overestimated.

    ***I understand his partisanship, he is in Aberdeen, a city with virtually no history whatsoever of sectarianism be that in the form of the OO or football. It must be pretty frustrating for him to hear that Scotland has a problem with sectarianism when it patently doesn’t. I think however if the locale is changed from Scotland to Greater Glasgow then the issue takes a larger focus.

  • BarneyT

    Wait til the Protestant Coalition gets moving! Frazer will save them :-)

  • Neil

    Fantastic! The people trying to save the Union are the people who could most easily destroy it. The Tories look like winning the next election and support for independence sky rockets. The OO couldn’t even save themselves. And who do the Scots get as their champions of the Union? The most detested party north of that border and an organisation whose popularity is on the wane, so much so they can barely parade in Glasgow these days. Still think the wiley Salmond can do the job.

    Alias what a pathetic contribution. Blah blah blah Sinn Fein. The Shinners have the wit to stay away unlike the people you fail to mention, the topic of the thread in question. One of Slugger’s trolls in chief strikes again. Good job you get a bye ball for some reason or you might even get a wee card one day.

  • GavBelfast

    The next General Election is scheduled to be on 7 May 2015, so will have no bearing on the referendum on Scottish independence – which will have been held nearly eight months before that.

  • Neil

    Yeah I’m aware of that, hence the word look in the sentence “The Tories look like winning the next election “. As in if they think the Tories may win the next election based on public opinion, polls and the political winds. I didn’t mean the Tories might look like winning an election that had already occurred.

    More than half of Scots would be likely to vote for independence if they believed the Tories would be returned to power in Westminster at the next general election, a new poll has found.

    http://news.stv.tv/politics/195856-prospect-of-tory-government-would-see-most-scots-back-independence/

    At any rate some pollsters and one journo disagree that the GE will havo no bearing.

  • Dewi

    Interesting Neil – I also think the long game suits the good guys better. I really can’t think of what other scare stories the No campaign can come up with….and their sources of funding seem strange to say the least.

  • Zig70

    Off topic but FDM started it, Swansea is fantastic for a night out. Something worth seeing.

  • GavBelfast

    Neil, sorry, I didn’t think your sentence made sense. I see now that you meant things in a speculative sense, but the writing wasn’t / isn’t clear.

    I’m intrigued by these various apparent cheerleaders for Scottish independence from the rest of the UK, especially in Wales and (nationalist) Ireland.

    I fear cans of worms being opened, for many parties, and that people should be careful what they wish for.

    Interesting, isn’t it, how the Republic’s government is leaving well-alone, and, if anythings, ‘sources’ have let it be known that they worry about ‘destabilising’ things.

    Of course, if the long-run, the real winner might be … England – whatever about the rest of us.

  • Dewi

    Open the can Gav and see what happens…

  • Barnshee

    “Fantastic! The people trying to save the Union are the people who could most easily destroy it”

    Annoyingly these people have a vote -they (and their family members) may form a significant proportion of the electorate
    Shit they might even shake off their hangovers and turn out on polling day! Worse they may even overcome the normal torpor of election turnout and influence the outcome.

    What is the world coming to

  • grandimarkey

    @Barnshee

    Estimates of Scottish Orange Lodge membership range from 20,000-50,000. It’s generally considered that the lower end of this spectrum is the more accurate, but let’s call it 35,000 for the sake of argument. If we also assume that all of these members vote No, which is by no means a certainty, then that would put the Orange vote at 0.66%.

    Imagine it ran that close!

  • grandimarkey

    @GavBelfast

    Of course, if the long-run, the real winner might be … England – whatever about the rest of us.

    Not if Scotland votes for independence…

  • Barnshee

    “Of course, if the long-run, the real winner might be … England – whatever about the rest of us.

    Not if Scotland votes for independence…”

    Independence will reduce Scotland to penury

    “Scotland” owns nothing but a lot of poor land (and a climate even more shitty than Ireland) “Scotland`s Oil” is owned and developed by multinationals who can take wherever they want and “Scotland ” can do SFA about it.
    Scotland`s other industry -whisky- is also owned and controlled by multinationals.The most “profitable” aspect of whisky sales is the revenue provided to HM government from these (mostly in England) sales- so not much for “Scotland ” there.

    Scotland is a burden to the English taxpayer (tho` not such a burden as the public sector sewer that is N Ireland) Scotland,like N Ireland, is bunged money to go away and shut up. and wee eck is just trying for more
    Can`t wait to see him shafted

  • Dewi

    How about some facts Barnshee? There’s a few in the Scotsman on renewables in Scotland…
    http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/environment/scotland-s-renewable-energy-at-all-time-high-1-2863839

  • Barnshee

    “if we also assume that all of these members vote No, which is by no means a certainty, then that would put the Orange vote at 0.66%.

    Imagine it ran that close!”

    Families and hangers on will produce some multiple of actual OO members How will they vote ? –don`t know but I suspect the underwear of the MSPs for East Lothian (won by 151 votes) and West of Scotland (won by 7 vote is by now somewhat stained.

  • Neil

    Annoyingly these people have a vote -they (and their family members) may form a significant proportion of the electorate
    Shit they might even shake off their hangovers and turn out on polling day! Worse they may even overcome the normal torpor of election turnout and influence the outcome.

    Wow, you mean Unionists might go out and vote to retain the Union? Shit, quick someone inform the pollsters so they can factor that in.

    If the OO number less than 1% of voters then their influence may be overstated at nothing. The polls show that if the Tories were to look like winning a GE support for independence rises beyond 50%. I doubt that the outspoken support of a group of less than 1% of the population would make much difference. And even then the pollster will likely have asked around ten orangemen (having polled 1,000 people). The remaining 990 might not be swayed by an organisation that thinks it’s incredibly important in Scotland in spite of the fact that 99% of people consciously choose to take nothing to do with them. :)

  • Neil

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-orange-order-s-no-vote-plan-1-2905564

    A source at the Order told The Herald: “The Orange Order is gearing up to get involved. However, members have to realise this isn’t Northern Ireland and we don’t have the same clout in the Scottish context.”

    It’s worth bearing in mind many people will be very turned off by a sectarian, anti-Catholic, protestant-supremacist Orange Order (a turn of phrase judged accurate by a Judge in an unwise defamation case brought by the sectarian, anti-Catholic, protestant-supremacist Orange Order) to the degree that their support may be more of a handicap.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/minister-fails-to-stop-galloway-sectarian-claim-1-523531

  • Barnshee

    “How about some facts Barnshee? There’s a few in the Scotsman on renewables in Scotland”

    This sounds like naked propaganda from the usual suspects. As we all know, the load bearing on these wind factories is 20% , in other words we need a reliable source of energy 80% of the time. Finally , the link below shows the current demand and I’m afraid only 0.51 Gw is produced from WF’s out of 38 GW representing 1.3% of the UK total.

    http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

    Shameful propaganda.

  • GavBelfast

    How is the push for independence, and a referendum on the subject, going inn Wales, Dewi?

    Seriously: is it a central issue, or something only really for fetishists?

  • Dewi

    It’s a long march Gav…..

  • GavBelfast

    To be honest, it comes across as a bit of a hobby for you, Dewi, and not an actual movement.

    Solely a matter for the people of Wales, of course, but interest seems close to undetectable.

    If we’re using walking analogies, a dander rather than any sort of march ….

  • GEF

    “Scotland – will the Orange Order save the Union?”

    I doubt they will have much influence. According to the website below only 1 citizen is an Orangeman out of every 100 citizens in Scotland.

    “Out of a Scottish population of over 5 million people, it claims only 50,000 members,”

    Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?q=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Orange_Lodge_of_Scotland&sa=U&ei=ObV7UeaYMsnLPcytgLgE&ved=0CCkQFjAB&usg=AFQjCNFnDGw0Hv2VitsoNTVK9BJzQx20iA

  • grandimarkey

    @Gef

    “Out of a Scottish population of over 5 million people, it claims only 50,000 members,”

    I think claim is the operative word…

  • Neil

    Another example of how events in England may affect the outcome of the independence referendum:

    While 36% of Scots polled said they supported independence from the UK under present circumstances (with 44% opposed), the yes vote soared to 44% (with 44% still opposed) when voters were asked how they would vote if it looked as though Britain was going to leave the EU.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/19/scotland-tough-call-uk-eu-referendums