Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Scottish independence

Scotland Essay: Why the No side should be looking up in Scotland…

Wed 16 April 2014, 5:07pm

Tweet By John McTernan The most important three words in any campaign are not ‘Vote For Me’, but ‘Hold Your Nerve’. The independence campaign has reached what Sir Alex Ferguson used to call ‘squeaky-bum time’. The polls are closing – we are told. The No campaign needs to be positive – opine commentators. Scotland is […] more »

Scotland’s Future … an introductory guide (that shouldn’t be ignored by NI)

Wed 27 November 2013, 12:01am
Scotlands Future cover

Tweet The Scottish Government’s 670 page long white paper Scotland’s Future was published today. The document reads like a cross between a party manifesto and a giant FAQ. It’s tone is of modernity and a progressive Scotland. Issues around independence are opportunities not challenges – and derivations of “opportunity” appear four times more often than […] more »

England and Scotland – growing farther apart anyway?

Wed 21 August 2013, 11:11am

Tweet Good to see some real debate emerging over the Scottish independence at last.  But is this happening to late, when the result is all over bar the shouting, with the No vote 20 points ahead, as American polling guru Nate Silver has been telling them at the Edinburgh Festival? Not so with 44 % registering […] more »

Nate Silver delivers a timely wake up call to the Scotland Yes camp in the #IndyRef?

Tue 13 August 2013, 10:02am

Tweet You get a sense of why Nate Silver has annoyed politicians and pundits in the US when you have a look what he’s been saying in Edinburgh about a prospective Scottish Referendum whilst launching his book, The Signal and the Noise: In an interview with The Scotsman, Mr Silver said polling data was “pretty […] more »

Belief in Scottish independence may see nationalism outperform current poll ratings…

Wed 24 July 2013, 2:08pm

Tweet Kevin Toolis provides a fascinating take (h/t John at Nuzhound) on the quiet unionist syndrome noted here yesterday when he looks to Northern Ireland for lessons to draw for Scotland which will in the Autumn time begin to pick up speed in the run to an election… For its adherents Nationalism, he notes, “possesses an intrinsic […] more »

No parallels with Ireland as a pro-union strategy in Scotland begins to emerge at last

Thu 25 April 2013, 2:58pm

Tweet There were risks in sending a posh English boy like George Osborne to Scotland to warn that it might be no doddle for an independent Scotland  to continue using sterling as its currency. The move  might yet backfire among thrawn Scots if  the English try to put the frighteners on them. Like pointing out […] more »

Scotland – will the Orange Order save the Union?

Tue 23 April 2013, 8:29pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

What will become of the May 2015 UK Parliament if Scotland votes “Yes” on independence?

Sat 23 March 2013, 1:49pm

Tweet Every so often – but not very often – a major theme enters political  debate which nobody noticed much at first  but when attention is drawn to it, it becomes completely obvious.  This topic is one such I’m posting here on how a referendum vote in favour of Scottish independence in September 2014 could greatly complicate […] more »

Unionists be warned. Negative campaigning against Scottish independence is not enough

Thu 14 February 2013, 12:56pm

Tweet A warning shot against unionist complacency in Scotland… Backing for independence among voters aged 18 to 24 stood at 58 per cent, according to the latest Ipsos MORI survey on voting intentions for the 2014 referendum…There were 34 per cent who supported Scotland leaving the UK, the poll of more than 1,000 people interviewed […] more »

Opening shots muffled in UK government’s fightback against Scottish independence campaign

Tue 12 February 2013, 9:11am

Tweet Significantly as PM and not as Conservative leader David Cameron launched on Sunday a “heart and head” campaign against Scottish “separation” as unionists like to call it, with a upbeat image of four happy partners. Britain is admired around the world as a source of prosperity, power and security. Those glorious Olympics last summer […] more »

An Irish Borgen?

Sun 3 February 2013, 11:39am

Tweet Dyspeptic Scots columnist Kevin McKenna (now where did that name come from?) is  so right when he says Scottish politics are too boring to mount a drama like Borgen. But then, Alex might reply that Scotland is not an independent country – yet. Staying glued to Borgen though fits perfectly into Scottish culture. Manfully, […] more »

Referendum blues

Thu 24 January 2013, 12:00pm

Tweet Bad news for the Yes campaign for Scottish independence, analysed by the psephological  guru of gurus John Curtice. It’s a debate worth following not only for its own sake but for  how issues wider than the border itself might feed into any referendum debate in Ireland. First off, the headline: just 23% now say that “Scotland […] more »

Are our versions of history sundering or reconciling us?

Thu 13 December 2012, 2:43pm

Tweet Martin Kettle in the Guardian pens a lament for the ignorance of the English about their own history. The outcome, he claims is a” loss of national self respect” and the threat of a disintegrating Union. For once, the term “English” is used deliberately. It’s a long time since AJP Taylor’s superb English History […] more »

No chance of a Sinn Fein Scotland

Wed 21 November 2012, 10:30am

Tweet Jim Gallagher in his days as a civil servant one of the architects of developing Scottish devolution and still a leading authority on the Scottish Question discusses rival scenarios for Scotland’s future in the Scotsman, concentrating on the bottom line issue of control over tax and spend. Either way, whether the outcome is “devo […] more »

“For the first time, Alex Salmond has been made to look ridiculous”

Thu 25 October 2012, 9:29am

Tweet Alex Salmond has had his worst week in years. The SNP annual conference revealed a split over continuing membership of Nato. Then he was exposed  for, shall we say, stretching a point to its limits by claiming he had legal approval for insisting that an independent Scotland would smoothly inherit EU membership from the […] more »

Will the Scottish independence debate ripple south of the border and across the Irish Sea?

Tue 16 October 2012, 11:04am

Tweet At last, it’s game on for the Independence Debate.  London based comment has decided that on balance David Cameron  had the best of Round One, or  the “Edinburgh Declaration, “  as  Alex Salmond  dubbed it with typical initiative-grabbing grandiosity. Salmond of course hasn’t conceded any such thing. Leaving the wording of The Question aside for later debate, […] more »

Deal announced on Scottish referendum

Wed 10 October 2012, 11:10am

Tweet The deal between the UK and Scottish governments on the referendum is done and will be sealed on Monday.  The Scotland Office and the SNP government seem to have jumped the gun on Downing St by announcing  agreement on a single “yes, no question,” but with votes for 16 year olds added, if the Scottish Parliament […] more »

Independence only for the Scottish referendum – DailyTelegraph

Thu 20 September 2012, 12:36pm

Tweet The strongly pro Union Daily Telegraph boldly claims that Alex Salmond is about to concede that the referendum should be about the single question of independence when the details are finalised next month. This must be in part because of the difficulty in framing a clear second question about  the extent to which devolution […] more »

No breakthrough yet for either side over Scotttish independence

Tue 18 September 2012, 12:05pm

Tweet On opinion  in favour of a separate Scottish State, the British Social Attitudes survey reports little change. The 32% who supported independence was nine points higher than in 2010 but two points lower than in 2005…. However, the research also suggested 43% of people in Scotland wanted Holyrood to make “all” decisions. The higher figure […] more »

What was the Ulster Covenant about?

Mon 10 September 2012, 9:23am

Tweet What was the Ulster Covenant whose centenary is being commemorated on “Ulster Day” 29 September really about? 400,000 signed the Solemn League and Covenant and the Women’s Declaration in a vast demonstration of public opinion that still impresses today. The production of the largest Union Jack is history, 48’x25’was an example of PR sureness […] more »

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