“We don’t need a white paper to have a chat.”

The Labour MP Frank Field, writing in the Telegraph, predicts that the conversation the leader of the minority Scottish adminstration, the SNP’s Alex Salmond, wants to have could be ominous for the Union if Gordon Brown doesn’t pay attention.. but, as the BBC report points out, Labour, Conservatives and the Lib Dems are all opposed to Salmond’s desired outcome which leaves the Observer report seeming closer to the reality – in that publishing the white paper can be portrayed as fulfilling a manifesto pledge but that the call for a national conversation is a distraction from what would be “a bitter defeat” in the Scottish Parliament.

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  • The other interesting fact is that a recent poll shows Scottish support for the SNP growing whilst Scottish support for Independence falls. Hoots mon – but might it be that Scots value the crown in their pocket most of all?

  • Dewi

    david – if Scots went alone where would your allegiance lie ?

  • Cahal

    Probably America where it always has.

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Keep to the ball.

  • Dewi

    Not fair Pete – interested honest

  • Rory

    “Hoots mon – but might it be that Scots value the crown in their pocket most of all?

    I think that this particular ball, introduced by David Vance, might be the one being played by Dewi and Cahal. They simply had to reach low to respond to the level at which that ball was played. Why should they then receive a whistle?

  • Pete Baker

    You may be interested Dewi.. but it’s a line of questioning which tends to veer the conversation towards the man.. rather than the ball.

    As we can see.

    And speaking of the ball.

  • Rory

    In any case, back to playing Pete’s ball, without distraction of balloons with derogatory Scots slogans being tossed onto the pitch.

    It seems clear on any reading that Field’s article is really concerned about a failure of nerve of successive administrations to prepare the UK for European integration and to suggest that allowing a pretence of seperate English politcal identity might facilitate this process.

    Salmond has outflanked all his opponents and his stature grows exponentially as a serious,sober, capable leader. It may well be that those who feel nervous about Scottish independence will feel increasingly less so as his stature grows.

    As European integration develops the possibility of independence will become increasingly irrelevant to old school unionists and that may be what creates such paranoia among the more revanchinist of that time redundant grouping.

  • Harry Flashman

    A touching faith in increasing European integration there Rory

    I would put a bet that in twenty years, if not sooner, we will see a collapse of the much vaunted European project, the whole structure has so many inbuilt defects that it will not survive the pressures that will be placed on it in the coming years.

    I would also bet that in twenty years Scotland will still be firmly and happily ensconced in the British Union (as will be Northern Ireland). The Scots are the Quebeckers of the UK, constantly whining for independence but getting severe cold feet whenever the prospect actually arises.

    The People’s Republic of Deepfried Marsbaristan is much too well looked after by the English taxpayer to ever break free, Alex Salmond’s exponential status (invisible to this observer) notwithstanding.

  • Brian Taylor’s excellent BBC blog provides the best picture of what Salmond has achieved here.

    Firstly, he’s forced the big three parties, and most importantly Labour, to commit to a review of the current devolution settlement.

    Secondly, he may have tempted the Lib Dems to reconsider the coalition option as a route to their preferred model of fiscal autonomy within the UK. That in turn will put pressure on Labour to offer more powers to keep the Lib Dems onside.

  • IJP

    David

    You’re very good at random statements like “Polls show…”

    But which polls? Can you link to them?

    Tom

    Salmond is a political genius alright. He’s also showing our Executive how you actually go about these things, rather than our hopeless “Please can I have some more” approach.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Harry

    I am continually in awe of your ability to make an arse of yourself. I will happily take a bet with you that Scotland(the moany shitebags who steal English money, and whose culinary tastes would make a gannet puke) will have given England her independence within 20 years. Rory is not only spot on at the curious use here and elsewhere of the man/ball rule, but he is a hellava lot closer to serious political reality than you.

    It is pretty obvious to anybody that a direct frontal attack on Holyrood would not work for wee Alex, the numbers aren’t there. We only have to see the rallying around by the Westminster leadership of their Scottish hound-dogs in the Unionist parties. All of a sudden they are releasing joint statements, holding private meetings and the like. Considering that the Tories and labour hate each other, and Labour and Lib-Dem’s have had a very public falling out, a remarkable achievement.

    The masters ensconced in England are afraid, very afraid. The strategy of the SNP seems to be to get an already approving Scottish public to back them in a not unreasonable demand that we the Scottish public should decide on our countries long-term future. And not those in Westminster with vested interest in us not doing that. Also, increasingly the Tories are coming out for independence for various reasons. Some just want a showdown, others think it better than the current half-way house.

    Interestingly enough there are several Lib-Dem and Labour MSP’s who have supported independence in the past. I believe that it is these guys that the SNP are targeting through the use of public opinion.

    I think many underestimate the sea change that has occurred in Scottish politics, indeed in Ireland also. The wrath of some rabid supporters of Britain and Unionism seen above is not surprising. Once Scotland goes, the whole pack of cards falls around their ears.

  • DK

    “I am continually in awe of your ability to make an arse of yourself”

    Surely this is “man not ball” that you yourself hypocritially complain about.

  • Prince Eoghan

    DK

    I have never, ever complained about the man/ball rule over personal attacks against me. It was, if you re-read my words, the curious use of it.

  • Harry Flashman

    What curious use did I make of the man/ball rule?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Harry

    Happily like many of us, you are one who doesn’t go crying to teacher and are happy to give and take. I know my use of English is not the best, but where did I say that it was YOUR curious use of the man/ball rule? Stop waving the Union flag and read widye!

  • Harry Flashman

    Ok fair ’nuff, though there is one character here who has exasperated me be times with his inability to challenge anything I say without simply shouting abuse, I have pointed it out to him.

    Your use of English Eoghan is perfectly fine and when I am being called an arse by you I can even hear the Glasgow growl.

    Now back on topic shall we?

  • K McLaughlin

    I would ask your correspondent Mr Flashman to read the blogs in the Telegraph (in response to Mr Field’s article and today’s offering in the ‘Your view’ section of that paper ) which exhibit a depth of ignorance about Scotland (one corresponent actually thought that the Faroes were in Scotland)which is only exceeded by the expression of hatred of Scotland and the Scots. (One of these delightful English Democrats actually advocates the execution of all SNP supporters). These are not isolated expressions of hatred and are increasing with each passing week.
    n.b.There is no anti-English counterpart in the Scottish press.
    Read them and then tell us Mr Flashman, why do you wish Scots to remain members of the same state as these poisonous people.

  • John East Belfast

    Prince

    “The strategy of the SNP seems to be to get an already approving Scottish public to back them in a not unreasonable demand that we the Scottish public should decide on our countries long-term future. And not those in Westminster with vested interest in us not doing that.”

    I dont think any Unionist has anything to fear from that because I have seen no evidence in any poll or in any Scot I have spoken to that they would vote for Scottish independence. I say bring it on.

    Their support for SNP is due to their belief that the LibDems and Tories are hopeless and they want to give Labour a bloody nose.

    Saying everyone who supports the SNP is a Scottish separatist is like saying everyone who voted SF in the late nineties approved of the PIRA campaign.

    Scots especially like to shake things up a bit but a referendum would be overwhelming for the Union.

    Indeed now that Brown is rising in the UK ratings as PM I think that will assuage Scottish seaparatism all the more.

  • IJP,

    My statements were in no way random but they are fully supported, It is the Scotsman, no less, that carries the story http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=324&id=1257222007 and you can then visit the pollsters, Progressive Scottish Opinion. I presume that you now accept the bona fides of my comment? I repeat my point namely the paradox of increasing support for the SNP and decreasing support for Independence. Maybe that’s the thing about nationalism, wanting your cake but someone else to pay for it?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Hello JEB.

    I am wondering if the Scots that you are gauging your opinion from like to visit Ireland once or twice a year and wear funny uniforms and sashes. The reason I ask is that as Orangemen/Loyalists they are hardly likely to support the disintegration of the UK.

    >>Saying everyone who supports the SNP is a Scottish separatist is like saying everyone who voted SF in the late nineties approved of the PIRA campaign.< < Fair point! However it works both ways. Many who would vote for independence are traditional Labour voters, and stick with them through thick and thin, including the last election. Also as witnessed today, the launching of yet another scare campaign by an English based so-called Scottish newspaper against the SNP. Many who might have voted SNP(I know 2) at the last election were scared off by the bogeyman stories about our 'apparent' inability to run our own country. Currently the massive upsurge in the SNP government's approval rating to something like 48% from 33% indicates that many will be cured of this bogeyman fear. On this basis alone I'd reckon we would gain a hellava lot more voters than we would lose in an independence referendum. >>Indeed now that Brown is rising in the UK ratings as PM I think that will assuage Scottish seaparatism all the more.<< John, you are out of touch. Labour are losing ground in prudence Brown's backyard. The most traditional of Labour areas in Fife are moving over to the SNP and Lib-Dem's. Brown's backing of England to win the world cup(over Scotland) and claiming that Gazza's goal AGAINST Scotland was his best ever has made him a busted flush with the man in the street. Overall I agree with your assessment to BRING IT ON! You too harry! *growls*

  • Dewi

    “The People’s Republic of Deepfried Marsbaristan is much too well looked after by the English taxpayer to ever break free, Alex Salmond’s exponential status (invisible to this observer) notwithstanding.”

    This old chestnut rolled out again. It’s Scotland’s oil that’s been subsidising England for decades.

  • IJP

    David

    Actually I basically do accept the bona fides in this case. I do think there is an alarming unreality to almost all Nationalisms (Ulster and British included), and that a rise in support for the SNP does not mean a rise in support for independence (not since much of their increased support was taken from the SSP, Scottish Greens and other pro-independence factions anyway).

    My point was you’re very good at failing to quote sources. Even in this case, you quote a poll where support for Scottish independence fell from 51% to 31% in just a few months, which any proper pollster will tell you is somewhat suspect to say the least. Common sense says support for Scottish independence was not over a half a few months ago and less than a third now – don’t believe a word of it!

    Support for independence is an extremely complex question. I know some people in Scotland who support it absolutely, others who wouldn’t countenance it, but I’d say the majority are somewhere in between. It is, after all, not Northern Ireland…

  • DK

    “It’s Scotland’s oil that’s been subsidising England for decades.”

    This, too, is a myth. The oil makes very little impact on the British economy. It would, however, make a significant impact on the Scottish economy – if they got it all.

  • DK

    Here’s the maths:

    Assume 9 million barrels a day (peak production), with a healthy price of £35 a barrel, and the Scottish exchequer getting a 30% cut (corporation tax). That is a maximum value per annum of £34 billion. Not much to the UK economy, which hovers at around £1,200 billion; but a lot to the Scottish economy, which hovers at around £80 billion (I think).

    More realistically, on independence Scotland would not get all the oil (say they get half), the production is usually 5 million barrels a day, and Alex will probably emulate the Irish with a corporation tax of 15%. This works out at about £5 billion oil will be worth to Scotland.

    Feel free to challenge these figures as they are very much back of envelope stuff, but the main point is: don’t think that oil will be a panacea.

  • Phil

    That’s some crystal ball you’ve got there, Harry! What makes you think that it is only the Scot’s who have had enough of the union? There is every chance that if the Scot’s drag their feet on this, then it will be the English who call time on the UK. I also think that you under-estimate support for independence in Scotland as there are many who would vote yes in a referendum but who would not vote SNP because of their other policies. Unlike in your part of the world, people in England and to an extent in Scotland and Wales vote for parties despite their support for the union and not because of it. Personally, I think that independence all round would invigorate us all, after all, wouldn’t you prefer your elected representatives to be looking after your own affairs rather than jumping on a plane to Westminster to vote on the health service, transprt network or education system in England?

  • Dewi

    DK – I think u r agreeing with me. England ain’t subsidising Scotland.

  • DK

    “DK – I think u r agreeing with me. England ain’t subsidising Scotland.”

    Not sure if I am or not – what is the Scottish subvention. If more than oil, then England is subsidising; if less then they’re not.

  • Dewi

    DK
    They don’t get a subvention as such – it’s governed by this bizarre Barnett formula thing which increases and decreases allocations to the devolved administrations on the basis of changes in English spending. Give me a while to find out some facts.

  • Dewi
  • Rory

    “The People’s Republic of Deepfried Marsbaristan is much too well looked after by the English taxpayer….”

    Really, Harry. This coming from a resident and gung-ho patriot from the united states of obesity, a nation so mired in debt by the corruption of the Republican regime that it survives only by increasing the exploitation of its poorest and taxes its middle income earners to pay for the corrupt handouts to the megarich and ever over-ambitious foreign military adventuring.

    And, yes, I am optimistic about European economic and political unity and I realise that this is seen as yet another threat to US business interests. But I do expect it to grow slowly and cautiously as meanwhile,the USA disintegrates from its own internal contradictions as its military misadventures send the pigeons of failure home to roost.

    The London satirical magazine, Private Eye, today has a caption showing a helicopter hurriedly departing the ruins of a middle eastern town while a bemused US soldier looks on folornly. The caption on a nearby signpost reads: “Baghdad – twinned with Saigon”. Indeed.

  • Phil

    Dewi/DK,

    Trying to determine who funds who is indeed a complicated science which is why it is futile to base an arguement either for or against independence upon it. All that is certain is fiscal autonomy for all and the abolition of the Barnett formula will finally put that arguament to bed for good.

    BTW, some of the oil is ours -).

  • Dewi

    “Trying to determine who funds who is indeed a complicated science which is why it is futile to base an arguement either for or against independence upon it. All that is certain is fiscal autonomy for all and the abolition of the Barnett formula will finally put that arguament to bed for good.

    BTW, some of the oil is ours -). ”

    Couldn’t agree more Phil – I’m still claiming some of the oil cos of our ancient claim on Strathclyde BTW

  • Harry Flashman

    *Read them and then tell us Mr Flashman, why do you wish Scots to remain members of the same state as these poisonous people.*

    Read my post again Mr McLaughlin (my, we’re being really formal here aren’t we, now Eoghan that’s the way I would like to be addressed in the future and none of your Caledonian uppityness from you again me lad!) I never said I “wish” Scots to do anything, other that is than make up their confused wee minds what it is they want.

    If they want to leave the Union then please by all means go, no one is stopping them I assure you. Black and Tans are not marauding through the glens of Fyfe (do they have glens in Fyfe?), Paratroopers are not massacring unarmed demonstrators in Sauchiehall Street. Any time the Scots want to leave they merely have to do so.

    My assertion is merely that they haven’t the balls.

    Bring it on boys, FRRRRREEEEDDDDUUUUUUMMMBB!

  • Harry Flashman

    *Really, Harry. This coming from a resident and gung-ho patriot from the united states of obesity, a nation so mired in debt by the corruption of the Republican regime that it survives only by increasing the exploitation of its poorest and taxes its middle income earners to pay for the corrupt handouts to the megarich and ever over-ambitious foreign military adventuring.*

    Oh dear Rory, in the immortal words of Prince Eoghan, you’ve just made a complete arse of yourself.

    I was born, bred and buttered in Derry and now live in Asia.

    Just because someone doesn’t share your EU-topian wet dreams it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a supersized lardass Yank like Michael Moore you know.

    Try to keep up.

    By the way to address your argument, the EU is running desperately short of the one absolute basic necessity to ensure its overinflated welfare state survives; babies. While the people of the United States are merrily making babies of their own and generating economic growth for the rest of the world the permanent adolescents of the sclerotic EU are dependent on mass immigration from the Third World to fund its pyramid scheme of welfare statism.

    I suppose that will work out ok then won’t it? Well let’s see, seventeen EU nations have unsustainable fertility rates, 30% of German women are childless, it rises to 40% among female graduates. Most popular boy’s name in Belgium? Mohammed, it’s the second most popular in England, due to reach the top spot next year.

    I’m looking forward to the meltdown over the next couple of years, it won’t be in the US and the mighty intellectuals at Private Eye will be wishing they had one of their own helicopters on the roof when the fun and games start.

  • Prince Eoghan

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

    DK

    I think you and I have been here before;

    >>More realistically, on independence Scotland would not get all the oil (say they get half)<< This is way off, official estimates put it at 90% for us 10% England. Just before the Scotland Act 1998 and devolution came into force, Whitehall civil servants were upto all kinds of shenanigans changing sea boundaries. Apparently Scotland and England's sea border now runs past Aberdeen, totally unenforceable under international law. Dewi is right about us subsidising England in the past, they no longer need us now to pay their way. BTW Dewi. When we discover oil off Ailsa Craig or the tip of kintyre, then you can put in a claim for some revenue. Not before!

  • DK

    Dewi: “According to the most recent report, published in December, net borrowing was about £11bn, with a lesser estimate of £6 bn when the impact of North Sea oil had been taken into account.”

    Wow – a difference of £5bn. My maths was pretty close.

    Does the research by the Cuthberts mean that Scotland will get less money from central government?

    Eoghan: “This is way off, official estimates put it at 90% for us 10% England.”

    Actually it is more like 40% for Shell, 30% for BP etc…

    Realistically, all of this is up for negotiation if there is any vote for independence. And I’m never sure if the figures for “oil” include the gas fields, which are mostly off the coast of England (the southern fields in this map): http://www.ikzm-d.de/abbildungen/58_north_sea_oil_resized_1.jpg

    In any case, as Phil and Dewi point out, Scotland is hardly going to go bust if independent – the EU and the UK would bail them out. England certainly wouldn’t suffer from Scottish independence and may even benefit. As Harry puts it, it’s only the Scots themselves that are prevaricating: Independence is a gamble and they are a notoriously prudent nation!

  • Dewi

    “Does the research by the Cuthberts mean that Scotland will get less money from central government?”

    After ploughing through it a number of times…I think it means that they should get more. It’s frightening how these things seemed to be worked out on the back of a fag packet though.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Hello DK

    >>As Harry puts it, it’s only the Scots themselves that are prevaricating: Independence is a gamble and they are a notoriously prudent nation!< < Harry does tend to say a lot, but you can always find a gem inside the rant;¬) Very true that our destiny is in our own hands, although why you discount England's desire to remain united in Britain I don't know. There has already begun in yesterday's Scottish *ahem* Sun a smear campaign of lies and real 'half-truths' (as opposed to the imagined Pete Baker variety) against the governing SNP and her proposals for a referendum. It is reckoned that we (scotland) are the only country in the western world without a media organisation/newspaper backing the governing party. The influence of the British big brother should not be discounted when deciding that it is the tight (prudent indeed) Scots who are themselves prevaricating. >>Actually it is more like 40% for Shell, 30% for BP etc…<< Reality bites, ouch..., I think that something like 60% of the gas fields would belong to England.

  • K McLaughlin

    Dear Mr. Flashman,
    Re. your last posting(16 August, 1:28 am).
    Welcome to one of the fastest growing clubs in blogging, namely people like yourself who pontificate about Scottish affairs at the same time as being completely unburdened by any knowledge of the subject! Your attitude is as ill mannered and incomprehensible as your references are bizarre (Black and Tans’?, ‘paratrooper massacres in Sauchiehall Street’?)as your attitude is immature.Would you take us more seriously if the SNP had chosen the path of violence to realise its aims?. Are the only serious independence movements ones with the cojones to engage in wholesale slaughter ?. In short,your posting exhibits a strange view of morality, masculinity and the best means of effecting political change as well as a complete ignorance of Scotland.
    Best transfer your bile to the Daily Telegraph’s long running Scotophobic slabberfest; you will find kindred spirits there who will agree with your every word.
    P.S. The place name you tried to spell is Fife, not Fyfe.

  • Harry Flashman

    Dear sweet Jesus, K McLoughlin, if you pop down to the Somerfield on the Gorgy road in Edinburgh, (not far from my apartment in Easter Dalry by the way, I miss the odd pint in the Haymarket Pub), you’ll find they’ve got a special on all this week; you get a free sense of humour with every six pack of McEwans.

    I suggest to take them up on their offer, you sound like you’re badly in need of both commodities.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Harry

    He has a point your ignorance of politics in ‘oor Jockland’ is quite apparent. And whit’s aw the blabber aboot Embra, thought you were away with the dusky maidens in the far east?

  • John East Belfast

    prince Eoghan

    I am amazed that anyone will discuss the economic case for Scottish independance around the cash flows of North Sea Oil.

    For starters it is not an unexhaustable source- how many years left are there ?

    However it is a commodity who’s price is damn difficult to forecast and unlike the likes of Saudi Arabia Scotland would need a huge comfort margin of other Revenues.

    The numbers look attractive in the $70 to $90 a barrel range but it is not that long ago when it was $10 to $20 a barrel.

    How could Scotland cope with such a reduction with no London Exchequer to make up the difference ?

  • Harry Flashman

    *And whit’s aw the blabber aboot Embra, thought you were away with the dusky maidens in the far east?*

    For my pains I spent a couple of years living in Stirling and Oul’ Reekie some time back (I still keep a place there).

    Much as I miss winds that could freeze the petty cash box from the grasp of a Morningside solicitor and the delightful aroma of Wullie Macarelli’s fish and chipper I am now as you say enjoying the meagre compensations of dusky maidens in the far east (er, me missus doesn’t read this blog does she?).

  • Prince Eoghan

    John

    >>how many years left are there ?< < Conservative estimates range from 30-50 years, others a lot longer. That was mainly Dewi and DK talking about that scenario anyhow. However you are quite right to suggest that any independence plans should not be based on oil, which they aren't. >>How could Scotland cope with such a reduction with no London Exchequer to make up the difference ?< < Not so sure there will be that much of a shortfall, perhaps we will do what Ireland and the UK currently do and scrounge off the EU (joke) There are plans afoot to attract inward investment. Exploit wind and wave technology, the kind of winds that Harry refers to are plentiful in Scotland. And apparently we have the lions share of Europe's wave power roaring between Sutherland and the Orkney's. I'm sure our mixed economy will cope just as well as the English will with us leaving. Harry I worked on Ocean terminal and nicknamed the place Siberia wharf. Normally I wouldnae be seen died in Embra, but we all need to put food on the table. Just out of interest is the condescension towards Scotland faux, or borne out of your obvious incredulity that we might not wish to remain united wi perfidious Albion? >>I am now as you say enjoying the meagre compensations of dusky maidens in the far east<< Bastard!

  • K. McLaughlin

    Dear Mr Flashman,
    Re. Your latest outburst.(12:52pm 16 August).
    A pretty feeble response. Pure bluster. Nowhere do you answer any of my previous questions.
    Your attempt to bluff us that you indeed have some knowledge of Scotland by inserting gratuitous references to Scottish places in your blog is absolutely pathetic (in the Tony Bliar class in fact); it fails to convince, if for no other reason than your inability to spell said places correctly. As for your attempt at humour, (that droll reference to Scottish meanness), this kind of gag went out with Harry Lauder.
    Finally, if you must exercise your puerile wit, then I respectfully suggest you find a subject other than the future governance of Scotland (which is really quite a serious matter), preferably one about which you have some knowledge. We have suffered enough from the attentions of ignorant people (both indigenous and foreign)who pontificate on Scotland on a basis of complete ignorance.
    P.S.It is Gorgie Road not Gorgy Road, Auld Reekie not Oul’ Reekie and my name is spelled with an a.
    P.P.S. If your real problem with spelling is down to dyslexia then I apologise in advance (as I was not brought up to mock the afflicted).

  • Harry Flashman

    K, you’re a put up aren’t you? no one seriously drones on like that do they? You must be a real joy to be around.

    PE, I would hate like hell to think that I am condescending to any Scots or Scotland, I love the place and the people, but I also love pricking pomposity and there really is no one more pompous than a Scotsman talking about independence (see KMcL above if you don’t believe me).

    Most times Jocks are an absolute delight to be around but, like my fellow Irishmen they do get their knickers in a twist about their relationship with England. You just know that when you wind them up the resulting apoplexy is well worth the very little effort, it’s an open goal, too easy to miss.

    So to strip away my joking what’s my stance on Scottish independence? Actually it’s exactly what I said it was; go for it. If the Scots really want independence go right ahead and take it, stop faffing around talking about it, you’ve been doing that for the best part of half a century. I personally would be disappointed, I’m a Unionist by inclination and that applies to all parts of the Union but if the Scots want to go, well, if you’re wife doesn’t love you give her a divorce.

    If you feel that strongly about it declare independence tomorrow and I’m sure the British government will be happy to supply a battalion of Fijians and Ghurkas (in a spirit of delicious imperial role reversal for Scottish troops!) to lower the Union flag over the mound while men of the Black Watch raise the Saltire.

    But my fundamental point remains I don’t believe the Scots really DO want independence, and I have said I am willing to bet as much, if I’m wrong then I’m wrong but no need for people like K to get so sniffy about it, I am as entitled to make political predictions as the next man aren’t I?

    Right now, like the unhappy wife, Scotland is fearful of the divorce so rather than asking for it directly she just makes herself disagreeable to her spouse who may eventually throw his hands up in exasperation and dump her himself. That would be an ignoble way to end a great union in my opinion, so I ask again, Scotland you want independence? Well fine it’s put up or shut up time, enough with the talkity-talk already!

  • Prince Eoghan

    K.M.

    You are obviously no stranger to the written word, however sooner or later we all fall down with the spelling. No? Spelling seems to be the least of HRH Harry’s faults.

    >>P.P.S. If your real problem with spelling is down to dyslexia then I apologise in advance (as I was not brought up to mock the afflicted).< < ROFL. C'mon Harry this belies the dour faces image that you are claiming for him/her. A cracker! As someone who has spent time in my teens reading the George MacDonald Fraser's Flashy books, I knew right away that you might be a man after my own heart in terms of behaviour, or an imperialist swine. Having read your often forthright and illiberal views, you are probably a bit of both. >>, I’m a Unionist by inclination and that applies to all parts of the Union<< How does a Derrywan with a Nationalist background ever get as far gone as you? Did you join the Brits and feel that in for a pound in for a penny? I know that you have no time for Republicans, but to support the mob that so discriminated against your community truly has me baffled. I back up K.M's views on your rather English pomposity (not very Irish at all) towards Scotland, hence why I asked was your condescension put on. And c'mon Harry! I can be the biggest wind up merchant, easy for some of us. Ever tried noising the English up about the French and the Germans? Easy peasy. Not confined to the Scots or Irish at all. As I have stated above it is not as simple as you make out all this velvet divorce stuff. We have virtually all the media organisations primed and ready(some have begun already) to oppose independence. We have generations brought up with the mentality of our supposed inability to survive without our larger neighbours. All of the forces that the main Westminster parties can muster, and their henchmen up here who mainly a vested interest in themselves first. We have the admittedly dying forces of intolerance in the shape of the pro-British OO and militant anti-Catholicism in Scotland ranged against independence. And we probably have quite a few Harry's also, those who have taken the Queen's shilling whether in mind or body. Best course of action is to let the Scottish people experience an SNP government first, if the ground has not opened up and swallowed us by now, then it just might not.

  • K McLaughlin

    Prince Eoghan,
    You are spot on!
    Harry Flashman is unmasked!! He is not from Derry !. He is an Englishman of a very special type!. Only someone from the same gene pool that produced such pompous and ignorant people as “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells” (and the Daily Telegraph readers I complained of in my first post) could have come up with Harry’s “I would hate like hell to think that I am condescending to any Scots or Scotland” and just milliseconds later “Most times Jocks are an absolute delight to be around”. Priceless !! Like some patronising 19th century colonial district commissioner intoning “Some of these darkies can be quite amusing”.
    Come clean Flashman, you are either a walking irony free throwback or a skilled comic writer in the Monty Python class, in which case your talents are wasted here.
    I think we should be told.

  • Prince Eoghan

    KM

    LOL. He’s got you wrong as being dour all right, funny stuff. I’m pretty sure he is from Derry as his knowledge on matters pertaining to Derry is vast if not always without pro-British bias.

    Great result for the SNP in the Aberdeen council bye-election! All seems to be going to plan considering the forces ranged against us.

  • Dewi

    What was the result in aberdeen ? The Scottish political pages website seems to be updated about every 3 years……………

  • Harry Flashman

    KMcL

    Your clearly exposed chip on each shoulder is leading you to the point of paranoid delusions mate.

    Do you really think in the two years I have been posting here as a former Derry man I have in fact been cleverly disguising the fact that I am actually English just so as when a post on Scottish independence arose I could suddenly emerge from my sleeper cell to unleash my Daily Telegraph, Home Counties anti-Scottish prejudices on an unsuspecting Slugger O Toole? You’re losing the run of yourself chum.

    Just for the record, whilst I will not divulge personal details that would reveal my true identity (I still have loved ones living back home) I have never felt the need to lie on this blog about any aspect of my life or personal beliefs.

    Could you now have the deceny to retract your disparaging remarks about me being a liar? I don’t expect anyone to agree with my viewpoint but personal allegations regarding my honesty I do take very grave offence at.

    PE

    No I was never a Brit! Come on mate you can do better than that.

    If a protestant from East Belfast rejected the stifling bigotry of his background and developed a visceral hatred for lumpen headed loyalist terrorists and adopted a more open minded attitude to Irish unity would you congratulate him or accuse him of secretly having joined the Provisional IRA?

    I do love George McDonald Fraser (have I spelt that right? I’m away from my office just now, is it “Mc” or “Mac”, “Fraser” or “Frazer”? You know how sensitive Constable McLoughlin of the Scottish Names Spelling Police is). He is one of the greatest living Scots and aside from his Flashman novels I would recommend his memoirs of his time fighting in Burma in WW II “Quartered Safe Out Here”, it makes a great read delivered with all his customary sharpness.

  • Dewi

    http://www.alba.org.uk/

    I apologise most profoundly to Scottish Politics pages – a wonderful site. To those psephological amongst us looking at the detail don’t think the scots quite got the hang of STV yet. Not that many transfers.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Funny enough when I was thinking about you when typing about that small victory, i knew you would get a kick out of it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/6949128.stm

    No figures as yet, but a pretty safe Tory council seat falls to the SNP bandwagon.

    >>No I was never a Brit! Come on mate you can do better than that.<< Pretty feeble stuff I agree! A mixture of my nose bothering me and genuine bewilderment led me to that totally wild and scurrilous guess, profuse apologies! Ignore me I'm just being nosey. Yonks ago i responded to you a few times using stuff from the books that only dedicated readers of the flashy books would know, you never deigned to respond though. I reckoned that true to form(like flashy himself) you were being hoity toity or just bluffing it. I will look up that book pdq. I don't like GMacF later flashy offerings(maybe maturity) *shrugs* but I did enjoy a book based on his time in N. Africa shortly after the war, the name escapes me but it was about a blundering smelly Glaswegian called Macsomething. Quite humorous.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Great link Dewi!

    I didn’t refresh due to Mick’s info yesterday and missed your posting. Those figures show that both the Lib-Dem and labour supporters are only too happy to transfer to the SNP on the STV system. It is not obligatory to give transfers either Dewi.

    BTW, wonder who the loonie was that gave a transfer to the Tories from Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity party. Whit????????

  • IJP

    DK

    Interesting links, thanks.

    Harry

    I’m not so sure Scottish “independence” is a matter of “put up or shut up”. I think we’ve gone beyond that in the modern era.

    There are all kinds of difficulties around the very word “independence”. Firstly, it could be argued that Scotland is independent – it has its own parliament, legal system, education and so on, it merely chooses to opt into the UK. Secondly, even if it did not so choose, it could be argued that it isn’t independent – in the modern world is any country truly independent, when we are all affected by US house prices, Mid-East oil prices, North Korean weapon prices? Thirdly, in many cases “independence” is a gradual thing, for example in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and so on – there was no single day any of those attained “independence”, and some would argue the process is still incomplete (given the shared Head of State).

    In the context of the EU, will it matter an awful lot by the time the oil runs out? If further powers are transferred to Edinburgh, and then defence and taxation powers get harmonized in Brussels, where precisely does London fit into the governance of Scotland? Or Northern Ireland, for that matter…

  • Harry Flashman

    PE

    I recall the post you refer to, you remarked on my fondness for Scottish ladies like the bonny Elspeth (in truth I did actually go out with a Glasgow girl for six years when I was a bit younger, great girls but Jesus don’t get on the wrong side of their bad temper!), I wasn’t being hoity toity, it’s just that I thought we’d run the course of the discussion somewhat by then, a bit like now I fear.

    I agree that the later Flashmans aren’t the best, his offering last year was a bit formulaic but we should cut GMcDF some slack he’s already past 80 and still his writing is better than men half his age.

    You’re referring to the Private McAuslan trilogy of short stories, very enjoyable mostly autobiographical I think about his time post war but also somewhat written towards one hour long tv dramas I thought (he’s also a screenwriter).

    IJP

    Point well taken about the evolutionary nature of independence especially in the British dominions though I don’t really see that is what most Scottish Nationalists are looking for right now, I might be wrong but I think they seek a clean break “within Europe”.