Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Indyref2: The Four Way Split


In light of all the comments and discussions recently regarding a rerunning of the Independence Referendum and whether this should be included in the SNP’s 2016 manifesto, Munguin thought it would be interesting to air his thoughts on how most boxes could be ticked for supporters of both “yes” and “no” and how this could be included in the SNP manifesto and be almost impossible for the Westminster Government to withhold its approval.

Instead of just re-running the simple Yes/No vote. Why not restructure it as a Redefinition of Scotland’s Place in (or out of) the UK, and to that end have a multiple choice four way split where people are asked to choose between the following four options:

1.      Full Independence
2.      Devo Max
3.      The Status Quo
4.      Return to direct London Rule

Full Independence: This speaks for itself, essentially what we would have got had “yes” succeeded last September.

Devo Max: This time the term would be pre-defined by the Scottish Government in advance of the vote, and not some woolly vow cobbled together in desperation at the eleventh hour, where nobody knew what it meant and it was easy for tricky politicians to swindle us out of after the fact. As a definition, Munguin would suggest full fiscal autonomy and control of everything except Foreign Affairs and Defence.

The Status Quo: That’s simply what it says. Things stay as they are now.

Return to Direct London Rule: We abolish the Scottish Parliament and return its powers to Westminster and a beefed up Scotland/Scottish Office reporting to Westminster.

In order to make things totally fair we could run the referendum on a PR basis similar to the way London Mayors are elected, where everyone ranks their choices for a first round of voting. If no candidate receives over 50% at the first round, then the two with the least support are eliminated and their second choices re-apportioned until one of the remaining candidates gets over 50%.

Munguin doesn’t imagine the above scenario will appeal to everyone but it’s a fair compromise, allowing a choice of all four possible outcomes. It could easily be included in the SNP manifesto and it would be hard for the Westminster Government to say no to as it’s not a rerun of the first independence referendum but a redefinition of Scotland’s future.

In view of the fact that even on the “Yes” side of this debate there is division on the ‘ifs and whens’ of running a second referendum, it might be the best compromise possible.

Munguin personally does not want to wait till yes is guaranteed to win, as seems to be the view of Lallands Peat Worrier.

When is that going to be? When “yes” is at 75% in the polls?

It is a perfectly understandable view that running a second referendum and losing it could spell the death knell of the whole independence movement.

But there is attraction for  Scot Goes Pop’s  proposals that we strike while the iron is hot, and the SNP is on a roll, and go for the second referendum sooner rather than later.

Stalling for a protracted period of time might squander the momentum we have, and who is to say the SNP will continue to form majority administrations at Holyrood given that the system is stacked against that outcome?

Clearly in the above scenario the Devo Max option is probably the most likely to triumph. And naturally that is not to the taste of those who want independence. But it is Devo Max on Scotland’s terms and it can be viewed as another step on the road to independence.

Once Scotland has control of almost everything, and has proved that it can run efficient democratic  government for all its people, not just the few,  we could look at the possibilities of  referenda  on individual matters…for example to make Scotland nuclear free,  or to not send Scottish troops to fight in wars unsanctioned by the UN.

Eventually in the fullness of time, it would seem natural for there to be another referendum in which people would be given the opportunity to cede from the union altogether and take responsibility for foreign affairs and defence.

Your thoughts on this would be much appreciated.


  1. Hmm, I think there is an option missing there Munguin sir, UDI. I know loads of folks don't like the idea of UDI but it is a viable option in my view and both the E.U. and U.N. recognise countries who declare UDI these days. I thought I had a link but can't find it for now.

    For me there are three steps to UDI.

    Step one gain maximum number of pro inedependence M.P.'s in Westminster. I'm not certain but I think we may have ticked that box now.

    Step two gain maximum number of pro independence M.S.P.'s in Holyrood. The way things are currently going this looks like happening ... AGAIN!

    Step three give Cameron one last chance to agree mutual disolvement of the political union enforced upon Scotland in 1707.

    We have achieved step one and are on the cusp of achieving step two. This just leaves step three, in my view. Will Cameron have the guts to step up to the plate and agree amicable terms of the disolution. Failure on his part to do this will leave the road clear for the Scottish parliament to declare U.D.I.

    Just my wild thoughts there Tris not to be taken too seriously ... unless ... LOL

    1. Careful there Conan ... there is another saying but thankfully I've forgotten it just now. LOL

    2. To Conan, hullawraer!

      Re UDI, I feel your pain, honestly but it would give Westminster so much possibility to fuck it up everywhere we went.

      The Catalans have menaced UDI if Madrid blocks or interferes in their home grown referendum.

      I think we should let them go first and learn from it. We know that these two corrupt governments are exchanging notes and have done so for some time.

  2. You missed one other option Tris.


    Whenever I visit the comments pages on the Telegraph and the blood is thundering in my temples due to the ignorance and sneers, that's an option I favour...

    1. I have heard Nicola isn't too keen on UDI but with all the talk I've been reading for weeks now from folks who never used to support the idea she may yet change her mind. There again if it is the collective will of the people she will no doubt have to follow through with the declaration of UDI.

      I think the biggest problem I see in winning a majority over to this UDI argument is trying to explain to the dunderheids what UDI actually means in simple terms. LOL

  3. If independence is not an option for now, then I would like to see a federal state, with Defence and Foreign Affairs centralised. Defence especially since it would work better (once they get rid of the bloody procurement shambles).

    Status Quo? Don't bring Rick and Francis into this. (yes I'm a middle-aged air-guitar headbanger).

    Return to London rule? Erm, bugger that.

    I don't agree with UDI, and I think it would be highly dangerous politically, economically and from a civil disorder point of view.

    I do agree with what Arbroath says in the 3 points, but while there is a majority of SNP MPs and MSPs, you would reasonably need about 75%+ of the population behind you, not 50%. If half the country does not support the SNP, then no matter how many seats you hold in parliament, you need the overwhelming support of the population. I haven't seen mass crowds out there demanding independence (much as it is desirable to get away from that prat IDS).

    With UDI being declared, you can bet there would be legal challenges, probably under the Human Rights Act. Lawyers would enjoy it though!

    Economically it could be disastrous in the short term. UDI would not - could not - be a controlled process. There would be protests, which could lead god knows where. UDI is great from an emotional point of view, but bloody dangerous in reality.

    Conan, try reading the Daily Mail. The blood will come shooting out of your ears.

    1. Before devolution, getting a majority of Scots MPs elected on an independence manifesto would have been a mandate. Who would ever have thought then that we would get all but three?

    2. I'm not sure why UDI would result in legal challenges through Human Rights Act Annon. After all the Scottish Government has vowed to KEEP the Human Rights Act within Scots law unlike Cameron who wants to kick it out of British law and introduce some as yet unknown British human rights act. If anything UDI is one sure way to ensure the retention of the Human Rights Act in my view.

    3. Because the International community would not accept it. When the West has been deliberately stirring up terrorism to suit their establishments warmongering ideology and clamping down on their own citizens it could/would become Manna from heaven for them.

      Life would need to deteriorate for the majority of Scots before UDI is even contemplated, so it is a last resort option IMO.

    4. I think most people would agree that it is a last resort. It's much easier to do things through the proper channels.

    5. Not saying that UDI is not an option, I just think it simply wouldn't work. Abroath pointed out above that some people don't understand it, and that would be exploited by opponents.

      If it is a last resort, then things would have to be really bad. And in that situation the rest of the UK population would also be suffering, so it might be a UK wide UDI out of Westminster...... pass my tablets

  4. I did see a quote from Maggie Annon that went:

    "Scotland does not need a referendum on independence, she just needs to send a majority of Nationalist MP's to Westminster to have a mandate for independence."

    Unfortunately Maggie is too busy putting out the fires in another place at the moment otherwise I'm sure she'd be delighted to confirm in person that she did indeed say these words, most likely during her reign of terror over Scotland.

  5. HI everyone...

    Yes, I did leave it out. Sorry, I should have included it, because it is a possibility.

    And Mrs Thatcher once said that all the Scots needed for independence was to elect more than 50% of their MPs from the SNP... It's now 92%, and that was before the Scottish parliament, for which the voting system was supposed to always create a coalition (of Labour and Liberals).

    Emotionally I'd be behind it, but I can't help but wonder about the short and medium term effects.

    I'd not rule it out if Cameron said there can be no referendum, and we had one anyway, and then he refused to go with it, but with around 50% of the population against, I'm not certain it would work.

    I agree with you Conan that when you read the pathetic ignorance, in the unionist press and sometimes on Twitter, the hatred of Scotland, and the demands that we buckle down and do it the English way... I get incredibly angry too.

    1. My heart used to say referendum Munguin but nowadays I find myself leaning more towards UDI. This is mainly through the utterly disgraceful behaviour of Cameron and his gang of crooked cronies whenever they deal with the famous 56 or other issues connected with Scotland.

      Ever since last referendum I have had serious concerns surrounding the reliability of a referendum as fair and OPEN procedure for Scotland to come to a decision.

      Ever since the disgusting behaviour of the Euro gang and Troika against Greece, I have been feeling that the NO vote, whenever it happens, will actually win now. The SNP have always been a supporter of membership of the EU and so a NO vote will be yet ANOTHER round to fire at Cameron re Scotland's independence.

      Personally I have a number of issues regarding the E.U. and how it operates but that is for another day methinks. As far as this discussion is concerned I think a NO vote will indeed win next year and as a result we will have another major issue that puts Scotland and the rUK in opposing camps.


    2. I certainly would rule it out if push comes to shove. I worry though about taking the other 50% of the population with us...

      As for the EU, I agree, Arbroath. I've always been a supporter as has Tris, but they way they behaved over Greece has been appalling.

      I'm beginning to look at places like Iceland who are not members and don't want to be members, but who have far better standards of living than we do, and manage nicely without being in Europe. Of course EFTA wouldn't touch the UK with a pole, but it might look at Scotland.

      But as you say, I reckon if the polls are correct, then England will take Britain out of the EU against Scotland's wishes (and possibly their interest).

      It is a reason to give another referendum a chance.

    3. I forgot to mention last night that there is one other reason why I am leaning towards UDI these days Munguin.

      Having achieved the majority of M.P.'s in Westminster and looking likely to achieve the majority of independence supporting M.S.P.'s in Holyrood next year there is only one further step to be made before declaring UDI, in my view. The Third step is the recall of the Three Estates.

      By recalling the three estate each estate must swear allegience to the Scottish Government and support their call for UDI. One estate, the churches, would not be a problem in my view. However the other two estates would create a fantastic comic situation, in my view.

      One of the estates invovled is the Lords. They, upon recall, MUST attend the Scottish government and support the Scottish government in its plans. Failure to do so will result in them losing all of their land and titles in Scotland. :)

      The third estate, if you haven't already guessed, is her nibs, of German extraction, currently residing in the wee council house in the centre of London, Lizzie! She is the current holder of the third estate I am talking about. She too would upon recall have to attend Holyrood. Failure of her to support the Scottish government in their aims would ... you've guessed it ... result in her losing her titles and land in Scotland!

      How much fun do you think WE could have watching all those ridiculous Lords and her nibs come crawling to Holyrood and supporting the Scottish government in fear of losing their lands and titles. LOL

      Of course there would, needless to say, be some who refused. LOL

  6. To be honest Munguin, during the referendum I was one who was more for EFTA membership rather than EU membership. To borrow a certain NO campaign slogan ... best of both worlds. LOL


    1. The problem with EFTA is that you have to follow all the EU rules (single market), but you don't have a say in formulating them.

      It might suit us better, with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein ... maybe Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and the Baltic states would find that too. Let the big countries have their EU... Just a thought to toss out there.

    2. I thought I read somewhere can't recall where but did members of EFTA have a vote, in their own parlaiment's, to agree or ont agree to take on E.U. rulings?

      I'm only asking cause if this was the case then we would definitely be better off in EFTA. I know there was a lot of discussion in the past about Norway having to follow everything the E.U. put out but as I say I thought there was a level of control within EFTA where the individual countries could vote to accept E.U. rulings.

      I apologise if my thoughts are wrong here.

    3. It probably depends, Arbroath, on the matter.

      But to be a part of the single market they have to agree to those matters which affect the single market. I'm pretty sure that as the referendum campaign hots up we will hear these arguments being trotted out.

      The problem for the UK is that it is unlikely that EFTA would want a country of its size (and known propensity for wanting everything its way) to be a member of a group of small to tiny states.

    4. You also have to pay for the cost of setting up the EU rules over which you have no vote and must conform to them.

      Also being outside EU means that the EU Uni research grants, of which Scotland is pretty much the EU winner, means we would go the end of the queue and would still need to pay into that pot. Ask Norway and Switzerland.

      EFTA great idea in principle but, failing an EU implosion and fragmentation, offers little real substance except not being part of the EU.

    5. The one advantage it seems to me is that they aren't obliged to contribute to the EU's farming subsidies, which for countries like Iceland and Norway (with limited agriculture) is an advantage, and of course the fishing grounds remain outside EU waters (clearly a huge advantage to Iceland).

      Greenland has an interesting relationship with the EU, being the only country (I think) to leave the EU, but still benefiting in a small way form its now fairly loose association with Denmark. Clearly not allowing its waters to be fished was advantageous to it, and it gained almost nothing from the CAP, there being little farming on the island.

    6. Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark but not part of Denmark. I suppose it is similar to the position of Jersey and Guernse or I O M. Technically Gibraltar is "part" of the EU and now conforms to EU norms on accountancy. Is Monaco in the EU. What about San Marino and Andorra. It is long flexible definition.

    7. I don't think Andorra, San Marino or Monaco are part of the EU, although I remember them using Monegasque Euros and I understand that the Vatican has Vatican Euros. Wikki tells me that they use € in San Marino and Andorra.

      I know that you can get Duty Free on flights to Jersey, as if you were going to Ghana or Vietnam...

      I think the IOM is in the EU.

      Greenland (and the Faeroe Islands get the best of both worlds... I wonder if Gordon Brown had anything to do with their campaigns.

    8. How have you got enough money to go haring off to other European countries and testing their currency Tristan.

      I must be paying you too much.

  7. You can forget about Devo-max as the Westminster political establishment will never allow Scotland to have Devo-max because they will never tolerate a Scottish Government challenging and disproving the neo-liberal orthodoxy that Westminster has bought into since 1979.

    1. They don't really want us to have anything at all, M.

      I'm sure it would suit them best if we would just become a county. It's more or less what they did with Wales. The different law, education and religious systems up here, insisted on by the powerful at the time of union (to save them the bother of changing) has been a constant thorn to them.

      They already have to accept that our attitude to most things is rather different...as shown by our voting patterns and the paths taken by even the same parties ...eg, differences between Blair's Labour government and those of Dewar, McLeish and Jock!

      They won't like it, but they'd have to live with it.

  8. I don't see the problem with UDI, as long as the will of the Scots is concurrent. Westminster cannot over rule the, "settled will" of the, Scots. It has always been thus, it is a lie that we are subservient to Westminster; we are equal partners. As such we can walk away, if we so wish.
    And that Tory, toe-rag and all his muckers can do sod all about it.

    1. But it would have to be the settled will of the Scottish people, Jim, and I suspect that it wouldn't be.

  9. Regarding UDI, I like to think of what was said in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, particularly the last sentence here, in the light of westminster's renewed determination to bleed us dry and cut us to the bone, to deny our MPs, and by extension us, our full representation, and in the reneging of all their last-minute "promises".

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their *duty*, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --

    1. Incredibly appropriate.

      The government in London no longer serves the needs of the vast majority of the people. Its policies are designed to enrich the rich and impoverish the poor.

      They should be gone.

      I wonder how the American fathers wished to see that happen though... Certainly they weren't above a bit of revolution when they thought it was needed!!!

  10. I do see a problem with UDI. The SNP were not elected into Westminster at the last election on a manifesto that included it. More, perhaps is the pity.

    Had they had it in their manifesto, and had we won similar levels of support as we did without it, then, yes it would have been, perhaps, a legitimate arguement. As it stands, our side won just a smidgeon under 50% of the popular vote, somewhat up on the referendum figure. It is because we are not comparing like with like, a vote for indepenence with a vote to defend Scotland's position within the Union that UDI - at the moment - and on the basis of what actually happened is not a legitimate option.

    I think UDI may become a possibility the longer we - the views on anything short of full independence - are ignored. But that would require a sea change in the position of the members of the 'No' camp.

    We need the hearts and minds of a significant number of current 'no' voters before this scenario is even contemplated.

    As it stands, it is not.

    1. "Testes et eisdem sequetur animum."

    2. Ha ha... For those of you who didn't go to the Munguin equivalent of Fettes, Conan's quote means "grab them by the balls"!

      I think the big problem is it is unlikely at this point that we would take the people with us.

      I've no problem per se with UDI, but I'm a democratic Munguin.

      There would be little point in UDI if the bulk of the people were against it, and insisted on still paying their taxes to and showing allegiance to an English government. The settle will of the Scottish people has to be settled before it can be called that.

      It would be interesting to put it on the referendum papers though.

  11. Late to the party here but coming from a very no voting area, I can tell you that UDI would be very dangerous option unless and until the numbers in favour of independence are at least 65% for, in which case we'd win a referendum. If Westminster refused to acknowledge that well then UDI is possible. But whilst there are soft Nos who are currently regreting it, there are too many hard core unionists for UDI without a referendum.

    Good article Munguin, much better than that Tris! :-)

    1. I know.

      Tris is on his annual holiday. Well, hen I say annual, of course I mean bi-annual.

      One day off every two years on very nearly full pay.

      No one should ever say that Munguins aren't generous and thoughtful animals.

  12. Tris et al. I would favour on the SNP manifesto for 2016 the following

    That the SNP will, at their choosing hold a referendum on negotiating with Westminster a FFA (defined) settlement. Should such a settlement not be concluded, by 1 year with an acceptable timetable for implementation, the SNP will then carry out a referendum for full independence under the auspices on the EU / UN / etc. We also don't want the Electoral Comm anywhere near these referenda and the monitoring body should be EU,UN, Russia.

    This has the advantage of pulling into the tenet the FFA preferrers who are are just not yet really to go of indie. Following WM certain conjuring tricks an majority for Indie would be ensured on a second ref.

    Lots of holes and whatabboutery but surely worthy of discussion?

    1. Yes.

      Maybe what they need to say is that: unless the promises made by Gordon Brown (and never rejected by either his boss, Ed Miliband, or his prime minister, David Cameron... that is to say near federalism, devo super max, or whatever you want to call it... upon which the referendum was won), are implemented in full then the SNP will call a referendum.

      I'd agree that, given the sensitivity of the subject and the importance to the Brits of keeping the UK together, mainly for reasons of personal pride of the people at the top, the referendum should be policed at international level.

      We normally accept for other countries that the UN, EU or as you suggest Russia, are decent and fair observers (although given our relationship with Putin I don't see the last as a possibility), so why not ask them to oversee and scrutinise?

      For a fee, a considerable one, Munguin's Republic would undertake the task!!!

      I'm sure Tris could fit it in alongside his other duties.

    2. I put Russia in a an ironic comment. Takes a thief to catch a thief? He would be motivated.

      I bet I could do it for less. A few sticks of bamboo and several bottles of the best Claret from the Westminster Cellar.

    3. We maybe have to talk partnerships here Panda!

    4. Its a good idea BtP

      There is only one country imo out there that can help us the next world super power our good friends the Chinese,funny that i am sure our Nicola is in China just now.

      They are the only country that would not be scared off by the neo liberals since they need the Chinese market to survive and owe them lots of cash,if we are going to get a big stick lets get the biggest one.


    5. Clearly for all sorts of reasons it is much better to be be friends with China than enemies of China, Derek.

      And yes, despite their hiccough with teh stock market, they are already the world's biggest economy, and god knows what the West would do without thier cheap products.

      Most of us can't afford Italian, German or French goods these days, adn Britain doesn't really make stuff.

  13. Very interesting alternatives but I feel, as things currently stand, that devo-max would attract the majority of votes. However, leaving the UK with foreign affairs and defence would not only be seen as giving the UK our blessing to invade foreign lands but would also be seen as condoning permanent retention of nuclear weapons, trident replacement etc etc and whatever else the idiotic MOD could conjure up..

    I remember suggesting that voters should have been given the option of the stark choice of full independence or a return to Westminster rule. Any alternative to full independence would leave Scotland in more or less the same position as it is now with a parliament that can be over-ruled, more or less at will, by Mr Mundell. - (Insert any sweary words you like)!

    I would prefer an independence campaign along the lines of my advice to Salmond which I blogged prior to the referendum and his pig-headed failure to follow my advice, as tends to happen quite often, led to the campaign being unsuccessful. I was going to cut and paste it as my response to this missive from Munquin's mighty organ but, being a Luddite, gave up after several attempts....

    1. I imagine that we could demand that, as a semi autonomous state, we could refuse to take part in any wars that had not got full approval by the UN. And if we had full control over our electoral administration, we could hold a referendum (without his lordship's permission) to have their filthy weapons removed.

      But I see your point. Perhaps (along with social security) the worst organised and most wasteful two departments in Westminster, are Defence and Foreign Affairs.

      Personally I would hate them to have control of these things for us...

      We would have to ensure that the terms of our proposals for Devo Max left no opportunity for the likes of "Every town should have one Mundell" to come here lording it over our government.

      The Isle of Man doesn't have a SoS for Man, nor do Guernsey or Jersey. Why would we need one.

      Funnily, I found that when I've summoned Salmond to Munguin Towers, he arrives (empty handed), drinks a considerable amount of my personal stock of expensive whisky, and then leaves, the worse for wear, without seemingly having taken in a single word of my expert advice on how to proceed. This is why he lost the referendum and was obliged to resign. I hope Ms Sturgeon has learned from his mistakes. We don't want a competition with Labour for how many leaders we can go through in a year.

      I didn't know you were a Luddite. I thought you were all Wee Frees up there.

  14. Well I seem to be favouring UDI but I see the danger. I have said before that Westminster seldom gives independence to countries which still have contributions to make and I think that is us. Where would they be without that worthless oil, whisky exports etc.
    I acknowledge that David Cameron is not talking about putting soldiers on the streets for just Terrorism, that is merely a blind. Two reasons for this, civil disobedience and us. I think they have several fears, that they keep punishing the populace there will be riots. Then of course there are those troublesome Scots who should be back voting for Unionist Parties and aren't.
    Heard Pete Wishart and Digby Jones on R4 last night and DJ was as normal ignorant and racist, but then more than half our population agreed to leave us in their hands.

    1. Jones is one of those spluttering Brits that just can't understand the total audacity of the Jocks for not wanting to be ruled by a set of Neo-Liberal morons on a mission to make themselves and their mates very very rich at the expense of the ordinary people.

      I suspect that Cameron has been very lucky in England that the summer has been as disastrous as it has here. The Brits have a disinclination to riot when the weather is wet and cold.

      It won't bother him as he is off to SE Asia to bore the backside off them, and I'm sure he'll be having one of his many holidays soon.

    2. Indeed Munguin it is hardly rioting weather but I did not mean right now, eventually I think is what they are thinking. Things, as Mr Blair's government liked to think would only make things better, Cameron's can only make things worse for many of us. Then I think we may see a shift in the Tories circumstances. I would agree with you on Digby Jones, but funnily enough there are more and more exactly like him. I am astonished that we are not more firm with the likes of him, but funnily enough Auntie had sound problems with Pete Wishart. Considering all the money they take from us, the run a very amateur outfit.

    3. Wouldn't you know it. The BBC so often breaks down when someone from the SNP challenges one of their friends

  15. Tris

    As I have noted before on my own blog, and on your better blog, I think there will be another vote sooner than people think, and it will include a third question on federalism and that will have to be clearly defined. I know a lot of YES voters who voted YES because there was no third question but who would much rather have a federal UK, I think the vote will be run using STV and I really believe that a federal option would most likely be the preffered outcome.

    The spanner in the works would be whomever is in Government at Wastemonster insisting on another staright YES/NO vote, I also don't think that it would be blocked either but it will need to be in the SNP (at the least) manifesto and they will need to win a majority in Holyrood and that will be more difficult the longer they are in power because as we know Governments get tired and this one might happen sooner due to the lack of credible opposition in Holyrood.

    You can also add in the uncertainty of five years of Tory Government and the EU referendum which means no one really knows what state this country will be in by the five year term being up. Labour might well be gone by that time, split into two parties. I can actually see the Liberal Democrats being the beneficiaries of a Labour split, esp if they go down a social Liberal path. Interesting times but either way I think a new referendum will happen within 5 to 10 years.


    1. I agree that that is the most likely.

      I doubt that having appeared to offer it, and then not deliver, Cameron or Johnson couldn hardly refuse to allow it on the ballot paper. In any case with 56/59 MPs it would be a democratic outrage if they did.

      I was clear all along that that is what was the preference, although I'm damned if I can see why Scotland would want a fool like the Foreign Secretary "looking after its affairs, or a war warmongering deputy imperialistic government making mistake after mistake in going to war and leaving total chaos in their wake.

      I'm pretty sure that once Devo Max is achieved, it won't be long before Scots would want to tell them to take their filthy genocidal weapons out of our waters and stop spoiling our opportunities in the world with their "We know best" attitude to the entire world.

      It will be interesting to see what the SNP conference comes up with... and of course, what a new Labour leader in England decides to do. (The Scottish contenders for foreman of the branch in Glasgow have conceded that they will take orders from whoever wins in England.)

  16. The most important aspect of our referendum last year was that Westminster acknowledged that Scotland was a nation and had the right to determine our future form of governance.
    They also ensured that everyone else in the world was aware of this position by using their Foreign Office to advertise this globally (through their desire to stop it from happening).
    Every country in the world now knows that Scotland is a nation which is recognised as such by the London establishment and is subject to international agreements on the right to self determination....for now.
    Westminster cannot say in 2014 that we have the right to self determination and in 2015 that we don't.
    People decide what the law is through their elected governments and not courts and any legal construct that Westminster might try to cobble together to deny us this fundamental right would have to be agreed through the democratic process by the Scottish electorate and enacted in Scottish law.
    They might,of course decide to abolish Holyrood and leave it up to their Governor General to decide what was legal and not in Scotland but that would lead rapidly to something completely outwith their control and well beyond democratic process.
    For now Cameron and his neanderthals can ignore us but 5 years is a long time in politics and events will dictate what happens next.
    We just have to be patient.

    1. The policy of the government seems to be to be patient and cautious.

      And with 50% of the population voting against the SNP, who can blame them for that?

      (Although with 65% of the population voting against the Tories in the Uk, you'd have thought caution might have been something they would have adopted... but then a lot of them went to Eton or similar, and that kinda blows away any sense that the lower orders should be considered when making decisions.)

      The government has to decide what it will put in its manifesto.

      And they have the party conference season to come.

    2. Read on Wings this morning that the SNP may be considering having a referendum on Scottish Home Rule in 2017 which would be for the Scottish Parliament to obtain FFA that is everything but defence and foreign affairs, none of this watered down Smith Commission rubbish to be followed in 2020 with another Referendum on Independence. May be the way to go but I am sceptical on any Referendum that Westminster can get their dirty little grubby fingers on.

    3. True. They are not trustworthy, but we can;t really do it without them.

      Insist on UN observers, or if we are still in it, EU.

  17. tris and the other deluded fantasist daydreaming pie in the sky lot

    Cameron has said he would not allow a Referendum seeing as
    he is gone before 2020 and its Parliament not Cameron who decides
    on the Referendum.

    also by then the hate hate hate the Conservatives, ukippers and the Kedalite
    labour supporters towards the ethnic Scots they will willingly arrange help
    facilitate a referendum .........

    Obviously leaving our glorious union with brick bats and insults ringing in
    the nats ears is a wondrous thing for you lot

    personally having a majority of both Holyrood and Westminster MPs msps
    would give a constitutional and a moral right to declare for Independence
    and if they wish hold a referendum under Holyrood control.

    TO DO IT.



    1. Hello Mr Lumpen Proletariat,

      Taz has told me all about you.

      He says that he thinks that we should exhaust all democratic possibilities before we start trying UDI or indeed forcing referenda down people's throats.

      But he's a very sensible dog.

      He also thinks that Jeremy might just pull if off and win, more because of the campaign against him by people scared stiff of losing their opportunity to wear pink bras and snort cocaine on a fat income of 4 times the average wage...or in Blair's case 2,000 x!

      I wonder how much Darling will earn when he gets his silly title?

  18. I still don't think Scottish voters have the stomach for independence, I think in terms of another referendum it should be included in the next but one manifesto - so the 2020 HR election.

    By then we'll have had a full term of parliament within the UK with the 'new' settlement (Smith... *spits*) and people will see how crap it is. But its not just about the status quo being rubbish, its promoting the alternatives - we need to get to grips with with main stream media - it hasn't changed really since the referendum, we have the same dusty old bumholes farting out the same old lies (you'd think they'd learn...)

    I think Yes Scotland won enough hearts last year, but they didn't win enough minds. I'm also nervous about a multiple choice referendum question. If there's one thing we know, its that WM will prevaricate, vacillate and otherwise procrastinate - it must be a decisive Yes/No thing. As we've learned from the Smith shenanigans, the status quo/devomax could be made to mean anything by those shysters down the road.

    Is what I think innit.


    1. The trouble is that by 2020, it's unlikely that the SNP will be able to command a majority in parliament.

      The system was set up for Labour to win in conjunction with the Libdems, or possibly, Libdems and Greens and Socialist, or whatever... SNP won with a minority in 2007 and couldn't bring forward referendum proposals.

      I reckon that the 2016 election will bring forward a majority SNP government because they've been fairly good, Nicola is popular and the alternative is unbelievably dire. (Which one of the two possibilities is a first minister in the making?)

      But how long will these majority governments go on happening?

      Although most of the new powers are virtually unusable, the UK will start to blame the SNP for all manner of ills because they have failed to use these powers to remove the misery caused by IDS and the horrors of private medicine/education/policing, etc.

      Even if to do so would mean hiking income tax to 40% for even the worst paid with no powers to reduce any other taxes. Everyone knows that control of one tax is utterly unuseable.

      I'm pretty certain that a Devo Max alternative would win in this multi choice referendum, but that could probably be overturned after 10 years as everything else ran reasonably well, except being dragged into Imperialistic wars and out of the EU and having muppets like Hammond boring the arse off everyone trotting out the script prepared for him by the American secretary of state.

      Of course the devo max would have to be clearly explain in advance and in brief on the ballot paper ie Devolution Maximum = full powers over all matters with the exception of foreign relations and defence.

      Dunno, it seems a possibility.


  19. I've never been able to find an actual source for that quote from Mrs Thatcher, about Scotland not needing a referendum. Do you know when she actually said it and to whom? The internet doesn't appear to know!

    1. I'm not sure where she said it Calum. It's oft quoted, and I saw a pic of it on Twitter only this morning. If I can find it again, I'll stick it up at the bottom of the story.

  20. The main worry for Sturgeon in deciding whether (when?) to risk a second referendum is what happens if the No camp prevails once more. That would destroy the SNP, as the more radical (fundamentalist??) members would be pressing for UDI.

    The SNP is winning seats, but that does not assume that there is an increase in support for independence. Nor does it assume that support is dropping either.

    I don't think the referendum is an option in the next Scottish Parliament, because the SNP have a couple of potentially damaging policies in hand - Named Person and Data Sharing. Both of these, I'll argue, are going to be very unpopular. Nor can Westminster be blamed for them.

    I believe Sturgeon will get another majority next year, and use it to push the legislation through quickly as possible, then let any outcry die down before then pushing for a referendum post 2020.

    1. The trouble with that is that it is surely doubtful that a majority SNP government will be formed in 2020. Without the majority in parliament then they can't get the legislation through.

      It wouldn't be unthinkable that after 13 years there would be a change of government and a unionist coalition could take over government... perhaps Tory/Labour/Liberal. They all represent the same now.

    2. I understand the concern of having no majority post 2020.

      However, there are policy issues in Scotland that must be dealt with. Unless they are scrapped, both of them could cost the SNP dearly politically.

    3. Obviously the SNP must look at the popularity of its policies. That goes without saying. But supposing they did everything right, there's still a chance that after 13 years it will be someone else's turn.

      Kez for FM?