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Monday 13 March 2017

Scotland - She Wasn’t Bluffing

That late summer evening back in 2014 was when the issue was supposed to have been settled: on a Thursday in mid-September, Scotland went to the polls to vote in a referendum on independence. A Yes vote was advocated by the SNP; No was favoured by Labour, the Tories, and the Lib Dems. And the Noes had it by just over 55% to just under 45%. That was that. Except now we have Brexit, and all is changed.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been making noises about calling another referendum on independence more or less since the EU referendum last year. As part of the press establishment strategy of rubbishing such ideas, the narrative was immediately established that told she was bluffing. Nothing good could possibly come from letting the Scots go their own way. They were not capable of going it alone.

To this end, the usual smears were deployed: they were all on benefits, and probably illegal drugs as well. Their economy could not possibly survive without Westminster constantly baling them out. Michael “Oiky” Gove claimedIt’s striking so many people, including the SNP, thought that leaving the EU would precipitate a second referendum. The people of Scotland are not going to vote to leave a union that does work”.

Gove was not the only one so pontificating. Alex Bell, in the Guardian no less, told readersIn a period of political intimidation, time has been called on Nicola Sturgeon’s threat to hold a second Scottish independence referendum”. The collected idiocy at the Express swaggeredA HUMILIATED Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been told to “take a second independence referendum off the table” after Theresa May called her bluff on Brexit”. Ms Sturgeon’s voice was somehow not being heard.
That may not have been wise: as the Independent headline back in January warned, “Nicola Sturgeon says she isn't bluffing over Scottish independence referendum”. Her exact words? “They will be making a big mistake if they think that I'm in any way bluffing”. But only last week, such talk was being dismissed as a “distraction”.

All of which goes to show that the inability of the press establishment to venture beyond its pre-set agenda has blinded them to the inevitable consequence of the disturbing rush by our not at all unelected Prime Minister to impose what looks like a prejudicially hard Brexit on Britain: Nicola Sturgeon has now done the deed and will seek a second referendum on Scottish independence. That’s for some value of “bluffing”, then.

The referendum will, if approved, take place between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019 - in other words, the vote come at the time that negotiations between Britain and the EU are coming to a close. So Scottish voters will be able to see what is on the table if they remain in the Union. And meanwhile, Spain is unlikely to block a Scottish application to join the EU. The focusing of political minds at Westminster may be one result of the news.

It’s entirely possible that Ms Sturgeon hasn’t worked this one through. But the nagging thought is bound to enter that she has made the canny decision - and Theresa May hasn’t.


mm1145 said...

take place between Autumn 2018 and print 2019

I think there might be an autocrat error here

rob said...

from Twitter
James Doleman‏ @jamesdoleman 1h1 hour ago

Breaking: Conservative Party slams Sturgeon for calling a divisive referendum with no clear plan of what to do if country votes to leave."

Irony has no boundaries as it crosses Hadrian's Wall northwards.

Sad. Very sad. Bigly sad.

Alan Clifford said...

It will be a tragedy if Scotland leaves the Union. But it will be entirely understandable. It has been looming since 1979 and successive hated Westminster governments have increased the likelihood by their wilful ignorance. To say nothing of deliberate economic and propaganda attacks via the scum employed in mainstream media.

The pity is it would come through nationalism, a reactionary creed which eventually brings nothing but misery and an isolationist "exceptionalist" mentality. After a short while it merely becomes a home-grown variant of the lunacy it seeks to replace.

But if Scotland DOES go its own way - and its more than capable of it, whatever the BBC, ITN and Sky witter - it's only a matter of time before there is a similar reaction everywhere outside the confines of a demonstrably corrupt, anti-democratic and inept Parliament that now serves only a small corner of England.

Scottish nationalism is only a symptom of the political dry rot of the soul this country has suffered in decades. There is worse, much worse, to come. You need only see the kind of nodding dog that sits on government benches. That lot would sell their own mothers for an extra week in power or an addition to their bank account.

A.Robot (Mrs) said...

Good for her. I don't want to lose the Scots but if Sturgeon can arrange for May to make another patronising and aggressive speech like last week's and she can persuade wee Liam Fox and Boris MacBorisFace to travel north of the border, she'll have independence in no time.

Simon said...

I was very much against the idea first time round but as Ms Sturgeon has said, a lot has changed since then. Good luck to them, I hope they go for it. Sure she may not get the second referendum and even then may not win but it's got to be worth a shot. Anything is better than the car crash which seems likely to unfold now. Leave us in Little England and Wales to it.

As has been pointed out the hypocrisy in suddenly deciding that unity is a good thing is unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps May could hold a referendum about whether the UK should grant Scotland another referendum.

pete c said...

Well. If nothing else Scotland will have a hotly debated future whichever way it goes.

Unlike south of the border.
Radicals have always maintained that voting for an MP is pointless. Droves of ordinary people are poised to share that view having watched their MPs nod through a disastrous future for us all. Nodding dogs indeed.

And, sad to say, I know too many folk already giving serious thought to emigrating. Skilled and professional people we can ill afford to lose - especially once several hundred-thousand EU nationals have upped sticks and gone home too.

A decades worth of Brexit squabbling will be at the cost of serious debate on the real future possibilities for England and Wales.

What a disgusting waste of resources, time, and the hopes of the next generations.

Anonymous said...

Tim this is a mess. Sturgeon doesn't have the power to call an independence referendum, it's reserved for Westminster. Hence the one-off transfer of power under the Edinburgh Agreement that was necessary to enable the 2014 referendum. This time round, Sturgeon approached May to ask for permission; May told Sturgeon where to get off.

What happens next is unpredictable (my money would be on Holyrood passing a symbolic bill demanding a referendum, which May would be entirely free to ignore and probably would ignore).

But if you think May's "vision" for a post-Brexit UK is laughable, then the SNP's "vision" for a seceded Scotland was beyond a joke. It relied on oil being around $60 a barrel, and it's now worth around tuppence per supertanker - I exaggerate, obviously, but it no exaggeration to say that Scotland would now be facing bankruptcy or worse if it had split in 2014.

This time round, the SNP's vision is an indyScotland in the EU. There are not even fag-packet maths to support this idea. And unfortunately it does come down to maths, no matter how lofty your visions. As you would put it: End of.