“Update 11/1/17 – Seems the threat of Indyref2 has now been pushed back to 2019. It was never going to happen while Brexit was being processed. Also, the weak manifesto independence statement, loss of the SNP majority in HR, the polls, the National (SNP) Survey and the consultation on the draft referendum bill (closed today) will all mitigate against the likelihood of support for one”.
It’s been a year this week since we had, as the white Paper put it, a once in generation “opportunity” to permanently separate Scotland from the United Kingdom. Thankfully we rejected that one-way road to obscurity and economic hardship by voting overwhelmingly “No.”
It might surprise you to know (unless you follow (followed) me on Twitter), that while the headline result was 55/45 No, the actual Yes vote was somewhat “weaker” (sorry you yessers who have 45 spattered over your profiles), only 38% of the electorate on the day voted to separate, with the bulk of the remaining 62% voting No – or not voting, for whatever reason. This vote was of course one of the highest ever turnouts at 85% of eligble voters. And rightly so, this vote was for life (so we thought) not just for a five year parliamentary term.
Even the SNP admit the referendum process and outcome was fair and that it was the majority will of the Scots not to separate. The 45ers whinging it was a fix really need to get a life.
There have been many claims by Yes that only the elderly voted No significantly, that the young all voted Yes – unfortunately for Yes that claim is based on a poll of only 14 young people. Subsequent polls and analysis has shown all but one central age grouping voted No. Check for yourself.
Add to this that only three geographic areas, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and Dundee had a small majority Yes vote, the scale of the defeat of separation was comprehensive.
The Vow made no difference to the vote, again there has been plenty written about its minimal impact, check it out. It did actually annoy street level No campaigners as in our view it was completely unnecessary – we (BT) had not even properly explained the new but existing powers coming via the Scotland Act 2012 or indeed the powers that the SNP government has actually relinquished! Spilt milk now.
The lacklustre Better Together campaign did nothing more than highlight the massive failings of the SNP to articulate a coherent economic policy, decide on a suitable currency and understand that separate Scotland would not be a member of the EU (and post separation entry looked very doubtful). These three basic failings are the subject of reams written elsewhere, again, look for yourself (in fact I’ve blogged them on this site elsewhere if you care to look). So if you call pointing out the self evident failings and downsides of a campaign as being frit, or as trying to frighten voters, then guilty as charged, No campaigners were duty bound to explain reality to those who were voting to effectively jump off a cliff without a safety net.
Put another way, if you stop someone crossing a road without looking, stop them touching something extremely hot, by shouting stop or no, is that negative? Not in my book, it’s positively saving them from harm. And when they are holding my hand as they try and jump off that cliff I’m damn well going to call them out on it!
As far as I am concerned, Yes “lost” the day they published the “White Paper” – it was, as a prelude to glorious independence, an appallingly biased and detail free 670 page document spattered throughout with inaccuracies and “hope over fear” “it’ll be all right on the night” propaganda, it really was dreadful. Not many people read it either, very scary.
Amazingly, not one of the hard but legitimate questions it raised have yet been answered, not one. Still no response to currency, debt, interest rates, set up costs, EU UN NATO future of North Sea oil etc., it stuns me that there is talk of a second indyref without any of these questions being tackled head on. Perhaps they can’t? Just hoping again that desire overrides logic, heart over head.
One great myth expounded by Yes to counter the economics of separation, is that Scotland is a net economic contributor to the UK. Time and again this has been proved conclusively wrong, Scotland, via the Barnet Formula, is a net beneficiary to the tune of some £1,200/1,400£ per head of population per annum (source Info & source link here). How would we find that £7/£9 Billion? While trying to find that sum we would also be taking our share of the UK debt pile, about £132 Billion, paying interest and capital payments to eradicate the bulk of it at the same time as finding £1.5 Billion of start up costs (now #18 Billion according to the Common Weal White Paper v1) and however much it took to keep the profligate spending promises and eradicate food banks and poverty! Every time I look at the economics I shake my head at either the general lack of economic understanding among yes voters or their deliberate ignoring of them, and that’s before factoring in the oil price collapse. The SNP adopted “eckonomics” instead of economics- and that without mentioning capital flight and company relocations. “Update 11/1/17 Alter figs for latest GERS – link added above”
So, where does this leave us re another stab at jumping off the cliff? Well, from day one post indyref, Salmond and Sturgeon have said that the once in a generation, one chance, once in a lifetime opportunity of indyref was never that really, and that when the time is right and the Scottish people want one they will just have another. Let’s forget they have reneged on their solem vow (see the Edinburgh Agreement) to respect the result and to “Respect the will of the sovereign Scottish people” put that to one side for a few minutes, I know it sticks in the craw but bear with me. (Let’s ignore neverendum for a while as well).
The sequence of events that would lead to a second referendum is as follows; Sturgeon – and only her by the SNP constitution – decides to put a firm mandate in either a Holyrood or Westminster Manifesto, Scots must then vote them the majority of Scottish seats in either election. Say it’s a win at the UK Parliamentary General Election – 7 May 2020 (highly likely), she then stamps her foot and demands another Edinburgh Agreement, this is where it gets sticky, The UK points to indyref and says, “hang on, you signed an agreement for a one off decisive vote, Scots said No, only 38% of electorate wanted to separate” she then says but things have changed, looks like we are leaving Europe, UK says “perhaps, but you knew that possibility was there pre indyref, you got a public UK vote with the rest of us, so no, not signing another EA, it’s unfair to those who voted No.” UDI? they didnt even want FFA “Full Fiscal Autonomy” or whatever sixth iteration acronym they eventually ended up with.
(The UK Parliamentary General Election – 7 May 2020 may of course be classed by the Uk Government as non qualifying for UK constitutional change, as it will be a UK vote with Scotland taking part as a constituent country of the UK. If they respond in this fashion then it would be the next Scottish Parliament election due to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021 that would be the starting point for a new mandate).
Since we said No the SNP are continually talking down Westminster, blaming the UK for everything, whinging about EVEL (a self inflicted wound that one, now the SNP have 56 Westminster MP’s) and doing everything they can to increase division and manufacture differences between Scots and the rest of the UK population, evidenced by things like the cynical appropriation of Gaelic for the central belt – while spending a fortune on Gaelic road signs for people who already know where they are! Rewriting Scots History and altering the carriculum, real Braveheart rubbish while whinging about poverty and foodbanks. (The Gaelic railway signs in Bridgeton are a hoot).
But hang on a wee mo there….I’m starting to see and feel a disconnect in what the SNP say and what appears to be their policy. Hosie announces to Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics Show that there will only be a second indyref if there are prolonged and substantial polls that show Scots want seperation (what on earth was indyref1)? and that “triggers,” such as exit from the EU, have to have happened. He also says that there will be no mandate in the Holyrood 2016 Manifesto – even Trident is not a big enough trigger according to him. Now this is the guy charged with devising SNP policy for Holyrood 2016, he’s deputy leader, so must be close to Nicola and MUST have agreed already that no mandate will be inserted in their manifesto. Oh, and the lady herself has recently said “I’m no havin anothir wan unless I can win it”!
Read beyond the carefully constructed headline from STV here Sturgeon rules out HR2016 mandate
So, looks like at the same time as keeping the minions moral up, the SNP do not want to actually pursue indyref2 with any real ambition. That’s sensible, nothing has changed other than the oil industry has entered into a long period of decline with prices less than half (for the foreseeable future) those in the white paper unrealistic projections. Perhaps they know that if they put a second mandate in the 2016 manifesto those labour voters who voted them in for GE 2015 will abandon them?
It’s a troubling time for the SNP , a majority Tory government with Labour struggling (Let’s not do Corbyn here), Liberal Democrats wiped out, plus with 56 of 59 seats they only got 5o% of the votes. There has to be some canny Scottish aspect to voting no to separation in last September, then voting the SNP in power this May. Perhaps those new SNP voters thought “we are better together, but you will stick up for Scotland” if so, then the SNP need to decide between long term political power and the pursuit of separation. Note – apart from a couple of polls suggesting the no/yes has flipped (others haven’t) consensus is that it would still be no if held tomorrow, must be addling their brains trying to work the angles out!
So, what’s going to happen? Lick their wounds re their prime objective and bide their time? 2021? Why would uk ever agree to another one? To shut the whinging up probably, but I bet an Edinburgh Agreement2 would have a few embellishments – no indyref3 for 50 years? Or ever? Minimum 60% of electorate?
When will we get indyref2? I’m not sure we ever will get another one, I’m sure we will live with the threat of one as long as the SNP remain a force. Personally, after saying “no way, you had your go, you would not give us a second chance to try and undo a Yes vote – so sod off!” I’m now thinking yes, bring it on! lets have Indyref2, increase the No vote and kick this bloody mess into the long grass for many many years.
Indyref left an open wound in the Scottish psychie – let’s cauterise it, however the scar will remain for a long, long, time, thanks to SNP negativity and divisiveness.
How to phrase the question? “Should Scotland stay in or leave the United Kingdom (and associated international organisations )” vote Remain or vote Leave.
Time to call their bluff? What do you think?
If you want to see the lies and misinformation put forward in indyref debate and from scandalous private publications such as Wings Over Scotland’s Wee Blue Book – have a look at this work in progress from @NeilWardLovat – an excellent deconstruction that is a live resource > RED WHITE & BLUE BLOG
Steve Sayers 21/9/15.