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Scotland's position in europe is weaker than the SNP would have you believe

26 February 2013

8:13 PM

26 February 2013

8:13 PM

Nicola Sturgeon, arguably the SNP’s most effective asset at present, went to Brussels today to deliver a speech about Scotland’s future relationship with the EU. Most of it was as bland and unobjectionable as you might expect. Move along, not very much to see here.

And with some reason. I think it is all but inconceivable that the EU would make it difficult for an independent Scotland to join the club. I also think Spanish (and perhaps Belgian) fears that letting Scotland join would set a dangerous precedent are, for the most part, exaggerated. At the very least I doubt that the threat of a Spanish veto is a good argument for voting No.

Nevertheless, the process of admission might not be quite as straightforward as the nationalists (understandably) suggest. Though the Scottish government is in favour of, for example, reforming the Common Fisheries Policy (which would be good news for Peterhead and the rest of the fishing industry) it’s ability to actually achieve any such reform is, at best, limited.

Small countries have to choose their battles carefully. Small countries establishing themselves as new – at least newly independent – members of the club are in an unavoidably weak position.

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It helps that the EU’s default preference is to cobble together deals with which everyone can kinda, just-about, more-or-less live. Even so, Scotland would not have the whip hand in these discussions. Unfortunately, Scotland needs Europe more than Europe needs an independent Scotland. Europe is Scotland’s comfort-blanket, a hedge against the downsides of independence.

Sure, there’s the energy sector and the fishing and, according to the SNP, Scotland would be a net contributor to the EU budget but, in the end, Europe can manage without these things. Scotland’s political (and media) class cannot imagine life without Europe. That puts you one down, so to speak, before the talks begin.

And there would be talks. The SNP view is that Scotland would be a successor state and, there being no means of expelling a country from the EU, Scotland would remain a member of the club as negotiations continued. This is not entirely implausible.

Nevertheless, those negotiations might be tricky. Sturgeon’s speech managed to avoid making news save, perhaps, for this one paragraph:

And we would begin [negotiations] seeking to apply the principle of continuity of effect: in other words, on issues like the Euro, Schengen and the rebate, our aim would be to retain the prevailing terms of Scotland’s membership.

In other words, an independent Scotland wants to retain the opt-outs negotiated (chiefly) by Conservative British Prime Ministers. That’s fine. I can’t see how Scotland can sign up for Schengen (even if it wanted to) unless the rump UK signs up too. As for a commitment to join the euro at some unspecified point in the future? Well that can be hummed and hawed and fudged to everyone’s satisfaction. The rebate seems a different matter. It is already unpopular on the continent and I’m not sure other countries will feel minded to cut Scotland some slack on that front. In fact I’m pretty sure they won’t. Why would they?

So, keeping all the bits of Europe we like but rejecting those bits we don’t. Where have we heard that before? Why from David Cameron of course. Now the SNP’s europhilia places them some distance from the Conservative party but they do share this belief that, when it comes to Brussels, you can have everything you like and nothing that you don’t. It might be that a Pick’n’Mix Europe would be better but that’s not quite how other countries see it.

Again, none of this is grounds for a No vote per se and, again, I suspect these matters can be resolved. Nevertheless, I also suspect that it would prove a little trickier than the SNP would have us believe.

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Show comments
  • terregles2

    Wonder why BBC Scotland is reluctant to debate the latest GERS figures. It must be because they will contradict their relentless vote NO campaign.
    GERS figures just released show that the Scottish economy is in a much stronger position than the struggling downgraded UK economy.The BritNatz media is now out of control with the misinformation and anti Scottish scare stories they publish ad nauseum. Thank good for NewsnetScotland.

  • terregles2

    Oh here we go again folks.!!!!! The ink is not even dry on the official Westminster HMT figures. The Treasury concedes that this has been a very good year for Scottish oil revenue the figures are in surplus.
    Wee Danny Alexander immediately jumped in to obey the instructions from his Westminster superiors. He immediatley issued dire warnings of a £4.billion black hole if Scotland were ever foolish enough to even think of self government.
    It seems that a £4 billion black hole would be a tragedy for Scotland he doesn’t tell us how it would not be an equal tragedy for England if we are still in the Union.
    The Daily Mail has screaming headlines warning the Scots of this terrifying black hole. The campaign to lie and destroy the confidence of the Scottish people is relentless.
    No doubt wee Massie will be slaving over his keyboard trying to resurrect another bogeyman. The Spectator will be desperately trying to think up a cover headline to equal Skintland.
    Do they not realise the game is up? We have all read The Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006. We all now know about Tony Blair moving the Scottish Maritime border in 1999. We all know that Scotland is a rich country and that is why the Westminster BritNatz and their Quisling sidekicks are fighting a really dirty campaign to frighten Scots out of Independence. Now that the Westminster incompetents have lost the triple rating stand by for even more desperate scare stories.

  • terregles2

    Think it would be highly unlikely that Europe would reject the only oil producung country in Europe but in or out Scotland will do well after independence. The Scottish export market of whisky and food produce etc is gaining in strength daily to countries like India and China.
    We will do well whatever happens.

    • Daniel Maris

      I agree on both counts.

    • Stuart

      Actually Scotland is NOT the only oil producing country in Europe;

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Oil_fields_of_Europe

      • terregles2

        No other EU member state produces more oil than Scotland. Oil though is irrelevant as Scotland has many other natural resources which will ensure that we prosper when we take control of our own government. Civil servant John Jappy had access to the UK government figures in 1968. They showed that Scotland was even before the oil discovery more than paying its way within the UK.
        The fact that every Westminster government Labour and Tory have always been against Scottish independence tells us all we need to know.

  • http://eye-on-Scotland.com/ Alasdair Stirling

    The ‘rebate’ is much less of benefit to Scotland than it is to the rUK. Accordingly, I suspect that the SNP are simply positioning themselves for the negotiations and setting up the rebate as an ‘opt-out’ that Scotland can concede on in the in the EU negotiations.

  • MichtyMe

    If Scotland is not an equal successor state and the UK continues, does that mean that Scotland will not succeed to a proportionate part of the national debt and the titanic borrowings of recent years. The Irish free State was not a successor state and did not inherit part of the debt. So the Scots will be in clover.

    • Wessex Man

      Your not getting away with that, you want a war have one, otherwise you take your share of national debt, the vast amount of which was caused by two of Scotlans’s finest, Blair and Brown!

      • terregles2

        Think you are missing the point you cannot have it both ways. Scotland is happy to pay its share of the national debt. No problem. The point being made is if some people are saying that an independent Scotland loses all its rights as a successor state. If that were true (which it is not) then that would automatically mean it is not a successor state therefore its debt does not exist either.
        The truth is Scotland will be recognised as a successor state we will happily pay our share of the debt. The 6000 miles of Scottish maritime water will be returned to Scotland. Tony Blair moved the English sea boundary up from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie in 1999. England will be forced to return that .
        We will get our maritime border back you will receive out share of the national debt and Scots can look forward to a Tory free government.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Good point. England can look forward to never having another Labour government and you can spend eternity witnessing Labour and the SNP trying to ‘out-stupid’ each other with your money. Where do we sign?

          • terregles2

            I am glad that both our countries will benefit. Think it is important that we should all have our democratic voice heard.
            Scotland though has PR so whether or not the SNP or Labour will be the dominant force remains to be seen. Hopefully the Greens will become a stronger force and Scotland can contnue to expand the new and exciting projects in energy development.
            Knowing that England welcomes Scottish Independence is an added bonus. I hate the idea of England having Labour forced on them when they did not vote for them. It has only happened to England once in recent times but that is once too often. We Scots know what it is like to be governed by a party that we would never vote for as we have experienced it many times.

            • Wessex Man

              You are missing my point, I don’t want to have it two ways, England had to endure the worst Administration ever from !997 to 2010, kept in power by Scottish Labour MPs, who voted on key issues that affected England only, yet couldn’t vote on those same issues where they had been elected to represent! To my knowledge the SNP refused to vote on such matters which was the honourable thing to do.

              For you to say “We Scots know waht it is like to be governed by a party that we would never vote for as we have experienced many times” shoes a certain chippiness and a remarkable lack of political history, Scotland used to be a Tory stronghold.

              Now we are being governed by the second worst Administration in history, lead by a bloke called Dave, who boasts “I am proud of the Scottish blood that runs through my veins.” so when you get your independence you’ve got to take him and Gove with you!!!!!!!!

              • Jambo25

                Ah yes, we’re ‘chippy’ when we point out certain undeniable realities. The Tories haven’t been the dominant force in Scottish politics since the 1950s. They’ve been as dead as mutton since the Thatcher period.

                • Jambo25

                  Would the person who voted down my above posting care to come on-line and explain what part of it is incorrect?

              • Democritus

                In 1997 Labour had majority of 179 MPs. 56 of those from Scotland. So even without the Scottish MPs you would still have got a labour government.

              • terregles2

                The Scottish blood that runs through Cameron’s veins amounts to about a teaspoonful. But really I do not think anyone’s nationality is of any relevance. I could not care if anyone is French English Welsh or Scottish, nationality means nothing. People of different nationality and background in Scotland want a more answerable parliament and the nationality of the first Minister or rest of the parliament is unimportant. I am aware that Scotland previously had a history of some Tory voting but I chose to quote the Scottish voting patterns from the 1960’s onwards simply because the majority of people who are now voting in 2014 were not eligible to vote pre 1960.

                The most depressing thing about this debate seems to be the pedantic people who nitpick on facts and throw insults at others simply because they were born in a particular country.

                It is sad that another country is subjected to such abuse because they simply feel that a change in government administration would be beneficial. I would also never say anyone expressing a different opinion was chippy. i think that is rather ill mannered. Thank goodness my English friends and neighbours up here are not so rude.

  • Democritus

    Aren’t they jumping the gun a bit, nobody has voted yet?

    And even if they did vote in favour the British parliament could ignore it as referendums are not binding on parliament (I’m sure they wouldn’t though).

    • Wessex Man

      Of course the Scots aren’t going to vote for their “independence”, the yes camp have at present 25% of the vote and dropping by the time we get to 2014 it will be in single figures.

      If the fat controller had half a brain he would have insisted on England being included in the vote as 65% of the English want Scottish “independence” and if that doesn’t tell you anything you are beyond hope!

      • Democritus

        Well I don’t get a vote. But if the English were included they would vote to keep Scotland otherwise some English estuary would end up being clogged up with nuclear subs.

        • Wessex Man

          So that’s why the Enfglish when asked the question “would you prefer that Scotland left the Union?” 67% said yes!

          • Democritus

            Have you got a link to that poll?

      • terregles2

        Really think before you quote wild hysterical figures you should study
        The Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006. We know Scotland is a wealthy country with great natural resources. Why do you think Cameron,Clegg and their sidekick Miliband are fighting hard to prevent Scottish Independence.
        You say Salmond has less than half a brain you may well be correct but he is still a more competent and intelligent politician than Cameron Clegg and Miliband. Ublike those three stoodges he has experience of holding down a responsible job in the private sector outside of politics.

        • Wessex Man

          I agree that he is more intelligent than this mob, I have thought you knew that Call me Dave has expressed horror that he may become known as the last PM of the UK. Legover Cleggy seems to suffer from memory lapse of the most alarming degree and Milipede is a puppet.

          The fact is that the modern English care very little for the Union just like the modern Scottish and all the flag waving of the Union Flag at the Olympics and Royal Wedding was just the usual suspects from all the countries of the UK.

      • Daniel Maris

        No way. The good thing about referenda is that they concentrate the mind on questions and rationality tends to win through rather than emotion.

        I predict that as we get closer to the vote, so the split will get closer because any rational analysis shows that the Scots will do very well by themselves.

  • FMarion

    I’m an American, whose Scottish ancestors left in a less-than-fully-voluntary manner after Culloden. But a lot has happened since the harrowing of the highlands so let me ask the board this. Is there any real reason for Scottish independence or is it simply a scam to allow some political types to become presidents and prime ministers of an independent country? After all, when the UK’s Prime Minister has a classic highlands name and when both of the other parties have had luminaries with the surname “Campbell,” I get the sense that the mixing of the populations (which already were quite mixed before the Act of Union) has reached the point where being Scottish or English is almost a matter or personal choice.

    Am I missing something here? I ask because I truly don’t understand the reasons for this push.

    • Eddie

      I can assure you that very many Scots most certainly do not want independence. It would mean a perpetual dictatorship of, as you so rightly say, power-hungry political types whose actions aim to boost their own egos and get themselves in the ‘history books’.

      The Scots nationalists are very noisy, so people often exaggerate the support the SNP has. Most Scots I know are vociferously against independence – they do not want Scotland to sink in a myre of petty bigoted nationalism and socialism (national socialism?), because if Scotland were ever independent, half the money would leave the country, taxes would go up, and Scotland, having lost English subsidy, would go into massive decline. And a lot of the English would be upset too – especially Labour supporters (most Labour governments have got in because of Scots and Welsh votes).

      Also, the SNP monkeys are very devious in attempting to portray anyone who is against Scottish independence as a traitor who supports the English in this battle (these twerps are stuck in th 17th century, as in Ireland).
      What you say is as true for Wales too. There is huge mixing between England, Scotland and Wales, and the genetic make-up of the populations is almost identical; any claim that the English are all Anglo-Saxons and the Scots are all Celts is pure fantasy.

      Those in favour of continued union include Gordon Brown, Alex Darling and many other respected politicians (more respected in Scotland than England) plus most business leaders; those in favour of destroying the union are largely silly actors and celebrities, plus the usual vainglorious SNP politicians, who do their best to hide the true hard-leftism of their party (so as not to frighten the haggis, one presumes).

      • terregles2

        You say nationalists are very noisy and in the same breath say that most Scots are vociferously against independence. You say that an Independent Scotland will live under a Dictatorship. On what basis do you make that wild hysterical statement. You seem to ignore the fact that there is now a branch of the Labour party campaigning for Independence on the Labour for Indy ticket. The Greens are also campaigning for independence.
        You ask us to follow the advice of the respected politicians Darling and Brown. Forgive us if we ignore their advice after all they both thought that the illegal invasion of Iraq was a good idea.

        • Eddie

          Brown and Darling is VERY popular in Scotland (much hated in England).
          People can campaign vociferously without shouting, yelling and bullying, which is the SNP speciality. You SNP muppets are the political equivalent of drunken football hooligans.

          • Jambo25

            I think you can tell the strength of Unionist arguments by the above contribution from Eddie.

            Signed

            A Muppet.

            • Wessex Man

              and you aren’t?

              • Jambo25

                Would you care to explain how correcting what appears to be a misconception on your part makes me ‘chippy’?

        • Democritus

          They also gave Scotland their parliament which has given a voice to the SNP and has opened the way for this referendum. What has Iraq got to do with the referendum? Your ad hominem attack on Darling and brown that because they may have agreed on invading Iraq that they shouldn’t be listened to on the issue of independence of Scotland?

          • terregles2

            “They gave Scotland their parliament “, actually the Scottish people gave themselves the parliament. They began to vote for the SNP in increasing numbers and in order to stop the rise in the independence support Labour hurried through the devolution process. If Scots had never expressed a wish for independence then there would have been no Holyrood.

            You refer to my ad hominem attack on Darling and Brown. I was pointing out that because they are against Independence that may not automatically mean that their judgement is not flawed.

            For example I think their judgement was flawed when they supported Blait in his illegal war. If they can support an illegal war it calls into question their integrity.

            Brown and Darling also supported Blair in 1999 when he moved the Scottish maritime border up from Berwick to Carnoustie and took 6000 square miles of Scottish sea into English territory.

            They also helped to cover up the report. The Great Obfuscation-gers-2006. the point I am making is they have showed little evidence of working in the best interests of Scotland in the past so why would I trust their judgement on now on Independnece

            • Democritus

              What absolute rubbish! It was a manifesto commitment by the Labour party to set up devolved parliaments in Scotland and Wales (and devolved regions in England). After Labour took power in 1997 a referendum was held in September and the Scottish people voted in favour (the same happened for the welsh), It was then enacted through parliament. A referendum was held for devolution for regions in England but the voters said no.

              it was the Scottish Constitutional Convention that paved the way to devolution. Which was made up of political groups, civic groups and various churches. The SNP refused to join it.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_devolution_referendum,_1997

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Constitutional_Convention

              • terregles2

                Was there also a referendum in 1999 on whether or not the Scots agreed to have the Scottish Maritime border moved up from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie?
                Was that fact hidden from the Scottish public by Bliar for the benfit of the Scottish people.
                Why did Labour try to suppress The Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006
                If that is the Labour/ Tory Westmisnter alliance working in the best interests of Scotland let’s hope they never decide to work against us.

                • Democritus

                  by your lack of reply you accept that the SNP played no part in devolution?

                  I don’t care about lines through a sea. It is not what is being discussed.

                • terregles2

                  You don’t care about lines through a sea. Well I really think that line was quite important. If another country annexes 6000 square miles of Scottish maritime territory I would have classed that as more than significant. But leaving that aside I cannot really make any comment on the SNP policy as I have never read their manifesto or indeed I have never followed their record on voting issues.
                  If you wish to debate SNP policy you shall have to engage with an SNP party member. I was always a Labour voter until Tony Blair invaded Iraq. Now that Scottish Labour have united with the Scottish tories and since I read the Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006 I have decided to vote YES and also I am now voting for Allan Grogan in Labourforindy.

                • Democritus

                  I’ve never read the SNP manifesto either. But you made a statement that the reason a parliament in Scotland came about was because people started voting for SNP, that is not correct (as explained in my last post with links to further info). The people who offered Scotland their parliament were the same who voted for the invasion of Iraq and possibly for the same reasons, democracy!

                  I have a great deal of respect for the SNP but I cringe when I meet some of their supporters on-line because they can talk absolute bollocks.

                  The lines through the sea may be important but not for this discussion.

                • terregles2

                  Some SNP supporters “talk bollocks”….. Oh if only they were the only ones who did that…

                • Democritus

                  “actually the Scottish people gave themselves the parliament. They began
                  to vote for the SNP in increasing numbers and in order to stop the rise
                  in the independence support Labour hurried through the devolution
                  process. If Scots had never expressed a wish for independence then there
                  would have been no Holyrood.”

                  Do you accept that statement is incorrect?

                • terregles2

                  No

                • Democritus

                  So you are happy to launch ad hominem attacks against Labour politicians because you can’t counter their arguments about remaining in the union. I’m astounded that you know so little about your country’s recent history and how the Scottish (and Welsh) Parliaments came into existence. Even when the facts are presented to you, you dismiss them because you are so blinded in your hatred of the Labour party. You say you don’t support SNP but you do use the same factually illiterate tactics.

                • terregles2

                  Why would anyone attack a Scottish Labour politician. They don’r need help in discrediting themselves.When they supported Blair in moving the Scottish maritime border from Berwick to Carnoustie and they helped to conceal The Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006 they told us all we need to know. Politicians who had Scotland’s best interests at heart would never have done that. I am not sufficiently interested in them to attack them. They are past their shelf life.

                  Having said that all of the Scottish Labour party are yesterday’s news. Their membership is in decline and the Labourforindy membership is rising.
                  You say you are astounded by me. Let me say I am doubly astouded by anyone who could have faith in Darling or Brown when they supported the dreadful Blair and his dodgy dossier.

                • terregles2

                  I am well aware of who brought in the Scottish parliament. The point I was making was that they only did it in the hope of stopping the rise in the Independence vote.
                  If Scots had never voted SNP Westminster would never have thought a Scottish parliament necessary. I know that is why many of the people I know kept voting SNP it was because they saw the panic that it caused in Westminster politicians who previouely ignored them.

                • Democritus

                  But the Scottish parliament didn’t come about in isolation. Wales and Northern Ireland also have devolved parliaments and under the same commitment Regional devolution was offered in England.

                  I would like to know why your friends felt it was needed to vote for a party that refused to join other parties and civic groups across Scotland who were campaigning (and eventually got) a devolved parliament.

                • terregles2

                  Many of my friends voted SNP because they were really let down by the Scottish Labour party. They felt that Scottish Labour were only career politicians and only interested in their Westminster prospects . One of the countless examples of that was Gorbals Mick being elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Martin of Springburn. These individuals showed little concern for the people who elected them from some of the poorest constituencies in the UK.. It was only when the SNP vote began to increase that Scottish Labour thought devolution would be a good idea. My friends felt that it was only the SNP who ever stood up for the interests of Scottish people and only by voting for them would we be given more of a voice. They also thought Scottish Labour were completely discredited. You can argue that my friends are wrong but they would not agree with you and their opinion is as valid as yours.
                  Now that Scottish Labour have a breakaway section led by Allan Grogan Labourforindy Labour fortunes may improve again who knows. I am sure you can ask your Scottish employees what their opinion is on Allan Grogan and indeed what their opinion is on the outcome of the referendum.

                • Democritus

                  I can understand that. When any party holds individual seats for long periods you get (what I call) the dead wood syndrome. It’s actually good for parties to be wiped out occasionally in a given area. The dead wood is replaced by new people with more enthusiasm to engage with voters and actually represent their area effectively.

                  The issue of the house of lords is a problem but with the changes by the last government meant that 90% of hereditary title holders were removed. They were replaced by life peers and the lowest title is Baron. The lords don’t have a lot of power but can cause problems for the lower house by slowing down a bill’s passage. If they do that with every bill the government will get less of their programme through over a parliament term.

                  So obviously, it is worth it for any government to stuff the house of lords with their supporters and they are more likely to choose individuals for their loyalty rather than as an honest reward. Obviously the house of lords needs further tweeks. I do have strong views on this but I won’t bore you with them!

                  The great thing about politics is it is positively healthy to disagree!

                • terregles2

                  I would not tweek the House of Lords. I would abolish it. Suppose getting rid of them would be an added bonus of Independence.

                • Democritus

                  I used to think like that. But now I see the importance of a second chamber. One example was the governments recent disability bill. The lords added so many amendments that it forced the government to water down the bill or face a confrontation. The lords won that one, the bill was less severe than it would have been.

                • terregles2

                  I am not against a second chamber I am just against the House of Lords being an undemocratic and unelected anachronism. To see Labour politicians who have made a career from advocating equality and fairness for everyone drape themselves in ermine is beyond nauseating.

                • terregles2

                  A second chamber is important but not an undemocratic and unelected one.

                • Democritus

                  I’ve read the Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006 and although it mentions the 6000 square miles of sea, there is no further explanation. That report is now out of date anyway because of the 2008 crash.

                  The maritime border between Scotland and England is set by an act of Parliament (1999) at Berwick upon Tweed. This was agreed by the Scottish parliament although there was a complaint about traditional fishing grounds. The act includes a map showing the border of Scottish territorial waters at 12 nautical miles from land (under international maritime law).

                  The Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999
                  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/1126/made

                  The third reading of the bill gives more insight on the boundaries
                  http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199899/cmstand/deleg3/st990323/90323s01.htm

                  There is another border further out which covers an area called extraregio territory. The Great Obfuscation report mistakenly asserts that this area has been secretly made into a seperate country by the UK government. This area is not part of Scotlands territorial waters (as it is more than 12 miles out) and traditionally it never has been.

                • terregles2

                  Hi democritus

                  I am not quite sure why you have taken time to inform us of everything we are already aware of. We know that the GERS reports are constantly updated. Indeed the latest one has shown yet again that last year was an excellent one for oil revenues.

                  The GERS reports will always show Scotland is in an excellent position which will only improve after Independence when we control out own assets.

                  Because this years GERS was good for Scotland the Westminster BritNatz have already started trying to frighten Scots that they face a future Black Hole on the oil revenues. They don’t quite explain how this black hole would not be a problem for England.

                  We know that the Scottish office rubber stamped Blair’s theft of Scottish sea boundary. Donald Dewar signed the paper agreeing to this robbery. That is the point that those in favour of Independence have been making for years, the Scottish Labour party works in the interests of the Westminster Government not in the interests of the Scottish people that has been proved many times

                • Democritus

                  Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006 is not a GERs report it is a rebuttal of of the GERS report. The author claimed that no one would publish it and I’m not surprised considering the head of it started with an extract from mein kampf!

                  Your sea boundary is 12 miles out and starts at Berwick.

                • terregles2

                  Think you are missing the point or perhaps you are being deliberately obtuse. Either way there are none so blind as those who will not see.
                  We all know that Scotland is a prosperous country and that is why Westminster has always fought hard and will continue to fight hard to prevent Independence.
                  Your reference to publication and to mein kampf proves that you are really incredibly out of your depth or perhaps you are just mischief making.
                  Whatever silly points that you try and muddy the waters with nothing changes the fact that Scotland is a rich country and BritNatz worried about losing the triple credit rating will just have to accept that none of their scare tactics can change that.

                • Democritus

                  I have not stated anything about oil or used any scare tactics. You
                  misunderstand me, I support Scottish independence. What I don’t support is Ad hominem attacks, half truths and misinformation. It does the cause no good.

                  You stated “Was there also a referendum in 1999 on whether or not the Scots agreed to have the Scottish Maritime border moved up from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie?”

                  The border is at Berwick on Tweed.

                  Extracts from the start of the Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006
                  http://www.siol-nan-gaidheal.org/obfuscation.htm
                  “The great masses of the people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one.” Adolph Hitler. ‘Mein Kampf‘ Chapter 10 1925.

                  “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
                  Josef Goebbels. Hitler’s propaganda chief.

                • terregles2

                  Berwick or Berwick on Tweed 12 miles of sea amongst 6000 square miles to nitpick over 12 miles is a shade too pedantic for me.
                  It is a fact that the Scottish Labour party have always worked in the interests of Westminster rather than the interests of Scotland. Donald Dewar’s signing of Blair’s Martime boundary change is just one other example in a long history of serving Westminster at the expense of Scotland. This neglect of Scotland has become so bad that a faction of Scottish Labour have broken away led by Allan Grogan they have established Labourforindy. Numbers joining them are on the rise.
                  If Scottish people had not started to vote SNP in increasing numbers they would never have had a Scottish parliament. It was introduced in the hope that people would no longer have a wish for Independence. Prior to that many Westminster politicians would have struggled to find Edinburgh on a map.Time will tell whether or not that strategy has worked.
                  The sad thing is that when Blair did move the Maritime border it was not even reported on the media. Thankfully now when people are having discussions on independence the GERS reports and the maritime border are being talked about. I suppose the difference they are making to general opinion is why they were stifled in the first place.
                  It is reassuring to know that someone like yourself who says they have no vote in the referendum and are not Scottish is still finding time to take such a keen interest in Scottish politics.

                • Democritus

                  There is no Scottish 6000 sq miles of lost sea. It never belonged to Scotland in the first place. You find facts pedantic? well I had already worked that out.

                  I’m very interested in the future of Scotland as I have Business interests which employ people in Scotland. So you could say I do have a stake in the future of Scotland.

                • terregles2

                  There is no Scottish 6000 sq miles lost as sea. I am puzzled by that statement. Why would English sea lie off the coast of Scotland as far north as Carnoustie. If it was not Scottish territory then why did Blair require a signature from Donald Dewar? If it was not Scotland’s territory then which country did have ownership? Why has the country who owned this Maritime territory not complained about losing it? I do not pretend to be an expert on this matter but as you so obviously are
                  I think you should contact Niall Aslen and ask him to correct the mistakes he has made in his The Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006 document.

                • Democritus

                  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/

                  http://www.publications.parlia

                  nearly 900 people in two parliaments debated and scrutinized the act and it was voted on and passed quite publicly by both Westminster and the Scottish parliament.

                  The Scottish land border runs in a north easterly direction to Berwick on Tweed. The sea border continues in a north easterly direction from Berwick on tweed.

                  Beyond 12 nautical miles is an area called extraregio territory which is used for fishing rights beyond that is another extraregio territory for the fishing rights of Denmark.

                  Do you know who Commissioned The Great Obfuscation-GERS-2006 report? it wasn’t the SNP or any left or centre party. I’m sure as you put so great a store in it’s accuracy you will know exactly who it is?

                  Niall Aslen mentions 6000 sq miles of water but no explaination to what or where it is.

                • terregles2

                  Nearly 900 people in two parliaments debated and scrutinised the act. It would never have been scrutinised and passed had there been the present SNP Government in Holyrood. It was just another example of the Scottish Labour party taking orders from London. They exist to serve Westminster not Scotland. No wonder the Scottish Labour members who have integrity have been forced to leave Lamont’s Labour and start Labourforindy.

                  We know that The Great Obfuscation was produced by SER but really we do not need to do any research to know that Scotland is the only country ever in the world who discovered oil and became poorer.

                  We also know that Unionists fighting hard to stop Independence are not doing so out of any love for Scotland. They are doing it for fear of losing our rich natural resources.

                • Democritus

                  But the SNP were in both parliaments yet never brought up any objections.

                  Many of the unionists are Scottish and in a recent poll 50% of Scottish people said they would vote no. Is that because they don’t love Scotland? Or is it because all they are hearing from the yes camp is insults and negativity?

                • terregles2

                  At the moment The No vote seems to be a majority. It is not because of what they are hearing from the YES camp because the YES camp have no voice in the British media. In the past week the unionist BritNat press have run headlines that an Independent Scotland would have to renegotiate over 1400 treaties ( They later had to admit that was untrue) Independent Scotland would face a crisis of a 4billion defecit on oil. They would lose the Royal Mail the Lottery etc etc etc. Desperate Labour and Tory Unionists determined to prevent independence. We are always puzzled by the fact they are desperate to hold on to such a basket case at Scotland.

                  It is really difficult to find any non unionist propaganda in Scotland at the moment. Other than NewsNet Scotland

                  I think you are a bit confused over Scottish politics in general. First you argue that the 6000 sq miles of Maritime water did not ever belong to Scotland. Now you argue that the SNP did not object to Scotland losing the territory.

                • terregles2

                  Why don’t you contact Niall Aslen and tell him he has made a mistake about extraregio territory . I’m sure he would be happy to correct that if it is wrong. He seems a really competent and fair person. I’m sure he would also be happy to explain why he started the document with the quote that he used.

      • http://www.facebook.com/paul.bethune.9 Paul Bethune

        Pure black propaganda from Eddie.

        • Eddie

          I can assure you, laddie, that I am nae black.

    • JPJ2

      FMarion
      Scottish Nationalism is not about ethnicity. It is about doing what is best for the people of Scotland whatever their origins or family backgrounds.
      If your theory were correct then one might reasonably have expected that the number of independent nations in the world would have declined with globalisation and genetic mixing. The very reverse has been the case and on some scale.
      Many, many people living in Scotland who do not consider themselves Scottish will nonetheless vote for Scottish independence.

      • FMarion

        After reading the above, I’m not sure that I fully comprehend the reasons for the independence push, but living an ocean apart there is no doubt much I am missing, particularly on atmospherics. Let me turn to this question if I can. What kind of vote is needed?

        I ask because I’m somewhat familiar with the PQ’s position in Quebec. They say that they need a bare majority just once for Quebec to become independent. Thus, although they have lost several referendums on the issue, they plan to keep holding them on the assumption that sooner or later they should at least squeak by and become independent. Certainly that approach loads the mathematical dice in their favor. That has always struck me as being at odds with real democratic principles. A vote for something that so radically changes existing structures shouldn’t be based on a one-time bare majority vote, but should require something more substantial to ensure that it represents the real will of the people rather than a one-time electoral fluke.

        Has any thought been given to this issue for Scotland and, if so, what is the current state of thinking on what kind of vote should be needed?

        • terregles2

          A majority over 50 per cent either way. I am puzzled by your fears about Scottish Independence. Soppose many had the same fears about American Independence before it happened and it has worked out just fine.

          • FMarion

            terregles:

            Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t have any fears about Scottish independence–I just wonder if it is wise. And, like a lot of Americans of at least partial Scottish/Irish descent (like many Americans, I am a thorough mongrel by ancestry) I have a mild residual attachment to Scottish and Irish independence. If it were 1745 I would probably be rooting for Bonnie Prince Charlie (who would have been an utter disaster as a king, but that wasn’t widely known at the time).

            But, based upon experience and reading a lot of history, I am thoroughly skeptical of grand plans coming from politicians and I also am skeptical of radically changing settled institutions. Speaking of American independence, our Declaration of Independence says this: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

            I think that gets it right. One takes radical steps only when the alternative becomes literally intolerable. Independence was declared in 1776 only because war had broken out and the British government (which was led by some deeply stupid and shortsighted, though actually well-meaning, men) had shut down all colonial political institutions, attempted to seize the colonists weapons and had launched a war.

            My guess is that if someone had invented “Commonwealth” status at the time, the US might have taken that and in so doing might havebeen able to avoid many of the problems that have plagued our political institutions since then, including the corruption and vote fraud that continues to stain them.

            But it was not to be, and independence was necessary under the circumstances. Perhaps it is necessary for Scotland right now–I don’t know. But do think about the “light and transient causes” point, because it really is a good one. And, whatever Scotland decides, I–like more Americans than you might imagine–will wish it the best.

        • JPJ2

          FMarion
          I frequently hear that Quebec has had a number of losing referendums whereas, in fact, there have been only two, one lost by 20% and the other by 1%.
          Unfortunately for unionism, the idea of there being anything other than a simple majority for “Yes” or “No” was destroyed by the earlier 1979 devolution referendum in which a 40% rule was introduced. The result was a narrow 52-48 % vote “Yes” for a Scottish Parliament but was not enacted as around 33% of the electorate voted. In such circumstances it was pointed out that anyone who had died recently was effectively counted as if they had voted “No”.
          It was therefore generally accepted afterwards that if you did not vote then you had left the decision to others, and so no such 40% was introduced in the 1997 referendum, or is proposed for the 2014 referendum. Some elements of unionism would no doubt like there to be more than a simple majority required, but recognise that this would be regarded as gerrymandering by many people and therefore likely to be counter productive for thyeir cause.
          As to how often there should be a referendum if “yes” loses in 2014, Alex Salmond says this should be a once in a generation (often regarded as 30 years) event. The simple reality is that there will be one as often or as seldom as the people of Scotland want. For example, the election of a Tory government in the UK in 2015 might well lead to the SNP 2016 manifesto again including a commitment to a referendum if they won an absolute majority. If the electorate supported that, they would have voted for another referendum, perhaps before 2020. You probably need to be aware that at least one opinion poll has shown that if people were convinced the Tories would win in 2015, “Yes” would win the 2014 referendum 🙂

          • Democritus

            Well I back David Cameron’s view on this. He doesn’t believe the Conservatives will win in 2015 that’s why he committed to holding a referendum about the EU in 2017.

          • Democritus

            But surely on such an important issue you would want far more than a 33% turnout? Does that mean 67% of the Scottish adult population died 1979?

            only 17% of all eligible voters voted in favour.

            • JPJ2

              Democritus

              Apologies-I expressed it badly re the 1979 referendum.

              33% (not 17%) of the supposed electorate voted Yes. The turnout was actually 63.8% with 51.6% of that turnout voting Yes. This compares reasonably with the UK General Election turnouts in 2005 of 61% and 2010 of 65%. The Conservative party currently leads the UK Government having won 23% of the UK electorate (and runs Scotland based on 10.65% of the electorate!)

              The requirement was that 40% of the electorate had to vote “yes” regardless of how many or few voted “no”.
              By sheer coincidence the turnout for the referendum in Scotland in 1979 and for the general election in 2010 were both 63.8%.
              Given that having the support of 10% of the electorate is regarded as sufficient to allow the Tories to run Scotland it should be no surprise that many regarded 33% of the electorate voting Yes as justifying a Scottish Parliament that did not come into being!!

        • Jambo25

          The Provincial Government of Quebec has far more power than the Scottish Government. Had a Canadian or US Provincial/State level of autonomy, short of full independence been offered to Scots, as an alternative, in the forthcoming referendum, all the polling evidence suggests it would have been the overwhelming choice of the Scottish people. Such a possible choice was specifically ruled out by the Westminster Government. I’d have gone for this option (Named ‘Devo-Max’ in Scotland.) but given it’s absence I’ll vote ‘Yes’.

          If, as seems likely at present, the ‘No’ side carries the day then that will not end the problem. The SNP is not going to vanish and as the seriousness of the UK’s long term economic and social decline becomes clearer the constitutional position of Scotland will come up again and again. The future looks very Quebecois.

          • Democritus

            One side will carry the day. Either for or against. That’s why the 3rd question about tax powers wasn’t acceptable as it would have muddied the waters. A simple yes no vote will settle it.

            The problem for the SNP is that they have been campaigning for independence from the early days of their creation. It’s a central plank of their being. I agree they won’t disappear if the no vote wins but I think it could seriously damage their prospects.

            I’m surprised that they aren’t more popular than they are. They only have a two seat majority in the Scottish parliament and only six MPs in Westminster. Although they did very well in the 2012 local elections, so did Labour, the biggest losers were the Lib Dems of course.

            Generally, whoever is in Government in Westminster always loses seats in local elections. The conservatives were in power for 18 years and lost 80% of their council seats. Labour were in power and lost huge amounts. Now it’s the turn of the Lib dems who hadn’t been in power in living memory.

            So the electoral gains of the SNP in Scotland over the majority party (Labour) were against the backdrop that Labour was in government. In the next Scottish parliament elections it will be interesting to see how the SNP hold up now that Labour aren’t in power (in Westminster) and if the referendum returns a no vote.

            • Jambo25

              I think the Devo-Max option wasn’t given due to the fact that oir masters in London do not wish to relinquish any power.

              • Democritus

                Or that taxation powers have already been given to the Scottish parliament in the Scotland act 2012?

    • Democritus

      I think one issue that grinds with the Scottish is the fact that the UK parliament in London doesn’t represent them. They elected only one conservative and eleven lib dems and forty one labour MPs. Yet the UK Government is made up of a coalition of conservatives and lib dems. This issue goes back many years as support for the Conservative party has eroded in Scotland yet Conservative governments are foisted onto them. Here is an interesting wiki page that shows the MPs in scotland
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_MPs_for_constituencies_in_Scotland_2010%E2%80%93

      • FMarion

        Democritus: That is something I can understand–I live in an American state that is now controlled by people whose politics I disagree with (though I do get the mild satisfaction of being able to point out to our politicians that I told them that their most recent bright idea wouldn’t work when, as predicted it doesn’t work). Nevertheless, I had understood that the Scottish Labour party was largely against independence, which might suggest that while some share that view as a reason for independence, many do not. Is there anything else?

        • terregles2

          The mainstream Scottish Labour party has united with the Tories and does indeed campaign against Independence. There is however a significant section of Scottish Labour who have broken away from the mainstream Scottish Labour. Their leader is Allan Grogan and they are calling themselves LabourforIndy. They are recruiting quite a significant number of new members

      • Eddie

        Scots are OVER respresented in Westminster and always have been; the English an underrepresented.
        And Scottish and Welsh votes have caused the English to suffer more than one Labour government they didn’t vote for too.
        But yes, I take your point: the Scots love their pity party victimhood and whingeing that they are hard done by. But the fact is, they ain’t! One in 10 Brits are Scottish – not more. So why should they have disproportionate influence or funding?

        • Democritus

          Scotland elects 59 MPs. Wales elects 40 MPs. England elects 533 MPs. How are Scotland and Wales over represented? To form a majority government you need to get 326 MPs. So lets say wales and scotland all voted for the same party (lets call it the “stupid person’s party who can only count on their fingers”). That would give them 99 MPs. so to get a majority the English would have to elect 227 MPs.

          • Eddie

            Listen, dumbo. You need fewer people to elect an MP in Wales and Scotland, that’s why!

            Around 66,000 people for an English MP; around 40000 for a Welsh or Scots MP. You see, there are around 5 million people in Scawtland; around 3 million in Wales, and almost 50 million in England.

            This voting anomaly will be reformed soon, they say (and how the Welsh have fought it) – but the unfairness that gives Scotland 10% more public spending than England (which contrary to racist Scots opinion is not all rich, even in London) won’t be. That is a disgrace. It’s tantamount to theft really – and one thing is sure: Scotland won’t be grateful or thankful for English help, just like other nations to which England gives foreign aid.

            Added to which, there are Scots MPs in English seats, especially Labour ones.
            You are so used to wallowing in your victimhood pity party mud puddle that you fail to realise how soiled with speciousness your arguments truly are.
            The stupid person’s party for those who can’t count on their fingers. A better description of the SNP I have never heard!

            • Democritus

              You seem to be under the misapprehension that I’m Scottish. Oh, and by the way the voting issue in Wales won’t be reformed now because the coalition partners fell out over the reforms to the house of lords. Clegg had a hissy fit and withdrew support from the reduction of seats in Wales.

              Your little Englander stance just made me laugh. The fact that you seemed to believe that all the seats in Wales and Scotland can somehow make a majority in the british parliament was so silly.

              • Eddie

                You deliberately misrepresent my position because your argument is so weak. I of course never stated that Welsh and Scottish MPs could by themselves provide a majority in parliament – but they can and have decided which party has a majority. Many Labour governments actually can thank their existence to the ovine voting habits of the Welsh and Scots, where a dead sheep with a red rosette can be elected (and often has been, they say…)
                I am no little Englander at all. Your assertion that anyone who is against the break up of the union is so, is nothing by straw man tactics and rather desperate actually.
                It is the SNP English-haters who are small-minded, bigoted and racist Little Scotlanders. The English are way more broadminded than the bigoted Scots, who are extremely backwards, racist, and nutty religious in their sectarian hatred (I mean, painting things green in your catholic area of Glasgow; supporting a team with players of your own religion. That stuff died out in England over 300 years ago!)
                It is only fair that the same number of people (roughly) elect every MP, non? To argue otherwise just displays your utter bias and your belief in unfairness and injuctice when it suits your ends.

            • Jambo25

              There are English born MEPs, and MPs representing Scottish seats. There are also English born MSPs a number of them representing the SNP. WE appear to be rather less racist and abusive than darlings like you.

              • Wessex Man

                Funny that, James Gray, Scottish Tory MP for North Wiltshire is my MP.

                • Jambo25

                  I didn’t say there weren’t Scots born MPs representing English constituencies. I was addressing a specific point raised by Eddie. Is it too much to expect you to read things before going ‘off on one’?

              • Eddie

                It is very easy for a Scot to some to England and get a job, even working as a local radio presenter. The same is not true the other way round – because a lot of Scots are racist bigots who would not emply anyone with an English accent.
                England has always been more modern, liberal and civilised than Scotland – that is why so many Scots have moved to London and elsewhere. So they tell me anyway. They wanted to get away from the drunken, sexist, racist, bigoted, laddish, drunken, boorish. leery, pervy, drunken Scots they used to know when growing up – the very people who are the bedrock of SNP support.
                Pass the buckfest, Jimmy…

                • Democritus

                  Have you ever actually been to Scotland?

                • Jambo25

                  Strangely enough my English wife never had any difficulties getting jobs up here. Neither did any of my English friends and ex-colleagues. They used to say that they moved up here to get away from guys like you.

                • terregles2

                  My boss is English. Thank goodness he is a really nice man not rude and aggressive like you. Maybe it was people with your attitude that made him leave England.

            • terregles2

              Listen Dumbo….What a boor you are. Ate you always so rude and aggressive?

    • terregles2

      The issue is not really about Scottish v English. Nationality has nothing to do with it for example there are English people living in Scotland who intend to vote for Scottish Independence. Many living in Scotland whether Scottish or English just feel that Scotland would be better governed from Edinburgh rather than London. Scottish people never vote conservative but because the majority in England frequently do it means that Scots get a government they don’t want or vote for.
      It is a bit like the USA being governed from Canada and the USA frequently getting a Republican government after they had voted Democrat.
      Quite simply every other country in the world governs itself so why should Scotland not do the same. We have given the world so much we are more than capable of running our own country in a better way than it is being run at the moment.
      I am sure that as an American you have great respect for the aspirations of every country who wishes to be free and democratic,
      I am sure that Americans would not like to be governed by any of their neighbouring countries and many people living in Scotland whatever nationality they are do not like it either.

    • The_greyhound

      You’re about right. Actually a lot of Englishmen are of Scots, Irish or Welsh ancestry, and a good many Scots are of Irish, English, and indeed North American ancestry, not to mention Italian and eastern European immigrants. And contrary to the oft quoted lie, Scotland was enthusiastic for the Union, and profited greatly from it.

      The nationalist thing in Scotland appears and disappears fairly regularly. Like many nationalist movements in Europe it owes its origin to a small group of racist extremists who were heavily compromised by their support for fascism and overt enthusiasm for Hitler. And that remains a feature : the present vogue for the SNP has been marked by a marked escalation of cheap anti-English racism, and the promotion of a series of quite fantastic lies about Scotland’s origins, short-lived existence as a separate state, and development in the Union. As someone wisely remarked, we speak of forging the nation, because most nations are in truth forgeries.

      But at root none of this is about any real enthusiasm for independence, or even interest in the SNP : it is simply the result of the chaotic ineptitude of the present generation of leaders of the Scottish Labour Party. The Labour Party had dominated the scene for a long generation. Its current malaise created a void into which the SNP stepped. Italy has just propelled a stand-up comic into the forefront of its politics; Salmond and his party are a similar phenomenon. If less funny.

      • terregles2

        To equate the SNP with Hitler now you are really making a fool of yourself. Every country wishes to govern itself but if Scotland chooses to do so they are facists. What nonsense
        What the obsessive BritNats cannot accept is that many people of English origin living in Scotland are choosing independence simply because they feel London is too remote and decisions should be made in Edinburgh.
        The SNP are not alone in wishing to govern themselves we also have the Greens the SSSP and an large faction of the Scottish Labour party also campaigning for YES vote.
        Truth is that anyone living in Scotland is welcome no matter where they originally come from and an independent Scotland will make that even more so.
        No doubt we will have more viscious nonsense from the BritNats simply because they have no logical argument against independence.

        • Wessex Man

          I agree with you on that one terregles2, the_greyhound sounds quite a sad person and should be ignored.

          I am a proud English Nationalist who would like to see the break-up of the UK, not just Scotland going her own way but England and Wales as well. Imagine, no more slavish support of the US “adventures”, no more nuclear weapons, no more preening PMs proving themselves with a war and the added bonus of both of our nations being kicked out of the failing EU. If the US wants us to stay in the EU you can be sure that it’s not good for us to stay.

          Incidentally, I had my DNA tested on Scotland’s DNA programme and was shown to be 100% Anglo-Saxon as were the vast majority of lowland Scots.

          • The_greyhound

            Whereas you sound like a really happy person. Simple, but happy.

          • FMarion

            Wessex Man:

            I’m sorry that you don’t seem to like the US, but to each his own.
            As to lowland Scots, most are descended in part from the Angles (not the Saxons) but there is a lot of Danish mixed in, and since the western part of the lowlands spoke a kind of northern Welsh, you will find that there is a lot of Celtic ancestry as well. Indeed, parts spoke Gaelic for a while. Meanwhile, many highlanders moved to the lowland cities and the highlanders were primarily Gaelic and Norse by ancestry (together with Pictish in the east–whatever ethnic group that was). And of course, Glasgow in the lowlands is full of Irish. Maybe it is a bit more mixed than you indicate?

            Now, let me ask about that DNA test. Did it rule out Danish ancestry (if so, how could it tell the difference between a Dane and a Jute)? How about Norman? Because of their positions, the Normans did tend to have children who lived (most Americans of English descent are also supposedly descended from Edward I for that reason). And could it really show that you have no Welsh/original British ancestry? Maybe it is that precise, and perhaps some people indeed have 100% Anglo-Saxon ancestry, but the mathematical chances for that seem to be quite remote.

            • Eddie
              • FMarion

                Eddie:
                Take some of that genetics stuff with a grain of salt; the science is still in its infancy. Thus, it might or might not be correct that inhabitants of the British Isles are all primarily descended from pre-Indo European settlers. The Welsh, Irish and highland Scots certainly have a substantial portion of such ancestry, but as the New York Times article indicates, there is a real question of to what extent some of the Anglo-Saxons originally replaced or interbred with the native population. Given that the Anglo-Saxon invasion is generally thought to have occurred shortly after the plague swept Europe, it is possible that the native population had been significantly thinned. No one really knows yet.

                But the notion that we are more interrelated than we like to admit has to be correct, for mathematical reasons if nothing else, and basically everyone (except recent migrants) is primarily descended from either (and usually both) the original inhabitants and the various Indo-European invaders. The Celts and the Germans were all originally descended from the same people.

              • Democritus

                Your first link is from a newspaper.

                The interesting part is ” The genetic evidence is still under development, however, and because only very rough dates can be derived from it, it is hard to weave evidence from DNA, archaeology, history and linguistics into a coherent picture of British and Irish origins.”

                Your second link is just reporting on your first link.

                Your third link is from a newspaper.

                Interestingly the work of Stephen Oppenheimer has been quoted on several occasions by Nick Griffin (leader of the BNP)

                • Eddie

                  Try this one, dumbo:

                  http://www.bradshawfoundation….

                  It seems there is NO significant genetic difference between the Scots and the English – and the latter are mostly not of Anglo-Saxon heritage at all, but have ancestors that were in England before the ancestors of the Scots came to northern Britain from SPAIN!!! Asta La Vista, numpty!
                  Interestingly, SNP supporters quote the same sources that Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot and Chairman Mao quote from.
                  Stephen Fry has quoted Wagner.
                  So the former are commies and the latter a fascist according to your numptiness.
                  Oh dear… The SNP level of debate can be summed up with the following words: lies, abuse, bullying, bigotry, prevarication, deception, speciousness and racism.

                • Democritus

                  I never mentioned Fascism. I only mentioned that the leader of the BNP has quoted from this book. Are you accusing Nick Griffin of being a fascist?

                  The link is to a review of his book. His book is based on his theories and he is still working on proving those theories.

                  Again you seem to be under a misconception about me. I am not a supporter of the SNP.

          • terregles2

            I am glad that people now realise that Scottish independence is against Westminster govenment and is in no way against England or English people. The fact is that all the countries in the UK would benefit by managing their own affairs.
            Obviously Edinburgh is more in tune with the needs of Scottish people as London is more in tune with the needs of the English population.
            It is sad when people try and muddy the waters by pretending SNP is racist. Indeed some English people living in Scotland are supporting Independence. I have a lot of English cousins and English friends and have nothing but goodwill towards England that does not mean that I can’t think Independence would be good for Scotland.

      • Jambo25

        A Scottish state came into existence in the late 9th or early 10th century (Take your pick.) and existed until 1707. Round about the same length of time as an English state. There is no evidence at all that Scotland was eager for the Union. Sections of the Scottish aristocracy were.

        • The_greyhound

          A Scottish state, or rather states, existed before the turn of the millennium, but they were not sovereign : both old English and Angevin kings exercised suzerainty in Scotland. A fully independent state with its current boundaries (minus the Northern Isles which were illegally annexed later) existed from the beginning of the fourteenth century, It wasn’t an especially successful state (some would say ‘failed’), and it was cheerfully abandoned by the Scots by the third quarter of the sixteenth century. A de facto union existed after the union of the crowns; it was the reversal of Cromwell’s de jure union after the Restoration that led to insistent demand from Scotland for a permanent Union (W L Mathieson, Scottish Historical Review Vol IV, pp.249-262). Scotland benefited enormously from the Union; the myth that the Union was unpopular was propagated much later in late eighteenth century by Jacobite drinking clubs.

          You didn’t get much of that right.

          .

          • Jambo25

            I got all of what I wrote right. You, simply, seem to have some problem with Scotland and Scots. Strange that the Union of 1707 was preceded by English threats of trade boycotts and military invasion when it was so popular with Scots. Equally strange that the signing of the Union Treaty was attended by riots and the need for the Scottish signatories to receive protection and hide from the Edinburgh populace.

            • The_greyhound

              “I got all of what I wrote right”. Quoting your teacher, Professor Ernie Wise no doubt. Splendid. He will doubtless give you a resounding endorsement of 23 out of 100. Or was that the current polling for the “yes” campaign? So it was.

              • Jambo25

                Actually my teachers were mainly English nationals. Professors at the English university I attended. My Politics Professor, who taught me the definiton of a state was Professor Samuel Finer. Quite well known really.

          • terregles2

            Many of us are really more interested in the bright future an independent Scotland will have rather than ponder over ancient history. We need to remain focussed on how we can use all our rich resources to build a great new country after independence.

            • The_greyhound

              Then why comment?

              I was rebutting a series of entirely fanciful statements about Scotland’s past – If you don’t know anything about it – and most nationalists avoid the subject because the facts are hideously at variance with their silly prejudices – then don’t get involved.

              But the truth is neither you nor any other nationalist sympathiser has made a single statement that has stood up to scrutiny. But instead of having the good grace to apologise and bow out you continue this fantastic babble of counterfactual assertion, gibberish and tabloid rhetoric.

              Oh, and since Scotland will vote overwhelmingly against independence, you can focus on whatever you like, it’ll make no difference.

              • terregles2

                You will feel better getting that off your chest. I will be voting YES in 2014 but I have never voted SNP. I support one of the other parties who are campaigning for independence. But hey why let facts get in the way of a good rant against ” nationalists”

                Whatever happens it is reassuring to know that someone with such a lucid and informed grasp of Scottish history and politics is taking such a keen interest in Scottish events and taking time to do a bit of rebutting.

    • Jambo25

      The problem is that the main economic and fiscal policies which have been enforced on Scotland since the end of WW2 (at least) have been formulated largely for the needs of the South and Midlands of England. It’s now possible to argue that even the Midlands is left out of the equation and policies are formulated only for the benefit of London and the South. Devolution hasn’t really altered this as the main economic levers still remain firmly in Westminster’s hands and the Scottish Government has less real economic power than any of the US’s 50 state governments.

      In addition the cultural and institutional ties that bound Scots to the Union are also dissolving. My father and grandfathers were unioinists. I’m not. I don’t, now, live in a world of empire, shared military service, a centrally controlled, London based mass media etc. Nation wide trades unions, nationalised industries, shopping at the co-op etc, hardly exist. Respect for institutions such as monarchy and the Westminster Parliament are pretty rock bottom. Alternative focuses for loyalty and political action exist in Edinburgh and Brussels. One last but rarely touched on point also occurs to me. The capital city of the UK is starting to appear more and more foreign to Scots (and many English people as well.). Mass immigration has completely changed it’s demography and culture over the past 40-50 years or so. A city which I recognised as still British and not all that different from Glasgow or Edinburgh, when I first went to live there, back in the mid 1960s, is now as foreign as Boston or Berlin and has political and social concerns very different from the ones my neighbours often have.

      • The_greyhound

        Gordon Brown (a minor figure in the last Government, who had little influence, and held office for only a few months) being noted for his strong commitment to his native south east of England being a very good demonstration of your first paragraph. Brown was succeeded by Alistair Darling as Chancellor. Darling came from the Midlands of course.

        Your best summary of the facts so far.

        • Jambo25

          Brown was the politician who had a neurotic desire not to be seen as Scottish but to be seen as British. He and Blair continued to run the UK largely in the interests of London and the South. This isn’t entirely a Scotland v England issue as you’ll find lots of English people from the North, South West etc who are just as unhappy with it as the Scots.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Nurse! nurse! where am I?

  • Daniel Maris

    Well a veto is a veto, as Turkey knows – Cyprus will never let her into the EU. So, I don’t think that Scotland can be sanguine about their EU prospects. The SNP would have done better to have demanded equality with England on dissolution of the Union and to have made that one almighty campaign issue.

    • Grrr8

      Equality w/ England?

      • Daniel Maris

        Yes, the original Union was a union of two sovereign nations becoming one nation. Is Scotland leaves, England (albeit with Wales and Northern Ireland) is not the successor, the Union is dissolved.

        • Grrr8

          How would the equality have played out in practise? I suppose in theory the inheritor of the EU treaties would be in doubt.

          • Daniel Maris

            I think both would become applicants for fresh EU status. Remember, loads of things have to be renegotiated when Scotland leaves e.g. contributions and so on. Or are the English saying they will happily continue to pay Scotland’s whack in the EU?

        • Eddie

          Ergo, if it’s a union, then all those in the union should have a vote, non? In other words – the English have as much right to a vote as those in Scotland?

          The original union was between England and Wales surely (or England as it was known, even though the Twdrs – ie Tudors – were Welsh).

          Scotland was cobbled together from various components which are still pretty separate: the borders are so different from the inner city SNP heartlands; the highland and islands are very anti-SNP; the Western Isles are Irish and catholic. It was barely a country at all before it joined the union with England (and before that had the same King in 1603).

          The SNP are romantics – they are not realists and do not want the best for Scotland (if independence ends up impoverishing her people, what do the SNP crachach care?

          • Daniel Maris

            No, legally, Wales was always considered a part of England. There was subsequently a union with Ireland, but I think a good lawyer can argue that too was effectively dissolved by the Anglo-Irish treaty that set up the Irish Free State and it was difficult to characterise it in the first place as a free union, I think, since the Irish Parliament had been effectively subservient to the Westminster Parliament.

            • MichtyMe

              Was there ever an Irish Union Treaty, The Kingdom of Ireland was created by Proclamation of HenryVIII, it was a satrapos. A sovereign state is required for a Treaty, not an unilateral act.

              • Daniel Maris

                Well there was an Irish Parliament that approved the Union (after first rejecting it) but it had been granted powers by the UK Parliament, having previously been constrained by various acts. I agree it is difficult to argue Ireland was a sovereign nation in the sense Scotland was.

              • FF42

                There was an Act of Union in 1800. Even more contentious than in Scotland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_Union_1800

            • Eddie

              Yes, from around 1400 when the last Welsh princes were defeated. But Wales was still a nation, albeit one with various princes. Legally you are right – and semantically too. The Tudors were for example Welsh, not English, (the name was Twdr) and Henry VII defeated Richard II, allowing the Tudors to reig. Even Elizabeth I spoke Welsh and had a Welsh lady in waiting. David Starkey refers to The Tudors as the ‘Tafia’.
              AND it has its own language which was and is spoken by a significant proportion of the population – Scotland has never had that. How many speak Gaelic? 1% in the Western Isles – and they’re Irish anyway, like most Scots Catholics.
              Is Scotland a nation at all actually? Maybe it’s three.

          • terregles2

            Think inner cities in Liverpool and Newcastle etc are very different from the shire counties and very different from rural Cornwall. London again is very different from rest of England.

            Scotland was cobbled together from various components. I really think you need to brush up on Scottish history.

            SNP crachach? Is anyone seriously suggesting that Westminster tories have any love or concern for Scotland ?

            They care nothing for Scotland as nobody ever voted for them here but indeed they do care about losing our rich natural resources.
            How on earth could an independent S

            • Daniel Maris

              Although I have never been particularly a friend of the morose oat-munching Scotch, equally I have always felt they will prosper greatly under independence.

              As you say, they have natural resources in abundance combined with a small population. Technology is only going one way in terms of developing those resources. Within ten years they will be more like Sweden and Norway than England.

              The only thing holding them back is their native caution when it comes to money, the in-built assumption of canny folk that they might lose out on a deal. I am sure the UK government itself is cannily trying to give that impression.

              • terregles2

                What a dreadfully rude remark ” morose oat munching Scotch” that boorish insult says more about you than it does about any Scottish person.

            • Eddie

              In fact, Churchill represented Dundee and Scottish Tories used to be powerful and popular. Until perhaps the propaganda from the Scottish madrassas infected all Scots with racism against the English through schools.
              I really think SNP supporters need to bruch up on Scottish history: the fabricated piffle they spout has as much historical accuracy as Star Trek.
              An independent Scotland will be impoverished – as The Spectator has pointed out many a time (and the Economist). Scots have never experienced full on nutty socialism because the sensible people in England wouldn’t allow it, not even from a Labour government. If the SNP ever inflict it on you, then you’ll see, son – you’ll see!
              (And the oil and gas is not yours either matey – most is in waters which are owened by Britain, not Scotland; then there’s the repayment Scots will have to make for the cost of exploring and exploiting those resources, 90% of which the English have been paying for decades)
              The IMF will be called in; your assets will all be sold to pay bills; most serious money wand industry will leave the country (good for the north of England maybe) and you’ll be stuffed as a hypocrite haggis!

              • terregles2

                You sound really angry and aggressive lashing out with ill informed facts. You say an Independent Scotland will be impoverished. I am certainly not going to disagree with anything you say as I am frightened that all that anger you have might give you a stroke or heart attack.
                Take it easy you will make youself ill. Let’s just agree to differ.

          • Daniel Maris

            I think there should be a vote on both sides but if one votes to dissolve the union, then – as with a marriage – so it must be dissolved, it is a union of free peoples. Of course there can be different views of these things. The USA considers itself an indissoluble union. It appears however that no one has the stomach to say that with regard to the Scots.

          • Jambo25

            The SNP ‘heartlands’ are not in Scotland’s inner cities; they are in small town and rural Scotland. The inner cities were and to a certain extent still are Labour’s heartlands. A couple of the Western Isles are Catholic. None are Irish. Most of the Western Isles tend to be Presbyterian.. A Scottish state existed from the 9th or 10th century. Apart from being utterly wrong; you are right.

            Incidentally, I know what the word ‘crachach’ means. The SNP do not come from Llandaff. They do not send their kids to Jesus College. They are not Welsh. They do not speak Welsh and they are not ‘snobs’ which the word ‘crachach’ has as one of it’s colloquial meanings in Welsh.

            You obviously haven’t a clue as to what’s happening in Scotland so why do you continually advertise your ignorance and stupidity?

        • FF42

          If Scotland leaves … the Union is dissolved.This is arguable in terms of the original treaty between England and Scotland. However EU treaties are with the UK as a whole and the Acts of Union are irrelevant to that. The terms of separation from the UK Union are whatever they are decided to be. In practice I think Scotland will need to apply to the EU as a separate country while rump UK won’t.

          Article: Scotland would remain a member of the club as negotiations continued.. That’s true but in the meantime, Scotland would be stuck as a member of the UK Union until the same negotiations with the EU are resolved.

          • http://www.facebook.com/paul.bethune.9 Paul Bethune

            If you use Greenland as legal case study – their membership of the EEC was kept for 6 years before it was ended. For 6 years they continued to have EEC membership despite not wanting it.

            • FF42

              Greenland is a different case because it wanted to remain part of Denmark but outside of the EEC, so they had to come up with a special treaty to deal with the particular circumstances. In the meantime Greeenland remained in the default position – in their case the same position as Denmark. This perhaps demonstrates supports Alexs’ and my point: it can take time to sort out new arrangements. In the meantime you get stuck with an arrangement you don’t want.

              • http://www.facebook.com/paul.bethune.9 Paul Bethune

                You miss my point. Greenland negotiated its membership status FROM WITHIN the EEC and not as a new state. As far as the EEC were concerned, the citizens of Greenland were continued members. Greenland received Home Rule in 1979 – they did not leave the EEC until 1985.

                The Unionist argument over EU membership has been – Scotland will not be a member of the EU post independence. The only legal case study for the EU (EEC) shows that to be a lie.

                What arrangement does Scotland not want with the EU? The Euro? Schengen?

                • Daniel Maris

                  Well this is complicated! Greenland is still not independent is it? So that’s no case study at all, even though I think I’m in general support of your viewpoint.

                • FF42

                  I would see myself as a Unionist, if not a die hard one. I have never claimed that Scotland would be refused membership of the EU or have unusually burdensome conditions placed on it. Simply, Scotland would have to go through an application process that will be time-consuming and may not give you all you want, I think Alex is making a similar point above.

                  The SNP attitude is interesting. They don’t say it will all be worth it in the end. Instead they breezily dismiss all concerns..The reason is the prototypical Mrs Smith in Motherwell who will decide the referendum and whether Scotland will be independent. Mrs Smith is a proud Scot and doesn’t have objection in principle in Scotland being independent but she doubts the benefits. If the SNP can convince her that independence is cost-free she is more likely to vote Yes.

                  Those who see Scotland’s destiny as either an independent country or in the Union don’t count. We are not going to change our minds.

          • MichtyMe

            Consider, Scotland will not be declaring itself independent, no UDI, it will happen by act of the UK legislature. Technically. legally it could be viewed that the member state had partitioned itself.

            • FF42

              It could be seen as a partition rather than a secession, but I think it unlikely, precisely because only one part of the original country is, indeed, declaring itself independent of that country. Suppose the 50 000 Faroe Islanders opted eventually for independence, would that result in Denmark being ejected from the EU? The only difference in the situation between the Faroes and Scotland is the relative population sizes.

              • Daniel Maris

                No, as far as I know, the Faroes were a posession of the Danish (probably through personal crown posession), not an entity in a free union. Scotland freely entered into the union. It is an equal partner. There was never any suggestion otherwise.

            • Daniel Maris

              Quite.

            • FF42

              I agree, technically it could be. But I think unlikely it will be for two reasons, one practical and one constitutional.

              The practical reason is that it’s easier to treat this as a secession than as a partition.While an independent Scotland will clearly be a new constitutional entity and need separate arrangements and treaties, It is much easer to leave the rump UK where it is.

              The default constitutional position is for Scotland to remain part of the UK. Should the referendum be carried, the UK Government is committed to allowing Scotland to be independent, but it will be on their terms. The UK Government will make sure their own interests are protected before those of Scotland.

              • Democritus

                Is parliament committed? What I mean is that referendums hold no legal power over parliament, which means referendums can be ignored. I doubt that would happen but wouldn’t it still require an act of parliament? If so such an act could (possibly) be voted down by MPs even though 3 line whips may be imposed MPs have in the past ignored them and voted with their conscience. Add to all that the complex negotiations between Scotland and the UK parliament and then the first reading in the commons and lords with amendments added. The lords may even use their powers of delay forcing the other house to use the parliament act. Interesting times ahead.

                • FF42

                  I expect if Scotland votes for independence the institutions would ultimately respect that vote and Scotland will be independent. But the terms of that independence are absolutely up for grabs and I can see the UK parliament dragging its heels over the actual proposition. If you are a committed Nationalist then I guess you are prepared for what it takes. But I am not sure that applies to the bulk of the Scottish population for whom independence isn’t a burning issue.

                • Democritus

                  I’m not a nationalist or a unionist but I am British.

                • FF42

                  Sorry, rephrase: Committed Nationalists may be prepared for what it takes

                • Wessex Man

                  The SNP should be asking loudly how Call me Dave can negotiate the terms with the EU before his referendum on UK membership that may or may not happen in 2016/17/18 or maybe never. Yet will not enter any sort of negotiation with the SNP before the Scottish Independence Referendum.

                • FF42

                  That is a very good point. I guess the SNP are committed to independence as a concrete outcome whereas David Cameron is not committed to any particular arrangement with the EU that is different from the current one.

          • Daniel Maris

            The clue is in the title: “United Kingdom”. Once one of the free parts of the voluntary union decide to separate, there is no longer a United Kingdom, whatever anyone may call themselves.

    • http://twitter.com/tylochan Angus McLellan

      The thing about negotiations, even hypothetical future ones, is that demanding things isn’t guaranteed to produce results. “Demanding equality” would be one of those things where we can be fairly sure that asking and getting would turn out to be entirely different things.

      If you read parts of the UK government briefing paper which dealt with state succession then the UK’s experts are quite certain – and the Advocate-General concurs, for what that’s worth – that no right-thinking person could imagine that the UK would be extinguished by Scotland’s departure. They point to the Vienna Conventions – the UK hasn’t signed the relevant one, but it does exist – and to the precedents set by the creation of the Irish Free State, when the UK indubitably continued to exist, and to Russia’s status as the de facto continuing state on the break-up of the USSR. I think we can be fairly sure that the UK government isn’t minded to negotiate on this point. Yes, there will be another side to the story, with its own experts and precedents, but my money would be on the UK view prevailing. It is normally Westminster which is presumed to have the power to frame the hypothetical legislation, so they would have the last word.

      In that case, why would hypothetical Scottish negotiators want to devote a lot of effort and time to this question? Negotiating treaties is no big deal. Not even the EU ones. Spanish governments of any stripe will have far better things to worry about and it’s no great surprise that Ms Sturgeon’s address contained a special message just for them. Apart from Schengen, which is unlikely to be a sticking point for anyone else, the UK’s vaunted opt-outs and rebate are fairly meaningless for Scotland.

      And yes, it would matter to the EU Commission and the French and Germans that Scotland should remain in the EU. You hardly need to believe that the EU is some evil EUSSR bent on world^WEuropean dominion to think that losing territory would be an embarrassment. And if the Germans, French, Dutch, Danes et al were willing to throw good money at the dirt poor ex-Comecon states, are we really to suppose that they’d make signing up to Schengen a sine qua non for a rich, northern prospective member? If Scotland insisted on radical CFP reform as a precondition, that would be something else as we can see from the interminable Icelandic talks, but nobody is suggesting that.

      In reality, there are far more important questions to be dealt with and some of those are matters where the UK government’s precedents and appeal to unratified or unsigned Vienna Conventions could be greatly to the advantage of Scottish negotiators. To my mind, conceding on the state succession issue in real negotiations – not to be confused with the sort of megaphone pre-negotiation diplomacy which is going on today – makes a great deal of sense. I’m sure we can look forward to a year and more of duelling experts, but however educational that may prove to be, it won’t matter very much at all.

      • Daniel Maris

        All the examples you put forward can be matched by counter arguments. The claim of Russia to be the successor state to the USSR is very doubtful. A Russian Federation pre-dated the USSR, remember. All that happened I would suggest was that the USSR was dissolved and its member parts assumed sovereingty on a basis of equality. When the Czech Republic and Slovakia split did the Czech Republic become the successor state? I doubt it.

        I think the SNP missed a trick. If they had launched a nationwide campaign for equal successor state status they would have galvanised the whole Scottish nation behind the campaign and would have wrongfooted their unionist opponents, who would have had to argue for inequality.

        The reality is the original union was (as played out) a union of two free and sovereign nations. If the union is to be dissolved, then as with the dissolution of a marriage, the succession must be on an equal basis.

      • http://www.facebook.com/paul.bethune.9 Paul Bethune

        Russia created the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Federation – allowing Russia to supersede the USSR. There are legal arguments out there that believe Westminster has no sovereignty over Scotland. The Claim of Right 1689 and 1989 would prove otherwise, but neither has made a legal challenge of sovereignty.

        The Anglo-Irish Treaty created a new state. The signatory to the Act of Union 1801 was the Kingdom of Ireland. The Irish Free State was born from the Anglo-Irish Treaty, it did not revert back to the Kingdom of Ireland.

        The Vienna Convention on the law of treaties does state in Article 4 that no treaties made before the convention will be covered by it. However it does add that all such treaties will not affect the legal force of such agreements.

        I agree that what is left of the UK will be a successor state, but as an equal partner in this union, Scotland should be granted equal status post dissolution. Remember it is the Treaty of Union that created the Kingdom of Great Britain that is under threat from Scottish Independence. Article 1 of the Treaty lays out that the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England will be united as the Kingdom of Great Britain. Without Scotland there is no Kingdom of Great Britain.

        The Royal Parliamentary Titles Act is explicit when it defines the UK: Great Britain and Northern Ireland – without Great Britain, there can be no UK. Westminster would need to propose a new act of union – The United Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland. Thus creating a new state. It will left to international law to determine if there is going to be: 2 successor states, 2 new states or 1 successor state and 1 new state.

        • MichtyMe

          Also what about Yugoslavia, did not Serbia and Montenegro try to succeed as Yugoslavia but were thwarted

          • http://www.facebook.com/paul.bethune.9 Paul Bethune

            Its very significant that you raise the issue of Yugoslavia. Serbia and Montenegro were 2 separate republics within Yugoslavia. In 1992 they created a new union that was to be called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. They were never a state before this and had no claim as a partnership within Yugoslavia. What is more significant is that When Serbia and Montenegro became 2 separate states in 2006, One of the
            conditions in the 2002 Belgrade Agreement was that that state that secedes forfeits any rights to the legal or political continuity of the union between them. Serbia became the successor state. No agreement exists within the Edinburgh Agreement and nothing states such in the Treaty of the Union. There is no legal precedent between the union of Yugoslavia let alone the union between Serbia & Montenegro.

    • sir_graphus

      If the rest of the UK has a veto, I would use it to extract a guarantee that Scotland never signed up to Schengen.

    • Jambo25

      So who will veto Scotland’ entry into the EU?

  • http://twitter.com/tylochan Angus McLellan

    Shengen? Please! I can live with the need to avert my eyes from the comments on any Massie opus touching on migration – pass the brain bleach! – but I don’t see why I should be forced to confront barbarous spelling. As to the rest of the content, all I can say is that it is no wonder there’s an entrepreneurial deficit in Scotland. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

    • Grrr8

      A value added contribution from you here.

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