Coffee House

Putin’s strange intervention over Scottish independence

20 January 2014

2:48 PM

20 January 2014

2:48 PM

Is it useful to have Vladimir Putin on your side or not? One would have hoped anybody in the UK Government would have considered this question before, apparently, asking for the Russian President’s help in their battle with the Scottish nationalists over independence.

Many people saw President Putin’s intervention in the Scottish independence debate on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday morning. Far fewer, however, are aware of the rather murky background to the exchange between Putin and Marr which seems to have preceded it. For the record, this is what the Russian President said in response to a question from Marr about Scottish independence:

‘It is not a matter for Russia, it is a domestic issue for the UK. Any people have a right to self-determination and now in Europe, the process of denuding national sovereignty in the framework of a united Europe is more accepted.’

But then he added:

‘I believe that one should not forget that being part of a single strong state has some advantages and one should not overlook this. But it’s a choice for each and every people according to their own circumstances.’

Putin was also asked – half in jest – whether he would be prepared to welcome an independent Scotland into the new Russian customs union. And the Russian President replied: ‘I wouldn’t rule that out.’

It is clear that Putin was trying to do two things: he was attempting to stick by accepted practice and not getting involved in the internal disputes of other countries. But, at the same time, he made it clear with his ‘single strong state’ remarks that he favoured the unionist side. It is here that we have to take a step back to the start of the year and a piece on the Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

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The former Soviet news agency, which has exceptionally good Russian government contacts, reported that the UK Government was ‘extremely interested’ in world leaders – including Putin – speaking up on behalf of the UK against Scottish separatists. The news agency said that a Cameron aide had reportedly warned Putin that Scottish independence would send ‘shockwaves’ through Europe. Downing Street insisted last night it had not asked Mr Putin to intervene in the debate over Scottish independence.

So we have a report in the Russian media – a claim which Downing Street denies – claiming that an aide to the British Prime Minister had asked Mr Putin to intervene in favour of the Union.  Then Putin was asked by the BBC to comment on Scottish independence and rather than just staying out of the debate entirely, which he could easily have done, he made it clear that he favours the unionist side.

If Putin’s intervention was indeed prompted by a request from people in the UK Government, as the Itar-Tass report seemed to suggest, then it has to be asked – what on earth were those Number Ten advisers hoping to achieve?

SNP MEP Alyn Smith spoke for many in Scotland yesterday when he responded to Putin’s intervention by saying: ‘With the best will in the world, I do not think many people in Scotland will take lessons in democracy from Vladimir Putin.’

And that’s the rub. If Barack Obama had spoken out about Scottish independence and warned Scots not to break away from the UK, that would have had an effect on public opinion. Despite his policy setbacks, President Obama still has a great deal of credibility and his would have been a voice worth securing in support of the Union.

But Vladimir Putin? His record on separatist movements isn’t really one to praise or copy and his his approach to gay rights, protest groups and democracy is more likely to antagonise Scots than anything else.

If Downing Street, or anyone else in the UK Government, expended valuable political capital in securing the endorsement of Putin for the anti-independence campaign, the advisers who did that have to ask themselves whether it was really worth it. Putin might be a globally recognisable figure. He might also be, as was pointed out on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday, the third most admired figure in the world (behind Bill Gates and Barack Obama but ahead of the Pope), but that does make him influential in the debate over Scottish independence.

Indeed, I would suggest that pollsters could scour the length and breadth of Scotland for the next nine months and not find a single voter who had changed their mind and decided to vote ‘No’ because it was endorsed by the Russian President. In fact, I would wager that, if anything, voters will be more likely to do the opposite of what Putin suggests and his endorsement might even end up costing the No camp support.

But those people who apparently started this whole process – whoever they were and wherever they came from – must have thought all this through, mustn’t they?

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Show comments
  • Иван Иванов

    Russians support freedom of Scotland. We remember that the Scots helped us in the development of the Russian fleet in the fight against the Anglo-Saxons.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJXIyThF_qQ
    We need freedom Celtic-Slavic Union against the Anglo-Saxon-Jewish world government.

  • kenneth mackinnon

    Back channel diplomacy with Russians ..against Scotland….English traitors !!

  • kenneth mackinnon

    The British Government is 92% English….It is an English Government that is being challenged by the Scottish Government for democracy , economic control over our money, and against the theft of our oil .

  • terregles2

    At least there is nothing ambigious about the recent comment by the chef Albert Roux. He describes the Westminster government’s treatment and record in governing Scotland as lamentable. In contrast to the Holyrood government’s excellent record of promoting and supporting Scotland.
    Only a few bitter British Nationalists remain led by the discredited Westminster parliament pouring scorn and insults on Scots who know and believe that they should be like every other country and have independence.

  • swatnan

    Is he up to Burns night?

  • Iain Hill

    It shows the desperation and disorientation of the No camp. They have no real case and are reduced to increasingly risible PR stunts. We are having a good laugh at them!

  • Jeanne Tomlin

    Putin’s rather vague comment about the value of strong states, which certainly does not say that a small state may not be strong, certainly does not make it clear ‘that he favoured the unionist side” in spite of Hamish Macdonell’s usual unionist song and dance. In fact, it indicates nothing whatsoever, even that he has any idea what the issues are or that he has any opinion on the makeup of the UK at all. I rather doubt he has an opinion. All it indicates is that he has his own domestic problems that concern him a heck of a lot more than Scotland or the UK.

    • terregles2

      Think Russia is one of the countries where the USA in cartoons is depicted as a massive rottweiler and Britain is depicted as a small poodle yapping at the rottweiller’s heels.

  • Rocksy

    Given the Marxist nature of Salmond and the SNP and Scotland’s fruitless but relentless pinning of its hopes on the Labour party, Putin may have more influence than we think.

  • CharlesPtwo

    Downing Street denies! Is that the ‘cunning plan’ to escape responsibility for this disastrous intervention by ‘Call me Dave.’ Are they also denying that, as reported by a recently retired Ambassador of Scots Origin, who has blown the gaff with his revelation that Every British Ambassador for the last Two Years has been instructed to garner as much anti Scottish support from Host Governments as possible?

    Your Reporter is correct Sirs, no single stupidity by Downing Street has created more Yes Voters and shifted more out of the ‘Unsure Camp,’ than this foolish foray. Except perhaps, Cameron’s refusal to enter into debate whilst at the same time dispatching the Likes of ‘Tory Boy’ himself, Mr. Hague, a figure of Fun, nay Hilarity, in Scotland, as the most recent of a long line of Tory Ministers with a quick Lecture and back to London in time for Tea! (And is there Honey still for Tea?)

    They are doing it all wrong, and I applaud them for it!

  • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

    Three questions arise from this article.

    Did Putin really speak out in favour of the union as unionists choose to believe?

    Not really. Not if one is less selective than British nationalist would, perhaps naturally, tend to be. Taken as a whole, Putin’s remarks could be taken as neutral – as I’m sure he intended, due to the fact that he puts at least as much emphasis on the right of self-determination as on the facile “bigger is better” argument favoured by the anti-independence campaign.

    Would an intervention from Barack Obama have a significant influence on public opinion in Scotland?

    This is, at best, a highly dubious proposition. Obama’s credibility is certainly not what it once. (I should note that I personally never rated the man at all. I’d call him a black Tony Blair but I’m not quite ready to pass such a harsh verdict.) What is Obama most associated with these days. Gitmo, the murder of innocent civilians using drones, and obsessive pursuit of whistle-blowers. None of which do anything to enhance the man’s standing.

    My guess is that, in the highly unlikely event of any intervention from the US President, this would be dismissed as uninvited, unwanted and unwelcome foreign interference. And I think you’ll find the UN Charter has something to say about that.

    Did the UK Government “think through” their approach to Putin?

    Of course they didn’t! They never do. They are, in fact, incapable of doing so because they are so remote from Scotland’s politics and can only see the situation from a British nationalist perspective. It wouldn’t occur to them that such an approach might have unfortunate consequences any more than they are capable of realising how Westminster MPs coming north to lecture Scots is perceived.

    These people are so out of touch they genuinely imagine we will be impressed by Harriet Harman venturing forth from her lair in London to give the uppity Jocks a good talking to. The delusion runs deep in them.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Hilarious – UK government only sees situation from “British nationalist” perspective. The clue is in the name. Not only do the Scots have MPs representing them in Westminster but also their own parliament.

      But not good enough for Scotland, eh? No, they want Westminster entitely dedicated to the question of Scotland and Scottish politics too.

      Gentle hint – it is not all about YOU.

      • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

        Aren’t you the sensitive wee soul. And not averse to a bit of creative reading. never mind what the words say, let your prejudices define the meaning.

        But you inadvertently acknowledge the problem. If Westminster is to be considered fit to govern Scotland then the British MPs who sit there should have just as much knowledge of and interest in Scotland as they have in, say, London. clearly, that is not the case.

        One of those layers of government is redundant. Simple logic and an adherence to democratic principles would dictate that it should be the level that is least dedicated to the interests of Scotland’s people, and the one which, not least for that reason, rarely receives a mandate from Scotland’s voters.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Er, reading the comments whenever this subject comes up here I don’t think it is I who is the sensitive wee soul.

          As for the rest, well as a Scottish nationalist you would say that wouldn’t you.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        Here is where you are wrong. The referendum on Scottish independence is indeed all about Scotland and only about Scotland. Not everything in the world is about England or has anything do do with England. This doesn’t.

        • Colonel Mustard

          You completely miss my point which was about the attention given by the UK government to Scotland not your precious referendum. Of course it is all about Scotland. That is the very essence of the nationalist position.

          Here’s a question for you. When Scotland gains its independence will you and the other strident nationalists still be so anti-English and still blame all your woes on England?

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            Again, you make it all about England. The referendum is about self-determination and Scotland running its own affairs, not about England. You insist that no one can want independence unless they hate the English and yet country after country across the globe has shed UK governance without really caring much about England one way or the other. And with them as with Scotland, it was about their own governance. Really, you need to try to lose your narrow, provincial outlook that everything must revolve around that one nation.

            • Colonel Mustard

              You make my comments all about what you want them to be to reinforce your prejudices. Shame on you.

              “You insist that no one can want independence unless they hate the English”

              I have never insisted that but it is very clear from your comments that you do hate England which you conflate with the UK.

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                That I am aware of the aggressive and war-like history of the English doesn’t mean that I hate them. It simply means that I have no undue admiration for them and certainly not for the Westminster government and its equal history of wars and aggression. If you want to interpret that as ‘hatred for the English’, that is the chip on your shoulder and has nothing to do with me.

                • Tom Collis

                  would you prefer if BRITAIN (not england) has allowed iraq to remain a breeding ground for terrorist intend on desolating modern society? would you have felt like you where doing the right thing if we allowed the Nazis to dominate europe and exterminate millions? scotland seem to be british when it suits them and then identify themselves as Scottish when the time comes to demonize the rest of the country with apparently Scottish opposed criminalized acts of aggression. stop accusing us of fighting for freedom and democracy and think to yourself what would have happened if we as a country didn’t!

        • mdj

          What do you say to the millions of people who are neither English or Scottish, but British, who have no other country than Britain, and yet who have no vote on whether their country should break up?

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            I beg your pardon? Are you talking about some blood affinity or something equality out-dated and abhorrent? One is Scottish or English from being a citizen of that nation, that is what I say to all such people. If they want a voice, they become a citizen of the country and vote. If they are not citizens, then they have no such stake in the nation. And Scotland, a nation, thank you, is not breaking up. It is regaining its right to self-government. England, Wales and Northern Ireland can work out their own affairs.

            • mdj

              Well, since nobody at present is a citizen of Scotland or England, how will the electorate for the referendum be made up? How do we register as a citizen of a state that does not yet exist in order to vote whether it should? Does a Scot lose this eligiblity the moment he or she crosses the border? Will Scottish soldiers or contract workers overseas be excluded? Will second-homers in Scotland get a vote? Do please explain: there’s not much time.
              Most people do define themselves to a great extent by their ancestry, and the provenance of that ancestry, so your abhorrence is somewhat bogus.

          • terregles2

            They are either living in Scotland or England and are on the voter’s roll in the country where they live.
            It means that many English who now live in Scotland will vote and Scots not on the Scottish voter’s roll will not. That is perfectly fair as the referendum is about having self government for everyone living in Scotland. Their nationality is immaterial.

      • Jambo25

        Would you welcome any other invitations by British politicians, to foreign government,s to interfere in the UK’s internal affairs?

        • Colonel Mustard

          That’s a really stupid comment. Especially so given the existence of the EU.

          • terregles2

            Well you can vote to leave the EU just as anyone living in Scotland can vote to leave Westminster.

          • Jambo25

            Bit slow on the uptake Colonel. That’s exactly my point.

      • MisbehavinRaver .

        absolute bollocks!!! you see Colonel this is the reason people have a deep dislike for your “englishness” not good enough??? not good enough??? you give us nothing?? we dont need permission to govern ourselves or for that matter or take your “offers” good luck surviving without us ….as, in your words ” your not good enough

        • Colonel Mustard

          You have MPs representing you in the UK Parliament. It is not an “English” parliament but a UK one. The government is not an “English” government but a UK one.

          There are 59 Scots MPs in Parliament representing just over 9% whereas the population of Scotland represents 8.26% of the UK population. So you are not under represented and to talk of “your” government is ridiculous. The last PM of the UK was Scottish FFS.

          Get this straight. You are not seeking “independence” but secession from a UNION. You already have a Parliament in addition to the MPs in Westminster and frankly your aggresive, whining, Anglophobe bigotry and complete distortion of the constitutional facts is getting on my t i t s.

          • MisbehavinRaver .

            Didnt you understand my last post to you THE WORLD HATES YOU, YOU ARE ENGLAND , are you so fucking deluded that you think you as england have something worth being a part of you fucking mug, we never voted to be part of your union, thanks to the bank of england and the english government back in the day they thwarted all attempts at scotland becoming a success thus forcing the rich in scotland to beg to keep a little bit of power and wealth to the detriment of all others……I have lived and worked in over 16 countries and all have one thing in common………WE ALL HATE ENGLAND

  • Jambo25

    The problem for Cameron and chums is that they have ‘form’ here. Apart from the reports in Itar-Tass there have been other reports in the Scottish press as Macdonnell acknowledges. In addition, there appear to have been contacts between Cameron and Rajoy before the Spanish PM’s comments some weeks ago. Add on reports from ex-diplomats such as Carne Ross that British embassies and consulates are being asked to scour the world for friendly words against Scottish independence. We appear to have a PM who is willing not simply to tolerarte foreign interference in UK affairs but to actively seek it as long as it is anti-Scottish independence.

  • Geronimo von Huxley

    Who cares what Putin thinks, he said nothing and he is well advised to do exactly that. In the meantime all betting in the Windsor area regarding the abdication of the Monarch is suspended with immediate effect. Could it be construed that this very odd press release was indeed intended to be read in connection with the imminent creation of a free Scottish nation state?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/queen-elizabeth-II/10584478/Betting-suspended-on-Queen-stepping-down.html

  • toco10

    We either have a separate Parliament for England like the rest of the Union or each piece should go its own way.I am no fan of Putin but if he helps create such a position for those of us who live in England I could easily change my mind!

  • Tom Tom

    This is drivel. Putin is asked a question and gives a standard answer. The only place worried about Scottish independence is Spain which is losing Catalonia and wonders how the replay of 1936 will look. NATO violated the 1975 Helsinki Accords and played with European borders over Kosovo just as Sudeten Germans attained their self-determination in accordance with Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points………….

  • asalord

    British nationalists will stop at nothing to prevent Scotland regaining its independence.

    • Wessex Man

      but we want you to go.

      • asalord

        God bless you.

    • Wessex Man

      but we want you to go.

    • Tom Collis

      maybe that because we don’t want this once glorious nation to split into two meaningless states sharing a landmass smaller than new zealand. what is the point? how much do you gain from crippling your neighbors scotland? why wouldn’t we fight for our countries unification if all we would get from it is weakness and obsolete division?

  • Colonel Mustard

    Just a continuation of the KGB strategy that has inspired and funded Labour since the 1960s. Labour opened Pandora’s Box with their silly and destructive devolution policy. Now it is quite amusing to see them struggle to preserve the Union that guaranteed them so many votes. Cameron meanwhile has been as inept on this as on everything else. Between them they have presided over the incremental destruction of a once great country, creating “problems” where there were none and “solving” them with “solutions” that have created many real and much worse problems.

    1,000 years of history and the clowns of the political elite manage to trash it all in half a century because they think they know better.

    • HookesLaw

      Yes devolution has blown up in labours face. they used it to appease the SNP but in the end the corruption of their nown party in Scotland has fed the SNP. But the way the political geography lies an independent Scotand would still end up perpetually socialist.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …so, like the LibLabCon clones then, eh?

      • terregles2

        How can anyone predict what any country will be voting for in 10 years time never mind in perpetuity.
        The Conservatives in Scotland before the Thatcher government enjoyed a reasonable share of the Scottish vote. Nobody could have predicted that they would be reduced to only 1 MP. Who could have predicted that the Labour party in Scotland would be trounced by the SNP.
        Who could have predicted that the UKIP vote would threaten both the Tories and Labour votes in England.
        If Scotland votes for independence in September there is no certainty that a socialist government will always have a majority at Holyrood.
        Indeed a week is a long time in politics but a year is a lifetime.

        • Colonel Mustard

          But there is more than 1 Conservative and Unionist MP in the Scottish Parliament, no?

          Ah, the luxury of having two parliaments. The English still have to dream of having even one.

          • terregles2

            Holyrood is a parliament that does not have power to make important decisions. Westminster still makes the significant decisions that have a big impact on Scotland.
            We have no control over oil exploration in the Firth of Clyde as the MOD forbade further exploration as it was in close proximity to Trident. No control over HS2, privatisation of the Post Office, having nuclear weapons in our country, having troops in Afghanistan, etc.
            Most important powers remain with Westminster defence, foreign policy, immigration,social security,constitutional matters etc.
            Hopefully that will all change in September and Scotland and indeed the remainder of the UK can face a more democratic future.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Scotland votes Labour in Westminster but Labour is not in power. Ergo the Coalition government doesn’t represent Scotland. Frustrating for you.

              The sooner you go the better and you have my blessing.

              • terregles2

                I am glad that you wish us well. I wish the same for the remainder of the UK. Why would we have bad feelings towards our neighbouring country where so many of our family and friends live.?

              • dalai guevara

                No no no Colonel, this is frustrasting only you.
                What you need to do (not you personally perhaps) is make a case *for* the Union, that’s all. We need to hear it. A Tory case for the Union. It would be a Labour case if they were in power right now, but they are not. Now you Tories n e e d to make that case. You need to make that case in Scotland, on Scottish soil.
                That was my point earlier, that is my point now, and you know it.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  The only thing that is frustrating is the dissembling about the subject that goes on here. Personally whilst I will be saddened by the break up of the UK I shall be very glad to see the back of the Scottish Nationalists.

                • dalai guevara

                  There is no reason to be defeatist.
                  The better argument ought to convince a majority, the right feelings ought to influence the outcome, and of course a certain rationale.
                  We need to hear more about that rationale. If that case is not made eloquently then Cameron will be the PM who lost Scotland.

            • mdj

              We have no control over oil exploration in the Firth of Clyde…’
              But Scotland is proportionately over-represented at Westminster, which decides these things, is it not? Do Scottish MPs abstain on all matters that do not exclusively concern Scotland? Of course not.

              • terregles2

                No matter how many MP’s we have in Westminster they are always a small minority. That is why we often have governments that the majority in Scotland have not voted for. To suggest that Scottish MP’s control the policy of the MOD is spurious.
                There is obviously resentment that Scottish MP’s vote on exclusively English matters. The best remedy for that is Scottish independence.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            They don’t have a large number. The SNP has 69, Labour 37, Tories 15 and LD 5. On a percentage basis that is not a huge improvement. I don’t think the Tories can brag about having 10% of the seats in Holyrood although it is admittedly a very, very slight improvement over the 1.5% in Scottish MPs in WM.

            And as for it being a ‘luxury’… Scots worked and fought for it for decades, as little power as it has. Since the English can’t say the same, they have no right to whinge about it.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Who said it was ‘huge’? But still more than 1, eh?

              English nationalism has never had the support or romanticism attached to Scots, Welsh and Irish nationalism, mainly by the left in Britain. It is characterised with xenophobia, racism, violence and hooliganism (q.v. Jack Straw). It is largely disapproved of by the establishment. Nevertheless the English as a people are not represented by their own parliament, little power or no. Whereas the Scots have their own parliament and maintain representation in Westminster. That is a fact not a matter of whinging.

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                The whinging part is when you complain instead of doing something about it.

              • terregles2

                Best solution is for each nation in the UK to have independence. There has never been anything to stop an English political party forming then campaigning for English independence. The Scots and Welsh did it and England could do the same any time it likes.

              • Jambo25

                What “romanticism”? Most of us, up here, looked at the democratic deficit affecting Scotland and the general misgovernment coming from Westminster and said ‘enough is enough’.
                I would suggest that those wanting an English parliament do the same. It took us decades but we eventually got a Scottish Parliament.

    • Tom Tom

      Gladstone failed to get Irish Home Rule onto the statute books and by 1914 the country faced civil war and the Curragh Mutiny followed by the Easter Rising of 1916……..Britain has never managed Devolution

      • Colonel Mustard

        Like the Irish Republican/Socialist movement played no part in all that.

    • dalai guevara

      I think you will find it’s 307 years of history and no, England needs to make a case as to why a Union is still required in a nation that clearly is divided.

      When the incumbent Prime Minister of a country can be excused from making the case *for* a Union on Scottish soil, and that poor excuse is somehow accepted and laughed off in the House, then yes, Colonel, then something far more obvious than what you make it out to be is at odds here. What might I be insinuating here?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …that you’re a slack-jawed bandersnatch?

      • Colonel Mustard

        No, it’s definitely 1,000 years give or take, William II and Carlisle, Edward 1, Baliol, the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, James I and VI etc., etc. Maybe you are stronger on German history.

        As to your insinuations – who knows? Who cares?

        • dalai guevara

          You are in a bad mood and not addressing the point. I will leave you to it until you will.

          • Colonel Mustard

            What point? You didn’t make one other than the usual arcane ramble about what you think you know but don’t specify and we are all supposed to guess. I suggest you stick to German climate change forums.

            • dalai guevara

              Matey, Al Gore is not my hero and never was. You possibly fell for him once, I do not know, but that does not make everyone an id*ot.

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          Baliol was admittedly an English puppet, but even then Scotland was not part of a union with England and he was pretty rapidly repudiated by the Scots. There is no ‘1000 years of history’ when it comes to the United Kingdom. I suggest reading something other than propaganda for your precious British Empire.

          • Colonel Mustard

            ‘There is no 1,000 years of history when it comes to the United Kingdom’.

            Really? You think ‘history’ is only about the Union and people being nice to each other? And perhaps instead of falling for that tired old cliché of ‘English puppet’ you should study the internecine warfare of Scotland, even as the two terrible Edwards were marching north – et seq.

            As for my ‘precious British Empire’ – bit of a give away about your stance on that but I venture I know considerably more about its reality, good and bad, than someone who writes fantasy novels about Scotland.

            But I understand how you feel. Personally I’m getting a bit fed up with nationalist propaganda about your precious Scotland.

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              It is extraordinarily difficult for a government only 307 years old to have 1000 years of history. As for the internecine warfare of Scotland, I am well aware of it. I am also aware of the even greater internecine warfare of England. The murder of Edward II, Richard II deposed, the War of the Roses that went on for more than thirty years, the English Civil War, the beheading of Charles I, James II deposed in the midst of sectarian warfare and oppression. And when not fighting each other, England was invading other countries. I suggest not bragging.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Who’s bragging? You are simply anti-English and see everything in those terms. It reeks in every comment you have made.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Anyone who isn’t falling all over themselves saying how wonderful Westminster is must be “anti-English” in your opinion, apparently. You continue in that belief.

                  Your attempts to imply that Scots have not governed themselves in the past and couldn’t because of some inbred tendency much greater than the superior English to ‘internecine warfare’ invites a response. If you stopped trying to insult other nations, it would help the discussion.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No, that is not my belief. Nowhere have I stated any requirement to say how wonderful Westminster is. In fact I have very little time for it myself. Your comments are plainly anti-English. “And when not fighting each other, England was invading other countries” which shows a staggering degree of ignorance about our two countries interaction, good and bad. You are simply subjectively Anglophobe in your approach.

                • Jambo25

                  I can see nothing at all anti-English in Ms. Tomlin’s postings. Perhaps you could present us with something.

                • terregles2

                  You have no logical argument against Scottish independence so you cry anti-English.
                  Anti-English is the last refuge of the bitter Britnats. Shame for you that so manyu English in Scotland are voting YES.

                • Tom Collis

                  the SNP are blatant liars. Alex Salmond exaggerated oil revenues by 60%! they think they can predict growth but economic growth cant be predicted! it happened or it doesn’t and the YES voters are hooked on optimistic lies. even as parts of the YES campaign descend into anti-anglo hooliganism they fail to take responsibility for there own supporters and blame the the YES voter trolling out-lashes on MI5!!! its pretty pathetic. but overall the entire secession is just plain selfish towards the rest of the country. it may be a argument over the effects on Scotland but the effects on the rest of the countries millions of worried people will only be negative. but those who get the privilege in Scotland wont even take this into account.

            • MisbehavinRaver .

              i have the answer it was ” colonel mustard, in the bedroom, with his dad and a lead pipe” we all know the english love abusing kids theyre very own parliment allows it, has been covered up to no end and is full of abusers….

            • MisbehavinRaver .

              then fuck off and keep your nose out then WE DONT WANT YOU, and if yu think that vote was fair then youll probably believe that sadam hussein had WMDS

        • Tom Collis

          Im afraid it is 307 years. 1000 years is roughly the time britain was last successfully invaded by william the conquer in 1066.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Christ, you are as thick as Doolally.

            RTFP. It’s not all about the Union FFS.

        • MisbehavinRaver .

          1000 years????? fuck if id known you were an idiot i wouldnt have wasted time replkying to previous posts?? a 1000 years hahahahaha you sir are deluded

    • terregles2

      The people of Scotland decided that independence was something that an increasing number wanted to have. . As more information has been released from the McCrone report onwards more of us could see just how much lies and deceit we have had from the Westminster government. We think for ourselves.

  • Q46

    First we must believe what we read/hear in the Russian media when we cannot believe 99% of what we read/hear in the British media?

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      Considering the censure last week of BBC Scotland’s Reporting Scotland for having twisted the remarks of an Irish minister so as to make it appear she disagreed with the Scottish government on its position on joining the EU, one just might believe Tass before they believe BBC. (Although how BBC could manage to accidentally reverse what she said ‘inadvertantly’ is anyone’s guess)

      • Jambo25

        They didn’t. They are a branch of Better Together. Utterly biased.

  • Salmondnet

    “But those aides of David Cameron who apparently started this whole process must have thought all this through, mustn’t they?” Well no. Not if they did not in fact start the process and Downing Street deny that such an approach was ever made. For once that denial is entirely credible. Russia Today has been licking its lips at the prospect of the referendum for months because it enjoys the embarrassment of the UK Government at the possibility of a break up (payback for Russia losing much of the USSR). TASS was just joining in the party.

    • HookesLaw

      Correct this whole propagandist blather is based on a fantasy.
      PS
      perhaps on refelection I should withdraw ‘propagandist’ in favour of ‘badly written’.

      • Jambo25

        Except 1) There are reports of this in UK papers. Admittedly sourced from Itar-Tass but looked at and double checked which back the story up. 2) There was a long telephone conversation between Cameron and PM Rajoy, of Spain, prior to Rajoy’s rather Cameron friendly comments on Scottish independence some weeks ago. 3) Ex diplomats, such as Carne Ross, report that HMG was asking embassies and consulates to drum up anti-Scottish independence support in their various countries.
        Just because something appears to be stupid and sleazy does not mean that Cameron and Hague aren’t capable of doing it. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    • HookesLaw

      Correct this whole propagandist blather is based on a fantasy.
      PS
      perhaps on refelection I should withdraw ‘propagandist’ in favour of ‘badly written’.

  • Pootles

    It is very difficult to imagine what Downing Street thought it was up to here (if Macdonell’s report is right). Just what is the problem – there is to be a referendum, Scotland will vote, there will be a result. If it is ‘yes’, that’s fine, and Scotland can move on to new issues it will have to face; if ‘no’, well, there will be more intra-UK horse trading among the politicos. But it is pretty straightforward and democratic. Either way, most English people won’t really care – we’ve got more than enough domestic problems on our plate.

    • Jambo25

      It’s a bit more than silly. Just before Rajoy’s words on Scottish independence it was reported that he had a longish telephone conversation with Cameron. What was discussed? Was Rajoy promised anything in return for a UK ‘friendly’ intervention against Scottish independence? If so, what was it? If I was a Gibraltarian or British fisherman I’d keep looking, rather hard, at British policy. vis a vis Spain.

  • Bill Brinsmead

    ……But, at the same time, he made it clear with his ‘single strong state’ remarks that he favoured the unionist side……..

    Get real Hamish, Putin and his government would be delighted to see Scotland vote for independence leading to a much weakened UK – in every sense.

    Hence the mischief making.

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