Canongate Wall and the Indyref Franchise Question.

Rejoinder from Alf Baird


Mr Vince Littler is wrong to claim that I suggested only those born in Scotland should have a vote in a referendum on independence. My view and the view in most countries today is that parental descent is also an important aspect and, indeed, the ECHR mentions national self-determination as also applying to first generations of diaspora. 

As the writer James Kelman said: ‘If you want to know your identity, look at who your relatives are’. The way people vote on the matter of national independence is in large part based on their national identity, which is determined by our culture and language; this is what gives any defined ‘people’ their national consciousness, without which there can be no desire for independence. In this regard, post indyref14 research suggested that: ‘the application of the marker of residence… is popularly considered to be a relatively weak marker that may be put forward as the basis for a Scottish identity’ (Bond 2015)This highlights the very significant risk in using a residence-based local government franchise for any national referendum, a risk which, as we now know, cost Scots their independence in 2014, and stands to do so again in any second attempt based on the same franchise approach.

Mr. Littler appears to confuse the right of a person to vote in a national referendum (in a country other than his own) with being made to feel welcome by that country’s people. As someone who has worked and lived for a period of time in a number of countries, and where I have been made most welcome, I have to say that it never once crossed my mind that I must crave a vote on the matter of the self-determination or national sovereignty of my host people and nation. Their self-determination and/or national sovereignty is very much a matter for them, and rightly so, and why would I wish to interfere in that?

Like many other Scots I am becoming less interested in relying on a referendum in order to secure Scottish independence. In part this is because the local government franchise employed is clearly incompetent and inevitably means the self-determination process of the Scottish people is subject to extensive external interference; the UN suggests this should be avoided. But it is also because: ‘As a matter of law, a referendum is not a required part of the process of becoming independent’ (McCorkindale and McHarg 2020).The fact of the Treaty of Union and Scots already being a sovereign people represent additional important factors that remain to be properly addressed by Scotland’s national political representatives.

Mr. Littler believes that the words referred to in Alexander Gray’s fine poem ‘Scotland’ are directed at him? This is a rather big assumption, or perhaps rather more a fanciful notion. Gray’s words clearly depict a country (Scotland) where life for most Scottish folk was harsh, reflecting a period of mass unemployment, poverty and outmigration. Despite this hardship and ‘toil’ and ‘sweat’, the Scottish people ‘love’their (Scot)land, and they are called upon to develop themselves and their nation, in particular through ‘schooling’. There seems little doubt here that Gray identifies Scotland as his land (‘my country’) and hence by implication it is not the land of other ‘peoples’/usurpers. It is also a land from which he and others have been produced (‘the land that begat me’)which clearly derives from his innate and deep connection with that land, giving him in turn his national identity and hence national consciousness – the poem is entitled ‘Scotland’, efter aw. The reference to ‘those who toil here’relates to the vast majority of Scots who had to eke out a living from an impoverished (exploited) land ‘stony and bare’, again during a period of mass unemployment, poor housing, widespread poverty, deprivation, lack of opportunityand the hopelessness which ultimately forced millions of Scots to emigrate and leave the country that ‘begat’ them. And here it is, the ‘sweat in their faces’ that Gray refers to,which relates to the toiling impoverished Scottish masses; these words are hardly directed at the privileged middle-class colonialist who may expect to find ample opportunity and reward coming to a land seeking what Albert Memmi refers to as ‘an easy life’ and a ‘change of environment’. And, finally, the words ‘flesh of my flesh, and ‘bone of my bone’, cannot be anything other than a reference to Gray’s fellow and yes, ethnic Scots, toiling and sweating in their wretchedness and impoverishment (and oppression), and making of it whatever they could – with the prompting that ‘schooling’ and hence education might provide the main opportunity to lift them up.

Albert Memmi referred to ‘colonialist arrogance’ and in thatregard Mr. Littler’s remarks provide a useful illustration; in this he is seeking to claim an imaginary moral high ground,which cannot exist for the colonialist given the nature of the relationship (with the colonized), and in which he entirelymisinterprets a rather solemn Scottish ‘native’ poem, itselfdescribing colonial oppression and the wretchedness of the people of ‘Scotland’, in what appears to be a conspired and fruitless attempt to obscure what is primarily and perhaps inevitably a colonialist perspective.

Might I suggest Mr. Littler read my recent paper number 4 (Colonialism) in the series developed from my book ‘Doun-Hauden: The Socio-Political Determinants of Scottish Independence’, which might enhance his appreciation that ‘privilege is at the heart of the colonial relationship’.DETERMINANTS OF INDEPENDENCE COLONIALISM – YOURS FOR SCOTLAND (wordpress.com)

MY COMMENTS

I much appreciate Alf finding time to send this response to Vince Littler’s article but this is a very important topic and I felt it best to seek out Alf’s views rather than interpret them myself. Alf will be back again with his latest paper in his series on Sunday. This time the topic is Nationalism.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland


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60 thoughts on “Canongate Wall and the Indyref Franchise Question.

  1. As soon as a Scot suggests a precise definition for a voting franchise, up jumps a colonial to claim the Scot is racist, and then the colonial sets about inculcating as much guilt as possible in the mind of the Scot for daring to to think about the subject, let alone exclude anybody.

    Liked by 20 people

  2. I have to admit I got about 3 paragraphs into Mr Littler’s essay before I had to walk away. The sense of entitlement and complete lack of awareness both of his privillage and the displacement it has on the locals, is something that rankles.

    Thank you Prof Baird for replying so professionally to him. Though I doubt he’ll understand it.

    Though they will never openly admit it, Scotland’s place within the heart of an English/British Nationalist is that of Liebensraum, and the duty of the Scottish people is to occupy the place of Second Class Brits.

    Liked by 19 people

  3. I remember back in 2014 immediately after the indyref Ed Milliband addressing a crowd somewhere in England saying ” They almost broke up the country” or words to that effect, he didn’t say union or the united kingdom, he quite distinctly said “country” and that’s significant to me because it shows Ed doesn’t see Scotland as a country in itself, to Ed Scotland is just North Britain and to Ed we were trying to break up his beloved country

    The thing is I don’t think Eds view is untypical of most English people even those who come and live here, it doesn’t make them bad people just misinformed and sadly uneducated,

    I only have to quote Sir Ian Bothams comment recently that “England is an island”, I dont know where Ian thinks Scotland exists on his fantasy island if he’s even aware it exists at all and I’m not saying most English people are as thick as Ian but it does go some way to demonstrate just how misinformed & uneducated some of them are but more importantly it demonstrates why they should not be allowed a say in our constitutional future unless they can at least show some concept of Scotland as a nation or have lived here long enough to show a commitment .

    As Gareth Wardell (Grousebeater) said recently “Magnanimity comes after independence”

    Liked by 13 people

  4. I admire Mr Littler for stepping up and saying what he thinks, none of us should deny anyone that privilege although Mr Yousaf would dearly like to, and that is why I do not trust his government to deliver junk mail, let alone a referendum

    I won’t repeat what I have posted on this and other fora on regarding this topic other than I have changed my mind, I agree with Prof Baird’s viewpoints (and have ordered his book as a result of his writings on here) and I am no longer of the view that a referendum is the right way to go

    As we have seen today, the EU are not willing to put up with the English government breaching agreements THEY THEMSELVES ASKED FOR and neither should Scotland

    The English parliament has breached the AoU many times over the last 300 plus years but the last time will do – 2016, Scotland dragged out of the EU after we voted to Remain. Time to leave the putrid Union and by the way Mr Johnson we’re not asking you – we’re telling you

    Mr Littler thank you for your commitment to an independent Scotland, we all look forward to being Scottish citizens together when that glorious time arrives

    Liked by 13 people

  5. Regrettably I have to disagree with Alf on several points here
    1. he says “: ‘If you want to know your identity, look at who your relatives are’.”. Well while both grandfathers were Scots, one grandmother was English and the other Irish. What is my identity Alf?
    2. He asserts “The way people vote on the matter of national independence is in large part based on their national identity,” – well yes, to some extent, but it also depends on a wide range of factors including risk aversion, their view of the future and of the past, and of course their wallets (will this make me wealthier or poorer?)
    3. I cannot say I am happy about a definition of “people” the relies, apparently exclusively, on culture and language. Where does this leave civic nationalism, the notion that anyone who wants to come to live in Scotland is Scottish. Or do we say that someone who has committed to Scotland by living and working here is less of a Scot than, say, Andrew Neil, who might have been born here and even have Scottish relatives?
    4. Residence is a weak marker for a Scottish identity? Really? What is a Scottish identity? Is it the same for the long term unemployed in Drumchapel and the fisherman in the Western Isles? Why is it important?
    5. What is the risk? Is it the risk that immigrants might be more likely to vote No in a future referendum (I note you dont think that is necessary)? Well, how about “that was then and this is now”? How many have come from England in horror at Johnson’s “government” and at Brexit? How difficult would it be to persuade them to vote Yes so that that pestilence is not visited on them again?
    6. If you live in a country for long enough to be on an electoral roll, should you really not have some sort of say on what happens there? Presumably this means as well as following their legal code you would have paid a considerable amount in tax?
    7. I am not going to argue with McCorkindale and McHarg on the legal niceties of whether a referendum is necessary – I am not sure Joanna Cherry would either. But does her view that “some democratic event is necessary” not point if not to the kind of referendum held in 2014, then at least to a vote to demonstrate democratic support? Sometimes it not about legal requirements but about appearances
    8. I dont know Mr Littler any more than you, but I have a friend we’ll call John. He’s from Wolverhampton and his wife is from London. They came up to Scotland from London in the late 1970s where John taught in a CI (later a Uni) for his career. Is he a colonialist? I did much the same job as you did (I believe – open to correction though) – though in Social Science – are we not “privileged middle-class ” if not colonialist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understood Alf’s quote from Kelman as referring specifically to a person’s immediate, here-and-now relatives, not their forbears; this remains as my understanding of the quote.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Iamsoccerdoc

      1. What is my identity?
      Parental descent seems more important in national voter franchises, both for nations and supranational organisations such as the UN. Most ‘peoples’ have very little doubt about their national identity in which parentage is important as is the location and culture (and language) one is brought up in and influenced by. Colonialism (and Cultural/Linguistic Imperialism) and with that various assimilation policies (e.g. language deprivation) can strongly influence and even alter identity (which is its intention) and/or result in a people holding a confused identity. This is arguably an issue for many Scots.

      2. will this (independence) make me wealthier or poorer?)
      If the matter of Scottish independence (i.e. decolonisation) to you depends on whether or not you are a tenner a week better or worse off, then as Oscar Wilde is reputed to have said: ‘The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’. To most ‘peoples’ independence is priceless. Perhaps your perspective is linked to a confused identity?

      3. Where does this leave civic nationalism?
      ‘Civic nationalism’ depends on people from other countries holding a sense of belonging to another country in which they happen to live, and is usually reflected in their taking out citizenship in that country. As Scotland is not yet independent it cannot offer its citizenship to anyone as yet. Moreover, most people from rest-UK voted to reject and block Scottish independence and hence they also rejected by implication the offer of Scottish citizenship through independence; that offer was thrown back in Scots faces. Prior to a nation’s independence the question of ‘civic nationalism’ and in offering citizenship in a country therefore seems rather premature, as well as highly problematic given the ‘idea’ may threaten and derail independence, as occurred in Scotland.

      4. Residence is a weak marker for a Scottish identity? Really?
      Simply because an Englishman chooses to live in India, Kenya, or Ireland does not mean he is an Indian, Kenyan, or Irish in terms of national identity.

      5. How many have come from England in horror at Johnson’s “government” and at Brexit?
      Running away to Scotland from an unwanted UK government and its policies in England does not suggest Scottish self-determination to be the main priority of this group.

      6. If you live in a country for long enough to be on an electoral roll, should you really not have some sort of say on what happens there?
      This depends on the country. Many countries restrict voting rights to national citizens only, more especially in national elections or referendums.

      7. some democratic event is necessary”
      A national election is a ‘democratic event’. There have been six successive nationalist majorities elected in Scotland in favour of independence – 3 at Westminster and 3 at Holyrood – yet still Scotland’s elected national representative refuse to act to deliver independence.

      8. are we not “privileged middle-class ” if not colonialist?
      Albert Memmi wrote of: ‘… the colonialist delusion’ (and that) ‘The racism of the colonized…is social and historical. By their privileged economic position, by belonging to the political system of oppression, or by participating in an effectively negative complex toward the colonized, they are colonizers. All they need do is set foot on the colonized’s land.’

      Liked by 3 people

    3. The point Alf is making, iamsoccerdoc, is not that your heritage may not be 100% Scottish (whose is, considering the invasions we have endured down the centuries) but what you do with your vote whilst you are living and/or working in Scotland. If you had moved to any other European country, or even further afield, you would not automatically be allowed to vote on constitutional matters. The usual criteria are length of residency, etc. That is the norm. Because you have been used to Westminster dictating everything, you have accepted that you have the right to vote down our independence – not saying you did, but that is the implication of your words. The UK is a state; it is not, and never was, a country. It seems to be so hard for so many to see that and accept it. Two nations came together in the Treaty of Union, not one, but that has been the impression given to the UK population for over 300 years. We wish to reclaim our sovereign, independent nationhood and international rules and laws exist to that end, and those who voted NO because of loyalty to the UK and, of course, unenlightened self-interest, were in breach of those rules and laws, not to mention in breach of the Treaty. We are probably now at the point when the Treaty requires to be resiled and the Union dissolved. Any pressure to prevent this will mount and mount and lead, eventually, to a blow out similar to a volcano erupting.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Having had to leave Scotland to find work in the 70’s, I moved to Germany and lived and worked there for 12 years. I was allowed to vote on local matters but I would never have presumed to have the right to vote on a national level, especially something as important as a referendum deciding on something as important as the future and freedom of a country.

      The right to vote in Germany is reserved for those with German Citizenship, and you must have lived in Germany for at least 8 years and even then it is not automatic. Tests have also to be taken. There is also the possibility of citizenship if both your parents were German or you had been born there.

      In 2014 I had no permanent residency which denied me the right to vote on the future of the country that is my only home. I had to accept that, but I don’t accept that anyone who has only been in the country less than 10 years should have the right to vote.

      Liked by 9 people

    2. John Higgins – You have now. I was born in Birmingham, hated Thatcher and all her works, left for Scotland as soon as I could (2002), been here ever since, house owner, play Scottish trad fiddle, member of SNP, voted YES in 2014, actively campaigning for Independence. I’m also an active member of Grassroots. Scotland consists of THE PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND, defined as those who live here and pay their taxes here. AND NO-ONE ELSE. If you start bringing place of birth and ‘race’ into this, you are on the slippery slope to fascism, and the Johnson Gang will rub their hands with glee. What’s more, you will be no better than they are.

      Like

      1. John, with respect, by moving to Scotland you did not remove or escape Scotland’s oppressor.

        As for fascism: ‘Civilization helps us locate the origins of fascism within colonialism itself’ (Robin D. G. Kelley)

        Liked by 4 people

      2. The point surely John is that having lived here since 2002 you would most certainly qualify to vote. That is not in dispute. All we are seeking is the SAME franchise that exists in all the other nations of Europe.

        Liked by 6 people

  6. “I cannot say I am happy about a definition of “people” the (sic) relies, apparently exclusively, on culture and language.” says ‘iamsoccerdoc’, desperate to prove by example his own colonial qualifications.

    Next he will suggest all ‘nationalism’ is evil, and the kilt as an emblem of Scottish nationalism should be banned. To him, it’s all down to money, “paying tax”, he adds, forgetting where the tax goes – straight into England’s Treasury.

    Someone preserve me from fools.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. OK, lets start with the easy hits, shall we? Just for the record – and I struggle to think this is intended as any more than an insult – I don’t think nationalism is evil and as for the kilt ……
      Secondly, I can produce reams of stuff over several years (in a number of newspapers including the Herald – I mean someone has to take the fight to the enemy if others – hint hint – cant or wont) to demonstrate that I am at least as well aware as you to where Scotland’s tax goes.
      Then there is your beginning, I would be interested to know on what basis – other than what you see as your belittlement of me – you think I want to “prove” my own “colonial qualifications”. I have indicated the background I have. I expect there are many others who could say much the same as me – some more so perhaps? It might be an inconvenient fact, but it is the case. I understand Alf Baird’s point, but I have two problems with it. First, it is too easily twisted by the media to the sort of blood and soil libel that Alistair Darling alluded to in 2014. Secondly, there are just too many lines to be drawn in the sand – either that, or too many inconsistencies. Politics ultimately is a practical matter.
      Lastly, in his introduction Iain referred to “debate”. Is the above your idea of debate? I dont agree with Alf and set out my reasons. Is the above your idea of a reply? Or the kind of abuse I could get dealing with the other side on the Herald?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Iamsoccerdoc – I made my point, and am delighted it hit the mark.

        As for ‘debating’, when do you intend to start? Your reply to me is a blurred mish-mash expressing nothing but self-centred hurt.

        Your reply to Professor Baird is exactly the arrogant entitlement we are subjected to on a daily basis. Be advised, those days are over, your ‘opinion’ dismissed for what it is, an attempt to divert from the core ‘debate’ of full civil and constitutional rights whittled away from Scotland and its people. Talk about those elements and you might attract a modicum of respect.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. You state that the argument for modifying the franchise would allow the media to twist it ‘to the sort of blood and soil libel that Alistair Darling alluded to in 2014.’ Well hasn’t that already been done? Funnily enough, aren’t we already hearing it from some within the independence movement as a way to close down debate?

        We can’t abandon a fair debate just because of the way the hostile media are going to frame it. We wouldn’t have to fear the media if we had one that wasn’t so hopelessly biased and will propagandise against it. We are not going to get a fair hearing from them on the independence case. Does that mean we should meekly shut up.? Besides we are also opposed by the present SNP. What could their motivation be? Well, while trying to strike attitudes as being ‘fair and progressive’, which is laughable, could it be that they, too, believe that by keeping the franchise open that it frustrates independence and that is their true motive?

        Anyway, as Professor Baird states, it is not about confining the right to vote to those born here but following international practice in having qualifications for the vote.( I know that when out campaigning in 2014, I was concerned about meeting people who were only in the country for a short time, were going to return home and made no bones about intending to vote no.)

        I don’t understand the panic, frankly. We are not likely to have a vote on independence soon and certainly the present incumbents in the SNP administration are the major stumbling block to any vote on independence. It is necessary to debate though and not allow the default position to be only a referendum and only one based on the previous residence franchise. It is simply about allowing debate and to inform the ordinary electorate of the options and why this debate is necessary. It is not about accepting a narrative about ‘blood and soil’ nationalism to go unchallenged and for people to gain the wrong impression about what is being proposed.

        Liked by 7 people

  7. “I have never heard of any English/British people objecting because they can’t vote in whichever foreign country they live in.”

    The problem is John they don’t see Scotland as a foreign country, to them England is Britain and Scotland is British, they don’t view us any differently from the Scousers or the Geordies, England is the only real country, they are the master race and we belong to them

    We need to reassert our nationhood in no uncertain terms not only to the English but many our our own people as well, the only way to do that is with independence, only then will we gain their respect and only then will we deserve it

    Liked by 10 people

  8. In 1320 it was said, claymore in hand, “So long as one hundred of us remain alive we shall not be ruled by the English”.
    Today it can be said, ballot in hand, “So long as enough of us remain Scottish we shall not be voted down by the English”.

    Therein lies the point that has for so long been weaponised against Scotland and is expressed so well by Alf Baird.

    Any second referendum will most certainly have the franchise rigged and weaponised in favour of the colonising power, and ‘North Britain’ will be kept in its place while its resources are plundered and its population subsumed. Any Scot, or any Scottish resident, who favours this low road of a referendum to failure has no more right to vote us down with a rigged ballot than the English kings had to cut as down with the sword.

    When our forebears stood up for the ’45 and Charles renounced the Treaty, it was plain to all with Scottish eyes to see that this grim future would come to pass if no fight was put up. If Charles Edward Stewart had a legitimate claim to the authority needed to renounce the Treaty, then, de jure, the Treaty is no more. Should the de facto result at Culloden trump the law? Any test of this pathway to sovereignty would not only be expensive but, after three centuries, less conclusive than we would wish. Nevertheless, this thought can usefully inform the present.

    As others have said, there are many examples of the Treaty having been abrogated by England and we are, therefore, entitled to simply renounce and resile from the Treaty, and declare the Union finished. The question then arises of who the “we” are who will do this with legitimacy. I would hope for more from Alba and Salmond than is currently on the table. Another option, perhaps of more academic than practical interest, is to consider the thesis that Scotland is a Kingdom, but without a king. Are there any claimants to the Scottish throne? I have heard of none, and I reject Lizzie Windsor, but the simplest pathway ahead is for an individual or group – with sufficient legitimate authority – to declare that Scotland is free and liberated from English rule.

    And free and independent is how Scotland must be if it is to survive.

    Liked by 10 people

  9. I’m late. Again !

    What I’m about to say has already been said (mostly), but I became concerned about the referendum voter franchise late in 2013 when I heard certain factions within the Independence Movement demanding that only ‘true Scots’ should be allowed to vote, and when challenged the response would invariably be ” we don’t mean you ” or ” you don’t understand ”, while the ‘hardcore’ would simply repeat that ‘non-Scots’ shouldn’t get a vote, but when asked, could never define what a ‘true Scot’ was.
    Like another contributor to this section my grandparents were a mixed bunch, with my grandfathers being born in Finland and rural Perthshire, while my grandmothers hailed from Ireland (Co Mayo) and England (Birmingham, we think).
    I was born in England (Northumberland), as were my parents.
    However, when my father was seriously injured down a local coal mine, his trade (electrician) saw us moving to Scotland in 1959 (I was 7).

    Subsequently, apart from a few years in Plymouth while I was serving in the Royal Marines, I’ve always lived in Scotland, but that doesn’t matter to the ‘pure bred Scots’ who’s rhetoric is sometimes more EDL/BNP than the majority, and my big fear is we could end up seeing a dangerously xenophobic UKIP-type growth within the Independence movement should we ever see another referendum.

    I’ve said the following many times on numerous forums during the past decade when told the ‘Yes Movement’ and/or the SNP ” hate the English ” : My local SNP branch has an English Convener, Treasurer, Equalities Officer, Organiser, and PEO, and around 50% of our most active activists are ‘non-Scots’.

    Most have arrived here within the last 5 years, and they came because they saw a better future for themselves and their families in an Independent Scotland.

    We/they honestly thought that the voter franchise had been ‘fixed’, but we were obviously wrong, and the question is once again being asked : ”how do we prove our heritage ?”.
    The answer is ” with great difficulty ”, and anyone who’s a genuine activist knows that simply getting people to register to vote – and then actually voting – is a nightmare.
    I predict that asking them to prove where they, their parents, and/or their grandparents were born would be much worse, and likely impossible.

    How do I, a person who’s lived in Scotland for over 50 years, prove that – without spending a huge amount of time and effort finding the documents or evidence proving I’ve lived at several different addresses, and was employed by XXX for YYY years ?

    And please don’t say something like ” just email that body, then contact that government department …. download the paperwork, then sign and send a copy to .,… there …. with another signed and witnessed copy to there …..” because if it’s a nightmare simply getting people to register and then vote, asking them to prove their eligibility will be impossible.

    And of course, are we to expect those ‘non-pure’ residents those hard core. and genuine activists, to continue running party branches and Independence-supporting groups, spending all or most of their time campaigning, if they’ve had the right to vote taken away ?

    Add the significant number of ‘non-Scot’ pro-independence politicians to the mix, along with hundreds, possibly thousands of people from both sides queuing up to lodge appeals challenging the legality of a ”pure-bred Scots only ” franchise, and in all kinds of courts … and all I can see is a messy shambles that will delay the actual vote indefinitely.

    It’s a logistical and unworkable constitutional horror story, one that will seriously damage the image of Scotland as a welcoming and inclusive country.

    What’s already happened and is happening – things that are increasingly seeing Scotland described as an undemocratic, anti-science, anti-equality, fantasy-believing, institutionally and politically corrupt country run by lobby groups and money …., a place were decent people can and do end up in court for stating biological and scientific facts, or adding suffragette ribbons to social media posts ….. and the future’s not bright.,

    To say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “>>>and my big fear is we could end up seeing a dangerously xenophobic UKIP-type growth within the Independence movement should we ever see another referendum.”

      Is this another attempt to paint Scots inherantly bigotted racists, English haters – an accusation akin to amnesia after 300 years and more of brutal governance and constraint by Westminster. You’re lucky so many Scots still think well of English, able to separate the mass from the colonial dross in Westminster.

      If voters don’t like the policies of their elected representatives, they will let them know – exactly we do now

      There is no need for you to get lost in conjecture and existential fears. The worry for Scotland is what a far-right Tory administration with a majority of 80 has got planned to smother rebellion and dissent in its neighbour nation.

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Well, Eric24A, I agree entirely with your last paragraph. Scotland is in a dire situation. There is much that is wrong, another reason why I think any move to independence is going to take a long time. These charlatans and seat warmers need to be cleared out of Holyrood and I don’t just mean the SNP. They have morphed into a nightmare. Democracy in Scotland is broken and we had hoped for so much better.

      However, the people taking part in this forum simply think that the franchise should be modified. Nobody is suggesting that you have to panic about having to find proof of origins of antecedents. (Where have you been getting those ideas from? Perhaps you HAVE come late to the discussion.) It would be a bureaucratic nightmare as you suggest. What is being mooted is in line with international practice and would be based on a residential qualification. Other ‘welcoming and inclusive’ countries do this without international censure. With your 50years residence you should have no need to worry or find it difficult to prove.

      Liked by 6 people

    3. Eric

      If you moved here when you were seven, they’ll be school records of you, you’ll have Scottish not English school qualifications. Your doctor’s notes and any hospital appts will confirm you’ve been here for yonks. What was being proposed (and it’s a discussion not a legal bill!) is that the franchise resembles international best practise with a minimum residence requirement which you more than met.

      Phrases like ”pure-bred Scots only ” franchise” are not only hyperbole but also inaccurate. You mention the Marion Millar case, well “pure-bred Scot” reminds me of the sort of language that TRAs use to stop discussion of women’s rights. Let’s not go down route of disagreement being “literal violence” and other such linguistic nonsense.

      I don’t blame you and others for being upset given you’ve fought for indy for ages and you’ll have seen that mess that Westminster made of the Windrush scandal where people who were here for years were threatened with deportation, not to mention the “hostile environment”. So I get why you start thinking the worst but please don’t think the worst of us for debating options and ways forward.

      “unworkable constitutional horror story, one that will seriously damage the image of Scotland as a welcoming and inclusive country.”

      It works in other countries perfectly fine though I realise that they have the advantage of the “natives” having their own passports whereas the “guests” have a different one. Why will countries with the same type of franchise requirements think less of us for matching them?

      “Most have arrived here within the last 5 years, and they came because they saw a better future for themselves and their families in an Independent Scotland.”

      I’m pleased that your SNP branch has people like that. However, is that the norm? Others have posted that their locality is full of folk newly up from England that have ZERO intention of EVER voting for independence. Someone on other post wondered if we might get one of them to write a post outlining their thinking. I doubt it will happen but it would be interesting.

      “and all I can see is a messy shambles that will delay the actual vote indefinitely.”

      I think it will be the SNP that delays the vote indefinitely tbh. However, there is no doubt in my mind that if Sturgeon ever does what she said she would and legislates a referendum without Johnson’s agreement (and he never will agree) it would end up in court anyway! Which is why a lot of us have been thinking about plebiscite elections and/or resiling the Treaty.

      We are thinking, analysing, seeing how we can achieve what we all want to achieve; independence. Let’s leave “no debate” to the TRAs!

      Ps You are as Scottish as I am!

      Liked by 6 people

    4. I’m sure that there were many amongst the colonisers of Africa and India etc. who would’ve been considered as reasonable and civilized human beings, just like the people you refer to above when you write: “Most have arrived [in Scotland] within the last 5 years, and they came because they saw a better future for themselves and their families in an Independent Scotland.”

      “Most”? Given that neither you nor I have sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the final part of your assertion i.e. the nature and weight of their political motivation for moving to an ‘Independent’ Scotland, that point must remain moot. Personally, I’m inclined to think: ‘they came because ‘they saw a better future for themselves’. Given that people rarely desert bountiful environs, there are few other conclusions to be drawn. In that sense then their overriding motivation for upping-sticks and moving to Scotland would seem to differ little in its essentials from the motivation of the early colonisers who sailed for Africa and India: essentially exploitative.

      An acknowledgement of the fact that the colonization of Scotland, was and remains, no different from the colonization of anywhere else in the world, would be very helpful to all concerned.

      Liked by 5 people

  10. Anyone who has lived in Scotland for more than ten years shouldn’t have a problem in being allowed to vote in a future referendum in my opinion.

    People who have lived here for less than that, if they really care about the Scottish people and their future, should be willing to forego a vote if it will help us get our independence.

    Personally, I don’t want another referendum because they are too easily rigged one way or another. Another means has to be found so that we can get this done once and for all.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. “if they really care about the Scottish people and their future” is open to interpretation. Some of rhetoric getting flung about here and in previous posts reveals there is still a lot of loonball’s in the independence movement some of whom hate the English. I say that as I have been a member of the SNP until this month and have been at meetings and listened to people spout such drivel. I am sorry but if someone has chosen to make Scotland their home even if it is within the last few years a referendrum impacts them as well. All this talk of colonials with even someone before bringing in their offspring to it. What is the difference between my father born here to Irish Parents and someone born here to English Parents…….is it simply that to some within the independence movement that the latter is more likely to vote no?

      Like

  11. Grouse beater, I am almost at a loss to know where to start. You are almost like an Alice in Wonderland character who has got a bit lost. But what is most worrying is your own arrogance – the sense that you are right and everyone else is wrong. You ask me when I am going to start to debate – well how about the eight, 8 EIGHT individual objections I have to Alf’s article. To date you have not addressed a single one, preferring insults and and distortion You describe my eight points as “arrogant entitlement” – to what can I ask? To my own view? Is that not what debate is about – Alf puts forward his view, gets a reasoned reply and we move on through the process. Except you cannot cope with reasoned response – or indeed debate.
    You talk of “full civil and constitutional rights whittled away from Scotland and its people” – you are right. But the point is how to get those back. I just dont entirely agree with Alf’s view of how this might be done.

    Like

    1. You began by insulting an entire nation and end by trying to say it was all my fault. Must come as a shock to stick your opinion in a public place only to see your waffle challenged.

      Anybody can spot your only method of ‘debate’ is to personalise. Be assured, I do not care a fig what your view is of how Scotland regains full democracy. I care only that people such as you are girded to stop it.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Oh come on – this is becoming surreal. WHERE – and I mean precisely – do I insult an entire nation? It’s you who is insulting my intelligence.
        As for “personalised” – where do I do that? I do use a couple of examples to point to the problems with Alf’s view, but it’s not me throwing insults. I am trying to debate the issues.

        Like

      2. Thanks Iain, but I remain very disappointed, though I have had the same from Peter Bell (that time another poster asked what his problem we agreed the aim and I was only suggesting a tweak), James Kelly (who gave me a hard time a few years ago for suggesting SNP both votes was a defective strategy) and Campbell (I forget why, but then he’s fallen out with most).
        Debate implies disagreement – how can there be a debate, other than to demonstrate rhetorical skills – if there is no disagreement, but it should focus on the issues not the personalities, as Tony Benn noted a long time ago.

        Like

  12. jgedd – thanks for your reply which does at least have the merit of addressing my points.
    I understand what you mean when you say “We can’t abandon a fair debate just because of the way the hostile media are going to frame it”, and stripping everything away you are right. BUT, not everyone has the focus on independence that the folk who have read this – never mind commented on it – have. Some of them, at least, can be manipulated by the media so do we want to give them fuel to do so.
    I know Alf isnt interested in the kind of blut und boden nationalism that Darling was referring to, but do we want to run the risk of being painted into that corner? You are right that Alf is “is not about confining the right to vote to those born here but following international practice in having qualifications for the vote” – but there are qualifications for voting. You cant just wander down to the local Council office and be put on the voters roll. Given whether EU nationals would still be able to vote is moot post-Brexit, perhaps we need to debate that. But it seems to me that this debate should be anchored in making sure that the community that is Scotland are able to vote, which is not the same as “all Scots”, which in turn takes me back to my original point – what is a Scot?

    Like

    1. If we are to fashion our campaign hoping for a kind word from the media then I fear none of us will live long enough to see Independence. It is worth remembering we have a foreign owned media in Scotland, most of it owned in the nation we are seeking Independence from.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. I am not looking for a “kind word” Iain – I’m not that daft. But we have the media we have and we have to factor them into how we move from where we are to where we want to get to. They can be exposed – but then, how do you expose them to the maximum degree if not through the same mainstream media? One thing we cannot do is ignore them. I just don’t want to gift them anything.
        The Union is under strain. Have a look at this, written by a German journalist https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2021/07/politics-lies-boris-johnson-and-erosion-rule-law
        Or look at the Cummings’ interview with Kuensberg. There are lots of sticks and to be fair, not all of them are ignored by the msm – particularly the latter. Why is the Yes movement not picking up on these and posing the question “do we really want to be in this state?”, for despite both of these (and there is plenty more) the most recent polls suggest at best not much would change at WM, and at worst he would have an even bigger majority.
        Despite the best attempts by the media, support for indy rose from (according to Blair McDougall at least) 28% to just shy of 45%. How did we do that? It now stands at/about 50% and has been as high as 58%.
        Two things
        1. Do you think the Yes movement (and I mean the whole of it) forming a big circle, getting their rifles out, aiming them straight ahead at below head height and at the appointed time, shooting is going to get us more support? We will all vote Yes (or No) for our own reasons. What matters to me is that we vote Yes – tbh, I dont care why. I know the difficulties and the reasons for this, but should the focus for BOTH sides not be “eyes on the prize”?
        2. The media can be by-passed – do you think BBC Scotland is perceived today as it was 10 years ago?

        Like

    2. “but there are qualifications for voting. You cant just wander down to the local Council office and be put on the voters roll.”

      This prompted me to have a look online that at the qualifications for voting. Re residency, if you met the other criteria (no peers, age etc) you qualify for a vote the minute you have an address that you declare is your main residence but the checks seem weak. Some folk alleged that anti-Indy folk registered an address in Scotland just to vote against, but I don’t know how true that is. However, you could rock up yesterday and be eligible.

      Anyway pretty much it is the online equivalent of wandering down to the office.

      https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/running-electoral-registration-scotland/eligibility-register-vote/what-are-residency-requirements-registration-purposes

      Nationality is complex depending on where you are a national of. We already have the situation where you might be able to vote in one type of election but not another whether you are “paying taxes” or not so the taxes issue shouldn’t necessarily mean you should have a vote in any referendum.

      https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/running-electoral-registration-scotland/eligibility-register-vote/what-are-nationality-requirements-register-vote/which-nationalities-can-vote-which-elections

      So we already “discriminate” in some elections. The issue initially raised by Alf is that all UK/British citizens qualify to vote for all elections (and referendums) so in effect we are giving people a vote, many of whom might only have been here a short time, on whether or not we should continue a union with the country they (just) left. No-one else does that. Which brings us full circle back to: should there be a minimum residence requirement and if so how long should it be?

      Liked by 4 people

  13. “What is a Scot?” asks ‘iamsoccerdoc’ the colonial, once more proving he has all the credentials to put in their place every indigenous person governed by England under the British Empire.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. This is what I mean. What IS a Scot? Please tell us – a clear, precise, unequivocal definition that we can at least discuss. Or is it “obvious” to those who follow the true faith (ie you!)
      As for “colonial” directed at someone who has spent his entire life in this country, and in his own way has done what he can to support independence …… The Cambridge Dictionary (sorry about the origin but accessible online) defines “Colonial” (noun) as “a person from another country who lives in a colony, especially as part of its system of government”. Sorry that’s not me (Iain Lawson can readily confirm) – is it you?

      Like

    2. Iamsoccerdoc,

      I agree with all Grousebeater’s replies to you on this. By reframing the question of ‘what franchise should we have?’ to ‘what is a scot?’ – you are doing exactly what the colonising power wants you to do, and leads down the route of ‘blood and soil’ and ‘goodness, what WILL the papers say’ thoughts. A franchise is to try and capture a fair and proportionate section of the population that ‘want’ to live in Scotland and be part of its culture and live here indefinitely. You can’t test what every single person WANTS or feels, so the franchise has to encompass an approximation.

      If you step back and consider what the best way is to approximate this test, then you are considering the franchise. If you want to know what a ‘true scot’ is, then you are arguing the coloniser’s case for them. That definition could be anything – the same as ‘what is a woman’ – and I might even suggest there is no such thing as a true Scot: we are all the product of centuries of an English-sanitised version of our own culture & language (and only once we have independence can we stop the stagnation and develop our own real culture, and language).

      A refugee from Syria, say, fleeing their atrocious circumstances, living here in relative safety, will not necessarily be interested in the future of Scotland – they may want to stay, or they may (most likely) want their own country to become safe so they can return – we can’t ask each individual, so we need a franchise that most likely excludes people living here on a temporary basis and only plan to do so. I doubt any refugees would even consider that they should have the right to vote on a constitutional matter – EXCEPT for the English refugees fleeing their Brexitised England, who appear to believe they have the God given right to model another country in their own image. The arrogance of the English is well known throughout the world, but is still displayed blindly, without thought, by the majority, oblivious to to it.

      We can’t afford to think like the colonised – not if we want independence – so we have to be aware of it and be willing to reconsider how we think about any one topic. Alf has kindly, and eloquently, brought this topic to the fore and made it clear why and how we should consider the issue rationally – and not how the subject has been portrayed to us so far – and by arguing your re-framed question you have adopted the colonised (yes taught and reinforced, so not easy to change) mindset. If you truly believe even holiday makers should be allowed to vote on constitutional matters ‘just in case the media says something bad about us’ (ah the mildly terrorised masses in fear of a poor media portrayal by the foreign governing power), then so be it – but you won’t convince me this is a rational opinion! What is a realistic franchise for any vote on constitutional matters in Scotland, for Scotland? And why would you choose it?

      Liked by 9 people

      1. First of all my position does not require me to define what is a Scot – that is for Grouse Beater, you and Alf Baird. What is wrong with residence? What proportion of a population of 5 million are here “temporarily”? And in any event, how do we define “temporary”. Let’s take the Syrian refugee. Is it all that outrageous to say that on arrival his/her dearest wish is to return home to Syria, but as time goes on they put down roots, their kids are thoroughly enmeshed in the local community – schools, friendship ties etc – and so eventually they decide to stay.
        And when you write you “might even suggest there is no such thing as a true Scot: we are all the product of centuries of an English-sanitised version of our own culture & language “, I wonder whether your position is actually like my own, or just nihilist? For instance there must be something wrong for you to suggest that I “truly believe even holiday makers should be allowed to vote on constitutional matters”, which is so obviously nonsense, if for no other reason that even those with second homes will usually vote at their main home and it is illegal to vote twice.
        My view of a franchise is that qualification should be based on a series of closed questions – ie the answer can only be yes or no. So are you aged over 16? I am worried about any criterion which requires judgement, so to go back to my original point, I am the product of a union of a Scottish grandfather with an Irish woman, and the other Scottish grandfather with an English woman. Would I qualify? Carefully though Alf has approached this, I dont think there is an answer here. Moreover, I suspect a great many people would have a similar background.
        And yes, I would be concerned about the media. They wont be slow in reproducing pics of the Nuremburg Rallies, however ignorant and misleading that is. For sure they aren’t going to give us a “kind word”, but let’s try to avoid the easy hits?

        Like

      2. Contrary I agree with every word of your comment

        When you look at the brexshit situation how many incomers , settlers , refugees or as the Brits like to distinguish themselves as, ex pats or patriots, to Spain , Portugal, France or any EU country proudly BOAST LOUDLY that they voted for brexshit and they were exalted that england was taking it’s sovereignty back from these furriners without realising the irony that THEY were the furriners in someone else’s country , how many of these new citizens of each of these foreign countries have applied for citizenship of these countries or how many have NO intention of becoming NEW citizens because they are proud British (English) and have no need to , yet they still want to dictate terms and opinions in their HOST countries

        Yet these self same people were rabidly outraged when the EU negotiators were insisting that you can’t have ALL the benefits of the club if you refuse to be in the club , which resulted in even more outrage and claims that these people were penalising poor england for wanting their sovereignty back

        It has been stated many times that Scotland has NOT voted for a tory govt since 1955 yet we continue to get what england votes for , 2016 Scotland voted 62% to remain in the EU yet we are dragged out because england wants out , believe it or not this tory govt is even more corrupt and amoral than the SNP SG , the RED wall in the north fell because Northern English people preferred and TRUSTED tories so Scotland suffers again

        When you look at all that shit that England has FORCED Scotland to endure = 5 years of brexshit MADNESS , endless tory and liebour lies and corruption , you could almost guarantee that anyone sane and lucid coming to Scotland to escape England’s lunacy would vote for independence BUT NO 72% of our NEW CITIZENS still want Scotland and Scots to suffer the indignity and hardships of the great yookay ( England)

        So it appears this civic nationalism only applies to Scots everyone else looks after their own interests

        Liked by 6 people

      3. Twathater, indeed, and every country SHOULD look after their own interests – it’s normal for a people to look after their own interests first and foremost. It’s only the British that believe everyone else should be looking after the English interests as a priority! Madness.

        Isoccerdoc,

        It’s you that’s asked the question what is a Scot – I’m explaining that that isn’t really the question being explored with this – though Alf does give a fair representation in his papers about culture and language (so there is no point asking him to keep repeating himself, and I’m just refusing to answer). The franchise is about who do you exclude – you have said to me including holidaymakers is a ridiculous suggestion (without asking what my definition of that was, but that’s by the by) – so you have decided to exclude one group – then how do you define THEM, why have you decided to exclude them, and how do you exclude them? What criteria would you put on the franchise to ensure they were not included?

        It’s not about who to include – the ‘Scot’ – it’s about who do you EXCLUDE, why and how.

        Alf gave a respectable and rational argument for his thinking on the matter, which groups he’d like to exclude, why and how it could be done (approximately). And why we should use a franchise similar to what many other countries in the world would, instead of continuing down the path of acting against our own best interests. And no, worrying about a bad press isn’t reasonable – it won’t matter what we do, there will always be bad press, except when we act against our own best interests. We get stuck going round in circles and stagnate with those concerns.

        I believe having a considered, rational stance on issues like this, and showing a backbone will garner a lot more support than kowtowing to how the media wants to manipulate us into being. It’s not about any one person being personally excluded, but you can’t make a franchise that includes everyone or takes everyone’s personal circumstance into consideration – it’s got to be on a population level. My grandfather was Canadian, my mother was born in Canada, but I’ve never lived there – I wouldn’t even contemplate the ridiculous notion of voting on anything there based on that, and even if I’d lived there a few years I wouldn’t. I’m not sure who mentioned grandparents being part of a franchise though? That would be a bit weird.

        There are some PhD students that can take 10 years to finish, post docs can live here for years, visiting professors too etc – these are people that live and work in Scotland but rarely will they be staying, so do you include or exclude that group? I say, exclude them because most (not all) are temporary, and a franchise with long term of residency and/or born here is most likely to capture that. You have to consider ALL potential groups. And think about it. What you might think is obvious, may not be.

        Liked by 3 people

  14. I posted this on the previous franchise thread but I feel it has relevance here

    The point is incomers have not faced and had to deal with the subjugation and denigration of our country , nation and culture as the indigenous people throughout our history , admittedly a fair portion of that denigration and subjugation has been inflicted on us by our own treasonous countrymen but that is not the point , as I pointed out 52.3% of our fellow countrymen voted FOR independence but that vote for YES was negated by the 72% of incomers voting against OUR wishes

    Why do the world and their grannys get outraged and demonic when anyone DARES to criticise Maoris , Aborigines , First Nation Americans , First Nation Canadians , Inuit’s or ANY other indigenous people asserting their rights but it is okay to call Scots , Racist , Natzi ,Fascist , Blood and Soil Nationalists and any other slurs and epithets when they decide to speak up for themselves

    Can I ask when these indigenous people’s come forward to question their colonisers or imperial masters do they have to suffer the indignity and denigration for asserting and believing in their existence or is it ONLY Scots that this is a requirement

    I have always believed in Grousebeaters statement MAGNANIMITY AFTER INDEPENDENCE

    And BTW it is the SNP’s failure to address this problem from the start , and I like others have my suspicions’ to their aim , that is causing this discussion

    Liked by 9 people

  15. @ twathater
    I agree with every word, but you forgot “Natavist” among the many slurs levelled against us but I’ll forgive you I know it’s difficult keeping track of them all,

    Additionally in my view those mainly English folk who voted no because they wholeheartedly believe in their right to rule over us (which I would suggest are the majority) are English supremists, but nobody casts any slurs on them slurs are only for the Scots it seems.

    To be honest names don’t bother me, I believe I’m a fair minded man and I know what I believe and if that makes me a racist or a blood & soil nationalist or some other derogatory name in the eyes of someone else then so be it, it would take more than name calling to change my point of view

    Liked by 8 people

  16. Just a little thought……years ago I read an article by a Chilean refuge who had undergone torture when imprisoned by the Junta and it has always stayed with me.

    ‘Everyone is entitled to their opinion and everyone has a right to voice that opinion’

    Just a wee reminder to everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am in total agreement and Mr Littler might well be a colonial addict or a not so good troll or he might be neither.
      Does it matter because he has tapped into your frustration and you have responded to his provocation. You, as an accomplished and articulate wordsmith should know that to emotionally and psychologically ‘cut’ a person a little subtlety and manipulation is required and not by venting your raw anger.

      Like

      1. Your trolling is not half as interesting as your hypocrisy. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion and everyone has a right to voice that opinion” you say, while failing miserably to apply that scruple to my opinion.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Grouse Beater

      Scottish! said Dr Johnson.

      I do indeed come from Scotland, but I cannot help it.” said James Boswell.

      Boswell was born thirty-three years after the Act of Union, and the betrayal of Scotland’s folk by their nobles on the union, was already beginning to have the cringe effect on them.

      We must ditch this rancid union somehow.

      Liked by 4 people

  17. ‘Between colonizer and colonized there is room only for forced labor, intimidation, pressure, the police, taxation, theft, rape, compulsory crops, contempt, mistrust, arrogance, self-complacency, swinishness, brainless elites, degraded masses’ (Aime Cesaire)

    Liked by 7 people

  18. Well I found Mr Littler’s letter far more tactful than many of the comments I had to put up with from English colleagues/acquaintances around the time of indyref. “Scots could never survive on their own”, “you’d have to use our army”. Some of these were mocking, some very ‘matter of fact’. Many from affable colleagues but with no hint of awkwardness that they were sitting talking to a Scot.

    I think this is what cultural dominion does. Anything outside of that culture is ‘radical’ and yes, certainly on a subconscious level, seen as inferior.

    Liked by 8 people

  19. To give a comparative anecdote I tell the following.

    My father, Scottish born, has lived and worked in London since the 1980s. Travelling to work early one morning in London he accidentally collided with a young English woman.

    Upon hearing his accent she told him to f off back to Ireland. My father pointed out that he was actually Scottish- I accept the subtleties may be lost- the young lady not missing a beat told him, in that case, to f off back to Scotland.

    Johnny Foreigner.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Hang on a minute – when you say “local government franchise” do you mean to tell me that Scotland uses the same electoral roll for Holyrood elections as it does for local councils? With the utmost respect to whoever dreamt that up, that is nuts.

    I get the idea that non-citizens who have made some sort of commitment to living in their new country (eg, Green Card here in the USA) might get a vote in local council elections. Most local elections in the US are, officially at least, non-partisan so that makes a degree of sense. (Indeed, in some municipalities, there is a tradition of Republicans and Democrats standing on the same platform.) What I do not get is this free-for-all at anything above local council elections. Our host observed a few days ago about Estonia creating de facto citizenship prior to full independence. Where will Scotland find the courage to tell the world that it is an independent country and wishes to be seen as one?

    Liked by 7 people

  21. I wrote to the SNP in 2014 expressing my disquiet at the use of postal votes in the referendum. I received the reply that the system used for the referendum would be the same as that used in council elections and not to worry.

    Liked by 6 people

  22. Why is there even a discussion about this? If you think that internationally recognised procedures for national elections and plebiscites which are fine for every other country shouldn’t be applied in Scotland’s case because “reasons” then frankly that is outright colonialism, if not xenophobia or racism – internalised or other. The Brexit referendum itself was held along similar lines of course – EU and non-Commonwealth citizens were not allowed a vote, only UK & Commonwealth and Irish ones. Was that “Blud und Boden” nationalism?

    Alf Baird’s brilliant book was a real eye opener for me on all this. Colonialism (of a perhaps subtler but just as insidious kind) is such a long, all-pervading presence in Scotland that we almost take it for granted – it can seem almost ‘natural’ and ‘hidden in plain sight’ as it were. But how else could you describe facts such as

    – Scotland having half the population it should have (5 million instead of 10!) if it had grown at the normal European population rate since the 18th century?

    – That we are using the English language to communicate here rather than Scots?

    – The linguistic social stratification: Middle and upper class nearly entirely anglophone (even if often with a soft, ‘cultivated’ Scottish accent), working class speaking Scots?

    – Many of the ‘elite’ jobs being proportionally taken far above average population demographics by rUK incomers?

    and many, many more?

    Liked by 3 people

  23. “Like many other Scots I am becoming less interested in relying on a referendum in order to secure Scottish independence.2

    Indeed Alf, I would like to see us go down the route suggested by Craig Murray and Alex Salmond, we call back all our MP’s from Westminster, hold a vote at Holyrood, and if yes is successful declare independence there and then.

    No one will have been disenfranchised, and I’ll tell you why, because voters will have already voted for the MSP/MP that they wanted to represent them.

    As for Westminster, its a foreign government in another country it should have no say whatsoever on Scotland leaving this union. I know of no other treaty in the world where one party has to ask the other party for permission to leave.

    Another good reason for taking this route to independence, is that the likes of Aberdeen council, among other unionist ran councils, which eagerly backs Westminster’s freeports idea, would do its utmost to delay, block, slowdown and hinder any form of future indyref.

    No call the politicians back, hold the vote, if yes wins declare independence there and then, start negotiations with Westminster to secede this union.

    Liked by 8 people

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