WHAT IF?

This is a guest article written by regular reader Scott Egner. He is asking the question what if the Brexit Referendum was organised and run just like the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum? It’s an eye opener!

I am becoming more and more frustrated that the SNP see a section 30 as the only game in town. More infuriating was Nicola’s referral to a section 30 as a democratic gold standard, or the only legal route to Scottish independence. 

So I started thinking the other night, what would the Brexit referendum look like in the weeks leading up to the big day if it were conducted in a similar manner to Scotland’s independence campaign, with similar structures where the ‘players’ had similar influence on the vote. So here goes..

“With just a few weeks to go, what was looking like a dead cert for remain is now more in doubt as the grassroots leave campaign has gathered impetus. There is now a Tsunami of activity by the remain campaign. The regional offices in Birmingham and Manchester of Broadcasting giants France 24 and ZDF have run a series of interviews about manufacturing moving from England to Germany and other EU nations in the event of a leave vote with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Le Monde has a four page article about a number of European banks including Deutche Bank and BNP Paribas looking to ‘upsticks’ for Frankfurt or Amsterdam, and Dublin. Even with their extensive grassroots campaign the leave campaign complain of an ‘uneven playing field’ with broadcasting reserved to Brussels, and the apparent ‘bias’ of European broadcasters.

Two weeks to go. Astonishingly the polls are continuing to show an increase in the leave vote – now on 46%. There are some reports that scores of buses loaded with Dutch students have been spotted at Newcastle on their way to help bolster the remain campaign. It is thought they are likely to target the older population and warn them about the certainty of higher food prices after EU exit. 

Spain has written to it’s U.K. immigrants (who leave campaigners refer to as ‘ex-pats’) informing them that in the event of a leave vote they will have to apply for settled status and have no guarantee of being able to stay within the country. 
France 24 has reported that Universities across the U.K. have been informed that the end of free movement will likely end the student Erasmus programme. 

One week to go. A shock poll has revealed leave at 51%. An entourage of European MEPs have flown into London, Birmingham and Leeds. It is thought that all EU members have verbally agreed a new and improved set of EU ‘opt-outs’ for the U.K. Details of ‘Le Voeu’, have yet to be disseminated.

Breaking… Former prime minister John Major has an hour long interview with France 24 veteran anchor Jacqueline Oiseau. Major promises far reaching improvements in the UK’s relationship with the EU. The leave campaign insists that Mr Major holding no power in office is in no position to make any such guarantee. ‘Leave’ also complain about the interview being given ‘wall-to-wall’ coverage repeated in all the headlines throughout the day, giving remain an unfair advantage. Broadcasters insist that representatives from Leave were interviewed for comment at the time.

Two days to go. Australian, Canadian and Chinese trade officials interviewed by RAI insist that there will be no tariff-free trade deals with the U.K after brexit. Other countries are expected to follow suit. This is reported as a major blow to the leave campaign.

Eve of brexit vote. An official complaint has been made by ‘Leave’ regarding the ‘Le Voeu’. A leave spokesperson has insisted that this ‘charm offensive’ breaches the rules of purdah. The Brussels commission overseeing the electoral rules, ‘Bureau èlectoral’, has declined comment. Leave have also raised questions about the lack of any exit polling, but ‘Remain’ have accused leave campaigners of trying to promote conspiracy theories.

Referendum day. Polling stations are busy. RAI, France 24, ZDF beam in pictures from around the nation.

07.15 am June 24th. Leave accept defeat with a proportion of 46% of the vote. 
Michel Barnier surrounded by the U.K. based remain leadership announce ‘Egalite’ – an ‘all nations equal’ approach which also alters relationship between the U.K. and the EU. But it is not the relationship many thought. ‘Egalite’ is a ‘levelling up’ programme aimed at treating all EU nations the same and signals the end of the UK’s ‘opt-outs’.

In the days subsequent to the vote it is revealed that 90% of EU nationals (approximately 4 million people) vote to remain in the EU. The inclusion of EU nationals was part of the Brussels agreement. Leave are now calling for another referendum to be held outwith the Brussels agreement but many politicians (including many of those who campaigned for Leave) are dismissing such actions as ‘wildcat’ or ‘illegal’.”
(End)

It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Yet this is what Scots endured throughout the campaign for independence culminating in the 2014 referendum. Would our English friends put up with such an arrangement? I’m pretty sure they would not, yet we seem to be so conditioned that we thought this was not only normal, but actually superior to similar votes elsewhere. 

It wasn’t until I took a step back that I realised how spectacularly ‘loaded’ that campaign had been. It reminds me of the football match in the movie ‘Escape To Victory’, where the Allied prisoners take on the German national team. Such is the ‘officiating’ of that match, it is never a game the allies are going to win. Similarly, London will never sign up to a future referendum unless their victory is assured. A section 30 and a repeat of the 2014 arrangement is an affront to Scotland.

MY COMMENT

My thanks to Scott for this interesting article. It is so obvious when you see it laid out like this just how absurd and imbalanced the “rules” were organised in 2014. Alarmingly the SNP Leadership seem to have learned nothing and are clamouring for an unchanged franchise despite the huge influx that has taken place from the rest of the UK into Scotland since 2014. We should be resisting another referendum unless we can bring the franchise into line with how constitutional matters are dealt with in the rest of Europe or in line with UN best practice for dealing with referenda as part of the decolonisation process for indigenous peoples.

I am, as always

YOURS FOR SCOTLAND.

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51 thoughts on “WHAT IF?

  1. What came over for me in the run up to the 2014 referendum was the sheer enthusiasm that was generated by the grassroots movement, local meetings, canvassing, newspapers, and it just kept on growing, even money kept pouring in – not from government but the people themselves. We were going to win. sadly the SNP took control and the media became very “The UK V the SNP and it all started to go wrong. All those stupid debates on the television, arguing about things that did not matter, simply mudding the water. independence was not about “What pound note will we use” how long ago is it since you used money – I buy almost everything on a card. be it in euros, American dollars, or Chinese yen. stop all this nonsense. If Nicola Sturgeon insists on kicking the can down the road until it is out of sight – then we as the people of Scotland need to have a referendum or our own, starting with the local elections – vote for anyone other than the SNP send a clear message. If she does not get the hint then, Use the general election. Form a party that has only one manifesto Independence if you vote for us, And Mean It. make that the referendum on independence, not all this “When the time is right” – “When coronavirus is over” – “When we get the economy back on track” …. Just get it done, and let the new government (chosen by the Scottish people and only the Scottish people) govern on our behalf.

    Liked by 14 people

  2. “Nicola’s referral to a section 30 as a democratic gold standard”

    The section 30 is only a Fool’s Gold standard.

    In reality it is actually the British standard – you know, the one where Westminster gets to set the question, define the franchise, determine the timing and count the votes.

    There are other ways if you are serious about ending this loveless and abusive Union.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. To Duncanio. And don’t forget the incredible shipping out of postal votes to Engerland for ‘Validation’ !!! I couldn’t even verify if my yes vote came back as such, because the website for confirming your vote doesn’t work, and as far as I know never has.

      Perfect way to fiddle the vote, and don’t believe those who say it wasn’t.

      Like

  3. As this insightful article lays out the Sturgeon dictum of only a section 30 referendum, under even more discriminatory influences looks absolutely designed to fail.

    But that is the policy of the SNP now under Surgeon and her ruling clique. No debate, no discussion, no campaigning, only a referendum sometime in the distant future.

    As a once member of nearly forty years I cannot help but think back to years of campaigning. But where is the campaigning now as Brexit brings chaos to our economy. Where is the campaigning as the Westminster parliament chokes off rises for our pensioners, or as Westminster reduces our Scots Parliament to a parish council focussed on using the police and prosecution as a political weapon to destroy those who support independence

    Simple fact is that Sturgeon is compromised. She wants independence to fail.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. If it’s any consolation and if by some miracle there is an indyref in the next couple of years, sturgeon will be finished whether it is won or lost.

      But I wouldn’t hold my breath as Sturgeon will prevaricate as long as she can get away with it.
      Or, the Persecution of AS is the catalyst that brings the whole edifice crashing down and her with it

      Liked by 11 people

      1. My guess is there will not be a referendum whilst the Tories are in power but Sturgeon will hang on for many years.

        The only possibility is if the Woke Trans Activist brigade create a very major incident which wakes everyone up to the reality of Sturgeon’s subservience to the gender problem. My guess it will be parents and lawyers that do this

        Liked by 9 people

      2. “My guess is there will not be a referendum whilst the Tories are in power”

        I suspect the matter of whether our colonial rulers allow a referendum and its timing is most likely awaiting, initially at least, the outcome of the delayed Scottish census next year, as Iain has previously implied. The critical importance of this aspect (demographics) as a key determinant of independence was outlined here:

        https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2021/07/11/determinants-of-independence-demographics/

        Liked by 10 people

      3. The census has very little to do with the granting of an article 30 consent.

        Judging by the census proposals you won’t even know how many males or females there are in Scotland. You will know everyone’s gender though.

        Liked by 5 people

  4. Well done Scott. An excellent summary of the double standards at play.

    The UK newspapers and TV stations pump out propaganda daily.
    They call for self determination leads to a torrent of remarks “cliff edge, jumping into the unknown, etc” The exact opposite to their Brexit Leave mantra.

    However with 50k to 70k English settlers moving North ever year, the majority of whom are “British” then the vote balance will be an increase of 500,000 towards NO by the time any Referendum is held.

    The UN recognised the tactic of loading by population settlement. Scotland should not be a retirement option for people selling expensive houses and buying up property while accessing superior healthcare.
    Scotland needs to attract young people from a wider global area to rebuild a Nation.

    The majority who retire here from England have the same vision of Scotland as those who travel North to shoot our wildlife or base WMD far removed from England. They want a nice seclude, isolated, CHEAP backwater in which to enjoy their relative wealth. This is not how to modernise a Nation.

    Travel to parts of Spain now and witness the takeover by English retirees.If I moved to another country I would learn the language embrace their culture while respecting their ways. I would not try to demand a mini enclave.

    Before anyone accuses me of being anti-English…read the UN guidelines first! Our culture and values are being destroyed. Scots will follow Gaelic as planned 300 years ago.

    Look at Wales for the expansion of England by settlement.
    I am not British, I am not English. I want the Scottish identity to continue.

    As an example – a few years ago in Rome I watched a long line of American tourists queuing outside McDonalds near the main train station. Eating McDonalds in Italy…….a vision of the future.

    Liked by 17 people

  5. Excellent article. It is in similar vein to one of the essays in The National competition which had Scotland as independent today but contemplating a Union with the UK.

    If Scott’s article was published far and wide, there are many on the Unionist side who would still dismiss it as biased. I like the article but we do not control the media and therein lies the fundamental problem.

    Since 2014, 7 years have been completely wasted by not selling the message directly to everyone in Scotland on the vision and positives of independence and how negatives will be overcome. Unfortunately the MSM focus on the negatives and the SNP are on permanent defensive. As to the actual positives for independence, the SNP cupboard is bare and by their own admission nothing is being done but we are told they are now thinking about it. Does Scotland have a history? When did you last hear the SNP leadership talk about it?

    Sturgeon is building a devolved future with substantial foundations, complete with a 10 year economic plan accompanied by contentious legislation which will lose many votes once people understand what is going on.

    By their actions, the SNP direction of travel is clear. Look elsewhere for independence under the current regime.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. It isn’t just about selling an independent Scotland. There’s two sides to independence – the case for Scotland as an independent nation and the case for Scotland continuing to be part of the UK. Nowhere near enough attention has been given to what the future of the UK with Scotland still part of it would be like. The UK’s failures over the past 50 years (at least) and in particular since the 1970’s, are a matter of record. The squandering of North Sea oil revenues is a prime example of this. Now with Brexit, the continuation of decline in the future is guaranteed to continue.

      That these UK faiures haven’t been pushed as a leading part of the case for independence is astonishing. Allowing the UK, as an increasingly backward looking failure, to ‘warn’ about the dangers of an independent Scotland without exposing the UK’s own long track record of failure, is just foolish. It’s not about being negative, it’s about exposing the realities of the UK failures for what they have for so long proven to be and will continue to be for the foreseeable future – deceitfull and delusional with the consequent continuing decline compared with our European neighbours. That’s the future of a Scotland within the UK. It’s no wonder that the Unionists find it so hard to quantify any benefit of Scotland staying within the UK and rely on ‘broad shoulder’s’ waffle instead. It’s all they have, other than inventing scary stories about an independent Scotland, that would uniquely among the dozen or so nearest small nations, not be much better off than the UK .

      1970’s onwards – https://archive.is/jluDC

      2016 onwards – https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/exclusive-britain-no-longer-top-10-trade-with-germany-brexit-bites-2021-09-08/

      Liked by 7 people

  6. Although the link below is a personal view by Ken Loach about what happened to the Labour Party, it could just as easily have been describing the SNP. Even with Brexit, a poor Covid health response combined with shady Covid financial ‘deals for pals’, Boris the clown as PM and with countless other examples of a complete shambles at Westminster, the SNP are now causing support for independence to fall, although I suspect this reflects more on the SNP than on independence.

    What is missing from Ken Loach’s views is that voters in England for years haven’t and still don’t have any real alternative to the tories. This became evident with the creation of New Labour, something that quickly proved that any real difference between Labour and the tories had become wafer thin. This meant that since the 1990’s England has effectively had no real choice for voters, leading to the position where unbelievably, the tories are seen as the best option and likely to remain so for the foreseeale future.

    In Scotland the collapse in support for (New) Labour was sudden and happened definitively at the 2015 election. The primary reason was that unlike England, Scotland did have what seemed at the time to be a much better alternative to Labour – the SNP, whose vote increased from 491,386 in 2010 to 1,454,436 in 2015. But as the lack of actions from the SNP over the following years became more and more obvious, most importantly with Brexit, it gradually became clear that they had changed from what they been up to 2014 into the ‘New SNP’ from 2015 onwards. In Scotland, while it’s early days for the same level of disillusion with the (New) SNP to become widely apparent as it did with Labour in 2015, it seems likely that it will happen because unlike in England where disillusioned Labour voters have been left without an alternative, voters in Scotland do have alternatives to the SNP and that is the key difference between voters choices now in Scotland and England. Scotland does have alternatives, as do Wales & NI.

    Politcally England has been left with a totally meaningless choice of who to vote for, yet they still are able to do what they want to UK wide due simply to size of the population in England. They will continue to make the rules for as long as they can. The SNP, by their inaction against this since 2015, have basically become a fake independence party, or pretty much just another Unionist Party. They are treating independence at best as a debate aimed at staying in power, but one without the possibility of independence.

    The matter of an alternative choice is critical since it means that without any political alternatives, the ‘UK’ will not/cannot change. To avoid being further dragged down along with the UK, Scotland needs to make it’s own rules. I expect the massive failings of the SNP since 2015 to become increasingly evident and with the option of an alternative to them, their support may drop just like Labour’s did in 2015 and switch to the alternative of a real Party of independence. Post Covid and Brexit for real will make the coming months and years a time when a mass change in voters views is likely to happen quickly. Thankfully Scotland will have a political choice. England doesn’t.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E-tSSpGWYAU3XvW?format=jpg&name=small

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/exclusive-britain-no-longer-top-10-trade-with-germany-brexit-bites-2021-09-08/

    Liked by 6 people

  7. What this highlights is the pressing need for a Scottish broadcaster, and that Tony Blair well understood the power of media management when he ensured broadcasting remained a reserved power.

    I can’t help thinking of what America did first in Iraq as a stark example of what really matters. The two things they seized control of first were the oil fields and the TV stations. In Scotland, we are going to have to break British control of at least one of these to ensure independence.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. I would disagree, what we need is a party and leadership that speaks both for, and to, the nation, and do so robustly in face of a hostile media.

      America imposed itself on iraq through ruthless military force, not a friendly media. It might have installed one, but it did little to prolong their presence and had zero to do with its pyrrhic victory.

      The idea of a ‘scottish’ media (I would say we already have it, blogs twitter etc) countervailing an established one is chasing rainbows.

      The MSM is a tool, but as viewing figures show, an increasingly ineffective one.

      That the SNP chooses to regard it as the dog to its tail is the foundational failure.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. With their current behaviour a state broadcaster would just become a mouthpiece for the SNP.
        Is Scotland really a democracy with the freedom of speech we think it is OR is it a place where a gov controlled judiciary can decide what is hate speech and send you to jail.

        For example statements

        Sex is binary and immutable

        You cannot change your sex.

        Women are adult human females.

        Transwomen are male and therefore men

        Are true but considered Transphobic and therefore hate speech.

        Liked by 6 people

    2. It was a quite different situation in Iraq with what was an aggressive military occupation coupled with the collapse and subsequent replacement of state institutions and their leadership.

      Legal and institutional power and control in Scotland currently is exercised via the ‘arms’ of the British state in Scotland which are Crown (COPFS and Police) and Civil Service; hence it is the leadership and objectives of these key state institutions which will need to be changed ‘to ensure independence’ is effected. All else including control over media and oilfields etc arguably is dependent on and flows from this re-focusing of the ‘arms’ of sovereign power as it were.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. An absolute necessity for our current state, is the idea of a fourth estate.

        An industry founded through the availability of quite grotesque self importance.

        We could look no further than the jug eared ,injunction happy,philandering creep that is marrr

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed, no emerging state with a colonial past should ever leave the old-guard intact within it’s state institutions.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. I think we are all agreed that Sturgeon does not want independence, hence the endless procrastination.

    The best scenario would be if Sturgeon and her malignant clique were out of the way and the spineless SNP were replaced by real seekers of independence – but that’s a long haul. What we don’t want in the near future is the alternative nightmare scenario of Sturgeon pulling a fast one and actually going for a section 30 which to everyone’s seeming surprise, is granted by Westminster and then the SNP proceeds to bury independence by a woefully weak campaign (no grassroots campaigning allowed). It would have been a poisoned chalice for Alba or any other indy party to be involved in a project that was made to fail. They would be drawn into disagreement over the handling of the campaign then blamed for causing dissent and division and for the inevitable No result.

    Behind the scenes, Johnson and Sturgeon congratulate one another on a job well done and Sturgeon moves on to that high-powered international career she has been angling for as her reward. We end up with a Quebec situation and any residual support for independence dwindles away. That’s my nightmare.

    Liked by 10 people

  9. “What if” aint “What is”, to state the glaringly obvious. A very fine contribution from, Scott, nonetheless. Thank you Scott, thank you Iain.

    When we finally tire of being accommodating, colonized ‘wee’ Scots, a shortage of constitutional ammunition, complete with inherent absurdities, is unlikely to be one of our problems as we take to the battlefield.

    Liked by 10 people

  10. Major’s intervention was a carbon copy of Browns in the indyref. No10 clearly thinking it worked once it will work again.

    My main beef if that Sturgeon did not do anything to get us an indyref even though we had mandates galore. We had EU citizens who would have vote Oui/Ja, No Europhiles like my ex wife dallying with Yes. All that has been squandered by Sturgeon’s lack of cojones. No wonder Salmond had to be stopped he was sure she needed a kick up the backside on Indy.

    Liked by 8 people

  11. IMHO, Brexit represents a right-wing coup that traduces just about every principle of constitutional law and order, which has successfully empower right-wing English nationalism as the new legal model of British constitutional order. Which is a position I don’t think we’d be in if Scotland actually had any competent constitutional experts capable of influencing power. Or a government that understood how to conduct it’s business within the confines of the existing fabric of the law.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You are indeed correct CBB Brexit is indeed a right wing coup.

      Out of Europe the UK can roll back worker protections, health and safety, introduce NHS privatisation, reduced health and safety, allow genetic crop editing, whilst allowing reduced food standards – al la chlorinated chicken. And that’s exactly what they are doing.

      That is the real agenda and the English morons bought it in their droves. As did I am afraid many here.

      So forget all this natural law Cameron. Our citizens want to suck this up. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have voted for it.. That’s choice!

      Liked by 3 people

  12. P.S. Though the intended ban on public gathering at Holyrood suggest the Scottish government knows very well how to use the law, when they want to defend their lurch towards the populist denial of science and open democracy.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. “it is never a game the allies are going to win. Similarly, London will never sign up to a future referendum unless their victory is assured. A section 30 and a repeat of the 2014 arrangement is an affront to Scotland.”

    This is all that needs saying.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. So Sturgeon and the assembled dupes in the ‘parliament’ have slipped through a legally enforesable ‘tresspass’ prohibition of assembly around the Holyrood gas works? Surely the last straw by the tinpot narcissistic dictator. A fraud, a usurper, a liar, a supporter of inverted lifestyles, a betrayer of women and children.

    Well, let’s aim for the biggest demo ever outside the toytown travesty and barrack the braggarts and false prophets within until they go deaf from our disgusted cries of derision. Scottish sovereignty is one only of by the people for the people. From the Declaration of Arbroath through the Presbyterian thinkers such as Samuel Rutherford to the Claim of Right in 1689, indeed even up to present times, it has been affirmed that we the people of Scotland can dispose of those leaders who betray us . We must send the message to they, formerly known as she/her, Sturgeon with the chant of ‘Shame on you, Sturgeon the betrayer’. Let’s exorcise the devils inhabiting the folly at the foot of the Royal Mile by shaming them with massive public protest.

    Liked by 8 people

  15. Scotland is not a colony but it certainly behaves as one. So someone should perhaps inform Ellis that you can’t hope to be effective in tackling the racist patriarchy of Westminster culture, nor the sexist stereotypes empowered by gender-ideology, without post-colonial theory and practice. A justice system that supports the rule-of-law rather than British nationalism, would also be helpful.

    Theories of human rights in relation to understandings of human rights education: the relevance to diversity
    https://etheses.bham.ac.uk/1145/1/ValenSendstad10PhD(dot)pdf

    Like

  16. Apologies for commenting further, but I see critical theory is getting blamed elsewhere, for the radical trans-activism that has engulfed the SNP. True, the critical theory of the Frankfurt school represents the birth of postmodernism. But radical trans-activism is as far from a critical position as it gets, as it is grounded in the denial of material reality. So I thought I’d point this out, as blaming critical theory for the woo woo, is the sort of misrepresentation that indicates a far-right opinion.

    Allowing the Other to Speak: the Relevance of Postmodernism to Political Analysis
    https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/iatl/reinvention/archive/volume1issue2/amery/

    Like

    1. Trans activism is a PR campaign to maximise revenues of suppliers of services and products relevant to the ‘condition’. This includes the activities of surgery, pharmaceuticals, medical consultation, gender woo charities. Follow the money. The overwhelming majority of males claiming to be transwomen have no diagnosed condition and never make any changes. It possible theajority are just AGP .

      Look up Jennifer Bilek’s blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. O/t Iain.

    Craig Murray’s wife Nadira speaks for Craig at Alba’s conference today, she does rather well, maybe she’ll become a regular speaker for the party.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, they’ve put Craig Murray in prison, but they have not put out the fire that burns within him. He’s made of stronger stuff. Well said Mrs Murray on behalf of your husband, it’s good to hear his thoughts again.

      Stay strong Craig, and I hope that your health holds up.

      Liked by 4 people

  18. What makes me deeply sad about all of this is that although I am English i am a graduate of Edinburgh Uni. I met a Scottish lass there. We have been married for more than 40 years and always wanted to move back when retired. We won’t now. We both decided a country run by the SNP which devalues the rights of women in favour of AGP males, has damaged the education and health systems, makes what we regard as free speech a hate crime – is not a place want to be. We have not brought our very considerable assets north as a result.

    I know because it’s happening elsewhere – if you start removing parental rights over their children by allowing gender woo in schools people simply leave. There are growing examples in Canada and US of parents overnight leaving to get their children out of that environment.

    The people who will leave Scotland because of this will be those who can – the educated , skilled middle classes which help grow the economy.

    Slowly gender woo will create a quiet exodus.

    Liked by 1 person

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