Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Sometimes I get a little scared about the people running the UK.

When I think that upon the heads and shoulders of the likes of Cameron, Iain Duncan-Smith, George Osborne and Willie Hague, lie our economy, international relationships, how we treat our poor, sick and unemployed, not to mention our elderly...
Scarily for Scots, our supposed 'man in the Cabinet', the one who speaks up for us, looks to our best interest, gets us the best deal, fights our corner  is none other than Michael Moore.

Yesterday Michael launched a paper, commissioned by the UK government   and written by two professors from top universities in Scotland and England, and which expressed a variety of options and opinions on the future of the UK and Scotland and came to no conclusions at all. 

Michael, however, was able to extrapolate from the paper the somewhat bizarre idea that whilst Scotland would be entitled to benefit from none of the treaties and contracts of the UK and would start off with a clean slate; a new nation, that slate would be sullied only by its containing Scotland's share of the UK debt.

He went on to say that starting from scratch would be "no piece of cake". Unfortunately for him one of the writers of the report did a BBC interview in which he said that none of the renegotiations of treaties would be difficult and could easily be done in the 18 months accorded to the task by the Scottish Government. In fact... it would be a piece of cake... Oooops.

The Rev Stuart Campbell, clearly blessed with more savvy than either Michael Moore or any of his team at the Scotland Office has looked into international law and precedent here, and is able to suggest more likely outcomes based on the principles set out in the 1978 Vienna Convention on the Succession of States in Respect of Treaties

I particularly enjoyed the Rev's description of the under secretary of state, David Mundell here, as a "bumbling low-watt-bulb of a government seat-warmer", as "the only Tory in Scotland" once again trotted out Willie Rennie's assertion that over 14,000 treaties would have to be renegotiated. This despite the origin of the silly story being Rennie the blether, and Westminster already having unconfirmed that fewer than half that number existed (and most of them are long since defunct).

Even the Daily Record was prepared to print a story pointing out that the experts seemed to agree with the SNP's assumption that around 18 months was a reasonable period to expect the renegotiations to go forward to a satisfactory conclusion.

Nicola Sturgeon said that the information from the professors had been "helpful", and criticised the "arrogant attitude" of the UK government. By the time that Ruth the Tory got her paws on this, she had turned it round and used it to look as if Nicola had called the professors' report arrogant. Maybe she has trouble reading.

Meanwhile the class eejit Willie Rennie, seemingly not in the least embarrassed about the rubbish he spouted earlier in the week, debunked by his own side...and even withdrawn by the Scotsman, said:  "We know that the majority of people in Scotland want to continue our home rule journey (strange them that the UK government, of which his party are a part, ruled it out) but a vote for independence would put that journey to a halt" (which is only true depending how you look at it. I kinda see it as being the ultimate home rule. In any case, the Liberal Democrat government in London has already put a halt to it).

And talking of eejits... here's the Muddle man himself...
So, all in all, the great launch went belly up before it got off the ground.

How can they get it so wrong  and why do they make such a mess of everything they do? 

Answers on a post card...


  1. The question of if Scotland would jointly inherit the UK treaties, EU place etc is a hard one to answer.

    But we do have a precedent, the Irish republic in the 1920s. Back then, the British plus N.I inherited the rights of 'United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland' and the republic was treated as a 'new country'.

    Why would it be any different for Scotland leaving the English, Welsh and NI in 2014?

    But that is all academic, and frankly boring. I don't care all that much.

  2. I don't care all that much.

    Which is why you will vote note no and bugger off waving two fingers singing you are no further use use to me, plebs.

  3. I hear the UK are backtracking on legal expertise in that farcical report and saying it is now just an opinion and where is the MSM sleeping as usual.

  4. Well, that's fine Dean. The Irish Republic started off brand new. It managed. It also had no British debt. Strange that Moore wants to saddle his own people with debt, but no benefits.

    But yes, you're leaving so maybe it is boring for you to have to bother with what we will be left with.

    How do you feel about the fact that Scotland technically doesn't exist except as a part of greater England?

  5. The question of if Scotland would jointly inherit the UK treaties

    Scotland will sign up to treaties that benefit Scots and the wider community and not those that just benefit the rich elite in the City.

    EU place etc is a hard one to answer.

    Oh please elaborate in how it is so hard.

  6. The writers themselves seemed to me to indicate that it was just an opinion. Albeit an opinion of two reasonably qualified and learned people.

    Of course when it is the opinion of two reasonably qualified people chosen by Westminster, it has gravitas; the learned and qualified opinions sought by Holyrood are, of course, junk.

    Where are the MSM.... Haaaaa?

    Hiding their silly heads in the sand trying to save this bunch of amateurs from yet more humiliation.

    I expect that one of the trio of the other parties will manage to point out that this has all been a "personal humiliation for Alex Salmond", regardless of the fact that it's Moore who has been humiliated and this is a bit of a triumph for YES.

    Oh well, three cheeks of the same erse, as you so rightly (if anatomically debatably) pointed out the other day.

  7. Over to youDean. The experts didn't seem to think that it was much of a problem. Just a few tweaks.

    As has been said over and over again, the EU wouldn't want to lose Scotland. There is no way that they would be excluded. And for all its bluster, England, or the UK would be MAD to try to stop us getting in.

  8. http://www.scottishtimes.com/scottish_economy_after_independence

  9. Dean wont respond tris as his education was about learning 'facts' to pass exams with a little dressing mind you he was president of the conservatives at uni which he will use in his CV so he did have some foresight.

  10. Come on Dean... rise to the challenge....

  11. Is it true and the two lawyers were not in fact Constitutional lawyers but with expertise in Maritime Law? Also not on message either. So what the Coalition thought, let us pull the wheeze that Scotland never existed and we will claim it as greater England so we retain out seat at the UN Security Council? You cannot save the 'Union' if there is no 'Union' but annexation.

  12. Sorry, I was out for a jog (new year resolution I'm sticking to)

    On Cynicals point first: "Which is why you will vote note no and bugger off waving two fingers singing you are no further use use to me, plebs."

    The real thing is, the hypocrisy shown by Cynical in this comment is stark. He welcomes ex-pats like Connery commenting and contributing to Scots civic and political discourse ... but if a (still RESIDENT) Scots born voter (who may wish to look abroad for better life chances) wishes to also contribute I'm hounded with this abuse.

    You shall forgive me for not returning the abuse and vitriol so typical of this particular cybernat known only as 'Cynical Highlander'. A chap to much of a coward to make his identity publicly known as he trades double standards and hypocrisy online.

    Over to (the nicer, and decent man) Tris point, "The experts didn't seem to think that it was much of a problem. Just a few tweaks."

    You are meaning my original claim that Scotland's place in the EU automatically would be a difficult issue?

    Well I will start with the EU commission President, who has previously said on record the following:

    "it is our doctrine and it is clear since 2004 in legal terms, if one part of a country - I am not referring now to any specific one - wants to become an independent state, of course as an independent state it has to apply to the European membership according to the rules - that is obvious."

    Now this at least raises difficulties for the stated SNP position vis-a-vis our automatic EU membership claim does it not? As Brian Taylor of the BBC puts it, this comment:

    "His [Jose Manuel Barroso] opinion is, at the very minimum, interesting and influential. Taken to the maximum, it represents arguably a substantive challenge to the SNP position."

    Personally I think if the President of the Commission is saying 'new states' who become 'new' when seceding from an existing member-state would have to reply is relevant for Scotland and her claim.

    This is no 'tweak' of a problem Tris, it is clearly a major factor in the 'automatic' membership the SNP claim we'd have.

    And given the importance of EU structural and social funds have investing in Scotland you will understand my concern that independence may compromise the smooth ingress of said funds into my country which I love?

    This is not an altogether unreasonable position to take. Caution is very becoming when one is faced with the risks posed to jobs, livelihoods, and national GDP per capital wealth.

    My source for the quotes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20664907

    1. Dean

      You probably know more about the legalities of the Euro debate than myself but I just can't see any real issue with joining the EU if that is what Scotland decides. The European Union is an exercise in expansion in the belief that the only way that Europe will compete is with some form of unity on the world stage.

      At a time when the middle east and China are expanding to the extent that we can't compete and the USA starting to look inward rather than outward I feel that Scotland will be welcomed with open arms into the EU as long as it accepts things like working directives, human rights, trade rules etc. I don't see these having to be negotiated as we follow them now and are a part of Scottish Law.

      I also believe that the European people will welcome Scotland and in particular the French and Germans as the links go back before the 1707 act of political union. While some may scoff at this I would say just think about it, why do some of us seem to like the French and Germans more than the English, history I suspect.

      Overall I think the biggest threat to our membership, and not really that big, will be England or Ruk. Europe may just see Scottish Independence as a way to weaken Londons stranglehold on financial markets and the constant blocks to change that most of Europe appear to want, esp Banking.

    2. Yes. These are good points. I don't think anyone ever suggested that we would just walk in with UK terms and conditions. But the delay in joining the EU is usually because there are a wide range of standardisations which have to be brought into play, from financial to human rights. We have all these in place as current members.

      As you say, the EU is expansionist. The UK has encouraged (rightly probably) the expansion in width, rather than depth. Hence countries like Romania and Bulgaria have been allowed to join, whilst not meeting some of the criteria, and Greece and Italy were accepted into the single currency, without meeting the criteria for that.

      You say that we would be welcomed by most of Europe, and I think that is true. They would welcome the weakening of the UK, because it has been a thorn in their side, as De Gaulle said it would be, wanting the EU to be the British Empire. If the UK, which, remember, wanted the widening of Europe, objected to Scotland being brought in, it would be the laughing stock of the world. The hurt ex-colonial power behaving like a spoilt child.

  13. #reply should read re-apply my apologies.

  14. Sorry Dean using the BBC as an honest and reliable source for your fantasy shows the fallacy of your arguments/slurs.

    Jose Manuel Barroso specifically said that his quotes had sweet F'all to do with Scotland only the BBC failed to point that out.

    Connery does not have a vote Dean do you? Your point?

    Dean blogger How many aliases are you hiding behind.

    cynical Highlander blogger

    As too hypocrisy Dean I will still be here after the vote you will run away for selfish reasons as you couldn't care for anyone other than yourself which is why there will be a resounding YES because some of us have integrity in their convictions not a bank balance blinkered view.

  15. We don’t have to be balanced in Referendum Debate says BBC

    In the official response, a BBC official wrote: "Brian's debate is a general programme which discusses a number of subjects every week and the programme brings a range of voices to those subjects. In addition, we are not in an official referendum campaign and therefore do not have to balance it out between yes and no."

    So Dean to use the BBC as an honest broker shows the shallowness of your smears. Yes there will be some truthful facts but it is what is not reported gives them no creditability at all unleess you have an OBE that is.

  16. The typical Cybernat paranoia ... the whole world is against them, the injustice! The world-renown and impartial BBC news agency is involved in some secret conspiracy to do the SNP down.

    Get a grip of reality please Cynical.

  17. Michael Fry: Spinning the independence debate

    Now Dean I understand that truth is alien in your lexicon but to use the BBC as an angel in honesty is bizarre'

    The typical Cybernat paranoia ... the whole world is against them, the injustice! The world-renown and impartial BBC news agency is involved in some secret conspiracy to do the SNP down.

    Change that to child abuse Dean and justify that as there is no difference except in your BritNat mind. Thank god you are in an increasing minority in Scotland who can see beyond your fanciful utopia of unionism.

    Where did Eric Blair get his idea of 'The Ministry of Truth'?

  18. I think I read that they were experts on international law, Marcia. But, that was in a quick read of the articles.

    They are utterly desperate to retain their security council seat and their importance as world leaders!?!? (despite not being capable of leading a community council!

    Like you say, once the professor got on the radio and was asked some questions, the icing on Mr Moore's cake began to melt, and the message was lost!

  19. Dean: I don't think that the Yes campaign (because it is not just the SNP) ever said that there would be no need at all for re-entry as an independent country.

    The campaign has international lawyers too. The No campaign has said it would be a massive problem, and a wait of years, like a new country. The experts have agreed with what the foreign minister of Eire said. It will be simple; a few renegotiations of British get outs and off we go.

  20. More later guys... Appointment at 8.30! :(

  21. Tris

    I totally agree with you. The fear that Westminster and it's parties have is not the issue of the Scottish people possibly returning to statehood after 300 years of mis-rule. The fear I suspect is things like a seat on the security council, a seat at the big table in europe, along with the monarchy it gives these people a reason to be in politics. It helps further their agenda, esp the conservatives.

    I think we can all see that Moore and Rennie are just not up to the task of being leaders, they fear what they will personally lose rather than what their country could personally gain, starting with self confidence. Labour are similar but I actually see them as just a party at the higher levels who crave power for power sake, power as a means of looking after themselves for the rest of their lives with little thought to the wee people. Lamont is the perfect example, a woman who will do anything to get a seat at the top table. She is waiting for a safe seat like Curran before her. All you need to know about that woman is her opinion on weapons of mass destruction, I'm sorry but this is not something you change your mind on.

    Davidson I tend to ignore as she just adds nothing to the debate other than when she stands up laughing at FMQ due to her nerves and the fact she is away to get her arse kicked yet again. I had more time for Goldy or whatever her name was, at least I think she believed in what she said.

    I really beleive that they need Scotland right now, they need our taxes, they need our headcount for their alleged place in the world and they need to show that England still has a bit of an Empire. The moment that Scotland begins to cost them money, or becomes too much of a burden they will vote for their own independance. Lets not think for one minute that the political elite down south and their agents up north give a shit. I am not saying it's the view of most English people who are no doubt decent people and probably would wish us all the best, but the leaders of the three tory parties need us and are doing a great job of making Scotland feel like it need them with the help of the media and the apolagists who have grown up beleiving the propoganda rather than think for themselves, they are servants. Mundell, Moore, Lamont, Rennie, Davidson, all servants to their betters.

    It's all a bit messed up really, you have to envy countries that don't have our class system or aristocratic history and have never had to put up with a campaign to keep them down in the way that we have. The English could teach phychological warfare.

  22. CH: Mr Fry's article is interesting. It seems to say much the same as we have all though, and that, for the Scotsman, is quite good.

    I've noticed that a few newspapers which probably don't want to, are being forced to laugh at the incompetence of the UK position, and handling of the situation.

    The Daily Record, and the Scotsman too. Iain Macwhirter's piece (link in sidebar => ) is interesting too...except that it takes a different view on the competence of the Yes side. It says that Yes needs to up its game.

    First they ignore you... is starting to look like it's coming true.

  23. Another excellent piece Bruce. Thank you.

    I'm in total agreement about teh Liberals. The Scottish ones required a leader. There4 were, effectively 4 people to chose from. None was particularly great. They chose someone who seems to parrot everything that Clegg says, a great deal of which comes from Cameron. I really never expected to hear any Liberal say that people were being made homeless for their own good. Beyond belief.

    Moore seems to be Cameron's man in Scotland. originally one of the few Liberals with no job in government, he was promoted to cabinet level when laws was found out to be an expenses cheat (albeit for reasons other than greed) and Danny Alexander was shunted upwards to become Gideon's deputy. The man seems to be talentless.

    The Labour people who are so vehement in their hatred of the movement for independence, and of course of Alex Salmond in particular (because he's plump? or maybe just because he outshines them by such a lot that they look pathetic) seem interested only in themselves. Their promotion away from what they see as provincial Edinburgh to sparkling Westminster, en route for greatness on the world stage.

    Their moment at the UN, addressing the EU, meeting the president of the USA or of China or the King of Saudi Arabia, and all the riches that goes with that, and then life on £300 a day in the best retirement home in Europe.

    As for Ruth, Cameron wanted someone who was less confident and capable than he was, and who had no ideas other than his. Ruth was just the ticket. Rather like Alum Michael in Tony Blair's Welsh government, it comes back to bite him on the bum, because the woman is a figure of fun.

    Muddle is just that, or what the Rev Stu called him. He hasn't an idea in his silly head. He opens his mouth and says whatever floats into it.

    All the real politicians have gone to England... and why not. We are all English now.

    The sooner we get independence and start looking after our own problems; finding our own solutions, the better.

  24. Bruce said "The moment that Scotland begins to cost them money, or becomes too much of a burden they will vote for their own independance."

    I couldn't agree more. All this better together stuff is crap.

  25. Cynical,

    I worry for your psychological health.
    Your incoherent warbling makes Niko sound like the parity of virtue and calm.

  26. Well we are simply not better together, Anon.

  27. Och Dean, stop it. None of us needs psychological help. We just believe in something and are passionate about it.

  28. Deano

    That an insult or what????


    ch is one of the few Nats who actually believes as opposed to only pretending what he reads on nunptynet Scotland
    mind he writes a lot of the romanticist storys on the girly pages.

    The truth is Nicola sounded a bit broken record keep saying Arrogant uk arrogant uk etc she sounded a tad wishful thinking to me....and i listened to her on the wireless radio 4 today prog so i her heard meself.....Blah blah blah

    Everybody knows it aint gonna be a walk in the park joining the eu
    unless of course the snp agree with everything the eu tells them what to do
    and that wont win any votes for sure.

    some say the question should be 'WHY' join the eu and they aint
    UKippers neither .
    the Unionists can afford to lose on this issue
    after all most normal people wonder why bother leaving the UK/eu
    to rejoin the Scot/eu may as well stay as they are.
    better together.

    ch slags of deano for saying he would in pursuit of fame and fortune
    heed the call of the Bells of Bow from the great city of London. and the shady
    night life...........Dirty little beggar

    yet not a word about the yes supporters living in the usa
    or monaco as non doms to avoid paying tax in Scotland/uk


    'None of us needs psychological help'
    Err! well thats not strictly true even i realise as a Unionist
    something about me was broken whilst being raised.
    hence i always see a half empty glass

  29. Well of course, as I've said on many occasions before, it is compatible to be out of the UK but in the EU, because of all the benefits of the EU.

    The benefits of the UK are that we have to pay to keep ourselves in the top 7; we have to keep going to war when the roads need fixing and people are dying in hospitals because they've been privatised and are too busy paying back the PFI...

    Fair's fair, the EU may be poking its nose in to a lot of stuff, some of which is unnecessary, but it does a hell of a lot of good too. I really can't think of any good being a part of the UK does.

    Congratulations are in order, as you made the blog roll of Wings Over Scotland... wow, honour indeed.

    Yeah, on reflection, if you are a unionist you must be mad as a March Hare... get the shrink!!! :)

  30. he he he

    "..........in warning on independence"

    EU .in warning on independence"

    "Economic experts in warning on independence"

    "eminent lawyers in warning on independence"

    "Renewables targets ‘unachievable’ in warning on independence"

    "Keep sterling in warning on independence"

    Scotland would need to renegotiate about 8,500 treaties in warning on independence"

    Tax doubt ‘is harming investment’ in warning on independence"


    yeah but fame wont go to my head much

  31. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little homework on this.

    And he actually bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him.

    .. lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!
    ! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this matter here on your blog.

    my website ... vapornine

  32. tris

    Oooer! just had peek dont wanna get to high profile
    some Unionists see me as a liability and might might
    dob me off to the benefit cheats investigators.

    Mervyn king what a w@@ke@ worst BofE governor ever

  33. Oh anon... what a laugh...

  34. Surely not Niko...

    Or on the other hand, matey...

    What's that about Mr King? Is THAT what he does. Jeez, you'd never have guessed it from the fact that seems to have no idea what's going on in the world of finance or the banks or ...well anything really.

    He'll fit in nicely in the House of Lards.

  35. @TRIS

    [AHEM - COUGH]

    The Rev Stuart Campbell, clearly blessed with more savvy than either Michael Moore or any of his team at the Scotland Office has looked into international law and precedent here, and is able to suggest more likely outcomes based on the principles set out in the 1978 Vienna Convention on the Succession of States in Respect of Treaties.

    Possessed under Law - By Scott Minto [Cough...]

  36. Ooooops.... Sorry Sneekyboy, alias Scott!