Monday 11 July 2011


David Cameron has warned that his patience may be limited with Scotland over the referendum question.

He has told the “Spectator” that, although he wants to continue to observe the “respect” agenda (I thought he’d already U-turned on that) he may pre-empt the government’s independence referendum if, as he says, the next few years become about tussling rather than governing.

I realise, of course, that Cameron is having a rough time with his backbenchers. He looks weak over the News International situation and is trying to look as if he is strong over something else. But it is a bit rich for someone who is making such a pig’s ear of governing within his own remit to be instructing a much more experienced politician who is doing such a good job within HIS remit that he was re- elected with a majority only a few short weeks ago.

There have been, since the election victory that was never supposed to happen, the most amazing series of u-turns over the referendum situation.

Firstly the SNP said in the manifesto, and it was much talked about in leadership debates, that there would be a referendum in the second half of the 5 year government. It was never going to be something about which a great fuss was made during the earlier part of the government when the UK (and as a result Scotland) was in such a mess with unemployment, social exclusion, and poverty.

But even before the result had been confirmed, the opposition parties were bringing it forward, as if it had been the only thing in the manifesto.

The Secretary for Scotland Michael Moore called for two referenda and was slapped down by the prime minister, and others have even said that it would be necessary for the English to vote in their own referendum before Scotland could be free (without thinking about the consequences for England in a future referendum on their EU membership).

Tory MP for North East Somerset Jacob Rees-Mogg tried to introduce an amendment to the Scotland Bill, currently going through the London parliament, demanding a referendum within four months and was slapped down by their Speaker. Whilst Cameron doesn’t agree with that he said he would not play games with Mr Salmond.“I won’t have a situation where it’s not about the health or wellbeing of the people of Scotland but all about a referendum to satisfy his needs”, he said.

How incredibly little he knows about what goes on here. I mean, it’s not all health and wellbeing anyway. It’s crime, prisons, education, local government and many other things, and there are Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers working hard to achieve this.

Mr Cameron should remember that he has no mandate in Scotland. He has one MP out of 59. And in the Scottish General Election an academic study has shown that it was the popularity of Annabel Goldie that gave the Tories the seats that they got...and they are about to lose her! Although there are many more Liberal Democrats, one only needs to look at the rump in parliament and the disastrous Inverclyde by-election result for the London parliament to see how popular they are in our country.

He should also remember that, rather like his illustrious predecessor, his words in Scotland tend to have the opposite effect to that which is intended. Even Malcolm Rifkind realised that the Scots don’t like to be bullied by bossy Englishwomen (or men) and the less Thatcher said, the better.

He would do best to take that on board and say very little.


  1. What a charming picture of Mr Mogg. I suppose I must do my muck raking best and remind our readers that Mr Mogg stood for the Tories in the 1997 general election for the constituency of Central Fife where he went canvassing in his Bentley in the company of his nanny....he got 9% of the vote (in 1992 the Tories got 17.6% and in 1987: 17.5%). The usual Eton and Oxford toff that is so clearly out of touch with everything in Scotland that he halved their vote as their Central Fife also ran. Despite his expensive education he must be a complete idiot as he was unable to find a winnable Tory seat until 2010!

  2. He's a complete weirdo, Munguin. He uses received pronunciation and complained bitterly that people commented on it. Accents, he said, didn't mean anything... which should be true, but then he said that John Prescott's accent marked him out as an oaf. So presumably they only mean nothing when it's his ...

    There's a lovely article about him in the Times.

  3. Funny isn't it. Before the SNP's win in the Parliament no-one in the LibLabCon camp wanted an independence referendum. Now they can't get one fast enough and Michael Moore wants two.

    I was a bit doubtful about Alex Salmond's insistence that he was going to hold the independence referendum in the second half of the parliament but since every unionist man and his dog wants that independence referendum right now I can only assume he's got the timing spot on.

  4. tris

    Perhaps you should remember the snp were only elected on 25% of the electoral vote hardly a landslide
    Most normal people taking the view none of the above and why not.

    The Westminster parliament is still supreme within the UK which includes Scotland who consistently refuse to elect the snp candidates.

    Any referendum will have to completely transparent to protect the Scottish peoples sovereignty.

    The idea anyone would (apart from the extreme extremist nats) entrust the running of a referendum to the snp without some form of Election monitoring is obviously barking.

    Without proper oversight the snp would behave as if they were a bunch of NOW journos on an illegal hacking spree...very badly

    Jacob Rees-Mogg is unlike your good selves a Gentleman of means and you should tug at your forelock at the very mention of his name......

    Why in times past his voice would of came down the end of a telephone line from GCHQ(50 miles back from the front line) ordering us up and over the top with fixed bayonets towards impregnable enemy lines whereupon we would of got shot to bits..and by God we would of done it too.

    And then after the war the very few of us left being wounded and disabled would of sold boxes of matches to him when he came out of his private club...

  5. Pointy finger man's interview so respect me!

    The last paragraph should be news to the prop me up party.

  6. Doug you got it in one. If they all want it now, 3 years' time is the right time to have it.

  7. Did you hear about Sir John Major's contribution to this internal Tory debate?

    He has called for Scotland to be given control over everything except defence, macroeconomic policy and foreign policy. In short, he has joined the consensus I stand with, which demands full fiscal autonomy for Scotland.

    Now there is an honest, decent Conservative who has made an incredible political journey like Michael Portillo...

  8. Niko:

    The SNP won the popular vote, 54%; the SNP won on FPTP; the SNP won on votes in the regions; the SNP won the election on any basis, even in an electoral set up which Labour designed so that the SNP could never win a majority.

    Oh I know it was a small turn out. But those that didn't bother to get off their fat lazy backsides can hardly be expected to count as electors. There was nothing to stop them voting "none of the above" with a write in.

    But they couldn't be bothered to vote on who would run law and order, health, education, local government, prisons, farming, fishing, the environment, and so on, in their own country.

    Would I trust the SNP to do it all on their own? Well more than the other parties, but, no, I wouldn't.

    Still I can't honestly imagine you thinking that Mr Murdo sorry I mean Cameron would be any more trustworthy?

    Jacob is something else, isn't he? You just have to love a man who is so completely and utterly removed from anything even vaguely approaching reality. He could have his own comedy show.

  9. Deano

    Has John Major on his side whoopeedo! is that with his underpants worn inside or outside.

    Tell us Deano were does the macroeconomic end and macroeconomic begin if you know that is

  10. I put it all down to Botox CH.

  11. Dean: The Telegraph was proposing the notion that Cameron was using Major to float the idea to see how it was fly (if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor).

    What do you think of that?

  12. tris said...

    I put it all down to Botox CH.

    Or bollox.

  13. Tris.

    Cameron is just playing games with Salmond. He is sending out a signal to the FM to behave himself or I will call a referendum sooner. I would rather the UK gov bring a referendum forward now, it is the Unionists who are running scared because they have the power to bring it forward.

  14. Nikostratos said...

    Perhaps you should remember the snp were only elected on 25% of the electoral vote hardly a landslide

    If only 10 people bothered to vote and the SNP won 9 votes then I would still call that a landslide. People who don't vote have no part in the democratic process. Blair was elected on 17% of the vote yet he managed to still win a majority in London. What's your views?

  15. Dean.

    I think Major has value to bring to the table and has at last grown up but the image of him eating peas with his wife at the table in Spitting image tells me not to share the same table with him in case he decides to break wind!

  16. LOL @ CH... possibly a mixture.

  17. Well Allan, I'm inclined to agree with Dougthedug. The unionists want it now and Eck wants it later; who has the record for getting things right, and who has the record for getting things wrong?

    As a past prime minister I suppose Major has gravitas, but I wonder if he is being used to float ideas to see how they are received before he makes a pronouncement.

    He has a problem. He can do whatever he wants with the Scotland Bill. Unless he uses extraordinary powers to override the Scottish parliament, he is unlikely to get it through unless the SNP, Greens and Margo like it.

    It has to go through their Commons and Lords then it has to get through our parliament. I suspect that when they thought that little wheeze up (to show respect for Scotland), it never occurred to them that they wouldn't be able to manipulate the vote. Oh dear, there should always be a plan B, and probably a plan C too.

    Unless he gets it through our parliament, it might as well go in the bin. And that will please no one. So he has to get it through our parliament. The only way he can do that is provide most of the stuff that the SNP asked for and Michael Moore refused...despite most of the demands being in the Lib Dem manifesto.

    Confused...? Yeah me too.

    PS: I think it's beans that cause flatulence though... peas should be safe enough. Unless you know something I don't!!

  18. PS Allan. Maybe after the revelations about the fragrant Edwina, Johnny has to eat at the kitchen table while Norma eats alone in the dining room.

  19. Greetings, comrades, hope you are all fine and dandy! anything been happening while I was away? How's Gray getting on as First Minister? Is Shagger John speaking for the major(ity) of Tories or trying to currie favour with the Jocks? Is Niko still as mad as ever or even madder after the Labour election land-slide? Is there honey still for tea? Have Hibs won the Scottish Cup?

  20. Nah, none of these things. And who are you anyway?


    Hey hey, you're back then. Crivvens, that was a long trip. You were missed.

    Now let's see, did anything of interest happen while you were gone?

    Nah, well, soemthings did happen: there was some big wedding thing with a couple of 20 something yuppies, and the dad sent the bill to us, and for some funny reason that I just can't fathom, we paid it.

    Tris met Annabel Goldie and was much impressed but just remembered in time not to become a Tory when he saw some ghastly ex-Eton chappies in London.

    Sarkozy grew 1/100 cm.

    Who's this fellow Gray that you are asking about? Someone you know? never heard of him.

    Oh yeah, I knew what I was gonna tell you. There was this election thingy, and well that Eck bloke that likes curries ... nooooooo, not Major... the other one... the fat one, you remember him? Well he won.

    Elmer Fudd's resigned, Auntie Annabel's resigned, Farmer Tavish has resigned and disappeared in the Shetland mist.

    Nothing else happened really. it's been a bit boring.

    How you been?

    PS I like that clever thing you did with Major (ity).... See, I did notice!

  21. PS:

    Nikos got a new place. Something to do with having to leave the country before he got caught in some razor wire or something. So, he's running a bar somewhere.

    They say he has a voice like a girl, but I can't imagine that.

  22. PPS: There's no honey for tea.

    In fact the way the country is going your lucky if there's tea.

  23. PPPS:

    Hibs?...Scottish Cup?

    Oh, you are a one.....