Saturday 17 May 2014


What am I doing here? Tea and a Tunnocks Wafer?
Where's the "Shipwrecked 1907 Heidseick" one normally has
around this time of night
I don't understand Cameron’s argument for not debating with Alex Salmond. (Aside: Please politicians, I’m sick of reading that Cameron refuses to debate Alex Salmond.  You debate WITH someone. If you debate THEM, then THEY are the subject.)

Anyway…It doesn't matter that Cameron is English; it doesn't matter that he doesn't have a vote; it doesn't even matter that he’s not the head of the No campaign and he wants us to believe that Alex Salmond IS head of the Yes campaign, even if he is not. 

If it was all about that, why didn't he send Alistair darling to sign the Edinburgh Agreement?

It doesn't matter that David Cameron is an important world leader (at least in his own eyes), who has slept in the president’s bed on Air Force One, and that Alex Salmond is a provincial leader of a country within the UK, who has never had the need to even meet the president never mind make use of his sheets, duvet and alarm clock.

It’s not about status or nationality or the right to vote in the referendum.

What matters is that, whichever way the referendum goes, at the very moment when the result is known, and for at least 7 months after that date (and likely much longer) David Cameron will be the head of the government which has to deal with that outcome. And his opposite number in this matter will be Alex Salmond.

It’s just that simple.

Seriously, are you telling me that there is no vintage champagne?
If Scots say yes, then Cameron is the man who will have to set up the British side of the negotiations for an amicable settlement between the two countries. It’s a massive job involving a vast number of issues. But Cameron will choose the negotiators and he will chair the Cabinet that advises the Queen on what she should pass into law. In the end, what the prime minister says, usually goes.

Alex Salmond is the man who will be overall in change of negotiations from the Scottish side. He will have exactly the same role in negotiations and he too will advise the Queen. Alex has indicated that he would want people from across the political spectrum to be involved (I’m sure Cameron will too), but THEY are the bosses.

If the answer is no, then Cameron will have the responsibility of negotiating (or not) some sort of settlement for post referendum Scotland, and Salmond, as the Scottish leader, is the man with whom he will have to deal.

I’m all for Salmond-Darling debates, or Salmond-Brown, Salmond-Alexander, Salmond-Reid… or whoever is running No at that moment.  The more debates the better. The more that both sides are held to account, the more likely people will know what they are voting for or against. And the more likely that strengths will out and weaknesses, on either side, will be exposed.

But whichever of the above debates take place, the participants from the UK can make no promises for the future. At least none that will carry any weight. 
Look, you can't mean you don't have a white tie,Mr Salmond
What do you wear to dine?
It no use us thinking that a promise made by Darling or Alexander will be kept by a Tory government in the future. They are political enemies. Darling and Brown are opposition, back bench, part time MPs. The fact that once they held power means nothing. They have no authority. They are the opposition in an adversarial parliamentary system. That is not to put them down. It's simply the truth.

The so called Labour Big Beasts from the Lords are likewise part time aristocratic members of parliament from the opposition. The party which is OUT of power.

Alexander and Murphy are at least opposition shadow ministers. But still neither has any governmental authority.

Anything either of them says is just words.

Any of these people can promise Alex Salmond, live on tv, that extra funding will be given; powers will be devolved; that, for example, our deputy first minister will no longer have to beg an aristocratic, unelected minister in London, for permission to pay housing benefit at a level suitable to our needs... The government could later scoff and say: "WE did not promise any of this".
Well, that's a mercy.
Back in London, only slightly bruised by
a couple of days in Jockland.
I'll send Carmichael next time.
A debate at that level needs to lay out what the two big cheeses will allow after the referendum is over. No one but Cameron and Salmond can do that.

It has been suggested that Cameron thinks that it is beneath his dignity to debate with Salmond: that he would demean the status of his office to debate with the head of a regional government in Edinburgh. 

I’m not sure if this is true, but if it is then he should appoint someone from his cabinet or ministerial team… and he should invest in him or her the authority to make promises at the same level as Mr Salmond can.

Someone who has a vote, someone who is Scottish, who can, on behalf of the prime minister, assure us, in a debate on tv, that what he promises will be government policy. That would seem to suggest either Danny Alexander or Alistair Carmichael from the Liberals, or Wee David Mundell from his own party.

To borrow a phrase from Wendy..."Bring it on". 


  1. CapnAndy.
    Well said Tris. Concise and to the point.

    1. Hey Capn..

      Welcome to the blog...and Thanks very much.

      It just seems like they are all arguing about who is who in all this and forgetting the most important thing.

      Who makes the decisions.

      And although in both cases, many people will make decisions in groups and committees and what have you, at the end of the day, on one side you have Salmond, and on the other Cameron.

      They are the only people we can actually hold to account if what they have said turns out to be lies.

  2. tris

    You let the snp cat out of the bag

    ' Alex Salmond is the man who will be overall in change of negotiations from the Scottish side. He will have exactly the same role in negotiations '

    Why so ????? where did the Scottish Parliament and the sovereignty (much vaunted ) of Scottish people disappear to ????

    And now you know why a large majority of Scots reject Independence because
    they do not want and will not accept the dictatorship of Alex salmond.
    At best he is only a minimal leader of a much diminished executive calling oneself
    a Government does not make you one.

    Any negotiations which is not comprised of representatives of all the Scots
    form all political partys and civil society is at bottom a chimera of a bastardised
    snp democracy .

    At the end if a yes vote is a vote for Alex salmond then any patriotic scot
    must and should and WILL vote NO.

    It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

    Freedom which is not doled out at the behest of Alex salmod

    1. Give it a rest, Niko. Hatred of Alex Salmond and the SNP does not a policy (or an argument) make.

      As the head of a Government that was democratically elected by the people of Scotland on a platform which included an independence referendum and subsequent negotiations, AS is fully entitled to lead any negotiations with Westminster.

      In any case, AS has already said that he would seek to involve members of other parties in the negotiations.

      And if the best reason you can come up with for voting no is to prevent an Alex Salmond dictatorship, you really need to have another read at the book of flimsy political excuses, because that one can only have made it into the appendix listing those ideas that had been rejected.

    2. angry

      which included an independence referendum and subsequent negotiations,

      well you just as all Nationalists always do added a big power grab there
      now just show us were Alex was granted this power ????

    3. Niko.

      In the Westminster government and in the Scottish government (system designed by Donald Dewar and approved by Tony Blair), the Prime or First Minister is the head of the government.

      The government consists of a cabinet and ministers of the party or parties which have been elected in a majority, under the systems that operate in the two countries. In the case of Westminster FPTP, in the case of Holyrood, FPTP with a part proportional representation.

      In both the systems, someone has to have the final say.

      In England the prime minister is the leader of the largest party, or the leader of the party which can form a coalition. The Queen is obliged to appoint him (or Thatcher).

      In Scotland, I believe parliament votes for the first minister and the Queen is obliged to accept their decision. Of course it is likely to be the leader of the largest party or the party that can form a coalition with a smaller party, but that represents the fact that in Scotland the Queen rules at the pleasure of Scots. In England, apparently she does so by the grace of god.

      In any case, that person, anointed by the Queen, be he chosen by god or by the parliament, is in charge.

      If you re-read what I wrote, I pointed out that Alex and Dave were these people.

      Of course neither of them will do the day to day negotiations, but in the end someone has to have the final say. Someone has to agree what is legal, almost certainly advised by constitutional and international lawyers.

      In the period prior to the referendum, the only person who can promise anything is the prime minister. Anyone else can be overruled by him.

      So if Alistair were to say, in answer to Alex, live on TV, say in answer to the question of social security payments: "If people vote for NO, we will ensure that never again does a Scottish deputy FM, be they Labour, Tory or SNP have to beg an unelected Lord to be allowed to pay a decent level of social security to desperately poor, often sick people..."

      After the referendum Cameron could easily say: "I never authorised that. My government intends to always hold on the control of all social security. Mr Darling was acting outwith his authority.

      We know that when the likes of Carmichael and Sturgeon are debating that what they are saying is what they THINK.

      Cameron and Salmond are the bosses. The ones who can say. No.I promised that on TV to the people. It has to happen.

      Some time ago Duncan Smith and Osborne wanted to introduce reductions to OAP payments. Cameron overruled them. He said that he had promised that these payments would not be touched in this parliament.

      Do you think it is wrong for someone to be in charge of the government... should be be a free for all?

      Salmond has already said that he would set up a committee which would include representatives for all parties, and civil society.

      Yours was a cheap jibe.

    4. But you haven't explained why your hatred of Alex Salmond, a man who'll be out of politics in a few years, trumps your desire for Scotland to be a real country. Or maybe you don't think Scotland is a real country?

    5. Niko has only one argument 'I hate Salmond and the SNP.' he has a secret fascination with all three unionist/Tory parties and HM of course.

  3. That second photo down Cameron looks awfy like Wee Dougie Alexander. They couldn't be brothers by any chance?

  4. "It has been suggested that Cameron thinks that it is beneath his dignity to debate with Salmond: that he would demean the status of his office to debate with the head of a regional government in Edinburgh."

    But he's prepared to debate with Farage, who's head only of a party with absolutely no representation in the UK parliament.

    1. Yes, that's rich isn't it.

      I think he is reasonably confident that he can beat Farage and that he will at least go into the debate with a fairly even level of support. He also has pretty good grounds for an argument that it is in the interests of Britain to stay in the EU. Hundreds of thousands of jobs, a few million people who work there who would be aliens, loads of companies moving out because they are here for the open market... And Farage is just slightly more repulsive and slimey than he is.

      On the other hand Alex Salmond knows his brief. Even people who loathe him would agree that. Cameron would not be able to be equally briefed. For all the "every fibre of my being" crap, Cameron knows and cares little about Scotland. He's be out maneuvered within seconds with a man who has spent 40 years with a dream for an independent Scotland.

      I've heard Cameron's arguments for the union... family, history, clout, punching above our weight, fought the Nazis (no one else helped), side by side, clout in EU, Nato, UN, nuclear weapons, 4th largest military spend in the world, embassies everywhere... most successful union in the world ever in all time...

      Seriously very few ordinary people give a stuff about most of that.

      And of course before he opens his mouth in Scotland he has lost. He is a posh public school boy privileged and remote... and he's a Tory... he was close to the dreaded Tahtcher cow.

      He's dead meat...

      Oh look, I spelled Thatcher wrong again... Look out Niko will be turning somersaults

    2. "And Farage is just slightly more repulsive and slimey than he is."

      Not sure about that. I'd say Cameron is only just beaten in the slimy and repulsive stakes by Gideon. Now there's repulsive.

  5. Something I never understand, is why everyone is so obsessed with the film "Breaveheart", when there's a much better film out there that sums up why we want independance so much better.

    Here's some of the lyrics to the finale, the band included Eric Clapton and Ringo Star.

    "and brother to brother, sister to sister, as one people we stand, ... , it was our home, today,


    you've invaded our homes and our privacy,
    taken everything except the sun and the sea,
    we've come here to ask you, most humbly,
    please won't you grant us our, liberty,

    We want our freedom,
    waha, waho
    give us our freedom,
    waha, waho

    we want to live as we please, with streangth and with pride,
    and make our own decisions, no help from outside,
    please let us be, leave us alone,
    we need to be free, to stand on our own,

    We want our freedom,
    waha, waho,
    Give us our freedom."

    Cookie if you guess the film.

    Massive respect if you can get it on STV in the next three months.

    1. Damn... I wanted a cookie...

      But I've searched... adn I dunno...

      Go on tell me... please?

    2. Anon -

      A good comparison. Scotland is rich in the globally-declining resource that made Cascara such a prize for the Imperialists.

      And Scotland has so much else besides.

    3. Cookies to Barney the mug man!

    4. Definite cookies to Barney :)

      Now we just need to convince STV (or even the BBC, they might not get the connotations) to show it a few times in the next few months :D

      It's a real shame that the full lyrics aren't available anywhere. Apparently that song was released as a music video, but I've never been able to find it.

    5. Gie the cookies tae the bear. Bears like cookies.

      Another song about freedom that I've always liked -

    6. Listened to the studio version of the song on YouTube. The words certainly fit. The film is available on Amazon on DVD, so I ordered a copy.

  6. Replies
    1. Just bookmarked that page.

      Maybe a good idea to use some of these videos. Mr Jappy knows a thing of two about their lies.

  7. I think part of the issue with preventing Cameron from debating Salmond is an historical one. The UK has been in managed decline since 1945, it has gone from an empire, to potentially only England (and Wales) within a lifetime. The British Establishment is built on the myth of world power status and that it is still somehow relevant in the world.
    It's difficult to downsize and admit poverty if you are the PM and debating with Salmond is an admission that the process is still ongoing. September 18th may finally see the door finally closed on the British Empire and Cameron will be handed to the key as a keepsake. He doesn't want the truth about a diminishing Britain to be exposed.
    I would have more respect for him as a politician if he showed some backbone and admitted the fact, but he won't as that would signal his political end. The right wing press would crucify him.
    It must be a truly difficult position for him. He's fighting on several fronts and he has chosen to concentrate on UKIP while leaving Scotland to his puppets, the Labour party.
    And that is the hidden irony in all this, because Labour, by providing the cannon fodder for Cameron, are only allowing him to campaign against UKIP (badly).
    Truly are the Labour party now Tory poodles.

  8. Tris

    I don't care if Cameron debates AS or not. Cameron would get his arse kicked but the more he ducks out the more of a coward he looks, like the BT politicians who are now pulling out of the debates. While the polls may not show big shifts I suspect their private polling is telling them something different, I also suspect that when people actually get in that polling booth then more undecideds will go for yes.

    YES need to just keep hammering away, the Euros will provide a little lift although due to the system Liebour will no doubt return 2 or 3 and claim a victory, hope the Liberals get wiped out just to see Cleggs puss. Interesting times.