Monday, 6 October 2014


It's the democratic thing to do
It seems to me that faced with defeat for their "in or out" stance, Cameron, Miliband, and Clegg decided that they would have to promise what they absolutely refused to offer not only weeks before, but right through the campaign.

None of them could properly come to Scotland and promise it, so they allowed the Daily Record to print a vow. It was, by their own admission, nothing to do with them. 

Cameron made it as clear as clear could be that it was for Scots to decide. It was nothing to do with him, any more than it will be for Maltese to decide whether the UK should stay in the EU. 

Cameron is English and it doesn't help that he is as popular in Scotland as an outbreak of diphtheria. He could not come and make a speech.

Miliband is also English. It was nothing to do with him either. The man who was supposed to take the Labour Party to the left, Red Ed turns out not to be any more than a shade pink round the edges, until UKIP is mentioned and then he becomes navy blue.  He's simply seen in Scotland as being weird. Mr Bean without the humour. He couldn't come to Scotland and make a speech.

Clegg is English too. I'm not sure anyone in Scotland even knows who he is. Probably had he come to Scotland no one would have noticed.

So they hit on a plan. Let's get Gordon. To the English he is considered to be popular in Scotland. And of course it will pay back Darling for being so utterly useless and bringing the campaign to the point where it looked like YES would win. Humiliate him by getting Gordon to save the day.
Poor old Alistair.
The day was saved at the 11th hour... by his arch enemy.

Win Win. And so they did... and so it did!

The people spoke. The day was saved. Darling looked pathetic. 

And Mr Ashcroft's super poll showed that it was 'the vow' and Gordon what done it.

Twenty-three per cent of those who voted NO did so on the basis that Devo Super-Max was on the cards. Federal UK. If that 23% had voted yes the numbers would have looked pretty much the exact opposite of the way the looked on the 19th.

Of course to long term followers of the referendum campaign this will not have come as much of a surprise. From the get go the majority of Scots wanted Devo-max.

Not me, but the majority of Scots would have voted for it, had it been on the ballot paper. It wasn't thanks to David Cameron, whose idea of democracy doesn't stretch to including what ordinary people actually want. 

Well, at least, not until he's in a corner.

The timetable they set themselves for Devo Federal Max is utterly out of the question, particularly now that the English and the Welsh, and for all I know, the Ulstermen are clamoring for more.
Munguin insisted his photograph be used here
although there is no logical reason for it.
Still, he's the boss and he's learning the guitar
so that when the bottom falls out of the blog market
 he can join One Direction
But let's be generous. As long as we can see progress being made surely and steadily over the next months and year or so towards a federal settlement, I say I'm with Nicola. It's what the people wanted.

My best guess is that, if we get federalism, it won't be long before we are wondering why 10% of our Scottish tax take is wasted on killing people with brown skins and a lot of oil, and playing host to an abomination of a killing machine that, although we pay for it, we do not own and cannot use. 

At that point independence is only a matter of getting their bombs out of our water, and starting to boost the economy of the Clyde basin.

As Wendy Alexander was given to saying...Bring it on.


  1. I really can't see Cameron or Miliband if elected in 2015 giving really useful powers to Scotland, the game ploy will be to divide the parties so nothing moves forward, oil and gas and taxes and welfare are the only real meaningful powers. Westminster won't give up oil and gas maybe taxes to a degree welfare hmm! I doubt it.

    but like you and Nicola we'll wait and see what happens but if history is anything to go by, I won't hold my breath.

    1. NO I don;t believe that they will do anything useful either. I think it was a panic measure and that they will try to back out of stuff and part of it will be down to the English question.

      Labour will never agree to English votes for English matters, which is completely logical and absolutely right. No way Scottish MPs should ever have anything to say about English matters.

      But the way to do it is to give them the chance to make good their promises.

    2. I don't think that these folk are looking for dribs and drabs.

      Must be something in the air.

    3. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....

    4. Sad to say regardless we will not be free, regardless of how many people vote for the SNP. Oil has been the curse of Scotland, the Westminster Trollops will hold on tight as long as they possibly can. How on earth can they fight their interminable wars.

  2. Tris

    I just don't see them going anywhere near federalism in any shape or form. They have their no vote so don't have to worry about it for a few years because they know the scottish people will not be up for another referendum any time soon.

    I think people will live to regret the worst decision they will have ever made. I also hope when it is not delivered then Gordon Brownstuff is well and truly monstered by the electorate, he will deserve every bit of it.


    1. I don;t think ti will either Bruce, but ithey must be given the chance to do what the bulk of the Scottish people seemed to want.

      That's democracy.

      We need to keep on them though.

      A high vote for SNP in the 2015 London elections will remind them that we didn't forget.

      And returning a majority government in Edinburgh will also remind them that we want what we were promised.

  3. I hope that, like me, others will hold them to their vow. This was a promise made to all of the people of Scotland in a significant debate/ referendum campaign. It was not a vow or promise made by a wee girl to stop pulling her sisters hair in a bedroom somewhere unheard and unseen. This was a well publicised statement (series of statements) aimed at altering a Nations decision. We can't let this be seen as worthless. We must firstly agree on a definition of what Federalism is and what Home Rule is, then we must insist that we, the people of Scotland, get it.

  4. Mad loony nats you know who you are

    Just how are you going to get another Independence referendum out
    of Westminster this side of eternity/ You had everything going for you
    this time , majority at holyrood massive extremist enforcers marching
    up and down Scotland two years to browbeat your opponents.
    corrupting the Scottish civil service for your evil ends.

    Alex (who was he ?? ) telling a mountain of lies and distortions
    and you lost not a little lost but a whopping one...
    Obviously the snp will beat there chests jump up and down
    make all kind of threats to England and the English. I mean they
    feel they have got to in order to claim leadership of the Independence issue.
    Which given there big cock up could be overtaken by a more determined
    political grouping .

    so how in hell do the snp force Independence back on to the top
    and not see at the bottom of the agenda ???

    1. Lunacy, Nico, is letting others control every aspect of your day to day life. What you and your brethren, voted for was a falsehood, not the glorious status quo, that you seem to think the union was/is. This will get tougher, for the the poorest in our society, under whichever flavour of Tory the electorate south of the border choose. If you are happy with that, I pity you, I pity the thought that you are so petty minded, that you voted against your own countrys best interests. Due to your hatred of a political party, who may or may not have won the first election in an independent Scotland. Whichever party you support may have won, being free of the fetters of the Westminster establishment, they may have done better for Scotland; than they currently do.

    2. Dunno Niko.

      You are right of course. The first thing is that you have to get a majority in the parliament.

      OK, normally I'd agree that doing it once in a system set up to make Labour win every time, that would be hard; doing it twice (and in the third term) would seem to be impossible.

      Burt with the state Labour is in and with a leader as bloody awful as lamont, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility.

      The thing is that even the No parties want to hold London to its promises, or say they do.

      Brown is furious with Cameron, so much so that he urges people to petition him.

      Carmichael (yeah I know, who he) is demanding that the promises be kept, and is onside with the Scottish government about the human rights legislation.

      How do you get Westminister to make it legal when Nigel Farage is holding a gun over their heads... dunno.

      Burt I don't think it will be like last time when the Tories made promises... Alex Douglas Aristocrat... to be honest a man you would have thought you could trust, unlike the sleekit little spiv second hand car salesman that Cameron is.

      What mystifies me is that Brown fell for it. He must know Cameron is a lying toad.

    3. Niko, it says much for your character that you seem to actually think that lying is an admirable trait in a Politician. I do not and I have not seen any lies emanating from the SNP or for that matter the YES campaign, you on the other hand seem to be glorying in the fact that the side you felt was the right one, did lie.

  5. There might be around 5 - 10 % that thought we are about to be offerred significanly more powers.

    I expect in that will fall apart, as a voting demogaphic

    1. I dunno Douglas. We seem to be in a new situation here.

      And a lot of people don't want it to slip back to how it was before when only a few people bothered to vote.

      That's what the politicians seem to want. We have to try to make sure it doesn't happen.

    2. tris,

      I have argued elsewhere that this is out of the hands of the politicians. It is in our hands, for better or worse.

      It is not up to any politician to claim the right to determine our democratic responsibility for ourselves. We are sovereign, and time scales, voting intentions ought to be ripped from the hands of politicians.

      Just saying.

    3. I agree that it is up to the people. That's more or less what Nicola has said too (in the second part of the statement).

      The people pushed the Brit politicians into making the concession of devo-super-max. It is now our job to keep the pressure on them to make sure that they deliver.

      If they don't we are in a whole new ball game.

  6. Thanks Jim.

    They do break the acts of union from time to time (the Poll tax was one such example).

    I know what they want to do. They want to give us a lot of extra responsibilities and reduce the money. But then say that we can raise taxes more if we want more. So we will pay taxes to England and Wales and NI, but if we want more ourselves we have to pay extra tax.

    But they promised federality.

    At the end of the day Gordon Brown said these words on the authority of the prime minister.

    I just don't see how they can get out of it.

    And this time there is a Scottish governmetn and an awful lot of people to keep reminding them.

    If Jim Murphy though he was shouted down, when he tried to talk his Tory crap in Scotland, that is a taste of what they will all get. Cameron...Miliband and even the royals have now made their feelings plain... or Mr Cameron did it for them. They are supposed to be the guarantors of what passes for the democracy that we live in.

    Shout at them too.

  7. I doubt that we can accept any of the terms that they will offer, not without causing immense hardship to the population and that I fear is what they want.

  8. WE can define 'devo-super-max' or federalism however we want. It's THEIR definition which will prevail unless we have leverage. There is only ONE kind of leverage that will bear fruit - ask Andrew Neil.

    1. Well, if we can convince people who were let down to vote against the parties that let them down... in fact lied to the general elections in Scotland and in the uk, then maybe they will start to listen.

      I know there are some that it would take a miracle to unseat... they are almost like the votes for communist dictators 110% of the constituency voted for them, but a lot of them are vulnerable and will disappear at the next election I think.

  9. Here's what's going to happen. They will agree on some watered down, lowest common denominator version of Devo Nano. And they will probably deliver it. So they will be able to claim that the "Vow" was kept. It will not be anything like "Home Rule", "Devo Max", "Federalism" of "Devo Super Max" but they will say that whatever it is is what they always intended. They might even keep to the timetable, more or less.

    But it will be a crock of s**t. It's the oldest project management technique in the book - get the budget to do something, then do something that should cost a lot less, then claim that was what was always intended and claim success. I spent my career doing this. The way to combat it of course is to make them spell out in detail what the deal is going to be and then give them hell when they fail to deliver it. Then move to the next referendum.

    1. I agree that you are almost undoubtedly right, Argyll. They desperately don't want federalism, they don't want devo-supermax, not even devo max.

      The "English" "West Lothian " question was raised immediately after the referendum in order to scupper it.

      The timetable was obviously a way of ensuring that only the smallest possible thing can be done.

      But, I maintain we must give them to opportunity to deliver what they, a prime minister, an ex prime minister and two other reasonably senior politicians promised on behalf of their parties.

      The spelling out has been handed over to some aristocrat.

      I don;t know anything about him, but I instinctively distrust people who accept seats in undemocratic parliaments and stupid I don't hold out much hope.

    2. The thing is we need to make sure that "it" is defined and written down. If it does not amount to Devo Max, Home Rule etc. then we start giving them hell right away. We should not give them the chance to implement something watered down without a lot of grief. The minute we accept whatever fudge they come up with as "good enough for just now" then we lose the moral authority to give them a hard time. We must expose it the moment it becomes clear that they are back-pedalling on the "Vow". We must throw the words they used - Federalism, Home Rule etc. right back at them and point out that the watered down proposal (because that is what it will be) is a breach of the "Vow".

      Of course, if I were them, I would delay publishing any detail for as long as possible - certainly until after the UK general election. That way, it will be harder to criticise them for failing to deliver the undefined promise. They will all blame each other of course when they do not meet the timetable, but when there is a new Westminster parliament, they may well argue that all bets are off, they are not bound by the promises made in the previous parliament and it will all fizzle out. After all, UKIP may well hold the balance of power and could make it a condition of entering coalition that Devo-whatever is dropped. This would be an excellent outcome because then we really could go for a new referendum, sooner rather than later.

    3. Yes, I agree with all that Argyll.

      When they go back on it, then is the time to cut up rough.

      The UKIP balance of power is a scary thought, although I still believe it will probably come to little. The system is so weighted against a little party, even one that is polling 15%. They will be lucky to get a handful of seats.

      But they would almost certainly demand that devolution be dropped, and the two main London parties are so corrupt that they would do anything to be allowed to sleep in president Obama's bed.

  10. My point though Helena, is that we should let them make their offers which will fall far short of what the original desperate promise was when they thought they were going to lose their meal ticket.

    Only then can swe start talking about another referendum, or whatever else is on the cards.

  11. Great work again Tris.

    When we were promised more powers during the Thatcher era and none came we voted labour (Small L) as was the norm in these days. Result was an apathetic voting community who in my opinion gave up.

    Things are so different now. We have representation at the Scottish Parliment and have the SNP/Greens ans SSP with a majority. Throw in the YES movement which has over 1 million activists and we have a lot of voices.

    Getting things organised for the GE will be slow but we will get there .YES is a grass roots movement and it will take time to organise but when they do , they have more experience and know whats expected now , will campaign for indi parties to represent us in WM.

    The vows will be dropped and the SE can use this as a catalyst for a ref 2. SNP and the rest have thousands of newer members and if we have Indi parties in a majority then we have the right to a ref on indi.

    How can WM govern Scotland if the majority of MSP's are independent. They had labour to stem the flow but no more. Everyone is organising now to throw labour out. They have lost so many supporters i believe they are doomed.

    I have spoken to NO voters and they are pretty miffed at the govt's attitude less than a week after a close vote. We don't have to wait a generation. the failure to give us powers shows them for what they are , LIARS.

    So can some one explain if we have a majority of indi MP's at both WM and Edinburgh how a referendum could not be called. WM would not have a mandate to rule Scotland surely.

    I joined the SNP. I will vote for them in the GE and any indi party in the SE. Many people are like me. Doing the same . We are not going away.

    The union is a busted flush.

    The empty promises are are only a sticking plaster. We will be independent.

    Believe in yourselves folks. You got us this far, within touching distance. the failure to give the powers promised are all the ammo we need.

    WM lies , always lies.

    Ps. 1 WEEK after the ref.

    First promise broken

    We are at war

    the govt have uped their attack on the poor and disabled and the tax breaks for the rich.

    labour will lose big time in Scotland making way for a tory/ukip govt.

    How bad or good depending on your outlook can it get before 1.6 million becomes 4million.

    1. Inspiration there Richy.

      Of course you are right. I can;t believe that so much bad stuff has happened since the no vote.

      If you are under 22 you won't get dole money unless you jump through their idiotic hoops that we know do absolutely no good whatsoever.

      Meanwhile there are tax breaks for people on £50,000 and a deal on leaving your pension money in your will.

      In the meantime a pensioner on the bottom rung has to olive on £148 a week if they put themselves through the humiliation of having to beg for pension credits.

      That's probably just enough to keep themselves alive, but offers no kind of life at all. Food electricity and gas, and the bare essentials of clothing. No fun, not breaks, no holidays, no treats.

      Just enough to keep you from dying... if you are lucky.

      What a sack of misery.

      And as you say, once again we are at war. Human rights are being abused so we're going in to sort out Johnny Foreigner.

      But we don't seem to want to do anything about human rights in Tibet... or in Saudi, or Russia or Bahrain.

      Odd that... Too big in some cases, and monarchs who are friends with the Windsors in other?

    2. Hope Ross didn't mind me using his photo!!!