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Thursday, 14 August 2014

My verdict on Andrew Neil's "What's at stake for the UK"

My verdict on Andrew Neil's "What's at stake for the UK"

Mainly a good effort and worth watching but Neil avoided the constitutional law consequence of Scottish Independence on the dissolution of the UK. He also failed to interview ANY English nationalists.

Mr Neil fully confirmed that the only argument that Unionists appear to have for maintaining the Union is to enable our leaders to strut their stuff on the "World Stage" and to"Punch above our weight" there!

This is thin stuff indeed to justify maintaining such a hubristic pantomine of Great Power status as the UK which, since the end of the era great power politics, has been a persistent drag on the English Nation.

The United Kingdom State is expensive, incompetently authoritarian and vain-gloriously addicted to its great power status whilst draining the wealth of England with its vanity projects, its international interventionalism and its failure to focus on the best interests of the English Nation.

Here is a link to the BBC2 programme:- BBC iPlayer - Scotland Votes: What's at Stake for the UK?

Below there is an article by the highly respected and fair-minded Scottish Journalist, Iain MacWhirter, which is also worth reading:-

Time to stop opprobrium that is heaped on Scotland

Thursday 14 August 2014

Iain Macwhirter 

'Never go below the line', friends tell me.

They mean don't look at the comment sections on UK newspapers if you want to retain your sanity. But you would think the liberal Guardian would be an exception. After all, it is the organ of the thinking classes and supports constitutional reform and self determination for all nations.

Not this week it hasn't. There has an been an air of jeering triumphalism as the Yes campaign appeared to founder on the rocks of opinion polls.

"Salmond and Sturgeon are just mouthy, groggy pub drunks who think they can make a point into fact by screaming it the loudest..." was one typical comment under a report on Mr Salmond's continued insistence on currency union. Others celebrated "the demise of the Yes campaign [which] is setting up to be a must-watch bonfire of some preposterous vanities". "Can we delay the referendum for a year and watch Salmond's mental breakdown play out in glorious tartan Technicolor" said another.

The personalisation of the campaign, as if independence was just about Mr Salmond's personal vanity, is typical of much conventional journalism. But what is jarring is the widespread assumption, even, it appears among many Guardian readers, that Scotland has been living of English taxpayers money and finally been found out.

"The sound of bleating and mewling was so loud coming from your end that we paid out just to shut you up ..." said one correspondent demanding an end to Scottish subsidies. "They could always form their own Dollarisation Union with Panama and Zimbabwe", said another. "Scotland soon to be known as 'Greece of the North'."

Well, everyone's entitled to their views and these are moderate compared to the vituperative ejaculations in the English red top press's comment section. (Just don't go there.) And we had better get used to it as I suspect it is going to become worse as we get closer to the referendum. The mood in Westminster is changing from one of anxiety that Scotland might actually mean it, as when the polls began to narrow in the early spring, to a confidence that Scots have bottled the referendum.

This is being followed by a sense of indignation that the UK has been put through this whole business in the first place.

That certainly is Nigel Farage's take on things. He inevitably featured prominently in Andrew Neil's documentary Scotland Votes on BBC2 the other night. "We see this man Salmond, on the telly", said the Ukip leader, "his supporters are rude about us, they don't like us, they don't support our football team ... " Along with other interviewees in the programme he said there would have to be a reckoning after a No vote, not just on the West Lothian Question but on finances. No love-bombing here.

I have considerable respect for Andrew Neil as a broadcaster, and have no complaints about his documentary, despite his long hostility to devolution, independence and the Scottish chattering classes. Just a pity the BBC in London would never let a non-party political Yes supporter of comparable broadcasting clout like, say, Lesley Riddoch, loose on this subject. It would make riveting television for a start. But I digress.

Scotland Votes was very much an establishment view of the dangers of Scottish independence for the UK. It avoided currency and economics and stressed Britain's diminished footprint in the world if Scotland left, ejecting Trident; rather as if Scotland's only real contribution to the UK has been as a repository for weapons of mass destruction. Neil's thesis is that Britain is yet to wake up to the implications of losing a third of its landmass, five million citizens and all its nuclear weapons. It would no longer be a "great nation - a significant figure on the world stage".

But many of his interviewees - Tory and otherwise - clearly did not take the threat of independence very seriously. They were more concerned with what Neil called the coming "constitutional revolution" if and when Scotland votes No. Now, optimists believe this will involve greater powers for Holyrood, some form of democratic decentralisation to the English regions and even full scale federalism. And I hope they are right - I really do.

However, the first issue on Westminster's mind is clearly not federalism but curbing Scotland's over-representation in Westminster and our alleged feather-bedding through the Barnett Formula. A succession of voices this week has been spelling this out.

The former Tory leadership candidate, John Redwood, in his McWhirter Lecture (no relation) to the Freedom Association called this week for an English parliament within Westminster with Scots excluded. Another former Tory leadership challenger, David Davis, said Scottish over-representation was untenable. There will have to be either a reduction in Scottish MPs or - more likely - a move to exclude them from votes on exclusively English issues.

I must say I find it hard to disagree with this on democratic grounds - though this "in-and-out" solution, as it was called in the days of Gladstone and Irish Home Rule, is not as easy as it looks. It is often difficult to define what is an exclusively "English" Bill even on devolved issues. "English" measures, like the various higher education Bills under Labour, often have implications north of the border, and involve Scottish taxpayers' money.

This is why we need a proper written constitution, federal parliaments and a new upper house or Senate in Westminster based on regional representation. But don't hold your breath.

As always, Boris Johnson has spoken the mind of most of his Tory colleagues. "Alex Salmond has been thrashed in these debates" he said this week. "But for some reason we are promising the Scots more tax raising powers. There's no need. What has England ever got out of this devolution process?"

As mayor of London, Mr Johnson should know that a colossal amount of public spending has been poured into London infrastructure - more than all the other regions of Britain combined according to the Institute For Public Policy Research. But he has long argued Scotland gets more than its fair share of public spending.

He is clearly after the Ukip vote, both on Europe and Scotland. As he edges closer to the centre of the Tory party power, Bullingdon Man will have a big say in the post-referendum world is ordered. He will be leading the non-conciliation party, which includes MPs of all political denominations, in seeking to cut Scotland's cloth after a No. And he may strike a popular chord with English voters who think Scotland, its independence bluff called, should be appeased no more.

The historian Patrick Hennessey told Neil that many English voters think negatively. "Scots have done nothing but whinge for a generations, you can hear them say, all we hear is a constant drizzle of complaint." The solution is for Scotland to have proper fiscal and economic autonomy and, as I say, there are optimists who keep telling me this is definitely on the cards. I really don't see it short of a Yes vote in the referendum. But in or out of the Union, the drizzle will have to stop.

(Here is a link to the original >>>
Time to stop opprobrium that is heaped on Scotland | Herald Scotland


  1. What struck me most about this programme was the continual reference to "the Rest of the U.K.", by Neil and everyone he interviewd. Nigel Farage tried to pose as pro-English whilst the potential withdrawal of Scotland was equated with the withdrawal of Ireland from the U.K. in 1922.
    It was also alarming to hear it suggested that the new truncated "U.K." should have a completely new, multi-cultural flag.

    1. As I have said before those who thought UKIP would save England and the English from extinction should be aware that Farage has now fully embraced multiculturalism and hence the New World Order's plan for white genocide. There is no other world for it and many are now beginning to realise that Europeans are on the tipping point of extinction, down to 8% of the world's population and falling rapidly. Many have come to realise that this is no accident and I suspect Farage of being another offshoot, like Cameron and Boris, of the City of London which rules the world for the oligarchic kleptocracy who wish to rule over a world of brown-skinned proles bereft of Europeans' genetic inheritance.

      As I have said, Asians will be in the majority here before the end of the century as they just keep breeding and breeding and Islam will be the major religion. King Alfred - England's darling -where are you when we need you?

  2. It WOULD be like the withdrawal of the 26 counties of Ireland in 1922. Scotland WOULD be SECEEDING from the present United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 'RUK' WOULD BE the successor state in international law. Those who say the United Kingdom would end if Scotland votes Yes are wrong on this point of law though the 'RUK' would be so diminished and severely damaged that it would probably end in a few years totally.

    1. That's not right 'anonymous'. The United Kingdom of Great Britain cannot be seceeded from by one of its two constituent parts! It can only be dissolved by the repeal of the Act of Union 1707.

    2. I'm not sure that you are right about this. Ireland joined an existing UK, which came into being with the act of union between Scotland and England (England included Wales at the time). If Scotland votes 'yes' that union ceases to exist. Further Northern Ireland came into being when the UK was in existence and as a result there is no act of union between Northern Ireland and England, as far as I know.
      What is Robin's legal opinion, I wonder?

    3. No. Should Scotland vote Yes on September the 18th then Scotland will SECEED from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland BUT what is left (ie England, Wales and Northern Ireland) will continue in UNION with each other just as England, Scotland, Wales and NORTHERN Ireland did in 1922 when the 26 counties of SOUTHERN Ireland left to form the Irish Free State. This is one reason why Scotland will not be getting a currency union of the Pound Sterling with the rest of us BECAUSE IT IS AN INSTITUTION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM which will still be in existence (though severely damaged) should they vote yes and form an ENTIRELY NEW STATE in international law.

    4. The Union with Ireland was a latter Union so was with an entity which would be dissolved. It is a basic legal proposition that when the entity with which you have an arrangement ceases to exist or dies (eg marriage) the arrangement ceases too.
      It is a basic legal and constitutional point that if the United Kingdom of Great Britain is dissolved by the repeal of the Act of Union of 1707, the resultant revived “Kingdom of England” will not automatically be in union with Northern Ireland.

      E + S = GB therefore GB - S = E

      Where E = “Kingdom of England”
      S = “Kingdom of Scotland”
      GB = “United Kingdom of Great Britain”

    5. This is not what Professor Adam Tomkins of the University of Glasgow says. A very interesting blog he has too:

  3. It is desperately important for the English Democrats to make progress. To do that, they must concentrate on winning where Ukip is not yet entrenched, and not expend effort and resources in the south and west where Ukip is entrenched. When the EDs have established themselves across the north, then will be the time to take on Ukip in the south. The EDs must plan it like a military campaign and not extend their line of communication beyond that part of the country where the English identity is strongest, i.e., in the North and in the East Midlands.

    1. The English Democrats is the only party of and for the whole of England as a unity. It would be wrong to become identified with one part and not another. I am in the south, I contribute in a small way. We must all do our best wherever we are.

    2. You are right, of course, but the party has to be realistic. The EDs will not be able to win in the south until they have become established across the north and the midlands.
      The party to be taken on in the south is the Tory party. Ukip is dug in there and it will be years before the EDs are in a position to replace Ukip in the south.
      The party to be taken on in the north is the Labour party. Ukip is not yet firmly entrenched in the north. The EDs have to throw all they have into containing Ukip and not allowing that party to take over in the north, which will not be easy given the resources in money and manpower that Ukip can draw on (including the provisional support from the pro-union BBC).