Why the SNP won’t get a second referendum

Despite Sturgeon’s victory last week, there is little public appetite for another vote on independence.

Rob Lyons
Columnist

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Topics Brexit Politics UK

This was a very good election for the Scottish National Party (SNP). While not quite as stunning as 2015’s election ‘yellow-wash’, when the Nats won 56 of the 59 seats available, the 2019 haul of 48 seats is still an enormous success. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s much-watched wild celebrations, captured when news came through of the SNP beating Jo Swinson in the Lib Dem leader’s East Dunbartonshire seat, were as much about how the whole night had gone as they were about getting one over on a rival.

Naturally, the SNP claimed the result was a mandate for another independence referendum. On Friday, Sturgeon declared: ‘I don’t pretend that every single person who voted SNP yesterday will necessarily support independence, but there has been a strong endorsement in this election of Scotland having a choice over our future; of not having to put up with a Conservative government we didn’t vote for and not having to accept life as a nation outside the EU.’

But what the vote shows is rather more complicated. First, the results show how distorting the first-past-the-post system can be. Across the whole of the UK, the Conservatives got 56 per cent of the seats from 43.6 per cent of the vote. That’s lopsided, but nothing compared to the fact that the SNP won 81 per cent of the seats in Scotland with just 45 per cent of the vote.

Second, the big story was the collapse of the Labour vote. In 2017, the SNP got 36.9 per cent of the vote, winning 35 seats, and Labour took 27.1 per cent, winning seven. The Conservatives came second in Scotland that time, with 28 per cent of the vote and 13 seats. This time around, the SNP went up eight percentage points while Labour fell 8.5 percentage points, leaving Labour with just one seat – the anti-Corbyn Edinburgh MP, Ian Murray.

From those numbers, it looks like many voters who rejected Labour and couldn’t bring themselves to vote Conservative or Lib Dem switched to the SNP. This was hardly a ringing endorsement of the need for an independence referendum. The Conservative vote fell a little – down to 25 per cent, leaving the Tories with just six seats and reduced majorities even in those. The Conservatives were also not helped by the stepping down of their media-friendly leader, Ruth Davidson, before the election.

It is also worth noting that the SNP’s vote share of 45 per cent is exactly the same as the ‘Yes’ campaign got in 2014’s independence referendum. Opinion about independence remains divided, but the majority for remaining part of the UK seems consistent. The overwhelming majority of opinion polls since the EU referendum also show a persistent, if small, majority in favour of staying in the UK. So even if there were to be another independence referendum, it could simply repeat the result of the last one. Despite SNP protestations about Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will, Scottish voters seem more inclined to choose the UK over the EU.

Another problem is that, mandate or not, the SNP has no obvious path to independence at the moment. Quite apart from the fact that another referendum would be an insult to voters who took part in the ‘once in a generation’ referendum in 2014 – essentially telling them they got it wrong and must try again – there would need to be approval given for a vote under Section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998. Though in name a decision made by the monarch, it is really a prerogative power granted to the UK government. With a fully fledged unionist in Downing Street, such an order is unlikely to be forthcoming. Senior Conservative Michael Gove has already confirmed that there won’t be government approval for another independence vote.

The SNP could go to court to see if the devolution settlement does, in fact, give Holyrood the right to hold a referendum. But even if they won that case, everyone agrees that only the UK government can actually grant independence. A unilateral referendum, without permission, would trigger a constitutional crisis. The result of an unauthorised referendum in Catalonia was the jailing of the movement’s leaders, but with no progress on achieving independence.

Moreover, the independence argument gets a lot harder after Brexit. Brexit has been fraught with difficulties, but the relationship between the UK and the EU is nowhere near as intertwined as that between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Just take the question of which currency to use. Sturgeon says an independent Scotland would use the pound while a new currency is created (advisers suggest it could take a decade). In the interim, that would leave Scotland without control over its own monetary policy. And while Scottish banks can issue notes at the moment, that right would disappear after independence. So, the SNP’s vision of an ‘independent’ Scotland within the EU could mean taking rules from Brussels and using the Bank of England’s money for years.

Maybe it suits the SNP to be able to continue to complain about Westminster. Better that than the risk of putting support for independence to the test or taking responsibility for its own failings.

Rob Lyons is science and technology director at the Academy of Ideas and a spiked columnist.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

Modern Money

22nd December 2019 at 11:59 am

A government budget deficit is too small you get unemployment.

A government budget deficit is too big you get inflation.

Governments need to run deficits most of the time to meet the saving desires of the private sector.

Infact, the only time a government running a trade deficit should run a budget surplus is when the economy is at full throttle with inflationary pressures everywhere. To take currency out of the economy to help to control inflation. Take more spending power away via taxes or dramatically reduce spending.

Notice Scotland is running a budget deficit of 8% with no inflationary pressures. Scotland runs a 8% private sector surplus because we are right and like to save.

Modern Money

22nd December 2019 at 12:01 pm

# tight# not right.

Modern Money

22nd December 2019 at 11:38 am

The Indy at all costs ideologues think EFTA is the secret sauce to get around the austerity club when you join the single market. Where all the nasty stuff is.

They are deluded you are going to hear a lot about EFTA over the coming months. A different shade of faux independence.

In this Keynote address by EFTA Court President Carl Baudenbacher the faux independence becomes clear

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u_3GLAk2CPE

Carl has served as a Judge of the EFTA Court from September 1995 to April 2018 and was the Court’s President from 2003 to 2017. He states clearly time and time again Scotland would have to get down on their hands and knees and beg In front of a court just to get policy through.

A court that is neoliberal central and competition focused.

The Q&A session is very revealing.

Modern Money

22nd December 2019 at 11:28 am

Once you understand The government budget deficit is the private sector surplus to the penny. The national debt is that surplus moved into gilts over time.

That is when you see the SNP lies and deceit.

The government accounts is not political or ideological they are T accounts assets in one side of the balance sheet liabilities on the other.

Nicola is offering a faux independence.

Currently Scotland enjoys a 8% government deficit thus a 8% private sector surplus. No this is not funded by English tax payers or any tax payers as Bob the IT expert shows.

EU fiscal rules says that private sector surplus cannot be bigger than 3% and Scotland’s private sector savings that earn interest cannot be above 60% of GDP.

Nicola has not told the people of Scotland how she is going to reduce the private sector surplus.

Increased taxes

Cut spending

Or both

Austerity on steroids to join the austerity club of Europe. With their stability and growth pact, 6 pack, 2 pack, excessive debt procedure and corrective arm

Modern Money

22nd December 2019 at 11:15 am

Hello meet Bob.

Bob works for an IT company. Bob banks with Barclays.

HM Treasury instructs the BOE to credit Barclays reserve account at the BOE. Barclays then Credit Bob’s current account.

The only rule is Bob has to spend all of his income and whoever gets it has to do the same.

The spending chain starts.

Bob pays his tax and buys a TV. The TV seller pays their tax and buys a bathroom. The showroom pays their tax and buys a wedding ring. The jeweller pays their tax and buys a kitchen table and so on and so on.

This plays out all over the country the spending comes back and destroys itself. The budget is balanced.

The tax did not fund the spending it took everyone’s spending power within the chain to control inflation. The right amount of money was chasing the goods and services on offer. The tax came after the spending. The more spent the more taxes were collected. See Trump for details after breaking every US spending record.

Now change the rules

Bob and everyone in the chain are allowed to save some of their income. They can pay for a pension an ISA a fixed bond or with NS&I. In their savings account or on the mantle piece.

HM Treasury has spent 100 million but only collected 90 million from that spending in taxes.

They are running a 10 million budget deficit.

However, Bob the jeweller, the showroom and anybody who saved some of their income within the spending chain share a 10 million surplus.

The budget deficit is the private sector surplus the national debt is just that surplus moved into gilts over time. When Bob invested in a pension or an ISA or NS&I. They call that government borrowing.

Government borrowing is just an asset swap from a reserve balance at the BOE to an interest bearing asset a gilt.

As you can see both the collection of taxes and the selling of gilts ( government borrowing) is done after the spending has taken place. Why government borrowing forecasts are always wrong. They never know how much money everyone is going to save.

Some ideologue always comes along and says that only applies to a closed economy.

Well if they had looked at the government accounts they would see we live in a closed economy.

Say Bob wanted to move his savings abroad ?

With flexible exchange rates you need a buyer and a seller of the transaction does not take place.

So if Bob wanted to do this

£————————-> $

Then Bob needs a group of people or a person wanting to do this

£ <———————— $

The pounds do not leave the BOE all that changes is the name on the account.

Bob moved his savings abroad into a new currency and the new owner of owners of the pounds has the same options Bob had

1.Buy UK goods and services

2. Move the pounds into gilts

3. Keep the pounds in a reserve balance

4. Exchange them into another currency.The

The government budget deficit is the private sector surplus to the penny. The national debt is that surplus moved into gilts over time.

Grant McCormark

19th December 2019 at 11:58 am

Nicola Sturgeon is not the clown that Alex Salmond is, and knows full well that if there was to be another referendum any time soon the result would be almost exactly the same as the last one.
She also knows if that happened it would be the end of her personal political ambitions in exactly the same way it was the end for Alex Salmond, and it would probably be last referendum on the matter in her lifetime

She also knows that there is almost zero chance of getting Scots to leave the Union in the belief that they would be financially better off, and her only realistic chance of getting the majority of Scots to vote for breaking the Union is to build up sufficient resentment against Westminster.
And so for the time being, traveling is better than arriving while she goes about trying to build up that resentment by portraying Scotland as an unwilling dog being dragged about the streets by a cruel master: Hence “Scotland cannot be imprisoned in the United Kingdom against its will”.

The Labour Party collapsed in Scotland after Gordon Brown in a similar way as it has now collapsed in the north of England. However, for many people in Scotland the SNP was/ is an alternative to voting Tory. But in voting for the SNP, it does not mean that they would vote to break up the Union in another referendum. There is also the hidden factor that the Scottish Conservatives were led until very recently by Ruth Davidson who is a does not want to leave the EU and that meant mixed messages for Scottish voters.
The SNP will continue to make a lot of noise, but not just quite enough to to get another a referendum.

Quentin Vole

20th December 2019 at 10:35 pm

Quite so, Widow Krankie doesn’t want a referendum, she wants to be refused a referendum, so she can spend the next 5 years whingeing about Tories. Boris should call her bluff: “You want a referendum? How’s next Thursday for you?”

Alba Boyd

18th December 2019 at 1:05 pm

So less than a third of all eligible voters in Scotland, voted SNP and Sturgeon herself claims not all of them would back independence – so its hardly a landslide and Johnson should call her bluff (ensuring that a well manged unionist campaign is in place this time as it was lamentable last time round) – bring it on……

Andrew Argyle

16th December 2019 at 7:11 pm

It will take many years of austerity before we are able to meet the EU’s rejoining conditions.

If/when Scotland becomes independent, the UK will stop funding the shortfall between our spending and Scottish tax revenue.

We currently spend nearly £10bn p.a. more than tax revenue received on a total annual spend of just over £70bn p.a. (around 6% of GDP v EU limit of 3%).

Add the interest on our (negotiable) share of UK national debt (Scottish Growth COmmission estimate.£2bn p.a.) and if Westminster now boosts spending as expected, our deficit will increase further since the Barnett Formula guarantees that Scottish government funding will rise in line with that.

Independence will bring painful austerity. No need for “Project Fear” to make up lies, they only need tell the truth.

Scots will not support that.

Ian B

16th December 2019 at 4:32 pm

She knows – to quote M. Barnier – the clock is ticking now. Once Brexit starts to look like a success the case for an independent Scotland in the EU rapidly evaporates.

Alan Crocket

16th December 2019 at 3:51 pm

It is not the case that “only the UK government can actually grant independence”. Notwithstanding all the hoo-ha, there is no UK constitutional provision to that effect (in contrast to e.g. Spain, where Madrid does interpret the Spanish constitution as prohibiting the secession of any part of the country). The constitutional position in the UK is that the union is a union of parliaments, which persists by consent, and Scotland can go independent whenever it so chooses, by its MPs leaving Westminster and establishing a sovereign Scottish parliament. Permission from London does not enter into it.

Jim Lawrie

16th December 2019 at 4:50 pm

By invoking legalities Mr Lyons reveals a lack of confidence in his political arguments. Made worse by his description of the Constitutional position as he would like it to be, rather than as is.

Marvin Jones

16th December 2019 at 2:42 pm

Apart from half of the population of Scotland have made their homes in England for as long as one can remember, why do they detest the English so much? why are we insisting on keeping them shackled to us when they so badly want to commit Hari Kiri by subjecting themselves to slavery and abuse by the EU, when they are no value to us, but a total burden.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

16th December 2019 at 2:25 pm

So sad to see how easily the Scots have submitted to English domination over the last 300 years. The Irish, to their credit, fought back. Independence is not about money – it’s about self-respect!

Jane 70

16th December 2019 at 12:06 pm

https://capx.co/victory-for-unionists-means-refusing-to-play-sturgeons-game-at-all/

Worth reading on Cap X : Massie makes a pertinent point about the forthcoming Salmond trial.

The Nats have been very quiet on this, contrary to their habitual noisiness.

Interesting times ahead.

Michael Lynch

16th December 2019 at 12:20 pm

When I saw her reaction to Swinson’s demise on the great night, it really made me wonder if she reacted in the same way to the news of Salmond’s arrest and upcoming trail. He was her most ardent supporter and mentor; was she one of his victims?

Female Penis

16th December 2019 at 2:17 pm

Michael
Yep, bet he sweated all over her, the odious fat toad

Jane 70

16th December 2019 at 2:44 pm

Jim Lawrie

16th December 2019 at 6:08 pm

She is bland, clean, tepid and has struggled without Alex Salmond. Like Tony Blair, he used affirmative action sentiment to bring in low calibre woman who presented no challenge. He kept the Labourite Angiolini on. Until the accusations and charges, I expected him back as leader. Again.
The SNP have no replacement that the faithful can project their own views onto.

Michael Lynch

16th December 2019 at 12:24 pm

By the way, thanks for the link. Very interesting take.

Marvin Jones

16th December 2019 at 2:48 pm

Dangerous for men like Salmond to be allowed to exist in a kilt and nothing else.

Jane 70

16th December 2019 at 2:52 pm

O true! What a horrible image!

Michael Lynch

17th December 2019 at 2:17 am

Thanks for the second link. Really interesting and it looks like Salmond is not going to go quietly into the night.

James Knight

16th December 2019 at 11:20 am

So does this mean there would need to be customs and immigration checks on the Scottish border ?

Marvin Jones

16th December 2019 at 2:51 pm

Something will have to be done for the mass exodus of migrants who flood Scotland, and then decide to flee to their final destination, England.

JSEBC EEB

16th December 2019 at 10:06 pm

Build the wall!

Black Eyes

23rd December 2019 at 2:34 am

Where is Hadrian when you need him!

Jim Lawrie

16th December 2019 at 10:26 am

The media in Scotland do not scrutinise Holyrood but are expert on the wrongdoings of Westminster. Ditto the media in England vis-a-vis Westminster and Holyrood. With the odd honourable exception.

The latest response to the currency question is to say that Croatia have joined the EU and kept their currency, ignoring that Croatia had to establish a currency in 1994, pegged to The German Mark, and now to the Euro,- similar to the Irish Punt and GBP. There is a currency black market in Croatia, and people prefer Euros. On the first day of a Scottish currency the Banking system would be deluged with those exercising the freedom to change their new notes for English ones.
Scotland would finish up with Pounds, Euros and Groats – in that order on the black Market.
The knee jerk reaction of the SNP, to tax and legislate their way out of trouble, would drive skilled labour South, and destroy any tax base. The Edinburgh Tourist Tax is just the start of that.

Holyrood is entrenched in a symbiotic relationship with many circles of troughers, dependent on Westminster wonga distributed in the form of contracts awarded by political patronage. That will collapse within days of Independence, unless Scotland reaches a settlement where the rest of the UK agrees to keep the money coming, or act as guarantor for Scotland’s borrowings, because Holyrood has no credit on its own. Germany would fill the gap in exchange for things like ownership of oil, gas , fisheries, infrastructure etc … just as they have done in Greece. If Holyrood gets its hands on Scotland’s share of The National Assets, the contracts will mushroom for a few years, followed by implosion and a giant crater.

Interestingly, some desperate Remainers in London are declaring the result of The General Election as a referendum majority in their favour, and demanding a third and decisive one. Like The SNP, they interpret any outcome as a vote for their cause.

A major obstacle to #Indyref2 and a Yes vote is the record of Sturgeon and her Party under her leadership. They have made no attempt to understand, far less tackle the economic problems in Scotland. In the language of political correctness they welcome immigrants sent up by Westminster because they represent more Westminster money for them and their pals.
Mr Lyons sums them up well when he ends “Maybe it suits the SNP to be able to continue to complain about Westminster. Better that than the risk of putting support for independence to the test or taking responsibility for its own failings.” I don’t think, though, that there is any maybe about it.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

16th December 2019 at 2:23 pm

You don’t understand Scotland’s history, do you?

Allah Abdul

16th December 2019 at 9:01 am

We have been trying to get the English to leave for over 300 years .There is only one way the occupation ends .

Jane 70

16th December 2019 at 12:07 pm

Union and occupation are not the same.

Ed Turnbull

16th December 2019 at 1:16 pm

Amelia? Is that you? (The switch from a Jewish to Islamic nom de guerre is a nice touch, but the level of trolling seems like a bit of a giveaway).

John Koenig

16th December 2019 at 7:57 am

Let them use Bitcoin.

Allah Abdul

16th December 2019 at 9:03 am

A digital currency similar to those being used in China and Venezuela seems like the obvious answer to the currency question .It will not be bitcoin

Philip Humphrey

16th December 2019 at 7:32 am

My inclination would be to allow her to have a referendum once Brexit is sorted. As is pointed out in the article there is little appetite for it generally and she would most likely lose. If she won then fair enough, but either way it would stop her incessant whining.

Female Penis

16th December 2019 at 11:43 am

Absolutely agree, if we have learned anything from recent events surely it’s that we need to stop telling people they didn’t know what they were voting for. Give her the vote for 2021, they’ll lose, union remains for the foreseeable future.
What irks is how she berates us brexiteers but uses the same Brexit arguments for independence…girl
Give them the vote though, she’ll pap herself

Jim Lawrie

16th December 2019 at 2:18 pm

” .. it would stop her incessant whining.” I wouldn’t bet on it.

Marvin Jones

16th December 2019 at 2:54 pm

Give them the vote asap with one choice. “INDEPENDENCE!”.

NEIL DATSON

16th December 2019 at 7:27 am

To this Englishman, living well south of the border, it seems that Johnson has a very straightforward way available to him to embarrass Sturgeon and her unending demand for an independence referendum: which is to agree to it. Despite the way she talks she can do the maths as well as he can. The problem with that is that it would be a betrayal of the Scottish unionists who were told that 2014 was ‘once in a generation’. But what we certainly don’t want is to see an ‘illegal’ referendum, like the one in Catalonia.

Female Penis

16th December 2019 at 2:16 pm

Yep, give her the vote.
Andrew Neil alone could defeat her campaign.
Get it done, otherwise Scots will feel aggrieved and pro independence will grow, the sooner its agreed the less time Sturgeon has to give the rally cry.

Marvin Jones

16th December 2019 at 2:56 pm

Didn’t Cameron the useless, gutless and brainless tell us similar stuff in 2016?

Michael Lynch

16th December 2019 at 1:11 am

She is a victim of her own success. She knows now that any thought of a Britain remaining in the EU has been crushed by the tectonic shift caused by the election. Brussels will be given it’s bloody nose which, in itself, will cause them a whole set of problems of their own to deal with. They will no longer be so keen to endorse her wish to peel away from the Union and join Europe simply because they are wary of securing as best a deal they can get out of the UK. They’ll be no upsetting that Apple Cart for a while. Furthermore, the Scottish people, who were not so brave in IndyRef 1, will be positively timid if given an IndyRef 2 now. It’s way too soon and cooler heads will wait to see which way the wind blows economically for both Europe and Britain after the new relationship has been forged. And that’s years off. They are not stupid as to go sailing off into the great unknown just because Sturgeon thinks they have given her a mandate. The best she can hope for is a drip feed of devolved powers for the Scottish Parliament. She’d better be careful of how she tackles Boris over this; he now has all the time in the world. He gets to set the agenda now.

Jim Lawrie

16th December 2019 at 2:28 pm

Post Brexit she will not be obliged by European Law to allow EU nationals to vote. So she might wait. I have no doubt she will be listening to the lawyers to see if she can gerrymander a victory.
I wonder will she now hold a Scottish Parliament election in 202 now the pretext for extending the term from 4 to 5 years has gone.

Jane 70

16th December 2019 at 12:52 am

Wee Burnie is on a roll now: we’ll have to endure wall-to- wall neverendum pronouncements, for the foreseeable future.

If Ruth Davidson hadn’t resigned, I suspect that the Scottish Tories would have increased their share of the vote.

What I cannot comprehend is the Nats’ determination to remain in the EU, which is not remotely democratic, while severing ties with the rest of the UK, all the while continuing to use the pound as currency.

Recently, before the election, I asked a friend why she wanted independence, but wished to stay in the EU. Her reply was along the lines of ‘we’re not getting what we want’.

Would she then welcome open borders, the loss of the Barnett formula and the fiscal and economic disruption that would ensue from the severing of the 3 hundred year old union ?

She wasn’t sure, and definitely did not agree with the Nats’ enthusiasm for open borders.

King James the 1st and 6th attempted to establish the Union of the Crowns in 1603, the Scottish king who ruled from Westminster.
He failed, as we know, but the irony is that it was a Scottish monarch who took the first steps.

Most people I know are all referendumed out and there is little overt support for yet another debacle.

If Boris is as canny as it now seems, he’ll announce substantial investment up here to woo Scottish business leaders and investors and take the initiative from the SNP bandwagon.

Finally, the endless SNP virtue signalling is extremely tiresome.

Ed Turnbull

16th December 2019 at 1:12 pm

Jane, maybe I can suggest a reason for the Natz utterly inconsistent position on ‘independence’: visceral hatred of the English. It’s the same animus that drives the ABE (anyone but England) crowd when it comes to football. A large number of Natz seem to cling to centuries-old ethnic conflict like a security blanket. They’ll happily ignore the last three centuries of co-operation that’ve seen the UK become one of the most successful nations (or federations, if you prefer) in human history. They’d rather bleat on and on about what happened at Bannockburn or Stirling Bridge.

And I wonder, too, if some of it arises from a national case of ‘small man syndrome’. Though Scotland’s only a small nation it has – *as a part of the Union* – achieved great things. Maybe there’s an insecure fear that they couldn’t have made those achievements without the partnership of England (and Wales, let’s not forget the Welsh).

Here’s a little context: I’m an Englishman who’s lived in Scotland for nigh on 40 years, and in that time I’ve seen anti-English sentiment grow significantly. That growth seems to begin with the release of Mel Gibson’s filmic hagiography of some bloke with a blue-painted face. And, I think, this irrational hatred explains why many Scots (who are, after all, supposed to love FREEEEDOOOM!!) are prepared to support the monstrously authoritarian SNP. Talk about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. Sad really.

I have no problem with Scottish independence in the abstract – I wholeheartedly support the right of all peoples to seek self determination, hence my support for Brexit. But the thought of an independent Scotland under an SNP government fills me with concern, and has me wondering if maybe it’s time to return to yon side of the border.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

16th December 2019 at 2:29 pm

If Scotland were to become independent, the SNP would probably cease to dominate as new parties form, as they have done in the Republic of Ireland.

Jane 70

16th December 2019 at 2:29 pm

Sadly I agree entirely Ed, being a fellow English person domiciled in Scotland.

Many years ago,when working at Heathrow, there was a large Scots contingent, most of whom were lowlanders who delighted in making highlanders the butt of their jokes. All in good humour, but there was none of the rancorous resentment of all things English, which now pertains.

To me it seems that the English are now an acceptable target for ‘progressive’ ire, along with Boris, Trump, Israel and Putin. Point the finger to whip up feeling and divert public discontent.

This is conveniently whipped up by the Nats, and cannot end well.

Also it must be pointed out that Welsh support for Brexit and recent Tory successes never attracts the same resentment.

A friend who has a decidedly romantic view of all things Scottish told me on a visit to Stirling Castle some years ago, that the English looked down on the Scots; not so I replied. When I pointed out that many Scots had fought with Cumberland’s English troops at Culloden, she was most put out, even more so when it was discovered during our visit that the canny Scots had sold Charles 1st to Cromwell following his flight north of the border.

NEIL DATSON

16th December 2019 at 6:40 pm

Jane, your comment that ‘the English are now an acceptable target for ‘progressive’ ire’ may be particularly true in Scotland today, but it has been generally true for most of a hundred years and possibly a deal longer. I’m working from memory, so I haven’t got a quotation to hand, but in one of George Orwell’s essays (it might just be England Their England) he observed that the English intelligensia was the only nation’s intelligensia that invariably sneered contemptuously about it’s fellow countrymen, their ways and their cherished traditions. (Only look at the torrent of pro-EU, anti-English rhetoric that has been spewed out by so many ‘left’ or ‘progressive’ commentators over the last 3 years to see how right he was.) It is hardly to be wondered if our nearest neighbours take a lead from those who claim to speak for us.

Jim Lawrie

16th December 2019 at 2:40 pm

Boris might call her bluff and challenge her to a referendum early next year.

He could do the same in Northern Ireland, with a 3rd option for an independent Northern Ireland. Followed quickly by a second and decisive 2 option referendum.

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