Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fresh doubts over SNP leadership claims on EU membership continue to grow as Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon run out of time with public

Dear All

I am a great believer in proper planning prevents piss poor performance.


The key fact in winning independence for Scotland is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

In the Scottish National Party there seems to be a strain of thinking by certain people that lying, deceiving and hiding the truth will somehow win independence.

I see this belief system stemming from people who think they are clever and superior when in actual fact, they are little more than provincially minded schemers.

Advice for Alex Salmond ensure everyone tells the truth and is transparent between now and the vote, publish everything and that includes all documentation, and put it all online.

Any campaign must start off on bedrock, the Salmond and Sturgeon campaign is rapidly turning into a nightmare and a farce.

When Nicola Sturgeon sat down at Pacific Quay for the BBC BiG Debate, she probably thought it would be a walk in the park as she is a polished performer of many a television show.

During the show which I dubbed ‘Hell in the Pacific’ (there is a movie of that name, Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune) she started making allsorts of claims of what Scotland would get and have after independence.

One of those claims was automatic EU membership; to be more specific Scotland would continue as a member of the EU because we were already in it.

Later on Conservative leader Ruth Davidson was to pull out the ‘Letter of destiny’ and wave it about, a great theatrical prop, and incidentally specifically designed to get the camera to hold on her.

Steven McQueen did a similar thing in the movie the Magnificent Seven during the stagecoach scene while Yul Brynner was speaking, by fiddling with his hat. As to the letter, it showed that the Scottish National Party had never written to the EU about membership either as a govt or as an opposition.

To be fair to Ms. Sturgeon, she replied that the SNP had spoken to ex EU Commissioners and they allegedly said it would be okay.

In fact she could have got the same opinion from anyone in the Horseshoe Bar if she was buying them a beer.

After being blown apart, the rest of the evening was a less assured affair for Nicola Sturgeon who was left to bang the freedom drum that everything would be better if Scotland was independent, but pretty much she had lost the debate. Of those present she came in last, Patrick Harvie came first, Ruth Davidson second and Ana Sarwar a respectable third, Harvie pulled off an exceptional performance, really impressed me on the night, he use truth and honesty in stating his case.

The EU question is not going away, it is important, not just in terms of membership but the subsequent issues attached to membership. And a real concern is the Euro crisis problem; a condition of any new member is joining the Euro.

I am a big fan of Europe, may happy memories pottering about the place, Germany and Belgium, fantastic places to visit. Anyway, the Euro, the currency is unstable, we see this in Greece, Italy and Spain, it is an infection which is spreading across Europe and no one has a solution.

Some people like myself moot that the currency needs to be spilt into two, Euro North and Euro South, it is a fix which is a work around, it solves many problems and flags up others. Europe is in need of a debate on reform and what the purpose of the union among the 27 countries actually is now.

For Scotland, the EU membership as the conditions are at present is favoured, and why not, we have the advantages and minimal blowback by being in Sterling.

Yesterday was a game changer, a real game changer for Alex Salmond and not the phoney one the SNP had eluded to; when some rich guy called McColl who lives in Monaco spouted that he was in favour of independence.

Alex Salmond's claim that an independent Scotland would automatically be a member of the European Union was utterly rubbished the president of the European Commission said a "new state" would have to apply for membership.

It rather flags issues regarding competence.

Jose Manuel Barroso insisted:

"To join the EU, yes, we have a procedure and it is a procedure in inter-national law. A state has to be a democracy and has to apply to become a member of the EU. All the other member states have to give their consent."

That means no automatic right a key claim by the current SNP leadership.

For the unionists, this is great news for two reasons, it shows what they have been saying has substance and makes the SNP less believable as a political force in reserved issues.

Labour leader Johann Lamont is now calling on the Scottish Government to drop legal action aimed at preventing the disclosure of legal advice on EU membership, which has been ordered by Freedom of Information watchdogs.

She added:

"Alex Salmond has found himself in a ridiculous position when he is blindly arguing that Scotland will automatically be a full EU member while senior figures in Europe are contradicting him. The SNP has to be transparent and honest about Scotland's future."

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:

"Alex Salmond is already spending considerable sums of public money trying to suppress whether or not he has taken legal advice on EU entry. Now we have the European Commission reaffirming what everyone knows – that a separate Scotland cannot simply waltz into the EU unchallenged."

Scots LibDem leader Willie Rennie said:

"It looks like SNP ministers may have been misleading everyone."

Drop the legal action, don’t try to be clever and publish.

When I joined the Scottish National Party, I mistaken attributed that some people were very intelligent, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, the longer I am a member I get to meet more and more stupid ignorant people who are clearly unable to punch above being lightweight.

The SNP need to learn that stupidity is a poor substitute for intelligence and being provincially minded schemers never won the hearts and minds of a nation.

It's a question of trust!

UPDATE, it appears that Alex Salmond has finally come round to the George Laird view and decided to publish, perhaps if he and Nicola Sturgeon had listened to more of my advice their independence campaign wouldn't be on its political arse.

Yours Sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


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