Monday, December 17, 2012

Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon tries to rewrite Scottish history both ancient and modern; her Herald piece on EU is a master class in babbling nonsense, she says nothing, offers nothing and Tory scaremongers, SNP Govt sinking like the Titanic

Dear All

Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is looking increasingly desperate and ineffectual in the Scottish independence debate.

If there was a prize for grasping at straws, she could be nominated; the independence campaign under her leadership has all gone sideways, not in a slide to left or the right, but in a slide straight into the political shitter.

In her Herald article she starts off by telling us that:

“Scotland is an ancient European nation”.

By that token does that mean the eastern European states which joined the EU were also ‘ancient European nations’ but they just didn’t know it, it is ludicrous to start a serious discussion playing to sentiment.

Ms. Sturgeon playing for the sympathy vote before the end of her first sentence; screams the act of someone desperate and needy.

In her case, no one is coming to help her, it’s just her, Salmond, their nasty vile poisonous clique and hangers on that will be sitting on the ‘grassy knoll’, which incidentally according to her is ancient and European and a nation.

Scots won’t be voting for the United States of Salmond.

“That simple truth, perhaps more than any other, undermines the recent ludicrous scaremongering of the anti-independence parties in relation to our place in the European family of nations”.

Sadly, Ms. Sturgeon is trying to rewrite history, both ancient and modern and failing on both counts, the Sun newspaper, courted by the SNP recently printed ‘EU Liar’, front page regarding Alex Salmond. It seems that ‘scaremongering’ if it is to be called that, is based on the truth.

So what is the truth?

The truth is that the SNP Government and the Scottish National Party have done sweet FA, absolutely sweet FA to prepare Scotland for independence or even produce a rolling blue print, in their entire history.

Salmond and Sturgeon are just making it up as they are going along from crisis to crisis, all of their own making. Jim Sillars, former SNP Deputy said that the SNP is a one man band, many people will agree with that sentiment, there isn’t the talent in the party because it is as I previous blogged, it is run as a nasty poisonous clique.

It is particularly odious in Glasgow where Nicola Sturgeon is trying to build her little ‘empire’.... with the little people.

Time for a quote; ‘it’s not where you come from but where you are going’, Bashir Ahmed.

Apparently this Sturgeon piece is the exact opposite which many in the SNP espoused, Alan Cochrane of the Telegraph says that the SNP will say anything to get what they want which is a pretty unprincipled stance.

“For centuries Scotland was an independent European country, trading with our near neighbours on the Continent. And while that long pre-dated the modern European Union, the point is this: those same trading and economic considerations mean the EU and its constituent partners will want Scotland to continue in membership”.

Assumption, and not based on fact.

The Spanish have problems, Catalonia, it isn’t in their interest to support the SNP, then there are other parts of the EU such as our Flemish cousins equally unhappy about their situation.

“Why on Earth would they not, given the huge resources and advantages that Scotland brings to the European table?”

The answer to this question is that the EU already has Scotland’s assets to draw on via the UK’s membership.

The question is what does the Scottish National Party have to bring to the table that isn’t already there?


“Our greatest asset as a nation always has been and always will be our people and their ingenuity, but Scotland also has enormous natural resources. And it is stretching credibility beyond breaking point to attempt to suggest, as some do, that Scotland – already an integral part of the club for four decades – would be excluded when we have such vast assets. Scotland has around 90% of the EU's oil reserves and a huge share of the Continent's renewable energy, as well as some of the richest fishing grounds in Europe”.

Again is being offered something you already have a good bargaining chip?

Ms. Sturgeon offers nothing, she has nothing, and she is willing to give up what is there by negotiating it away.

Ms. Sturgeon is a lawyer, worked and trained as a lawyer; she is making an offer on behalf of her client that offer in its entirety amounts to nothing!

“Would Brussels really want to lose such assets at a time when energy security is one of the dominating political and economic issues of the early 21st century? Would Spanish, French and Portuguese fishermen want to be blocked from fishing the lucrative waters in Scotland's sectors of the North Sea and West Atlantic?”

There is according to her no danger of that happening; didn’t Ms. Sturgeon say that Scotland’s EU membership would be automatic?

Now, lets us turn to something utter disingenuous and divorced from reality which highlights how badly out of touch Ms. Sturgeon is.

“Realpolitik is a German concept and it found perhaps one of its greatest modern expressions in the country which gave birth to the term. When the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, few at that point would have expected a united Germany to be part of the then European Community within less than 12 months – but that is exactly what happened when German reunification took place on October 3, 1990. Overnight, East Germany, which had been subject to Communist rule for four decades, became part of the Brussels club, despite stringent rules for new members which say a functioning market economy and a well-established democracy are fundamental prerequisites for membership. Realpolitik – hard-headed political considerations – meant that the former East Germany was in.

What is so annoying about this utter fantasy version of Realpolitik is that it fails to address reality but more importantly law.

Germany is an EU member, when the Berlin wall fell, Germany increased its size by re-unification; re-unification was not a matter for the EU because it was an issue of German sovereignty.

This is quite the opposite situation in the UK with the SNP wanting Scotland to leave the UK.

The UK solely holds the EU contract; Ms. Sturgeon should know this as it is simple contract law.

Once Scotland leaves it becomes a new State and a new State according to Mr. Barroso has to apply to join the EU.

For years the SNP based their EU stance on a false premise of supposed rights citing that since Scots had been citizens for 40 years they would keep that citizenship.

That isn’t true and Ms. Sturgeon should know that isn’t true, so why is she saying this?

Some in the unionist camp may opine that Ms. Sturgeon is attempting to deceive the Scottish people. When asked would Scotland have to re-negotiate EU membership she said no.

Now her position is yes, but yes because it is under the microscope, fantasy politics had to be replaced by Realpolitik because she didn’t have a leg to stand on legally.

But EU membership for Scotland isn’t just a legal matter, it is also a political decision, the UK wasn’t allowed into the EU club for many years, being denied membership by De Gaulle.

What plans are in place if someone objects?


“How much more straightforward is Scotland's case, given our 40 years of existing membership, which by definition means we already meet the required criteria. The attempts by some in the anti-independence camp to conflate the argument surrounding the East German precedent in an attempt to draw comparisons between that country and modern Scotland are truly pathetic and simply betray the utter paucity of their arguments”.

Sadly, she fails to understand that Scotland doesn’t have a membership, I am talking about law here, everything to do with membership rest solely with Westminster.

“As a joint paper published earlier this year by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Academy put it: "There is no reason why an independent Scotland would fail to meet the Copenhagen criteria (the basic standards required to be eligible for EU membership, including democratic governance, the upholding of human rights and a functioning market economy). That same paper also observed that an independent Scotland's continued EU membership is "unlikely to be opposed".

What does this paper mean?

It means the same and carries as much weight as the guy standing next to you in the pub.

Now let’s look at some ‘nuts and bolts’ leaving aside some of Ms. Sturgeon’s ‘decorations’ to pad it out.

“Our consistent position – as attested to by documents published since 2007 – is that the specific terms of Scotland's continued EU membership will need to be negotiated”.

According to reports she previously said that membership would be automatic and there would be no need to negotiate. Perhaps she can’t remember what she says and when she says it, luckily for her, her unionist colleagues in the spirit of being helpful accessed the record.

“And while it is perfectly reasonable to argue that we would jointly inherit the existing UK opt-outs on the single currency and Schengen, it is nevertheless the case that on the question of the euro, for example, there is effectively a double-lock – there are other EU countries which have not adopted the single currency and have no intention of doing so, with Sweden perhaps the best example, that no nation can be forced into euro membership. And on Schengen, opting to stay out and instead co-operate with Ireland and the rest of the UK in the Common Travel Area is a justifiable proposition that, given their position in other circumstances, our EU partners would understand”.

Perfectly reasonable doesn’t mean anything in a legal sense, Scotland wouldn’t inherit any of the existing UK opt outs, this although an argument is just fantasy on her part. Since the climb down by Salmond and Sturgeon as they are busy themselves trying to re-write history, they accept negotiations will take place.

If the EU will not move its stance that new members join the Euro, what’s plan B?

There is no plan B and there is no plan A either by Ms. Sturgeon.

In grasping to anything, she highlights David Cameron who said:

"There are countries in the European Union who have no early or immediate or indeed longer-than-that prospects of joining the euro, and I think that is the important point."

That is because they are on their arse financially, and as we see in Greece and Spain, the Euro is so unstable, it is literally tearing those countries apart.

Cameron has problems in his own neck of the woods from Tory Eurosceptics who want a referendum and Britain out. So, he is forced to say what he needs to say to get breathing room.

His discomfort is hardly what Ms. Sturgeon should be betting the farm on as evidence!

And it is feeble politics to stagger into anti Tory territory rhetoric much like a Christmas Carol of the ghost of Christmas past, did she waving metal chains over this part of her piece and go ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh while making circular motions?   

"The opinion of European Commission President Barroso is important and is to be respected, as I said to Holyrood last week. However, it is by no means the only or the decisive opinion in the matter of Scotland's future in Europe".

The only opinion that Salmond listens to is his own, the SNP was a protest movement that became a political party which then became a clique, I don't see respect for the opinions of others high on Salmond's radar. 

In ending her diatribe of fantasy, anti Tory rhetoric and the ‘Devine right of Salmondism’, Ms. Sturgeon is in no danger of usurping JK Rowling as a writer of fiction as she attempts to weave fact and fantasy and appear ‘perfectly reasonable’.

We have seen the ghost of Christmas past, we have seen the ghost of Christmas present and Scots will have a pretty good idea of what the ghost of Christmas future has in store for Ms. Sturgeon.

Her future is that her goose is cooked.

Maybe she should go back to health and kick Tiny Tim’s crutch away, then write another diatribe of that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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