Thursday, January 17, 2013

Open letter to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, I read your Road to 2014 blog, just as well your husband does the cooking as you appear to be only capable of producing spam, is everything ‘spam, spam spam’ now?

Dear Nicola Sturgeon

I think someone has posted a link to my blog on the Road to 2014 blog.

So, I thought I would look at the speech by you to see if it tells people anything of value.

And here we go!

“Between now and polling day, I will post updates on the Scottish Government’s plans for the referendum, my observations on the debate, our preparations for Scotland to become independent should the people of Scotland vote ‘yes’, and the reasons why we believe that bringing powers home will better equip us to build the kind of country we want Scotland to be”.

“Should the people of Scotland vote Yes”. Sadly, it appears that you don’t have the rock solid faith in your own product which you would have us all believe, of course you closely follow the polls and poll after poll says one thing to you.

The answer from the people of Scotland is no!

At present, despite Alex Salmond making you the face of independence, you can’t turn around the decline and total collapse of support.

In life it is hard to be popular and you aren’t, add to that you and others are busying scribbling away a United States of Salmond constitution which is nonsense, there is a little matter of actually winning the vote first.

“Everything that is posted on this blog will be written personally by me or by people I invite to contribute. I hope you find it helpful, interesting and informative”.

I suspect I won’t be invited, despite having proposed what will be seen as the best things of this Parliament, the Scottish National Police Force and National Fire Service. But I should point out; the SNP altered my idea which is why it is now needs fixed. 

“In my first post, I want to talk about the obligations that I believe politicians in both the Scottish and UK governments are under over the next couple of years to work in a way that puts the interests of the people of Scotland – and indeed the rest of the UK – before our own partisan interests”.


 The UK Government has fulfilled their obligations which recently passed the Section 30 order. You believe that the UK Government should enter negotiations on the breaking up of the UK without reference to a referendum win?

You and Alex Salmond have a mandate for a referendum, what you don’t have until a referendum is won is mandate to negotiation terms of that break up. That is a legal point, Ms. Sturgeon, you think the UK Government will play your ‘game’, you are delusional.

Unsurprisingly the Westminster Government blew you out!   

“There is no doubt that we will all argue our case passionately and vigorously – Scottish Government ministers will argue for a ‘yes’ vote and UK government ministers for a ‘no’ vote. But both Governments have a responsibility to ensure that this debate is well informed and constructive, and that we work together in advance to ensure that the outcome of the referendum is respected”.

This says nothing of interest.

“During this year the Scottish Government will publish a series of papers covering the main arguments for independence, leading to a white paper in the autumn that will set out the Government’s proposals for an independent Scotland.  We have already set out our vision for the country we would like Scotland to be:  a country that earns its wealth and shares it more fairly; a country where every child has the chance to grow up and fulfil their potential.  These papers will provide detail on how to achieve that vision.  Of course, in future elections to an independent parliament, other parties will be able to put forward positions and policies that are different to those in the White Paper. But it will be the White Paper that will set out the choice people will be making when they vote in the referendum – it will set out the structure of the state and the starting point of an independent Scotland”.

One could ask, why in its entire history only now is the SNP publishing a blue print? As someone in the Scottish National Party, I don’t believe Nicola Sturgeon stands for fairness, equality and social justice. But then I do have personal experience to draw to shape my point of view as Ms. Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and Ms. Sturgeon’s husband know full well.

“The UK Government also plans its own papers to set out is case for a “no” vote”.

Thank you, I think we could have taken as read that the UK Government would present a case!

“The people of Scotland will expect both Governments to have open discussion, and full exchange of information, in preparing these arguments.  While we might not agree on the conclusions to be drawn, we will be expected to be honest and candid in our dealings with each other to ensure a properly informed public debate”.

Perhaps you think this is the presenting a court case where under the Human Rights Act, Article Six, were a full disclosure is required, sadly that is not the case here, or will be given the SNP Government’s training course for civil servants to find ways to deny FOI requests. I think everyone knows of the culture of secrecy and lack of transparency, or maybe you think we all have short term memory? 

“Over these next two years, the Scottish Government will also be engaged in another important, and related, strand of work to get us from a ‘yes’ vote in 2014 to Scotland actually electing the parliament of an independent Scotland at the 2016 election. All parts of the Scottish Government will be working on a transition plan considering what needs to be done to give effect to the decision of the Scottish people when they vote ‘yes’, as I believe they will – the administrative steps that will require to be taken, the legislation that will require to be passed, the matters that will require to be negotiated with the UK government and what negotiated outcome would be in Scotland’s best interests, including those areas in which we would be proposing continued co-operation and joint working with other parts of the UK”.

The ‘Transition plan’, this is a waste of time, I will go one step further; this is a complete waste of time, money, people and resources.

“This transition work should also be discussed, on an ongoing basis, with the UK government in order that we develop a shared understanding of what these issues are and, as far as we can, a shared approach to dealing with them. After all, on many issues, currency for example, our interests will align – what is in Scotland’s best interests will also be best for the UK”.

Well, they will not entertain this, they have stated they will not have discussions and so this work is entirely meaningless, because in no way does it advance the case for independence.

“Let me be clear – I am not suggesting that we should ‘pre-negotiate’ the independence settlement. But I am saying, very clearly, that we must do the groundwork now to ensure that, in the event of a ‘yes’ vote, both governments are in a position to work together constructively in the best interests of the people of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom  – as the First Minister, Prime Minister, Michael Moore and myself agreed when we signed the Edinburgh Agreement in October last year”.

I am not saying we should ‘pre-negotiate’ but we should do the groundwork, well you do what you like, the Westminster Government won’t play your game, then all that work will have been for nothing.


“So, in this regard, I disagree strongly with Michael Moore’s statement at the weekend that there should be no pre-referendum discussions between our two governments”.

Well Ms. Sturgeon, you can disagree as much as you want but at the end of the day, you will be told no.

No means no Ms. Sturgeon.

“It is clearly in the interests of both Scotland and the rest of the UK that such discussions do take place. I would have thought that the Secretary of State for Scotland, of all people, would see the sense in that. After all, even though he opposes independence, he will surely want the best deal for Scotland in the event that we do vote ‘yes’. Indeed, given that the Scottish Government has made clear its intention to involve other parties in the negotiation process, he may well have a part to play on Scotland’s behalf”.

Subjective opinion isn’t fact, trained Lawyers know this or should I say better academic qualified lawyers know this Ms. Sturgeon, since you appear to think you have some kind of entitlement.

You don’t and if you continue on this line far from appearing to be the brave ‘heroine’ (which you aren’t, see my posts on Joyce from Inverclyde), you will be royally laughed at and mocked.

“I hope, therefore, that common sense will prevail. Before Christmas, I wrote to Nick Clegg, who is responsible for constitutional matters in the UK government, to suggest this common sense approach: open exchange of information and sensible preparations for a ‘yes’ vote. I look forward to a constructive response – otherwise the responsibility for any so-called ‘uncertainty’ in the referendum debate will lie squarely with Westminster”.

The Scottish Tories used the buzzword ‘commonsense’ in the 2011 election and they imploded spectacularly and as the polls suggest, so will the independence campaign run by you.

You’re getting no help from Westminster and you aren’t clever enough to win an independent Scotland referendum. I find it amusing that many of my ideas appear to be getting used by Yes Scotland, done badly of course.

When I proposed stalls set up in Glasgow at the GRA, it was effectively laughed at.

Now you are standing out on the streets using George Laird ideas. Albeit dressed like tramps instead of suits, shirt and ties to present a professional image.

People are more likely to give them 50 pence for a cup of tea rather than control of Scotland.

Put paper cups on the list, I think begging will be making a comeback Ms. Sturgeon, along with signs, ‘will debase oneself for votes’.

If you could find the time to write something of substance I am sure the people of Scotland would find the Road to 2014 blog more interesting. And stick a picture up on your blog posts, that’s how to make it more interesting, picture paints a thousand words, that tip is free.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

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