Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Scottish independence: Alex Salmond and the SNP Govt’s stupid stunt of pre-referendum talks spectacularly backfires, is that all you have got Salmond, “juvenile” tactics?

Dear All

In politics it is important to appear in control of events thus engendering confidence.

Having said that let’s look at this gross stupidity by the SNP Government.

The SNP Government wishes to start pre-referendum talks on independence between Westminster and Holyrood ministers.

To refresh, the SNP achieved a mandate to hold a referendum, by winning the 2011 election, in order to start negotiations they have to win that referendum.

Then and only then is it “perfectly possible” for the UK to enter into negotiations about splitting up the United Kingdom.

Until then the UK Government will have no truck dancing to a Salmond Scottish jig.

It was stupid to ask because the answer was always going to be no!

Salmond wants the UK to join the Yes Scotland campaign?

Yes, it’s that tragic, this inane and clumsy attempt into ‘big boys’ politics only to be slapped down hard and with distain.

Again, it raises the issue of competence of the SNP Government.

Can independence be won?

Yes, it can, unfortunately not this way; the approach is entirely cackhanded, fractured and lacking vision.

Things which started badly have gotten worst as the recent poll aptly points out.

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson yesterday insisted it was “perfectly possible” for the UK to enter into negotiations about splitting up the United Kingdom ahead of the referendum.

Sadly, unable to create any momentum themselves, it seems that Salmond and Sturgeon’s clique are reduced to asking Westminster to do their job for them.

Time for a quote by Alex Salmond:

“My problem is that I have too many talented people and not enough Cabinet positions”.

Me no think so!

The latest manufactured ‘bitter row’ between the SNP and Tory-Lib Dem governments comes after Scottish Secretary Michael Moore effectively said and I paraphrase here something along the lines of:

‘Piss off’!

Nothing regarding assets division will take place unless the SNP Government pulls of a win which according to polls looks increasingly like fantasy.

Sir Menzies Campbell who is seen as a dab hand at foreign affairs then stepped into the row to warn that any formal talks would be used by the SNP to promote independence.

Yes, the obvious certainly doesn’t escape Sir Menzies Campbell.

And he trotted out that pre-referendum talks would lead to the British government being accused of “giving up” ahead of the 2014 vote.

This is a fight to the finish and as we have seen many of the 90 minute’ Nationalists like to talk the talk, but unfortunately suffer from a not so rare condition.... stupidity.

When push comes to shove, they are cowardly in nature, rather like the person who set up the phoney George M Laird account on Twitter, they have crawled back under their rock when a little light was shone on them!

Laughingly, having asked and been rebuffed, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said the Lib Dem Cabinet minister’s refusal to hold pre-referendum talks was “part of the tactics” of the unionist parties to “smear” the Yes Scotland campaign.

It seems things are getting too much for Mr. Robertson who is venting when silence was required.

The SNP Government issued a statement claiming it was in “everyone’s interests that preparations are in place” for a possible Yes vote well in advance of the referendum.

Do they have a plan for alien invasion as well?

Because that is in everyone’s interest right? We can’t be the only ones in the universe!

Senior Yes Scotland figures last night claimed vetoing talks on preparing for independence would make it much harder to transfer responsibility for key areas.

Is that a joke? It must be, because according the SNP Government they are supposed to have plans in the pipeline to explain everything which must have a timeline.

It is scarcely believable that on BBC’s Sunday Politics programme, Robertson called on UK ministers to agree to preparatory talks along similar lines to the “Edinburgh Agreement.”

Maybe someone should point out to him that a mandate after winning is required, that is what made the “Edinburgh Agreement” valid.

 He said:

“I don’t see why it would be so difficult, given that the UK and Scottish governments held technical discussions ahead of the Edinburgh Agreement. It seems to me perfectly possible and sensible to have technical discussions before a Yes vote”.

Robertson added:

“This is all part of the tactics being used by the anti-independence parties, who want to say we can’t do this and we can’t do that. The anti-independence campaign should spend less time on smears and scare stories, and should instead embrace a real debate on these issues.”

This is from a man who spent years as SNP defence spokesman and never produced a plan for Scotland’s defence as an independent country.

Allegedly said Scotland would have a navy like Norway and when asked how many ships, couldn’t answer such a basic question but said they have a good website!

With pictures!!!!!!!

If I was in the position of the unionists, I would be using the same strategy; sadly the SNP can’t think like the opposition, if they did they would avoid many of the pitfalls.

Sir Menzies, said officials such as those at the Ministry of Defence would be looking at the implications of independence, but insisted Mr Moore was right to rule out formal talks. They will have a plan B for the nuclear submarine fleet warheads storage.

Options remain storage down south but a major upgrade is required or possible joint storage in France has been mooted.

He said:

“I’m sure that there will be a group of people at the Ministry of Defence looking at the implications”.

Former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind dismissed the SNP’s demand for talks before 2014 as a “juvenile” tactic to increase support for independence.

Although I am not a Rifkind fan, he is right on the money, clearly having sailed into uncharted waters without a chart, Salmond, Sturgeon and their clique are just sailing in circles.  

Rifkind added:

“All the SNP is trying to do is to create an atmosphere to suggest that independence could be achieved.”

SNP MSP John Wilson warned that preventing pre-referendum independence talks could lead to a “rushed settlement” on the transfer of powers and division of assets.

He said:

“It’s essential that civil servants are given the flexibility to look at the different scenarios facing Scotland post the referendum in 2014”.

Mr. Wilson isn’t one of life’s great thinkers, recently after all his bluster on NATO; he was politically shot to pieces.

George Laird right, John Wilson wrong!

Patrick Harvie, who has had a generally good independence campaign so far said:

“If it was possible to behave calmly and rationally, then I would have hoped for some preparatory talks, but I’m not surprised this is not going to happen.”

The bottom line is the unionists aren’t there to help Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon’s campaign, expect nothing and plan ahead is the order of the day.

This stupid and ill judged stunt has backfired as the SNP Government appear to rely on the traditional grudge, grievance and malcontent approach when they should be running a proper campaign with many strands of substance that pull together to form a big picture.

A big picture!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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