Monday, September 30, 2013

Scottish independence: Alex Salmond and the SNP get shown up as inadequate on defence, the back of a fag packet defence proposals get ripped apart by House of Commons select committee, Salmond couldn’t win a paintball match never mind defend Scotland!

Dear All

One of the key areas in the Scottish independence debate is defence, at Westminster, the SNP has the ‘Feeble Six’ of MPs, before I go further; SNP MP Mike Weir demonstrated a master class on delivering sheer tripe on Newsnight Scotland recently.

He stated that the UK would continue to pay Scotland a subsidy for renenwables if independence was achieved in order to meet ‘their’ UK targets.

If Scotland was to leave, Scotland wouldn’t be part of ‘their’ targets and therefore he was talking complete rubbish, talk about not understanding your brief!

And let’s remember, he is paid as an MP, it raises the question what have the ‘Feeble Six’ been up to at Westminster?

Another cracker of that ‘band of brothers and one sister’ is Angus Robertson, he is an Englishman who is also an SNP MP; at present he is the Scottish National Party’s defence spokesman, another unremarkable man who also appears not to have a grasp on his brief either.

London is a big city; perhaps he does a lot of sightseeing in the Capital to while away his time in the absence of doing meaningful work.

About circa 16 months ago I was on the BBC independence debate hosted by Isobel Fraser, I was lucky and got picked to speak, so I made a statement, I clearly stated that the SNP needed to adopt NATO and keep Faslane as a nuclear submarine base. The day after I was condemned on Newsnet Scotland which is more or less a partisan bias front for the SNP, I got a lot of abuse for my pro NATO and pro nuclear stance. A recent poll on Trident found a majority in favour of keeping the nuclear deterrent.

George Laird right again on both issues and ahead of Alex Salmond!

The SNP or to be more exact Salmond changed to NATO, not on principle on the basis that he couldn’t sell to Scots that we should be a non NATO country. Simply put not being part of the ‘allies’ didn’t well with Scottish people.
Defence has always been a problem for the Scottish National Party because they don’t have a clue about what they are talking about at any level. This is painful shown in their campaign to ‘save’ three airbases in Scotland then only to turn around and say later that Scotland needed only one airbase for independence. I could say that rUK got it right on closure but that wouldn’t be the truth, Scotland needs more than one military air field. In times of emergency then civilian airfields would be taken over for military use, presumably that isn’t in the SNP white paper for independence because that document is going to be detail lite. It will however be full of meaningless pap causing the death of a quite a few trees in the process!

The Scottish National Party is hailed by Alex Salmond and Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as some modern progressive party which has all the answers. The truth is rather more complex, the SNP is full of malcontents in senior positions of people who aren’t nationalists. What they actually are is open to question, some are members of other organizations which use the SNP as a vehicle for their brand of politics such as CND.

That is why the SNP comes across as bams in many key policy areas, so what is a bam and where do they group?

Well the SNP has a CND group; they are the gatekeepers of the anti nuclear policy of the last 30 years, 30 years of the SNP getting it wrong, year in and year out. These people think they are some kind of intellectuals but the reality is that they are the lunatic fringe. They made the SNP more or less unelected at every Westminster election, in the modern world of international politics they are dinosaurs. The party however needed these people to keep it run as it stitched together a coalition of malcontents to keep it running

So when it comes to the tin lid of nutty SNP policies it is exceedingly difficult to rank them in any sort of order because many are just plain daft.

However, I have always had an interest in defence, so when Englishman Angus Robertson talks about defending my country of Scotland, I cast an eye over it, not for knowledge but to see if there is any improvement on the last deluded effort to leave his mouth.

The Commons defence select committee at Westminster is more than slightly partisan, so when reading their stuff, it is always handy to read between the lines and do your own research elsewhere. They like to do a bit of patronising which given the SNP performance on defence is understandable as Team Salmond is particularly clueless.

SNP MP Angus Robertson defence spokesman …… fuck off that shite!

The Commons defence select committee has been looking at the SNP's proposals for an independent Scotland's armed forces, and they have given the plans the contempt they deserve, by a pretty thorough thrashing.

The SNP has deliberately kept all their policies vague; that has been a major mistake, the reason is simple, the Nationalists haven’t done the work in any shape or form. That was a double edge sword for them; again, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon thought by leaving no time for proper scrutiny, people would just vote using an emotional response.

They thought they could literally bounce people into a Yes vote.

Well, things have bounced back and hit them square in the face, leaving aside the nonsense of Yes Scotland the SNP front and the other stupid ideas of setting up phoney groups run by SNP members, a detailed and crafted approach was always necessary, this didn’t happen, the Scottish independence campaign was needed to be run as a ‘special’ event, the SNP were supposed to put together a Ferrari of a campaign instead, Scots got a ride on lawn-mover and the SNP treated it as such. When people saw what the SNP had done, they rightly turned their backs on it, selling a lawn-mover as a Ferrari has a limited appeal to a few suckers.

The SNP need to deliver an honest assessment of how they'd defend Scotland properly in the event of attack and modern warfare is merely guns, bombs and bullets, new forms of warfare have emerged; cyber warfare and financial warfare take prominence now. Finance has we have seen can literally bring a country to its knees. Then there is the terrorist threat, the West has seen only too graphically how that can pan out with 9/11 and 7/7 events.

When I stated the SNP should adopt NATO and pro Faslane, the SNP in a monumentally stupid move, failed to deliver both at the next party conference, Alex Salmond bludgeoned NATO through while at the same time expelling Trident.

You can’t have one without having the other, it was a complete contradiction in every sense of the word and a huge mistake not to go the full road, the half way house approach was and is a disaster, it failed to neturalise American objections, although they say they are publicly neutral, they aren’t, they are rightly concerned that ‘cranks’ in a political party don’t understand the wider international picture.

NATO was founded in 1948, it is and has been the cornerstone of defence in the West ever since, it is true however that bad decision have been made by the individual countries such as the USA and UK in recent years but the alliance is still sound.

28 countries make up NATO; only 3 of the 28 Nato countries the USA, Britain and France possessed nuclear weapons.

The SNP point to the fact that the other 25 don’t have nuclear weapons however, they have all signed up to the NATO protocols; and those protocols state that they can’t expel the nuclear weapons of a fellow member. If you sign up to NATO it is on NATO’s terms, you don’t get to pick the bits you like; it isn’t like a buffet.

An independent Scotland won’t get NATO membership on their proposal to expel nuclear weapons; and as to this partnership for peace which has been mooted by people in the SNP that is just stupid, juvenile students politics.  

The SNP says it will commit £2.5 billion a year to defence plus they state that they will get a share of British defence assets, that negotiations isn’t as simple as it seems, in fact it could stretch well past 2016. Each Nato country, under the terms of membership, must be responsible for its own air defence, seems logical, however, the Scottish air force if it gets its share of fast jets would have 10 of 100 jets currently in services with the RAF.

10 fast jets isn’t enough and analysis suggest that three times that number would be required as a minimum, and lets us remember for a minute, these planes aren’t cheap, Scotland could be forking out between £780 million and £1.7 billion.

£2.5 billion for an annual defence budget!

Then comes the Scottish Navy, the cost of a surface fleet is going to be cheap, again, the SNP say only one naval base in Scotland, in case you don’t know how ‘their ‘ defence plans come from, well the SNP is alleged to have cut and pasted them from a UK defence review. However, that review was for all of the UK and not solely Scotland. How big would the Scottish Navy be and what capacity would it have if it had to respond to a NATO request if membership was granted? No one knows, on the issue of land forces, the SNP plans are for a mobile brigade, this means about 15,000 personnel. Bizarre, the SNP made a stupid promise of a job for life if people sign up for the Scottish Army. In an unofficial poll, most Scots serving in the UK Army vote No to joining Alex Salmond’s Army.


The reasons are varied, one of them is that people get better and more opportunities as part of the UK Forces, the SNP cannot match the offer of the UK. Scottish Officers would have to be trained at Sandhurst, two reasons, the training is excellent and secondly Scotland can’t support an officer training school, the talent and skills aren’t available. It would take decades to get that up and running to UK standards, in the meantime, this training would have to be outsourced. Although the UK made noises that such training would not be available, I would reject such an assertion, Scotland would remain a Commonwealth country if independent so would have a strong case for entry to Sandhurst, in politics a number of red herrings are flung about the place on both sides, however the SNP need to deal with the facts. This Scottish independence campaign is effectively over, over and killed off due to stupidity and poor judgment.

Alex Salmond will be the first SNP First Minister of Scotland to lose a Scottish independence vote.

Nicola Sturgeon will be the first SNP Deputy First Minister of Scotland to lose a Scottish independence vote.

The Scottish National Party is run as a party within a party for the benefit of a select few, what they are now finding out is that they don’t have their talent in the ranks to generate big ideas and vision.

They have a problem which is embodied in a ‘cult of personality’ around one man Alex Salmond, he is surrounded by a motley group of people who're "feart" to debate with him, his own sycophantic ministers and backbenchers who aren’t the cream of Scotland’s political talent, quite the opposite.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

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