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Monday, 5 November 2012

The Key Facts – all you need to know about Scotland’s independence and the referendum …

I am an individual Scottish voter, I have no role within the SNP, and my opinions are my own. I am an SNP supporter but no longer a party member. I first published this in November 2011

Here are the facts that I have heard from the SNP, in publicly available statements, from printed material, newspapers, periodicals and from the broadcast media – they have been freely available to every member of the Scottish electorate.

I have no trouble understanding them, and I cannot imagine that any adult voter would have trouble understanding them. Frankly, a moderately intelligent 12-year old would understand them. But clearly the large sections of the media, politicians and spokespersons for unionist parties are either unable or unwilling to understand them.


The SNP stated in its manifesto that, if elected, it would hold a consultative referendum on Scotland’s independence, with a YES/NO question. If the answer is YES, the Scottish voters will have mandated the Scottish Government to negotiate the timing and terms of securing Scotland’s independence with the UK Westminster Government.

The Scottish Government will be fully mandated by the sovereign Scottish People to reach agreed terms in those negotiations, subject to core stated major policy positions, e.g. non-nuclear.

The SNP has defined independence in exactly the same way as every independent democratic country in the world defines it – total freedom to act in the interests of Scotland in every aspect of Scottish life – law, defence and foreign policy, taxation and fiscal policy, public services, relations with other nations, etc.

(No other nation in history has ever felt the need to explain to its people what independence meant in more detail than that, nor has any free people, even when suffering under non-democratic regimes, ever been in doubt what independence meant.)

Only Scottish voters - as defined by normal criteria of eligibility to vote in Scottish and UK elections, plus new provisions for 16 and 16 year-olds - will be eligible to vote. Scottish, in this context, does not refer to country of birth or ethnic group but to eligibility to vote in Scottish elections.

The referendum timing, legality and how other key questions will be handled have now been agreed in the historic referendum agreement with the UK Government.

The SNP will establish relationships with other nations through normal diplomatic means, and will seek to be a part of relevant interest grouping with other nations, such as the European Union and the United Nations. There is no doubt whatsoever that one of the world’s oldest nations, one that has had made a major contribution to that world in every field of human endeavour, with a distinctive history and culture that is recognised instantly in every part of the globe, would be accepted into the European Union and the United Nations.

The SNP will maintain a Scottish defence force and will protect the traditional identities of Scottish defence groupings. Serving members of the armed forces will be offered a free choice to either join Scottish defence forces or remain in UK defence forces.

The SNP will be part of defence alliances that it considers relevant to Scotland’s defence interests, and to the maintenance of our democratic way of life, and will take part in international operations as part of a coalition of forces in pursuit of objectives with which it agrees.

The SNP is committed to retaining the Queen -and her natural successors - as the constitutional monarch of Scotland.

The SNP is committed equally to a strong, vibrant private sector and to first-rate public services, properly funded and supported in an independent Scotland.  The SNP sees the private sector and the public sector as being complementary vital parts of a civilised nation, of equal significance and status, and not as in competition for recognition or resources.

The SNP is committed to supporting businesses large and small, and to the re-industrialisation of Scotland significantly based on alternative sources of renewable energy. The SNP is committed to supporting a strong, properly regulated and controlled financial and banking industry in Scotland. It is committed to supporting tourism and leisure. It is committed to free higher educations, and to fully supporting our world-class educational institution, ancient and modern.

The SNP will retain sterling as its currency until such time as it may seem in the interests of Scotland to change that, and such a change would be put to the Scottish people in a referendum.

The SNP will not join the Euro until it is in the interests of the people of Scotland to do so, and only after a referendum on joining the Euro.

The SNP asserts that the Scottish People are sovereign.

NOTE: In my original version of this, I reflected the anti-NATO policy.

The policy on NATO membership changed on 19th October to one of seeking NATO membership, providing rUK and NATO accept a non-nuclear Scotland and the removal of Trident weapons systems from an independent Scotland.


That’s all I really need to know to determine how I will vote in the referendum. My thanks to the Scottish Government and the SNP for keeping me and every other Scottish voter so fully and frankly informed.

My reason for choosing the Scottish National Party to vote for in May 2007 and in May 2011 is that they are the only major party committed to delivering the independence of Scotland.

(I have heard no coherent case for the preservation of the Union. Such conflicting arguments as have been offered have relied on a combination of vested interest groups, unelected bodies and individuals, nostalgia and emotionalism, scaremongering, indefensible statistics and a staggering lack of belief in and contempt for the Scottish people and their ability to run their own affairs.)

My reasons for wishing to be independent are -

the inability of the Union of 1707 ever to deliver equity and justice to all of the people of Scotland

the fact that the United Kingdom is not, and never has been a true democracy, but a coalition of unelected wealth, power, privilege and special interest groups, notably the military/industrial complex allied to and controlling a compliant political class and legal establishment

the staggering incompetence displayed in recent times (which I define as the last forty years) of all of the three main UK parties when in government, exemplified by the spectacular financial, fiscal, social and foreign policy incompetence displayed by the Labour Government 1997-2010 and currently being displayed by the Tory/LibDem Coalition since 2010.

A core policy reason for my support for the SNP and independence is that it is the only way we can have a nuclear-free Scotland, and only the SNP and Scotland’s independence will deliver that.

It therefore follows that my nuclear objectives cannot be delivered by anything short of independence, and therefore remaining in the UK but with radically increased powers – the devo max or full fiscal autonomy option cannot meet my requirements, nor that of many Scots voters.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I have removed all the old comments from the original November 2011 post as out-of-date.

  3. Thanks Peter. I can empathise (is that the correct expression?) with all you write here. I still have some reservations about NATO membership, and am now fairly neutral about EU membership - I need to know more about the relative pros and cons of EFTA, for example.

    I remain absolutely astonished at the paupacy of the pro-dependency "rationale" for remaining part of a system which so obviously has NOT served the majority of Scotland well in the last 40-50 years. The UK may have had some benefit to Scotland in the past (and certainly a small number of Scots did extremely well out of the Union and the Empire) but its time has passed.

    If there are positive arguments for retaining the Union, let's hear them. If not, please don't lie to us.

    I like Blair Jenkin's approach. IF Scotland were Independent NOW, what are the arguments for persuading us to join a Union with England? (Answers on a postcard)


  4. Thanks, Tony.

    New/old blog on claw-back of powers up now



  5. As a former Royal Marine with extensive experience of government un-democratic and non ability to be skilled politicians leading me and untold amounts of men into conflicts which we have been successful in being recognised as ultimately superior soldiers with the worst equipment support and political spine to fulfil what is effectively our jobs. Our Government have proved time and time again that they are not qualified to be handling the affairs of the UK far less a small country such as Scotland. Many people have asked why I should be so pro Independence ! I am not waving a flag of history and blind naive romantic visions of history rewritten as it was by the Brave heart movie. I have seen the other side of the fence and truly believe we can with 5 million people punch way above our weight with the handled sensitively get our people out of the drinking culture and well publicised NEDs mentality into a proud well behaved prospering "NATION AGAIN" oops could not help it !! The Scots are people who can pull through any hardship and with great Scottish Zeal see the light, We have a stunning country and as a tax Exile I would also love to be spending money in Scotland. I work with Norwegians who do not complain about their high taxes ! when I asked why they do not move abroad they all said !! why would we we have a beautiful country and great people why on earth would we wish to move !

    Now try that in Scotland ... its not just our weather ! Scotland has an opportunity to take control of the exponential immigration issues in UK upsetting many tax payers who no longer have an NHS or Educational system they can be proud of. My kids are outside of Scotland getting an expensive education which is killing me ! and they have beaches and sun but both wish to be back in Scotland. I cant afford it ! However if a new Independent Scotland could have vision and the fortitude to look with longevity rather than a political term my children's children may have the opportunity to be proud educated and financially astute Scots ! and Grandad would be very proud !.

  6. The military needs to be realistic, I would guess that at least 30% of our special forces at present are Scots, fighting wars we all know do not affect our way of life other than creating the worst foreign policy in the history of mankind, quickly headed to the Crusade mentality which will be globally disastrous to all.

    Elite Police units with SF training to be Anti Terrorist and military SF Units trained in decisive protection of Scottish Assets and people, well funded well equipped, and as you say have the option as individuals through military alliance join the UK SAS SBS or such like if they wish. As commonwealth soldiers do at present. NO Change.

    Instead of paying for NUKE subs use the money wisely and sort out the people in financial trauma in our own country not Afghanistan Syria and Iraq, frankly we have enough problems at home. Those refugees that we have saved from the war zones for legitimate reasons who wish to work integrate and live by our laws no problem, I know many who have done very well working and helping the country they have been accepted by and are eternally grateful for the safe environment and financial assistance to get them selves into a working job and pay local tax. Plenty of examples of good people fitting in, far to many of them unfortunately not. A fair controlled immigration service can be a huge saving on the tax payer. Scotland is small enough to control this where England unfortunately is blatantly in free fall ! Many Scot's who have not been in England may not have seen the condition of the country and be very very aware Scotland will suffer dramatically by this size of immigrations, we already are housing issues prices etc.

    My Daughter and Son in Law are examples , he is about to leave the army in England, they have a 3yr old baby ! to buy a house with no job is not going to happen and he is now doing courses to try and help get a job when he comes out. this could still take a year to get work, 11 yrs in the army ge get £10k lump some. no pension. renting a house is minimum for a two bedroom house in Dorchester £750 to £900 a month !!! what are they expected to do ! two bedroom flat is £170k starting price !

    They can go to my house in Scotland but she wants to study to be a Nurse in Bournemouth, vicious circle !

    The UK cannot cope with the present situation and as I have said let Scotland have a clean sheet, no Nuks minimise the Army and upgrade the police, empower the people to help themselves with guidance to get houses and jobs ! The Internet has created a global shop window we are leaders in alternative energy lets invest in it with our youth ! we can be the world leaders in technology we once were.

    Viva Scotland ... rant from a former Bootneck from Wick !

  7. Thanks, Ronald

    I have the highest respect for servicemen and women and their families. I believe they are badly treated by the UK - by incompetent governments and a corrupt and incompetent M.O.D - who place them in harms way needlessly, without proper equipment and support.

    I believe that an independent Scotland will value and cherish its military personnel, and give them the support they need, in the field, to their families, and after active service.