2007 - 2022

Cold Turkey

Cl0gNKoWQAAsYtYThe Brexiteers look like they’re staggering about after the party unable to get a cab home and rapidly sobering up.

Nick Cohen suggests that Gove and BoJo are just pundits who’ve been found out: “Never has a revolution in Britain’s position in the world been advocated with such carelessness. The Leave campaign has no plan. And that is not just because there was a shamefully under-explored division between the bulk of Brexit voters who wanted the strong welfare state and solid communities of their youth and the leaders of the campaign who wanted Britain to become an offshore tax haven. Vote Leave did not know how to resolve difficulties with Scotland, Ireland, the refugee camp at Calais, and a thousand other problems, and did not want to know either.”

Four new developments are converging as the Leave comedown kicks-in.

Funnily enough it turns out that the rest of Europe aren’t hanging about whilst the befuddled Brits shuffle about wondering what to do for a few years. After decades of putting up with a reluctant and petulant partner, opting out of everything they could, the rest of Europe’s endless patience has run out.

European leaders are saying ‘Go Now’ and the Leave campaign’s wishlist is being exposed as a sort of letter home from boarding school. The idea that you could destabilise the whole of Europe over years as your internal squabble spilled into an exercise in mass disinformation is now being out to bed.

Second it seems the idea that Scotland could and should negotiate to Remain – an idea that last week was being derided – seems to be gaining credibility. A string of senior officials have recognised the idea – as the bewilderment with England turns to openness. As Severin Carrell and Jennifer Rankin report: “The head of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, was scheduled to speak to the Scottish first minister on Friday. When the question of Scottish independence was on the table two years ago, EU officials insisted that were it an independent country, Scotland would have to apply to join the EU. Under article 49 of the Lisbon treaty, any democratic European country can apply to join the EU.”

Some experts think it is possible that the rest of the EU may agree to put Scotland on a separate fast-track process, rather than bracketing it with EU aspirants such as Albania and Turkey.

Jean-Christophe Lagarde writes to Francois Hollande arguing that the “EU must make clear that it remains open to Scots & N. Irish” (“Europe : la lettre remise à François Hollande”.)

ClzMCDvXIAA9QhSThird, the unshackled racism emboldened by English nationalism is erupting all over the place. No surprise there but the toxicity of the referendum isn’t going anywhere soon and will likely spill into political life for decades to come. Gove and Johnson may be distancing themselves from the worst of the UKIP language but they were the beneficiaries of this narrative. This may be marginal, we’ll see, but t does nothing to add to the picture of contemporary Britain as a place you might want to be associated with.

Fourth, waves of No voters are turning to Yes in shock and dismay at the betrayal of the Brexit fiasco and how it exposes the One Big Happy Family lie.. A poll ran by the Sunday Post gave Yes a 59% lead to 35% No. High profile No campaigners were coming out across social media with declarations of changed-hearts. Everyone from the (unsurprising) Henry McLeish to the (very surprising) JK Rowling.

Rumour has it even Patronising BT Lady has ditched the Full English for Cheerios. Today even the Daily Record backed Sturgeon’s bid to negotiate with Europe for Remain.

But as David Greig tweeted, and the First Minister re-tweeted: “Gentle note to fellow ex Yessers. No ‘I told you so’s’, no smugness & no presumptions. Indyref 1 is over. New moment, new allies, new start.

This isn’t a re-run it’s a new opportunity.

If you’re a reader of the Daily Mail or the Express, you might find the summer’s an exercise in realising not to believe everything you read in the papers.


Comments (31)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Dcanmore says:

    ‘Rumour has it even Patronising BT Lady has ditched the Full English for Cheerios.’

    brilliant 🙂

  2. A. STRACHAN says:

    2 years ago we accepted we lost a indy ref we must accept this result in line with democracy. Sometimes it is hard.

    I firmly believe sturgeon will lose and indy ref threatening to remain I eu. She has to ensure there is a yes and no option with an additional on the yes vote remain. Yes being the main vote and an additional remain as an option.

    Or a simple yes no and promise of eu ref. She will lose if she includes the eu with yes in my opinion?

    1. E. Wilson says:

      Incomprehensible, ungrammatical gibberish.

    2. bringiton says:

      Scots have just voted to remain in the EU on an unambiguous referendum question so why should there be a need to ask the same question again?
      As far as a second independence question is concerned,the London establishment now has the same credibility with the Scottish electorate as the British Labour party,i.e. none.
      The promises they made were broken on day one so anything they conjure up this time will not be believed.
      Hopefully,the EU will come up with a solution which can accommodate Scottish wishes to remain EU citizens without the need for another divorce proceeding with Little England in the immediate future.
      Having Scots law derived from Europe rather than Westminster will effectively end the UK “union” anyway.

  3. Jim Bennett says:

    I would caution anyone reading this to read it in conjunction with Robin McAlpine’s sober analysis of the current position.
    The article is saturated with hype: from the JK Rowling change of heart (read what she actually said) to the lack of clarity on the role of EU officials (which ones exactly and what are their respective actual jobs?).
    Border controls?
    Less hype. More detailed, systematic work please.

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Indyref-1 NO pundits claim things are more difficult now for pro-indy arguments. I disagree.

      To take Jim’s points;
      Currency: the main NO argument was that the £ was such a brilliant currency, why would we want to lose it? But now …. ? The £ is in the toilet and is set to remain there. The Euro is no worse an option and a separate currency is no problem to set up (Slovakia set up its currency in a matter of weeks). NO will now have to convince people the £ is worth keeping. In my opinion, the onus is on them now.

      Economy: Scotland may have a problem with oil (though it will recover), but the UK was more dependent on the City of London than Scotland is with oil. A huge portion of that “magic money tree” (as NO pundits have called it) was tied to the UK being in the EU and therefore negating the need for national offices elsewhere in the EU. That has just been blown out the water. The UK economy is tanking and will drop much further. With Scotland still in the EU, Edinburgh can take much of that City business and plant its own “magical money tree”. The economy is no longer a strong NO argument.

      Border controls: the UK has just voted for them anyway! There is no need to assume there would have to be anything special between England and Scotland or Ulster and the Republic. Geography negates the need for them.

      YES is in a much stronger position now …. in my opinion.

    2. tartanfever says:

      Jim, there can’t be any detailed analysis as there is no detail. As Nicola Sturgeon said on BBC politics, ‘we are in uncharted waters’. So until meetings with EU ministers take place and representatives from other EU countries and they make a decision on how Scotland can proceed then we’re playing a waiting game.

      The Scottish Govt. have done all that they can at the moment and are proceeding with matters as and when they arise/ They are to be commended for their response.

      However, rather than reflect this new situation, unionists/Better Together have just reformed and started the same old scaremongering. As the UK economy now plummets and there is no leadership or opposition in Westminster, the best the BBC/ Scottish Unionists can come up with is ‘What’s the price of oil ?’ ‘What currency will an independent Scotland use ?’

      I even heard a so called expert on constitutional affairs on BBC Politics Scotland say ‘ What is (Nicola Sturgeon) going to do about the price of oil ?’ The idea that a politician can affect the price of a global commodity is stark raving lunacy. Imagine asking Ruth Davidson to do something about the price of socks whilst the UK and Global economy takes a major dive. The BBC across the board should be condemned for their dereliction of duty to report on what is actually happening, especially the disappearance of George Osbourne, the Chancellor, who is the man responsible for our economy.

      If this is the responsible political/unionist classes in Scotland dealing with the effects of a Westminster led clusterf**k then there is absolutely no point in trying to persuade them.

      So Jim, in the stark reality of what is actually happening right now, what do you suggest the unionists do about Brexit as there is clearly,

      No Plan A
      No Plan B
      No Plan C

      The EU have decided the want the UK out now, the Brexit timetable is a shambles.

      Stock markets plummet

      The £ is taking a battering.

      The UK Chief Financial Negotiator to the EU, Lord Hill, has resigned.

      A senior Whitehall civil servant has said the UK only has between 10-20 qualified people who can actually deal with Trade negotiations and they need 100’s of them to renegotiate trade deals not just with the EU, but with other nations globally.

      Stop the exodus of financial firms uprooting themselves and relocating their business and staff to Frankfurt or Dublin.

      I could go on, but It’ll take me until next Wednesday to finish the list of urgent business that needs responded to right now by our Westminster government.

      1. John Page says:

        Spot on…….the BBC also seems very occupied with the irrelevancy of trying to bring down Corbyn

      2. Kenny says:

        I’ve said all this a million times to anyone who will listen. I hope someone actually IS listening.

        On currency, the Scottish Pound in your pocket is effectively already its own currency with a hard peg to the UK Pound by way of deposits held at the Bank of England. There is no reason to change that. We just tell the Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland and the Clydesdale that they need to retain those UK Pounds to maintain the value of their own notes and simultaneously we get all the banks in Scotland to increase their liquidity and reduce their leverage. Over time (and not necessarily a long time) we can build up that liquidity and introduce gold and/or currency reserves to help back the value of our money. Eventually, floating the currency should be no problem.

        On the economy, the notional £15bn deficit is a nonsense. There is currently no way to judge what an independent Scotland’s deficit would actually be because the way GERS is calculated is based on modelling and assumptions, not always actual counting of actual money. It’s still a big number though and we need to address it. Well, how about this? The act of creating our own Defence department, Home Office and Foreign Office will automatically create something like 30,000 jobs and put at least a billion pounds that we already spend into the Scottish economy rather than into London. That’s just civil servants. If you factor in the cut in Scottish defence spending proposed in the White Paper but add in the fact that all that money will be spent IN Scotland rather than “on Scotland’s behalf,” you take another billion or two off that notional deficit. We take on no debt; this might piss people off down south and it might feel somewhat disreputable, but it’s consistent with the position last time of no currency union, no debt repayment. That cuts our notional deficit by another few billion. After that, all we need to do is make it clear that no-one who is currently retired will see ANY change to their pensions; they’ll continue to be paid by HMG just as they would if they’d retired to Spain rather than in Scotland. This might also sound a little disreputable but I don’t think it is. We’ve all paid NI to HMG. The fact that they didn’t create an actual national pension fund isn’t our fault. If you take this idea to its conclusion, it could be more than 80 years before an independent Scotland is responsible for 100% of the pensions paid to its citizens. After all, I’ve been paying NI since I graduated, so I’ve got a good 15-20 years of contributions on record. If we’re independent this time next year (or in two or three years or whenever) it will only be then that I start paying into a Scottish pension system. I’ll claim in about 20 years or so and half will be paid by the SG, the rest by HMG. There will be young people just starting their first jobs just before independence; they’ll have a small fraction of their pensions paid by HMG until they die, maybe 80 years from now.

        Anyway, you add all of that up and there’s your whole notional deficit completely wiped out (and potentially turned into a surplus.) If it looks like we’re definitely staying in the EU if we vote Yes but definitely leaving if we stick with the UK, we won’t have to worry about businesses leaving and might well see some businesses shifting from London to Glasgow, Edinburgh and maybe even Aberdeen. We’re already seeing the media become much more sympathetic to our cause so we can probably bank on a lot less dissembling bullshit and a lot more fair analysis of the situation. Meanwhile, the Labour Party will be in no shape (or mood) for a fight, the Tories can’t mobilise enough Scots to win alone. The Lib Dems are already hinting that they might become a pro-independence party. Reassembling the various local Yes groups across the country can probably happen in a matter of days and this time they’ll be smarter and better organised. Honestly, I don’t think winning this time around will be especially difficult and if we have negotiators willing to go hard on HMG’s negotiators (who will be up to their ears in EU negotiations anyway and probably not able to focus on us too much) then we have nothing at all to fear. Fingers crossed, eh?

        1. tartanfever says:

          I’m listening Kenny, some good points taken on board.

        2. Elizabeth Thomson says:

          Hope you’ve sent your plans to Nicola, Kenny!

        3. seastnan seastnan says:

          This is good stuff! The kind of stuff I read the comments sections of the websites and online newspapers for. Stuff to make you think with thoughtful and considered confidence.

        4. James Dow says:

          A concise and brilliant overview, well done Kenny, you should stand for election to the Scottish parliament they need people with your clear insight on board. good luck for your own and Scotland’s future. Greetings from OZ.

        5. Mike Fenwick says:

          Hi Kenny … I hope you may read my post here and make contact:


          The “Currency” group are not only listening but already working, and are committed to visit any group anywhere in Scotland to hold discussions on this topic, and are looking for others to assist – I hope you may decide to be one of them.

          The post per that link, will let you know where we are to date, but I want to digress and comment on your thoughts on pensions.

          First, we both know (having read your comments) that our current state pensions has all the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme, it needs radical alteration.

          Say we start here:

          A few weeks ago Legal and General had to apologise to the Stock Market for having mis-stated the income of their CEO – and restate it upwards to £5,500,000.

          In the UK many are being asked to accept auto-enrolment as the means of securing their pension.

          Take someone on modest wages, who with their employer are setting aside £20 per month, £240 per year.

          Then do some maths. How many people paying in £240 per year does it take just to pay the L&G CEO’s salary?

          Close to 12,000! 12000 who think they are saving for their pension – but each year are doing nothing but paying a CEO salary. Then include the Pru, Standard Life CEO etc etc.

          Now say we wanted a Scottish Investment Bank, or a Sovereign Wealth fund – might that not be a better home for saving for a pension?

          The word “Currency” camouflages the worlds of banking, pensions, regulation and a lot more of what has gone so dramatically wrong in the neo-liberal agenda.

          We have the opportunity to address these issues, and ensure that the interests of Scotland and its people are put first.

          1. Muscleguy says:

            In New Zealand a long period where state pensions were a political football ended with the creation of Kiwisaver. The worker enrolled (automatically, you have to work hard not to be included) contributes, their employer contributes and the government contributes. All the Kiwisaver funds are invested in NZ’s Sovereign Wealth Fund. So NZ has already done this.

            It might be the Norwegians have rolled theirs into their SWF as well, ask them. I’m sure the NZ govt would be only too happy to let the Scottish govt look into Kiwisaver. Our youngest back there at university has one from temporary and holiday jobs while studying. You can take some money out once to help with a house deposit. That is easier as a couple, she is engaged so that one is solved.

            This is much better than Ponzi schemes and paying state pensions out of current taxation. SWF heads are civil servants. Imagine the need to pay state pensions taken out of the current account. Is this not something worth moving towards?

        6. Drew Campbell says:

          Good post, Kenny, and a feasibly optimistic take on the (fast-moving) situation. As far as the technicalities of fast-tracking membership for an independent Scotland, these can be surmounted with political good will, something I suspect will be evident. However…
          – The EU itself may not sustain as a coherent entity
          – To have any chance of doing so it must learn from this and radically reform its institutions, creating a more democratic, flexible and accountable polity
          – Shift its obsession with neoliberal policies to a far more social democratic focus that connects with communities. Putting down stronger roots will link democratically and inform the polity described above.

          Sounds easy when put like this, but I don’t mean to over-simplify what will be a desperately hard and hazardous road. And, if you’ll forgive the old joke, you wouldn’t want to start from here.

          Then again, there are worse places to begin from.

  4. Douglas says:

    Mike, I don’t share your fairly upbeat tone. This is an utter disaster, the Brexit vote, and we can vote for indie, but these guys are our neighbours, eh? And they have just voted for a pack of utter lies. It’s beyond bizarre. Ask an average no voter why he voted the way he did and he will say something like “to get back control”. A vacant and hollow expression if ever there was one.

    England’s problems, inevitably affect Scotland and Ireland. And their leaving the EU doesn’t necessarily make indie more likely. Try telling a pensioner in Edinburgh that there is going to be a border with England, with passports etc….

    1. John Page says:

      I could not agree more that this is a terrible disaster. But a disaster made of the failure of the Labour Party, the control of discourse by the elite owned neoliberal press (Rothermere, Murdoch, the Barclays and Desmond) and the truly shocking decision made by a majority of our neighbours in England and Wales. The Labour Party is finished and things are only going to get worse in terms of the choices which our neighbours will be induced to make by the Rightwing Press in terms of human rights and the environment.
      Yes it’s a disaster but Scotland needs to separate from this. It’s not a “family of nations” that we should be part of any more. I especially don’t want Trident near my home controlled by a right wing English government which has lost the plot.
      Thank you
      John Page

      1. John Page says:

        Independence for Scotland was always going to be really difficult…..it will take a generation for us to reestablish a Better Scotland. Many people didn’t want the short term dislocation and were heavily influenced by the press.
        But I am convinced that with the tragedy embarked apon by the choices of our neighbours, that people living in Scotland will now be prepared to put up with the pain as horrendous disruption has been visited on us by others’ decisions. Better Apart?

    2. James Dow says:

      Douglas, are you for real? ” these guys are our neighbours” The same neighbours that have coveted our land and assets through neigh on a thousand years of warfare. If you are feeling so distraught for them perhaps you should seek a social workers job south of the border. Good luck with your application.

  5. Andrew Rowan says:

    I could be misinterpreting your comment, but as a no voter in 2014, I and all other no voters I spoke to voted no to prevent creation of unnecessary borders in a world which is (was) becoming increasingly more global and open. Gutted doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings and those of like-minded friends & colleagues by Friday’s frankly suicidal result. This is precisely why Deerin / Torrance / Rowling are commenting favourably on prospect of Indyref 2. This is indeed a new moment for new allies.

  6. Alan says:

    Mike, less of the hype, more of the reality please. Read what JK Rowling actually said. The simple fact that you distort this puts Bella in the same league as those you seek to better. Even just one distorted fact undermines Bella’s entire daison d’etre

    1. john murray says:

      I think you meant Raison ??

  7. Derry Vickers says:

    I commend Gaby Hinsliff in yesterdays Guardian
    A Phyrric Victory

  8. Derek says:

    Take yourself back to 1979, and the first referendum on a devolved assembly rather than parliament. That ended with a small majority in favour of devolution; had it happened, the assembly would have occupied the old Royal High, whose pupils had been evicted in 1968 partly with that in mind.
    So there was a slight majority for devolution? Westminster over-rode that because they demanded 40% of the Scots populace. That’s 40% of all registered voters. And in practice the vote for was 51.6% of a turnout of 64%.
    The only reason Scots got anywhere near a referendum, way back then, was because of Jim Callaghan’s totally weak Westminster government; the Scots and Welsh lent some conditional support. Yet late on, in an amendment, Westminster introduced the 40% criterion. Labour’s George Cunningham led that amendment to the Scotland Act 1978. Lots of Scots felt they had been shafted when that happened.
    It took another 20 years for Scotland to get a new parliament at Holyrood.
    Deeply ironic given the recent margin for Brexit and its ‘immutable’ nature.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_devolution_referendum,_1979 has a fairly accurate summary.

  9. Muscleguy says:

    That 59% in the Sunday Post is a RAW FIGURE, that is with Don’t know’s included. Sure, they were only 4% but I recall only one poll, derided as a freak, last time taht had Yes over 50% on raw data.

    I know it is only one poll and carried out while folk were still in shock. We need new ones once people have had time for more sober reflection. That is why we need no ‘I told you so’s’. No pretending to them that all questions are answered and it will all automatically be roses. But do cautiously remind them of the alternative, the broken Brexit promises, the rise of the NF, EDL etc. Let the media as the Brexiteers try and gain control do our work for us. Trust folk to recoil in horror. Remind our eurosceptic fellow Yessers that they can campaign for a Scoxit referendum after independence if they want, we won’t stop them (though we will fight them tooth and nail). That question is settled in Scotland, time for another one.

    1. John Page says:

      I did make a once in a lifetime decision to buy this morning’s Sunday Post……the don’t Know figure was 9% ……. So excluding DK gives 64.8%.
      John Page

    2. tartanfever says:

      I think the big trick being missed here that we should be concentrating on is the collapse of the No vote.

      When that poll was announced last night, many unionists were saying ‘ is that all, it’s hardly an increase’

      Of course, the reality is that it’s a massive increase considering the Brexit vote just happened and these polls must have been conducted within 24 to 36 hours of the result.

      However, look at what’s happened to the No vote, it’s completely collapsed to 32%. Being generous, you may say that pre-Brexit, the No vote was sitting at 50% and not the Indy ref result of 55%, but whichever figure you use, that is a massive collapse that has happened within that tiny time frame. Whats more, the majority of that collapse has gone straight to the Yes side rather than hitting the middle ground of ‘Don’t Know’.

      The No vote lost 30% of it’s share in the space of 36 hours after the Brexit result. That is astonishing.

  10. Mhari Buchannan says:

    Why do scots need to dot every i, and cross every t in explaining what happens post independence?

    brexit has taken the uk out of the EU without a plan, how come?

    Emotion and sentiment are equally as important as known facts that will happen and far more important than unknowns that we don’t will happen or not.

    Without the uk in the EU, imagine the potential for inward investment into an English speaking country in the EU with a highly skilled work force?

    As for celebrities, I imagine that many of those advocating better together will feel pretty foolish, i’ll leave it at that.

    As for those who voted no in 2014, now is the time to reach out to these people, 2014 is past, they should be welcomed into the yes camp with open arms!

    1. douglas clark says:

      Well, BREXIT didn’t. They have not a clue and we are in uncharted waters.

    2. Elizabeth Thomson says:

      Tory MP for Leave on QT this afternoon said they deliberately didn’t present a plan so there would be no opportunity question the detail. He said there is a plan, but, he wouldn’t talk about it on QT (what use is that Dimblebum?). Fairly certain there is no plan and they are scrabbling around for a fag packet. Mustn’t let them get away with it again if there is another indyref.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.