This one is a doozy! The Independent today published the article:

Ukraine is a country divided against itself. Watch out, Scotland

which compares the situation here post-independence to the revolution in the Ukraine, and even raises the spectre of a re-run of the 1st World War. I kid you not!

As one of the commenters says:

Possibly the worst article so far printed on the Referendum so far, against very very stiff competition.

Read it – it really does take the biscuit. Here’s a taster:

Come September, the Scottish referendum presents a painfully perfect lose-lose scenario. Given a rejection of independence (still more likely), a thoroughly disgruntled 40-plus percentage of Scots will continue to press for devo max at the highest proof available. Now imagine a – far from impossible – “Yes” vote of 51 per cent or so, secured by cack-handed, backfiring pro-union interventions by everyone from Osborne to Barroso to Bowie.

No, we shouldn’t predict barricades on Princes Street or bonfires on the Royal Mile. Edinburgh will not burn like Kiev. Yet believers in a multinational state that has – despite or because of its anomalies – lasted since 1707 will find themselves suddenly thrown into citizenship of a country that commands none of their loyalty.

At least in the early of days of independence, half the country will not care to fly its new flag. Non-unionist Scots have long-practised skills in cultural separateness. For a large, restive unionist minority, the same would not apply. Have Alex Salmond and his team planned enough for the outcomes of a narrow-scrape victory? Without alarmism, it doesn’t seem absurd to direct them to the rocky history of post-Communist Europe. Secessionists who dream of Norway and Denmark should at least take a peek not just at Ukraine but into the long nightmare of Bosnia – shaken again this month by disintegrative protests.

We don’t need to travel that far to witness the lingering misery of botched state formation. This year is the centenary not only of the First World War but also of a local uprising against the authority of the British parliament. It happened in Ireland, yes. And Ulster Protestants were responsible.

I left the comment:

To compare an ex-soviet republic revolution against an authoritarian leader with the peaceful democratic dissolution of a political union among friendly nations is so outrageous and so designed to elicit an affronted response that I had to check to make sure it wasn’t written by Katie Hopkins.
Perhaps if he spent some time among Scots in Scotland rather than attending merry diplomatic parties in former iron curtain countries he would know that Scotland can command the loyalty of Scots to at least the same extent that the UK can, and that everyone in Scotland is happy to fly the Saltire – an ancient, not new flag, apart from the odd extremist Orangeman.
Boyd Tonkin is sure of a welcome in the Project Fear camp any time he wants to fly his giddy travelogue prose on their behalf.


Dark days

As my legions of faithful blog readers will have noticed, I have had a break since before Christmas. I start the blog again, here in what must be dark days for the Yes campaign. It began with Mark Cairney’s remarks a couple of weeks ago about the pound. We now have the treasury, Osbourne, and Labour and the Liberals all stymying any kind of sharing of the pound.

I think this has been pretty devastating for the Yes campaign as it stands. I personally think that we should have our own currency, but realise that the SNP’s softly-softly approach, let’s not frighten the horses and keep as much of the trappings of the UK as we can is a valid approach. The economy is always going to be at the top of the list of concerns to voters, and people are usually conservative when it comes to the money they have in the bank, or tied up in their house, or in their wage (if you are lucky to have all three or not).

What should we do? Nicola Sturgeon is doing sterling (fnaar) work in insisting that it is in the interest of rUK to have a monetary union with Scotland, and that, after a Yes vote, they will sit down and agree, but they only have to say again and again that they won’t.



People will not be convinced. If they are unconvinced they will opt for the status quo.

I am waiting with hope and trepidation for the first polls to appear after these interventions.

Maybe it’s time to change what’s on offer and go for our own currency. This would make the SNP leadership lose credibility. Maybe it’s time to try to separate the Yes campaign from the SNP. The decision to go for currency union is the SNP’s – the Yes campaign is bigger than the SNP. If Alex Salmond has to lose face by changing tack at this late stage, so be it.

Something has to be done, as these past few weeks may be looked back at as being the time when we lost.



Just watched Alex Salmond on Newsnight. He was in good form, but fell short of the ‘knock it out of the park’ response we need.

Kirsty Wark is becoming a liability for the BBC – she cannot help but be a bit of a cow when she interviews Alex Salmond. Tonight she excelled herself in the shabby way she treated the First Minister.