19th November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

The union is dead – RIP (Charlie Gallagher)

“An eye to the future and a heart to forgive” ran the famous Corries folk song, repeated by Alex Salmond in his victory address at Preston Fields Hotel.

But who do we have to forgive? Well we could start with those London centric unionist parties that even up to a few months ago denied the Scottish people the right to determine their own destiny. And what was the unionist response, the unelected Michael Forsyth and Murdo Fraser MSP are now saying bring it on, though just months ago it was over our dead bodies.

Laddies, you had your chance in the last Scottish Parliament to vote the Referendum Bill through but instead you made it abundantly clear that as you and your fellow travellers in Labour and the Lib/Dems had a collective majority you would vote it down.

Well lads, in case you haven’t noticed there is a new broom in town and we will now say when the referendum will be held. Personally I like the idea of Tuesday 24th June 2014 and to hell with the convention of only voting on Thursdays. If you don’t recognise the date, probably because you were never taught it, get a good Scottish history book out and start from about 1250AD.

But what does Thursday 5th May’s result tell us? For starters the three “not” so wise London centric unionist lickspittles have all thrown in the towel. It should also tell Labour and the Lib/Dems that it is high time that they severed all ties with London.

I would remind them that our parties have a common ancestor in Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, a Liberal MP, who became disillusioned with them and along with Keir Hardie founded the Scottish Labour Party in 1888. He left in 1893 when after joining with the English and Welsh Labour Parties it moved to London control.

From this point onwards they were bedazzled by London high life, completely forgetting their voters and why they were elected. It was a mistake that has cursed Labour in Scotland to this day for even as I write this piece you can see the controlling hand of London interfering again with London set to control their post mortem.

Over the last 118 years nothing in Labour has changed whereas the SNP still upholds the beliefs of our common founder. With the Brown/Gray/Murphy and Daily Record wing of the Labour Party in Scotland, the hard line British Unionists, thoroughly routed, it is time for the McLeish/Deacon progressive wing to take control, severing all ties with London and reforming it into a party fit for the changes that the next few years are going to bring.

Much the same applies to the Lib/Dems for until they realise that a federal Britain is as dead as the dodo, then they will remain what they are now – a busted flush! They tried federalism in Ireland in the 1920s and it didn’t work there, why? Simple, the Irish wanted to govern themselves without any ties to, or interference from London. We Scots are no different.

As for the Conservative and Unionist Party they retain the toxic legacy of Thatcher. They also don’t seem to realise that there are a large number of right of centre voters in Scotland but they just aren’t unionists.

Perhaps the answer is for some from this band to have the get-up-and-go and set about forming a wholly new Scottish right of centre party with no ties to the London anti-Scottish establishment that has been and always will be the Tory party.

In the new Scotland we surely will need to have some real balance brought back into our political debate, for no matter how successful the SNP government is now and in the future, every government needs, no matter how good, to have the checks and balances of a robust opposition.

Yes, with the spectacular crash of the three unionist parties we know that London control of Scotland is coming to an end. The union is dead – RIP.

Charlie Gallagher
Tigh Na Mara,


  1. John Kryton

    Be a brave heart and have the referendum now before Mr Salmond hands out more sweeteners to the Scottish electorate. Sweeteners that will be taken back ten fold if the union dies, which is highly unlikely as the majority of Scots are not taken in by promises from people with enormous chips on their shoulders. Long live the union the union lives on.

  2. George Smith

    Good point, Mr Kryton. No SNP supporter has yet been able to explain to me why they do not hold the referendum next month. They prefer to rant on about the ‘Tories’ and England and things, rather than holding the vote. Why is that? If those who support the SNP a) genuinely want independence and b) think Scotland suffers so terribly as part of the Union, wouldn’t it stand to reason why would what to hold the vote immediately?

    And as for Mr Gallagher’s suggestion to delay the referendum for two whole years so as to coincide with the anniversary of Bannockburn – this should leave no one in any doubt over the sort of small-minded, bigots found in the ranks of the SNP. And yet they still pretend they are not a racist, ‘anti-English’ party…

  3. John Kryton

    The letter above is very much in the style of the old anglophobe Hugh MacDiarmid. But there is one thing Mr Gallagher has got wrong, the new broom as he calls the SNP government didn’t win this election, Labour and the Lib Dems lost it. Labour and Lib Dem voters voted SNP as a protest and will not say yes to independence for Scotland. Mr Salmond’s gifts of free prescriptions and the like are the sweeteners I speak of and there are many more to come before he thinks he has softened us up enough to vote for independence. I know the Scottish public and they are more street wise and fickle than the SNP give them credit for and they will not be taken in by unwise men bearing gifts. The SNP with such a big majority will not be able to blame Westminster when Mr Salmonds policy’s don’t improve the Scots standard of living. What the SNP should be concentrating is the Scottish economy and fulfilling his promise of greater prosperity for Scotland. Independence will bring bankruptcy not prosperity, united we stand divided we fall.

  4. Stephen Gash

    Where does Alex Salmond’s mandate for an independence referendum come from? With six SNP MPs in Westminster he doesn’t have one. Cameron could tell him to get on his English-invented safety bike and peddle off. What could Salmond do? Call a snap referendum on independence? Don’t make the English laugh.

    Cameron should let the rest of the UK have a vote on Scottish independence while Scots with their overblown sense of self-importance are making up their minds about when they should have theirs. Scots would find they wouldn’t need to waste English taxes on funding a referendum. They would find themselves independent already.

  5. Colin Hunter

    Mr Gash. That is just the very attitude which makes people who have been subject to “British” (read English) rule, crave for self determination. You really don’t get it, do you? If someone else decides your fate, it was hardly your choice, was it? Not really “Self determination”! And speaking of self importance, Pot? Kettle? Although history attributes a Scottish blacksmith by the name Kirkpatrick MacMillan for the building of the first mechanically propelled machine which didn’t catch on at the time, Alex Salmond could indeed pedal (not peddle!) off on his English “invented” Safety bicycle, of course shod with pneumatic tyres (John Boyd Dunlop), on a perfectly smooth Tarmac road (John Loudon MacAdam) whilst being watched by millions on TV (John Logie Baird). If it rained he could put on his waterproof coat (Charles MacIntosh) or phone a friend (Alexander Graham Bell) to come and pick him up! If he then developed an infection he could take penicillin (Alexander Fleming). Need I go on? I really do think that with people like that in our past, we can hold our own with pride!

  6. Ian Tinkler

    Mr. Hunter, please keeps your self-serving, nationalist claptrap to yourself. All human beings are of the same origin, and are one species. Your xenophobic chip on the shoulder about the English grows wearisome in the extreme. A divided Union will weaken all in it, just like the divided Clans in the past resulted in a weak Scotland, the English with the Welsh as united peoples only dominated Scotland because of tribal Clans fighting amongst themselves. Bannockburn only happened because, for once the Clans infighting, stopped. Look at the average football hooligan to see tribalism in action. Do you really want a divided, tribal UK?
    Incidentally, just how many of your inventers and great Scotts listed had a different genome than any Englishman or for that matter a Chinese person. One person recently in history whom believed in racial genetic superiority was Adolf Hitler. He frequently lists of people to justify his master race theory. Do you want to follow that doctrine?

  7. Colin Hunter

    It’s funny how one person can write something which is quite insulting to the Scots, but when someone else offers a counter argument, it is self – serving nationalistic claptrap! I have no argument with the “English”, as such, nor do I have a chip on my shoulder about them, having worked from age 16 to 30 for Blue Star Line, an English Shipping company out of London and Liverpool. I did all my Certificates of Competency in English Colleges, Southampton, Hull and South Shields, having served my Cadetship at Southampton College of Technology from 1971 to 1975. A great many of the men I sailed with and became great friends with, were (are) English and I’m still in touch with many of them, 25 or more years later.
    While I was at Hull in 1984 I met the woman who became my wife in 1986, and still is! She is from Rotherham in South Yorkshire and we visit my in laws there regularly, as they do in return. I will admit that many of the people who have managed to get up my nose in recent times have turned out to be English, but I rather think that is because of personality clash rather than any nationalistic trait! “The English, with the Welsh as united peoples” ! That’s a good one and it’s certainly news to me! You should have heard some of the things I’ve heard Welshmen say over the years! And you think I’m xenophobic!
    No, the truth is that I, in common with many, many other “Scots” (I’m a Shetlander by birth) are fed up with being ruled from afar by people who are pig ignorant of our needs and aspirations. I cite the current controversial plans to close Scottish Coastguard stations and remove the Emergency Tugs. All they see it as is an entry on a spreadsheet, the removal of which will only upset people who don’t vote for them anyway! Nothing lost! Not politically at any rate. Some of the remarks made on the subject by Mike Penning have been little short of an embarrassment! The amount of savings in the grand scheme of things is a pittance against the amount of money currently being wasted on the Olympics! The men I mentioned, Scots inventors, were no different to any other human being, a bit cleverer perhaps, but then so were the likes of Frank Whittle and Barnes Wallis, The Stephensons and Brunel to mention but a few of England’s finest engineers and inventors, and I certainly do not subscribe to any ideas of genetic racial superiority. On the subject of divided clans, history tells us how and why they were divided, and by whom! It suited the English of the day to “divide and rule” and it can be argued that the Union was conceived in iniquity. May well be time to lay it peacefully to rest!

    “The English steel we could disdain,
    Secure in valour’s station;
    But English gold has been our bane —
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!”

  8. Ian Tinkler

    Mr. Hunter, as one born on Shetland you must be aware that in Shetland home rule was a very long time ago, Neolithic perhaps, then Norse, Norwegian, Scottish then British. Your name Hunter is 12th century Anglo-Scottish. Not Shetland at all! It is a fact of history that it was only during The Union in Britain that Clan fighting stopped. Before the Union the Clans were divided long before the English came and took advantage of a weak divided tribal society. Divide Scotland from the Union and take a step backwards, if you wish, very few Shetlanders will want to join you, certainly no majority at all.

  9. Colin Hunter

    You are correct that my name is Anglo-Scottish and I, in common with most “Shetland” Hunters, can trace our line back to the Hunters who are on the walls of the Lunna Kirk. It is interesting to read what Dr. Alan Beattie says about the Hunter surname in his book, “Shetland Surnames”, and certainly something I had not heard before! The other three “branches” of my family history are Anderson, Johnson and Jamieson. There! Is that Shetland enough for you?
    You make it appear that Scotland was full of bickering fools and that no-one in England ever fell out with each other. History tells a different tale with the Wars of the Roses being fought over who was the “Rightfull” contender for the throne, and almost as soon as that was sorted out, along came Oliver Cromwell and abolished the monarchy, only to re-instate it some years later! In fact, Yorkshire and Lancashire still celebrate the aincient emnity, although these days, the battle lines are drawn on the cricket pitch rather than the battlefield. Very civilised!
    Even though it may appear to you that I stand, whole heartedly, for an independant Scotland, that is not quite the case. I certainly want Scotland to have much more control over it’s own affairs, and to be rid of bungling interference from Westminster, such as the latest windfall tax levied on the (Scottish?) oil industry, and the decimation of the Coastguard, by a Tory led Government which NOBODY in Scotland actually voted for. If it takes full independance to achieve that, so be it, and if the people of Shetland want to be heard, they must go to the Polls and vote. Whether the majority of Shetlanders vote for, or against, independance is not the issue, it is what the majority of voters in the whole country want that will matter on the day, when and if it comes.

  10. It is completely ludicrous to suggest we ( the Scots) are still feudal / tribal and will revert to such. Another person who doesn’t understand what it means to be Scottish.

  11. Colin Hunter

    I hear on the TV news today that George Osborne’s £2Bn rape of North Sea oil interests has resulted in some £20Bn of investment being cancelled with the loss of up to 15,000 jobs, probably mostly in Scotland. It may also lead to the early closure of many oilfields with the loss to the country of billions of barrels of oil which would otherwise have been recovered. Nice one George! I hope the English taxpayers thank you well for the 1p reduction in fuel duty you announced when you wrought this mayhem! Because the Scots ones certainly won’t! And people wonder why the Scots want more control of their own affairs!

  12. Derick Tulloch

    “No SNP supporter has yet been able to explain to me why they do not hold the referendum next month.” George Smith May 20, 2011

    George – happy to answer your question. This is because we, the SNP, are doing what we promised to do before the election

    Unlike the London parties, we keep our promises

  13. Ian Tinkler

    Salmond just stated we will share RN and RAF facilities after independence. . What does he mean? Faslane nuclear subs! Trident missiles, nuclear mines ands and depth charges and assorted other nukes. Blue Seas Green Energy to guote Salmond, a bit economic with the truth when faced with reality. Never mind election over, typical honest politician!!!!!!

  14. Colin Hunter

    What’s wrong with that? Cameron has come to some kind of agreement with the French to do with sharing Naval resources, and we ( the UK) have Air Force and Army bases in Germany. What is so different about Scotland? An independant Scotland would be as much of an ally as they are now. Several of Britains finest Regiments were Scots before the re-structuring of the Army and there are many, many Scots in the Armed Forces. The SNP have never made any secret of the fact that they are against the nuclear “deterrent”, instead preferring a strong conventional defense force. I am inclined to agree that it is a complete waste of taxpayers money to have an arsenal of weapons which will never be used! See http://www.snp.org/node/6599. Many of these goals are very complicated and cannot be acheived overnight, no politician ANYWHERE can do that, so why not give the bloke a chance, in much the same way as we should give Cameron & Clegg a chance. Let’s see what they can actually acheive before we start complaining!

  15. Ian Tinkler

    Salmond has stated he is anti NATO and anti nuclear many times. How can he now try and share RN and RAF basis which by their very nature will hold SSN and SSBN submarines, also all manner of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons. This man is either dishonest or living in fantasy land. Incidentally France is a nuclear state. The German state has never lied to its people about deployment of nuclear forces; Salmond certainly has, many times

  16. Colin Hunter

    You didn’t read it, http://www.snp.org/node/6599 did you? If you did, you chose, as usual, to read between the lines of both it, and my last entry for any hidden meaning which is neither intended nor implied! It looked and sounded pretty straightforward to me at any rate!

  17. Ian Tinkler

    Before the recent election, to quote SNP policy outlined in http://www.snp.org/node/6599
    “The SNP reaffirms that no nuclear weapons will be based on independent Scottish soil.
    An independent SNP government will not be part of a nuclear-based commitment such as NATO.”
    After the election, Angus Robertson the SNP’s defense spokesman claims, “His party had a mandate to pursue the policy of sharing bases, procurement and training facilities (with the UK).” This is nonsensical, how can an independent Scotland share military basses with the UK, A nuclear armed member of NATO. What mandate does the SNP and Salmond have for such a policy? To claim it does is dishonest and a complete reversal of election pledges. Is this fantasy, genuine stupidity or an outright lie?

  18. Colin Hunter

    It’s really quite simple, One would assume that they are talking about conventional armed forces, rather than ones armed with bangers that no-one dares to let off! I agree that every vestige of neuclear weaponry should be removed trom Scotland, if not from the entire world. It can be argued that the only atomic weapons deployed in history, namely those used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, actually saved lives by dramatically shortening the 2nd war. However, any such weapon now used would invite immediate retalliation in the same vein with the inevitable result. MAD!
    It depends who the SNP have the Mandate from. They never claimed it was from the Scottish populace, so in all likelyhood it was a mandate from the membership at a party conference. That, after all, is where policies are discussed and voted upon.
    The key word here is “independant”, when and if the Scottish people vote to become independant, THEN he will have the mandate from the country that he needs to carry out the goals set out in the manifesto. Not before.

  19. Ian Tinkler

    Mr. Hunter states, “It depends who the SNP have the Mandate from. They (The SNP) never claimed it was from the Scottish populace, so in all likelihood it was a mandate from the membership at a party conference”. What a load of utter tripe. So the mandate does not need to be from the people of Scotland, just the party faithful, Hitler would be so very proud. No wonder Salmond is shying away from the UK Supreme court. A court specifically created to enforce human rights. Watch out Scotland, the SNP are beginning to show their true nature.

  20. Colin Hunter

    Perhaps it’s also because they now have a majority government in Holyrood. Taking it as read that they now have massive support throughout Scotland, it’s safe to say that the majority of people support whatever policies they put forward in their manifesto, policies which were formed and voted upon at party level. And if so, they can safely say they have a mandate from the people.
    Personally I find your continued reference to Hitler insulting in the extreme, and the thinly masked inference to the “true nature” of the SNP isn’t far behind. If you cannot have a debate without stooping to schoolboy style insults, there is little point in continuing!

  21. Ian Tinkler

    Sorry if I hit a nerve. A mandate can only come from the people. An enforcement from a party machine regardless of declared policy prior to an election is a dictate, not democracy, hence my reference to Dictatorship. I only quoted your words to make my point.

  22. Colin Hunter

    My understanding of “mandate” is, the empowerment of a higher authority by “the people”. What is not clear, however, is the level at which this word no longer applies. It appears to be used in the context that I used it in, that If “the people” at a conference or meeting vote for a motion or policy they can be said to be giving a mandate (Or approval) to the leadership or committee to do ……..whatever.
    A Dictate, on the other hand, is when the leadership says “Tough! We’re not doing that, We’re doing this, live with it”! Decisions reached at a party conference can hardly be described as “An enforcement”, or dictate, merely a statement of what that particular party would like to do in the event they were elected to govern, and thereby given a mandate to carry them out.
    I apologise if my grasp of the English language isn’t that great, I only have an “O” level in it after all, and quite an old one at that!

  23. Thormod Morrisson

    To Mr. Tinkler,

    If you are of so low an opinion of Scotland and the Scots, why are you here? And as for the English and Welsh dominating, as you put it, would that also include the occasion in which the entire Northumbrian army (reputed to be the strongest in Britain at the time) was annihilated by the Picts at Nechtansmere under King Brude? Or when Welsh Strathclyde was absorbed into the Mac Alpin kingdom of the Scots? Or when the English were trounced by King Malcolm at Carham and the border extended considerably south? Or when King Robert I and Sir James Douglas routinely defeated English armies impotently sent against them, then plundered your territories unopposed? Yes, that’s real English domination lol. Read some history.

  24. Ian Tinkler

    A bit tribal Thormrod. We I hope we today live in the present. Time to lose that chip maybe.

  25. Brian J L Cole

    By golly don’t you love all this cod history !!!!

    Instead of talking about independence just take it , take your great leap forward into the past and let England and only England move forward into the future.

    In the words of the greatest Englishman to have ever lived, Oliver Cromwell, “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

    Finally what makes Salmon think we would want to share anything with the Scots, it will only provide another excuse for them whingeing.

  26. Ian Tinkler

    Brian,Now now, thats a bit rude to my Scottish half. OK for the English bit though, The Irish bit finds Oliver C a bit offensive.!!!!!! PS I am still tyying to work out which bit of me comes from where, any idears anyone???????

  27. Colin Hunter

    Funny thing! When someone who comes from here writes something that someone else doesn’t like, they are immediately accused of being xenophobic, spouting nationalistic claptrap and writing “Utter tripe” ! Seems there’s a lot if it about though! Oh freedom of speech, what a wonderful thing indeed! Depends which end of the alimentary canal you use for it though!

  28. Ian Tinkler

    And where your head is stuck!

  29. Robert Sim

    Interesting debate. However it is those attacking the notion of independence under this government who are living in the past, not the other way round. It is quite simple. The SNP achieved an overwhelming majority of seats (in an electoral system designed to make such an outcome all but impossible) because they are now the only the only left-of-centre party remaining in Scotland – and probably in the UK. The other major parties are all right of centre, because Labour has in the past two decades redesigned itself to appeal to middle England. Scots voters, like it or not, preferred to trust a party which has a social conscience and whose recent policies – including in power – have been part of a strategy to pursue social justice. Don’t forget that voters could actually look back over the past several years and see that the SNP has begun to deliver on that strategy. So it’s a case of Scottish voters, rural and urban, preferring the SNP’s vision to anyone else’s.

    Independence is another stage and we’ll see what folk think when we come to that; but my guess is that, by then, many will not wish to return to the sterile politics of the past. And, by the way, I had to laugh at the references to SNP sweeteners: what do you think Labour has been doing for the past fifty and more years to retain power in west-central Scotland? But they have of course now been found out. Welcome to the future, guys! No point in living in the past and trying to re-fight the election!

  30. Ian Tinkler

    All very true Robert, but absolutelly no mandate fo the SNP from Shetland folk.

  31. Ted Knight

    Sorry to intrude upon apparent Shetland grief, but I understood that the Auld Rock was an integral part of Norway.

    So, is it Scotland, Norway or the UK? (by inference, England)

    If Norway get the the thumbs down, what of Up-Helly- Aa? is it, as I’ve long suspected, a total fraud?

    Make your minds up, Shetland – but be very, very careful what you wish for. Is Shetland a Viking Wonderland, Fantasy Island or just another backyard of a bigger, uglier fish?

  32. Colin Hunter

    Mr Tinkler. It appears that you STILL haven’t grasped the fact that the “Shetland” people do not have to give any mandate to the SNP or any other government for the majority to prevail. It’s like saying “Well that can’t happen because the folk in Mastrick or Milngavie or Morningside or wherever didn’t vote for it.” That’s the scale of your argument and the mere fact that we are separated from the remainder of Scotland by a lump of ocean just doesn’t hold water if you’ll pardon the pun! We’re still in the EEC although Shetland and the Western Isles voted “No”. That’s democracy. Live with it!
    Mr Knight. Although there are some in our midst who bang on about Orkney and Shetland not actually being part of the UK, the truth is that they are on a hiding to nothing. If you want to be taken seriously by people you don’t arrive here by accident, having been rescued from your boat while using a road atlas as your sole means of navigation! Or was that some other intrepid English yachtsman? At this moment we are officially part of Scotland and so, by default, also part of the UK. Wikipedia has a pretty good coverage of the events which led to The Islands becoming Scottish, and more recent, unsuccessful, attempts by Norway to rectify the situation.
    As I have said before, Up Helly Aa’ is merely a mid winter celebration of the return of the sun and was never meant to depict any historical event. It is a colourful,unique, fire festival and is also becoming a great tourist attraction. Suffice to say that there are many more people “for” than “against”. Democracy in action once more!
    The people of Shetland are as proud of their islands having a Viking past as the Scots are of their Clans and Tartan. This is reflected by such events as Up Helly Aa in Shetland and Clan gatherings and Highland games in Scotland. I have wracked my brain for any such event or tradition in England, but all I can come up with is the Notting Hill Carnival, Oh! And Morris Dancers!

  33. Ian Tinkler

    Understood it OK. So who gives the mandate? Shetland folk, People of the UK? Just people living in Scotland, Scottish and UK? Scottish ties but overseas, Anglo Scotts, Canadian, and Australian Scots, anyone who qualifies to play rugby for Scotland (half Australasia) or just the SNP? The SNP have never made it clear who will hold Scottish passports after independence, who will be foreign aliens and whom can vote in any referendum. Enlighten us please.

  34. Ian Tinkler

    Colin , Wrack your braina tad harder, try substituting UK or Britain for England, in your facile argument,, lose your anti-English prejudice. Think of , Armistice Day, Battle of Britain Day, Remembrance day, VE Day. VJ Day. Massive achievements that saved the Free World from tyranny and fascism. I can not see an Independent Nationalist Scotland having done much for a free world in 1939. Apart from being overrun, like Norway, by the NAZI tyranny, . I am sure many, many Scots hold up their heads in pride about British achievements in 1939 to 1945. Try that battle again as divided Republic of Scotland under Salmond.!!!!

  35. Colin Hunter

    I take it you have heard of the electoral roll, haven’t you? You know, that letter that comes to your house in which you declare who is living there, usually a few months before an election. Then, after you’ve filled it in, signed it and sent it back, you get your voting cards.
    Anyone who fullfills the criteria to receive a card will be entitled to vote. It entails being a permanent resident of the place you will be voting in, so would automatically exclude all expats and include legal immigrants and members of ALL commonwealth countries with leave to stay in the country. INCLUDING those entitled to play rugby for Scotland, as long as they’re living here. As far as I know, only Members of the Armed Forces stationed overseas and Merchant seamen can apply for a proxy vote if they are out of the country at
    election time. Probably also any other residents who are absent due to working abroad.

    As with the referendum in which the people of Scotland voted whether or not to have a devolved Parliament, it would be those same legally resident people who will be entitled to vote on independance, regardless of where they come from, as long as they are residents who fullfill the electoral roll criteria. I would not expect to be allowed to vote in any referendum held solely in England or Wales, simply because I do not live there. However, if I did, I would.

    Such things as passports would take some time to set up, seeing as they are valid for 10 years. Common sense would hopefully prevail and existing passports would remain valid until they bacame due for replacement. At that time the holder could be given the option, depending on their ethnicity, of exchanging it for a Scottish one, or re-applying to the same authority which granted their existing one. I, as a Shetlander, would be elligible for a Scots one, my Wife (who you recall is English) could renew her existing one, and my son, I would assume, would have a choice of either or both. As, given your previously declared parentage, would you. However, it is not my area of expertise and this assumption is based upon what happens in other countries. I cannot see why Scotland would be any different.

  36. Colin Hunter

    Ian, Your second, flagrantly racist rant does not even qualify for any kind of reasoned reply so I’m not going to bother trying. It’s patently obvious that it is YOU who have the chip on your shoulder about something. I just haven’t been able to ascertain what yet! Thankfully this is 2011 and not 1939. The world has moved on. Why don’t you?

  37. Ian Tinkler

    Am I racist, Colin? which bit. The point I was tying to get you to understand was that, divided into individual small countries, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England, we would in 1940 all, like Norway, have been easily overrun by the NAZI tyranny and would now, perhaps, still be occupied by fascists. There is strength in Unity and weakness in division. I am sorry if this is too much for you to comprehend. Fortunately you are in a very Small minority. The old axiom “United we stand, divided we fall.” is as true today as ever.

  38. Colin Hunter

    You forgot the fact that we also had The Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians, South Africans, Rhodesians, and all the other Commonwealth Countries providing manpower towards the same end, not to mention the late entry of the USA after Pearl harbour! Even if Scotland had been independent in those days, I have no doubt at all that they would still have been as much an ally as any of the others, and done their bit accordingly. That was the part that annoyed me. Anyway, that was then and this is now. Thankfully Europe is at peace and united (more or less!) by the EEC. Also, as I have stated before, it would be a different proposition mounting an invasion force across the North Sea to the short hop across the Skagerrak from Denmark, or even directly from Germany. After all, they didn’t invade Eire in order to secure it’s Atlantic Seaboard, did they?

  39. Ian Tinkler

    During WW2, The Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians, South Africans, Rhodesians, and all the other Commonwealth Countries were part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. United under the UNION of Great Britain… Colin, As regards Hitler invading Eire, or any of the individual countries of the Union, The Royal Navy, and The Royal Air Force rendered that a bit difficult for him. The fact is that a divided UK would have had no British Commonwealth, no Royal Navy and no Royal Air Force.
    If Salmond and the SNP destroy the Union, our somewhat limited defenses will be gone; The Royal Navy, The Royal Air Force and NATO, will all go, little left to defend the people of Scotland. Very soon the Falkland’s will be lost. Falklanders are very like Shetland folk and Shetland will be almost as vulnerable to any imperialist power that may emerge. You do not need to be a historian to see the threats which may be in the future.

  40. Colin Hunter

    You’ve said it yourself Ian, How could such an inconsequential little nation as Scotland possibly have stood in the path of the might of Nazi Germany, let alone the acquisitive imperialism of England. Far from helping in the building of the “British” Empire I’m surprised you’re not saying that the Scots held them back!
    Why would the Armed Forces disappear as soon as Scotland attains independence? They seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate of knots under our esteemed Westminster government anyway! Nearly complete replacement Nimrod Maritime surveillance aircraft destroyed. RAF Kinloss closed. RAF Lossiemouth downsized, RAF Leuchars under threat. HMS Ark Royal for sale and her Harrier aircraft de-commissioned, Need I go on? Granted, two replacement Aircraft Carriers are being built on the Clyde as we speak, but that’s only because the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders lawyers were clever enough to make sure it would cost more NOT to build them than to go ahead. Stitched up Brown & Co good & proper! Pity we won’t be able to afford the aircraft to put on them though! And yet we seem to be able to fight pointless wars in far flung countries to please our transatlantic “friends”! By the way, I know exactly what the Falklands are like. I was there in 1982! It is absolutely true to say that if the Falklands happened now, we would be unable to do anything about it, as much because we have too few Merchant ships and the men to man them as for a lack of armed forces. Is that Salmond’s fault too?

  41. Ian McCormack

    YAWN!!!!!!!! You two could argue it out eh LOL.

    Im a nationalist, I love my country, I vote SNP. The referendum will be , when it will be. Fools rush in, where a wise man will wait. So its wise to wait a while before jumping into a referendum.
    In all seriosness, your debate will be read, Judged, and people will come to their own conclusions. and I look forward to reading more on what people think of this subject.

    Were a great country, and we can rule our own country. But when the ballot box is open, then this great nation can vent its voice.

    A handy thing to note, the average englishman isnt that bothered whether were independant or not. So chill out, and see what happens.

    and I agree that the whole of the UK should vote on this, Not just us.

  42. Colin Hunter

    I’m actually only a fairly recent convert, having once been an opponent of a devolved Parliament. However, it would appear that time, events, and the quality of Scottish Parliamentarians (with a few exceptions!), have conspired to prove me wrong. I am now utterly convinced that we have no alternative but to shake off the shackles of Westminster and stand on our own feet.
    The £2BN rape of North Sea assets by George Osborne, the Con/Dem plan to emasculate the Coastgaurd, and the closure of Scottish military bases, have proved, beyond all doubt, that Westminster is completely out of touch with what the people of Scotland want and need. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of the Westminster MPs who vote on these policies haven’t even been here!
    I can also see the point of view of some English people who object to Scottish MPs voting on policies in the Commons which only affect England, seeing as how Scotland now has it’s own Parliament.
    I do not, however, think that anyone but the people of Scotland should be allowed to vote on OUR future. That would hardly be self determination, would it?

  43. Robert Sim

    I have been missing Private Eye’s ‘From the Messageboards’ column but not so much recently, for some reason…

  44. Ian Tinkler

    Mr. Ian McCormack speaks a great deal of sense and I agree with all he says. I fear for defense as I cannot accept that Scotland would be able to stand alone outside NATO if threatened by a hostile major power. Also I would like to see the suffrage, for an independence vote, extended to all citizens of the Union. All UK passport holders, including Gibraltar and the Falklands should be represented and opinions acted on where practicable. Special care should be taken to ensure truly exceptional island communities should have self determination at every level. For example Shetland, Orkney, inner and Outer Hebrides could if they wished stay in the Union, or join a confederation, or become partially, independent Islands. Rather like the Channel Islands and Manx. That way unique cultures could be preserved. Truly, we are in interesting times.

  45. Colin Hunter

    Join in chaps! The sport will be even better!


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