NATO: the SNP’s Clause 4 moment

The SNP hierarchy got its way at the party’s conference in Perth yesterday, 19th October, narrowly [394-365] winning the vote to ‘update’ the party’s defence policy to support potential membership of NATO by an independent Scotland.

Those who lost by 29 votes have agreed to respect the vote – but this was the day the SNP formally sold its soul.

Angus Robertson MP, a politically unappealing apparatchik and the lead protagonist in this move, was fully Blairite in the case he put. ‘You have to respect the evidence’, he claimed repeatedly, in a stormily received torch song for pragmatism [if that's not a contradiction in terms].

The evidence offered was that the polls show 75% of Scots want to see Scotland, independent or not, under the NATO umbrella. The consequence for the SNP leadership is that therefore the party must adopt a pro-NATO membership policy.

This method of divining policy by following the polls sits oddly with continuing the campaign for independence when poll results continue to show a substantial majority for retaining membership of the United Kingdom.

The SNP position on this one is that they hope to persuade people to change their minds on independence – a reasonable and honourable intent.

So why not hope to change minds on NATO – a more universally important and equally reasonable and honourable ambition?

It is arguable that the day Blair persuaded the Labour party to abandon Clause 4 was the day the party forgot its identity and found that an irrecoverable loss. It wasn’t about Clause 4 as such. It was about whether or not the party retained its core values and about whether or not those values and the principles they bred still took precedence.

This was the party that went on to replace the rights of the workers, enshrined in Clause 4, for the rights of the rich.

Power compels compromise in a manner we regard as ‘corrupting’. A party prepared to compromise in order to get power can be guaranteed to offer little resistance to more serious compromise if it gets into power.

Labour, after its abandoning of Clause 4, went on to be, in power, one of the most unprincipled regimes we have lived through – and often totalitarian, as in much of the poorly framed and philosophically shocking legislation put up by David Blunkett as Home Secretary and scrambled through by the party’s Yessir majority.

An SNP which can agree to oppose Trident yet ask to be a member of NATO – with that organisation’s lead policy of first strike nuclear deterrence – can expect, should it win the independence referendum, to see its leadership find a way of letting Trident remain at Faslane.

And the principled party faithful who fought so honestly yesterday, would have no leverage then.

The degree of distortion of its nature the SNP has now shown itself prepared to accept in the cause of independence now makes that independence itself a tissue-thin fiction.

Independence has to be more than a spivvy salesman’s relabelling of second hand goods.

Scotland, as planned, would have an ‘independent’ head of state – the Queen; an ‘independent’ currency  – the GBP;  ‘independent’ policy making powers – dictated by the European Union; and an ‘independent’ defence policy – governed by NATO membership.

Come on.

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64 Responses to NATO: the SNP’s Clause 4 moment

  1. Another total change in policy for a republican party – keep the Queen. However, I note that Salmond uses the word ‘queen’ rather than ‘monarchy’. What’s the betting, if independence ever happens, the SNP tries to re-reverse its policy when the throne is passed on?

    In my view this is all a blatant and a desperate attempt for votes.

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    • The UK as a whole might have a pause for thought at that stage.
      A monarchy is little more than a private zoo, with human beings kept in captivity, unable to do a proper job but wheeled out from time to time in their best clothes to provide public circuses.
      They may be kept in privileged circumstances but the reality is that they are denied normal identities and normal lives.
      It is a fully distorting process that does not begin to bear examination.
      The nonsense that Kate had to become Catherine is its essence.

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  2. My thoughts entirely. The SNP must be really desperate to get ‘independence’ however defined, to justify its existence. What is the next principle to fall on its sword -democracy itself?

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    • Thats correct Spock, the SNP are really desperate to gain independence, it has been a very long time goal of theirs. Unionists too are really desperate to avoid this, just take a look at the scaremongering and desperate claims rolled out every time we pick up a daily newspaper. I remember not long after the SNP party won their majority and the realisation that they would adhere to their promise that a referendum for independence would be held in the Autumn of 2014. The papers were full of doom in their claims that the uncertainty during the two years run up would damage FDI in Scotland, companies would be deterred in bringing their business here. What has happened? For the second year in succession Scotland is the UK’s leading location for foreign direct investment with companies such as Amazon, GlaxcoSmithKline, Samsung and so on bringing jobs here. Just one of many preposterous, unfounded claims which are easily made, well publicised and designed to pull the wool over our eyes but not easily forgotten.

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  3. Not since the Liberal conference all those decades ago when David Steel said ” go back to your constituencies and prepare for power ” has there been such a daft statement from a Politician – until now !
    Salmond says ” Delegates , Conference, in 2014 the nonsense ends ” Did none of his highly paid advisors not whisper in his ear – ” Eck – we think that is exactly what everyone in Scotland who is against independence is thinking as well – perhaps a wee re-write ? ? ? ?
    An absolute classic !

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  4. It’s just a normalisation of Eck’s expressed views on an independent Scotland’s armed forces; they’ll need something to keep them busy, and exercising with other NATO forces is as sensible a policy as any other. Perhaps this might help encourage Westminster to address the replacement of trident in a sensible fashion; if they are asked to remove trident from Scotland the nuclear deterrent becomes much more expensive, building a new armament depot to replace Coulport in England, Wales or NI would be politically difficult, hugely costly and need to meet difficult geographical requirements.

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  5. Let’s face it, even if the ‘in NATO but no nukes’ ploy fails, an independent Scotland in NATO can choose to leave the alliance. The Scottish government under the current arrangement has no say at all.

    This was a mature political decision made by a party that has gone from being a party of protest to a party in power and on the verge of making history. High principles maintained, no compromises, a NO vote and twenty more years of the ‘nonsense’ would suit the Unionists and their fellow travellers just fine.

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  6. A fascinating debate. I agree that there are some in the SNP who are prepared to sell their soul (or the party’s soul) to achieve independence and that is their sole motivation. However, the most convincing argument for accepting the change in policy came from Kenny MacAskill. His argument (and it is persuasive) is that what the SNP membership clearly wants is the removal of Trident and we cannot achieve that while we remain part of the UK. Thus, if we are SERIOUS about removing Trident then we should maximise the probability of achieving a yes vote in the referendum.

    The danger is that we might find that, post independence, it is more difficult to remove Trident as a member of NATO than as not. However, it is manifestly the case that it is impossible to remove Trident without Independence. Also, the tail is wagging the dog here: the non-negotiable policy is the removal of Trident. Don’t bother with the daft line that the SNP would renege on this post-independence. If NATO say nukes or no membership then it is out of NATO we go.

    My own preference would have been to maintain the policy of not being part of NATO but it something I am pretty relaxed upon. SNP policy in the past has been to be a member before deciding against it and maybe the party will change its mind again in the future on this issue. The important thing is the removal of Trident. No sell out there.

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    • Twisting and turning Napoleon – covering your a…….
      PS Did you see the Blimp hovering over Perth today – 125 metres tall – representing the average onshore wind turbine destroying Scotland – or was your head bowed in due homage to your Dear Leader.

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      • It is spelt “A,R,S.E.” and I’m neither covering nor exposing it (to the simultaneous relief and perhaps disappointment of the good ladies of North Argyll). Had the vote gone the other way, I’m sure the Unionists would have been decrying the SNP for naivety and exposing the UK to imminent invasion (by whom exactly?).

        Vote independence in 2014 and remove Trident. It will make the train journey through Glen Douglas a bit less of a sobering experience at least. I for one am looking forward to guided tours through the maze of by then empty tunnels dug deep into the hillside against the Soviet ICBMs. They will make a good tourist attraction and lesson for our children of the madness that sometimes afflicts our species.

        Didn’t notice Donald Trump (aka the “Blimp”) over Perth today. He has done a fine job of splitting CATS and advancing the case for renewables in Scotland. How much is the wind turbine industry paying him?

        I can see the future being a very disappointing place for you Malcolm.

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        • Sorry to disappoint you, Dr D, but isn’t Glen Douglas the store for just about all Britain’s armaments – not just nuclear – even all the RAF’s material was transferred to Glen Douglas when the underground complex at Chilmark was closed, and this might further complicate the independence debate.

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        • “They will make a good tourist attraction and lesson for our children of the madness that sometimes afflicts our species”

          Yes Doc, how sobering a sight for anyone, child or adult visiting what used to be the home of weapons which had the potential to obliterate and extinguish all life on earth, madness right enough. Lets hope we get the opportunity some day soon to come face to face with our country’s shame.

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    • Totally agree removal of Trident is the most important thing and this would be a wonderful legacy for Scotland. There is no room for complacency on this issue – one submarines warheads would produce around three million civilian deaths and massive long term environmental damage. Trident is not a deterrent it’s a catastrophic burden that must never be used. Independence is a MUST and a vital step towards the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. We’re a proud nation, so lets do something to really be proud of!

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  7. Are there not variations to be discussed? Obviously on one extreme there is trident out immediately and on the other extreme there is status quo and and acquiescence with Westminster’s lead. Between these there are a number of possible compromise positions, the most obvious being to allow Trident to remain until the end of its life around 2025, but rule out any replacement residing in Scotland. Let’s face it, economics may force the UK to abandon the proposed trident replacement anyway; ballistic missiles seem a very 1950s answer to the deterrence question.

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  8. Using a nuclear weapon is a crime against humanity, Trident is illegal.
    Side issue, http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nln7g/Youve_Been_Trumped/
    Being showed at the end of the SNP conference, has the BBC taken a political view on the 2014 referendum.
    “Summary of the weekend paper reviews for You’ve Been Trumped:
    The Daily Mail (4 Stars & picture)
    ‘This Terrific film tells, without comment or voice-over, this modern David & Goliath tale”
    The Guardian (with picture)
    “With echoes of Ealing, Capra, and most obviously, Local Hero, it’s terrific, stirring stuff”
    The Telegraph (with picture)
    “The film looks stunning, is leavened by amusing moments and boasts an evocative soundtrack. A beautifully crafted, emotionally potent piece of documentary-making.”
    The Independent (with picture)
    “Baxter’s documentary calls itself a ‘David & Goliath tale’ and opens with a scene from the 1983 film Local Hero. Unlike the fantasy, this tale didn’t end in victory for the little men.”
    The Times (with picture)
    “Baxter spends lots of time with the underdog residents, dipping into their lives and local history to reveal exactly what the proposed development will irrevocably destroy…it will make your blood boil.”
    The Financial Times (4 stars with Picture)
    “Even more repellant than Trump is the triumphant grin of Alex Salmond, cock-a-hoop at Scotland’s great step forward.”

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    • The way the links run across the bottom of the BBC page, I though for a minute it was ‘Who do you think you are? – Donald Trump.

      I thought it might be in contrast to ‘Who do you think you are? – Annie Lennox, – knowing how concerned the BBC are to achieve the correct balance.

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    • Trident is not illegal. There is no national or international law forbidding the use of a nuclear deterrent as far as I know.

      Perhaps you have a problem understanding the concept of a “deterrent”?

      The fact that no missile has ever been fired in anger does not make the weapon a failure or a waste of money, in fact the contrary is true. If it had been fired in anger it would have failed.

      An analogy might be fitting a burglar alarm to your house and not suffering a breakin there after. Did the burglar alarm deter potential house breakers or did they just fancy someone else’s house contents more. You can never know. If you suffer a breakin then you know that the alarm failed as a deterent. Simples!

      I do have a moral dilemma with the nuclear non proliferation treaty – I am not sure what right countries who have the bomb have to forbid others to develop similar weapons but I am sure Napoleon will tell us.

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      • There is indeed a moral deficit where countries in possession of the nuclear deterrent – and with no intention of ceasing to hold it – work to discourage or prevent others from having it.
        However, it is the Armageddon option. The point of deterrence is that ultimately, if one country uses the bomb, others have to deliver on the threat.
        Universal nuclear disarmarment is the only sane and responsible course of action but the weight of the arms industry worldwide runs counter to this for obvious reasons. As we have seen so very recently, this situation is exacerbated here by former UK military chiefs at the highest level selling their lobbying services to that industry. This will be replicated in every other country.
        The Trident II thermonuclear missiles alone cost over $65 million each. UK is ordering 180 of them. Then you have the cost of the submarines to carry them – estimated at around £20 billion at 2006-07 prices – and we all know how hugely inflationary was the collapse in 2008 of the financial institutions.
        Tony Blair in December 2006 committed the UK to Trident II without a parliamentary debate on the matter.
        The UK is now looking at a ‘new wine in old bottles’ option, converting the ageing four Vanguard submarines to carry Trident II and extending their operational lifetimes by four years to cover the period until the new submarines are ready.
        The current UK government approved the assessment phase for the new submarines on 8 May 2011; and a decision is to be taken in 2016 on whether tp order three or four of them. The advised operational capacity is four – offering a permanent situation of one on patrol, one working up to take over patrol, one in training and one in refit.

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        • This talk of ‘moral dilemma’ and ‘moral deficit’ makes having nuclear arms but denying them to others sound like having a new house on Seil Sound but objecting to permission for anyone else to build a house – what the planners call the ‘pull up the drawbridge, I’m alright’ mentality.
          Surely it’s not as simple as that – as long as you can have countries’ leaderships on the record as wanting to wipe out one of their neighbours, and actively developing the means to acquire a nuclear capability, you’re surely justified in retaining the nuclear option as a very real deterrent? If the nuclear powers decided to get rid of their deterrents, where would that leave the likes of North Korea, Pakistan and Iran? What if you lived in Israel, or even India?

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      • “Perhaps you have a problem understanding the concept of a “deterrent”?” no.
        Have you have a problem with understanding using a nuclear weapon is a crime against humanity.

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        • Deterant: What ? like fire bombing Tokyo/Hamburg/Dresden was ? are you saying that RAF pilots or indeed the pilots of Enola Gay were or are war criminals…While the likes of Pakistan/Northen Korea/Isreal have nukes I am content for us to have a stone to throw back…

          You don’t take a knife to a gunfight.

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    • Please explain how you arrive at “Using a nuclear weapon is a crime against humanity” other than expressing a personal opinion, noting that only two have ever been used and that 67 years ago against an aggressor. And Trident is most certainly not illegal under any law. Though if you are convinced it is, then please say under which law, national or international, you are about to take the British Government to court.

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      • “Please explain how you arrive at “Using a nuclear weapon is a crime against humanity””, no. Would be very interested in why it is not a crime against humanity.

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        • I note that you are unable to justify your claim that “using a nuclear weapon is a crime against humanity” except by requesting me to prove the opposite. That’s a real cop-out if ever I saw one. You clearly don’t have the courage of your convictions if you can’t justify it yourself. I also note that you have ignored my other point, which was to contradict your further claim that Trident is illegal, presumably because you have realised that there is no law which makes it illegal and therefore you are having to concede that you were indulging in a second unjustifiable claim.

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          • Why do I need to justify something to you. I do not need to answer any of your questions and as I choose not to how does that mean I am wrong. You are using playground logic.

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          • Why is using a nuclear weapon a crime against humanity? The fact that it is an indescriminate weapon killing, sorry vapourising women, children, all unarmed and having nothing whatsoever to do with a conflict which they find themselves in other than residing in a particular country the nuclear agresssor targets. This in my opinion would constitute a crime against humanity.

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  9. JimB: I’m not sure if the possession of nuclear weapons is illegal or not (and I agree totally about the hypocrisy of those nations who possess nuclear weapons (such as the USA) taking a high moral position about others trying to obtain them (such as Iran), especially when they turn a blind eye to the “illegal” nuclear weapons held by their allies (eg Israel).

    However, there is no doubt that the use of strategic nuclear weapons would be illegal (though this may be a moot point to those civilians on the receiving end of a ICBM). Nuclear weapons break pretty much every tenet of the Law of Armed Conflict http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/wars/a/loac_2.htm.

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    • Get real Dr…Iran with nukes ? the country is built for jihad…bothe shia and sunni would use the bomb to forward islamic extremism…
      The big 5: France/UK/Russia/China/USA do well to resist the likes of Iran developing nuclear weapons…and should be the last to give them up given…Pakistan/N.Korea are one side of the fence and Isreal and India are on the other.
      In regards to Iran having nukes I would hope that somebody will act soon and cancel the obvious threat of Iranian expansionism in the Gulf…

      PS:“illegal” nuclear weapons held by their allies (eg Israel). why do you feel it is illigal for Israel to not have the bomb given the humanitarian values of many of their neigbours .

      Visit Iran/Visit Isreal/Visit Pakistan…and then decide who is the more stable.

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      • Karl: I said “illegal” in regard to Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons in that, if Iran working towards having nuclear weapons is “illegal” then Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons is also “illegal” by definition because of the breach of the non-proliferation treaty.

        My point is about hypocrisy, not about the relative morality of the possession of nuclear weapons or not. There is nothing wrong with trying to prevent proliferation but only if you are prepared to disarm yourself as well.

        Iran using a nuclear weapon would be just as illegal as the UK using a nuclear weapon and would there be any MORAL difference between Iran using a nuke and the UK using one? This is a different question from asking if it is wise to allow Iran (or Pakistan) to have nuclear weapons but is it wise to allow Israel to have them or indeed anybody to possess weapons of mass destruction?

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        • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20002787

          There is nothing illegal about Iran having nuke power, but this is not their aim…”there is nothing illegal about Iran having nuke weapons”…but it is unwise or downright stupid to allow an extremist government that is ruled by priests rather than politicians to have access to any weapon other than a vial of holy water and a relegious text….

          I do not know if you have ever spent time in the middle east…but during the past 20 years the religious values of the muslim faith have become tainted by extremism to such a point we here have to now live under an unbrella of political correctness and indeed security awareness in our daily lives…the only hypocrisy I see, is our dumb ass reaction to not want to upset peoples sensibility in relation to certain areas of the Islamic faith that have been sold and swallowed religious facism..

          I respect the Islamic faith as portrayed by progressive islamic thinkers…but mark my words, the dark undercurrent sweeping through islam is intent on causing non-muslims and indeed certain factions of the islamic faith itself deep and lasting harm…the Iranian leaders would, attack Israel…it is there misguided religious duty.

          There is nothing immoral about protecting your people from a growing threat… what would be immoral is to ignor the threat. Read the BBC post above. Israel would be right to be pre-emptive in relation to Iran getting nukes…if they are not preemptive with conventional weapons in removing Irans capability to build nuke weapons, then at a later date Israel will after been attacked by Iran or it’s misguided minions launch nukes at Iran.

          Just because we have countries that are currently nuke owners does not make it right to allow others to join the club…

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  10. Good question SR. Perhaps it stands for something like Not A Turbine Overhead? Has NATO been infiltrated?

    Simon, it appears to be catching – I also find myself in agreement with the Doc. This is a worrying development!

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    • I just wish the SNP (tories in kilts) would get on with running the country…what a bloody stupid time to be focusing on an independent Scotland…we should all be pulling together for the greater good of Great Britain and NI…not chasing personal agendas via political posturing…Get out of the recession and then do the vote.

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        • Big problem with this Yes or No vote is if you cast your vote then it will be seen as a vote for that tribe. The past governments I remember are the Thatcher and Blair governments and now the Condems, with my anti war and nuclear beliefs, how can I vote No. This is before I look at the Yes vote.

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  11. I do not understand why companies want to erect wind farms in the counties of Perth & Kinross and Fife. Historically the wind in Scotland blows from the west so the obvious place to erect wind farms would be the West of Scotland.
    Having lived in Dundee for the vast majority of my life before I “emigrated” to Argyll I known how little wind blows in the East of Scotland compared to the county of Argyll.

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  12. I’m puzzled, Treble T. I thought you were against all wind turbines, including, as I recall, your neighbour’s very small one, but here you are apparently advocating that they should be put up in the county in which you now live!

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  13. What I find funny about this whole Trident debate is it’s complete irrelevance in my ‘real’ life. I have a broad spectrum of friends, from different backgrounds, of different ages and careers. Very few, if any have any particular stance on Trident, or Nuclear power for that matter.

    So what is so funny is how our Great Leader keeps telling ‘us’ that the people of Scotland want rid of it. I don’t, no-one I know does.

    I don’t see a referendum on Trident/nuclear power OR weapons mentioned ANYwhere.

    Meanwhile, we have lost the opportunity to have a job and power providing Nuclear power station in Scotland for the next few generations. We also risk (if our Great Leader gets his way) the devastating loss of a huge number of jobs IN ARGYLL and further afield should Faslane be closed at some point in the future.

    And I speak as one who has a nuclear power station 17miles on way, an arms dump about 7 miles another, and nuclear powered and armed Subs passing every other month – maybe i’m an IMBY? :)

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    • Trident a complete irrelevance to your ‘real life’ Jamie how blinkered can you get!! Weapons of mass destruction are an obscenity – end of. A nuclear weapons free world is not a utopian dream, and I hope that Scotland will be part of that peace movement for ourselves and our children.

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  14. Why on earth would Faslane close? There’s a commitment to keep it open as one of the homes of a conventional Scottish force. They would be on a par with the forces of other similar nations and and are unlikely to be housed anywhere other than existing bases.
    The NATO debate was underpinned by a fundamental agreement that Trident must go, so the vote was more than some oafish loyalty to a leader. There were a few broken hearts but the debate was civil and I lunched unscathed with people who voted the other way.
    Re windfarms, while I take objectors seriously (being one myself on occasion) these protesters were pretty extraordinary. There were several people wearing Ukip vests, two with top hats, many with Barbour attire. The speakers and yellers all had plummy accents and the overall impression was that these were the descendants of the people who once cleared the land to install their sheep. It did little for the anti wind-farm cause.

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    • Anne: ‘…people who once cleared the land to install their sheep…’
      An unfortunate analogy, at a time when there’s very real doubt about just what our government was engaged in when they ‘pulled’ the planning refusal for Donald Trump.
      Didn’t sheep generate more wealth than peasants?

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    • Well, we’re not going to have much a a Navy, are we?! And the skills to support waht we’re given will have gone elsewhere with Trident and the UK fleet – these people are employed by private companies, therefore will move to where the work is.

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      • The recent review of the possibilities open to a Scottish Defence Force
        http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_story.asp?id=21167

        suggests that an independent Scotland would have a navy of between 20 and 25 ships including frigates so we are going to need naval bases.

        However, as Robert reminded us the other day, Glen Douglas is a major munitions depot for NATO (though currently only used by the UK). If we remain in the NATO it is quite likely that the Clyde military complex will remain as part of NATO’s thinking and capabilities.

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    • You might want to check the history of the clearances…their roots and the major players… I would suggest you start with John Ross and then MacLeod of MacLeod.move on to Baillie, Gordon,, Macdonnell of Glengarry,etc, etc ..all is not what it seems as in general the major instigators did not have plummy English accents and did not come from south of the border…

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  15. The really funny reaction came from some odd-balls who claim to be both democrats and Nationalists –
    who nevertheless claomed that the vote was a plot by the leadership to defeat their wishes -
    and who totally fail to see that the only way to rid Scotland (and perhaps the UK) of these useless weapons of Mass Destruction is by achieving Independence first.

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  16. Yes Gerry, an astonishing failure to see the ‘big picture’!
    The possibility of a Nuclear Winter is perhaps hard to get their heads around!!

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  17. So, the NATO stramash has drawn first blood with two resignations. Hopefully that will be an end to the damage.

    I have to say I agree with Jerry – without independence there is no way Scotland can get rid of Trident – or indeed make a real and actionable decision on membership of NATO. Principles are great, but let’s hope people do not lose sight of the big picture.

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    • Should there not be a referendum on this? It’s a fairy big issue and just because SNP are in power, that does not, and never will mean that they have a mandate to remove Trident.

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      • No-one is suggesting for a minute that the current Scottish government can do anything about Faslane – defence is a reserved matter.

        The Independence referendum is all about having the power to make decisions concerning Scotland in Scotland. Removing Trident is only possible for an independent Scotland.

        If Scotland is independent in 2016 when the next Scottish elections are held then you will be free to vote for whichever party’s policies most closely match your views. Why on earth would we need another referendum on Trident?

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      • There is a referendum on Trident 2014, the majority of people in Scotland reject Trident yet the Scottish Unionists want to retain and modernise the Trident weapons system at a cost of £billions yet spending this money they will still have to ask permission of the USofA to use it in any circumstance as the missiles are leased
        Its whats sometimes called a no-brainer

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        • This is what will lose the Indy vote for SNP, and what will ultimately have SNP booted out of power.

          They, and the last two commentors have this exceptionally strong view that a vote for a party is an automatic vote for every single policy they propose. You have assumed that because people voted for SNP, they want rid of Trident.

          Are the SNP really so deluded? so presumptious? and so arrogant?

          Do they REALLY think this is the case?

          Here’s a wee reality check – at recent local elections I voted for an Independent candidate, despite the fact I don’t agree with everything he says or plans. That does not mean I expect that he will ignore my opinion on these matters in the future.

          Extrapolate that out in the wider context and you might just get where I’m coming from….

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          • And here’s a wee reality check for you Jamie . . . a YES vote in the referendum requires a lot of votes from outside the SNP camp. We are voting for our own parliament and democracy, not for a never-ending SNP fiefdom – and most Scots are smart enough to realise that. Demonising the SNP will not prove to be an effective way of generating a NO vote amongst thinking Scots.

            The two MSPs who resigned the SNP whip yesterday will still back the referendum and the YES campaign 100%, as will tens of thousands of other Scots who don’t agree with all the SNP’s policies.

            The SNP may well be ‘booted out’ as you so charmingly put it – but in elections to an independent Scottish parliament in 2016.

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          • I fear you miss my point SR, which ironically is actually giving positive food for thought for SNP.
            I’m trying to point out that for as long as SNP think that they have a full mandate for everything they believe in, they risk putting potential Yes voters off because there are too many ramifications of Independence – an example might be someone who’s job depends on Trident, but wants Indy. A vote for Indy would be to vote themselves out of a job in the medium to long term.
            Go with the lowest common denominator would be my suggestion – promise a referendum on Trident AFTER a Yes vote. Would that be too much like letting the people of Scotland make decisions that affect Scotland?
            .

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