Jim O’Neill says he doesn’t want to be ripped out of Europe or out of the UK, and it’s time our leaders got on with running the country.

 

I am a European, I am a Brit and I am a Scot. I have lived for almost 40 years in Ayrshire, so that would make me an Ayrshireman too. I don’t see any conflict in these positions. Indeed, it can be argued that the suborning of petty nationalism into the European project has helped keep the peace in Europe since 1945. Further, the swift response of a united Europe to issues in Bosnia clearly prevented a Third Balkan War. (For those who hated history at school, the first two Balkan Wars were key causes of the First World War.)

But now Theresa May and the Tories are trying to rip me out of Europe, and Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are trying to rip me out of the UK. Stop the bus, I want to get off. Granted that Labour at Westminster were weak in opposing Brexit and are only now (possibly too late) hardening their stance, Labour in Scotland have always been strong in opposing another independence referendum, a referendum that all the polls say Scots don’t want. But Nicola isn’t listening.

So, what happened last Tuesday? The call for Indyref2 went through on a 69-59 vote with the Greens, who are becoming more and more Nicola’s lapdogs, overturning a promise made during their election campaign to oppose one until a million voters supported it. Indeed, they have said that they could not support any party who supported more drilling for oil, blindly ignoring the SNP support for the new drilling west of the Faroes, and the central part oil plays in the SNP’s budget for an independent Scotland.

Two days later, I saw something new at First Minister’s questions. It is not unusual for a Prime Minister or a First Minister to plant questions with their backbenchers so that they can get a cheer, or indeed seal-like applause from their supporters. On Thursday I saw, for the first time, a planted question being asked by a so-called opposition leader. It is no wonder that Nicola responded to Patrick Harvie, for it was he, with “I absolutely agree with Patrick Harvie”. Of course you do, since you clearly had asked the ersatz SNP’s leader to ask you those questions. Harvie didn’t even pretend he was making up the question on the spot as he read the pre-prepared questions from a crib sheet. Shame on you, Mr Harvie.

And what of Nicola’s staged picture and totally unnecessary letter about Indyref2 to Theresa May? The silly “laid back” picture, along with the handing the letter in to Downing Street to mirror the handing of the Article 50 letter to Donald Tusk (a requirement of the Treaty of Lisbon) just made her look artificial in the eyes of many. A stunt that worked like a damp squib.

One of the main rationales for the creation of the Scottish Parliament was that it was so difficult to get time for legislation that impacted solely on Scotland through the House of Commons. Under Labour, the Scottish Parliament passed a series of world leading pieces of legislation, including anti-smoking legislation, free bus passes, free care for the elderly and much more. The SNP has not brought a new piece of legislation before the Scottish Parliament in over a year. This confirms what we alleged last year, that they have run out of steam; but when they are failing on so many indicators in health, education, roads etc., surely someone in their ranks has an idea for legislation other than on Indyref2?

What have the great minds of John Swinney, Nicola Sturgeon, BFF Shona Robinson or Humza Yousaf come up with to improve the lot of the Scottish people? They cannot even make a decision on fracking. These people are paid to improve all our lives, not just to manage a genteel decline in our living standards. It’s about time they got on with the day job.

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28 thoughts on “I am a European

  1. Eh Jim Bob news flash sunshine. You will continue to be European British and Scots whether Scotland is in or out of the EU and in or out of the UK.

    “a referendum that all the polls say Scots don’t want.”

    Bare faced lie Jim Bob. Polls say the exact opposite.

    “overturning a promise made during their election campaign to oppose one until a million voters supported it”

    Another stupid bare faced lie Jim Bob the Greens have never said they’d oppose another Indyref.

    “Indeed, they have said that they could not support any party who supported more drilling for oil,”

    Never said that either Jim Bob.

    “blindly ignoring the SNP support for the new drilling west of the Faroes, and the central part oil plays in the SNP’s budget for an independent Scotland.”

    Does Labour oppose Oil production now Jim Bob?

    Planting questions with the Green party? Jesus H Christ Jim Bob. You really are on a roll today.

    “The SNP has not brought a new piece of legislation before the Scottish Parliament in over a year.”

    Apart from an entire Budget full of legislation of course.

    “that they have run out of steam; but when they are failing on so many indicators in health, education, roads etc.”

    Not relative to the rUK Jim Bob. Scotland is still outperforming the rUK in every department in spite of not being autonomous.

    “What have the great minds of John Swinney, Nicola Sturgeon, BFF Shona Robinson or Humza Yousaf come up with to improve the lot of the Scottish people?”

    Independence from Westminster Jim Bob. No more Tory ideology Jim Bob. Whats Labour answer? Another 20 years of Tories.

    This has to be one of your more demented moronic efforts to date Jim Bob. Not sure who it is you’re trying to reach with this mince?

  2. You are BEING ripped out of Europe currently.
    How do you suppose Scots decide if this is acceptable other than indyref2?
    A differential Brexit for Scotland would solve this.
    Brexit has triggered this situation not the SNP.

  3. The reality is, Jim, for Scotland to leave the U.K, it would have to vote to do so. I suspect the prospect of Brexi Britain will concentrate minds.

  4. Don’t worry Jim, we’re only leaving The EU, not Europe, we’re still all Europeans, there’s no changing that fact.
    The Labour Party had to step aside in order to let the referendum decision stand.

    Our battle now, is the battle of Britain. We have to start fighting for the improved living and working conditions of the British people.

    We need to stop kidding ourselves that the EU has provided ordinary working people with some kind of Utopia. It clearly hasn’t. If the EU is so great at protecting workers rights why are so many people stuck on zero hour contracts?

    The people voted to leave the EU and the Tories are implementing that decision. What else was supposed to happen?

    Nevertheless, you are bang on Jim: The SNP have no solid mandate for their “indyref2”, the supposed mandate has more holes in it than a teabag. The Scottish people do not want another “indyref”. In fact, more and more people who voted Yes, are getting sick to the back teeth of the SNP’s antics and constant carping.

    Here’s some advice for all you hypernats that love to haunt these pages;

    Don’t hang out the bunting too soon.

    The council elections aren’t going to be the “big party” that you’re expecting.

    To be honest; for the SNP they’re going to be more like a wake.

    Nicola Sturgeon is fast turning into the “Miss Havisham” of Scottish politics, waiting for an “indyref” that’s never going to happen.

    Oh dear, how very sad………Not.

    The next few years will be interesting; Britain is a tinderbox.

    Theresa May is no leader. At the height of the fighting in the EU referendum she hid behind the couch and only slithered out to pick up the crown, after the battle was over.

    May could easily have said that there would be no “indyref” in the lifetime of her leadership. Instead she opted for the weasel words of “now is not the time”.

    May did this for the most cynical of reasons. She could have dealt a fatal blow to the SNP, however they’re far more use to her as the walking wounded, not strong enough to force “indyref2”, but strong enough to cause concern of another “indyref”, that conveniently, only May and her Tories can stop.

    The long and short of this? It keeps the SNP staggering on, delivers the unionist vote to the Tories and totally divides the Scottish working class.

    So May and Sturgeon are two sides of the same rotten coin. Both of these characters are happy to have the people of Scotland at each other’s throats for the indefinite future, for the own personal and political gain.

    Whether it’s “Politics isn’t a game” or “Stronger for Scotland”. There is no difference, it’s all a con.

    When the penny eventually drops with the Scottish people; that the SNP have happily been playing the role of the Tories useful idiots, all hell’s going to break loose.

    And that’s a fact.

    1. I love your references, Andy. Great fun for an old Historian to pick them out. The idea of Theresa May slipping out to pick up the crown after the fighting was over like a latterday King John is great. We all know how that ended at Runnymede. I still wish we had been the vouce of the 48% though

    2. Say hello to the ostrich for me Andy, and don’t get your nostrils full of sand.

    3. I must admit i find your incoherant rants indicative of Labours complete intellectual malaise.

    4. “Our battle now, is the battle of Britain. We have to start fighting for the improved living and working conditions of the British people.”

      And clearly the way to do that is to remove the social checks and balances the EU provided to prevent right wing extremist English Tory parties imposing anti workers legislation and anti Human rights legislation.

      “The people voted to leave the EU and the Tories are implementing that decision. What else was supposed to happen?”

      The people of Scotland didn’t vote to leave Andy. So whats supposed to happen is that we stay in the EU.

      “The SNP have no solid mandate for their “indyref2”, ”

      Except its far more solid than the mandate to hold an EU ref was.

      “The Scottish people do not want another “indyref”.”

      It would take a referendum to determine that as a fact Andy.

      “In fact, more and more people who voted Yes, are getting sick to the back teeth of the SNP’s antics and constant carping.”

      Really? You mean like Jim Sillars?

      “The council elections aren’t going to be the “big party” that you’re expecting.”

      I don’t know what to expect from the council elections the STV system is going to make it unpredictable. But I bet my left nut that Labour is going to do really really badly nearly as badly as UKIP.

      “Nicola Sturgeon is fast turning into the “Miss Havisham” of Scottish politics, waiting for an “indyref” that’s never going to happen.”

      I keep telling you Andy it doesn’t have to happen for you sunshine. You can ignore it completely. Probably best if you did.

      “May did this for the most cynical of reasons. She could have dealt a fatal blow to the SNP”

      See that’s the problem Andy if she could have she would have. The fact that she didn’t proves she cant. You’re just indulging yourself in wishful thinking delusions again. That’s what happens when you have no control over events and theyre heading for places you don’t want to go.

      “The long and short of this? It keeps the SNP staggering on, delivers the unionist vote to the Tories and totally divides the Scottish working class.”

      The Union has always belonged to the Tories Andy. The entire Westminster establishment has been nothing but Tory for 310 years.

      “So May and Sturgeon are two sides of the same rotten coin. Both of these characters are happy to have the people of Scotland at each other’s throats for the indefinite future, for the own personal and political gain.”

      Except its Labour jumping into bed with the Tories over the Union that’s keeping Scotland divided on the issue.
      Labour betraying every principle they ever had in order to ensure Scotland suffers continually under Tory mismanagement and criminal corruption.

      “When the penny eventually drops with the Scottish people; that the SNP have happily been playing the role of the Tories useful idiots, all hell’s going to break loose.”

      Wow now there is a prime example of what Projection looks like. A Prime example.

      Well up to your usual pathetic and delusional standards Andy.

  5. Labour is all over the place on Brexit. At its September conference it wanted an election or a second referendum to verify Brexit. Then the leadership denied this was the case, and that Labour was a supporter of Brexit .
    Though its middle class support are mostly “remainers”, its working class support are mostly “leavers”, so its a struggle to keep the party from splitting even more than it already is.
    So Labour MIGHT have supported a second referendum on Brexit—–but not for Scotland or the Scots on self government.
    Dugdale MIGHT have supported independence for Scotland due to Brexit, but then she got the tap on her shoulder to remind her she is a Britnat. So now she is against Scots having a say on their constitutional position, “NO MATTER WHAT.” Pathetic!
    Sturgeon stated in public, that independence would be OFF THE TABLE, if a deal could be reached with May to maintain access to the single market for Scotland—a position that David Martin, Labour MEP, stated yesterday was both reasonable and deliverable. Sturgeon got absolutely no support from the hypocrits in Labour, Tory or Lib Dumb parties.
    As for the Greens, independence is their party position. It would have been very strange that they would NOT support a referendum on independence. It is already odd that they troop through the same lobby as the *Labourtorylibdumb* Party which is gung-ho in its belief in drilling for oil. Is it not ? Only if the taxes go to London.

  6. Jim, You might see yourself as a European, a Brit and a Scot but just because you’ve lived in Ayrshire for 40 years does not make you an Ayrshireman. I thocht you wid have kent that.

    1. Sadly all too true, Richard, 30 years in Stewarton did not make me a Stewartonian, although my kids are

  7. Jim you are in a right pickle your Labour Party UK head Office in Westminster voted alongside the Tories to trigger Article 50 and your Labour Party UK Lords did not scupper it in the Lords and gave the Tories the rubber stamp on triggering Article 50. You also moan about how the Scottish Parliament was set up so as to give no overall control on legislation well it is the same for all parties so you cannot blame the success of the SNP to pass manifesto legislation if they have the numbers. The problem that you have Jim is that you cannot make your mind up whose side you are on I want stay in EU but because Nicola Sturgeon SNP is fighting for this its SNP Bad. Jim what is your position is it to be part of a Torie Unionist UK Hard Brexit or an Independent Scotland in the EU come on get a grip and make a decision.

  8. Jim, your just not a happy man are you, I can tell.. Have you tried another relaxing pastime like creative writing?

    1. Sorry, Stephen, to disappoint you but I am very happy, especially as I read the phone and doorknocking returns in North Ayrshire

  9. You left a few things out. Christine Grahame SNP MSP and Deputy Presiding Officer in the Scottish Parliament has said that SNP whips are to good at their jobs. She has said the SNP backbenchers are not willing to take on the government whips. They need to do more to hold the government to account.
    The local papers have articles from our SNP MSP reporting the Indy Ref resolution. Nothing about the local election . Another thing you left out is Nicolas 5 day holiday to the USA that we are paying for. I could also mention regarding the Indy Ref letter the FM gave a pooled interview to the BBC . She refused to give an interview to STV . That really pissed them off. Perhaps someone one will explain why she did that. Another thing that needs explaining I accept that the brexit vote is a disaster but what steps are our SNP friends taking to ensure that a so called Independent Scotland would have free access to the huge UK market on our border. That question needs to be answered but Nicola isn’t listening.. She has gone on a 5 day jaunt to the USA in the middle of the local election campaign.
    In my area that has not gone unnoticed but Nicola isn’t listening. On Monday I was in my GPS surgery it was packed staff trying to cope. Chemist overwhelmed Staff struggling to cope. patients in both including me under stress.. In the chemist patients with walking disabilities struggled to find a seat. Those problems are what we want the Scottish government to fix. But NICOLA ISNT LISTENING. But behold our FM has just taken time out of her busy USA schedule . She has given a tv interview from the USA welcoming President Obamas visit to Scotland .Perhaps she would like to be here as well. But Nicola isn’t listening. Jim that’s what you should have called your blog

    1. “Nicolas 5 day holiday to the USA that we are paying for” – I think you will find that former Labour FM’s also went to the USA at taxpayers expense, so why do you criticise NS – typical Labour double standards that the public at sick to death of.

      “She has gone on a 5 day jaunt to the USA in the middle of the local election campaign” – so what, the Scottish Parliament is in recess for Easter. Strange you didn’t criticise Dugdale for campaigning in the USA elections when the Scottish Parliament wasn’t in recess!

      You have mentioned a few times about the local elections not being used for local issues, again double standards as both Labour and the Tories have openly stated they want to make the local elections a vote against the SNP and their Independence Referendum plans.

      Maybe you should stop commenting until you can get some basic facts right – oh that’s right, Unionists don’t do facts, do they!

    2. Tell me, David, did you complain about Jack McConnell going to,the U.S. In his natty wee pin striped kilt?

  10. Like Jim O’Neill I think of myself as Scottish, British and European and I’d love to stay in the UK and the EU. I would draw the line at Ayrshire though! I would also agree with much of the criticism of the SNP.

    However we are being forced into a situation where we have to make some hard choices. Unlike many commentators on this site I don’t want Scottish independence. But I do believe it is the less bad of the options that we are being presented with.

    I’m sure Jim shares my horror with the UK being in a policy alliance with Donald Trump, UKIP and the French National Front.

    The difference is that for me this is a step too far: when I am face to face with a valuable Polish employee in tears because she is potentially facing deportation my instinct is to back the worker against the far right.

    I do think it’s a huge shame that (most) of Scottish Labour feel that that in this situation they need to support the far right against the worker.

    1. Welcome to the circus, grangedigital. I agree with all you say. But I will just have to stay born and bred North Lanarkshire

  11. “Stop the bus, I want to get off.”

    Unfortunately we in Scotland find ourselves in a situation not of our making. We voted to remain in the UK (55-45) and voted to remain in the EU (62-38) – but can’t have both those things. We can not simply opt out of facing the issue, as you appear to want, as the doing nothing option means that Scotland gets taken out of the EU along with the rest of the UK.

    And yet you oppose a second referendum because you don’t think the people of Scotland should be allowed to reconsider the issue of independence in the light of the fundamentally different situation? When Labour MEP David Martin is stating that he is considering whether he would back independence in a second vote, you must realise that things have changed.

  12. “But now Theresa May and the Tories are trying to rip me out of Europe, and Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are trying to rip me out of the UK. Stop the bus, I want to get off.”

    There is no way to get what you seem to want – which is to stay in both Europe and the UK. This has been the reality ever since 24 June last year. There are broadly two options for where Scotland will end up and that is either independence with an eye to maintaining EU membership or a Brexit Britain delivered by the Tories.

    Trying to straddle the middle fence is not possible. Doing so tacitly backs the Tory Britain option. The offer of “more federalism” is meaningless without any power to implement it.

    Still banging on about those 51-50% polls, huh? http://survation.com/holyrood-decide-new-independence-referendum-majority-scots/

    Nicola’s photo op – it was obvious to anyone with an ounce of political awareness that her sitting pose was partially a response to the Daily Mail’s “Legs-it” front page.
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/sites/sbs.com.au.news/files/legsit.jpg
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2017/03/30/TELEMMGLPICT000124701154-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqcM9aBJczjGu2JtrWg8AaNebpMG9uWgcnc3MvHmUFhjA.jpeg

    As for legislation – you’re omitting the Budget in your list, as well as all secondary legislation and current bills before the chamber.
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi
    http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/576.aspx

    It’s a pity more powers weren’t devolved during the Smith Commission process, or Holyrood really would have no excuses for not pumping out ill-considered bills such as the Investigatory Powers Act or the Great Repeal Bill(which empowers ministers enormously). I wonder whose fault that was. Oh wait…

  13. Thing is, Jim, you won’t be ripped out of the U.K. Dcotland will need to vote to leave. On the other hand, you will be ripped out of Europe, even though Scotland voted against it. Still, better together, eh Jim.

  14. In my area people are telling us Nicola isn’t listening. They are fed up with Indy and Brexit always on tv. The USA tri p a presentational disaster when campaigning I don’t have to raise this. The public are doing it with us. They want Nicola to work on local issues . The local NAT members know this . They are getting the same feedback. It is also emerging the amount of time the FM and her ministers have spent sweettalking Europe when they would have been better spending time on home affairs.. After the vote 80 meetings with EU leaders after BREXIT . In the 5 months after the vote the FM went to Belgium Germany Bosnia and Ireland. 2 other ministers went to Germany Belgium Italy France and Malta. Meanwhile back in Scotland .In my area the little things packed surgeries Stagecoach putting the fare up on the main route where there is no opposition. Scottish Water carrying out extensive roadworks and while at it flooding the street .That went down well with our FM also giving an interview from sunny California to the folks back home in Scotland that night.
    All talk of another Indy Ref should have been left until after the local election. No matter how people vote in May people in my area are not saying the SNP aren’t listening its Nicola isn’t listening. So Nicola start listening do your job put the Passport away. Stay in Scotland work on local issues. Don’t get the plane Do what I and 23 other people did on Monday wait for 28 mins for a bus that’s due every 7 mins

  15. The FM in a speech in Glasgow has taken the opportunity to warn so called cyber bullies on either side their activities will not be tolerated in any future Indy Ref. This in my opinion is to be absolutely welcomed. There is nothing Social about Social Media. As i write this BBC News is reporting a man has been jailed for comments he made on Facebook concerning an MP. Recently Police Scotland said they are investigating Death threats made against all Scottish political leaders on Social Media. The FM asked for a future debate to be conducted with courtesy and respect. She is correct and for me that is the line we MUST all take. If we don’t then we will all be tarred with the bullies brush and we will all pay for it. The FM also said she advised David Cameron in 16 to lower the voting age to 16 for the EU ref. She said if he had remain might have won and Cameron would still be PM

  16. Jim,
    There is a serious problem with your approach to your own identity, “I am a European, I am a Brit and I am a Scot. I have lived for almost 40 years in Ayrshire, so that would make me an Ayrshireman too”. The problem is that with all these layers comes a layer of government. Now you wont recognise the seriousness of the problem, being a ‘Labour Man’ you wont see a problem at all. But there is a massive problem with four layers of government. It is that four is unnecessary and unaffordable.
    Labour have never had a problem with top heavy bureaucracy. They like it. Labour cant see what the problem is. The rest of us can see that we should keep expensive politicians to a minimum, and that too many layers results in unseemly fighting between the layers for power and influence. This is not a good way to run our affairs and can become an embarrassment.
    Brexit is going to remove one layer. From a purely numerical argument this is good Jim, but is it good Jim? Is it good for Scotland? That is the question. Are we doing away with the layer that is least required? What do you think Jim?

  17. Jim, it is time you reflect on what is good for Scotland’s people, the threats and opportunities facing them, and come up with a coherent view of what the future needs to look like.

    Your ramble above is frankly embarrassing. Your prejudices and disappointments and frustrations are blurring your vision.
    Drop the anti-referendum stuff. It is a flawed campaign at so many levels.
    Drop the petty point picking. It diminishes you rather than your targets.
    Stop listening to Kezia. She would do in a Saint’s head.

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