Elizabeth-Anne CallahanElizabeth-Anne Callaghan, a Yes voter in 2014, says the SNP’s attempt to push Scots into a second vote by polarising our politics is letting down Scots who need bold, reforming government today.


So we now enter into some kind of Indyref: the sequel charm offensive period. I’ve been an observant by-stander of this in its first days. Social media is always a good place to observe, and it has been active.

As a Yes voter, some of the many debates I had with friends, family and work colleagues were around the practicalities of independence – currency, the economy, pensions and border control with England (most are not keen on this). Therefore I naively thought this was the tone the charm offensive would take. It hasn’t. It’s been more just predictably offensive.

I thought there would be a grown-up discussion regarding the Scottish Government’s recent Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures, and maybe a debate about the thorn in the side of Indy – currency. GERS does attract an annual battle depending on interpretation but one thing is for certain if you are serious about convincing cautious No voters, you cannot ignore or rubbish the figures.

But no, ignore and rubbish seems to be the preferred route of most who seem to be charged with wooing No voters. What could possibly go wrong ?

What has alarmed me most was the tweet of an SNP MP, whose somewhat typical contribution to the debate was:

I can only speak for myself but I won’t be picking either side. Neither appeals at all. The tweet is of course an irresponsible attempt to see a battle of British Nationalists v Scottish Nationalists. Pains me to say it but IF there is another Indyref vote with this as my choice, then I won’t be voting either way, meaning Yes will lose a vote.

This MP is of course right about Scotland’s frontline politics, it is dominated by nationalism (Brit/Scot). Nationalism, a joy to behold for Scotland’s public services with both supporters taking the moral high-ground that their nationalism is the best, for the good, and will sort Scotland public services. But it won’t. Only party polices and proper investment will do that, and Scotland’s current two nationalist parties (the Tories and the SNP) are both failing miserably in this area. I now see them as two cheeks of the same backside.

Nicola Sturgeon is no more Scottish than Ruth Davidson and Ruth Davidson is no more British than Nicola Sturgeon, and they are both no more Scottish or British than me. Same with Yes or No voters, you are no more Scottish/British than the next Yes/No voter. You can cram your social media profile photo with as many twibbons and flags as you can possibly fit in, it changes nothing. A profile picture and a referendum vote do not make you a better person.

As a common saying goes around these parts – we’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns.

Glasgow and the West of Scotland is no stranger to tribalism, and history shows both Scottish and British nationalists don’t have a good record, particularly when it came to welcoming starving people from Ireland. John Wheatley is the side I would have been on then, and that’s the side I will remain on. He wasn’t perfect (who is?) but Wheatley will be best remembered as someone who built council houses in Glasgow and introduced the Housing Act, not someone who hammered Glasgow with millions of pounds worth of cuts whilst waving a flag.

Don’t dare limit my choice to SNP or Tory and keep out modern day John Wheatleys, who do exist contrary to what nationalist parties and their supporters preach.

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29 thoughts on “We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns

  1. ” thought there would be a grown-up discussion regarding the Scottish Government’s recent Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures, and maybe a debate about the thorn in the side of Indy – currency. GERS does attract an annual battle depending on interpretation but one thing is for certain if you are serious about convincing cautious No voters, you cannot ignore or rubbish the figures.”

    YES YOU CAN! With indisputable evidence as to their unreliably their tainted political affiliations and the fact that they aint real figures but projections and guestimates made by an organisation with a dismal past record in projections and guestimates.
    Every single piece of data used by GERS comes from the OBR.




    You cant have a serious and convincing debate on economics with a corrupt institution determined to hide the true data facts and forecasts from everybody.
    While the Scottish Government registered yet another budget underspend this time to the tune of 444 million the UK Government recorded a 15 billion overspend which they along with their media attributed to Scottish Government spending claiming Scotland has a 15 billion deficit which clearly cant be the case if its Government and Parliament are recording underspends every year and have done since 1999.
    Take Oil and Gas for example. Norway with 75 fields managed to top up their massive Oil fund to the tune of a further 20 billion in NS revenues while the UK Government told us they barely took in 800 million.
    Now we know Norway has no reason to hide or put up false politically tainted stats and data on its Oil production but can we say the same about the UK Government?
    Either the UK Government is deliberately lying about its NS revenues or its displaying the worst levels of economic incompetence the world has ever seen.
    The price of Oil is the same for Norway as it is for the UK. Norway of course has a Nationalised Oil industry while consecutive UK Governments ideologically kept the UK Oil industry within the Private sector. Is this an indictment on that decision? Perhaps.
    But we can say for certainty that Independent Scottish Governments would be free to run our Oil and Gas as Norway runs theirs making the OBR predictions based on the status quo untenable.

    If you want a simple choice Elizabeth consider what ending Westminster authority means for Scotland.
    We lose an authority that acts more like an Organised Crime syndicate than a Political Parliament.
    A Parliament that can employ the entire State media to cover up and deliberately misinform the public on many issues.
    Take the Hillsbourgh tragedy as a glaring example.
    Take the so called investigations into Westminster paedophilia cover ups as another.
    Take the blanket absence of UK bombing in Syria and Libya stories as another.
    Take the blanket absence of the work being done by UK ground forces in Syria and Libya as another.
    Take the blanket cover up of atrocities being performed by UK forces in Afghanistan and Iraq as another.

    Take the fact that we are presently at war in 4 countries as a reason on its own!
    Take the fact that the UK establishment wants to spend over 200 billion on a huge white elephant using welfare cuts and benefit deprivation to pay for it.

    If you’re basing one of the most important decisions you’ll ever have to make in your life based on perceptions of Tribalism instead of any or all of the issues above then frankly you’re the issue and problem not those who you see as Tribal.

  2. As the PLP and it’s supporters, including Dugdale, tell us Labour under Corbyn are un-electable it looks like the UK is set to continue to be governed by Tories for years to come (thanks to the votes from England). It isn’t tribalism that’s frustrating folk living in Scotland. It’s that they cannot overlook the democratic deficit that has been further highlighted by the last GE and the EURef. SLab has flip-flopped from staunchly against another IndyRef to giving MSPs a free vote – I can’t even recall what the party’s current position is; it seems pointless trying to keep up.

    I can imagine it’s a very painful time to be a labour supporter/activist. But I hope that the frustrated comments of those that feel let down by Scottish Labour for continued support of the Union even if it’s under Tories (forever more) and outwith the EU doesn’t cause the loss of Yes voting Labour voters. The arguments for Scottish Independence from 2014 are more valid today than they were then.

    1. Scottish Labour’s policy has always been to oppose a second referendum, it was in our manifesto and it hasn’t changed.

      As the old saying has it, you can have your own opinions but you’re not allowed your own facts. 🙂

      1. Duncan, don’t you have a leadership election right now, in which one of the candidates wants to hold a second referendum?
        Oh, that’s right—-its on a DIFFERENT constitutional issue he wants a second referendum.
        Though he also stated he was not against a second SCOTTISH referendum until he was muzzled, but the principle is exactly the same—-if the facts change etc.

      2. Try using google to attempt to determine SLab’s position. BBC and Daily Express hits high on the confusing status reporting.
        I think the (current?) position is that SLab will vote against a second referendum (with whip?) but think that UK government (not Labour, for the foreseeable) should allow it if it goes through Holyrood and then the SLab MSPs maybe allowed a free vote in that referendum. Which isn’t at all contradictory.

        1. No, I’ll use Scottish Labour’s manifesto and stated policy to determine Scottish Labour’s position. As should you if you ever want to debate honestly again.

    2. And I have to take issue with the idea that the arguments for independence are more valid today than they were in 2014. Can you enumerate some of those arguments?

        1. “If Scotland had voted to leave the UK in 2014, it would have voted to leave the EU, too. The House of Lords Advisory Committee, indeed anyone who had ever opened a book on EU law, could have told you that. On the balance of probabilities, it was reasonable to argue that Scotland’s EU membership was safer in the UK.”

          That’s a quote from SNP voter and Yes campaigner Mark McLaughlin, from this piece: http://labourhame.com/what-you-can-do-for-labour/

          1. Because it turns out the independence referendum wasn’t the only thing that had an impact on the EU. It turns out the election of a Tory government had an impact too. It turns out a UK-wide referendum on the EU had an impact too. Who knew?

          2. So what? Ive already picked Mark up for making several untrue and frankly moronic statements on quite a few issues.
            He’s more a Labourhame mouthpiece than a Yes voter.
            Fact is there was no definitive evidence Scotland would be out of the EU with a Yes vote but more than enough founding facts to show it would have remained not least of all the fact that Scotland is in the EU and there is no legislation available to kick it out unless it chooses to leave on its own violation.
            We don’t even know whats going to happen with Brexit. We cant be sure the UK will be leaving the EU either but ones things for sure the EU cant kick the UK out anymore than they could kick out any constituent part of the UK.

    3. It’s not ‘painful’ at all.

      How can anyone feel let down by a Party that hasn’t been in power in Scotland for almost a decade ? If people do feel letdown then more questions need to be asked of the current administration surely ? The Tory vote is on the rise in Scotland and we did have Tory MPs in Glagow until 1979, I can see that happening again (thank you Nationalism)
      Any demise of the Labour Party doesn’t happen in isolation – as we are sadly finding out, the vulnerable in particular.

      1. The Tory vote when they were wiped from the electoral map was 24%. In the last election it was 22%. I wouldn’t categorise that as a rise

  3. So Alastair Darling, the ex Communist Labour Lord was telling fibs when he promised me EU citenship if i voted No?
    Who knew?

    1. You don’t seem to understand. You retained your EU citizenship after the No vote. It was true in absolutely every sense that the No vote preserved all of our EU citizenship.

      It was a series of *subsequent events* which has caused us to be in the position that that citizenship is now likely to be lost. *Not* the indyref vote.

      1. So it was the EU vote that meant that no Frigates would be built on the Clyde, even though we were promised them if we voted No in the Indy vote?

        1. Why are you claiming no frigates will be built on the Clyde? The last statement I saw from UK gov was that they were committed to them, they had set aside the budget for them, and they were undergoing a design process. Do you have something which contradicts that? Or are you simply fearmongering without basis?

      2. We would have retained our EU citizenship in the event of a Yes vote only we wouldn’t have lost it to a Westminster EU referendum result which had England and Wales make the decision to leave for Scotland and NI.
        When the UK ends Scotland can decide for itself whether it wants to remain in the EU or leave.

  4. “Because it turns out the independence referendum wasn’t the only thing that had an impact on the EU. It turns out the election of a Tory government had an impact too. It turns out a UK-wide referendum on the EU had an impact too. Who knew?”

    A yes vote would have made the election of a Tory Government in Westminster immaterial and there wouldn’t have been a UK wide referendum on the EU because the UK would no longer exist.
    You get more demented by the day.

  5. We are a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns, that is until you reach the White Cliffs of Dover.
    Then you are a foreigner to the BritNat narrow nationalist separatists.
    Oh sorry. Only the Scots are to be called separatists, apparently.

    1. You are thinking of a “John”, or a “Jack”, or a “Jock or Jockum”—-all old terms.
      The Americanism is a “Johnson”.

    1. They would but they’d lose access to the House of Lords and that’s more important to your average Red Tory.

  6. Just to clarify Tam Galbraith sorry Sir Tam Galbraith (Tory) was elected MP for Glasgow Hillhead in 1979.
    After he died another right winger (SDP) won the seat.

  7. Elizabeth – Agree with you with the SNP putting their head in the sand regarding currency, but their MP does indeed have a point. Scottish politics has come down to a battle of nationalisms, and it won’t be going away anytime soon.

    Anas Sarwar says: “We are not comfortable unionists and we are not comfortable nationalists”.
    But let’s not pretend Labour isn’t ultimately a British nationalist party first.

    At the end of the day, if we oppose a second referendum, we back the UK state by default. Just because we don’t wave flags doesn’t change the fact we are still backing Westminster government for Scotland, even if the Tories are likely to be in power for years to come.

    So we are putting extremist post-Brexit conservatism over socialism for Scotland – because of British nationalism.

    It doesn’t sit comfortably with me, and I will be voting Yes if we get another chance. A four nation federal UK seems like a reasonable alternative, but apart from Gordon Brown mentioning it now and again, Labour doesn’t seem that interested, and it all seems like a moot point when we just aren’t electable right now anyway.

  8. Even if labour could be guaranteed winning power in an independent Scotland, they would prefer for Scotland to be ruled by the Conservatives as part of the UK.

    Labour is a Unionist party that places defence of the union ahead of the possibility of delivering more progressive politics in an independent Scotland.

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