Four things to think about in relation to Scot Nats


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I’ve been thinking about the Scot Nats Party. It’s hard not to, since they’re receiving almost as much coverage in the English and Irish media as they no doubt are in the Scottish media. And there are a number of points that come home with paradoxical force.

1. The Scot Nats lost the referendum on Scottish independence. Not by a  point or two, but by 10% . In any language,  a trouncing. That was less than a year ago. Instead of the party slinking off to lick its wounds, something extraordinary happened: its membership increased five-fold inside six months. They are now poised to do to Labour what they’ve already done to the Conservatives in Scotland: that is, virtually wipe them out. From six seat to a projected fifty or so is nothing short of stunning.

2. There have been efforts by the Tories and Labour to discourage Scottish people from voting for the Scot Nats next week. The Labour Party, naturally, doesn’t want to be wiped out, so it’s telling voters that a Scot Nats vote is really a Tory vote, since it’ll increase the chances of Cameron getting back into government. The Tories for their part have been telling Scottish voters not to vote for Scot Nats, since they’re hell-bent on destroying the United Kingdom. But in similar fashion to the attacks on Gerry Adams by politicians and the media, the more they bash the Scot Nats, the more popular they seem to become. Frustrating or what?

3. Unionists here in our own feverish north-eastern corner have made considerable play of the links between Northern Ireland and Scotland. Granted, that involves ignoring the fact that one of the Ulster counties with the strongest Scottish links – Donegal – is not part of Northern Ireland. But hey, let’s not split hairs. Let’s emphasise  the cultural and social links between people here and people in Scotland. One strong strand in the ties that bind  – Ulster-Scots – has arisen and been claimed as a language, which it clearly isn’t, as distinct from a dialect, which it clearly is. But the central point is that Northern Ireland has the closest, warmest ties with Scotland. Always has, always will have. Our ain folk and all that. Only now a growing number of Scottish people appear to want to get out of a Union they passionately believe hinders them from achieving full nationhood. Now who does that sound like? Well yes, Scot Nats. But also Sinn Féin.  Eeeek.

4. Should the unthinkable ever happen and  Scotland does have another referendum, this time voting themselves out of the Union with Britain, a massive question confronts us: what will Nelson McCausland do with his kilt? Answers on a postcard, please, to Red Sky, c/o DUP.



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47 Responses to Four things to think about in relation to Scot Nats

  1. Michael Quilligan May 2, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    Good stuff…as always

    • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      Grma, Michael. Who was it said ‘I could live off a good compliment for a week’? (Mark Twain, I think)

  2. IrelandSaoirse May 2, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    Great stuff Jude,you can live of that for another week!! LOL> The more the freestate media attack SF the more it strengthens the core vote and anyone with half a brain can see through it,the establishment is scared to death of SF because SF is connecting with and working for the ordinary people,not the elites as FG do,Labour are a disgrace for propping up these blueshirts,whatever credibility Labour had is long gone.
    I hope I live to see a true Irish republic and a free and Independent Scotland,free from English interference.

  3. John Patton May 2, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Living here, Jude, it is difficult not to believe that the inevitable will happen; Scotland will be independent in less than a decade. Those who voted’No’ in the Referendum feel betrayed by Camerons past-ref , dawn announcement of ‘English votes for English People’ . Milliband’s assertion that he would have nothing to do with the SNP, should he form a Government, gives the clear message that the Scots wishes do not count at Westminster. Nelson, put your kilt into a charity shop.

    • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

      Or a museum, John…I think Milliband hand no choice but to say he wouldn’t do business with SNP – if he had the last lingering chances of Labour in Scotland would have curled up and died at his feet. Post-election, if the figures stack up, just watch him…

  4. Cushy Glen May 2, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    I lived in Scotland for 5 years & got to know some prominent SNP members.

    I remember when I first arrived there in early 2009 & had my first meeting with an SNP minister in connection with a project i was involved in. We met him his constituency. Up until then I had been used to meeting ministers of various persuasions in NI.

    I was immediately struck by the informality of my meeting with the Scots minister. There were no special advisers or civil servants present, not even a secretary He took his own notes!). It was just himself and 3 or 4 of us lobbying for support. He was open & frank & supportive where he could be. The openness was so refreshing.

    In NI there were always a posse of hangers on with every minister wherever you met them, making sure they didn’t say the wrong thing. The ministers on all sides were completely controlled by their civil servants. They operated according the age old principle: whatever you say, say nothing. To say dealing with Ni Ministers was a frustrating process is a massive understatement. It was so refreshing to deal with ministers in Scotland who were accessible and close to the people.

    This is one of the reasons the SNP have done so well. They are trusted by a much larger section of their electorate and they are much closer to the people than most of their opposite numbers in NI. In addition of course they do not have a sectarian bias: both Catholics and Protestants belong to and support the SNP.

    This is a major factor in contributing to the landslide that the SNP experienced in 2011 regional elections & the even greater landslide predicted for next week. If NI politicians want to see the same results for their party they need to get some of the basics right. Sadly (for them) most – if not all – of them are not even at first base.

    • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

      Interesting post, CG. And also interesting that George Galloway is anti-Scottish independence, because he says it would intensify sectarianism in Scotland. Sits strangely at odds with notion – well-based – that Scot Nats span different religious backgrounds.

      • Cushy Glen May 2, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

        Jude, I never detected any sectarianism connected to the SNP & coming from this place my antenna would have picked it up double quick. Sectarianism in Scotland is largely a thing of the past except if you’re an Orangeman from Glasgow.

        This is evidenced by the collapse of the Labour vote which some would say drew a lot of support from those of Irish Catholic extraction & the collapse of the Tory vote drawn largely from middle class Protestants. Both are now voting SNP.

        Happily the constitutional issue in Scotland never divided along sectarian lines. Why? Because for generations the parties of government – Labour, Tories, Liberals – all made themselves accountable to the entire Scots electorate & there was no need (unlike NI) to create little local parties representing narrow sectional interests. Northern Ireland NEVER had this democratic entitlement, even before partition.

        Galloway’s response to the SNP & Scots nationalism is very disappointing. He is I believe simply jealous of the SNP’s success & wishes it was a party led by his own enormous ego.

      • Joe Canning May 2, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

        Don’t you think Galloway is right though Jude? The Orange order will cause mayhem with their marching and their string along hooligan bigots.

        • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

          You mean you think they need an excuse? As I understand it, the SNP spans Catholics and Protestants in Scotland.

  5. Perkin Warbeck May 2, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    One indeed feels for Poor Sommie, Esteemed Blogmeister, now that Oor Wullie is on the verge of twa-fingering the Queenie-aye-oh..

    But the signs were there for even the myopic PS to see: some years ago in a poll organised by The Scotsman newspaper to find the most popular Scot of the lot, the result of the first past the poll came as follows:

    1. Oor Wullie.
    2. Oor Wullie Wallace
    3. Oor Jammie, aka Sean Connery.

    Now, while it was taken for g. that the silver and bronze medallists were Scots Nats (spelled Gnats by Poor Sommie -the g is silent as in gnome of Zurich) some doots lingered over the political leanings of the wee golden laddie himself, Oor Wullie.

    Nae any longer. Having gathered his Spin Doctors together (l to r: Fat Boab, Soapy Souter and Wee Eck) for a pre-election convention in the abandoned caravan which serves as the gang’s HQ, on the outskirts of Aughtermuchtie and called Holly Rude, Oor Wullie, in his spiky hair, muckle boots and dungarees, sat down on his upturned bucket.

    He was later to emerge with the following statement. Which proved to be cryptic and concise as befitted the decision to have done with the Sassenach:

    -Awa’ an’ bile yer heid !

    This injunction, indeed, was destined to become Oor Wullie’s instantaneous electioneering slogan. Needless to s., it put an immediate wynd up the likes of the overweening neighbour to the South, Moaning Mildew and this absentee landlaird’s local bailiff, the town bully, Basher McTurk.

    The first item on the agenda once Oor Wullie’s Party finishes top dawg is to take over Balmoral overnacht, install Primrose Paterson and to rename it, Bouncy Castle in her honour.

    Noted comic book connoisseur, Harry McAvinchy will recognise Primrose P as the hitherto annoying girl-person who was a thistle in the haggard of Oor Wullie’s boyhood.

    But that was then, and this is noo. Of late she has reached the stage of locking the lavatory dure and Oor Wullie himself has taken to borrowing a razor from, och aye, Old Occam, nae less. Things are noo longer the same nae mair.

    As the old Scotch saw has it in the Q’s English translation: ‘Even a Famous Grouse like Oor Wullie takes time to mature’

    Once Primrose Paterson’s lallans began to develop into cairngorms (Perkie’s inner philologist confesses to being flummoxed by this dialectical materialism:is there,he pleads, an Ulster-Scots translator on the premises?) Oor Wullie promptly gave his pet moos, whom he had found infinitely preferable to Primsore Pup to this, the sack.

    Aye fond kiss, ye wee sleekit,timorous, cowering beastie, and then we sever.

    A Bouncy Castle is nae kinda hoos to hae’ a moos loos aboot in, if ye ken. Lassies being what they are,, where the wee mammal belonging to the order of rodents are concerned, those having a pointed snout, small round ears, a body-length scaly tail, a high breeding rate and a particular partiality to….corn.

    A particular venom is reserved by the lassie known as Primrose P. for a mouse who was a previous paramour of Oor Woolie, and to which mammal she disparagingly refers to as ‘Glossy Sleazy Mags’. And PP has already threatened that if she is ever seen to infiltrate Bouncy Castle she will be immediately consigned, not to the dungeon, but,worse,the top-shelf.

    Where the top-shelf corn is stored.

    (An exception is made only in the case of those wee mammals belonging to the strain known as Mousus Computerus).

    Speaking of corn, one will conclude with a concern for the future of those tactile tactical allies of Poor Sommie in Norneverland, in the event of Oor Wullie’s impending triumph in Tartan Land.

    What will be the long term prospects of Hamish Mallon and the other heads in the SDLP (for it is they!). How willl they be able to sow their, erm, tame oats of allegiance in an increasingly barren Step Mother of Parliaments?

    Mine’s a wee deoch a’ durais, Harry.

    Lauder !

    Mine’s a wee DEOCH A’DURAIS, Harry !!.

  6. Séamus Ó Néill May 2, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    Regardless of the outcome of that referendum , and some believe there was more than the hand of destiny involved in it’s result , a Scottish relative informed me that when the dust had settled and they began talking stock ,they realised that perfidious Albion had been at its work again…..all the promises were empty boxes , the Parliament’s life would run out and they would be worse off than before….National question settled ! I believe this is where the upsurge in support for the SNP ( not overlooking the oratorial skills and intelligence of the party leader ) came from……That National question is far from resolved and it’s worrying unionism more than they care to admit.

    • Cushy Glen May 2, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

      Unionism especially in NI are right to be very worried about Scots nationalism.

      If the Scots pull it off & get their independence (I believe they inevitably will), there will be such a powerful reaction within England against what will be then seen by them as ‘hangers on’ in Wales & NI that NI will be forced to find a home elsewhere.

      As in most things NI’s future will be decided elsewhere.

  7. Iolar May 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    Thistle do rightly

    The SNP is on course to make significant electoral gains in spite of the vitriol pouring from Tory, Labour and some Unionist organs. Many voters in Scotland reject dated rhetoric that advocates the need to defeat the forces of separatism and socialism. Ms Sturgeon’s priorities have more to do with earning a living wage and the cost of living while champagne socialists ruminate about the Red Clyde. The SNP is a driver for change and will play a dynamic role in what to date has been a two-party monopoly of government.

    An Ipsos-Mori poll has predicted the SNP will win 59 seats. Open war has broken out between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories while Mr Miliband rules out a ‘formal’ post-election pact with the SNP. It is once again a case of listen to what politicians say but watch what they actually do. The Tory Party, the Labour Party and the Unionist Party have one thing in common. Each party has had the opportunity to govern. There is one positive result, voters will no longer trust any party with an outright majority.

  8. Sherdy May 2, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    Jude, you make the valid point that the SNP were trounced by 10% in the referendum.
    True, but that was partly due to the fact that they were bullied, browbeaten, lied to and threatened as to the consequences of even thinking of independence, and they were afraid.
    But we can thank Cameron’s tactical move at 7.30 the next morning announcing the idea of English votes for English people.
    The Scots who, overnight, had been in the depths of despair, metaphorically got up off their knees and it is their anger which has made such a change in their psyche.
    Cameron’s behaviour since the referendum, one would think, has been deliberately designed to alienate his neighbours and drive them to independence. What are his spin doctors thinking?
    You reckon on SNP getting 50 seats next week, but it is quite possible they will mop up all 59 that are up for grabs, and if that is the case they will be a mighty force to be reckoned with.
    By the way, do you think any British government would be so concerned if Stormont decided to negotiate for independence?
    Not a chance, they would send us our P45s and not even ask for a fortnight’s notice to leave.

    • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

      Ha ha, Sherdy – I think you’re right on that last one. Maybe with a tenner in the envelope by way of a going-away pressie….

      • Sherdy May 2, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

        Jude, when was a British government ever that generous?

  9. neill May 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    You could have mentioned about Gerry Kellys sectarian election material mm strange that you didn’t…

    Strange you didn’t mention either the corruption at the heart of DCAL which is guess what headed by a SF minister still I am sure you will get round in due course to doing so

    SNP wont don’t as well as people say Labours vote in Scotland is firming up.

    As for SF working for everybody well you do have a good sense of humour IrelandSaoirse

    Still if the good people of the south want to vote for a man who turned a blind eye to child abuse go ahead be my guest!

    • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

      Ah Neill – you sound a bit like today’s weather. Loosen up. I’m not sure which piece of GK sectarian election material you’re referring to – and isn’t that illegal? Corruption at heart of DCAL – again, you’ll have to tell me all about it. (Btw – you never did tell me your source for that smear charge – shome mishtake shurely?) Re SNP: so how many Labour MPs would you say Scotland will have in a week’s time? And what evidence do you have that (I assume this is what you mean) SF aren’t working for unionists in their constituency, the same as nationalists/republicans?

      • neill May 2, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

        By the BBC Jude

        • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

          Damn – no, not you neill. It’s damn that the layout in these posts aren’t sequential, so I’m not sure which conversation with you you’re inserting the BBC reference to…Oh – the source, is that it? For…sectarian literature? If it is, check out what I’ve said to gio – I find calling a check on probably voting intentions through checking religious background eminently sensible. I also find the idea that because one votes unionist or nationalist/republican, one is dumb and programmed from birth deeply insulting.

          • neill May 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

            No for the smear

          • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

            Ah – that’s different. I don’t know if that’s so. If it’s true, it’s wrong and bad, no matter who did it.

      • giordanobruno May 2, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

        Neill is, I think, referring to the leaflet starkly pointing out that there are more Catholics than Protestants in North Belfast, so hey lets vote the way we have been bred to, all stay in our boxes, forget all that protestant catholic and dissenter stuff.
        A woeful piece of sectarian electioneering and I suspect many SF supporters are embarrassed by it.

        • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

          Given the respect I have for you, gio, you’ll know that the word “Bollocks!” doesn’t spring to my lips readily. But with you this time I’ll make an exception. Fact: most Protestants are unionist, most Catholics are nationalists/republicans. I see both those political positions as perfectly respectable. So if you want to establish how many unionist/nationalist potential voters there are in a constituency, you check out the number of Catholics and Protestants. That doesn’t mean you hate Catholics or Protestants – there’s a difference in counting and hating, y’know. And anyone who thinks that voting unionist or nationalist is mindless is either very silly or very superior. Are you very superior, gio? And if so, can you tell me which party I should vote for so I’ll prove I’m very mindful?

          • neill May 2, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

            The point is Jude that SF are supposed to be non sectarian at least we can put that belief to bed now.

            So Republicans are as bad as Unionists now ah Wolf Tone were are you now?

          • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

            Cheesh neill – seriously. I mean come on. Sectarian means I don’t like people cos they’re not of my faith/religion. Counting people by religion because you know it gives you a good notion of how they vote – quite a different process. Except you think voting unionist or nationalist is a sectarian action?

          • giordanobruno May 2, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

            What’s with the superior jibe? Bollocks yourself sir.
            Do you think any of the 45.67% protestants in N Belfast will feel encouraged to vote SF by this approach?
            Take a look over on Slugger where even faithful Shinners are distancing themselves from this cock up.
            A party may well count the census figures as a rough guide but to pigeon hole voters shows contempt and indicates that SF sees itself as a Catholic party.
            Very poor show.

          • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

            Gio, gio – you do sound stuffy – ‘Very poor show’. Next you’ll be telling me it’s not cricket. Think for a minute: if the number of nationalists and the number of unionists has matched pretty tightly to the number of Catholics and the number of Protestants, what kind of dunderhead wouldn’t want to point that out? You know, I know that Dodds’s majority has been shrinking as the nationalist/Catholic population has grown and the unionist/Protestant population has diminished. You’re right, I don’t expect many of those who’ve voted in the past for Dodds are likely to switch suddenly to Kelly. But the idea that Kelly’s people pointing out that things are pretty evenly balanced now – from 6000 gap, to 2,000 gap to…..I think to call that sectarian is to be either very silly or very devious. No other way of putting it, I’m afraid. ‘A Catholic party’ – pu-lease.

          • giordanobruno May 2, 2015 at 10:47 pm #

            Stuffy and superior eh? Good job no man playing is allowed.
            You can spin it any way you like,but the plain fact is Gerry Kelly is calling it Catholics v Protestants.
            And I didn’t mention “those who’ve voted in the past for Dodds” I said the protestant 45.67%. You are making the same mistake as Kelly in assuming they are interchangeable terms.

          • Cushy Glen May 3, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

            You boys are missing the whole point about sectarianism in NI in regard to the Scottish situation, which is what Jude’s original piece was about.

            The important issue is why have the SNP been able to move successfully beyond Scotland’s sectarian past where SF & SDLP have not.

            The forthcoming election with its predicted landslide for the SNP may be reminiscent of the 1918 landslide for Sinn Fein. Sadly SF was never able to attract a body of Protestant support then or since that would have enabled them to claim to be genuinely non-sectarian. After 1918 Ireland divided along religious lines & the rest is history.

            I have often wondered why the difference between Ireland & Scotland.

            I believe it comes down to the fact that Ireland (unlike Scotland) never was allowed full democratic participation in the politics of the so-called United Kingdom. It always had separate political parties representing sectional interest in Ireland – Irish Independence Party, Irish Unionist party, Sinn Fein etc. Some may have voted with the major British political parties in Westminster, but they were separate entities.

            Whereas in Scotland the Scottish Labour Party for example was an integral party of the British Labour party & toed the party line, as with the Tories & the Liberals. This resulted in small local (sectarian) parties never getting off the ground – until the SNP came along by which time sectarianism was well & truly marginalised politically.

            Irish nationalists/republicans may rail against the Scottish model where the British political parties held great sway electorally until recently, but the fact is Scotland looks set to get her independence without a shot being fired or any young men dying on hunger strike because nationalism was never equated with a religious affiliation.

    • Ryan May 2, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

      Neill, it was a leaflet telling the nationalist community in North Belfast it has a majority in the area. I don’t agree with the graph, I think that was wrong but I see absolutely nothing wrong with informing the nationalist electorate they have the power to change and decide an MP of their choosing. I think Sinn Fein should be increasing their efforts in reaching out to protestants and small u unionists.

      It wasn’t as if Gerry Kelly’s election agent called people “taigs” and called the Unionist candidate a “tramp” like certain Unionists did in Upper Bann. And of course the DUP candidate didn’t even reply or apologize for what his election worker said about a large number of Catholics in Upper Bann…

      • neill May 2, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

        Not a voting majority though….

        I think that was wrong but I see absolutely nothing wrong with informing the nationalist electorate they have the power to change and decide an MP of their choosing.

        If you don’t agree with the graph then why put the information out in the first place either you are a catholic party for a catholic people or your a party that represents everybody which is it?

        It wasn’t as if Gerry Kelly’s election agent called people “taigs” and called the Unionist candidate a “tramp” like certain Unionists did in Upper Bann. And of course the DUP candidate didn’t even reply or apologize for what his election worker said about a large number of Catholics in Upper Bann…

        That was right either and I condemned it as well.

        • Ryan May 3, 2015 at 2:37 am #

          Neill, if you studied the figures you would know by the 2020 election 3 out of 4 of Belfast’s MP’s will Nationalist, more likely Sinn Fein MPs, especially if the SDLP’s decline continues. I see the DUP retaking East Belfast next week but I don’t think its going to be as easy as they think, I think Naomi Long will increase her vote from 2010 but will fall short by 2,000 or 3,000 votes. If she runs again in the next general election she might even win it back, who knows?

          Sinn Fein isn’t a “Catholic party” Neill, nor is it a Protestant, Muslim, Hindu, etc political party. What Sinn Fein IS is a Nationalist/Republican party and the simple reality is Neill, as you and me both know full well so lets not pretend otherwise, the vast majority of Catholics vote nationalist and the vast majority of protestants vote unionist. Its the reality of the situation. I disagreed with the graph because it was crudely comparing Catholics with Protestants but I DID agree on the overall message Sinn Fein was trying to express and that is: Nationalists have the numbers now to elect an MP regardless of whatever way Unionists vote. If enough SDLP voters lend their vote to Sinn Fein, even with a Unionist pact, Sinn Fein can take still this seat.

          I think if any shock election result happens next week North Belfast will more likely be it. It would be a hammer blow to the DUP if their Westminster leader and Deputy Leader of the party lost his seat, hence Sinn Fein’s determination to win this time round.

  10. Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    How about this for the firmness of Ed Milliband’s resolve not to do any deals with SNP? And the election hasn’t even happened yet…

  11. paddykool May 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    I like it Jude!! All that preamble to set old Nelson up for a gust of wind up his kilt. Did you notice once again how the Red Sky business hit the media just smack on the weekend?

    • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

      Very true PK. People know about Red Sky and don’t at the same time. Mark Carruthers grilled P Robinson on Jim Wells and all things gay; not a peep about Red Sky. Not sure if that’s for legal reasons or because the gay thing was (in the broadest sense) sexier…

  12. navanman May 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Sounds like the SNP are what the SDLP should be like.
    The SDLP are free from all the baggage that comes with SF.
    Also, SNP done very well under Alex Salmond but is doing much better now with a new leader..Could this happen with SF and G Adams.
    The big difference with Scotland is that they are all Scots so voting in mass for the SNP is not that big a move– in Northern Ireland there is two nationalities with little potential for coming together.
    Can anyone think of one Unionist that became a Nationalist?
    The SNP also have what all successful parties need and that’s momentum. The SDLP seem very flat and need to look at the SNP very closely. I suggest they merge with Fianna Fail. Give both parties a new lease of life. FF are very good at winning elections and won’t be down for ever! (That’s not a threat by the way)
    Ireland needs another strong nationalist party. SF cant do all the lifting on their own. Their appeal will only ever stretch so far. Strong completion with SF will bring more voters out.

  13. Ryan May 2, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    The DUP recently said that if the very unlikely prospect of them being King Makers in a new British Government came along they would ask for a tunnel or bridge to be built between Norn Iron and Scotland to “strengthen the links between Northern Ireland and Britain”. That’s going to be one big bridge or tunnel. The word “worried” sprung to mind when I first read their suggestion of a bridge/tunnel between Norn Iron and Scotland. With the changing demographics and Unionist seats dropping like flies to Nationalists, I can see why their worried but I don’t see how building a bridge/tunnel will change the situation in Unionisms favour, unless the DUP is hoping for another Plantation of Ulster, using a bridge or tunnel as a means of convenience lol and of course they cant kick the “fenians” out like they did in the 1600’s. If any bridge/tunnel should be built connecting Ireland to another country it should be a tunnel connecting Ireland to the USA. Yes, I know, that would be the biggest tunnel in history, under the Atlantic ocean and would cost billions to build but I’m sure it would be amazing for Ireland’s economy,

    This time in a week Scottish Labour will be reduced to a handful of seats or no seats at all if the polls turn out to be accurate. The SNP without a doubt has changed Britain forever if they achieve this. Everyone knows the Union, even with the referendum result in September, is hanging on by its finger tips to survival. When the United Kingdom does come to an end due to Scottish Independence, which I believe will happen eventually and sooner than many think, what will be the reaction of our dear Unionist friends? revived Ulster Nationalism? I asked this question to a few Unionists on twitter and they said “we will come apart of Scotland”. I literally laughed aloud at the suggestion.

    With the Scottish nationalists taking power in Scotland, likes of Plaid Cymru in Wales getting stronger, and with the English people getting more disquiet about the lack of local powers for England and even different parts of England calling for regional assemblies of their own (like in Yorkshire) and in some cases small but vocal movements calling for independence (like in Cornwall), Ulster Unionists really are in a very difficult position and in a situation where they have no power or influence whatsoever. And of course, this doesn’t even include the problems on Unionisms own doorstep in Norn Iron: Sinn Fein, who are now the most voted for party in the 6 counties and are gaining more and more seats every election.

    Instead of Unionism reaching out the hand in friendship to Irish Catholics, disowning sectarian organisations like the Orange Order, etc Unionism does what it has always done in its history, retreat behind the wall and slam the gates shut and shout “No Surrender”…..Will it pay off in the 21st century as it did in 1689? I very much doubt it.

  14. neill May 2, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    Cheesh neill – seriously. I mean come on. Sectarian means I don’t like people cos they’re not of my faith/religion. Counting people by religion because you know it gives you a good notion of how they vote – quite a different process. Except you think voting unionist or nationalist is a sectarian action?

    You should have been a spin doctor Jude!

    • Jude Collins May 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

      No, no, neill – I prefer blogging…

  15. michael c May 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

    Navanman,the SDLP might’nt be as “free from all the baggage” as you think.

  16. ANOTHER JUDE May 2, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    Why would any Catholic vote for Nigel Dodds? He is a member of an organisation sworn (literally) to keeping power in Protestant hands, it would not make any sense. I` m afraid that brick on the head hasn`t knocked any sense into him, he`s still spouting (again, literally) the same old bile.

  17. Pointis May 3, 2015 at 12:08 am #

    Jude, this outcome, where the SNP would wipe Labour of the Scottish electoral map was predicted before the Scottish referendum.

    The main British political parties and media demonised Alex Salmond and the SNP during and prior to the Scottish Independence referendum. They have continued in the same vein with Nicola Sturgeon. Every time they attack her it is difficult not to see the thinly veiled and arrogant Anti-Scots racism “coming down here voting on English matters while taking your unfair share of our taxes across Hadrian’s Wall”!

    I suspect that most Scottish people see these unsolicited personal attacks on Nicola Sturgeon as being an attack on their Scottish heritage and being a proud and honourable people are going to stand shoulder to shoulder with the wee lassie from Ayrshire to send proud Edward’s army home to think again.
    If there is a lesson for Labour in the probable outcome of this election it is that once those seats are gone they are gone for good!.

    Message for Alex Salmond- “you Wiley old fox”!

  18. Jim Neeson May 3, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    RED SKY at night McCauslands delight!!!!! Think not!!

  19. Sammy McNally May 4, 2015 at 9:09 am #


    I agree there are parallels between Scotland and Ulster but quite how far they go is difficult to say. There was a perceived view amongst Catholics that the SNP – which was called the Scottish No Pope party (by some) was sectarian and ‘Catholics’ tended to vote for Labour – but Blair and the Iraq War perhaps put paid to that. There was also a % of Catholics(in Glasgow at least) who had more allegiance to Ireland rather than Scotland. The extraordinary result in the referendum was in Glasgow where the Catholic working class seemed to switch that allegiance.

    I think one of the reasons there was such a bounce post referendum is that if anyone had predicted 10 years earlier that 45 % would vote for independence they would have locked up.

    Unfortunately I think the falling price of oil would mean that although the Scots Nats will remain high in the polls – you have to assume there will be some shredding of the Yes vote and a more favourable (to Scots) Labour government – ie a non Tory government led by Miliband will(unfortunately) further dilute the desire for independence.