The wonderful Kenneth MacDonald’s Headlines paper review on BBC Radio Scotland had Better Together’s Euan McColm take issue with one of my tweets. Before Ken had finished reading it out, Euan protested his innocence: “I never said that,” he insisted.
As I pointed out to Euan immediately on Twitter, what he said would be uploaded to the iPlayer before too long. We could then all hear for ourselves if my paraphrasing was fair, or otherwise.
As I expected, my ears had not been deceiving me. Euan cynically tried to sow the seeds of dissension within the ranks of the Yes Campaign. Mischievously, he told us that if Alex Salmond agrees to breaks his word on Trident, he can get most of what he allegedly wants.
It’s odd we need to point this out to anyone. But what we are struggling for is self determination of the Scottish people. Notwithstanding all the obscene personalization by the Better Together rabble, Scottish self determination is not a toy for any politician to negotiate away. When it comes to policies like NATO, Sterling, the Monarchy, corporation tax and everything else, there are very strict limits on what can be negotiated away by Alex Salmond or anyone else. No one in a post-referendum government would be able to bind the hands of future Scottish parliaments.
So Salmond cannot do a deal over Trident. He knows a subsequent Scottish parliament could tell, and would tell, Alex Salmond he could shove these WMD where the sun don’t shine regardless of what he had promised David Cameron.
Everyone knows Salmond will not be any kind of dictator in an independent Scotland. He knows it even if Johann Lamont is incapable of, or unwilling to, face reality. But what about what was being offered to Salmond in return for his betraying us over Trident?
Euan McColm specifically took issue with me for paraphrasing his deal. If it wasn’t for Twitter’s 140 character limit, and my not having a transcript available at the time, I wouldn’t have paraphrased. Did my allegation address a key part of what Euan said? I implied that, according to Euan, the Scottish people are deemed better together with those who were persecuting the Rector of Glasgow University: Edward Snowden. Did he say this or not?
What Euan argued is that in return for allowing the United Kingdom, and the rest of NATO, to keep Trident on Scottish soil for up to two decades one, two or possibly three things were on offer:
- The shared currency
- Membership of the European Union
- Sharing intelligence
In the first place, we have been told that whichever anonymous minister offered a shared currency in return for letting NATO store WMD n Scotland was lying. David Cameron refuses to conduct any inquiry to find out who damaged Better Together by making this offer. That suggests he already knows. But despite refusing to prove it was not a serious offer by disciplining whoever was responsible – by sacking them -, the offer is, we are told, off the table on principle. That is because, we are told, any shared currency would be economically catastrophic for both Scotland and England. The voters aren’t swallowing this propaganda. I won’t go into details, but Scots are right to dismiss the smear with the contempt it deserves. Furthermore, since it is so obviously a pack of lies, why should Scots make any concessions to get what would be in the interests of the English not just as much as the Scots, but much more in their interests than ours?
What about the offer of David Cameron easing our path into the European Union? This is a truly bizarre offer. David Cameron has denied he would do anything to impede Scots getting into the EU if we vote for independence. If he said anything else, he would clearly be making a mockery of our referendum. He would be saying Scots can vote for independence, but that he would do whatever it took to sabotage our democratic decision by turning the European bureaucracy against us. Furthermore, Cameron has insisted that the problem for Scots is nothing he could help us with. Cameron says he can’t stop the Spanish vetoing our getting into the EU, as if we are not already there, with six million citizens remaining part of the EU, accepting treaties signed in our name, in precisely the same way as those of the rest of the United Kingdom. Cameron says the Spanish would have the power to sabotage Scottish self determination. And he insists they would definitely do that, not because it affects the Spanish in any way. Scots would be nothing more than collateral damage in a tragic war by authoritarians out to destroy the self determination of Spain’s minorities. So, there you have it. David Cameron can’t negotiate on this front either. But Scots don’t need his help. We know how to expose bureaucrat like Jose Manual Barroso.
Now let’s turn to the final offer. If Alex Salmond stabs the Scottish people in the back over our right to get rid of nuclear weapons, we can share intelligence. What did Euan McColm have in mind?
Is there any doubt that what Euan had in mind was the ‘intelligence’ that has been exposed by Edward Snowden? Alex Salmond is being tempted with the promise of all that lovely blackmail material that the NSA has been collecting. If the SNP leader will only agree to sell out the Scottish people, then Angela Merkel’s emails, and the transcripts of all her telephone conversations, will be made available to him.
The Special Branch state rapist team put together by undercover cop Bob Lambert will be available to Alex Salmond. Those who tried to split up the marriage of Stephen Lawrence’s parents, tried to frame Stephen Lawrence’s friend and eye witness, for the purpose of protecting his racist killers… Perjury, agent provocateur activity, Special Branch killers who worked with the Loyalist Death Squads who murdered Catholic civil liberties lawyer Pat Finucane… The liars in MI5 who helped corrupt war criminal Tony Blair con the House of Commons into declaring an illegal war for oil… All of this and more is on the table. ‘Intelligence’ of this quality can become the property of Alex Salmond. And all he has to do is sign away his soul.
Since Euan protests vigorously, insisting he implied no such thing, you can check it here: The entire programme is worth listening to on iPlayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b042m81t
I stand by what I said, by the inferences I’ve drawn from what Euan said. Listeners can judge for themselves. The question we need to ask ourselves is why he proposed this idea of using Trident as a bargaining chip. I think I know.
Euan is worried. He is a deeply, deeply worried man. Despite all the divisions within the Yes Camp, we’re parking them all this side of the referendum. We are covering each others back as the Better Together camp turn on each other: Tories, Lib Dems, Labour, UKIP. All of them are fragmenting. This toxicity makes their defeat almost inevitable. Even if they defied my expectations and actually won the referendum, it would only be by the deployment of ‘Project Fear’. They would win a Pyrrhic victory. They’d be left with an unholy mess. But this mess is, as far as they are concerned, better than nothing. But even this depends on tempting the Yes Campaign to fall into interminable squabbling. That is what Euan McColm was offering us. I’m not at all convinced it’s going to work.