Put up or shut up – the SNP, the EU and another referendum

Ever since the Brexit decision, the SNP have used the claim that ‘Scotland doesn’t want to leave the EU’ as their excuse to up the ante for another referendum on separation. Their monomaniacal pursuit of their one objective through this means has been relentless and will no doubt dominate their spring conference later this month. Well, they wouldn’t want it dominated by their performance on the day to day business of government – education, NHS, police … – would they?

Here’s a challenge to the SNP.

Prove that Scots want to leave the UK because of EU membership. Prove they want another referendum because of Brexit.

You see, if they’ve been honest, they have the data to prove the case. In fact they have the views of 2 million Scots on the subject.

Thar’s because they claimed 2 million people answered their ‘National Survey’ last autumn.

Here is what they should know about those 2 million people’s views on the subject. If you can’t read the fine print, clicking on each image may open it in another window or, as I write, they’ve still left their questions online so you may be able to see them here.



They say 40% of Scottish adults answered their survey. That’s a cornucopia of information, a treasure trove. It’s data other parties would kill for (well, almost).

So here’s the challenge.

Release the data. Prove your case. Or in old-fashioned language, put up or shut up.

Footnote – I don’t want to spoil the party, but here’s a contrary view on the 2 million responses to the SNP survey. Only a cynic would believe that’s the reason they won’t make their data public.

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12 Responses to Put up or shut up – the SNP, the EU and another referendum

  1. Brian Monteith says:

    Great post!



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sam Duncan says:

    Spot-on. And, as I’ve been saying since the day after the Brexit vote, this should have been the unionist parties’ line all along. While it’s certainly true that the majority of Scots don’t want another referendum, by concentrating on that aspect they’ve lost control of the debate and allowed the nationalists to get away with their dubious assertions.

    The “Europe strategy” doesn’t stand up to a moment’s scrutiny. It could have been shut down by the second week of July, had the government simply told the SNP that if they want to tear the country in two again, break their “once in a generation” promise, and reopen the wounds of 2014, then they’re perfectly free to do so. Put them in the position of saying it’s not time, or they can’t get the support at Holyrood. Instead, they’ve been able to string this nonsense along for months. (Making, it must be conceded, utter fools of themselves at both the European and British parliaments in the process, but a joke’s a joke.)

    As you said the other day, Salmond is a gambler. His party is playing a monumental bluff. Call it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Scotched earth says:

      A 400 year old nation, for which so many people have fought, bled and died, should not be gambled on a throw of the dice (reasons passim: https://mercinon.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/scotland-and-the-eu-referendum-some-home-truths-about-the-statistics/ ). Our host here is arguing for releasing the data behind the 2 million claimed to have participated in the SNP’s National Survey, *not* to call the SNP’s bluff in respect of a second Indy ref.

      Instead of allowing the SNP to set the agenda and force Unionists to ever dance to their tune, we should be taking the fight to them: campaigning to abolish the mistake that is Holyrood, either via referendum or statute (arguments in link).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Roger White says:

        Thanks for that comment in reply to Sam Duncan’s. I actually agree with you that the SNP’s bluff should be called on what I’m increasingly inclined to call sepref2. My call (partly ironic because I suspect, as someone said to me, it’s a pile of poo) for the release of the survey stats is part of that. See also my recent post on ‘Nine reasons why my money’s on no more Scottish referendums …’ These weaknesses in their case for another referendum need to be hammered home so as many people as possible understand why separation continues to be a bad idea. BTW not so sure personally about abolition of Holyrood. I’d rather kill the separatist debate first then think about that!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sam Duncan says:

        I hope I made it clear that I, like the majority of Scots, absolutely don’t want another referendum. (And, as I’ve said to you before, I, personally, agree about Holyrood but don’t think the country’s ready for that yet.) By simultaneously forcing the release of the Survey data and not standing in the way of Holyrood calling one – emphasising the fact that its absence isn’t some fiendish Unionist plot to deny the Scottish People their say – we push the nationalists on to the defensive. They will have to start explaining why they aren’t calling it. They will have to admit that there isn’t enough support for seperatism.

        And that takes it off the agenda.

        As long as they can pretend there’s a suppressed desire for one that’s being denied by the dark forces of Westminster, the threat will never go away. To remove it, both of these lies must be exposed. Right now, the government and other unionist parties are actually giving the second one credence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Scotched earth says:

        As a saying goes, ‘A hero is only a coward who gets cornered’; as Sun Tzu advised (Chapter VII, ‘The Art of War’), ‘When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.’ Be cautious of forcing someone into a corner, potentially causing ‘cowards’ to be ‘heroes’.

        The problem with demanding Sturgeon ‘puts up or shuts up’ in respect of #IndyRef2 is that she has more to lose by shutting up than putting up. If she calls and loses IndyRef2, she might follow the precedent set by Salmond and Cameron and resign as First Minister, but she will remain an MSP and be lauded by separatists as someone who tried and gave it her best shot. Meanwhile the SNP will appoint another FM and continue with their raison d’être by campaigning for #IndyRef3.

        There is nothing to be lost by standing in the SNP’s way: hold them to the Edinburgh Agreement that Salmond and Sturgeon signed agreeing to respect the result; hold them to their repeated promises that 2014 was a ‘once in a generation/lifetime’ opportunity (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HyUmDuPa6g); stand on the principle that it is without international and historical precedent to have repeated constitutional referenda within only a few years. Fail to do that, and what possible arguments can you marshal against IndyRef3 superior to those against IndyRef2? You’ve destroyed your case.

        And if the SNP is allowed to call IndyRef2, there is no guarantee of winning it: as I’ve observed, Unionists have been through the mill once, and it’s a poor reward for winning to force us to fight the same fight again every 2 or 3 years. It is not so much that Unionists will vote for independence (although a few might be so discouraged at the possibility of endless Indy Refs that they elect to ‘bite the bullet’ and get it over with); it is the possibility of Unionists being so disheartened by having to refight the same fight every few years that they sit the next referendum out.

        The prospects of killing the separatist debate are limited in Scotland as long as the SNP have a platform in Holyrood courtesy of barely a quarter of Scotland’s electorate—there is no getting away from a separatist vote largely united behind the SNP while the Unionist is divided between three mainstream parties and those refraining from voting due to holding all parties in equal contempt. Meanwhile, the existence of Holyrood promotes resentment and separatist feeling in England (and we now have the travesty of EVEL to contend with).

        Stop letting the SNP set the agenda. Fight back! Start campaigning to abolish Devolution.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. DavePond says:

    Hi Roger, I like your blog and read it often as I read other pro union commentators and bloggers but I have a comment which I wanted to get of my chest and out there somewhere. Iv been interested in the Scottish independence debate and been keeping an keen eye on it for a few years but feel I had to speak up . Reading social media the Scot Nationalists have an obsession that England has some how been taken over by Jack Booted black shirts, running amok with fascism over taking rational thought, there evidence seems to always fall back to a few dozen morons with union flag prancing around George Square or a few quotes from a UKIP roaster or an E.D.L w***er.
    It really annoys me they try and portray us this way, morons will always be present, extremists of all sorts are a tiny, tiny minority portion of society who are generally ignored and vilified by normal folk.
    The reality here in my part of NW England is very different. My local area has a large polish population, and we’re very proud of this. After World War 2 many polish refugees , veterans and P.O.W’s settled in my local area. As a school child the children of these war immigrants were are teachers, the grand children of these immigrants were my class mates. These people were taken in after the horrors of nazism and fast became a part of our society.
    Fast forward many years and the area I live has seen a population swell in three years of 12,000 Eastern European immigrants (mainly polish, Hungarian, Slovak and Baltic states) but all of are life’s still function normally.
    This local area voted to leave in the E.U referendum, but it is not a xenophobic Mind set that caused that vote. A trip to our local churches will see the hundreds of war graves present, every village and town has a cenotaph and those names inscribed are a reminder of the sacrifices made to end Nazism, Fascism and tyranny across Europe. We ain’t going back to that, we would NEVER EVER allow it.
    I would be lying if I said that fast increase in immigration hasn’t put pressure on local services but we all live together in functioning society they are as welcome now as they were welcome in 1945 and to make out all us normal working class northerners are racist xenophobes is an insult to our grandparents and our great grandparents sacrifices across the wars of early last century.
    I think parts of Scotland has not had the numbers of immigration we have had south of the border, think some of the nationalists need to come down and experience a multi-cultural society living together who are not bothered about politics, flags or nationalities we are just getting on with our lives, raising family’s, working just been normal and getting on with it.
    All I ask of them is to stop pushing this idea we are all racists, fascists and xenophobes .we are not and as I said this insistence we are is an insult to are heroes of wars past.

    Liked by 2 people

    • arabest1 says:

      Interesting post Dave, and very much the path I think should be followed. Finding common cause across these islands was very much a central plank of the two institutions that arguably did more to promote a positive sense of Britishness that any others…..the BBC and the Labour Party…..hence the relentless, visceral hatred of the snp directed toward both. The Labour Party are in existential crisis, and that will not change till Corbyn accepts the inevitable and allows the party to rejuvenate. The BBC is an altogether more popular entity, cemented into the affections of the nation. My concern is that the BBC may not be able to sustain positive unionism alone. Sure the tories and the monarchy will hold a significant minority, but not enough as the dark clouds gather from Brexit and the steady decline of the west in terms of global influence and how each nation responds.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. DavePond says:

    Sorry my above comment may not be totally relevant to your blog post but I just wanted to get it out there. Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roger White says:

      Thanks – your comments are completely relevant and mirror my thoughts exactly. I’ve lived half my life in Scotland, half in England/abroad. When I visit England I see the sorts of things you describe, also active local communities (sometimes more so than in Scotland), many … nice people just like most people in Scotland are pleasant. ‘Beasting’ England is all part of the nationalist and especially SNP mind-set – ‘We’re different and better, we should be separate.’ You and I know it’s nonsense, many here fall for it. It’s desperately sad and desperately untrue. You can find some entries on this blog where I try to correct their falsehoods about the rest of the UK e.g. a recent one on the Tower of London poppies. Thanks again for your comments. They’re good to read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • DavePond says:

        Thanks Roger, keep up the good work sir, your providing a service to all of us exposing the nonsense of the disease called Nationalism and keeping are great country united.
        Ps I think I remember reading your Tower of London post but I will go back and re-read it


  5. Lulu says:

    I definitely don’t want another ref. It is up to unionists to hold the snp to account on their record in office. Feeling particularly down about my kids’ prospects in a globalised economy. I guess part of the reason snp have done so badly on schools is that they imagine a cosy closed tartan future where everyone is competing for jobs with peers who have been through the same cracked education system.

    Liked by 2 people

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