Does Brexit vote underline Scotland is not a country, but a colony?

She's in charge. Really.

Citizen Essay by Alf Baird

Anyone can see from recent events the constitutional powerlessness of Scotland as a nation, and how empty is any notion of Scottish sovereignty.

Almost two-thirds of voters in Scotland opted to remain in the EU, a democratic decision totally ignored by Westminster. And the SNP were elected on a mandate to deliver a second independence referendum, securing a Scottish majority at Westminster and at Holyrood to back this up. Westminster simply chooses to ignore the democratic decisions of Scotland’s people. Despite the creation of a Scottish Parliament in 1999, the democratic deficit that that institution was supposed to end, remains.

Clearly a devolved parliament is just that, devolved. The Scottish Government tested the relevance of the Sewel Convention during the recent Supreme Court case on the triggering of Article 50. This ended with the Court asserting the right of Westminster to legislate on any matter in Scotland, devolved or not. Its inclusion in the Scotland Act gave the Sewel Convention ‘recognition’ but no legal effect.

The Supreme Court’s ruling asserted the sovereignty of Westminster. The outcome of all this is that the Scottish Parliament is not a sovereign body. Such powers as it has, are simply powers devolved upon it from Westminster, the latter being the sovereign parliament. The First Minister rightly described claims about Scotland being an equal partner in the UK as nothing more than empty rhetoric and that the supposed ‘statutory embedding’ of the Sewel Convention has been shown to be worthless.

So, a ‘union of equals’ the UK is clearly not. Recent events suggest that, rather than being a sovereign nation and people, Scotland is more akin to a colony in that decisions taken by the Scottish people can simply be pushed aside by an ‘administering power’, which is Westminster and, in terms of voting power, Westminster is effectively England. There is therefore no ‘union’ to speak of, which now seems a charade, a pretext, implying that the term ‘unionist’ is also a misnomer. This therefore raises the serious question that, if there is no union as such, is Scotland a colony? This question can be relatively easily answered and the remainder of the article seeks to do just that.

More than 80 former colonies comprising some 750 million people have gained independence since the creation of the United Nations. At present, 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories (NSGTs) across the globe remain to be decolonised. Thus, the process of decolonisation has come a long way but is not yet ended. Finishing the job involves a continuing dialogue among the administering Powers, the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation, and the peoples of the territories involved, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions on decolonisation.

Reflecting its impatience with the administering Powers, the UN still refers to what it views as “the scourge of colonisation”, calling on member states, and notably the UK, to end this as soon as possible, and for them to be “on the right side of history” in such matters. To a large extent independence and decolonisation are therefore one and the same. Relevant here to Scotland’s present situation is the fact that the UN considers Ireland to be a ‘former colony’; this further indicates that Scotland may indeed be little different given that Ireland was likewise at one time deemed to be a part of the UK ‘union’.

So, what defines a colony? Historians distinguish between two overlapping forms of colonialism, namely: Settler colonialism involving large-scale immigration, often motivated by religious, political, or economic reasons, and; Exploitation colonialism which may involve fewer colonists and focuses on access to resources. The definition of colonialism builds on this and involves three key elements: “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.” Here each of these elements is analysed in the context of Scotland.

Full or partial political control

It seems indisputable from recent events that Westminster (i.e. England) controls Scotland politically and is therefore in effect Scotland’s ‘administering power’. This ‘political control’ is evident whichever party is in power in Westminster, as they can do as they wish with Scotland, despite having few (if any) MP’s elected in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government are merely devolved ‘creatures’ created by Westminster, with limited powers, which in any case can be overruled by the administering power, as the recent Supreme Court decision confirmed.

The Scottish people may vote however they wish, but their decisions in referenda and national elections can be ignored and overruled by the administering power, as we have now seen to be the case on numerous occasions. Any perceived sovereignty of the Scottish people does not exist within the current ‘arrangement’ as Scottish sovereignty is not recognized by the administrative Power, the latter considering any sovereignty over Scotland’s territory and people to reside only with Westminster. The administrative power may claim Scotland has representation via a supposed ‘union’, however, in practice the administrative Power ultimately controls the politics of Scotland irrespective of democratic decisions made by Scots. Scotland is therefore in the exact same position Ireland was prior to the latter’s independence, when Ireland was also part of the ‘union’, whilst post-independence the UN considers Ireland to be a ‘former colony’.

Scotland is therefore under the full or partial control of an administering Power (England), and hence meets this initial defining feature of a colony.

Occupation by settlers

Historical census data tells us that the largest single ethnic group of migrants coming to Scotland over the last one hundred years and more has been people from rest-UK, mostly England, and particularly in the professions (science, engineering, education, managerial etc), the latter a typical norm of colonial administration. In recent years inbound migration of people coming from rest-UK to Scotland appears to have accelerated; over the twenty-year period between 1995-2014, around one million people moved from England to Scotland, with peaks of over 70,000 people a year. These recent trends suggest that a further half a million people could migrate from rest-UK to Scotland during the ten-year period between 2014-2024, resulting in a total figure of some 1.5 million migrants over just a 30-year period. For a nation with a population of little over 5 million people, such inflows are indeed very considerable. Over the same period there has been a somewhat lesser outflow of migrants from Scotland seeking opportunities elsewhere. Clearly, though, the population of Scotland is both being boosted and replaced through ‘occupation by settlers’ from rest-UK, primarily England.

Scotland is experiencing substantial, focused, and rising occupation by settlers from the administering Power, and thus exhibits the second defining feature of a colony.

Economic exploitation

Aided by prevailing laws enacted by the administrative Power, Scotland has experienced, centuries of highly concentrated land ownership, much of it speculative and wasteful, prohibiting economic development, and this continues today. Resultant inflated land values have constrained development and led to other economic limiting factors such as a shortage of affordable housing, now made worse by relatively low wages for many people unable to secure mortgages.

Daily Record commentary

In terms of Scotland’s natural resources, oil and gas represents a loss of enormous financial proportions since the 1970s, squandered by Scotland’s much larger administrative power in its failed attempts to overcome its own seemingly endless economic distress. The administrative power intentionally suppressed information given to Scots concerning the true worth and potential of its oil and gas reserves. This exploitation continues today, e.g. with extensive gas reserves off Shetland effectively ‘sold’ to international firms yet with little of the value gained from the resource flowing through to Scotland’s people. Aggregates and fisheries are other important areas of exploitation where ‘rents’ have been intercepted by corporate entities thanks to regulations designed primarily to work in their favour. UK regulation of power supply has meanwhile tended to hinder development of renewable energy in Scotland whilst ensuring continued surpluses for private energy suppliers given strategic/monopolistic positions in the country.

Scotch whisky is a unique location-specific high-volume global export product, and the UK’s major food and drink export, yet likewise any benefits accruing to the Scottish economy remain questionable. Largely automated, the industry’s ownership has been allowed to move outside Scotland, offering opportunities for transfer pricing which makes stated export values seem rather less than what they should be, with any taxation raised going directly to the administrative Power. Interestingly the Scotch Whisky Association key personnel appear to be drawn from the UK Foreign Office and other Ministries within the administrative Power, signifying the strategic importance of this sector, not least to the UK trade balance.

Private monopolies

Since the 1980’s the privatisation (i.e. sell offs) and inadequate regulation of Scotland’s major public utilities (energy, ports, airports, housing and certain other assets) has resulted in numerous examples of market failure including exploitation of users by private monopolies. Poor regulation and industry self-regulation has led to excessive corporate profits with consumers left worse off. Low initial sale prices achieved for state sell-offs meant successor firms became asset rich overnight with the public (owners) not receiving due compensation. Frequent sell-ons of these public utility assets since at higher/inflated prices (e.g. to secretive offshore private equity ‘funds’) reflects their regulatory and monopoly power and high profits, rather than infrastructure quality, the latter suffering now from historic lack of investment, partly due to highly leveraged transactions. Scotland today has some of the highest energy prices in Europe, effectively hindering commercial/industrial competitiveness, whilst creating rising fuel poverty. Privatised utilities making limited investments in new infrastructure means Scotland’s infrastructure is now increasingly outdated, obsolete, inefficient, congested, and costly to maintain and operate.

Heavy industry in Scotland was mostly shut down by the administrative Power, unfortunately just prior to the global boom in steel and shipbuilding during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Some of these communities have not yet recovered. Replacement jobs, where they exist, tend to be low wage, with today’s relatively low unemployment levels masked by masses of people on zero hours contracts and others pushed into self-employment, with in-work poverty rising.

Corporate law reforms and deregulation policies introduced by the administrative Power facilitated numerous takeovers of major Scottish businesses since the 1980’s, many of which were subsequently closed down with resultant job and skills losses and diminished exports. Many firms, including privatised utilities operating in Scotland, are now registered offshore in UK crown dependencies so pay little or no tax. The City of London deregulation and ‘light touch’ emphasis championed by the administrative Power helped pave the way for the virtual collapse of the Scottish financial sector after the deregulated UK banking system failed in 2008.

Trading constraints

Falling exports suggests there has been inadequate trade facilitation and trade development initiatives undertaken by the administrative Power or its devolved agencies. Trade development has been constrained by the privatisation of ports in Scotland, with owners unwilling to make investments in what are now high cost, obsolete (mostly Victorian) ports, unattractive to international shipping services. Routing of remaining Scottish trade through distant ports in the south of England has proved to be high cost, and subject to increasing congestion and road/rail capacity limitations. These supply chain constraints added to high factor costs especially in energy has made manufacturing in Scotland uncompetitive. Most of Scotland’s imports by value enter the UK through southern England ports and proceed through logistic centres in middle England prior to despatch to Scotland. This practice helps create transport and supply chain jobs in England whilst the extra land transport costs adds to Scotland’s logistic expense.

Ongoing economic practices and policies imposed by the administrative Power therefore act to hinder Scotland’s international competitiveness, resulting in the current zero growth position. Scotland’s economy is again heading into recession, further disadvantaged through being tied to the administrative Power’s high inflation and an ever-weakening currency.

Scotland is subject to ongoing economic exploitation by the administering power, and therefore meets the third and final defining feature of a colony. 

Based on this analysis the answer to the initial question posed undoubtedly appears to be yes; that is, Scotland demonstrates the essential features of a colony. Scotland is clearly subject to full or partial political control by another country; Scotland has been and continues to be occupied by significant numbers of ‘settlers’, and; Scotland is exploited economically by the administering Power.

Alf Baird is a retired professor and a regular contributor to Newsnet’s comments section.


  1. I think since the day General Wolfe sent the Highlanders to climb the heights of Abraham to win Canada for the English it’s been pretty apparent that Scotland is a colony of the English and her resources, including her man power, have been used, to promulgate such ends. Even Niall Ferguson admits as much in his book on the first world war with his notes that Scottish casualty figures were only exceeded by those of Serbia in a war that we entered to prevent a German dominated continent threatening the S E of England. ( Ironic I know).

    Living in rural Perthshire I am more than aware that settler populations change both the dynamic and mindset of relatively small loci but more fundamentally create the foundations of a non indigenous voting bloc that adheres to the precepts and concepts of the motherland ie English settlers by and large vote Tory hence the prevalence of Tory votes in rural Perthshire, Fife, Angus, the Mearns, Kincardineshire and Aberdeenshire. What’s more the rUK settlers tend to be non productive elderly folk who are effectively a burden on resources at a time when their kinsman cut the purse strings.

    • That’s true to a certain extent but there are also a lot of younger English migrants who tend to hold senior positions in the public sphere in Scotland.

      I’m not sure if jobs have to be advertised nationwide but it seems to me that every time we have some spokesman on the BBC for this Scottish department or that department then they are English. Coupled with a pliant local elite, just as in India, then I agree Scotland is on evidence an English colony.

  2. I completely agree.
    Scots voted to have No say in 2014 and left decisions about our affairs largely in the hands of Westminster.
    Westminster can demonstrate to the international community that we have had our referendum and decided we are content with our present constitutional arrangements.
    The only good thing that came out of that referendum was the acceptance by the London establishment that Scotland is a nation and as such has the right to self determination (just not yet).
    One nation under Westminster rule just won’t wash anymore,they completely demolished that argument in 2012 when Cameron signed the Edinburgh Agreement.
    The UK is like a mini EU but without the democracy.

    • No Scots voted to leave the UK in 2014. As the Daily Mail proclaimed at the time the English settlers kept Scotland in the Union. Next time just don’t give them the vote. The suffrage should exclude non EU citizens which r UK citizens will be post Brexit.

      • True, we voted narrowly for Independence (similar percentage to the overall UK one that is taking us out of Euro), I hate headlines or posts saying ‘The Scots’ voted against etc or even worse ‘The Scots Bottled it and will again’. Every time I have tried to point out that it was non-Scots residents who swung the No vote I get shouted down.

    • I like many don’t believe the 2014 referendum was conducted honestly and again like many others think there was fraud involved.The postal votes,being opened and Ruth Davidson knowing the votes before it was time to open them for counting proper she should have been charged.Next seems very strange to me that about a million new voters suddenly appeared for the vote then vanished after it,were holiday homes allowed a vote i.e. second home,then we had what was referred to as strong SNP areas getting 90% no in the postal votes,cant believe that at all. In fact most of the SNP strongholds seemed to have voted no,but Labour ones voted yes? how odd these were the places that had one man and a van taking all the votes to the counting stations and taking 40 minutes more than usual for the drive? empty road at night/early morning too long.We need an honest referendum with UN and EU overseers and not Westminster’s electoral commission.

    • I think you are right Gus. If one accepts that Scotland is a colony, then the logical step towards independence is to get Scotland placed on the UN ‘Decolonization’ list of Non Self Governing Territories. Scotland’s existing independence supporting democratically elected majorities of MP’s and MSP’s should be sufficiently persuasive in this regard.

      • It, along with the possibility of another independence referendum would open up another front in the independence war. If you include Brexit, that would be 3 fronts Westminster would have to fight on.

  3. You’ve answered your question. Scotland bears all the marks of a colonial possession. From its foundation the UKGB was essentially about the annexation of a troublesome state, troublesome to England’s geo-political interests that is. The bribery that secured the ‘Union’ would be by todays’s standards illegal. The ‘divide et impera’ policy that came with it operated again to England’s advantage creating a false dichotomy between Gaelic and Scots speakers, between Catholics and Protestants, between governed and governors. A country divided and weakened lies at the core of imperialist strategy. The fact that some form of military occupation was required to control dissent during the first 150 years of the UK speaks volumns regarding our status.
    Highland clearances, the suppression of Gaelic culture, the marginalising and degrading of the Scots language and the large scale emmigration from Scotland during the next 150 years is hardly suggestive of equality but more of subordinacy. Individual Scots may have ‘prospered’ but the country of their birth did not. What prosperity there was came as a result of imperialist exploitation elsewhere, India in particular, and was narrowly channelled by the system.
    Seen in this context our problem becomes crystal clear. Romantic, sentimental and mythic attachment to Britishness is the existential garrotte about our neck, pressing the life out of our country and our people. Time we took control.

  4. Our colonial masters are simply doing what all colonial masters do, concentrate on their own agendas while Scotland smiles sweetly, and never makes a fuss – I’m tired of this new “mustn’t grumble” Scottish attitude 🙁

  5. Thank you for this very interesting and thought provoking piece Alf.

    I think you are right. Scotland is at all effects being treated as a colony. Hell, its democratic will is continuously being overruled with impunity: governments Scotland does not vote for, the bedroom tax, Trident, Syria bombings, the outrageous intervention of the British establishment stopping Scotland’s independence in 2014 and of course now Brexit or even stopping Scotland to take part in the Brexit negotiations to defend its assets.

    The McCrone report, the taking of Scotland’s 6000 sq miles of waters, the appropriation of all the hundreds of billions of pounds extracted from the Scottish oil and its use down south with next to nothing invested in Scotland and even recently in 2014, the thick silence of Cameron and Carmichael in the weeks near to indiref1 with regards to the oil deposits found of Shetland clearly point to the fact that Scotland is seen as a ‘possession’ that is acting as a source of revenue and resources rather than as a country in its own right that should be developed and allowed to prosper.

    Another interesting point for me on this regard is the discrepancy in the population growth between Scotland and England during the last 300 years. Judging for the levels of population today that England holds compared to those it held in 1707 or whereabouts, if my calculations are near correct, Scotland should have today around 10 million people, not 5 million. How could this have happened if this was a true union where both countries were equal and the resources were fairly shared between them? It couldn’t in my view and the fact that the population of Scotland’s growth is continuously slowing down compared with that of England is to me a fact that is being exploited for Westminster to give a bigger portion of the cake to England than it deserves and a smaller portion of the cake than it deserves to Scotland.

    I find it intriguing that the distribution of resources is done per capita, exploiting this fact, without taking any consideration to the fact that while Scotland holds less than a 10% of the population of England, it actually holds the equivalent of a 60% of England’s landmass and I think this is very important in terms of infrastructure investment: with such a disproportion between the population and landmass, with the Westminster convenient-for-England arrangement, Scotland will never be in a comparable position to England in terms of infrastructure. This is to me the same as saying that England is being subsidised by Scotland.

    I am perhaps being too mean here, but if the Act of Union was a union of 2 kingdoms, shouldn’t the resources of Scotland (and England) be divided 50/50? I do not quite see how is fair that most of the Scottish oil revenues over the last 4 decades or more have been pocketed by England. Shouldn’t they have been divided 50/50?

    Scotland is clearly treated as a colony, however I still have serious doubts that this situation is actually legit. I know that the British establishment insists that ‘Westminster is Sovereign’. But surely the question that arises here, is what part of Westminster is sovereign over Scotland. It can possibly be acceptable in a 21st Century democracy that the MPs elected by English constituents hold the sovereignty/ownership? over Scotland. That is absurd. The Act of Union was that, an act of union between 2 kingdoms not a surrender act where Scotland would give away its sovereignty as a country to become a part of England. This is what I have the biggest problem with, because at all effects, Scotland is seen by the English elite as ‘a province’ a region of the Greater England, exactly the same as Wales and NI and it is governed as such.

    England is the only country of the UK that does not have a devolved parliament and uses the UK parliament as it was its own. Another great difference is that while the devolved administrations have devolved administration MPs elected by some form of PR, England does not and uses its elected UK parliament FPTP MPs for that. That is another huge discrepancy that hints that Scotland, Wales and NI are seen as colonies by the establishment. It would be unthinkable for the democratically elected Members of the European Parliament and the European Parliament to be used to discuss and to vote UK only law or bills, wouldn’t it? So how is it acceptable then to use Members elected to represent English constituents in the UK parliament and the UK parliament to make decisions on devolved/regional/local, not nation wide matters?

    The Barnet formula is, in my opinion, perpetuating this colonial view, because effectively, the FPTP English UK parliament MPs make the decisions on expenditure for England and then proportionally give to the other nations applying the Barnet formula. This at all effects means that the English MPs (they are a majority) are ultimately deciding how much the devolved administrations get for the different departments, taking this decision away from the people that is actually more qualified to make that decision: the devolved administration democratically elected local representatives. This is, in my opinion, another wonderful example as to why this is not a functional union at all, but rather a concoction that is functioning as what is regarded as the main country and its three colonies.

    I understand your point about the progressive colonisation of Scotland by people from the rUK. I think this is very obvious in Wales and NI and surely happening in Scotland too. But I am not sure how you can denying them the vote in practice. Would you demand them to present their birth certificate to vote, for example? I think this may be difficult. It would be easier if Scotland had issued some forms of identification as they do in the continent, but I cannot see how this would be accepted widely. I therefore think it would be more practical to allow everybody to vote but put a cap in the length of time they must have been living in the country. 10 years sounds reasonable to me. Somebody that has living that length of time has, in my view, settled down and quite possibly staying for good. 5 years in my opinion is not long enough, as often academic contracts would be that long, after which the people up their stakes and leave. 5 years also would be the length of time somebody from the rUK or elsewhere come to study in Scotland and perhaps have one year working experience and then leaves. I think 5 years is not a synonym of commitment to staying. But that is just my opinion.

    You say that Ireland is seen by the UN as a former colony. How is Scotland been seen by the UN? Have you had a chance to see that, or they are not making that information available?

    Apologies for the length of my comment and thank you again for this wonderful article.

    • Thanks Maria. You demonstrate much further than I that the exploitation of Scotland by our ‘administrative Power’ has been and remains virtually limitless. On the matter of the voting franchise, I think Scotland and especially the SNP really needs to take better advice on that, including from the UN Committee which has long-term global expertise on decolonization. It was interesting to note the UN did not recognise the referendum result on The Malvinas ‘right to self determination’ given the latter sought only the views of ‘settlers’. I expect the UN would find a number of issues with our 2014 referendum, if they were asked to consider it in detail. I think Scotland needs to take its case to the UN (rather than seek to depend on anything from Westminster), and it is regrettable that the SNP and its independence supporting elected majorities has not already done so. I cannot see how the UN could consider Scotland to be any different from Ireland, but the issue has never been brought to the UN, as far as I know, certainly not by an independence supporting Scottish Government and/or a majority of Scottish MP’s. Maybe it is time for our elected majorities to make the case? Though would the SNP leadership deny that any supposed union exists? Would they accept the colonised thesis?

  6. It is a colony. Bear in mind that the colonists from RUK actually prevented independence from happening in 2014. People born in Scotland voted to be independent.

    That’s like the Brits in India stopping it’s independence by all voting against it if the numbers had been sufficient. In a small population of 5.5 million 750k RUK immigrants can’t wilfully prevent the people of the country from their aspirations.

    • Its not just 750K- its the first generation and possibly second too. In addition, they cluster in NE Fife, Perthshire, Angus etc where it can clearly determine whether the local MP will be Tory or Lib dem. The SNP have to seriously consider a restriction in the mandate to Scots born residents, rUK citizens with 40 residence and EU nationals.

      • There are areas of the Central Belt – like Airdrie – that overwhelmingly voted No in 2014. Very few of those Unionists were rUK immigrants. In 2017 they voted for either of the main Unionist parties, as did much of North Ayrshire, as that General Election was considered by many voters as another plebiscite for independence.

    • That’s interesting. How was that worked out? As far as I know the vote was known by council area but not place of birth.

      For me the big problem is that this statement:

      Scottish sovereignty is not recognized by the administrative Power,

      is not just true of Westminster but also true of the people who live in Scotland 🙁

  7. Maria F, no apology needed – this is exactly where I’m at – I’m sending you over a couple of notional Drams as a wee “THANK YOU” 😉

  8. Yes I wonder what the polling would be if it was restricted to people born in Scotland. I know that this creates a stooshie amongst the politically correct. Essentially I would like everyone to get the vote. However if one group and not all the others simply refuse to vote yes because of their origins. Then it seems to me that they are wilfully preventing people who have lived in Scotland all their lives from determining the future of their nation. Remember that the wonderful UK prevented EU citizens voting in the referendum. Yet there was a group who could have kept us in the EU.

    That said remember that people over 65 are preventing the younger generation from getting the country they want for their futures.

    It would be interesting if anyone knew if the Catalonia vote is restricted in some way.

    • Big Jock EU nationals did get a vote in the Referendum hence the double whammy of the lie only voting NO would keep us in the EU. My partner’s German. They don’t get to vote in Westminster elections. As an aside I phoned up Perth and Kinross to query the matter after the result and was told by the official how they were being inundated at the time by English residents registering to vote in the referendum using their holiday homes as their electoral address.

    • The census for the independence vote in Catalonia has not yet been published, as far as I know. This is due to the hostile conditions the Catalan government is struggling with re. the state, and its reluctance to reveal arrangements to avoid their automatic blocking by the Constitutional Court etc.

      However, the census will probably only allow Catalans who are Spanish citizens to vote, including Catalans living abroad, requiring them to register their intention to vote.

      So the right to vote will be based not on residence but on nationality (including naturalised Spanish citizens resident in Catalonia from countries like Pakistan, India and south America, but excluding citizens of the rest of Europe like the large UK, Italian and French communities). This means that many thousands of permanent residents will be denied a vote.

      Seems the principles applied in Scotland and Catalonia for voting will be very different.


      Big Jock – ‘That said remember that people over 65 are preventing the younger generation from getting the country they want for their futures.’

      This assertion is infuriating!

      The drive for independence started as a small movement long before even the older adults of today were born!

      From little acorns large oak trees grow.

      Who were the acorns starting this now great movement? They are of generations now past or passing.
      Like any fledgling movement it was formed of courageous souls who worked with fortitude. Through their effort more and more people have come to their side. These older generations which are sweepingly blamed for forgetting the young were the foundations on which the movement for independence was built.

      My parents, in their nineties and upper eighties, were immediately for Yes when the referendum was announced. They remained involved and informed themselves from many quarters. They blanked out a whole window with a “Yes” sign which approaching traffic could not avoid seeing. Tell them that they forgot their grandchildren, and their great grandchildren.

      Also, consider this; how many of the ‘younger’ generations voted ‘no’? Likely if they had all voted ‘yes’ we would have won independence.

      We lost and we didn’t like it but pointing the finger of blame at presumed ‘no’ voters is futile and undemocratic. The alternative, after all, is to dictate what people must vote.

      No. Instead we should talk with calm reason. To increase the ‘yes’ vote for next time we must not alienate ‘no’ voters but persuade them.

    • I reluctantly agree that anyone not born in Scotland should be resident here 10 years or more. I have lived in Scotland for 57 of my 64 years, coming to live in Edinburgh when I was 7, with my English dad and Scottish mum. I voted YES in 2014 and will always be YES. Having said that, most of the NO voting friends of mine are all Scots born!

  9. Excellent and very provocative. Would submission as a Resolution to the SNP conference be a way ahead?

    • Thanks Ron. I would be happy for any SNP branches or members to use the paper as you suggest, and I assume Newsnet would be similarly supportive. That might shake the leadership position from thinking of Scotland’s political adversaries as ‘unionists’, which to many people has positive connotations, totally undeserved of course, and instead to consider them as what they really are, which is colonisers, assuming it is accepted that Scotland is a colony, and not an equal partner in any union, the latter clearly a mischievous fallacy.

      • Thank you. I’ll suggest that my local branch considers your paper as the basis for a Resolution and we’ll see what happens.

  10. Can I suggest that instead of referring to Tory, Labour and LD parties as ‘the unionist parties’ we start referring to them as ‘the colonialist parties’ and with the MSM refer to ‘the colonialist media’.

  11. Brilliant and brave analysis. I ‘ve been stating this for a number of years on the usual sites that we are a colony in all but name. People are slowly catching on…’s the ‘settlers’ issue that subdues overt acknowledgement of the fact. Political correctness, does not encourage any proper discussion of this in Scotland.

    Ignorant Brexiteers in England are allowed to scream racist abuse at ‘foreigners’, whilst in Scotland legitimate criticism of the stealth and wealth takeover of our country and culture is conflated with the criticism of the English hegemony of ruling class. When the reality is a consolidation of de facto rule and suppression of our identity.

    We are running out of time. The vain hope of many liberal ‘YES’ voters for the demographic replacement of O.A.P. ‘NO’s by young Scots is a forlorn hope. Many of the young indigenous Scots youth are already fleeing before Brexit closes the gates. They are being replaced by ‘white flight’ English, young and old, who are demonstrably either ignorant or downright hostile to Scottish Independence. The voting pattern at the Indyref proved my worst fears with a percentage of 75/25 ‘No’.

    The English are more clannish than we ever were. They are settled in large numbers in the Northern Isles; the Highlands; the South West; the Borders; Edinburgh and the Lothians. Surveys of identity show these areas to be increasingly lower in ‘Scottish’ identity only. Our Media and almost exclusively spokespeople for organisations public and private are voiced by English people. Our historic sites are similarly dominated by non Scots. Their indigenous lackeys help to reduce our visibility with downright insulting naming of new hospitals, canals etc. with the name of an Anglo German monarch with the innaccurate numeral of ‘second’.

    We are a society and a nation under threat by a bullying historically hostile enemy. We are now facing subjugation by settlement of numbers and being voted into eternal oblivion as a nation. We must reach out to the UN before we disappear into a Greater England.

    • Greet nothing Graeme , these ideas need shared far and wide. The differences between the general populations becomes clearer everyday. England is on a very different trajectory from Scotland.

  12. Alf a great thought provoking item ,I’ve read many of your comments on other sites and they are just as informative . One thing that upsets me is the mistaken belief held by many that independence can be gained without the direct inclusion of the SNP SG . Let me make it clear i am not and i have never been a member of ANY political party , I have voted SNP for the last 10 years or so because at 66 i have experienced the gross incompetence and corruption of many colonialist governments Slab ,Tolies , and lie dums . I do not always agree with the SNP policies but to my mind they are showing competence in government especially facing the continued constraints placed upon them.

    Having read your article and considering the state of politics recently , where Liebour have literally came back from the dead i looked for the reason behind their resurrection , on reflection the massive influx of younger people joining them and associating with the aspirations and visions of the group calling themselves MOMENTUM has greatly enhanced the credibility of Corbyn and his policies , unfortunately for them they still failed
    Many people have asserted that the SNP are a truly democratic party governed and guided by the wishes of the membership , my proposal is that all people GENUINELY determined for independence not a colony , join the SNP , attend the branch meetings and INSIST that the hierarchy refer and lodge a complaint to the UN under the colonisation rules effectively a form of SNP MOMENTUM
    Unfortunately with the state of politics at present it looks as though there maybe another GE soon so this idea would have to be expedited ASAP
    A formal complaint to the UN would also send a clear message to the EU that Scotland will not be dictated to by a wastemonster government intent on subjugating Scottish aspirations
    Sorry for the length of this comment just attempting to think of the best way forward re the colonisation reality

    • I am not sure I can agree that the SNP are “guided by the wishes of the membership”. If that were the case, the SNP leadership would already have asserted Scotland’s independence by now, by giving notice to end the union as far as Scotland is concerned, which they have every right to do considering they have secured democratic majorities of Scotland’s MP’s and MSP’s who (claim to) support independence. In any other colony that would have been game over. The UN is the next stage in the process, and the latter may (or may not) request a further referendum to ratify matters. The UN could be brought in to ensure the administrative Power is unable to get up to the dirty tricks that occurred in 2014, e.g. widespread use of propaganda media, funding Whitehall departments to actively subvert independence, permitting widespread abuse of the franchise, and in regard to the latter, to provide practical advice on correct voting franchise rules as to who qualifies to vote on the issue of Scotland’s independence/decolonization. The range of UN advice and expertise available to non self governing territories seeking to decolonize are extensive and should be used by the Scottish Government, see: I really don’t see what the SNP leadership and MP’s/MSP’s are waiting on. As Lochside notes above, time is running out. Nicola should use her democratic majorities now, to full effect, or she and Scotland will lose them, and not necessarily due to any resurgence of Labour, rather more due to ongoing population change.

  13. An interesting article, though slightly disturbing reading the comments. I’m English born, married to a Scot and have lived here more than half my life. I now identify as Scottish, and voted Yes in 2014. I know of plenty folk who were born in Scotland that voted No.
    I feel rather put out that being over 60, English born and living in Edinburgh, I am regarded as likely to be against independence.
    With Brexit, it could be that many people are moving north of the border in the hope of an independent Scotland.
    i feel rather strongly that voting should not be restricted by place of birth, it would give others ammunition to throw at the independence movement.

    • “voting should not be restricted by place of birth”
      You mean like Brexit?
      The fact is all nations have restrictions, more especially when it comes to voting on constitutional matters, and the UN would likely uphold that approach in efforts to end what it calls “the scourge of colonisation”. I am not sure why Scotland should be uniquely different.

  14. I mean that it should be the same as 2014, with those who have chosen to make Scotland their home being able to vote – including EU citizens. There are a lot of independence supporters who are Scots by choice, and not by birth. There are also a lot of Scottish born people who prefer to remain in the UK.
    I do agree with many of your points, but to exclude those born elsewhere is likely to bring about even more accusations of ‘nasty nationalism’.
    I admit that I don’t really know the solution, but I’m just giving the reaction of someone who is English born but has lived here for 37 years. I didn’t experience any anti- English sentiment during the last referendum, although the media tried to make out that it was such an unpleasant campaign. Maybe I don’t wish to be deprived of the opportunity to vote Yes again.

    • With respect, Claire, you have not really answered my question on why you think “Scotland should be uniquely different” to every other country (including England-UK/Brexit) when it comes to regulating the voting franchise on important constitutional matters. Why do you suggest that Scotland dealing with the voter franchise as other countries (including UK) do as a matter of course, would lead to accusations of “nasty nationalism” or “anti-English sentiment”? The alternative, a wide open franchise based simply on ‘residency’ is an open door to No voters, and dubious registration practices, as we discovered in 2014. No other country would even consider that, and neither would the UN Committee on Decolonization, so why should Scotland? This is why I suggest the UN could be brought in to advise on the process, as clearly the Scottish Government officials advising the FM (whilst still working for the administrative Power!) seem to have worked a fast one. In her recent Stanford lecture the FM actually admitted as much, saying the franchise was so open primarily because her officials advised her that ‘it would be too complicated’ to do otherwise, which is simply nonsense, and a ‘justification’ straight out of Yes Minister.

  15. I see your point, though at the moment we do not have separate Scottish citizenship, but are British subjects about to lose EU citizenship. If it were to be narrowed then there would need to be decisions based perhaps on length of residence etc. Perhaps something that could be done though.
    I know that currently things must be pretty awful for citizens of other EU countries in the U.K., and the EU referendum emboldened many with racist attitudes to express these attitudes more freely. I have always felt that Scotland is better than this, and would hope that any solution would not mean an independence where others would feel unwelcome. As is the case with Brexit.

  16. I would caution about designating Scotland as a colony
    before finding out if we would be risking the 8% of the UK asset’s that we are entitled to as the other country in the 1707 Treaty agreement.

    • Recent political/constitutional events rather suggest the ‘1707 Treaty agreement’ to be highly theoretical, i.e. in practice it does not exist, at least not in the minds of Scotland’s ‘administrative Power’, where sovereignty over Scotland currently rests. The question of whether Scotland is a colony or not really depends on how well the ‘country’ fits the definition. ‘Designating’ Scotland as a colony could be positive, e.g. putting Scotland on the UN list of colonies to be decolonized, and pushing the UN and its relevant Committees and structures to help bring about independence (e.g. through a fair referendum process), meantime demonstrating to Scottish ‘unionists’ (as well as Scots more generally) that there is no ‘union’. As for ‘assets’, the main purpose of independence/ decolonization is to recover one’s territory from control by an ‘administrative Power’; Scotland’s land area is around one third of GB, hence much greater than the 8% you refer to. There is also the question of ever increasing UK liabilities/debt, and a relatively powerless colony would understandably seem to be rather less liable for this than would an actual ‘partner’ in any actual bona fide political union of nations.

  17. This string is full of bogus, xenophobic posts from false flags who are seeking to discredit Scotland’s independence movement by promoting hostility to English people. Newsnet needs to sort this out.

    • Graeme, why don’t you address the issue of whether Scotland fits the definition of a colony, which is not simply about migration. I would be interested to hear your views on that. Your ‘contribution’ rather appears to reflect Lochside’s observation above in that: “Political correctness, does not encourage any proper discussion of this in Scotland.” In any other country, however, such large-scale sustained in-migration would inevitably be a ‘hot topic’ (as in England, for example). You appear to be saying that we Scots cannot or should not discuss this topic in Scotland, whilst in England (and elsewhere) there is no such prevailing or implied pc constraint. Why should Scots alone be prevented from discussing fundamental ongoing changes to their population and culture?

  18. nicely done: and does change the ‘overton window’. lots to argue about, but no doubt lots of supporting material. and I like the photo of the 1820 banner!

    • Thanks Eric. Aye, thon ‘unionists’ wadna be so keen on the name change. But if no ‘union’ exists in practice, the term ‘unionist’ is clearly a misnomer, as well as a rather mischievous political fraud. So some name other than ‘unionist’ does seem appropriate, and thankfully we have long-established geo-political theory pointing us in the one well trod direction. The UN could perhaps help out in this regard, for clarification. Nicola would be better sending Mike Russell and a ‘Scotland’ delegation there, rather than being ignored by Westminster on brexit etc.
      Photo was the editor’s doing – I liked it too.

  19. Is there a way that we can get the official recognition by the UN that Scotland is a colony? A resolution, a bit of paper?

    • Brian, my Q and A with UN as follows:

      Q: can you inform me the process as to how a Non Self Governing Territory such as Scotland could become listed?

      A: Regarding your query, a request has to be made by a Member State of the United Nations for a formal decision of the General Assembly.

      Thus, any Member State supportive of ending “the scourge of colonisation” should do, which is probably around half the world. Nicola could maybe ask Argentina though?

  20. One of the most important aspects of our colinisation is probably that Scotland can never get access to the accounts of this so called union but England will always have access and can choose to manipulate those numbers to its advantage.

  21. We can’t even decide what we view on our tv’s ffs. We are a colonised people and the quicker we get to grips with the fact the quicker we get to independence. This needs brought out into the open

  22. Comp!etely skewed viewpoint.
    The four countries in the UK are equal partners but none are equal to the sum of its parts.
    Scotland held the deciding votes in Brexit and the recent Westminster elections. Had Scots voted remain and Labour then we’d be in the EU with Corbyn as PM.

    • On the contrary, if every single Scot voted remain and Labour, we would still be dragged be out of Europe with May as PM.

  23. There are more than three times the number of people living under colonial rule in Scotland than in the whole of the rest of the world.

  24. Scotland is not in union with England, it is our governments who are in union. Also Westminster does not have any reserved rights to the Scottish constitution. The Scottish people voted for the return of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 under the Scots constitutional Law the “Claim of Right” in no way is this a devolved Scottish Parliament it is the returned pre 1707 Scottish Parliament.

  25. Several very interesting points there Mr. Geddes. If, as you say, Holyrood “is the returned pre 1707 Scottish Parliament” then, constitutionally, the allegedly independence supporting majority of MSP’s should bring forward and support a ‘Withdrawal from United Kingdom Union (Scotland) Bill’, thereby ending the supposed political ‘union’ (charade) in the same way it began.


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