The EU Fallacy

I feel that there has been undue delay in addressing the issues we lost the last independence referendum on and up to now I really could not see the logic in it, as it is not possible to be too prepared. However last weekend at events in and surrounding the SNP conference it would seem that the emphasis of the SNP would seem to be for keeping Scotland in the EU at the same time as keeping us in the UK. Perhaps the logic is becoming clearer now.


However, in the faint hope that I am wrong and also realising that I have been banging on about the need to address the mistakes we made during the referendum campaign in 2013- 2014. There is another issue we must now face and assuming there is still a slim chance of going for another referendum, there is another issue that we must address and that is the fact that there were quite a few people who voted Yes in our referendum and actually voted no in the EU referendum.


I keep hearing that people believe that the EU is not democratic and the laws they bring in are unnecessary and in some cases silly. We need to address these misconceptions and as usual the SNP do not seem to be doing anything about it.


By way of shedding some light on this I would like to recount a personal experience I have had through business and in connection with the law making process in the EU, so here goes.



Now I am in the transport industry, I have a coach company. We rely, to a great deal on part time drivers to cover busy times and things like school contracts.

Some time ago the EU decided that there were potential safety issues in both the coach industry and the haulage industry and they decided to attempt to address this situation.


The way they did this was to introduce a driver qualification called the CPC (certificate of professional competence) This was to be paid for by the drivers themselves and without it they could not drive as a profession. (we paid for all our drivers to go through this process) The upshot of this legislation is that it has taken a large percentage of drivers out of the market and made it very difficult for some companies to operate. Bloody EU are the first words that come to mind,

The reality of the situation is not quite what it seems however and here is why.

The first move in any proposed legislation is to hand the project to one of the 28 commissioners (one for each country in the EU) It is their job to investigate proposed legislation and report back to the parliament (there is not a single law made by any commissioner as commonly supposed)


The first step is to put the matter out to consultation and this is more often or not where the problem arises and it is because the various trade organisations and in deed the general public do nothing about it which means that the commissioners have to bring in their own “experts” who may or may not be up to the problems envisaged, as the actual trade organisations involved in the issue.


Now that is exactly what happened here as the Freight Transport Association and the Bus and Coach Council did very little to assist or object to the proposed legislation so we finished up with a dog’s breakfast initially with things like the five-day course made up of a possible five of the same, day course on a forklift, for drivers of coaches. That has now been addressed but again because of the ongoing ability to change legislation that is not doing what it is supposed to do.


During the run up to this legislation being put into place the EU through the commissioner was constantly asking for suggestions as to how this would work and the general attitude in the industry was “we don’t want this legislation so why should we help them to draft it” Well the result is that we now have a shortage of drivers in the industry but it wasn’t the fault of the EU but the fault of the industry for not realising the modern inclusive nature of the law making procedure of the EU.

I suspect that similar scenarios play themselves out in the process of the EU getting the blame for “bad legislation”

There is not a single law passed by any commissioner, they are merely the head of a department for suggesting new legislation or keeping present legislation up to date.


When a commissioner suggests a change or new legislation it first has to go the individual parliaments of the 28 country members and only after it as passed that hurdle is it put before the EU parliament for consideration.

There is no doubt that like every large organisation (and they do not come much larger than the EU) there are problems but there is also systems in place to address these problems.


I am of the opinion that we should be going for independence with a promises from all the parties that in the event of Scotland becoming independent, hopefully with a seamless transition in to the EU, that there would, within the first year, be a referendum on continued membership. That way we get independence with every one entitled to a say afterwards.


Bob Dylan, a man of peace.


Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel prize for literature, well done but I feel he should have been awarded the Nobel prize for peace.

Think about his songs :- A hard rain’s gonna fall.

Blown in the wind

The times they are a changing

With God on our side

Masters of War

And so on, wonderful songs and absolutely timeless, timeless because we are still making the same mistakes we were making in the days when Dylan wrote these songs. Take any of his songs, songs of protest they were called, and you can fit them into today’s world without alteration. Yes, they would fit perfectly, they would fit perfectly because we never seem to learn, we keep electing politicians who take us to war.

They are at it again, we went to war in Syria to carry on a proxy war for Israel and their greater Israel ambitions along with their oil ventures in the occupied Golan Heights.

In Syria today there are several terrorist organisation operating and when I say terrorist organisations I mean military forces who are in the country operating against the legitimate government, against that governments wishes.

These terrorist organisations are in the main ISIS (sponsored by the US and Israel) Al Nustra (sponsored by the US Israel and the UK and called Al Quida until relatively recently) The US, The UK, France. The list is not exhaustive but these are the main protagonists.

Russia is there also, but they are there at the invitation of the Syrian government and they are the only military force that are actually fighting the terrorists.

So these are the situations that Dylan depicted in his songs, songs that he wrote and performed in the sixties but which are very relevant today and that is why I feel he should have been given the Nobel prize for peace.

When will we ever learn to live together?

“the answer is blown in the wind “



Not quite what it seems Nicola

Well an interesting speech today from Nicola where she laid out plans to introduce a “draft” bill on a referendum to parliament. Not exactly a new initiative as it was first mentioned at the opening of Parliament a few weeks ago.

Firstly, I can’t understand why the term “draft bill” is being used because, if I understand the bill passage procedure properly, the draft stage is simply one of the steps along the road and not in itself completed step unless the intention is the halt the procedure at that stage, which would seem strange to me.

Anyway, any steps towards a future referendum is to be welcomed. However, it would have been nice to see an announcement regarding addressing the issues we lost the last referendum on as any future referendum will be hopeless without a reasonable time to get people convinced of the inaccuracies that were being put about by project fear with regards to pensions and monetary union.

Now regarding the bill to be published, one of the steps is that any interested parties can object and in fact mount a legal challenge and this is bound to happen because one of the people who can mount such a challenge is the Scottish secretary and the grounds on which that legal challenge will no doubt happen is that a referendum is a reserved matter.

A way of subverting this would have been to have included the intention to wrest control of calling and arranging referendums from Westminster to the Scottish parliament, in either the Westminster general election in 2015 or the Scottish elections last May.

I and others have been warning about this for quite some time and indeed I went into some detail in my blog “letter to Nicola” written a few days before the Scottish elections in May. At the very least it would have given the SNP a focused mandate for a referendum bill, which they do not have at the moment and this will be made very plain by Westminster in coming weeks.

The thing which most concerns me most is that when you analyse Nicolas speech today It gives me the uncomfortable impression that she is intent on doing everything to keep us in the UK and indeed giving the British Government every possible way out to prevent Scotland becoming independent. Now I know there is the argument that The SNP are governing for the whole of Scotland and not just for yes voters but I would put it to you that this does not necessarily mean giving up prime opportunities to go for independence and here is my reasoning.

Nicola Sturgeon is the leader of the SNP and the sole purpose of the SNP is to gain independence for Scotland. Now she is also the first minister of Scotland because she is the leader of the party (the SNP) who are the largest party in the Scottish parliament which by the way has a pro independence majority. Now I think it is fair to say that there is no one who voted for the SNP and therefore made them the largest party in the parliament (last time they had an overall majority before they messed it up this time )  Therefore they have a mandate to strive towards independence so therefore there is no need to sacrifice golden opportunities ( which they have done constantly over the last two years) in the spurious interest of governing for all the people, because that will always be impossible to do and they should instead concentrate on governing according to the mandate they have been given by the Scottish people and that is to achieve independence.

There is no doubt that the most advantages set of circumstances for going for another referendum which will ever likely present themselves was present the day after the EU referendum result and that was missed because Theresa May hotfooted it up to Scotland and persuaded Nicola that she had some sort of veto over EU negotiations.

No more carrots Nicola, please just get on with the job you have been given by the Scottish people.