17/10 Brexit: Letter from a [Catholic Truth] Scotsman to The Scotsman!

17/10 Brexit: Letter from a [Catholic Truth] Scotsman to The Scotsman!

Today’s Scotsman carries the following superb letter from our blogger Athanasius. It’s little short of miraculous that it ever saw the light of publication.  I wish I could be that lucky fly on the wall when the powers-that-be in Holyrood read it – as read it they will!  

“Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don't seem to see this.” ― Doris Lessing
Click on flag to read original letter

From Martin Blackshaw – Brexit Hypocrisy…

It was very interesting listening to the new SNP deputy leader, Angus Robertson, speaking on STV’s Scotland Tonight programme about Brexit and a second Scottish independence referendum. The misinformation and hypocrisy emanating from the man were just astounding.

Like Nicola Sturgeon, he commenced with the old chestnuts that 62 per cent of Scots voted to Remain in the EU and that the people of Scotland are therefore entitled to their democratic right to a second independence referendum in the event of a “hard Brexit”.

In fact, that 62 per cent he speaks of was 62 per cent of the 2.68 million who actually voted, not 62 per cent of the 3.98 million Scots who were eligible to vote.

In reality, then, only 1.66 million of almost four million Scots voted to Remain in the EU while just over one million voted to Leave and 1.3 million (33 per cent of the population) didn’t bother to vote at all. This significantly alters the intensity of what the SNP calls “the voice of the Scottish people”.

As for the “democratic right to a second independence ref- erendum”, the SNP is still furious with David Cameron for granting the people of Britain a democratic vote on the EU, a right that they and others resolutely declare should have been denied us. Yet now they demand the right to a second referendum on independence, having already been accorded that privilege just two years ago. What about “the voice of the Scottish people” in 2014, a voice that said NO in proportionally greater numbers to separation from the UK?

So here’s where we actually stand on true democracy. By the democratic voice of the Scottish people we remain part of the UK, and by the democratic voice of the British people we are leaving the EU. Attempts to undermine this free and unanimous choice of the people with nationalist propaganda is not democracy, it’s a form of anarchy.

Furthermore, if David Cameron, then Prime Minister of the fiftth largest economy in the world, could not persuade the unelected bureaucrats who run the EU to grant a few urgent constitutional concessions to the UK, then what chance does Nicola Sturgeon think she has persuading them to act in Scotland’s interests?

Like the old Supreme Soviet of the Cold War era Brussels has become the centralised government of Europe. Its apparatus exists to gradually eradicate national identity and sovereignty from individual member states, primarily by the bait of the single market, and bring all under the control of unsympathetic and untouchable foreign dictators. Our military personnel fought and died in two great wars to preserve us from just such a fate.

Woe betide us, then, if we sever the bonds of a 300-year successful union with the rest of Britain in order to shackle ourselves to a centralised government in Europe. It would be the equivalent of selling ourselves into slavery. MARTIN BLACKSHAW – Source

Comments invited. 

Comments (69)

  • sarto2010

    Superb. Similarly, I am fed up of being reminded that I have sold out Scotland or betrayed the Scottish people, simply because I voted No. Of course, the vilification of No-voters on certain social media is vile, but one can always close down an account.

    October 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      “Superb” – I agree. That was a superb letter, Athanasius (another one – LOL!)

      October 17, 2016 at 4:18 pm
    • Athanasius

      Sarto and Margaret Mary

      Thank you both. I just hope that letter gets a few people out there thinking

      October 17, 2016 at 10:17 pm
  • RCA Victor

    Bravo, Athanasius! Pardon me for stating the obvious, but leftists have never gotten what they wanted by telling the truth. In fact, esp. since 1789, it seems they have gotten most everything they wanted by telling lies.(like their master and father, Satan). And if lies don’t work, there’s always plenty of paper money available to grease the skids. And if money doesn’t work, they can be made to “disappear.”

    October 17, 2016 at 3:29 pm
    • Athanasius

      RCA Victor

      Absolutely right. The secret of Communist success in many countries is its ability to fool people into believing that Communism will give them a better life. Invariably it ends in sorrow, not to mention bankruptcy.

      October 17, 2016 at 10:16 pm
  • gabriel syme

    That’s a fantastic letter from Athanasius, very well done indeed.

    I find the SNP are increasingly hysterical and I am cautiously optimistic that their failed 2014 referendum was their “high water mark”.

    I think that many of their supporters live in a bubble and their political views are all about emotion / the search for an identity, and are completely detached from reality. This is especially true of the schoolchildren whom the SNP allowed to vote at the 2014 referendum.

    Of course, their whole raison d’être is a nonsense – “independence” within the EU is no independence at all. Any negative they claim about the UK is surely true of the EU, but magnified 100-fold.

    In truth, the UK is a very successful union, one Scotland does very well out of – as the latest financial figures show. Scotland gets to spend £15 billion more than it can make in taxation, as part of the UK. So, leaving the UK would require that magnitude of cuts to our health service, education system etc. Of course, the nationalists cannot see this from behind their tartan-tinted specs, or simply deny reality.

    People should step back and wonder what the years of SNP Governance have actually brought us. Their policies are typically ill-thought out, unwanted rubbish which end up embroiled in bitter court cases (at great cost to the taxpayer).

    This is true of their minimum alcohol pricing law (illegal price fixing, shot down by their beloved EU ironically), and their named person scheme (illegal surveillance of families, shot down by the UK Supreme Court). Their offensive behaviour at football law is also a failure, widely disliked by the public, police and courts.

    That they produce so much low quality legislation is testament to how they never listen and cannot be told anything. Even after losing the court cases, they still insist they were “in the right”, showing extreme arrogance and an infantile nature. They have no humility at all (Pope Francis would be appalled!).

    It seems that the absurdity of “gay marriage” rail-roaded through against the results of their own public consultation, is their sole achievement (I use that term loosely) which says it all about this party and its quality of governance.

    October 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm
    • Athanasius

      Gabriel Syme

      First of all, thank you for your kind words.

      You are absolutely right about the SNP, it is not a party fit for governance of a nation. It is a divisive party, completely non-democratic and legislatively incompetent. The SNP is riding high at present solely on the emotions of unthinking people driven by bigotry against the English. Fortunately I believe many are beginning to open their eyes to the reality and SNP popularity is starting to fail.

      October 17, 2016 at 10:14 pm
      • Petrus


        I forgot to say, the letter is superb. Many congratulations.

        I have to say, I think it shows just how easily led the Scottish people are that a dangerous band of bigots have been allowed to govern this country, virtually unopposed, for almost a decade.

        However, I think there are signs that the tide is turning. Nicola Sturgeon is neglecting her day job with her preoccupation with independence. Her majority in Parliament was cut at the last election, mainly because her domestic success is very limited. Hopefully this is just the start of the Scottish people seeing that nasty little woman and her legion of hingers-on for what they are!

        October 17, 2016 at 11:11 pm
      • RCA Victor


        It’s no better in the USA, whose people have elected Barack Obama twice: a man mentored in his youth by a Communist (Frank Marshall) and a faithful student of Saul Alinsky. But the fifth column media is largely responsible for the lack of knowledge about his subversive background and his fundamental hatred of America and Western Civilization.

        October 17, 2016 at 11:28 pm
      • editor


        Your “hingers-on” reminds me of the way wee Nicola always says “yistirday” instead of “yesterday” – would drive me nuts if I had to listen to it all day long instead of in a sound-bite on the TV news.

        I’m being very uncharitable about Mzzz Sturgeon. I mean, it’s not that annoying, really. I just thought I’d point it out in case anyone missed it on the news yistirday 😀

        October 17, 2016 at 11:48 pm
      • Petrus


        Did you see BBC news showed footage of the escaped London Zoo gorilla when reporting on a story about Nicola? Of course, they had to apologise …..to the gorilla!

        October 18, 2016 at 7:14 am
      • Christina

        Oh yes it is, and so is the lipless gob on the rare occasions one sees it shut, but then I’m only a biassed old sassenach who loves Scotland, its beauty and its people, and would hate to see an end to the 413 year-old union.

        Brilliant letter, Athanasius, measured and unassailably reasoned. Only batty ideologues like Nicola could disagree with you. Scotland doesn’t deserve to have someone like her holding any position of responsibiliy.

        October 19, 2016 at 12:33 am
  • Spero

    I don’t know what percentage of the Scottish people did not vote in the Scottish referendum, but the same method must therefore be applied to that referendum then as you have applied to the EU referendum.
    I don’t see it that way.
    The people who did not vote in Scotland in the EU referendum abrogated their right to have their voice heard.
    I would conclude that the 62% of the 2.68 million who cared enough to vote, gives that strong voice of dissent in Scotland from an exit from Europe.

    October 17, 2016 at 4:07 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      Are you saying you are in favour of staying in the EU?

      Personally, I think the SNP position makes absolutely no sense. They want out of the UK “domination” but want to remain within the EU domination. Where’s the sense in that? Why bad-mouth the Westminster Parliament for making laws when we have Scots MPs to represent us there, but praise the EU Parliament which hasn’t got the power to make laws at all. The small group of Commissioners makes the rules imposed on Scotland, yet the SNP have no problem with that! I think it makes no sense. I’ve love to know why they are so keen on the EU. Presumably it has to do with their god – money.

      The SNP take no account of the large number of Scots who voted to leave – we are dismissed and never mentioned.

      If they do achieve keeping Scotland within the EU (which I doubt – the early outreach to the EU was peremptorily dismissed, they were put in their place) I think they would quickly lose power because despite that vote to remain, I think most Scots have no time for the EU. Once the benefits of leaving become clearer, the “remainer” Scots will change their tune. I’m quite sure of it.

      October 17, 2016 at 4:17 pm
      • Chris McLaughlin

        “They [the SNP] want out of the UK “domination” but want to remain within the EU domination. Where’s the sense in that?”

        The point is that the UK and the EU are very different unions, and it seems perfectly clear to me that the UK is by far the most egregious.

        The EU essentially confines itself to trade, agriculture and fisheries. It does not in any way impact upon my life in terms of education, health, taxation, the size of the state, the criminal law, local government, defence, transport, or almost anything else.

        Moreover EU membership does not remove from Scotland the right to participate in other international bodies such as the UN, in the way that membership of the UK does. Nor does the EU impose upon me a government elected by the citizens of a foreign country,as the UK does.

        October 17, 2016 at 7:08 pm
      • Athanasius

        Chris McLaughlin

        You are quite wrong to suggest that the EU is just a trading partner with little or impact on our sovereignty. Have you not watched the various debates and Brexit the Movie? More to the point, have you not been paying attention to the growing interference in our justice system and other areas of British life these past decades?

        It wasn’t so long ago that Theresa May, while Home Secretary, had the hardest time removing a dangerous Islamic extremist from this country. His name was Hamsa, I believe, and it cost millions of pounds of taxpayers money to fight EU law so that he could be kicked out.

        You say that the EU does not affect our health, education, taxation, criminal law, etc., yet the EU Charter on Human Rights touches on all these areas of government, enforcing numerous laws that restrict our freedom and raise our taxes. The UK contribution to the EU alone costs us a fortune, much more than any poultry grants that it pretends to give us from our own pot.

        You need to open your eyes and realise that something much more sinister than a trading union underlay the formation of the EU. When we entered the Common Market there was not the slightest whiff of an eventual political and monetary union down the line. People would never have stood for that, so they introduced it gradually, taking sovereignty away piece by piece until full union under EU leadership had been attained without anyone even knowing what had happened.

        The Maastricht Treaty was the master stroke, that’s when everything moved from the pretended trading union to a full takeover of member states.

        I find it difficult to believe that anyone could look at the stark facts surrounding the formation and development of the EU these past fifty years and still put forward a case for its being just a trading union. Utter tosh!

        October 17, 2016 at 9:05 pm
      • Chris McLaughlin

        Again, you are utterly wrong.

        The case of Hamsa had nothing whatsoever to do with the EU. European human rights law is based upon the European Convention on Human Rights, which despite the name is entirely separate from the EU, and instead is an instrument of the Council of Europe set up after the Second World War. Many countries are signatories to the ECHR who are not EU members such as Norway, Turkey, Serbia and many others. It even includes Azerbaijan and Iceland which arguably aren’t even in Europe.

        The UK is a net contributor to the EU, (although less than half the often quoted £350 million a week figure) but like all the other states has tended to recognize there are financial benefits derived from membership which are hard to quantify. It is also worth pointing out that many EU functions will have to be duplicated by the UK civil service post-Brexit, which will naturally come at a cost.

        The EU was always a political project, from the very beginning. The Coal & Steel Community was explicitly designed as a mechanism to promote peace between France and Germany. Every nation in Europe has always understood this. The fact that UK politicians sold it to their electorate as a primarily financial and trade arrangement was utterly dishonest, and in my view is at the heart of the UK’s difficult relationship with the EU.

        The fact is the EU is essentially about trade in as much as strengthening economic and commercial ties were seen as the best way to pursue the greater goal of precluding war. The EU is all about trade, but only in so far as that leads to the greater political goal of continental peace. That is why it doesn’t care about health, education, criminal law etc. as these are irrelevant to that goal and so can safely remain with member states.

        You should go read some history books.

        October 18, 2016 at 10:07 am
      • Athanasius

        Chris McLaughlin

        No need for history books, I can see right now what the EU is and where it’s heading. It’s heading to full political and monetary union, which is NOT what the peoples of Europe understood by the initial Common Market. A federal Europe run from Brussels is almost achieved. Well it was until the British people got wise and got out. Free at last!

        October 19, 2016 at 12:28 pm
      • Petrus

        I’ve often said the same thing. The SNP are not interested in independence. If they were, they wouldn’t want to stay in the EU. No, they are racist and anti-English!

        October 17, 2016 at 9:59 pm
    • Athanasius


      The point I was making is that the 62% of the 2.68 million who voted is nowhere near as strong a Scottish voice as the SNP pretend when matched against a population of nearly 4 million eligible voters. Remember, more than one million of that 2.68 voted to leave the EU, that’s just half a million less than the remain vote. Hardly “the voice of the Scottish people”, as though the entire nation had voted to remain.

      October 17, 2016 at 10:09 pm
  • Pat Langan

    As a life long supporter of an Independent Scotland and one who voted and wholeheartedly encouraged as many people as possible to leave the European Union I agree completely with all of what Martin Blackshaw states! and especially the last two paragraphs. Bravo! However I do not think we need to search to far to find hypocrisy in any sector of politics, Brexit or otherwise. St Andrew and all the saints of Scotland pray for us!

    October 17, 2016 at 4:18 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers

    I agree with all in said letter. But let’s face it this SNP mob are something else and democracy is the last thing on their minds. They pick away and pick away making up their own rules as they go, such as lowering the voting age, which was entirely for their benefit. As for another REF the last one cost £16 million the next one will probably be more. That’s say £35 million that could surely be spent more wisely. Such as making sure The Forth Road Bridge stayed open.

    October 17, 2016 at 4:33 pm
  • Tony Buck

    The despots of the 1930’s said: “Do what we tell you and you will have peace; disobey us and you will have war.”

    Now Brussels pleads and threatens: “Do what we tell you and you will be prosperous and liberal; disobey us, and you will have poverty and isolation.”

    Not much has changed.

    October 17, 2016 at 5:35 pm
  • tonybuck321

    I know little about the rights and wrongs of Scottish independence.

    I do know that the main argument against it is the SNP.

    October 17, 2016 at 5:37 pm
    • Athanasius


      If it were not for that lefty party there would be no independence debate, ever. They are the only party that wants separation from the Union, it’s their reason for existence and it’s Communist pure and simple. Divide and conquer!

      October 17, 2016 at 9:08 pm
      • Chris McLaughlin

        The United Kingdom was (and is) a Protestant enterprise from its inception. I’m not sure an argument about political origins is necessarily helpful in this debate.

        October 18, 2016 at 10:25 am
      • editor

        Chris McLaughlin,

        Anything we discuss on this blog has a Catholic perspective. Hence, our concerns about the EU are chiefly religious and moral, not political in the narrow “party policy” sense.

        I wrote an article on this perspective which is published in our current newsletter. You can reach it on our website, Newsletter page but I’ve copied the link to give you here, for ease of reference. The article is on page 9.

        October 18, 2016 at 10:50 am
      • Petrus

        The European Union is fundamentally freemasonic yet the SNP are hell bent on remaining in it!

        October 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm
  • Spero

    Margaret Mary.
    Yes I am in favour of staying in Europe.
    Britain survives on what it can export and Europe is close by and receives our exports willingly. Exporting further away costs more. Our goods will cost so much, they will not be so welcome.
    Culturally, it is beneficial to have an attachment to Europe. The domination from London and the surrounding south sucks money from all other parts of the U K. So I see Europe in terms if an attachment; London, and I use that word advisedly, I see in terms of domination.
    While it is claimed that the EU costs us money, much of the large scale infrastructure is funded by Europe.
    Most medical research is funded by Europe.
    In a time when more people travel in Europe, live, study and work there, it is beneficial to be part of the EU.
    Workers rights are protected by European laws.
    It gives us a starting point for a wider vision of the world.
    So there are other emotional ties that bind us, but yes I regret the leaving as do many others, I would remind you. But I respect the feelings tend arguments that motivated those who voted to go.
    What appals me is that many of those in government, have treated this whole matter as a game.
    While ordinary men and women on both sides of the debate have treated the decision with gravity.

    October 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm
    • Laura


      I really couldn’t vote to remain on economic grounds or any other grounds, because of the Free-masonic roots of the EU. We weren’t always in the EU and we managed to trade etc anyway. This is actually a very new experiment and we were hoodwinked into it thinking we were voting only for a trading relationship – it was called the “Common Market” at the start, so the fact that it is founded on lies, put me off voting to remain right away.

      I watched Brexit the Movie at the time of the referendum – somebody posted it on this blog so I Googled it to post it here, just in case you’d missed it. It shows how other nations manage to survive outside the EU and in fact prosper because of their independence. I truly cannot understand why anyone would permit a foreign power to rule us, and be able to over-rule our own elected government. I just don’t understand that, at all. No offence, but I really find it impossible to understand.

      [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTMxfAkxfQ0&w=1280&h=720%5D

      October 17, 2016 at 7:11 pm
    • Athanasius


      You couldn’t be more wrong and misguided, though I believe in perfectly good faith.

      Britain does not depend on the EU for exports in the way you suggest. The UK imports more goods from EU countries, primarily Germany and France, than it exports, so it would be much worse for the EU if we left the single market than it would be for the UK. We actually have very good trading agreements elsewhere in the world, though at the moment they are greatly restricted by EU regulation.

      We shouldn’t think of our present slavery under the EU to represent prosperity, it doesn’t. What it represents are the crumbs we have become used to and been told represent prosperity. Switzerland is only one Western country that enjoys real prosperity outside of the EU, with which it nevertheless trades. That country makes its money from Australia, the U.S., China, Russia, India and all those other wealthy and powerful nations that the EU has closed of to us.

      As regards cultural attachment to Europe, we have none to speak of unless you’re thinking back to the days of the Norman and Saxon conquests. We are not even attached by land to Europe. What we do share with the Eropeans is long-standing friendship and alliance, which no one is suggesting should be terminated, not even in trade provided it is free trade. It is a great mistake, and completely against the order established by God, to seek to interculturate the cultures, thereby gradually eliminating their individual beauty and unique qualities. One big collective farm of cultureless creatures is not how it was meant to be, but is the idea that the EU is pushing against every supernatural and natural ordinance to the contrary.

      And London is not the big bad beast you think it is. Do you know that the Scottish standard of living is better than in many other parts of the UK under the Westminster governments? And it has given more concessions to the Scottish Parliament in recent years than any of the other nations in the union. That hardly fits with your description of “domination” by London.

      “Most medical research is funded by Europe”

      Not true. The greater monies put into medical research in the UK comprises UK government grants and charitable donations from UK citizens. What the EU contributes is a fraction of the money we pay to them every year as the cost of our membership.

      “In a time when more people travel in Europe, live, study and work there, it is beneficial to be part of the EU.”

      That’s a straw man argument. Leaving the EU will not hamper travel to other EU countries. As for studying and living in other EU countries, our British youngsters can’t get into their own universities for foreign students from the EU and elsewhere, because the latter have to pay and money is God. And there are many more EU migrants living and working in the UK, not counting illegal immigrants, then vice versa, which is overwhelming our housing stock, the NHS and other areas of British life. The world managed quite well as it was before the EU. In fact, all the nations of Europe, save Germany and France, were significantly better off before the EU.

      “Workers rights are protected by European laws.”

      Tell that to workers in Greece, Spain, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland, to name a few, all devastated by the collapse of the single currency.

      “It gives us a starting point for a wider vision of the world.”

      The EU forbids a wider vision of the world to its member states, certainly as regards trading with it. So that doesn’t really work. Furthermore, the present worldview of the EU, as with the UN, is the Masonic worldview which seeks to eradicate God and the family from the face of the earth. Hence EU laws upholding gay rights, “gay marriage”, abortion, etc., which it dares to enshrine under the noble banner of ‘Human Rights’. What about God’s Rights and the rights of families to be protected from all that threatens their destruction?

      Frankly, I see Brexit as a triumph of Our Lady and I cannot wait to see Britain free of the fetters of that false union that was brought about to subvert Western culture. The sooner we’re out the better.

      October 17, 2016 at 9:52 pm
    • Petrus

      I wouldn’t vote based on economic reasons. Anyway, we’ve been told a lot of scare stories that make out we won’t be able to feed our family if we can’t trade with Bulgaria! It’s garbage!

      October 17, 2016 at 10:03 pm
      • Athanasius


        You’re absolutely right, it’s all scare stories and “garbage”. Britain will do very well outside of the EU.

        October 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm
      • editor

        Athanasius et al,

        There are now the rumblings, according to today’s news, of a split within the cabinet over Brexit, and so my fear is that there will be a serious attempt to overturn the referendum vote. There are some very determined politicians against leaving the EU and I’m not sure they wouldn’t go to all sorts of evil lengths to make sure we remain. I’ve heard them called “remoaners” but I’ve got much more “colourful” names for them. Still, I’m due a visit to the Confessional so will say no more, at this time!

        October 17, 2016 at 10:11 pm
      • Athanasius


        They were never going to permit the British people to leave the EU. Some of those backbenchers are up to their neck in fancy jobs and lucrative incomes from the EU. That’s what they’re out ot protect. Theresa May will have to be ruthless with them if there is even a sniff of revolt.

        October 17, 2016 at 10:20 pm
      • editor

        Yes, Athanasius, but these are senior government ministers, not just the backbenchers. Before we know it, someone (or ten!) will force a leadership election and one of the “Brexit means the end of the world” brigade will win – shock horror!

        October 17, 2016 at 11:43 pm
  • Chris McLaughlin

    Martin Blackshaw’s argument that the SNP are behaving contrary to the democratically expressed wishes of the Scottish people is bogus.

    Whether he likes it or not the fact of the matter is the SNP was overwhelmingly elected to government in Holyrood only five months ago on a maifesto which explicitly stated:

    “We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people – or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.”

    It is on page 23 of the 2016 SNP manifesto here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/thesnp/pages/5540/attachments/original/1461753756/SNP_Manifesto2016-accesible.pdf?1461753756

    October 17, 2016 at 7:15 pm
    • editor

      Chris McLaughlin,

      The fact is that, whether or not Nicola Sturgeon & Company like it, the majority of Scots voted to remain in the UK. And I firmly believe that the same result was issue from a second referendum, which is, of course, why wee Nicola won’t call one.

      It’s a mystery why any intelligent person would vote for the SNP but then there has been a false nationalism whipped up in recent years which, I believe, explains the phenomenon. I am all for love of one’s country, but not the false Rab C Nesbitt version that we witness today. It’s that false nationalism which, in my considered view, has led to the return of the SNP government after their first dismal performance in Holyrood. That and, of course, the lack of a coherent and effective opposition party to challenge them.

      October 17, 2016 at 10:19 pm
      • Chris McLaughlin

        The Scottish people unquestionably voted to remain in the UK, and then 19 months later voted in an SNP government on the explicit promise of a second independence referendum to be undertaken in precisely the circumstances in which we now find ourselves.

        Is it your contention that it would be more democratic for the SNP to renege on that manifesto commitment?

        Not only this, they then voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, full in the knowledge that the SNP would pursue an independence strategy as a consequence.

        October 18, 2016 at 7:52 am
      • Petrus

        The 2015 manifesto did not promise a second referendum. It said,

        “The SNP will always support independence – but that is not what this election is about.”

        In fact, it is the ONLY thing the SNP are EVER about!

        October 18, 2016 at 9:08 am
      • Petrus

        Sorry, 2016 manifesto, not 2015.

        However, the 2016 manifesto only said that the Scottish Parliament should have the power to call a referendum.

        October 18, 2016 at 9:11 am
      • Chris McLaughlin

        You are 100% factually wrong.

        The SNP’s 2016 manfesto can be found at the link below. On page 23 it clearly states:

        ““We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people – or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.”


        October 18, 2016 at 10:11 am
      • editor

        Chris McLaughlin,

        The SNP has no right to make that manifesto commitment which smacks of the EU habit of keeping the referenda coming until they get the answer they want. Ireland is a classic example.

        As for your question: “Is it your contention that it would be more democratic for the SNP to renege on that manifesto commitment?”
        Answer: it would be more democratic if they acknowledged the will of the Scots to remain in the UK and stopped acting as if the result had been the opposite. Had we voted to leave the UK and that had somehow been thwarted by Westminster, she may have had a case, but we voted to remain in the UK and the UK voted to leave the EU so, end of discussion.

        One other thing: the SNP repeated over and over again at the time of the independence referendum that this was a “once in a lifetime” event, so clearly THAT was a lie – they said they would honour the wishes of the Scottish people but, manifestly, they intended all along to keep on asking us until they got their “YES” vote. Then, typical of sneaky politicians, they came up with their “get-out” clause; this “material change” – why not say that in 2014 instead of the false assurance of a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity? Why not say, this is a once in a lifetime chance to break from Westminster UNLESS, in the event of a NO vote, there is later some kind of material blah blah change that warrants a second try at voting for independence? Why not say that? Because they were trying to bully us into voting YES. That’s why. Didn’t work and won’t work next time.

        The fact is, the polls are showing that the Scots are not particularly bothered by Brexit, that is hasn’t changed their will with regard to independence, so I say, let wee Nicola bring on her second independence referendum – she knows fine well that she will lose it and then who’ll be a laughing stock? She won’t risk it, Chris, so save your breath.

        October 18, 2016 at 10:29 am
      • Chris McLaughlin

        1. “The SNP has no right to make that manifesto commitment” – The SNP has the right to make whatever manifesto commitments it likes, and the people have the right to vote for them. You may not like these facts, but facts they remain.

        2. “…the SNP repeated over and over again at the time of the independence referendum that this was a “once in a lifetime” event” – No they didn’t. Alex Salmond (who was First Minister and not the leader of the Yes campaign) said it was a “once in a generation event.

        3. “Then, typical of sneaky politicians, they came up with their “get-out” clause; this “material change”” – The change was hardly sneaky, it was publicly announced in their 2016 manifesto, and it was overwhelmingly endorsed at the subsequent election by the voters.

        4. “The fact is, the polls are showing that the Scots are not particularly bothered by Brexit” The most significant poll of all, on the 23rd of June showed a near two to one majority in favour of remain.

        I appreciate you don’t like the SNP or the right of the Scottish people to determine their constitutional arrangements, but you should acknowledge the incontestable historical record.

        I am pro-independence, and am very much less keen on the SNP. They are a flawed political party and have recently developed an authoritarian streak I particularly dislike. However the next two political parties in Scotland and the only realistic alternatives (the Conservative & Unionists and Labour) are considerably worse.

        October 18, 2016 at 10:51 am
      • Athanasius

        Chris McLaughlin

        And do you honestly believe that every SNP voter read that manifesto before voting? The fact is they didn’t promote it during the election campaign because they new it was a vote loser, so they slipped it in to the manifesto on page 23. How very honest of them.

        And as regards your question. Yes, they should renage on that declaration because they are destabilising the country during a critical period for the entire UK. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the SNP, and other political parties, failed to honour a manifesto pledge. You arguments, with respect, sound like clutching at straws.

        October 18, 2016 at 5:08 pm
      • editor

        Chris McLaughlin,

        The SNP won the election for two reasons, in my considered view. Firstly, there is no real alternative, due to the media hype of the SNP and equal hype of the problems in other parties. We do not have a public with sound critical faculties – they are media led on just about every front. Ask to sit in on any discussion on moral or ethical issues in any school with pupils in any age range, from first year to senior students, and notice that they cannot think past “it’s their choice”. Ask them about abortion, euthanasia, LGBT issues, anything, and the answer is always the same. Even if they think x, y or z is “wrong”, they will always add words to the effect but if A.N. Other wants to do that, then that’s just fine. It’s their choice. So, after years of this sort of dumbing down of the critical faculty, people tend to go along to get along.

        Secondly, there has been a false nationalism cultivated in Scotland in recent years which has affected the voting pattern.

        October 18, 2016 at 10:36 am
      • Chris McLaughlin

        On the question of no alternative to the SNP – I am inclined to agree with you. The SNP have no doubt benefited from the collapse of the Conserv ative & Unionists and Labour over the last 40 years.

        I also completely agree that few people in our society are even capable of moral debate. The don’t have even the beginnings of an understanding of the basic ideas.

        The only moral good seems to be individual autonomy.

        I genuinely don’t understand what you mean by “false nationalism”, perhaps you could explain. I am pro-independence because it seems self-evidently obvious that Scotland is a discrete society and as such should have a discrete government. All things being equal, government works best the closer it is to the people. One might even argue this is an accordance with the Catholic social teaching on “subsidiarity”. The SNP has many faults, but their notion of civic nationalism makes perfect sense to me.

        October 18, 2016 at 10:59 am
      • editor


        As I stated many times during the referendum (independence) debate, my natural instinct is for each country to govern itself. That is a given. I think it’s ludicrous, for example, to have partitioned Ireland and it may well be argued that the union of the Scottish and English crowns in the 18th century was a mistake.

        However, while I fully agree with the principle of independence for nation states (the whole basis of voting LEAVE in the EU referendum) my own “NO” vote in the Scottish referendum was founded on the fact that I could not, in conscience, hand more power over to the SNP who had already shown contempt for the Scottish electorate who voted overwhelmingly, not once but twice, AGAINST same-sex marriage – which the SNP government,nevertheless, blatantly said they would (and did) introduce anyway.

        My critics at the time pointed out that the Westminster Parliament had done the very same thing, and I agreed, pointing out that, however, they were not asking me for more power and when it came to the General Election, I would do what I have, lamentably, felt forced to do in a number of elections now, spoil my ballot paper by writing a message to the above effect.

        By “false nationalism” I mean something very different from a true nationalism, which means a true love of one’s country for its own sake, not because we hate another nation. For the record, I lived in England for twenty years, loved it and found the majority of the people there to be good, kind people. Today, we see Scots parading the saltire and – Rab C Nesbitt style – singing the anti-English “Flower of Scotland” (which, in my opinion, isn’t even tuneful !) as a measure of “nationalist pride”. No thanks.

        I hope that clarifies my position, Chris.

        October 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm
      • Chris McLaughlin

        Thank you for taking the time to elucidate.

        The same-sex marriage bill was going to happen regardless. The SNP government reluctantly introduced the bill because it had become obvious that it would be introduced as a private members bill no matter what, and by making it a government bill they could have some control over it.

        As it was, it was not a whipped vote and so-called same-sex marriage has never been official SNP party policy. That being said most SNP members did vote for it (as was the case with all the parties.)

        It should also be remembered that the SNP and Scottish independence are two very different things. The support for the latter has always been greater than the support for the former. An independent Scotland does not mean an SNP government for any more or any less time than would be the case with the devolution we have now. In both cases the government is chosen by the Scottish people by popular eelection. In fact, if you really dislike the SNP you should vote for independence, because as soon as that goal is achieved the SNP will probably fall apart. The SNP is a very broad political party with everything from neo-Marxists to free-market liberals and most things in betweeen, held together only by the independence question. Once that is off the table, Scotland would return to normative, non-constitutional, politics.

        I too lived for some years in England, and regard the English warmly. Like all nations they have certain national characteristics which are both positive and negative. I certainly have no dislike of them, I just don’t want them to pick my government for me. Just like I like don’t hate the guy next door, but he has right whatsoever to tell me what to do in my own house.

        I simply don’t recognize this hatred and racism against the English you claim exists in the SNP. I have been an SNP member all my adult life, and have never encountered such sentiments, ever. Not even once.

        In fact I thought it was notable that following the 2014 referendum result, the fact that the vote was essentially decided by the votes of what might otherwise have been characterized as 500,000 English-born foreigners went entirely without comment by the entire Yes movement.

        October 18, 2016 at 12:50 pm
      • editor


        The SNP held a consultation on redefining marriage to permit same sex couples to “marry”. The Scottish population overwhelmingly said “no thanks” so there they had it, the SNP, the perfect excuse to say “no, we are not having that in Scotland”. We had a consultation, we made the form about as complicated and difficult to complete as any Philadelphia lawyer would wish, and still the people expressed the view that they do not wish marriage to be redefined. So, sorry all you folks who are pressuring us but this is a democracy and the people, of all religions and none, have spoken. Clearly. Get over it.

        Instead, what did they do? They held a second consultation, with an even worse, if that were possible, form to complete. The forms were so complicated that the campaign against re-defining marriage published a leaflet which helped people understand the form: e.g. “if you disagree with Q 2, you should answer ‘no’.” Completely mad, the whole nonsense. And yet, once again, the Scots said “no.”

        So, what then? The SNP said we were going to have same-sex marriage anyway and all and sundry loudly applauded in the Scottish Parliament when the legislation passed.

        So, please don’t infer that the SNP were “forced” to redefine marriage (a ridiculous concept – nobody has the authority to re-define marriage.) Not that pressure to do what everyone else is doing anyway, is any excuse for passing immoral legislation. Otherwise, the soldiers in Hitler’s army who were “only obeying orders” when they shepherded the victims of the holocaust into the gas chambers, are off the hook.

        As for “once in a lifetime” vs “once in a generation” – so what. In 1979 I typed at 78 wpm, so I’m a tad faster now and I do make the occasional typo or mistake. I remembered it as “lifetime” but, whatever, the point stands. We were told, effectively, that this issue of independence would be shelved after the referendum in 2014, and shelved for the foreseeable future. Not held again in 2016 or 2018 or anytime soon. The impression was given that “this was IT”!

        I take your point about the SNP possibly folding after a YES vote, but I suspect it would be more likely to rise from the ashes again under a new name, triumphant and with wee Nicola looking to be crowned Queen of Scotland. No thank you.

        I note your rather incongruous view about England, that you like the English but don’t want them picking your government for you. Well, one of the huge weaknesses in the SNP campaign in 2014 was precise that incongruity; let’s shed the “foreign” Parliament down in London but stick with the truly foreign EU institutions. I could not make any sense of that at all at the time, and it still makes no sense to me. An independent country rules itself, has control of it’s economy, borders and immigration. If someone else has control of those, then that someone else is running the country and the country is, therefore, by definition, NOT independent!

        October 18, 2016 at 9:15 pm
    • Athanasius

      Chris McLaughlin

      It makes absolutely no difference what is stated in that manifesto, the fact is that Scotland by the will of the Scotish people voted to remain part of the UK and the people of the UK have voted to leave the EU.

      You speak just like those SNP con artists who also insinuate that Scotland has some kind of special right to abandon the democratic process if it doesn’t like what the majority has voted for. Democracy doesn’t work like that. We do not have endless referendums until we get the answer we want to hear. No, that kind of behaviour destabilises a country and undermines everything democracy is supposed to stand for. As I said in my letter, it’s a clever form of anarchy.

      October 18, 2016 at 12:47 am
      • Chris McLaughlin

        “It makes absolutely no difference what is stated in that manifesto”

        A ludicrous comment from someone who publicly attacked the democratic legitimacy of the SNP government’s policy.

        The fact is, you just want to cherry-pick the votes you like – not unlike certain “progressive” types who like to cherry-pick the Catechism for the bits they like whilst ignoring the difficult bits.

        Yes – the Scottish people voted to stay in the UK in September 2014. No question.

        Then in May 2016 they elected an SNP government (by the second largest margin ever recorded in Scottish politics) on an explicit manifesto commitment of a second independence referendum if Scotland was taken out of the EU by the votes of other countries.

        In June 2016 they then voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, full in the knowledge that the SNP would pursue the a second independence referendum promised a month earlier.

        That’s the facts, whether you like it or not.

        October 18, 2016 at 8:02 am
      • Athanasius

        Chris McLaughlin

        I think you attempted to dumb down the SNP’s determination to be the first country to legislate in favour of “gay marriage”. That Party was wholly committed to the “gay” agenda from the moment it was elected. Indeed, Nicola Sturgeon consistently attends LGBT venues and makes public speeches about LGBT issues.

        I was one who completed the online consultation at the time “gay marriage” was being put forward. The majority of people who completed that 2-hour form said NO to “gay marriage”. Nicola Sturgeon just ignored that voice on the grounds that it was not an issue of conscience but an issue of rights. That was a complete lie but it allowed her to suppress what the electorate had mandated in that consultation.

        The same could be said for the Named Person scheme. Look how they have ignored the voice of the people in that matter, as well as that of the Supreme Court and even the other organisations originally consulted in the matter. It is intrusive of family life, expensive to run, not practical and illegal in some aspects, and yet they will not let it go.

        Truth is, the SNP are set on the destruction of familiy life at a much more speedy pace than all the other rotten political parties in this country. Imagine making every child in the country a ward of State till age 18. The likes of it hasn’t been seen since Hitler and Stalin!

        October 18, 2016 at 5:23 pm
  • John Kearney

    Nicola Sturgeion has no desire whatsoever for another second Referendum for Scottish Independence. She went to Brussels after the Brexit vote and was told quite plainly that Scotland would not be considered for membership as part of the UK. If Scotland then left the UK it would have to start negotiations with Brussels as an independent nation,. This could take years since there are many points Brussels demands of a country wanting to join. So what happens to the economy meantime. Mr Blackshaw’s letter is really good and was probably published because the media is well aware of the facts. So what is Nicola Sturgeon’s position. At Westminster the winging SNP has formed an alliance with the Labour Party and the Liberals to stop Article 50 being implemented. One of the arguments they put forward is that Brexit will lead to the break up of the UK. So Nicola is playing her part and trying to deceive the English and the Scots. She has become a rather pathetic woman.

    October 17, 2016 at 8:23 pm
  • Liam Jenkinson

    To Athanasius: To support your stance

    Remarks prefaced by

    1. ‘Quod Apostolici Muneris’

    2. Pope Pius X1 ‘In our days immense power and despotic economic domination is concentrated in the hands of a few. This power becomes particularly irresistible when exercised by those who control money.. so that no one dare breath against their will’ He denounce such dictatorship as a ‘ detestable international financial imperialism’.

    3. W. Churchill ‘capitalism is the unequal distribution of blessings. Socialism is the universal distribution of misery’.

    4. Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ ‘He who controls the cash box controls the world’.

    To put flesh on the bones of Athanasius’ comments I relate my time as a senior executive in a 100 million pa turnover multi-national. For years we turned over over 100 million pounds pa but only ever declared modest profits. I employed an accountant of high ability and integrity who suddenly handed in his notice saying he had got a better job. I talked to him and discovered he had been pushed out because he had complained that our company was being starved of its own profits for future investment and development. I asked him how this starvation occurred. He stated that through inter-company currency and commission manipulation profits made in the UK were always exported to the US. He was told if he didn’t accept this situation he would have to leave. He further told me he couldn’t go public with the information because he would be blacklisted and never get another job anywhere in chartered accountancy. I then realised that I had been preaching austerity to the unions for years based on lies. Creative accountancy involving tax avoidance (legal but not moral) and tax evasion (illegal and immoral) meant the company accounts were bogus and never reflected the corporate efforts of staff and workforce.

    The company had been established by two German Jewish refugees after WW2 – they were philanthropists. However, in the 1980s I later discovered that US private companies did not have to publish accounts. The company later entered ‘chapter 11’ a creative form of US bankruptcy laws. The first thing senior executives in the UK were told was that the company unknown to us was owned by 50 senior staff worldwide. !6 million pounds in equity had been given to them on which they received annual dividends. The UK accounts always declared that none of the directors of the company had any interest in the accounts. Unknown to us they had the shares and dividends generated by the holding company in the US.

    Eventually I’d had enough and explained to the wife that I was going to challenge the garbage. I filed a letter with my solicitors to be kept unopened until I instructed otherwise. It contained details of what I had discovered. My wife was very brave because we both knew with a large and growing family I could be instantly dismissed and blacklisted from jobs anywhere else.

    I confronted the director with my data and told him the group and the company had better clean up their act. He immediately backed off giving me some platitudes about where money was going and indicating he had ‘got my message loud and clear’. The chapter 11 process meant we were now prone to venture capitalists. They are mostly asset strippers who want short term profits by scorched earth policies which maximise short term profits by cutting staff and stifling long term development.

    Two of the sins crying to heaven for vengeance are oppression of the poor and denying the labourer his wages. What these multi nationals do is set up in countries like China etc. where intelligent and skilled people work for a pittance with dreadful working conditions. They export good quality products from such sweatshop economies and there is thus no level playing field for our industrial and financial sectors to compete. Ted Heath stated that to imagine that service industries would fuel our economies is like ‘you are my neighbour and I am your neighbour. You do my washing, I do your washing, we pay each other and pretend we have got jobs’.

    Brexit could mean that we can get a grip on all this corruption. According to Father Mendell a priest from a German Jewish background these practices on international finance and commerce have gone on with governmental knowledge of all parties since before WW2. Like Mrs Thatcher, Theresa May may not be unduly influenced by freemasonry because she is a woman. However they will undoubtedly mount a rear guard action to get the Brexit vote overturned and return fully to their secretive dominance of world events as described by Pius X1 above. The only hope for our economy to extricate itself from this evil is to reinforce our autonomy regained by Brexit and to bring in laws to control the corruption and evil rife in our economy and worldwide.

    Love & Prayers,


    October 17, 2016 at 9:18 pm
    • Athanasius

      Liam Jenkinson

      Thank you for that great insight into corporate corruption, it was a real eye-opener. As the old adage says: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” No wonder Our Lord said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.

      The quote from Pius XI demonstrates once more the great wisdom of the Roman Pontiffs. The quote from Winston Churchill was priceless, typical of a man who knew how to say so much in so few words.

      October 17, 2016 at 10:04 pm
      • Therese


        Coming in a little late – must get up earlier in the morning – but congratulations on your excellent letter. If only we had people of your calibre in politics….but then again, we don’t deserve it.

        October 17, 2016 at 10:27 pm
      • Athanasius


        Thank you. Too kind as always.

        October 18, 2016 at 12:49 am
  • Helen

    Did anyone notice that 14 “children” all refugees are being brought to the Uk? children? They are mostly teenagers of 16 and 17. And, when we speak of 16 year olds in Scotland, we speak of “men” and “women” both in law and when voting!! Ha ha, we are being duped yet again.

    Children of 16 voting? Naw, they are “adults”. talk about double speak!

    October 17, 2016 at 10:38 pm
  • Lionel

    Well said!

    October 17, 2016 at 10:56 pm
  • editor

    I find the new Scotsman website bewildering. I could not find the Letters page when I tried this morning, and so I ended up with the link provided – which doesn’t look like the Scotsman letters page to me. I say, “new” website because it’s new to me. It’s quite a while since I paid a visit to the Scotsman site, so, in fact, it may not be “new”. It’s certainly not as straightforward as their previous site. When I searched for “letters to the editor”, I got pages and pages, dating back years, the first time, but just now, when I searched for “letters, Martin Blackshaw” I got one page of letters from His Lordship ALSO dating back years! He’s been a busy bunny, our Athanasius.

    So if someone, whether Athanasius or A.N. Other, would take a look tomorrow to see if there are any responses to his letter, and post the link here, that would be great.

    Please and thank you!

    October 18, 2016 at 12:08 am
    • Athanasius


      I couldn’t find the Letters page either. I hunted through the website but just couldn’t find it. I think it has been done away with.

      October 18, 2016 at 12:49 am
      • RCA Victor

        Editor and Athanasius,

        There doesn’t appear to be a “Letters” page, though if you search “Letters to the Editor” you get this: http://www.scotsman.com/search?query=letters+to+the+editor&sortByFlag=true&sortBy=date

        There’s also an “Opinion” page, but no letters as far as I can tell: http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion

        October 18, 2016 at 2:58 am
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Thank you for that. I’ve just emailed The Scotsman to ask them to point me to the Letters page – I should have visited here first!

        October 18, 2016 at 10:47 am
  • Lily

    Great letter, Athanasius. Well done, you!

    October 18, 2016 at 2:31 am
  • editor

    This morning’s post brought (as well as another Conference ticket order! ) a newspaper cutting from the Evening Times, 1 September, about a Glasgow priest who has alienated his parish for a number of reasons, not least his pulpit support for Scottish independence.

    Notice, none of the complaints have made any difference. Things seem to be “as is”. Yet, if those complaints had been levelled because he was offering the traditional Mass or doing anything else remotely “traditional”, the archbishop would have been on his case in a heartbeat.

    October 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm
  • editor

    I received a reply from The Scotsman this morning, confirming that they no longer post the letters online. Incredible (as I said in MY reply to their reply!) because it’s widely believed to be the case that the letters page is about the most popular page in any publication. I suppose that’s why it’s not online, any more – they want to sell more papers!

    October 18, 2016 at 8:40 pm
  • editor

    I’ve managed, through our friend Google, to find two letters responding to Athanasius’s letter via the pressreader.com site here

    October 21, 2016 at 12:06 am
    • gabriel syme

      Thanks for that link Editor.

      I am pleased to see that Athanasius’ fine letter seems to have struck a chord with thinking Scots!

      October 21, 2016 at 12:28 am

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