Are uber-Unionists threatening violence in the event of Indyref2?

During the first independence referendum one of the main planks of attack adopted by Unionists was the myth of the Cybernat.

The online activists were accused of all kinds of offences from threatening to kill high-profile pro-Union celebrities to abusing honest journalists who were only doing their job.

In my book ‘London Calling: How the BBC stole the Referendum’ I wrote the following:

Both sides of the referendum had people who posted offensive and obnoxious content on the web.  For every poster who called Unionists traitors, there was one who called Nationalists Nazis.  For every disgusting reference made about Nicola Sturgeon there was one made about Johann Lamont.  Both Yes supporters and No supporters could be equally abusive – and were.  No side had a monopoly on bad language, threats and god-awful vitriol.

But only one side was singled out by the media.  A derogatory term was coined for Yes supporters.  Anyone expressing online support for independence, or who challenged the orthodox view being promoted by Unionists, was branded a ‘Cybernat’.

Throughout the referendum campaign some of the most inflammatory rhetoric actually came from, not unknown Unionist trolls, but elected politicians.  Former Labour MP Ian Davidson was particularly obnoxious.  Davidson once compared the SNP to fascists and on another occasion he claimed people who commemorated Bannockburn did so only because Englishmen had been murdered.

Davidson also once compared the independence debate to war and suggesting “wounded” independence supporters should be bayoneted.  It was of course a metaphor, but a rather inappropriate one given the ‘division’ Unionists claimed the referendum was creating.

Better Together leader Alistair [now Lord] Darling once claimed that Scottish Nationalism was “at heart” about “blood and soil nationalism”.  ‘Blood and Soil’ is classic Nazi rhetoric.

The No campaign of course won the 2014 independence referendum.  They believed it would endure for a generation.  Their language, at least for a while, became conciliatory.

But, as most people are now aware, it was the SNP who emerged with the spoils by all-but wiping Labour from Scotland in the 2015 general election.

Nicola Sturgeon, having cleverly included the insurance policy of a Brexit [against the wishes of the Scottish people] in the 2016 Holyrood manifesto, now has a second bite at the indy cherry.  And Unionists of the uber variety are worried.

This has manifested itself in a return of inflammatory language of the most dangerous kind.  Last week Ruth Davidson compared another independence referendum with a fratricidal conflict.  Her words were part of a speech and so had been carefully considered.

Some independence supporters opined that Davidson wasn’t just spelling out a rather exaggerated concern about a second independence referendum, but was actually issuing a coded threat to the First Minister.

Days later on the BBC, MP David Mundell made similar remarks, telling Gordon Brewer that another independence referendum would be “seriously unpleasant” and would pit “Scot against Scot”.


This rhetoric is dangerously inflammatory.  That the two most senior members of the Scottish Conservative party should make such comments within days of one another is neither coincidence nor accidental.  This is deliberate.

Given Davidson has re-packaged her Scottish Conservative party as the fundamental defenders of the Union, a repackaging that has proved attractive to the Union’s most loyal adherents, then we must be concerned that these comments are being interpreted as coded messages by these same adherents, some of whom rampaged through George Square the evening after the 2014 vote.

Indeed we must consider the possibility that this is the intention on the part of the Scottish Conservative’s most senior MSP and MP.

Whatever the reality behind the comments from Davidson and Mundell, the fact is that Scotland’s de-facto main opposition party has decided to up the constitutional ante in the most cavalier of ways.  They seem unconcerned at the repercussions of their rhetoric.

Should we be surprised?  No, not at all.  This is the way of British [brutish?] imperialism.  If they cannot maintain control then they leave behind chaos.  Davidson and Mundell are British Nationalists, Ruth tries to hide her unreconstructed uber-Unionism in cute photo-ops, but be under no illusion … it’s the Union or nothing for both of them.

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20 thoughts on “Are uber-Unionists threatening violence in the event of Indyref2?

  1. Cuilean

    I do hope, in Indyref2, that the postal votes are not sent to England to be counted, as they

    were in Indyref!

    How completely stupid was that?!

    1. Thomas

      That wasn’t stupid that was planned, so the postal ballots could be rigged. The postal ballots in the UK are open to fraud and many investigations have found this to be the case, it has happened on many occasions. Most EU country’s have banned them because there so open to fraud and abuse. Remember the record postal turnouts all across Scotland during indyref 1. 96.4% there were at least 5 world records during that indyref1. The postal registers were two years old when they were sent out, and it is impossible to get a 96.4% turnout and this was a world record. It happened across at least 5 different regions, we never heard a lot about that did we ?. You’d think that if world records were broken at least 5 times that night, you would have heard about it wouldn’t you ?, that was definitely a rigged referendum, and orchestrated by the UK government.

        1. J W Brown

          Thanks for the reply.

          I saw that report not long after the referendum. However, I’m looking for confirmation that postal votes were sent South to be counted. You would think the Scottish Government, local councils, and possibly their grannies, would have some knowledge of this, if it were true.

  2. Dan Huil

    It would not surprise me if britnats instigated violence in Scotland because the britnat media, including the bbc of course, would simply blame pro-indy supporters for it.

  3. Thomas Potter

    This month of February seems to be the start of all the same sinister threats from the same sinister creepy Unionists that were spewed out when they realised they could lose Indyref1.
    Obviously they are aware they will lose Indyref2 so they’re getting started early.
    In the last few days Davidson,Mundell,Farquarson,Neil,Daisley,Torrance and even Lamont have been allowed through their ever eager pro-unionist media to promote and encourage dangerously provacative statements.
    Given the co-ordinational nature of all these attacks can we take it that the real nasty divisive rhetoric is to become the norm?
    As it was in 2014?

  4. Alastair Naughton

    My father, while he was still alive, always said the BritNats would stir things up to re-create another Northern Ireland, should the independence threat get serious. These comments by Davidson and Mundell are no accident at all, but neither are these tactics limited to the Tory party. Carmichael’s talk of an “opt-back-in” referendum for Orkney and Shetland in the event of a successful Yes vote smacks of the same divide and rule tactics used the world over by the British, but which so tragically created Partition in Ireland and all the trouble that followed. Do not trust the Tories one millimetre!!

  5. Macart

    Sadly, I agree.

    I believe that is exactly the strategy they are implementing. Ms Davidson is strongly hinting that her party have attracted a certain voter demographic. A demographic only too willing to act on inflammatory language.

    In short, political intimidation and (at the moment) implied threat. They have moved beyond reckless idiocy at this point I’d say. Still,… Better Together etc.

    Modern Conservative values in action right enough and safe to say that these values, this kind of strategy, is not or ever should be welcome in Scottish politics or society. We win this by not responding in kind.

  6. Alex Beveridge

    My point is that these comments were the public voice of the opposition, only part of what will be a vicious campaign to deny us independence. This will be being coordinated by Whitehall, and they will use every means at their disposal, which are considerable, Going by their history, media manipulation, false flag operations, and anything else that they perceive necessary to keep us tied to their apron strings, will be used to keep our wealth flowing into their pockets. And they will certainly need it when Brexit begins to bite.
    It doesn’t matter to them that M.S.M sales are collapsing,that their prime media voice, the B.B.C, is no longer trusted by the bulk of the electorate, they will carry on regardless, determined to deny us our independence.
    Will they go further? The speeches by Davidson and Mundell, as previously suggested, could be an indication to the more extreme elements who support the No campaign, to go further than peaceful protest. You only have to look back to the scenes in George Square on the 19th, September, 2014, to be aware of what might happen.
    I certainly wouldn’t put it past them, and I just hope that we don’t respond in a like manner if violence does occur, as that would just be playing into their hands, and possibly guarantee them victory in Indyref2. Something that would set back the independence movement for many years.

  7. Janet

    Read “The Operators” published by Pen & Sword, about the clandestine operations of the British State in Northern Ireland. Or “Who Framed Colin Wallace” by the late Paul Foot.

    Chilling stuff.

  8. J W Brown

    Uber? Come on, we can do better than that, or is NATSIs OK – ken what ah’m sayin’?

    Just in case you don’t, it’s this – Insulting language on either side is unproductive and in our case it’s worse, because it’s more likely to be reported. It is in the interest of the unionist side to suggest that looking for independence is divisive and will cause trouble – and here you are in the headline using divisive language.

    Own goals are always a bit of a scunner but not usually deliberate.

    1. Jim Cassidy

      Uber isn’t a word I’d use, and it seems to me that then term is somewhat tame.

      Let us call them what they are: British Nationalist extremists.

  9. manandboy

    Scotland’s Independence is a matter of life or death – to the British Establishment.
    With Indy they have nothing to gain but everything to lose.
    Davidson, Mundell and everyone above them are terrified at the idea of Scotland’s vast revenues no longer under Westminster control.

  10. Meg merrilees

    Totally agree with your concerns – my own thoughts entirely.

    Torrance has talked about ‘the Ulsterisation’ of Scotland’s politics.

    Don’t forget that Michael Fallon also said that ‘there are other voices in Scotland, not least Ruth (Harrison) Davidson’s’ and the “BBC is mis-reporting Scotland” Ad-van was slashed whist parked in genteel Edinburgh.

    Violence will not win out and (t)Ruth-less Davidson and other leaders must not behave irresponsibly. Their remarks to date seem at odds with normal political discourse in Scotland and hint at a wildly dangerous policy of last resort.

  11. Blair Paterson

    What the unionists seem to forget is that terror and violence is available to both sides the unionists should remember the words of John Paul Jones I have not even begun to fight yet

    1. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

      This comment is ill-judged and unhelpful. Absolutely no cause whatsoever can justify “terror”. Ever. Moreover, only last-resort self-defence could justify violence of any kind, and such is certainly not envisaged. The rule of civil law is and must remain paramount. Scrupulously. Sufficient disorder could well trigger the suspension of Holyrood and a return to direct rule from Westminster. Even the imposition of martial law. That would be precisely the victory the darker forces had been trying to provoke. More fool us.

      Peter A. Bell’s timely “Precious Space” post above calls on us to recognize and appreciate anew the invaluable constitutional room for manoeuvre we have in this country to pursue peaceful resolution of divisions via civilised discourse. Such a legacy has been centuries in the making. As we survey current world turmoil we should defend that heritage all the more dearly for its relative rareness and fragility.

      Let us recall Alex Salmond’s justly proud “not a nosebleed” remark in his fine “good global citizen” speech at the opening of Glasgow Caledonian University’s new campus in New York (9 April 2014):

      “There is much more that we can do as a (Scottish) sovereign state to host and support these (global peace and reconciliation) initiatives. And our current democratic journey provides a helpful context – as we decide our future in a context based entirely on consensual, civic, non-ethnic and peaceful principles.

      “Sometimes we get frustrated about the quality of debate, particularly on the internet. However we should remember that in a century of striving for home rule and independence, nobody has lost their life arguing for or against Scottish independence. Indeed, nobody has had so much as a nosebleed. That’s not unique, but it’s a very, very precious thing.

      “We’re now engaged in a consensual constitutional process which will be decided at the ballot box. Again, not unique – but rare – and something which should be cherished.”

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