This piece could easily have been entitled ‘From denial to delusion in one laughable read’, but that could have been about virtually any Wings post. AhDinnaeKen attempts to investigate Wings Over Scotland’s recent European tirade through the blinding tears of laughter:
By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe
NATIONALIST FRONT websites often complain that the forces of Unionist oppression are stacked against their noble cause of independence. They’re sometimes justified in doing so – it’s foolish for Unionists, for example, to make petty claims such as the recent phone roaming rights debacle without losing a barrel load of credibility.
Of course, Nationalist Front hate preachers have only themselves to blame when everybody pishes themselves laughing at their swivel eyed denials in the face of brutal reality. There are times when Wings Over Scotland’s alleged “rebuttals” are so nakedly crackpot in their delusion that, on reading them, you can only laugh, shake your head and wonder why there are intelligent people out there who take such frothing pish seriously.
Saturday was one of those times.
In a hysterical opinion piece entitled ‘The thin veneer of pretence’, Wings Over Scotland’s Stuart Campbell allegedly rebuts a pair of recent Herald and Scotsman stories.
Both newspapers reported on recent comments made by European Council president Herman Van Rumpypumpy on the status of newly independent states in the eyes of the European Union.
The actual text of Campbell’s alleged rebuttal reveals the depths of his risible delusions. If it wasn’t so cringeworthy it would be hilarious.
Campbell refers to Van Rumpypumpy as “unloved” which is an unattributed, assumptive, ad hominem, stated to immediately undermine – in the eyes of Campbell’s MobNat gang – the reputation of the EC president. It also part fulfils No.2 of Laird Wilcox’s 21 Extremist Traits – “Name Calling and Labelling”.
The actual facts contained within the Scotsman and Herald stories, and the conclusions that can safely be made based on those facts, seem not to matter to this latter day “Tribune journalist” of Scotland.
Regardless of how many times high heid-yin European officials such as Van Rumpypumpy and Jose Barroso outline scenarios concerning secession within European member states, Campbell keeps hysterically screaming “he wasn’t referring to any specific country”. The implication being that Scotland’s situation is immune from comparison with the pronouncements made because its set of circumstances are somehow unique and different.
Ye couldnae make it up.
Campbell hedges his whole argument on the comments made by Van Rumpypumpy being specific to Spain and not Scotland. They’re specific to neither. They’re generic.
To stave off any direct comparison being made to Scotland, Campbell rants:
“Scottish independence and the Catalan referendum are NOT the same scenario. The Scottish referendum is being conducted with the full consent and co-operation of the UK government, which has signed an agreement stating it will respect and abide by the result. The Spanish government, on the other hand, has flatly stated that it will not allow the Catalan referendum to take place at all, far less recognise its outcome.”
Which, of course, is correct. But it completely evades the conclusion of the scenario which is: “If a part of the territory of a Member State ceases to be a part of that state because that territory becomes a new independent state, the treaties will no longer apply to that territory.”
An unambiguous and crystal clear statement.
Should Catalonia, Scotland, or whatever region of a European Union Member state become independent, according to Van Rumpypumpy, it will “become a third country with respect to the Union and the treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply anymore on its territory.”
Campbell knows that full well. He knows that to admit to such would be to accept that the SNP position of automatic entry or negotiated entry or back door entry or whatever entry it is they’re asserting that hour, is effectively scuppered – “torpedoed” as the headline in the Herald put it – as soon as independence is declared.
And, to admit to such, would be to accept that the independence campaign has been dealt a serious body blow in terms of both credibility and tenability in reference to European Union membership – the second such blow on the same subject to come from an officially ‘impartial’ elected European president.
The first major blow was the letter from president Jose Manuel Barroso of the European Commission who stated: “a new independent state would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the EU and the Treaties would no longer apply on its territory.”
Another unambiguous and crystal clear statement which is virtually identical to Van Rumpypumpy’s pronouncements.
Predictably, Campbell regurgitates the official SNP party line that the negotiations would take place within the eighteen month period between the referendum taking place and independence being declared.
It’s yet another assertion based on the SNP being allowed to freely negotiate from within the UK – a scenario which, so far, has been expressly denied it by both the European Union and the UK government.
Ironically, Campbell rounds on a perceived inaccuracy by Herald political editor, Marcus Gardham – “The Scottish Government has refused to approach Brussels for clarification…” – and calls it a lie, in order to discredit the whole story.
This is a standard, diversionary, fallacious logic tactic of the kind routinely exploited by extremist types such as Campbell i.e. pick up on a small inaccuracy and claim that it disproves the whole argument/story. Which, in this case, it plainly doesn’t.
Nae luck Campbell son, yer tee’s oot!
In the eyes of the EU, Scotland is a ‘region’ of the UK. It has to be the official UK government which negotiates changes in treaties. Until Scotland declares its independence it maintains the status of a ‘region’ of the UK. Therefore, it would have to rely on the goodwill of the UK government to negotiate any existing and/or potential future treaties for it.
It’s possible that could happen. It’s equally, if not more, likely that the UK government would drag its feet in order to extract whatever concessions best suited its Scotland free future interests.
Certainly not Campbell. But it doesn’t stop him from asserting he does anyway.
According to the ahem, ‘professional journalist’:
“Rompuy’s (Rumpypumpy’s) comments are completely irrelevant to Scotland: he himself says that Scotland would only find itself outside the EU from the day of its independence, but in fact EVERYONE AGREES that it would have completed negotiating its independent membership by then, without ever actually being outside the EU at any point.” [Our emphasis ]
Strangely, for someone so keen to trumpet that his facts are always sourced and cited, there’s no reference to the body or bodies which constitutes “everyone agrees” – unless you count Campbell’s citing of UK constitutional expert Professor James Crawford who said that Scotland could reasonably negotiate all treaties etc required for EU membership within an eighteen month timescale.
Which is all well and good, but when you look directly at what the good professor actually said, he made no reference whatsoever to whether or not those negotiations would or could be conducted by the SNP government, just that the timescale for negotiation was realistic. If the UK government dragged its heels, or the EU decided to play hardball, then the SNP would be powerless to do anything about it – as they’d still technically be a ‘region’ of the UK.
And, of course, they’d still have to seek the approval of all of the other 28 member states, any of whom could raise any type of time delaying objections in order to seek self interested concessions.
There’s nothing in the Edinburgh Agreement to say that the UK government has to negotiate one element of EU entry for a non-independent Scotland. And, so far, the UK government has shown no inclination to do so. Why would it? It only promotes the independence camp’s interests for less than nothing in return.
Consider what Professor Maxwell also said on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland on 11 February this year:
“Scotland as part of the United Kingdom continues within the EU, but Scotland as a new state will have to become a member of the EU by a Treaty of Accession, therefore there are things to negotiate.”
It’s worth noting he does not mention whether or when those negotiations would have clearance to go ahead. Crawford’s previous remark regarding the 18 month time scale is based on the presumption of smooth, glitchless and cordial negotiations.
Who knows how long the actual negotiations would take? Who knows if the other 28 member states would play ball?
The obvious answer is, nobody knows.
To cap his frenetic piece, Campbell finishes on a crescendo of victimisation and grievance by quoting Pinocchio Salmond himself:
“The United Kingdom Government has refused repeatedly to go to the European Commission with the precise legal scenario, despite the Scottish Government’s offer to do so.”
Politically, it makes no sense of any kind for the UK Government to approach Europe with such a scenario. In whose interests, other than the SNP and its subsidiary Yes campaign, would it assist? It seems to have escaped Campbell’s trenchant insight that, should a Yes vote be returned, Scotland is still in the same constitutional position as now, until it declares independence.
And, it’s worth remembering that EU Member states snubbed Sturgeon’s recent direct attempt to discuss Scotland’s post-independence European position. It begs the question – what would differ after the referendum? Even in the unlikely event of a Yes vote being returned, Scotland remains a ‘region’ of the UK until the declaration of independence in 2016.
It’s also worth noting the sabre rattling coming from the Spanish and their threat to veto Scotland’s entry into the Union, despite the acquis communautaire recently referred to by Pinocchio Salmond at FMQs.
Campbell’s hilarious conclusion, aimed at soothing the nervous Nationalists, hinges on his assertion that the Herald story lied when it stated that “Scotland refused to approach Brussels”.
“Unless, of course, the Herald – and the Scotsman alongside it – are pursuing a policy of deliberately lying to the Scottish people for political ends. Which, as we’ve just shown, they are. It’s just that most of the time, they’re a little more careful not to make it quite so obvious.”
Oh my aching sides! Wee angry men really should be allowed the chance to see themselves as others see them.
At worst, the Herald story contains an inaccuracy which hardly dents the inescapable conclusion of Van Rumpypumpy’s words regarding newly formed independent states in Europe.
At best, it reports what every news outlet and individual who has heard or read the words of Van Rumpypumpy already reported: SNP assertions on pre-negotiated entry to Europe are false and based upon supposition with no legal precedent, advice or backing – from anyone.
If ever you want to read approx 1200 words of someone sticking their fingers in their ears and saying “la la la la, I’m not listening”, then Campbell’s, ‘The thin veneer of pretence’ is it.
Sometimes, Campbell’s frothings have a (wafer) thin veneer of credibility about them. In this instance he’s exposed himself in the raw for the crackpot ‘out there’ denialist he truly is.
Whether his condition is pathological narcissism or florid delusion we* don’t know. It might be none of those pathologies.
But anyone who feels or thinks that Campbell’s rebuttal regarding pre-negotiated EU entry has rebutted anything, needs to take a good hard look at themselves and their political perceptions.
Something is not happening for you.
Desperate is not the word.