Why is Herald tying it’s colours to the mast of a Trident sub in a free read as support for Independence surges?

No propaganda behind a paywall I suppose. You can read this one free.

So many questions to ask before we even get to the flawed argument.

Why is is this the headline story?

Why now?

Is this just more Unionist panic as the polls run away from them?

How did this story make its way only to the Herald, to Neil Mackay who never writes this kind of heavy stuff? Did he even write it? Tell us, it’s the Leask we deserve.

If you want to explore the Leask Thesis, try this:



Why a GCHQ boss and not someone more connected with NATO -George Dark Forces Robertson, former NATO supremo?

I’m no security expert but would a GCHQ boss be that informed on the politics of NATO?

Personally, I’d rather we didn’t join NATO, a force largely for the imposition of corporate USA’s interests on other parts of the world, under the cover of an alliance of ‘free democracies.’

Anyhow, let’s look at the argument he makes

The author:

ONE of Britain’s most senior spy chiefs has warned that SNP plans to rid an independent Scotland of Trident nuclear weapons are incompatible with the party’s intention for the country to join Nato after a Yes vote. Sir David Omand, the former head of GCHQ, said the SNP’s policies on Nato and Trident were guilty of “magical thinking”. Omand, a Scot who was born and raised in Glasgow, was also the UK’s first Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator, a post in which he oversaw all of the country’s spying agencies and developed CONTEST, Britain’s current counter terrorism strategy. He made his comments in a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with The Herald on Sunday.

So a spook boss, but no mention of NATO or other international policy.

The argument:

Omand also warned that a newly independent Scotland would struggle to set up its own functioning intelligence services, and would find itself heavily reliant on British security agencies such as MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. After independence “Scotland would be vulnerable”, he added.

That’d be the security agencies that got us into Iraq and failed to prevent the London and Manchester bombings? The security forces that did so well against the IRA?

Why would we want to be spying on our neighbours anyway?

Omand also said:

A newly independent Scotland may be spied on by England if London thought Edinburgh was acting contrary to its interests.

So what? They already do spy on anyone they fancy spying on. Which interests might we be acting contrary to anyway?

Russia would definitely interfere in any future independence referendum.

Much less so than London would?

Friendly nations such as America, France and Germany could also start spying on Edinburgh if a future independent Scotland gave cause for concern over security.

They already do spy on each other and what might we, as opposed to the UK, do to concern America, France or Germany?

The UK has not spied on the Yes movement – but would if there was any sign of subversion by a hostile foreign power like Russia.

Ha ha! Good one. Pull the other one.

In terms of security, Omand added: “I think independence does pose a significant risk.” Managing that risk “would require significant adjustment to what I read as being the position of the Scottish National Party, namely its anti-nuclear stance, and the magical thinking about the level of security that would be enjoyed in an independent Scotland without significant assistance from England.”

That’ll be the England that cannot use its nuclear deterrent unless Washington approves?

Tackling threats from hostile states, international terrorism and organised crime would cost a lot, he warned – as would the establishment of an independent Scotland’s armed forces.

We’d be in the EU with far wider and better connections than an increasingly isolated UK after the messy divorce of Brexit.

On the risk of England spying on Scotland, he added: “Key to it would be: would there be well substantiated fears in London that Edinburgh would be taking decisions that would directly harm the security of the citizens of England – which they might not intend as harm but would be decisions which could inadvertently have knock-on effects?”

Such as? I know who is more likely to harm the security of the citizens of England. The current PM.

The SNP’s policy on Trident, Omand said, “makes Nato membership problematic”. He suggested one way of resolving the dilemma would be “a long lease on Faslane and Coulport [by England from Scotland] and you swallow your non-nuclear instincts … I have no answers to any of these problems, all I can point out is that it’s difficult and it’s expensive and I think I and my fellow Scots deserve to have the proposition fairly set out before any talk of a further referendum.

Problematic? Maybe but there’s no precedent suggesting it would be particularly and there’s clearly no problem in being a NATO member without nuclear weapons. Most members don’t have them and the current Secretary General is Jens Stoltenberg, former leader of the Norwegian Labor Party:


Norway, population 5 million, its own security services and military.

14 thoughts on “Why is Herald tying it’s colours to the mast of a Trident sub in a free read as support for Independence surges?

  1. “ There appears to be a presumption that upon Scottish Independence, the Trident submarine fleet and its incredibly destructive WMD’s must simply be handed over to Westminster by Holyrood. That is wrong in international law; if the weapons remain on the territory of Scotland, a sovereign state, it will be for the Scottish Government to dispose of them as it chooses. The principle is well-established and there is a directly relevant and recent precedent in the nuclear weapons in Ukraine.”


    Panic I’m the BritNat ranks at rising support for independence now turning to resigned acceptance!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If the SNP were to adopt this policy before a Referendum or the May 2021 election. One thing you can guarantee is that Scotland will never be allowed to become independent.

      If Scotland were to attempt this once independent America would do a Venezuela on us.


  2. The usual click bait lies. Shocking. The Herald sinking the depths. What next? The National Enquirer. Always gets it wrong. Advertising revenues dwindling. How low can it go. Ground hog day. 75% of the readership supports Independence. There is always the National. Or the internet. A lot better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Project Fear was successful in 2014 and, over the past few years we have seen all the tropes being replayed and the NATO scare is one of these. They calculate that these things will still have attraction to a significant number and are directed at them, particularly switherers, to shore up the NO vote.

    It is not about telling a ‘good story’ about the Union, which is what Bodger Broon keeps rabbiting on about – this from a man who signally failed as PM to set out a ‘vision for Britain’, other than the xenophobic ‘British jobs for British workers’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David Ormand’s gravy train dries up. The killing fields of mass murder trying to destroy the world. The US/UK military cranks up.

    US military spend $720Billion 320Million pop

    1/3 of all world spend. $1910Billions. It could be better spent.

    Saudi Arabia military $69Billion pop 35Million (1/3 migrants)

    Russia military spend $65Billion. Pop 150Million

    China military spend $228Billion. Pop 1.3Billion

    UK/NI military spend $55Billion pop 67Million

    UK Illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud. Breaking International Laws. Selling illegal arms to Saudi Arabia since the 1960’s. Harold Wilson. Breaking International Law, bribery and corruption. Breaking International Trade Laws.

    Trying to keep it secret under the Official Secrets Act. (30 years).Lining Westminster politicians pockets. The illegal arms trade. Financing illegal wars. Westminster corruption. Monies which could be better spent. On essential services.

    Iraq, Lockerbie, Dunblane kept secret for 100 years

    Liked by 1 person

  5. US/UK illegally surveillance in the world. Breaks the Law. International and otherwise. Breaks citizens rights and human rights. Kept secret illegally under the Official Secrets Act and ‘D’ notices.Breaking the Official Data Act.

    Government that breaks the Law on Human rights. Then illegally imprisons people who object. Gov Breaking the Acts. Under secrecy and collusion against the populations rights and wishes, which are enshrined. By Law. The Courts have to sort them out.

    Corbyn gets throw out of the Labour Party. Blair honorary member.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Knights who want to be Peers. Born a Scot, but now??????
    Sell their Grannies, their jersey’s and their countries down the Swannee.

    England want to keep building and maintaining the Trident fleet, but dont want to base it in England. There’s a puzzle—not!
    How many GCHQ jobs are in Scotland? But Sir David wants an independent Scotland to always be in hock to security services based
    in another country.
    That country will always attract “bad actors” because of their global security and military policies.
    Scotland will be a “very small country” in Sir Davids words. Small countries tend to be anonymous.
    Other “very small countries” do just fine, without a “big brother”.
    A “big brother” with more marching bands than regiments,
    More Admirals than ships.
    Aircraft carriers without planes.
    Ships that can only sail short distances.
    Drunk Captains.
    Officers as sexual predators.
    Subs that run into rocks.

    Royals who get military promotions YEARLY, drip with medals, go to war and hide out in remote bunkers—but come out, blinking into the sun—– as “heroes”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s as though no country in the world has managed to make itself independent. Nobody at all. Ukraine even managed it AND gave up it’s share of Russia’s nuclear weapons.

    Which is another issue. We will inherit 10% of the UK’s Trident deterrence. That is 40% of one sub and several warheads and missiles. So we will inevitably have to have a say in Trident. There is no getting away from this. We can trade them away for other things and it is almost inevitable that we will do. But we could insist on them as well.

    And finally all those warheads are about to become illegal. The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will come into force in January of the new year. UKGov just recenty nationalised the PRIVATE company which manufactures our nuclear warheads to make suing them under this law harder. So they are already getting ready for the legal challendges to come.

    We could demand that our share of Trident be scrapped AND insist it be removed from our soil and waters.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Maybe I am just too cynical but I am convinced that after Scotland becomes independent England will decide they don’t need Trident after all and that it is a waste of money and then leave Scotland to clear up the mess at her cost.


  9. I read recently that Scottish Territorial waters are of more interest (defence wise) to the USA and NATO that those of the ruk because they form the gateway to the N Atlantic from the Baltic (which is why the UK sub hunter aircraft are all based in Moray).
    Ormand seems to be arguing that IndyScotland not joining NATO would be interpreted by England as a hostile act (requiring it to spy) but also is implying that England would block it joining unless Faslane was retained as a nuclear base. Opportunistic double think. I am sure that the rest of NATO would prefer to have a non-nuclear Scotland inside the club providing conventional surveillance capability than forcing it to be independent and open to be wooed by non NATO powers.
    As to the ukg not spying on the Yes movement, poppycock and semantics. ukg ‘spies’ are run by MI6 and operate against foreign countries, governments and their populations, internal surveillance and monitoring is carried out by the internal security services (Special Branch and MI5 ) who may be ‘spooks’ but not ‘spies’


  10. Under this guy’s logic,the USA would never have had the FBI/CIA or any significant military capability once free from London control.
    Also,I seem to recall that back in 2014 the then “Defence” Secretary,Philip Hammond was talking to the Americans about re-basing the nuclear subs to Virginia.
    Just more propaganda to frighten the Jocks with.


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