The Brown Plan: SNP beats Sinn Fein’s 1918 vote to win offer of ‘Dominion Home Rule’ but Royal Navy and Foreign Office stay

Against the background of the Conservatives dominant in England with the working classes there duped and recruited by jingoism and racism, Scotland struggles to get out of a deadly embrace.

One man, again, a former UK prime minister, steps in to save the Union with the offer of another special offer to entice Scotland to stay within the Union’s sphere of influence.

As in 2011, electoral success by the SNP least week has pressed the panic button in London. Complete domination of the Scottish Parliament by pro-independence parties and support for independence solid around 50%, in sharp contrast with only 30% before the 2014 referendum, has the Tory party grandees, the lords, the Civil Service mandarins, the top spooks, the generals, the admirals and the wing commanders frantic:

constituency vote

This happened, in 1918, in Ireland, where Sinn Fein’s ‘failure’ to win all the seats, triggered the offer of a deal:

Then as now, a former Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and AsquithKGPCKCFRS, was the man to step between the sides and suggest a deal:

Herbert Henry Asquith.jpg

Speaking in Ayr in October, 1920, the then Liberal MP for Paisley said:

The first is that the Irish people should be made to believe that, so far as Great Britain is concerned, what is offered comes from an honest, and also from a responsible source. The second is that, after making all necessary allowance for the provisional abstention, not of an artificial, but of a genuine local minority, it should meet and satisfy Irish aspirations.

Nothing, I am certain, can now fulfil the second of these conditions but the bestowal upon Ireland of the status of an autonomous Dominion in the fullest and widest sense.

What does that mean?

None of our Dominions claims the right to a separate Foreign Policy of its own. On the other hand, they all show an increasing and perfectly legitimate desire for fuller confidence and freer consultation in the whole domain of our external relations, and, in particular, for a voice in the making and revision of treaties. The Dominion of Ireland should in these matters be on a level footing with the rest.

In regard to naval and military forces, I do not share the apprehensions of those who think it necessary to impose on an Irish Dominion limitations and fetters which are not to be found elsewhere in our self-governing Empire. No Irish Government would be so insane as to mortgage its scanty margin of resources for such a fruitless and costly enterprise as the creation of an Irish Navy. Nor is it readily conceivable that it would seek to deny – what it could never effectively prevent – the free access to Irish ports and harbours of the vessels of the Imperial Navy. Further, no grant of autonomy could be regarded as complete which did not include the right to raise and maintain, for the purpose of local defence, an adequate military force.

I wouldn’t normally recommend that you read what Gordon Brown comes up with but a quick comparison with the above might be interesting.

Expect Prof Pennington to be on BBC Scotland to tell us we’d need the Royal Navy and the RAF to ‘ship in’ the vaccines and the British Army to jag us all.

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28 thoughts on “The Brown Plan: SNP beats Sinn Fein’s 1918 vote to win offer of ‘Dominion Home Rule’ but Royal Navy and Foreign Office stay

  1. A major difference between now and then is that England has bet the bank on Brexit and returning to being a global trading power.
    Without Scotland under it’s control,that will be very difficult.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Pedant alert Prof. In the hierarchy of the RAF, Wing Commkanders are low hanging fruit. If you are to equate the junior arm of the armed forces with the other two, it would be Air Commodores and above who would be chatting to Generals and Admirals.

    MInd you, given we now have more Admirals than ships, perhaps a different approach to that used 100 years ago, will be required.

    My bet is still on a waiving of the rules and moving of the goal posts on Scottish Independence as England’s tactics.


  3. In ireland there were so many unionists because most of the irish had been evicted and shipped off to the USA and unionists shipped in to ireland from england wales and Scotland to work for the british empire.

    In Scotland we have had a similar influx of english people and our young scots fleeing to look for work , the english have done this all over the world its planned its not the natural movement of people that they try to tell us it is.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Did we not see same thing during USSR with Baltic and Balkan states?
      I imagine it has been a staple of all empires.

      Of course, when others did so it was a bad thing.


  4. How long did Ireland remain a dominion? They must have had their own foreign polocy to be neutral in WW2.

    I’m interested because I’m sure people born in the south of Ireland could claim British Citizenship up till 1947 I think, and this might have implications for Scots post independence. If Scots became dual citizens of Scotland and rUK, that eases the border problem for Scots at least, and if we we retain the CTI, we have a trade border only with rUK, similar to that between Norway and Sweden.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I listened to an interview with Gordon Brown this morning on Radio 4’s Today programme. (An oddly enjoyable – but yes, trivial – listening experience at times as Brown and Sarah Smith talked over each other!) However, I was on the alert for the F word. And indeed one did come as a key part of Brown’s plan to save the Union. But not the F word I was expecting!

    This morning’s big plan is for PM Johnson to establish a ‘FORUM’ for him and the leaders of the devolved parliaments – now that radical, persuasive innovation does merit capitalisation! And alongside this big idea he had more: the PM should establish a ‘constitutional ENQURY’ (or was it just a REVIEW?).

    I am always reminded in these situations of what Unionists shared with each other early last year in that cosy These Islands get together in Newcastle. We have this insight from Henry Hill Assistant Editor of Conservative Home writing on 9 April 2020. I’ve given a longer extract for interest: the reference to Mr Brown comes at the end.

    ( )

    ‘This week Sir Keir Starmer, their newly-elected national leader, committed himself in the Daily Record to setting up a constitutional convention with the aim of working out a ‘federal’ model of governance for Britain.’

    Hill goes on: ‘Notably, and depressingly, he even explicitly says that he wants this to include not only a re-assessment of the relationship between the devolved governments and Westminster, but more powers for the Scottish Parliament. This illustrates how under-developed this thinking is: even the likes of Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and a committed federalist, told a recent pro-UK conference that the Scottish Government has “sufficient powers”.’

    And then crucially: ‘In fact even Gordon Brown, in the middle of his argument with me at that same conference, was at pains to disclaim the suggestion that he was calling for even more powers for Holyrood.’

    Mr Brown’s duplicity on all such matters needs forensic analysis and relentless exposure.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. John
    Re.Army and vaccines i strongly suggest you submit a FOE request to the Scottish
    Government as to
    Nos.of existing fully trained & qualified
    Vaccination personnel then the Nos.recruited trained and qualified to vaccinate up to the date of the roll out of the vaccine
    Once in receipt of such it will be so easy to calculate the expected daily administration of vaccine required
    Then the no.of qualified personnel needed to do the work
    I assure you (and you know why ) that in fact that when the Army was sent to vaccinate in Scotland that in fact that the Army was well and truly surplus to requirements
    It was no accident that in Scotland that the only Army staff allowed anywhere near the vaccine were vaccinating Only
    In short there was NO need whatsoever for them
    Quite the reverse was true in England
    Not hard to work it out why the Army was deployed


  7. BBC’s call Kaye. Over the last few years
    Yoon: education’s in crisis, health service is in melt down, care
    homes are death camps
    But after the election
    Yoon: I voted SNP because of Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the
    Pandemic. . . . . NOT for another divisive Referendum

    Jackie Baillie: many SNP supporters voted for me . . . .
    Mary Scanlon : I know Conservatives who voted for the SNP

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Keir Hardie wished for Dominion status for Scotland, but this was a couple of decades before the Irish proposal, and we would have been fully independent before WW2.

    A quote from the history of Canada—–1931—

    “The Statute of Westminster which essentially gave its Dominions full legal freedoms and equal standing with ***ENGLAND*** and one another”.

    A Brownian Motion is to be despised as the huckster fraud it undoubtedly is.
    Free uncritical time on the colonial BEEB and press is typical of the deluge of crap Scots can expect, as they try to bribe us with our own money, expropriated from Scottish to English control.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t inflict this on myself often but every now and then I take a look at what political commentators are writing on Conservative Home. Their reflections on the recent election results are interesting in providing different perspectives.

    Paul Goodman on 10 May has an article entitled: ‘Be ready for a general election in the spring of 2023’. He writes:

    ‘All in all, we see nothing to discourage Boris Johnson from planning a spring or summer general election in 2023… …Assuming that by then the Fixed Terms Parliament Act is dust, and that the boundary distribution has taken place (though he might well fancy the Conservatives’ chances even without it).

    ‘Our snap take on the Budget was that, in the event of faster-than-predicted growth, a rampant Johnson would push for a poll in 2023. That prospect is very much alive.’

    This followed a piece, also from Goodman, on May 9: ‘Will Sturgeon “go on and on and on”?’

    ‘He writes: Sturgeon’s long journey is likely to go on for even longer – as Johnson says not “never” but “not yet” to another referendum, and she replies not “now” but “soon”. She will knuckle down, and seek to turn the next general election into a referendum on independence in itself, hoping that Scotland’s voters lose patience with the Prime Minister’s “not yet” mantra.’

    Elsewhere in the same Tory publication, its Assistant Editor Henry Hill reflects on the Scottish election results:

    Hill argues: ‘… Sturgeon has failed to advance the SNP over a five year period which has witnessed Brexit, a Tory landslide at Westminster, and Boris Johnson – allegedly Scotland’s bête noire – become Prime Minister, whilst she received huge credit for the Scottish Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.’

    It’s hard to dispute Hill’s list of ‘events’ and what might have been expected to be the scale of their electoral influence. Whatever one’s response to Hill’s specific conclusion, it is surely a timely reminder at this time of justifiable positivity of the scale of the challenge of persuasion still ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Stewartb–while I agree with the lack of progress, we must factor in the endless media campaign to show the Union as always being the best of all possible worlds.
      Boris–a crook in Downing Street, but whose conduct is never castigated by the “Scottish” media.
      Martin Geisler yesterday never laid a glove on Goves wittering’s over co-operation and working together–has he never heard of the Internal Market Bill? BBC Scotland research seems to be done by reading the Torygraf/Mail.
      We had David Mundell on Radio4 at 1PM havering about a “minority” government. He was a Cabinet member of Theresa Mays minority government which offered to rerun the EU referendum in 2019–3 years after the first one. Did he resign? No, you bet he didnt.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “… we must factor in the endless media campaign to show the Union as always being the best of all possible worlds.”

        Indeed, I wholeheartedly agree!

        However this only reinforces my point on the ‘scale of the challenge of persuasion still ahead.’ Despite having witnessed ‘Brexit, a Tory landslide at Westminster, and Boris Johnson – allegedly Scotland’s bête noire – become Prime Minister, whilst (the FM) received huge credit for the Scottish Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic’ we are (only) where we are.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Makes you wonder where some folks’ heads are though. Foodbanks, 100,000 deaths from Covid many more than should have been, had the disaster capitalist Tories followed the science instead of their own bank accounts.
          The media gas light the people, smooth over or even ignore the horrors of Tory rule, the poorest and most vulnerable plunged into poverty, starving little children. Christ if people can’t register those terrible neglectful acts as crimes against the people, then yes, it’s truly scary.

          They might give NS a wee pat on the back re Covid, but it’s all of the other policies and massive mitigating Tory cuts to the poor that counts, the repair being made to decades and more of British Nationalists’ rule, their destruction to Scotland’s communities, to industry, and neglect of infrastructure etc. Hell there would be NO functioning safe crossing over the Firth of Forth had the BritNats had their way. Yet they all damn well use it! Grrr.

          I was thinking earlier, Nicola sturgeon is not perfect, but so far I haven’t been driven to despair at any of her policies, (mostly the opposite in fact) as I am by the terrible cruel and barbaric ‘policies’ of the Tory/red Tory troughers at the helm at Westminster. The UN reported that the ‘UK’ Tories were deliberately and cruelly mistreating and starving their own people not so long ago. The UN!

          The chasm between how Nicola Sturgeon and Johnson do government, is huge. That’s why people (mostly the well off) are moving into Scotland in their droves from England. The media will talk up the Tories, talk down the SNP and continue to attempt to fool the people of Scotland into believing they really are subsidised and insecure.

          With limited means to get the reality of the nightmare of Johnson’s ineptness, and his devil may care attitude even when it comes to people living or dying, Scotland is so up against it.

          Nicola is an astute, caring and very capable politician, but, she needs to start shouting more, raise her voice, get angry, expose the BritNats for what they are, lying, scheming greedy and selfish, who would see you die if it meant more money in their own and in their dodgy pals’ bank accounts.

          I am sure that NS will keep reminding people just what the alternative to independence will be, privatisation of the SNHS and Scottish water, crucial powers removed, continuous ‘austerity’, and an immasculated Scottish parliament powerless to stop the far right wing government in England, from causing great suffering for those least able to protect themselves.

          The SNP protect people as far as they can, within the constraints of devolution light, but without independence and with the English govs’ ‘internal market bill’ power grab, that is only going to get much more harder to do.

          The SNP don’t just need to ‘persuade’ people in Scotland, they need to constantly lay down the cards in front of people, these are YOUR choices, your options, which do you choose?
          As my cousin said to me a few years ago, ‘ we women getting older, have to ‘grow a pair of b**ls!’ It sounds a bit crude, but very true and applies to Scotland.

          Sorry long comment…should I send this to the FM? Just kidding…

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Hello stewartb. Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean by persuasion, or who’s supposed to do the persuading to whom?

      I think the SNP leadership should have made more, and should be making more, of the disgraceful situation post-Johnson and post-brexit. All we had was the likes of Ian Blackford declaring Scotland would never be dragged out of the EU against its will, only for him and others to meekly stay silent immediately after it happened.

      It looks like the SNP leadership are belatedly bolstering their position in favour of indyref2 and independence. We can only hope it is a sign of forceful positivity that is backed up with something more than Mr Blackford’s rhetoric. It seems to me the SNP leadership still needs some persuading before it can start persuading others.

      Apologies again if I’ve misconstrued your argument.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you are correct. the SNP need to start getting angry actually, I hope they have good advisers on how to get peoples’ attention to the reality of the far right ruling their country for along time to come. No more softly softly, tell it like it is, at every opportunity, shout and shout loud.


      2. Hi Doug, I suspect we may be saying similar things. My points are these. Notwithstanding the substantial achievement of last week’s election:

        (i) there is still a job to be done persuading more folk to change their mind and add to support for independence – that ‘persuasion’ can/should be done by anyone and everyone with a mind to do so although the pro-indy political parties are crucial contributors as they have the resource, expertise and better (if not great!) media access.

        (ii) we are (only) where we are today despite “a five year period which has witnessed Brexit, a Tory landslide at Westminster, and Boris Johnson – allegedly Scotland’s bête noire – become Prime Minister, whilst she received huge credit for the Scottish Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.’ (as Henry Hill stated) – so this has been a period with multiple events that personally I would have hoped would have shifted the dial even more towards ‘yes’ than it seems they have.

        And finally, (iii) in agreeing with gavinochiltree’s point in which he associated ‘lack of progress’ – despite these events – with an oppositional ‘ endless media campaign’, I am simply acknowledging that the same media will continue to do what they do and thus make the job of ‘persuasion’ still very challenging.


  10. What is so wrong with Scotland being Independent. It would be better for everyone. Why do the Westminster unionists keep on hanging on. If Scotland got better off so would the neighbours. Westminster has screwed enough from Scotland.

    Ireland was illegally partitioned. 1923. If Ireland had waited 5 years it could have voted for Independence. 1928. Instead of years of strife and troubles. The DUP Neanderthals paid for unionist votes at Westminster. Ireland could still vote to be reunited.


  11. I’m aware that British nationalism is a learned social pathology, which means your common-all-garden yoon is not necessarily fully responsible for their yoonery, but I’m still a bit stunned at the degree of dishonesty that allegedly left-leaning figureheads are prepared to engage in, so as to maintain Scotland’s political and legal vulnerability. We don’t want no stinking badges to a club that holds Scots in contempt, we want access to international human rights law and the potential to shape our futures.

    Law for Computer Scientists
    2. Law, Democracy, and the Rule of Law


    1. Their Yonnery . . . Nice one CBB . . . Yoonist . . . Yoon-anist . . . . Eventually arrive at Yo-onanist . . . . . It’s been staring us in the face


  12. Has anyone able to post a link to this.

    Val McDermid has perfect answer to ‘absurd’ Sky News question about independence
    It could be a laugh.


    1. Do you mean this ?
      Bravo Val, Boulton being strangled by his own pathetic question was a peach, he froze momentarily and despite trying to gloss over it he’d totally lost the plot, that glazed look knowing full well he had blown it was a real shame really 🤣


      1. Thanks for that.
        Is Bolton for real,just how stupid can they get,this should be posted all over,I have sent this to my 2 sons for them to enjoy.


      2. You’re welcome..
        Boulton is very real as are many of his type, thick as mince regarding most things but Scotland a natural blind spot, so he plays to what the english audience “want” to hear, aka what Sky want the English audience to hear.
        Boulton’s arrogance was doubtless scripted, all the voices screaming in his earpiece when Val threw them will almost certainly have used at least one Scots expletive without knowing it, such is England’s “later in the show…”


  13. Brexit is clear indication that Westminster has forgotten the source of its legal authority over Scotland, i.e. Treaty law and the permission of Scots to govern over us. This does not bode well for Scots. It will only make things harder for Scots, the further we allow Eurosceptic English nationalism to separate us from international law and our fundamental rights.

    Directly-Deliberative Polyarchy
    An Institutional Ideal for Europe?


  14. It’s not that I’m dead against ideology, and I try not to be hostile and exclusionary towards others, apart from those who I think pose a threat to open democracy. The thing is, a just constitutional order needs to be disciplined in the grounding of its actions. Or it can empower arbitrary and discriminatory opportunism, and the subsequent breakdown of democratic order. To be, or not to be a Tory….

    Amor mundi: Hannah Arendt’s political phenomenology of world


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