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Friday, 19 June 2015

The English answer to the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru?

I was recently asked to do a short article on the English Democrats. Here it is:-

The English Democrats were launched in August 2002 in response to Scottish and Welsh national devolution. The English Democrats are the only campaigning English Nationalist Party and we view ourselves very much as the English answer to the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru.

As a political party the English Democrats campaign for a referendum for Independence for England; for St George’s Day to be England’s National holiday; for Jerusalem to be England’s National Anthem; to leave the EU; for an end to mass immigration; for the Cross of St George to be flown on all public buildings in England; and we supported a YES vote for Scottish Independence.

The English Democrats’ greatest electoral successes to date include:- in the 2004 EU election we had 130,056 votes; winning the Directly Elected Executive Mayoralty of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in 2009 and also the 2012 mayoralty referendum; in the 2009 EU election we gained 279,801 votes after a total EU campaign spend of less than £25,000; we won the 2012 referendum which gave Salford City an Elected Mayor; in 2012 we also saved all our deposits in the Police Commissioner elections and came second in South Yorkshire; and in the 2014 EU election we had 126,024 votes for a total campaign spend of about £40,000 (giving the English Democrats by far the most cost efficient electoral result of any serious Party in the UK!). In the 2015 General Election we had the 8th largest contingent of candidates in England.

The English Democrats are part of a developing “English Movement”. At the social level this Movement was illustrated when the People in England were asked in the 2011 Census whether they thought themselves to be English or British or English and British. Over 32 million, 64% said they were “English Only”; outside London that was generally over 70%!

From an organisational point of view the English Movement includes not only the English Democrats, but also the Campaign for an English Parliament. The CEP is a non-party partisan lobby group, campaigning to get an English Parliament; the Workers of England Union which is a union focussing entirely on workers in England, which given the special rules that apply in England, but not in Scotland and Wales, is increasingly needed. There is also the English Lobby which aims to help people with anti-English discrimination court cases.

I think what is happening is that people in England used to think that the British Establishment authorities would properly look after them, but our people are now starting to realise that that is not going to happen. So people who care about the English Cause and about English interests do need to get involved in campaigning for them.

The results of the 2015 General Election mean that all the Nation’s of the United Kingdom are different electorally and have different parties representing them. 

Although the Conservatives made some noises during the election about interest in the English Question, it is unlikely that they will be anything like as interested in acting on those noises now that they are in power. The English Democrats will of course be campaigning to try to get them to fulfil their promises, but what England really needs is a voice for England, which is at least as strong as the Scottish National Party is now for Scotland. Then and only then will English national interests be properly looked after.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Multiculturalist Metropolitan Policing runs amok!

The assaults of the multi-culturalist agenda on the “very idea of England itself” and on Englishness and also on the English nation continue apace with the announcement that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe now wants to get rid of as many “white” officers as possible out of the Metropolitan Police so that he can meet his "diversity and equality" criteria. He coupled that with the sort of statement that only someone whose moral compass has been so utterly corrupted by moral relativism and multi-culturalism that he is no longer able to discriminate between truth and falsehood. Here is what he said:-

“Older white officers could be paid off in order to improve diversity.”…

“I have always said if other people think we are institutionally racist then we are.”

He went on: “It is no good me saying we are not and then saying you must believe me, it’s nonsense, if they believe that.

He went on: “I think it is a label but in some sense there is a truth there for some people … You're very much more likely to be stopped and searched if you're a young black man.

“I can't explain that fully. I can give you reasons but I can't fully explain it. So there is some justification.”

“I think in some ways society is institutionally racist. We see lack of representation in many fields, of which the police are one.”

Sir Bernard said while there was not a problem in recruiting officers from ethnic minorities, London was changing at such a pace that the Met could not keep up.

He suggested one way to redress the balance so the force became more representative, would be to offer financial incentives for older white officers to leave the force early. But with the Met expected to face cuts of £800 (million) over the next few years, he said he would need “exceptional help” from the Government in order to do this.

Yes that is right, the most senior policeman in England has gone through the moral looking glass and can only see an inverted image of what he is talking about!

This is of course a country in which South Yorkshire Police not only in Rotherham but also in Sheffield and the other towns of South Yorkshire and other Police “Services” all over England have been deliberately turning a blind eye to the mass rape of under-age English girls to be used for the vast profit (estimated over £200,000 per girl per year) by criminal gangs of Muslim/Pakistani origin.

This politically correct and careeristly expedient blindness is not so much “Islamisation” but could perhaps it be called “Rotherhamisation”.

This is an area in which, if Sir Bernard had any ability to discern the truth, he would accept his force has been "Racist" that is in its point blank refusal to do their job properly and to investigate allegations of wrong doing by the Islamist former Mayor of Tower Hamlets and his Party. This refusal was on the grounds that it would offend "community relations". That is where the Met is racist in its unwillingness to properly investigate Islamist crimes. It is also protecting Islamist demonstrators whilst bearing down heavily on any dissent from English people. I say those are classic and appalling cases of racism Sir Bernard! That is Anglophobic racism!

It is worth noting just how glaring the alleged offences were in that ex-Mayor Rahmon offences were which the Metropolitan Police “Service” refused to investigate. Here is an interesting article discussing that case from a legal point of view in this week’s Law Society Gazette:-


Politics is the ‘conduct of public affairs for private advantage’.

Such was the cynical opinion of US journalist and social satirist, Ambrose Bierce (who died around 1914). But, satire apart, public power is a trustee function to be exercised prudently in the public interest, not for the private benefit of office holders. That is certainly what the public expects and it is the lodestar for all politicians of integrity.

That is why the Tower Hamlets election court judgment (given on 23 April by Judge Richard Mawrey QC, sitting as an election commissioner) makes such depressing reading for all with an interest in sound, effective and principled public governance.

For, in the context of an election petition to have the Tower Hamlets mayoral election of 22 May 2014 set aside for corrupt and illegal practices (under the Representation of the People Act 1983), the judgment was a painstaking, robust and excoriating legal critique of the behaviour and regime of solicitor and former mayor, Lutfur Rahman (pictured).

Rahman was found guilty (through his agents and in some cases personally) of various corrupt and illegal election practices under the act including bribery, undue influence, personation, offences concerning postal and proxy votes, providing false information to a registration officer, making false statements as to candidates and paying canvassers.

Rahman was described as ‘evasive and discursive to a very high degree’ and ‘not truthful’. For in ‘one or two crucial matters he was caught out in what were quite blatant lies’. Corrupt or illegal practices were also found to have so extensively prevailed that they may reasonably be supposed to have affected the result of the election.

The election was therefore declared to have been avoided by corrupt or illegal practices and general corruption under relevant provisions of the act. Rahman was also declared ‘incapable of being elected to fill the vacancy or any of the vacancies for which the election was held’ and was reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority under section 162 of the act.

The court described Rahman’s ‘right-hand man’ Alibor Choudhury, cabinet member for resources (‘perhaps the slang term “hatchet-man” would be more appropriate’) as ‘a very unsatisfactory witness’ who ‘did not hesitate to tell bare-faced lies in the smug assurance that the mere lawyers listening to him would not have the wit to see through them’. Choudhury was also named as guilty of illegal practices and a corrupt practice.

As to the political ‘modus operandi’, ‘Mr Rahman would retain a statesmanlike posture, making sure that he always said the right thing – particularly in castigating electoral malpractice – while what might be called “the dirty work” was done by Mr Choudhury’.

In the course of a careful and thorough 200-page judgment, an unfortunate picture emerged of abuse of process and political power. Fear of giving offence to racial and religious sensibilities was apparently cynically ‘weaponised’ for political purposes. As the judge noted from the evidence, the line taken by Rahman and his supporters was that any critic of the mayor was playing into the hands of the far-right English Defence League (EDL).

An example of the rather tortured logic used to conflate any criticism of Rahman and his colleagues with racism can be seen in paragraph 261: ‘… criticisms of Mr Rahman by his political opponents are adopted and repeated by the EDL: the EDL is a racist organisation: therefore anyone who criticises Mr Rahman is giving aid and comfort to the EDL: therefore anyone who gives aid and comfort to the EDL is himself a racist: therefore it is racist to criticise Mr Rahman’.

The judge noted that this ‘series of propositions informed all the responses of Mr Rahman and his team to criticisms and may be taken to be an epitome of the thought processes of Mr Alibor Choudhury’.

But although the judge thought it inevitable ‘that Mr Rahman will denounce this judgment as yet another example of the racism and Islamophobia that have hounded him throughout his political life’, he gave any such argument short shrift, pointing out stoutly that it ‘is nothing of the sort’. For: ‘Mr Rahman has made a successful career by ignoring or flouting the law (as this petition demonstrates) and has relied on silencing his critics by accusations of racism and Islamophobia. But his critics have not been silenced and neither has this court.’

It certainly was not. For in tackling the sensitive and difficult matter of undue spiritual influence (and finding that this had been established contrary to section 115(2) of the act) the judge was fearless. Although ‘it would have been easy to evade the issue by holding that, notwithstanding the clear words of the statute, spiritual influence should be treated as obsolete’, nevertheless, to ‘evade an issue or to reach a “fudged” solution in the hope of avoiding offence would be an abdication of the judicial function’.

In the last paragraph of his judgment, the judge highlighted the read-across to other profound social and public dysfunctions that have been caused by failures properly to exercise public functions because of misplaced sensitivities: ‘Events of recent months in contexts very different from electoral malpractice have starkly demonstrated what happens when those in authority are afraid to confront wrongdoing for fear of allegations of racism and Islamophobia. Even in the multicultural society which is 21st century Britain, the law must be applied fairly and equally to everyone. Otherwise we are lost.’

A salient example of course is Rotherham, where in her February 2015 report Louise Casey noted that although children were ‘sexually exploited by men who came largely from the Pakistani heritage community’ not ‘enough was done to acknowledge this, to stop it happening, to protect children, to support victims and to apprehend perpetrators’.

In robustly finding that Rotherham Council was ‘not fit for purpose’, in particular ‘failing in its duties to protect vulnerable children and young people from harm’, she highlighted ‘misplaced “political correctness”’ as an ingredient of its unhealthy culture.

But, in its closing pages, the election court judgment highlighted various matters for the Law Commission; including the petition system, which is ‘obsolete and unfit for purpose’. ‘Why,’ the judge asked, since we don’t ‘leave it to the victim of burglary or fraud (a fortiori the victim of rape) to bring civil proceedings against the perpetrator as the only way of achieving justice, do we leave it to the victims of electoral fraud to go it alone?’ A resonant question, illustrated graphically by the uphill struggle of the petitioners who had shown ‘exemplary courage’ in the instant case.


The Tower Hamlets judgment is lengthy but essential reading for all local government lawyers. As well as being an excellent election law primer, it is also a cautionary tale for all in public service about the deleterious effects of abuse of public power. For the ‘real losers in this case’ were noted as ‘the citizens of Tower Hamlets and, in particular, the Bangladeshi community’. This ‘alarming state of affairs’ being due to ‘the ruthless ambition of one man’.

Nevertheless, Rahman has announced that he will be appealing the judgment and ‘continues to reject all claims of wrongdoing’. According to his website he holds ‘that the integrity of the court system was marred by the bias, slurs and factual inaccuracies in the election judgment’.

However, the judgment is of course what it is, unless it is overturned on appeal.

(Here is the link to the article >>> Election law primer | Feature | Law Society Gazette)

What do you think?

Friday, 12 June 2015



Therese Hirst, the Leader of Veritas, is joining the English Democrats as Deputy Chairman and National Council Member.

Veritas and the English Democrats will have a joint National Party Conference on 18th and 19th September at which one of the resolutions will be merger. Therese has been the Leader of Veritas, Robert Kilroy-Silk’s old Party for 7 years.

The English Democrats are also pleased to announce that Therese Hirst will be standing for us in the May 2016 Police Commissioner Elections as our candidate in West Yorkshire. 

We intend to stand a full slate of 37 candidates for all the Police Commissioner positions in England. Despite spending less than £1,000 nationally on the last Police Commissioner elections, all English Democrats’ candidates retained their deposits and, in one case, came second. Next year we intend to work hard to get some of our candidates elected so that they can change the direction of policing in their county.

Robin Tilbrook, the Chairman of the English Democrats said: “I am delighted to welcome Therese as a member of the National Council and to appoint her as Deputy Chairman. I am also looking forward to welcoming the other members of Veritas to the English Democrats. Gradually all those people who are English patriots are waking up to the need for England to have its own political voice. I welcome that!”

Therese Hirst said:- “I am delighted to announce my joining the English Democrats and happy to be welcomed onto the National Council and as Deputy Chairman. I think the time has come for everyone concerned about England's future to join together to make the English Democrats a stronger voice for England!"

Robin Tilbrook


The English Democrats

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Unfairly selective invitations to hustings

During Parliamentary Elections there are often Hustings events. These are often organised by schools, churches or local media. All candidates are often invited but sometimes the organisers are selective about whom they invite - not always fairly.

Wherever we have been the victim of unfair selection I am urging people to protest about selective invitations to hustings. Here is my correspondence:-

Dear All

Please find below a letter that I have written to my Returning Officer regarding electoral expenses, together with a letter that I wrote to Brentwood County High School regarding one of the hustings that I was not invited to.

Please adapt these letters to write to your Returning Officer regarding any hustings that you know that you were not invited to and to the person organising the hustings.

Letter to Returning Officer

Re: General Election 2015 - Candidates Expenses Returns - Hustings

I am writing to put you on notice that there were, I believe, at least three hustings (there may well have been more) in the recent General Election in the Brentwood and Ongar constituency where I was not invited to take part. The Electoral Commission’s Husting Events Rule 8, as enclosed, has made it clear that in the circumstances that not all the candidates were invited to take part in any hustings that the candidates who were invited have to make declaration of the cost of that hustings as part of their electoral expenses.

I am therefore giving notice that I do require this cost to be included in the other candidates expenses forms and require you to reject any of the other candidates’ expenses forms if they do not include these items.

I would confirm that I was only invited to one hustings, which was the Radio Phoenix FM hustings. The other candidates I believe were invited to all other hustings and therefore the cost of each of those hustings should be included in their returns. I am aware that I was not invited to either the Brentwood High School hustings, or Brentwood School hustings or the Anglo-European School hustings. All three of these hustings should therefore appear in all the other candidates’ expenses returns.

Please confirm receipt of this letter.

Yours faithfully

R C W Tilbrook


The Headmaster

Dear Sir

Re: General Election Hustings

As you may know, I was one of the six candidates in the recent General Election for Brentwood and Ongar.

I note that you did not invite me to take part in the hustings which your school organised but which the other candidates were invited to.

Perhaps you had not read the enclosed explanation of the rules on hustings prepared by the Electoral Commission, as you did not send me any explanation for my exclusion, let alone the “objective reasons” specified in Rule 6.

Be that as it may, I would now ask you to let me have details of the cost of the hustings and also to confirm that you have notified the other candidates of that cost, which must be included in their election expenses returns as a donation which your school has made to their campaigning.

Yours faithfully

R C W Tilbrook

Returning Officer

B Borough Council

Dear Madam

Re: General Election 2015 - Candidates Expenses Returns - Hustings

Thank you your telephone message regarding my letter to the Council dated the 20th May. I have written letters to the organisers of the hustings, and enclose copies for your information.

Yours sincerely

R C W Tilbrook

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The reporting of the death of Charles Kennedy

A week ago we had the death of Charles Kennedy, the former Leader of the Liberal Democrats. His death cannot have been entirely unexpected, not only because of longstanding ill-health issues, but also that those were not unlinked with his now well-known alcoholism. Having lost his seat, despite the fact that there were further opportunities beckoning him, the temptation to drink must have been overwhelming.

It has however been interesting to see how his death has been reported by the British Establishment Political class and the comments that they have made, which all seem to be along the lines of what a wonderful warm person he was. I did not know him personally and, indeed, never met him so I cannot vouch either way for that. 

The one certain thing that I do know about him which has an impact on my attitude to him is that, not surprisingly, as a Lib Dem Leader, he was a highly enthusiastic Europhile who, not only as a Lib Dem, but also as a Scot, hated the “very idea of England”. 

Indeed he told a Dumfermline meeting of Liberal Democrats back in 1999, when he was their Leader, that he was an enthusiastic supporter of Regionalisation “Because Regionalism in England is calling into question the very idea of England itself”. Nothing could really be clearer as to his Anglophobia. That is enough to damn him politically as far as I am concerned.

It is however interesting to consider the British Political and Media reaction to mr Kennedy's death. Especially, in light of the kind of comments that they have made about Alex Salmond’s comment in which he simply tried to suggest that Charles Kennedy might have had some sympathy for the Europhile SNP brand of Scottish nationalism. This may after all be true, since it certainly is the case that Mr Kennedy was keen, as any Europhile would be, to break up the old great Nation States so they could be more readily digested by the emerging EU State.

We are hearing a lot about Magna Carta at the moment but we don’t need to go back nearly as far as that to a day when it was quite normal for rival politicians not merely to hate each other but to try to get their rivals executed when they fell from power. That was the normal state of affairs in England as recently as the early 18th Century and in the 17th Century it was all too typical. 

Of course in those days politicians generally sincerely believed in their politics. Also then the difference between the various political groupings was a serious matter of principle, as opposed to the sort of cosy club that now prevails and which Alex Salmond would appear to be in danger of being blackballed from! 

Here is an example of the type of article which I am refering to:-

With Charles Kennedy’s death a light has gone out in Scottish and British politics

The late former Liberal Democrat leader always had a smile on his face, but was every inch the serious politician

By Alan Cochrane
Charlie Kennedy was one of those fortunate people who didn’t need a surname. To everyone, throughout Scotland and over the entire political world, he was just Charlie. Thus when I received a text shortly after six thirty this morning asking: “Have you heard about Charlie,” I knew at once who we were talking about.

And, sadly, I also at once guessed the worst. To many, if not most, of those who knew Charlie Kennedy it was not an exactly surprising, if still appalling, bit of news that he had died a little over three weeks after losing his seat in his beloved Highlands in the general election.

I take nothing away from the Ian Blackford, the SNP candidate who defeated Charlie – he has all the attributes necessary to turn out to be an accomplished MP – but with Kennedy’s death a light has gone out in Scottish and British politics.

That may appear as an over-worn cliché but Charlie Kennedy did brighten every room, every company, every conversation he entered. He was a marvellous communicator an engaging companion and will be missed terribly.

There was an impish quality to his public persona and he was seldom without a smile on his face but he was every inch the serious politician and was a hugely successful Liberal Democrat leader – at least with the public.

He demonstrated in spades his political skills in what was perhaps his finest political hour – when he withheld his party’s support from George Bush’s invasion of Iraq, leaving only the Tories on their own in backing Tony Blair. It was tactical masterstroke which increased dramatically his party’s support in the country in the 2005 general election.

But you cannot talk about Charlie Kennedy without talking about his battle with booze. He did not hide his struggle with drink. At first when challenged about his drinking, he tried to laugh it off and insisted that as a Highlander it was not exactly an unnatural trait for him to enjoy a dram. However, he did eventually concede that it was a problem that had got out of hand and he did try to tackle it. But it did contribute to his losing the leadership of the Lib Dems and thereafter his position in the political firmament gradually receded.

However, his popularity with the general public never diminished and he played a key part in fighting by-elections for the Lib Dems and was one of the stars of the all-party Better Together campaign last year in fighting off the SNP led plan to break up Britain. Charlie spent the bulk of that campaign in his native Highlands, helping to ensure that it voted ‘No’ to independence.

I didn’t see much of Charlie recently, and I had the impression that of late he seldom ventured out of his Highland fastness. However, when last we encountered each other he pointed at me and with a huge grin asked the assembled company: “I see a large edifice over there. It looks like Alan Cochrane.”

You couldn’t really use such a description about Charlie Kennedy. He may have put the beef on a bit lately but he will best remembered as that slight, red-haired Highlander with a permanent grin on his face.

But there was nothing insignificant about his political standing and the affection in which he was held by the people who matter most – the voters.

He will be much missed. 

(To see original article, click here >>>

Thursday, 4 June 2015



Douglas Carswell’s attitude to the £3.2 million which UKIP is entitled to under the so-called 'Short Money' rules is, on the face of it, inexplicable. 

It could be that he is deliberately using his position to damage UKIP but another possible explanation is the old adage “there is no fool like a clever fool”. 

Douglas Carswell appears to be ideologically a Thatcherite ultra who objects to taxpayers’ money being spent on almost anything but in particular on politics. In some ways this might be considered to be commendable, but is obviously a profoundly impractical idea when he represents a party like UKIP which must seriously need that money. I gather UKIP may have spent something in the order of £10 million on the General Election compared to the much bigger Conservative Party, with far greater brand awareness and electoral credibility, which apparently has spent over £60 million.

The Short Money payments would also be extremely useful for UKIP to be used as part of the organisation and preparation for the In/Out EU Referendum. In short the decision to reject it caused by Carswell’s intransigence can only be described as obtuse.

It is however interesting that Douglas Carswell had a track record of being a thorn in David Cameron’s side. Also when he went over to UKIP and caused a by-election, it was interesting that the Conservatives didn’t put in a big hitter against David Carswell, but instead put in a virtually unknown actor, who, despite their polling research on the English nationalist sentiments of many residents of Clacton, didn’t raise the English nationalist issue at all, either in the by-election or in the General Election. Could it be that the leaders of the Conservative Party wanted the highly disruptive, egotistical, ideological obsessive Carswell disrupting the ranks of their enemy? It would surely have been feasible to encourage him to jump and with “plausible deniability” to enable him to get re-elected.

In case it might be said that 'surely nobody would be that devious?' I am aware of cases where outside of politics exactly that has been done where people who are trouble are given excellent references for them to go and work for competitors. In one particularly repellent case, a teacher, who had been caught, as it was put, “interfering with small boys” whilst working for a State school, in the days of the Greater London Education Authority, being given an excellent reference to get him out and to get him working in the private sector, with a view to damaging the private sector’s reputation once he was caught there!

Whether it is so or not however having Douglas Carswell in UKIP has certainly been an un-mixed blessing for the Europhile Conservative Party’s leadership!

The only point it gives me significant reservations about this theory is the fact that David Cameron himself doesn’t appear to be sufficiently clued up and or, indeed, sufficiently Machiavellian to have done such a thing. Could it however be significant that this all happened whilst that Wizard of Oz, Lynton Crosby, was in town?

Tuesday, 2 June 2015



In the General Election, as I told Russia Today in this interview click here >>>, I think UKIP missed their historic opportunity.

UKIP's leadership should have known, from the work of Professors Matthew Goodwin and Rob Ford, in their book “Revolt on the Right”, that UKIP’s best opportunity was to move into being English Nationalists.

I had always thought that, as a result of my discussions with Nigel Farage and other leaders within UKIP, that in fact UKIP would never go for this, as their leadership are too much focussed on being an old fashioned British nationalist party.

I have of course been saying this to anyone that would listen within the system, including some influential people within the Conservative Party. I don’t think that it is any coincidence that the Conservatives had spotted that UKIP’s leaders unwillingness to commit to English nationalism was a potentially serious weakness in UKIP’s position.

In the run up to the General Election the Conservatives had begun to make noises that would please less critical English nationalists, such as commitment to English votes for English laws and Cameron’s comments immediately after the Scottish referendum, they had not gone as far as agreeing to have an England specific manifesto, despite the obvious need for such a specific manifesto in a partially devolved “United” Kingdom. What however did happen was they waited to see what UKIP would do.

In the event UKIP opened themselves up to being triangulated (in the Blairite language i.e. outmanoeuvred) on the English nationalist flank by the mistakes of launching a British manifesto with very few mentions of England in it and then they compounded this mistake by launching a Scotland specific manifesto and a Welsh specific manifesto and a Northern Irish specific manifesto, but none specifically for England.

Once UKIP had done this the Conservatives came out with their specifically English manifesto. Although this was a fairly thin piece of work and its detail would not satisfy committed English nationalists, it wasn’t aimed at us, it was aimed at ordinary English people who are feeling increasingly left out of the devolutionist way in which the United Kingdom is going.

Anecdotally I can say from talking to quite a lot of people it worked brilliantly. One of the best examples being a sub-post master living locally where I live in Essex, who told me that although he and his family were long term trade unionists and Labour voters, even he in the end couldn’t bring himself to vote for Labour and for the first time ever he voted Conservative in order to keep the SNP from having a decisive say over England and being able to get Scotland even more favourable treatment than it has already!

As English nationalists we must of course hope that the habit of voting along national lines will grow!

I do think Scotland’s history suggests it will. After all it was Labour that was riding the Scottish nationalist lion in the 1980s as a way of undermining the Conservatives there. Once people got into the habit of voting along national lines they were far more open to voting for a specifically Scottish nationalist party!