By Chris Rumbles
Labour peer George Robertson has been accused of insulting the people of Scotland after claiming that a Yes vote in the independence referendum would be “cataclysmic” and that the “forces of darkness would simply love it”.
Robertson has faced criticism after delivering a speech in Washington D.C. in which he said that Scottish independence would be a cause for celebration among the “enemies” of the “West” because of its “geostrategic consequences”.

Lord Robertson, a former NATO Secretary General, said a ‘Yes’ vote would have a destabilising effect not just within the UK but across Europe.

Giving his speech to an audience at the Brookings Institution, he said: “So I contend that it is far from scaremongering to use the term Balkanization to predict what might happen if Scotland were to break from its 300 year old union.

“The fragmentation of Europe starting on the centenary of the First World War would be both an irony and a tragedy with incalculable consequences.”

The Scottish Government said Lord Robertson’s comments were “crass and offensive” while Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said they did “a real disservice to the debate”.

Despite Lord Robertson’s call for “allies” of the UK to make their opinions known on the referendum, speaking in 2013 the then United States ambassador to the UK, Louis Susman, said the US “did not take sides” and was entirely “neutral” on the matter.

In his speech, Robertson who once claimed that devolution would “kill nationalism stone dead”, went on to suggest that voters in Scotland consider the “impact of their decision on the stability of the world”.

He asked: “What could possibly justify giving the dictators, the persecutors, the oppressors, the annexers, the aggressors and the adventurers across the planet the biggest pre-Christmas present of their lives by tearing the United Kingdom apart?”.

A former chairman of the Labour Party in Scotland, Lord George Robertson of Port Ellen joined the House of Lords as a life peer in 1999.  It had been reported that the unelected peer was asked by Labour referendum co-ordinator Anas Sarwar MP to play a more prominent role in the Better Together campaign alongside fellow Labour Lords George Foulkes, John Reid and Jack McConnell.

The move had been precipitated by the most recent Panelbase poll indicating that the gap between the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns was narrowing with support for independence standing at 41 per cent and support for the union registering at 46 per cent, with the rest undecided.

Commenting on Lord Robertson’s speech, SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell said: “This intervention from Lord Robertson isn’t just bizarre – it is completely absurd and impossible for anyone to take seriously.

“Project Fear has become Project Farce.  It is just one more indication of a No campaign that gives every appearance of being incoherent and in disarray.

“In the days before devolution, Lord Robertson said that a Scottish Parliament would “kill nationalism stone dead”.  He was wrong then and he is wrong now.”


2014-04-08 21:19

I would cite George Robertson’s ability to climb a greasy pole as just that and nothing else.
Official records of the Dunblane Massacre sealed for 100 years rather than the normal 30 ?
2014-04-08 21:24

O/T Bellacaledonia is off air!
call me dave
2014-04-08 21:43

Little independent Scotland emerges from the chrysalis stage, flutters it’s wings and destroys the civilised world.

Aye right George!

One Lord from the Record down,next please.

Bella on holiday for a week but someone tweeted/twittered to say that it was OK they were doing a bit of IT tidying up and not to worry. Hope that’s right.
2014-04-08 21:48


Bella just having a spring clean.

Robertson and the BBC were a great help to Yes today!

There’s an Owen Jones piece in The Guardian, looks like he’s made the leap and understands what’s actually going on regarding the referendum, which is nice.…/…

And finally the Yes Saltire fundraiser is in need of a wee push to get over the 1/3rd of total mark before the 4th day is out. Please give what you can to help them along.…/2353157
2014-04-08 21:49

I assume that Robertson is refering to the UK losing Trident following our independence.
This completeley irrelevant weapon system has done nothing to keep the peace or prevent the “forces of darkness” from destabilising countries like Iraq and the subsequent huge loss of life.
An independent Scotland would act as a brake against the “forces of darkness” and insist that due process was followed before resorting to violence.
Robertson should return to his cave.
I think Bella may be on an Easter break.
2014-04-08 21:53

If the West is heading for a cataclysm as Lord Robertson claims then granting Scotland Devo-max with full fiscal autonomy within the UK should have been top of the unionists ‘things to do list’ to try and head off full independence but it wasn’t!
2014-04-08 22:13

on Scotland Tonight Lord ‘ of darkness’ Robertson admitted everyone in Scotland would be £500 better off! which was funny but the best bit was when he said that Scotland being independent would be cataclysmic to then hear a door creek was comedy gold and also his face when his quote ‘devolution will kill, nationalism stone dead’ was said back to him!

Other than that he seemed to tell McKay to shut up and go and attack independence and don’t question him as if he expects the compliant media to take his every word as gospel regardless of how nonesensical and void of substance it is!
2014-04-08 22:15

Comedy gold. The Newsnicht interview had me in stitches.
Auld Rock
2014-04-08 22:23

I’ve just listened to Gordon Brewer make George look very silly. I also listened to two people who are supposed to be stone dead according to George back in the 90’s and Stewart and Nicola looked very much alive and well. I wonder which one of the unelected benefit/expenses claimants will pop out of their cosy London club to tell us how silly we are.

Any bets?

Auld Rock
2014-04-08 22:23…/…

Article 5

Well, I remember his lordship, as SG for NATO invoking that article on a shared platform with President Bush.

Bush wanted to say “with us or against us”, Robertson wanted to talk about Scottish independence.

A “Bushism” from the NATO SG! Even Bush looked surprised…. wonder why?
2014-04-08 22:26

Robertson is a cataclysmic spluttering buffoon who likes the idea that the country of his birth should forever be a junior appendage of England.

He is so full of his own importance in the general scheme of things that he apparently thinks any notion of loyalty towards Scotland is easily dismissed.

Shame on him and other Scottish anti-Scots like Darling and the rest of his rotten Labour mob in Scotland.
2014-04-08 22:31

George (listen to me because I am a lord) Robertson is a disgrace to himself and more importantly a disgrace to Scotland.
This narrow minded little man thinks he can bully the people of Scotland, how wrong he is.
Again the BBC give this kind of guff prime time on Scottish news, most of Robertsons comments have no substance and he can’t even answer simple challenges to his argument .
Away off to a country you like, may I suggest Ukraine
2014-04-08 22:43

George Robertson is saying never mind the growing poverty in Scotland, never mind the 25% of Scottish children living on or below the poverty line, or the old people dieing in of winter cold, or countless young people looking for decent jobs.

No, never mind all that, stay within the UK, let London look after your money – they’re not wasting it they’ve spent it wisely – The UK share of the Channel Tunnel, not to mention the two stations renovated to the highest levels. The M25, Thames Flood Barrier, many improvements and further extensions to the underground and of course Europe’s biggest engineering project Crossrail.

So, Scottish money being well spent on London and the South East, which we can all enjoy as we travel to Paris.

Talking about Cataclysmic though, if Trident and the stored missiles were hit you can say goodbye to Glasgow and Edinburgh and most of in between…that could be considered cataclysmic I suppose..
2014-04-08 22:54

Well George that’s what happens to your speech if you will insist staying up late in your Hotel room watching the Lord of Rings while trying to fine tune your notes.

I guess the Cappuccino with the Nigella sprinkles just before the presentation did not help either..
2014-04-08 23:01

Just went to newnetscotland and was redirectected BetTog, has anyone else had the same browser behaviour?
2014-04-08 23:03

I would imagine that ‘the dictators, the persecutors, the oppressors, the annexers, the aggressors’ will all be a lot less aggressive towards us if we do ‘break up’ the UK.

After all the UK is just the war-mongering USA’s bitch poodle.
2014-04-08 23:57

Before BT roll out any more of these “big hitters”, could I suggest they check whether they have been in the HoL bar too long or are taking some kind of mind altering medication. This is just dire and makes Scotland look stupid. At the very least, don’t let them go to abroad to spout this nonsense. Embarrassing doesn’t even begin to cover it.
2014-04-09 04:43

Scottish independence would be cataclysmic for the defence of the West? Hmmm, let’s ponder that one.

Which maritime “power” of the north-western European fringe has, 1. scrapped its aircraft carriers with all attendant ability to project air power transnationally  , 2. withdrawn cover of meaningful surface vessels to the far southern fringe of its own territory, 3. downsized its early warning capabilities to the extent that it required warning by Twitter that a Russian capital ship was nearing its northern approaches and 4. has scrapped all maritime reconnaissance aircraft?

Let’s be clear for the sake of Lord Robertson that this is, in fact, the UK.

Now, on the other hand, which white paper sets out a defence policy that would ensure the gaps above are substantially filled with a meaningful surface fleet such as offshore patrol vessels and frigates (page 239) plus reestablishment of an airborne maritime patrol capability (page 242)?
2014-04-09 05:50

I don’t know if it’s just my imagination but is it possible that BBC Scotland have come up with A Cunning Plan (copyright Baldrick) to combat the accusations of pro-Union bias.

Knowing that the viewing figures for Newsnight are tiny compared with the number who listen to Radio and TV news bulletins such as Misreporting Scotland they are allowing Gordon Brewer to go into full attack mode against Project fear as illustrated perfectly by his demolition of Cataclysmic Robertson last night and the slaughter of Lamont a couple of weeks ago. In the meantime they can continue on their merry way on news bulletins as illustrated yesterday by leading every bulletin with the Robertson nonsense and this morning with another Project Fear flying visit and scare lecture this time from Ed Davey.

Robertson also made an idiot of himself on Scotland Tonight.
2014-04-09 06:00

It’s the end of the world as George knows it, and I feel fine…
2014-04-09 06:06

In the meantime I understand that Help Me Rhona Carmichael is appearing in front of Bayonet Wielding Davidson’s ludicrous Scottish Affairs Committee in what will no doubt be a nice cosy affair leading to yet another load of Project Fear propaganda for The BBC and the MSM to leap on to with glee.

Across the pond while Robertson’s deranged utterances led all yeaterday’s news bulletins Eck’s optimistic and positive speech was ignored.

Is it not a coincidence that both Robertson and Darling are visiting The US at the same time as Eck’s long planned visit. I wonder who is paying for their trips and what sort of doss house they will be staying in.
2014-04-09 06:47

Quoting gus1940:

Is it not a coincidence that both Robertson and Darling are visiting The US at the same time as Eck’s long planned visit. I wonder who is paying for their trips and what sort of doss house they will be staying in.

Not just Darling and Robertson – Brian Wilson’s over there too just now. That means they can all kip over at Wilson’s New York apartment – I believe he has at least three homes.

As to Robertson, anyone who has traced his career from the 70s would know he was a wrong ‘un. Former chair of the British-American Committee, current patron of the British American Project, joint President of Chatham House, director at Weirs group, adviser to BP, and many more. Remember this guy was a major enabler of human catastrophies like the Iraq War.

You couldn’t be any more enmeshed in the neo-con military-industrial complex without being called Dick Cheney…

2014-04-09 08:30

I didn’t mention Wilson as he is allegedly there representing Harris Tweed but it didn’t stop him being interviwed over the line form NY and oozing out more of his Unionist propaganda pus.

2014-04-09 08:22

A Labour legend falls flat on his face.

Who would have thought that the free world, democracy and western civilisation is dependent on Scotland being denied nationhood.
2014-04-09 09:35

What a disaster – even The Record that Stalwart Champion Of Independence is attacking and ridiculing Robertson’s ludicrous speech.

Said speech was deemed of such moment that the cataclysmic threat to world peace failed to merit a mention on BBC National News. What is really worrying is the fact that our pals at Pathetic Quay deemed it to be so important as to lead every bulletin with it throughout the day until today’s latest scare story took over the lead spot.

I wonder what gems await us from the rest of Sarwar’s Cast of All Stars From The Past.
Auld Rock
2014-04-09 10:06

No Butehouse, ‘WEE’ Johann would call it a ‘WEE ACCIDENT’!!!!!

Auld Rock
2014-04-09 10:10

Nice Try “Lord” George. There is absolutely no way that “little” Scotland being politically independent is going to destabilise anything in this world apart from Westminsters urges to wage illegal foreign wars funded by Scottish oil & whiskey revenues. Scots are not war mongers “Lord” George thus you “clearly” have given many of us another reason to vote YES. Thank you for raising the debate.
Leader of the Pack
2014-04-09 10:27

“In his speech, Robertson who once claimed that devolution would “kill nationalism stone dead”, went on to suggest that voters in Scotland consider the “impact of their decision on the stability of the world”.”

Absolutely staggering. The greatest threat to world peace since 1707 has been the UK of GB. Even Hitler stole less territory and subjugated less of the world than the UK did in its heyday.
Pulling the teeth of the greatest empirical territory stealing Parliament ever recorded in world history can only be seen by the world as a good deed. The world would breath a sigh of relief when a yes vote is declared.
I honestly cant make up my mind if the Labour party is collectively suffering from self inflicted delusion or simply hypocritical dishonesty. It may even be both. Even pre 1707 England itself was embarked on world domination and at war with all of its neighbours at one time or another. Westminster has never been anything other than expansionist.

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