British Intelligence and Scottish Independence


By Jason Michael

Has Scotland been on the receiving end of Britain’s secret services? Of course it has. We can’t know the details for certain, but it would be an inexcusable failure on the part of MI5 to ignore its work in protecting the state in Scotland.


Either Google is suppressing links to this subject or very little has been written on the involvement of the British intelligence services in Scotland’s campaign for independence. Due to the secrecy of the deep state it will be difficult to access open source information on what the UK’s clandestine services did or did not do during the campaign, and no doubt unionist readers will insist that asking questions about it is paranoia, yet it would be naïve to assume the secret service and Special Branch did nothing.

In the early summer of 2014 Jim Sillars said that he was aware of at least one secret agent who had arrived in Glasgow for the campaign, but he refused to say how it was he came to know this information. He recalled in an interview with the Independent that during the 1979 devolution referendum the British secret service was all over Scotland like a rash, asking “do you think that they will not be more engaged now that independence is on the agenda?” It was even noted at the time that the US Consul in Edinburgh had become a hub of CIA activity. Of course subverting independence is a priority for the secret service – it is the job of the deep state to defend the state.

Colin Atkinson, in a 2015 article published in The Scottish Journal of Criminal Justice Studies, repeated the MI5 in-joke that “when independence happens the Scottish MI5 station will change to MI6. And you know what MI6 does!” There is more to this than a joke. Scotland would become a foreign country as far as UK intelligence is concerned and therefore subject to the less than savoury tactics of Military Intelligence Section 6. This statement would also imply that the independence movement was being taken seriously by the secret services as a threat to the security of the state. Before MI5 in Edinburgh are forced to swap seats with their MI6 colleagues, they are going to execute their brief to defend the state.

Rather than answering the questions of what this deep state did or is still doing – things we can’t know for certain – it would be a good idea for activists in the independence movement to become more familiar with the secret service and how it operates. While we can’t walk into their head offices and open their files, there are a number of case studies of how they have behaved in the past. Over a couple of future posts I will try to paint a more accurate picture of just what all of this means and what we can do to defend ourselves and the movement from shady dealings.

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Scottish Independence – Secrets and Lies – Part 2 – SPOOKS


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2 thoughts on “British Intelligence and Scottish Independence

  1. MI5 is a misnomer. It’s the Security Service, and it has intelligence officers (not ‘secret agents’) throughout the UK, and it would be downright perverse if the Service had not been monitoring the independence movement, especially under a Tory government. An IO is a career civil servant, usually operating under some sort of protective cover. Agents, on the other hand, are typically hired on contract or an ad hoc basis because they have ‘access’ to the target – the subject of interest. They may be paid or unpaid. They may be working under duress of some kind. They are temporary and far more exposed and at risk than their IO handler. Often a go-between acts as a circuit breaker between an IO and networks of sub-agents and this is known as a Head Agent. MI6, as it is known by the mainstream media, is the Secret Intelligence Service or SIS, and gathers foreign intelligence. It does however operate in the UK, inter alike, in the form of London Station – an operational ‘station’ tasked with spying on foreign missions in the UK (no doubt these might include consulates in Scotland). In addition, there may be conflict over operational territory when it comes to colonies or former colonies. Scotland might be such a case in future. Only the US to refer to ‘agents’ and ;’secret agents’ as full-time officers, such as the FBI. It is not unusual for agents or sub-agents to be ‘unwitting’ (they have no ides they are in effect working for the Security Service or SIS), or indeed to have an entirely erroneous opinion about their employer, having been recruited under a ‘false flag,’ such as a research organisation or academic institution Israel’s Mossad is notorious for ‘false flag’ recruitment, its operatives all too often posing as SIS or CIA recruiters.

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