Patience is a virtue (probably)

A guest post by Samuel Miller (Macart)

I’m seeing a recurring theme across the interwebby and the meeja these days and it boils down to ‘there’s only 56 of them, they can’t do anything, they don’t have any support or why aren’t they more effective?’ Torn faces left, right and centre, despair, black dugs biting bums the length and breadth of an editorial bear pit. Oh its carnage so it is, or maybe no.

Even amongst independence support and the wider Scottish electorate there’s a general theme of frustration and apprehension, and believe you me its being cultivated, encouraged even, by both media and big government. Though I’d guess in reality they have more reason to feel panicked or depressed than the Scottish electorate should. After all its them that are on final notice, not the public.

I think its time for people to step back and take a look at what’s being done, why things happen the way they do and what’s been achieved.

I’m assuming that we’re all aware the upsurge in rhetoric from oor fav meeja on the subject of those 56 MPs, yes? They’re unruly, disrespectful, noisy, argumentative and downright unkulchurred? Here’s a wee bit of perspective on the subject:—alex-salmond-gives-westminster-the-gift-of-the-gab.4432

That’s right folks, they are getting stuck right in and they’re using Westminster’s own rule book to do it too. As a block they are using the rules to make as big a noise as it is possible to make in those chambers. They are quite literally the noisy uninvited guest at table and about as popular with the establishment as a fart in a spacesuit. When you don’t have the weight to win votes you can still affect them. You can still make an impact on the committees, the legislation, the process of legislation and it appears those 56 are doing exactly that. So much so that the meeja are almost literally foaming at the mouth, no doubt whipped into a frenzy by their chums on Westminster speed dial .

No, when all is said and done, they can’t prevent much of what Cameron and Osborne are bringing to bear in terms of austerity. Our 56 MPs couldn’t prevent the enactment of austerity legislation even had Labour been in power and sadly we’re, for the moment, obliged to abide by Westminster government. Labour themselves had signed up to most of the same austerity measures and could have counted on Conservative backing in any such vote, but any delay, any change that the 56 can affect? You better believe they’re doing it even as we speak. They are doing precisely what they were voted in to do, protect Scottish interests, fight at national and constituency level and hold a government to account as best possible. Most especially they will be highlighting the clusterfudge that is the ongoing Scottish powers debate.

Remember, willing legislators are required to carry out legislation quickly and effectively from a government standpoint and I’d say the last thing those 56 are, is willing to pass on yet more suffering or hardship to an already hard pressed electorate without some form of protest or fight.

On to what’s been achieved and can be achieved, or rather, let’s talk about you.

Since 2007 you’ve begun to engage in politics again, you’ve been part of a reawakening and a sea change in Scottish politics. Your aspiration brought about a majority government in a parliamentary system which was designed never to have one. Your voices made real the claim of right (*) and Scotland’s right to independence if it so chose (and may still do). It took enormous effort on Westminster’s part simply to slow your aspirations down last September and if anything made you more determined than ever. Your continued engagement since the referendum has brought about the greatest political upset in these islands in over three hundred years and not all the power of big government, big media and big business could stop you. An on-side, or even moderately objective media would only have speeded things along to what looks now like an almost inevitable conclusion. The fact that it has been anything but,  hasn’t stopped you from pulling off an unprecedented, peaceful and democratic revolution in our politics.

YOU did all of that and you are capable of so much more. If, as seems increasingly likely, the Smith Commission’s agreement becomes a complete and undeliverable mess, you may well get the opportunity to prove that sooner than you think. A referendum vow undelivered is just what it says on the tin, its a promise made on condition, but not fulfilled. If the Scottish electorate feel that after having given the Westminster system of government the green light to continue governing, it hasn’t done so in the fashion they were led to believe, then it is fully within their rights to rectify the situation. The same can be said of the upcoming EU referendum or the possible repealing of the Human Rights act. Any outcomes which may adversely affect our laws and interests will be brought to our notice by Scotland’s MPs.

Again remember, no government, no representation can act without your say so.  When the First Minister says ‘only the will of the Scottish people decides’, its the literal truth. If the Scottish electorate so will it, they can empower their government and Westminster representatives to revisit that constitutional settlement at the very next opportunity open to them.

All you need do is give your representatives permission when they ask.

Link (*)

41 comments on “Patience is a virtue (probably)

  1. […] Patience is a virtue (probably) […]

  2. diabloandco says:

    You have big feet Macart!

  3. K1 says:

    Well said Macart. We have to hold firm under the constant onslaught, we cannot, and must not ‘react’, in a manner that would be used against us.

    This is what they want, a reaction. As their rhetoric shows today, yet again, they will fabricate and embellish any ‘story’ to quite literally manufacture outrage.

    This is not ‘aimed’ at us, it is to keep what little support they still have, on side. A huge deflection campaign is underway. The media are utterly complicit in disseminating false and misleading information. This tells us, we are ‘actually’ making an enormous difference and impact.

    We have to remain within the eye of the storm, in that calm space, whilst the chaotic weather rages all around us. Travelling with it but remaining separate from it. Our ship is a vast vessel capable of taking on board all who wish to be part of the new course that our country is now set upon.

    We will weather this…we are the change we wanted to see…more will come…it’s inevitable now.

  4. mary docherty says:

    Great piece ..cheers.but i s Clusterfudge the same as Smithfudge ??

  5. Nana Smith says:

    Macart, you do this blogging thingy so well.

    I’m finding it difficult to stay patient especially when good people are being vilified. I’m turning into a screeching harridan just reading what passes for journalism never mind the bloody awful bbc and stv.

  6. Lollysmum says:

    Macart-I knew you were good but this is brilliant. A thoughtful & inspring piece.Thank you 🙂

  7. Lollysmum says:

    Aaargh- inspiring

  8. Papadox says:

    You have hit the nail on the head macart. We have to sit and take all this shit from the establishment and let our leaders do their work, painful though it is.

    When the time comes we must be ready to back our champions until their gums bleed, then we dump the nasty Union for keeps.

  9. Itchybiscuit says:

    The ‘meeja’ are good for a laugh.

    I suppose if the ’56’ really were impotent, we’d hear nothing from the telly or print meeja. It’s all very ‘reverse psychology’ – keep telling folk their elected representatives are powerless and useless and say it often – they might even be believed, eh? ;o)

  10. Gerry says:

    This is my first ever post and this article is the inspiration to do it.

    It is a truly excellent piece that clearly illustrates the SNP Westminster plan and how succesfully it is being implemented, best measured by MSM squeal volume.

    It is also very comforting to know that the sum of all the apparent wee defeats on the Smith/Scotland Bill fiasco will surely fulfil the substantial change requirement to put another referendum on the agenda. And at the pace we’re going will fit right in with the 2016 manifesto release.

    • Marconatrix says:

      Don’t be so naive, Nicola won’t call a referendum unless winning is a near certainty, and Cameron won’t allow one unless we’re bound to lose. The last one only happened because both sides thought it would go their way. WM almost miscalculated, but they won’t make the same mistake twice, even they aren’t that daft!

      • Josephine Mackenzie says:

        I don’t believe Gerry is naïve at all. I don’t believe Scotland voted against its own independence. Why wasn’t Camoron worried? Because he had already decided the outcome. Scotland’s mistake was to allow Westminster to count the votes, look how that went. Same for the GE. It long ago ceased being tinfoil hat conspiracy, there’s plenty of evidence being swept away. Trying to be logical & reasonable with the quasi-nazi tory party is just not going to work. I for one, have run out of patience. If they won’t “give”, then we must take.

    • macart763 says:

      Welcome Gerry.

      It may or may not be included in the 2016 manifesto, its dependent on a number of factors not least of which are the outcomes on the constitutional issues I’ve listed in the post. Most importantly however its dependent on the people and their collective desire. Remember, in Scotland under Scottish law, the people are sovereign, not the crown or parliament. The SNP can only inform the people of their situation, test the waters by doorstep canvassing and polling, then decide whether there is enough of a popular mandate to ask the question officially through a manifesto.

      At the end of the day its down to the people when they’ve had enough. The SNP are doing their job and sticking by both their ideology and the law of the land. The people decide and the people drive their actions.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      I do like the phrase “MSM squeal volume”, Gerry.
      Thanks, Macart. We all need a little encouragement from time to time. Not too long to go now, though.

  11. Paul says:


  12. Neil Anderson says:

    Hugely encouraging and positive view. Many thanks Macart, the Weegingerdug has done us a huge favour by inviting you to caretake in his absence.

  13. ebreah says:

    For me, the fight for Scottish Independence began with the Jacobite Rebellions. This should be the final permutation of the same. Scotland is already beginning to feel independent and all we need is to sort out the legal formalities.

    The 56 is doing a fine job and bagged themselves one government climb-down already. All they need to do is to be as procedurally obstructive as possible in Westminster. Wear the government down. Imagine wiping the smirk off Gove’s face.

    300 years has passed and scores have died believing and fighting in this cause. It is only a matter of time.

  14. Marconatrix says:

    I only hope the SNP MPs have something good up their collective sleeves, otherwise the independence campaign will lose initiative, lose momentum.

    The electorate have spoken, and even though the SNP don’t hold the balance of power at WM, which I suppose was their main hope for progress, their near total ownership of Scottish representation should, in a sensible world of realpolitik, have lead to serious accommodation by the government. Leading to a gradualist approach to devolution of powers, an orderly re-adjustment of relationships, fully in line with English pragmatism.

    But it was not to be. Instead a promise of EVEL, the removal of basic rights, murderous austerity, and a none too veiled threat to Holyrood not to make trouble or else … Everything the SNP asked for, however reasonable, however to everyone’s advantage, was simply thrown back in their faces. (Just like the pound really). And why should this change? Cameron has simply decided to tough it out, whatever the long-term cost.

    So having made their point on our behalf, what are the MPs to do? They can indeed speak now and again, only to be ignored. If they become rowdy they will be mocked, if they sit in silent vigil they will soon begin to look silly and useless. Maybe they should simply stage a mass walk-out. I really don’t know. They’d better have a plan …

    To adapt Churchhill’s comment on the Anzio landings, where a brave assault was followed by the troops getting pinned down in their beachhead, “We thought we’d sent a pride of lions to WM, but all we’ve got is a shoal of stranded whales”.

    • Mikey says:

      Very good article well written and thought out thank you plus a lot of great responses mine is to hell with the tell them to stick the Union sorry so fed up with the way things are going but the band of 56 are really rocking the boat as watch parliament every day and the are doing a super job well done to the 56 carry on

  15. Steve Asaneilean says:

    It is early days. These 56 have only been there (well most of them anyway) for barely 6 weeks. The learning curve for most of them is essentially a vertical line!

    Give them time – 6 months at least – and I think they will make an overt impact.

    For me there is a growing sense of inevitability about the direction we’re heaeded and we are the ones with the wind behind our sales. But I am not taking anything for granted.

    Softly, softly catchy monkey (by the way where the hell does that phrase come from? I hope it’s not some dodgy euphemism…).

    Excellent post Sam

  16. Johnny come lately says:

    I do not believe for a second there is talk of stranded wales. As a poster already has commented, the effectiveness of the SNP at Westminster can be gauged by the squeal of the media. If the SNP are so useless at Westminster, why is the establishment and its media mouthpieces getting their nickers in such a twist?
    The 56 are just beginning to get their feet under the table. The new commons period has just begun. Already people are beginning to realize, even at a subconscious level that Scottish representation at Westminster means nothing, though matter which party representatives we send and how many. Already it has begun sinking in for many that we were duped by the vow. Westminster will never deliver anything of consequence to Scotland and most importantly, far from being an equal partner in a political union, Scotland and its inhabitants are treated as a disease, as a backwater, as a pain in the backside, as lesser mortals, and will continue to be told, like the battered housewife to shut up or get out.
    Charming. Just the ticket if one wants to win hearts and minds. Cameron’s decision to simply ignore Scottish representation, the mandate given to the SNP and the will of Scotland is not a tactic in itself, but rather frustration, helplessness and inaction dressed up as strength and strategy.
    We are now in a firmly depressing political cycle with the establishment, which is showing itself already to be frustrating for both sides. The foundations are being laid now and the sparks will begin to fly further down the road.

  17. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Sails! Bloomin smart phone

  18. macart763 says:

    For those who are suffering dug withdrawal symptoms the National is carrying a piece by Paul in today’s issue. 🙂

    • barpe4 says:

      …and excellent it is, too!

      • The Scottish Play says:

        Tha thu dha-rìribh!

        Thou art the best o’ th’ cutthroats. ‘And with that the heart was ripped out of the Union. Now we’re just waiting for the death message to make its way along the decaying spinal cord to the spongiform half-conscious brain. Westminster can’t say it wasn’t warned, Bad Vow Disease is invariably fatal’

        and just when you think it doesn’t get better than that.. it does … read on… yet will I try the last.

  19. Hr Anderson says:

    Thank you for your timely reminder to “haud oan” in the face of the machinations of the Westminster cabal…..oor 56 excepted LOL.

  20. Ealasaid says:

    Thank you for that timely message. After the highs and lows lately, frustration has been beginning to set in. Your call for patience is just right. As you say we can judge the success of our 56 MPs by all the screaming in the MSM, and that has not died down.

  21. Maureen says:

    Brilliant macart. Wise words for all to keep calm (finding it very hard though with all the spite from msm) but we have to rise above them.

  22. jimnarlene says:

    Westminster is falling, in to a trap; of their own making.
    The settled will of the Scottish people is paramount. No legislator, Westminster or Holyrood, can over ride it.
    The fact that the majority, in Scotland, voted for the SNP; means that the SNP’s manifesto is the settled will.
    Therefore, as stated in the acts of union, if the settled will of Scotland is ran over ruffshod or ingnored by the Westminster government, the union is effectively over.

  23. Eric Dodd says:

    Excellent Macart ! I’ve been watching the HoC closely (that’s every day) since the election, and I know why we’re hearing, seeing, and reading little or nothing about ‘The 56’ in the Scottish MSM – they’re doing what they promised to do – and a whole lot more !

    We’ve had brilliant speeches from Cherry, Sheppard, Nicolson, Whitford, and Blackford, superb interventions from most, and questions from the ‘Old Guard’ that have had the Tory front bench twitching.

    Every minute of every debate I’ve watched, our MPs have been present – usually in greater numbers than what used to be the Labour Party – and they’ve made their presence felt.

    Labour has been forced to resort to little more than ‘SNP BAD !’, while Tory backbenchers have been given more than a few home truths (Sheppard’s response to a Tory’s ”I have Scottish blood in my veins” should be reproduced everywhere).
    Cameron’s Front Bench have been reduced to emulating Labour.

    And ‘our’ media has simply ignored every word.

    I’m already hearing responses to that deliberate tactic : ”What are the SNP MPs doing ?” and ”I’ve seen nothing in the news. Probably in the bars spending the expenses” in just the last couple of days.

    With huge sections of the Scottish electorate still getting their news from the MSM, this could cause a credibility problem, and it’ll be up to us to repeat the GE15 campaign next year.
    In fact in this part of Scotland, next years’ campaign has already started !

    I might have to return to the Guardian’s CiF pages and start correcting Severin’s ‘facts’ again (might change the name from ‘Dorice’ though !).

    • AuldGranny says:

      You’re “Dorice”!

      Just to let you know that it was your comments BTL in the Guardian that slowly transformed me from an intended naw voter to an ardent nationalist. Thank you 🙂

      I’m sure that you will be able to work your magic again.

      (I hope that your health is also much improved.)

    • Morag says:

      Lovely to see you posting here. I know quite a few people were worried about you when you went through spells of not posting. I do hope you’re keeping well at the moment.

    • macart763 says:

      Good to see you here Eric and hope you’re keeping well. If anyone knows their onions on Commons its your good self.

      I try to keep up with debates, but between work and personal issues there isn’t enough time in the day at the moment. But from the little time I manage to look in you can see they’re doing their job well. They’ll do us proud alright and you’re spot on, its up to the anoraks to get the word out and keep people informed. Our media at the end of the day, isn’t really our media.

  24. hektorsmum says:

    Enjoyed that Macart, not been reading much for a day or two, internet playing up,out in the sticks you see. Should be getting my Fibre broadband back soon so I can catch up.
    Have been saying since our 56 went down to that horrible place that they must cause maximum annoyance and glad to hear they are. Midgies are as bad as mosquito’s just not good at spreading disease.

  25. Just watched a video of Philippa Whitford talking in a debate on health. No notes, but speaking with a knowledge and authority that had others in the chamber listening with respect. That kind of performance will also change attitudes as England might well get a better health service because of her input.

  26. jdman says:

    As usual,
    late to the party AGAIN,
    While I read that piece Sam I felt my back straighten and my resolve stiffen, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,

    You Samuel Miller are one the movers and shakers in the independence movement and when the historians Write of our struggle they will record your name as one of the heroes of the movement, you may think of yourself as a spear carrier but I would suggest your the only person who thinks that.

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