A guest post by Samuel Miller
Safe to say that, at the moment, polling for the outcome of the Holyrood elections on May 5th indicates that in all likelihood an SNP government will see a third consecutive term in office and with what appears may be an enlarged majority. Now, since every other bod likes to speculate on hypothetical stuff that hasn’t happened yet, I thought we might take a stab at it for a change.
Anyroads, back to the thought of a majority SNP governement and the next term. I hear some folks say ‘so what?’ and I can understand their frustration. What good is having 56 pro indy MPs in Westminster and possibly 70+ MSPs in Holyrood if we don’t have independence now? What use are they if they can’t even slap down an overly hostile media now and again, set up their own broadcasting legislation and yank the country out of the union as and when they feel like it? Used to be a majority of MPs was all you needed right? All valid questions and the last one especially will strike a chord with folks in a certain age group.
I suspect the answer, though again frustrating to many, is as simple as ‘they are democrats and gradualists’. The modern SNP aren’t a party or a movement of protest anymore. They are a grown up party of government who work through consensus and democratic mandate. I see them as wanting people to travel with them, not get dragged by them, toward an independent Scotland. As a party of government, they are bound by two things in particular. Firstly: Democratic mandate, or basically they do what they are given leave to do by the population. Secondly: Abiding by the spirit and letter of the union of parliaments as laid out in the Scotland Bill, again because that is what the majority of the Scottish electorate agreed they should do. That is not what they want. Its not what they argued for, but it is what they WILL do because they were instructed to by their electorate and as a party of government it is the duty they are bound to. All of which means that since our population narrowly voted in favour of devolved government (yeah we’re all aware of the circumstances by this point), their powers/competences are dictated by Westminster vote. Those competences and that system we covered in some detail previously in Bill of Goods.
A government doing what its told… ah know! Pure crazy, bat shit madness, daein’ whut yer telt? Vile Nats cunningly raising people’s expectations of how politics should be done. THOSE SCRUPLED BASTIRTS ARE DOING IT DELIBERATELY!
So again, what good are they? All those seats, all that responsibility and their hands are tied behind their backs by that damned bill and… and… and their own electorate?!?! Their word?!?!
Well in a nutshell, YES. Near as I can see anyway. What kind of government would they be if they didn’t go through the processes we asked them to as an electorate? Basically they’d be no different from the establishment parties (see under misery) who’ve ruled the roost for decades. The ones that same Scottish electorate have gone to no little trouble to vote out. So yeah, they’ll work with that bill and take all the shit that comes with it, because they are our government, because that is the service they are in and because… a majority of our electorate asked them to. In Westminster, the 56 pro indy Scottish MPs WILL fight enforced bad legislation, in the face of a shitstorm of negative media and political pressure,… because we ask them to. They delay, they argue, they amend as best they can and they bring to public notice WHAT they can, again… because that is what we ask them to do. Pretty certain though, they’d rather be practicing the day job elsewhere.
To be clear. YES, the whole situation is a pile of steaming manure IMO and YES it particularly reeks when you consider what was ‘delivered’ as a devolution settlement and just how it was intended to be delivered. Just as well our government were there to help the treasury with those complex sums, yes?
And now the good news!
Having overseen the outcome of the referendum and the delivery of the current devolution settlement, the SNP have stated in their recent conference that as of this summer they will launch a new drive for independence. Their stated aim, to resume their argument for returning all powers of sovereign government into the hands of the Scottish parliament and electorate. What shape this renewed campaign will take is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for certain, I don’t think that under the new management it’ll be quite what the opposition parties would expect.
Then there’s the wider pro independence electorate who, unlike a party of governement, are a true and growing movement. What can they take from such an electoral outcome and what could they be doing to bring about the constitutional change they seek? The SNP have proven themselves a capable and credible party of government, but is that all that they are? Well no, in this instance they, along with other smaller pro indy parties, are arguably the Scottish electorate’s only guarantee of full democratic choice and systemic constitutional change being on the table at all. They’ve been selected by a broad spectrum of the Scottish electorate as whut ye might call, gatekeepers. I’d say the pro indy movement can be fully assured that if/when polls show a regular and clear pro independence majority, that particular government WILL act upon the wishes of that majority and move for a second referendum. I would speculate, with a reasonable degree of certainty (cough), that the two and a bit establishment parties, Conservative and Unionist, Labour and Libdems, would bolt that gate, padlock it and throw a chest containing the key into the sea, arbitrarily removing any such choice from the Scottish electorate. Does anyone seriously believe they could ever be trusted to act upon any clear constitutional desires for change from the Scottish electorate?
As for what the pro independence movement could be doing? Well I’d say they’re pretty much doing most of it right now. Investing in their new media, continuing to keep open lines of communication, spreading news and sharing information, patiently convincing and pressing their arguments, all looks good as a starter for ten. Some groups organise get togethers, discuss ideas and current issues, cementing that sense of cause and community, of forward momentum. Being seen to help out deserving causes where and when they can, whether through crowdfunders, group or personal action also seems a good pro active step too. It let’s folk know, this is what community and common weal is about, what THEY are all about and what they expect their governments and politicians in Holyrood to be all about. Still speculating like, but I believe its a direct result of this continued communication, the networking, discussions, ideas and actions that the pro indy movement will continue to grow.
In short, whilst the SNP argues from the standpoint of confidence in the capability of Scotland’s government and parliament, the independence movement should carry on doing what it’s doing for the moment. It needs to be remembered that any referendum doesn’t belong to a government. It doesn’t belong to a party. It belongs to you, the public. It’s a people’s referendum and you decide when, or if, it happens. Your engagement, your will, your drive, and most importantly, your mandate. So keep doing what you’re doing and by that I mean stay engaged, and keep biting the hand of project fear.
N.B. This will be my last post before Paul gets back. I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank the readership for bearing with my ramblings and the site over the past couple of weeks and can assure you that normal service should be resumed shortly.
Many thanks folks. 😀
Well done Macart – those WGD boots are hard to fill and you have done so with aplomb – different style but just as informative and thought provoking.
Macart/ Sam, Thank you for stepping in for Paul. This is only my second post ever, but I wanted to say that I always enjoy reading your comments on this site and others. I find your expanded posts to hit right where the heart is, but beyond the emotional, you speak words of canny wisdom.
I have to agree wholeheartedly with this Lass fi’ Dalkeith, Sam.
You get right to the point and the boots fit very, very well.
Many, many thanks to you. Great wisdom in this last piece and so clearly expressed.
Enjoyed reading this article. Puts things in perspective. Political anoraks like, I’d guess, most people who check out sites like Wee Dug and WOS etc are in the vanguard of the independence movement. It’s natural we are impatient, but we must remember that most people travel their own political road at their own pace.
We WILL get there.
My wife thinks that way. I am not so sure. I think that we blew it.
I’m inclined to agree with you on that. As Voltaire said: ‘There are three things that never come back; the spoken word, the shot arrow and the lost opportunity.’
I don’t think we “blew it”. I think that no one fully appreciated that the 21st century Establishment would behave exactly like their 19th and 20th century forebears. Or that the ENTIRE Corporate Media would enthusiastically embrace the lies and hysteria of their political masters. A bit naive in expecting adult discussion I suppose, but I expect that lessons have been learned the hard way and I do not think this is impossible to recover from. Independence delayed
The Scottish electorate are far more aware of things, and the hasty (and in my opinion stupid and unnecessary) VOW is falling apart, and most Scots realise it. (See Scottish Attitudes Survey in which 73%, I think, trusted the Holyrood Parliament to be best for Scotland).
I also think that Nicola is exactly the right leader for this next push. No one can lay a finger on her and she doesn’t have the same “baggage” as Alex did. We have the ideal teams in place in Holyrood and Westminster. Lots to do, but I think it’s coming.
Amen to that Tony. Well said.
Lost opportunities can open wider doors for better opportunities.
It is better for a country to enter into control of its own destiny with more people behind the Scottish Government. When that happens, a larger majority of the electorate will be much firmer in its vision and have more confidence in themselves. Then there will be no turning back and we WILL have control of our own destiny and also our freedom.
We have a fine example in Scotland of what a good Government should look like and behave like, as macart so clearly outlined. This is a new situation for us. They are here for us and we need to be there for them.
SNP x2 in May
Of course if /when there’s an Indyref II the MSM and Gordo won’t be able to break purdah with any last minute vows offering the most devolved, home ruled, devo to the max kinda thing. We were already given that in 2015/16 !
Such modesty! Didn’t take me long to start looking for your comments after reading WGD’s pieces above the line. We all have our own unique take on things, but the one thing every blogger/commenter seems to have in common is the fact that independence IS coming 🙂 In much the same way as every churnalist in the meeja seem to agree that ESSENNPEE/independence is bad. While indy blogs seem to be on the increase, dead tree news sales go the opposite direction. Sign of the times? At least half the country thinks so!
Sam thanks for this. Sometimes it’s a challenge to keep hoping that we will win out eventually. Your analysis has made me smile. All the very best Noirin xx
An excellent, rational analysis of what is probably to come. I am sure the bad faith of Westminster will persist in the arrangements for a new referendum and in the negotiations to disentangle us from the Union but increasingly such behaviour will have a boomerang effect and persuade the more timid Scots that it’s time for fundamental change.
Thanks for your excellent stewardship and such varied, interesting posts, Sam. Your compassion and your passion for Scotland shine through.
Thanks for keeping WGD’s seat warm and for all your efforts towards our independence. It’s good to have such talented writers in our corner clearly articulating our aspirations. Please keep at it!
You should keep going. Any voice is a plus.
Reblogged this on pictishbeastie.
Thank you so much for your strong informed writings.
Macart- have loved your articles and as others have said before, WGD is a hard act to follow. You did so most excellently.
Keep up the great work.
A Word O’ Thanks
From all of us we say well done, stand up and take a bow
Like a dog wi’ a bane you stuck to your task I really don’t know how
Your brain it must be addled, are you sure that you’re still sane
Have you checked your typing fingers, is there ony sign o’ bane
You picked your topics wisely,you write with flair and style
You’ve made us think and question, you’ve even made us smile
And that’s no always easy when there’s auld grumps just like me
So till we meet once more our friend, a vote o’ thanks I gie
Our toast for you is from the heart from each and every one
Peace and good health be with you, now that the job is done
A man I’m proud to call a friend,
what Margaret says x2.
Again Margaret – brilliant!
A well deserved wee tribute to macart.
Thank you for your well written articles sir, it has been a pleasure to read them.
One thing I would love to tell the tank commander is that our movement doesn’t belong to Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon, it belongs to all of us. And no matter what lies and threats they peddle in their newspapers and television stations, we have a far more powerful weapon – our refusal. Our refusal to believe that our country and its people deserve to be poor and second class citizens. Our refusal to believe that our country’s history should be ignored and forgotten. Our refusal to believe that we are inferior and should be governed by a neighbouring nation. And finally, our refusal to accept defeat in a skewed and biased contest.
Great article. Thanks for writing so well on this site.
I am however impatient. How long before we get crayons to colour in our new road sign power. Next it will be some equally useless guff WM gives us. We need more than evolution as it is too gradual. I accept the mandate of the people for a Union however we nèed to renegotiate the terms. I think the people gave that mandate already.
Onward to self rule.
The union and devolution doesn’t work through our parliamentary mandate alone. When signed up to the union, the vote in the House of Commons decides what competences are ‘gifted’ to devolved administrations. FFA has already been tabled and rejected, along with other amendments from the Scottish benches in the Scotland Bill debates of June 2015. I don’t believe any made it past the debate stage.
A revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.
We have to take the initiative because the yoons are not going to gift independence.
Thanks for your posts, always enjoy your writing, whether your own posts or your well considered comments on other posts and articles
yes as you say what now , the hope and expectations of the prospect of our MPs fighting our corner drained away within a few weeks as amendment after amendment in the scotland bill fell ,then the final dawning on a lot of people , the penny finally dropped , WE DON’T MATTER , we should admire how well that bunch of Labour stooges managed to hide that fact to protect us from the realisation of this is not a union it’s a fk/n occupation aided and abetted by the deluded ones who voted “NO” they tied the SNPs hands behind their backs , if action is not taken soon the unionist lot will vote on a bill to outlaw another referendum in the best interests of stability no doubt , they won’t oh really and who is going to stop them ? , not our Parliament that dosent even have Permanence in Law why because that amendment surprise surprise was voted down .
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of your posts. Your replies to posts on this and other sites are always very insightful. You really should have a blog of your own. ☺
Aye, yie wirny bad.
I too echo the above comments by the other posters on here. It has been a joy to read your articles and I hope that you will continue to do so whether on this forum or others.
Thanks for all your hard work. Let us all continue to keep up the good fight.
That was a great signing off post Samuel. I only just realised that the blogging werewolf guy was standing in for The Wee Ginger Dug. Great stuff. Watch out for low flying silver bullets hairy chap.
Many thanks for your articles, Sam. I have enjoyed reading them and doing a bit of “pondering” over them.
Filling Paul’s shoes can’t have been an easy ask.
You have done so admirably.
Was the dug looking after you too?
I believe the dug is at his holiday home tris. ‘Sides, I doubt he’d get on with ma wee ginger kittens. 😀
You have been a very able stand in. A super sub. Paul can go off more often with the knowledge his blog is in safe hands.
Always enjoy reading your thoughts wherever they appear – always valid and make me think. Thank you macart – and mumsykisses tae the kittens! 🙂
gaun yersel hairy yin!!
Congratulations on your successful tenure, Macart. You did a grand job filling in for the illustrious WGD!
Loved your posts Sam, a hugh thank-you.
Thank you, Sam, for your many wise words as it’s not easy to be patient!
Remember what I said about ‘gatekeepers’ and establishment parties above the line?
BE SURE TO CHECK THIS OUT.
Macart, Thanks for your sterling job filling the brogues of Paul.
May I also thank you for not letting my rant of yesterday on to the Ethernet.
However, the farce of a leaders’ debate last night strengthens me in my resolve to do everything in my power to keep the Better |Together Unionist Coalition out of political power Up Here.
Tax ‘hard working families’ to paper over the cracks of the Red Blue and Yellow Tory cuts and dismantling of our social democracy, pay £6000, for starters, for a university degree, pay £8 for prescriptions, and argue that the £15 billion black hole (which is a perverted untruth peddled by the OBR/ IFS/ HMRC/ONS SE Establishment) which we are in now according to Ruth and Wullie under our ‘pooling and sharing’ Union, is an SNP BAD argument, and the Rent A Clap Unionist element in the audience, pretty much summed up last night’s beano for me.
The persistent message throughout for me was that I can get a loan or plastic to pay for all of this by Going and Comparing, according to a fat man with a twirly moustache and fine tenor voice in the back of a London Taxi.
Thanks again, Macart, for you patience and measured and balanced contributions.
SNP x 2
You had a rant?
As a regular, it should have appeared regardless.
Curiouser and curiouser.
Let’s be charitable and surmise that it got lost in the Etherenet, or more plausibly this old duffer pressed the wrong button. It was hardly Black Ops redacted material, honest.
The gist of it was a ‘war of words’, and our bloodless evolution to self determination, as opposed wretchedly destructive outcome of the 1916 Easter ‘Rising’ in Ireland.
But no matter.
I loved Wullie Rennie’s mock consternation that NS was giving a £200 tax break via APD to millionaires on their private jets.
I live near the Glasgow flight path. Oor Wullie’s right. The air is black with billionaires’ Lear jets flying in and out of Glasgow.
‘£200 smakeroonies in my sky rocket’, I hear them purr.
Willie Rennie, really?
I note that the Lib Dems couldn’t coax an elected MSP or THAT MP into their spin room. Instead we had a Lib Dem Lord…?
They just don’t do public perception, do they?
The Joseph Rowantree quote from Kezia to NS must have had Wullie Quakering in his boots.
Thanks again, Sam.
Thanks for holding the WGD fort, Macart. Great article. Looking forward to the next full moon. 🙂
Eire just set up an administration in Dublin and declared Eire a Republic nee pendent and sovereign. SNP should do the same with mandates in both parliaments
I have read a few articles here, and I can honestly say I have and always am favourably impressed. They say that success comes from the lessons learned during failure. You cannot get up if you dont fall down…My own thoughts will always remain my own, until I shout about them. Yes, I may have been silent, yes, I have cast my votes, proudly, but I have been slowly watching, waiting, in anticipation for success to arrive, and its coming,,,,my 36 yrs of ‘x’ marks the spot have always been in the faith of an awakening,,,I have been patient, but effort always returns a reward. We will get there,,,and that time is approaching.