Creating some certainty of our own

There’s been some speculation in the press recently that the SNP is heading for a rupture in its hitherto impressive party unity over the subject of the timing of the next referendum. There the Tories and Labour are tearing themselves apart with all the vicious fervour of starving lions in the Colosseum, or worse but with less botox, fewer tanning beds, and lower IQs, like contestants on Love Island, while Thatessempee sits on munching on the popcorn and biding its time.

It must be very frustrating for your average fleg waver who isn’t nationalist at all because they’re British. It means they’re reduced to finding carping little complaints which can’t compete with the magnitude of the flustercuckery emanating from the main two British parties. It’s a bit like trying to distract onlookers watching in horror as Rome burns down by telling them that they really need to be concerned about the sparkler that you’re waving in their faces.

Actually, it’s far worse than that, because in this case Rome is being burned down by the people who are supposed to be the Roman Fire Brigade, only they’re more interested in accusing their colleagues of bigotry than they are in dealing with the fires and tackling the arsonists in their own ranks. The future for the UK is to be left in the smoking ruins of a wrecked city, covered in ash, accusing people who are supposed to be on the same side as you of hating the Gauls and the Etruscans and debating the acceptability of not wearing a toga in public places while it dreams of past glories. But hey, at least we’ll have blue passports. It’s just a pity that no one will have any money to travel anywhere, we’ll need a visa to cross from Dover to Calais and will have to queue for hours at passport control, while the pound will be trading on a par with the Turkish lira. There’s your global Britain for you.

Compared to all of this, the SNP is a paragon of unity and focus on its purpose. I speak to SNP local branches all over the country, as well as to local Yes groups. There is a growing desire for some concrete development regarding a second independence vote amongst party members and the broader independence movement. There is a sense that matters are coming to a head and a palpable feeling that we are living in the final months of the UK. There is a growing willingness to campaign and to get organised irrespective of what announcements are made at the SNP party conference, and there is a mounting desire for something from the SNP leadership that signals the official start of a campaign. There is some frustration that the party leadership is too cautious and timid, but there remains a willingness to give Nicola Sturgeon the benefit of any doubt that is going.

It’s expected that Nicola will make an announcement in October about her plans for a vote, but the problem is that there is no sign whatsoever that the political uncertainty, confusion, and sheer ineptitude that has characterised the UK since the Brexit vote will have resolved itself by then. The original reason for promising a statement this October was because the UK needs to have reached a broad agreement with the EU by October on the terms of Brexit in order for that deal to be signed off by the EU’s member states in time for Brexit day next March. We ought to have had some clarity on the shape of Brexit, but the only thing that’s clear now is that there is no clarity in the foreseeable future.

Against such a background of UK uncertainty and confusion, it’s going to be very difficult for Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish government to plot a clear path ahead. It’s a bit like trying to plan a journey through a trackless wilderness full of quicksand and those ravenous lions that managed to avoid being captured for the Colosseum. I don’t expect a definite announcement of an imminent referendum. This will doubtless be portrayed in the anti-independence press as Nicola Sturgeon backtracking on indy, but the political reality is that the will of the people of Scotland can be expressed at the ballot box in votes other than referendums.

The unknowns are more than a lack of clarity on the form that Brexit is going to take. It’s also by no means certain whether Theresa May’s government can survive past the autumn. If it falls, she will resign as PM and there will be a new Conservative leader who will go to the polls as a shiny new face enjoying a honeymoon in the British press. Unless Labour comes out strongly for a second Brexit vote, and there’s presently little likelihood of that happening, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party stands little chance.

If there is to be a Westminster General Election within the next few months, independence needs to be front and foremost in the SNP’s campaign because independence means that it’s the people of Scotland who get to decide on the path this country takes, it’s the people of Scotland who will provide the certainty that the British political parties are so incapable of providing.

The big mistake of 2017 was that the SNP tried to avoid making the vote about independence, while the British nationalist parties and the overwhelmingly anti-independence media banged on about little else. The result was that opponents of independence were motivated to vote, but supporters of independence were not. The SNP can’t make that mistake again. The press and Ruth Davidson won’t let the SNP get away with not talking about independence, in Ruth’s case because it’s all she’s got, so the SNP can’t avoid it or sidestep it. They have to own it. The SNP needs to harness the energy and enthusiasm that is growing in the grassroots indy movement. They need to get the indy vote out, and that means giving it a reason, giving it a vision, giving it hope.

The party needs to fight a Westminster General Election campaign on the basis of achieving a mandate to ensure that irrespective of what happens elsewhere in the UK, the people of Scotland have a right to express their view on Brexit, and a right to reject the chaotic mess that passes for the British government’s negotiating strategy. Winning the General Election in Scotland, and in the context of a Westminster vote that means being the largest party in terms of vote share, and the largest party in terms of seats won, means that the people of Scotland will have chosen to have their say on Brexit and on the future of Scotland, and we can put to rest Ruth Davidson’s nonsense that there’s no demand for another referendum. It will mean that the people of Scotland will be telling whoever is the Conservative party leader at the time that the people of Scotland, and not a Conservative PM, will decide when is the time. And we will be saying to him or her – that time is now. In times of British uncertainty, we need to create some Scottish certainty of our own.

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86 comments on “Creating some certainty of our own

  1. Cathy Linney says:

    Well said as always! Trying times and I tell myself patience is a virtue……and yes we absolutely do need to bang on about independence loud and clear!

  2. Thank you for explaining so clearly what appears to many to be inertia from the SNP. We have to ensure that everyone, especially the hot-heads among us, understands this and gets on board!

  3. Andy Anderson says:

    The earliest vote will be the end of 2019 assuming Nicola does know what is going on. I agree with what you say on a general election. That could happen this year or early next year.

    We must not have an Indy campaign underway only for a GE to be called in the middle of it. That would kill it. Then we would need to make the GE the referendum.

    What is stopping the grassroots going for it now? We need to lift the poll numbers now. This will help Nicola.

  4. m boyd says:

    Now will never be the time with Sturgeon. She has her mandate now get on with it.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      I share your frustration. However there is a risk that Brexit and the chaos within government at London could alter the political playing field. We must not react at the wrong time. We can however do as I am doing. Try to change people’s views to Yes.

    • Marconatrix says:

      Personally, I’m inclined to trust Nicola (and her advisors). That said, who here would wish to be in her shoes right now? Gie the lass the wee bit space she needs … and have faith!

  5. crabbitgits says:

    A stonker of a blog. I do hope you’re correct. We’re all getting impatient now to get going. But I think the strategy you lay out here is pretty clear and achievable. It depends on another general election being called pretty soon though and that’s the “fly in the ointment”. The Tories know this and that’s why it might not happen in time. What if there isn’t one?

  6. Macart says:

    Well said Paul and couldn’t agree more.

  7. I’m in my seventies and even I am dancing with impatience. How much harder is it for the more hot-headed youngsters of forty or fifty. However, I trust Nicola Sturgeon and the rest of the SNP leadership to decide the day and the hour. Meantime I’ll keep working at whatever I can to progress Scottish Independence.

    • m boyd says:

      I fear the time was right after the Holyrood vote and Nicola has dithered. Now that Westminster’s sovereign status has been upheld by the Supreme Court the UK will start tinkering with the contiuguity of Scotland etc.

  8. Lizzie55 says:

    I realise the SNP are waiting for the right time, but they could wait too long and miss this opportunity. October we will know. Its not difficult to see where its leading, there is no good outcome to Brexit and this is the best opportunity we have had in decades. If a referendum is not called before we leave we will have missed a massive opportunity and the people of Scotland are already hurting in so many ways and it will only get worse. Do the SNP want this to happen? I don’t go with the idea of lets see people suffer and they will change their minds. That is very wrong. We need to leave this union as soon as we can. Start the campaign, it will not take much to persuade people that independence is the best solution to this disgusting union, but the campaign has to start.

  9. Stuart Mcnicoll says:

    Holding a referendum on ‘ Dissolving the Union ‘ isn’t the only option open to the FM, the conference in October could easily add the GE as another vehicle for allowing Scotland to decide on whether or not Westminster drag us over a cliff with Brexit. Nicola is right to keep her powder dry, frustrating for us, yes, but necessary.
    Can you imagine the furore if the SNP did actually make the GE about independence, would Westminster dare call one.

    • Illy says:

      Quite frankly, if they don’t take the opportunity of a general election before brexit to stand on a pure “take Scotland Independent” mandate I will be very disappointed.

  10. Incisively sums up what went wrong in the 2017 General Election.

    The SNP must own independence as their raison d’etre.

    As Westminster intends to dismantle Holyrood, the stark choice is now independence or irrelevance.

  11. wm says:

    This WM gov is making the case for indipendance clear two or three tmes a day, if we as a nation can not see this god help us. First class post again Paul.

  12. Bill McDermott says:

    The one definite event according to May is that the UK will be leaving on March 29, 1919. Even Anna Soubry and Dominic Greave recognise that and her Brexiteers will go ape if there is any pulling back from that commitment.There are no ifs and buts to that fact for even if the UK reaches an agreement, it will legally be leaving on that date, followed by 20 months of what is laughingly called an implementation period, but which in every sense is a period of adjustment for the benefit of industry.

    So Nicola Sturgeon needs to state that she will call a referendum on the basis of the UK’s exit to demonstrate that Scotland voted differently, That the democratic deficit is writ large and there is a demonstrable complete disregard for Scotland’s place in the UK Union. I am sure she will make every endeavour to work closely with the EU to ensure that our voice is heard in Brussels, even though we may choose for tactical and other reasons to join EFTA at least initially. All of that clearly lays down a marker for any subsequent “Now is not the time” response from May which adds fuel to the fire of the democratic deficit argument and strengthens our position in the event of a General Election being called. If one is called then the SNP needs to go into it with all guns blazing on an independence ticket. A majority of SNP MPs gives us a mandate to discuss future constitutional issues and a majority of the votes cast gives us independence without any argument.

    That warming up the EU will be important in the event that Westminster doesn’t recognise the vote in Scotland. I can’t see Germany and perhaps even France not being sympathetic to our cause.

  13. alanm says:

    “… we’ll need a visa to cross from Dover to Calais and will have to queue for hours at passport control.”

    I made that journey back in the day before the EU was invented. Thankfully I’m still here to tell you that visas were not required and there were no queues at passport control. A simple ID card purchased just prior to travel for day trippers or a visitors passport, cheap and easily obtainable from any Post Office was all you needed to cross the channel. Fast forward to 2018 and you now require a full 10 year passport which is going to set you back a minimum of £75. Freedom of movement – yes. Free to move – I don’t think so.

  14. deelsdugs says:

    A post and a half Paul. Brilliant.
    Without a doubt, impatience is brewing, but as we know, the tories and WM are hellbent on the total destruction of Scotland, so yes, Nicola and the SNP are going quietly amidst the noise and haste for more than one reason. Keep the heid folks. Time and faith are our friends.

  15. Ha! I don’t think the brits have a clue about what will lie in store for them regarding travel in europe post brexit We are currently driving back from Hungary and were held up for 2 hr at hungarian and austrian border and 1 hr at austrian german border (unheard of). And this is still as members of eu. The police just check the nationalities of the cars and thats that. for non eu cars in future who knows. – anyway, smart arse here has become an irish ciitizen to maintain his european status. Long story short – Sorry, but i seriously doubt that england will ever allow scotland to secede as they have way too much to lose. dirty tricks haven’t even begun.

  16. susan says:

    Yes, plausible rationale for the apparent SNP inaction Paul. As regards what some other posters have been saying: Yes I think England will try to hang on to us like grim death. I also think they will be petty and vindictive after independence too.

    • robert harrison says:

      That’s exactly what they will be Susan no doubt about it that’s them in Westminster all over bad winners and even worse losers.

  17. Alba woman says:

    The point will be reached where there is no choice but to at least try to save the Scotland we know for our children and grandchildren. I think folk will fight even harder democratically than they did in 2014. There will be many more activists on the ground with campaign experience. We await the call.

  18. robert harrison says:

    Sooner we out of this UK the better may and whoever replaces her afterwards are all fucking idiots with there own heeds rammed up there own arses there’s the BBC still trying it’s we hate Scotland reports as it’s still negative all the time and fucking labour the biggest backstabbing hypocrites in politics who was planning an alliance with the Conservatives since the SNP frist term of 07 telling folk here to vote conservative to stop the SNP saying only a labour government can end the homeless problem but won’t say how when it’s dropped significantly under the SNP 11 years as labour neglected to fix it when in power last time then Corbyn the biggest anti Scottish hypocrite contradicts himself when trying to attack both SNP and conservatives on the NHS this was posted on twitter by Wales of yes in wings twitter feed.

    Corbyn Scotlands NHS is the best in the UK but the SNP should be ashamed of themselves vote labour.

    Corbyn Wales nhs is the worst in the UK but the Welsh labour government can’t do a thing because the Conservatives hold the purse strings.

    All English who are politicians are nothing but self serving bastard hypocrites especially jermey Corbyn like may and her lot Corbyn and labour along with cable and the lib Dems can fuck off into space for all I care no wonder the English don’t care about politics when every English politician is a self serving bastard.

  19. Sorry typo there. I totally get what you are saying Paul. The only thing I’m sure of is I’m glad I’m not Nicola. For what it’s worth my 2p says start really setting the cat amongst the pigeons by disrupting Westminster as much as possible, no more Mr Nice guy. Go into a semi campaign mode, drop leaflets, newspaper ads TV ads and let people know they are preparing for all eventualities. Let’s see more high profile MPs and maps be seen and speaking at marches. Let the electorate know in TV interviews, online whatever that if a section 30 is continuously denied that our options will be a,b,c etc. If a GE happens then that will be our defacto vote. Personally I honestly can’t see a GE any time soon so a Holyrood election will be forced. No matter what we do everything that can be done to stop it, ruin it, discredit it or conspire to fix it will be done. I remember unionist commentators saying in 2012 the stars will never be aligned as good as then but we are in a stronger position now, we can’t stand about with our fingers up our arse waiting on a Brexit deal to be known, whatever it is it will always be worse than now. I know there is lots of us with our fingers well n truly free from our posterior but I’m talking about SNP. I am not a member but I vote SNP but if they let WM control this then they are finished so might as well go for it. If they crumble and don’t use the mandate they have then I’d expect people to move on mass to either a new or existing indy party. In saying all that I always said Salmond was Wallace the pesky upstart if you like that made people believe but Nicola will be the Bruce, the one that delivers it. They don’t have an argument left, you can tell just by the trolling on indy sites the are shitting it lets ramp up the pressure

  20. chicmac says:

    England has more fundamental reasons to stay in the EU than any other European country. Why? Because its resources to population ratio is one of the very worst in the World.

    Basically, it should only have about half the population it has. Massive shortfalls in agricultural production, in timber production, in energy production, in fresh water, in fishing and other fundamental matters of national resource security.

    This situation first began to come about at the end of the 19th century but was obviated by Bringland having an extensive empire from which they could garner such resources as they needed. So the population continued to grow beyond the natural means of the country to support.

    At the end of the second World War, America, who were then the good guys and thought of themselves as such and to be fair tried to act as if they were at that time, decided that the days of empire were over, it was just plain wrong. The United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights, pushed by the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, was used to bring about the dismantling of the old imperial powers, Bringland included.

    The Bringlish response to this rapid decline in its empire, was, initially, to ramp up manufacturing so that a surplus would give some kind of on going resource security through trade. But, due to inefficiency of production and a complete inability for sensible dialogue between the working class and the ruling elite, this possibility gradually faded.

    In particular, the ruling elite in Bringland are a uniquely bubbled phenomena. The public school system imbues romanticised nonsense largely predicated on a form of Miltonian Ludditism with a green and pleasant land devoid of satanic mills living in a cricket and warm beer loving idyll where everybody lived in small villages which is exactly the kind of society that England’s over population could not possibly survive under.

    Alarmed by the possibility that Union power would wrest real power away from the ruling elite, they preferred to destroy the Unions and Bringland’s manufacturing ability rather than relinquish any control. In this they were aided with the discovery of Scotland’s North Sea oil resource which provided the necessary funds to claim their brand of neoliberalism, despite all prediction by sane economists, was actually working.

    Their preferred option of making London the spivvery, money laundering and scam capital of the World, which, of course, they would still control has temporarily worked to replace the missing GDP but has the intrinsic flaw that such a set up can, and probably will sometime soon, disappear like snaw aff a dyke.

    Further down the line, Plan C, Empire 2, simply is delusion, it is not going to happen.

    Hard as it is to predict World events, increasing isolationism looks very likely to have the zeitgeist.

    In Scotland, we are fortunate, we are not over populated, an independent Scotland’s resource to population ratio is in line with other EU member states and we could even go it alone if we had to.

    However, and you can take this as a warning, we do NOT want England to go into the highly likely melt down that hard brexit and an isolationist World would bring south of the Border, we really don’t.

    SS England may well go down but we could easily suffer very greatly from the wash.

    Our hope should be that England pulls back from the abyss and has an EUref2 and votes to remain, even if it delays Scottish independence.

    • Macart says:

      Great post Chic.

    • Ken Clark says:

      Says it all, Chicmac. Thanks.

      I was a child when the phrase, “You’ve never had it so good” was uttered by MacMillan.

      That triumphalist, arrogant, self congratulatory statement summed up the attitude of an establishment saved by the sacrifices of generations through two world wars.

      It should have been an abject, red faced apology, given it had taken so long for them to achieve even a semblance of social equality, but as subsequent generations have discovered it was a brief flowering, now withered by their return to a system which favours wealth and influence for the few at the expense of the many.

      I have relations and friends in England and I concur with your wish that they pull back from the brink. However, that is their decision to make.

      Thankfully, Scotland has an escape route.

      Personally, I don’t want to die, as too many of my family and friends have, before we have a country we can be proud of.

      • chicmac says:

        Ken, I’m 67 and joined the SNP as a junior member in 1967 and have striven for independence ever since, so I too would like to see it before I die. Perhaps partly for that selfish reason, I would like to see an indyref2 whether Brexit is pulled back from or not.

        I think the SNP have made too much of the hard Brexit requirement for indyref2, after all, we got 45% with the possibility of Brexit a mere glimmer below the horizon.

        What the Brexit fiasco has done, has laid bare the sheer incompetence of, to some our once regarded infallible, London elite. It has also brought forth new information from the EU as to an independent Scotland’s accessibility to membership which was not forthcoming during indyref1.
        It has exposed the utter contempt and disregard London has for Scotland. It has made manifest their intention to emaciate the Scottish Parliament. It has made clear that Scotland will cease to be a country but will become a mere region of greater England.

        So I am in favour of indyref2 even if they do pull back from the brink as I believe we would win it.

        • Tatu3 says:

          Chicmac. Exactly, well said.
          I am not good with words but your post above, ending “So I am in favour of indyref2 even if they do pull back from the brink ….”, is exactly how I feel too.
          It’s not about brexit anymore.

        • Ken Clark says:

          You have four years on me, chicmac. 🙂

          I agree with all you say, especially the threatened “one nation” agenda rumbling in the belly of the Westminster beast.

          To leave future generations of Scots under the influence of such a creation, when we have the most propitious set of circumstances at present to free ourselves from it’s malign influence is unthinkable.

          As you say, the current fiasco has opened eyes further afield than this island to the chronic misgovernment the Celtic countries and to be fair, many English regions, have endured for generations.

        • wm says:

          I agree with everything in your post chicmac, I am nine years ahead of you in age and probably a bit more impatient, bring it on. England will only realise where they are when we leave this outdated union, and they find out how much they have depended on Scotland’s natural resources, especially for the last fifty years.

    • Margaret McQuade McAuslan says:

      Excellent observations.

  21. Ken Clark says:

    Another great post, getting to the heart of the matter, Paul.

    Now, more than ever, I feel we are reaching a tipping point. The desperation emanating from unionists at every level only confirms it.

    There was a time when supporters of Scottish independence were mocked with the words, (I paraphrase) “if you truly want independence, vote for a majority of MPs supporting that agenda.”

    That thistle has been grasped more than once now. Time to act on it.

  22. Iain says:

    Before Indy Ref 2 is it possible to have the BBC and the other mainstream media registered as parties involved in the No campaign. I do not know if registering as a campaigner is something that “You do” if you think it is relevant to you or if you can be registered by others who think that you should be registered. Enough evidence exists to prove in court that the media is biased against Scottish independence and if we can prove they are campaigners we can effectively shut them down. The entire BBC, Scotsman, Sun etc reporting would be counted as spending on the campaign. Plus it won’t hurt to have the BBC vilified round the world as a Propaganda machine that abuses a position of power over minorities. (I would count the entire budget of the BBC as spending on the campaign)

    • Cubby says:

      An interesting point worthy of more thought/discussion. They certainly are campaigners – they are all propaganda outlets for the British state. The BBC funding the papers via paying for journalists for PRIVATE companies. Taxpayers money being used to fund propaganda papers. The whole arrangement stinks of collusion between the British State, the Britnat political parties, the broadcasters and the newspapers(propaganda pamphlets).

  23. M boyd says:

    I think the SNP when considering the likely success of a second referendum should pay less attention to the drop in Mps in 2017 and have more regard to the comparative figures for the 2010 election. It’s clear that the SNP vote has actually held up really well in areas where in 2010 or before they were coming in 4th. My point being is that there is across the country a solid block from to advance from and this accords to the high 40s in favour of a second referendum. And all this on the back of a wait and see approach from Sturgeon. Get on with it!

  24. Macart says:

    No, I don’t believe that the SNP and certainly not the FM have gone off the idea of independence or an indyref. Not to say you can’t make your feelings known or hope to move things along with some healthy engagement right enough (cough).

    “We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people – or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will”

    Strategy is down to the individual with ALL the responsibility for ALL of the population of Scotland. We put them in that position to do that job. Carry the responsibility of care. TBF, one person’s strategy is another’s calamity (shrugs) I suppose. Pretty sure everyone has their idea of when and how to hold an indyref or simply move to a state of independence, but here’s the thing and there’s no getting round it. We’re not the First Minister of Scotland. ALL of Scotland.

    Each and every member of the YES movement (and I include the SNP in that), would probably have opted for round two only seconds after Cameron’s appalling and graceless EVEL speech on Sept 19th four years ago. We’d have gone for round two prior to the 2015 and 17 elections. We’d certainly have gone for it the day after the EU ref. We’ve had and been given PLENTY of reason to tell Westminster tae get tae over the past four years. But it’s not just about us. I’d say it’s about those who didn’t vote with us in 2014.

    Personally, I’m going to keep on chatting to folk whether the FM says go or no. I’m going to pretend there’s an indyref tomorrow and at some point? That’s going to be exactly the case. Each of us convince just one more person. Hold out a hand for a place on the lifeboat and see the first bit of that manifesto statement above? That becomes the norm.

    • I’m staying well out of this, Sam.

      A synopsis of my view was, and still is:- ‘Over by October’.

      By All Hallows the Brit Nats will have run out of options.

      The six months’ window between then and March 29th 2019 is designed as breathing space for the UK Parliament and the EU27 Parliaments to scrutinise whatever ‘Deal’ the UK proposes, and since it is the UK which intends to ‘Leave’, the ball is, and always has been, in May’s court, to come up with Brexit proposals which the EU would accept.

      The EU Four Freedoms are an Immovable Object. Single Market, Customs Union, ECJ Law, and Freedom of Movement throughout the EU.

      The Chequers’ Brexit Cherry Picking Fudge is not an Irresistible Force.

      In October the Scottish Government will know, as we all will, whether it is No Deal, which cannot happen or the UK falls, or capitulation and compromise, and a second Leave/ Remain Referendum will be held with the public now knowing what a disaster a No Deal outcome will be if the English and Welsh still vote Leave.

      This time, no Red buses, no £350 NHS Millions, no ‘take back control’ guff.

      In the midst of all this WM chaos, we must ensure that the 180,000 EU nationals living and working in Scotland have a vote in Indyref 2.

      NS knows that Indyref 2 is a long game played slow, but to propose that we suffer a few years of A Tory No Deal UK before we call a second IndyRef is innocent, but dangerous, procrastination.
      On March 30 th 2019 May could do a Cameron and announce at 7 in the morning that Holyrood is scrapped as part of WM ‘taking back control’.

      Now’s the day, and now’s the hour.

      Incidentally, someone close to Gordon Brown should take him aside and give him some advice.
      He is a tired old man who ultimately is responsible for poor children washing their hands in a PFI school cloakroom wash hand basin that costs £4000.
      He did that.

      It must be a ‘son of the manse’ thing that he still given maximum exposure by the Glenn Campbells and David Cleggs of the media circus and allowed to trundle destructively all over any attempt by Labour to purge itself of New Labour Cool Britannia Comfortable With The Filthy Rich Tony Millionaire Blair scrap Clause 4 Iraq warmongering US Poodle disastrous era.
      He is one of the Independence Movement’s best recruiting sergeants now.

      Over by October, one way or t’other.

      • Macart says:

        He’s an ego driven entity Jack. Highly intelligent by all accounts, but a charisma free zone driven by overreaching ambition. Another ‘socialist not a nationalist’ who waved a fleg that’s not at all national and took people to war on a lie. Left pensions in the hands of direct taxation. Aided and abetted in the deregulation of banks and the current woes of the UK economy. A fully paid up member of the practice of politics UK style who has done his share of misleading and manipulating for personal and political gain. Prior to the most recent incumbents he was widely known as the worst PM in UK political history.

        Now? Now he’s rolled out to keep the northern barbarians in check whenever we get a bit rowdy.

        As for Brexit? Yes, you can see the strategy of WM taking full shape. Kick the can of clarity as far down the road as possible. For when the awful nature of Brexit in any form becomes clear (soft, not so soft, hard and/or no deal), Scotland, N.I. becomes truly problematic for them.

        It’s either no deal or try to sell the public on a lesser, but no less harmful, form of Brexit.

        Just to be clear though: There are no good scenarios.

        • ‘There are no good scenarios’.
          So what in wee Mundell’s pea brain prompts him to think that Scotland will meekly follow Little England into the morass?
          There will be no Project Fear next time.
          Just Project Fact.

  25. bedelsten says:

    Some excellent comments above and, as usual, an excellent post from the dug. My tuppence worth…

    Indyref2 was predicated on Brexit. The Scottish Government has a mandate for Indyref2 based upon there being ‘material change in circumstances’, such as Brexit and Scotland leaving the EU against the wishes of the Scottish Electorate. But, at present, no-one has any idea where Brexit is going with options ranging from the somewhat unlikely abandonment to the increasingly likely crash after going over the cliff with all sorts of fudges in between. One of those fudges may be EFTA, EFTA-like or even EFTA-lite which could but a bit of a dint in the case for Indyref2 though is questionable whether such a fudge could be achieved without, first, a UK general election.

    Mired within Brexit are the irreconcilable differences between the Eurosceptic and Europhile wings of the red and blue conservative parties, the msm parading their ignorance and promulgating nonsense over Brexit and politicians jostling for position within the two parties. Add into the mix the suspicion of the power grab becoming an attempt to emasculate the Scottish Parliament and the relentless negativity expressed towards Scotland by the msm, and a case can be made that, irrespective of Brexit, Scotland needs to escape from the dysfunctional politics as practised in the big hoose by the Thames. A general Election? Bring it on.

  26. Macart says:



    S’about right.

  27. Nigel Mace says:

    I agree that the issue was unwisely not grasped in 2017. If it had been we’d now be in the throes of Indy negotiations. However, in any new General Election the issue must be independence itself – not just the right to decide, for that we already have. An SNP majority in Scotland in a Westminster General Election was the low threshold set by Thatcher herself – and we should embrace that and win it… which we absolutely certainly would.

  28. susan says:

    Some really good, well thought out posts here. I’m jealous lol.

  29. grizebard says:

    Much of what you say makes sense, Paul, especially your analysis of what went wrong at the last UKGE. However I find the thought somewhat depressing that the way forward may have to be via another UKGE and not something else, even if you are quite right about how the SNP should fight one, should it come.

    Despite all the uncertainties and suspicions about how May is aiming to slither us into a slow-mo Brexit (to be painted differently of course for different audiences), and always allowing for the necessity to get enough of Scotland onside before Nicola can take a stand, I still believe that October should be the sticking point. The key to it lies in your very last sentence:

    In times of British uncertainty, we need to create some Scottish certainty of our own.

    It’s getting high time to plant a flag, and not wait for an uncertain UKGE called at the convenience of the London Establishment. Time for the SNP to put their timidity to one side, and instead rally people with a clear and positive way forward of our own choosing.

  30. Macart says:

    Take it folk have clocked this horse shit from Mr Broon?

    Not the rise in child poverty. That’s very real. But who he considers responsible and how it should be tackled? THAT is the horse shit bit.

    • Cubby says:

      Clocked the horseshit – I could smell it wafting from the east of Scotland all over the rest of Scotland. Will someone just tell Blair and brown to pissoff. No mention of the vow – surprise surprise.

      This is the man who keeps saying we are better together – wow is this as good as it gets in the UK? Brown the man who got MCConnell to return money from Scotland to the UK treasury complaining about poverty in Scotland – what a hypocrite.

    • JGedd says:

      Still think that a Scottish Government leaflet should go out to every home simply explaining what powers a Scottish government – any Scottish government – actually has. Yes, i know that the opposition, which includes their media, would squeal about SNP propaganda but they frame everything that way.

      The riposte should be that it is a simple information exercise for the electorate who have the right to know what powers are available to a Scottish government. It may go some way to counter the sheer lack of knowledge apparent in some quarters. Having met some woefully ignorant people on this subject, kept that way by the media and BritNat politicians who gleefully exploit it, I feel frustrated. Try explaining to people who think they know it all because they listen with half an ear to the BBC and skim misleading banner headlines.

      As an ordinary member of the public you don’t have the imprimatur of authority and what you say is dismissed. Then we have an intervention by the Great Wobbling Jaw to deliberately use that lack of information.

      I know that it might be said that people would not read said leaflet but at least some might and then look askance at what the likes of the glowering Broon is peddling. ( I’m beginning to despair that a lot of people just don’t read anymore. Visual/sound bites seem to be the way they imbibe information and some people seem to be information averse unless it’s conveyed twitter size. Even on indy blog comments, I’m afraid.)

    • bedelsten says:

      We do seem to be suffering a zombie apocalypse of the living dead ex-politician spouting forth. Henry Baird McLeish- former Scottish Labour Party politician, author and academic (what!), Brian David Henderson Wilson – member of Parliament from 1987 until 2005, and Brian Monteith who is a Scottish public relations consultant, (an-ex) politician (1999-2007) and commentator, and now, Gordzilla, James Gordon Brown doing the axminster again. Their political careers are dead, passed on, ceased to be, expired, bereft of life, if they hadn’t been nailed to a perch, and so on. But it is the season to be silly and the msm, desperate to fill come column inches, will print any vacuous crap. In the passing, there is another ex-politician, genuinely ex – George Cunningham who put the kibosh on the first independence referendum (the one in 1979, not the second on in 2014), long may he rest in peace as we wish the other ones would as well (take a rest and give us some peace).

  31. bjsalba says:

    I agree with what bedelsten says:

    I would add that I suspect that after the unexpected win of Vote.Leave the plan was to hold out for cake and cherries till the very end in the belief that the EU would capitulate rather than lose the UK.

    If (and at the start they deemed it highly unlikely) that plan failed the alternate was go for the no deal option – which by the way they were flying a kite for in the three months immediately following the referendum vote. Indeed I buttonholed Alyn Smith at the October conference that year to ask if the EU had contingency plans for that outcome.

    They knew what the SNP manifesto said so they reckoned that as a bonus they could wear down the Independence supporters by keeping them hanging on and on and on and not making it clear what the outcome would be. They are hoping we will lose heart, or do something precipitately.

    They know full well that Nicola dare not declare until the brown stuff hits the rotating machinery. They could still capitulate to EU rules although I suspect that such a move would cause ructions in the party and would cost them dear ar the ballot box.

    We need to be patient. We need to be strong. keep on with the stalls, leaflets and marches.

    • AnnieM says:

      Gordon Ross talks a lot of sense.

      • chicmac says:

        He certainly does, he is an intelligent and well informed guy, but he is wrong on a couple of points in this video. First, and most important, the Edinburgh agreement which formed the basis for the section 30 order which went through parliament did NOT make the outcome of the Scottish referendum binding on both sides. Cameron could have put a statutory instrument through parliament to do so (though not irreversibly under English law) but he didn’t. In effect the Edinburgh agreement was in legal terms no more than a memorandum of understanding. And that is all it was.

        All referenda in Bringland, including the Brexit one, are ultimately consultative, parliament has the final say.

        OTOH if a majority of the electorate had voted Yes, as in the case of Brexit, then although, technically, parliament could still vote to ignore the result, in practice there would be no possible justifiable defence for that.

        In international law, the implications of a majority support for self determination are clear.

        The other minor error is that US pro rata debt is worse than in the UK, actually in terms of total external debt, the UK per head figure is much worse than the US.

        In all other respects he was spot on.

        When I have finger time I usually type ‘normal levels of self government’ rather than ‘independence’.

  32. Dave Coull says:

    The Scottish Government has a mandate for a new independence referendum. The SNP (and the Greens) have had a mandate for a new independence referendum for well over two years now. If that mandate had been acted on promptly, early in 2017, there would have been no “snap” June election, and no Tory candidates campaigning on “SayNoToIndyRef2”, because it would already have happened, and they would have lost. Now, we are being told, we have to wait until after YET ANOTHER general election. No. No way. If the SNP inflict that madness on the Yes movement, then some of us long-term independence supporters will be saying BOYCOTT THE SNP, in fact, BOYCOTT THE ELECTION. There will be a vociferous, organised, anti-election campaign. The only way to avoid that vociferous, organised, anti-election campaign, is for the politicians to belatedly enact the mandate which they have already had for so long. A new independence referendum without any further delay.

    • Ever heard the saying “Divide and conquer”? That’s what you are proposing … to divide the Independence movement and allow the Union to conquer. Please … we are SO close now … DON’T throw it all away in a fit of pique!

  33. Macart says:


    Pretty much nails Broon’s latest disingenuous intervenshuunnnn to the wall. When he’s done screwing with everyone’s lives here in Scotland, he can feel free to let the exit door hit him on the arse. The adults have a mess to clean up.

  34. Andy Anderson says:

    BBC Scottish News last night stated that ‘the Scottish economy for the first quarter of tise year was roughly in line with the rest of the UK’. Really!! It was twice as good. We were 0.4% with the UK 0.2%. Can you imagine if the results were the other way round.

    Also Scotland has had a positive balance of payments for the last 21 years, the only part of the UK that has.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      This time Last year they was silent after there recession predictions was a load of horse shite and in the frist quarter Scotland growth was 4 times better than the uks typical bbc playing down Scotland while bumming up England that’s all that was.

  35. m boyd says:

    Just finished reading PatAnderson’s book on sectarianism in Scotland. I don’t think we can underestimate the role of religion on Unionism in Scotland. I was surprised to discover that Presbyterians in Ulster were just as oppressed as the Catholics by the English governments. How things have changed. Not quite convinced by the premise that anti Catholicism in Scotland was a by product of union with England but then again. I was more intrigued that William of Orange described his coronation as British monarch as Popish mockery.

  36. Petra says:

    “The big mistake of 2017 was that the SNP tried to avoid making the vote about independence ……”

    Eh? Maybe that’s because it wasn’t about Independence at all, as it was a General Election.

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