The real divisions

The British nationalist press is very keen to press the SNP is divided meme. Perhaps if they keep saying it then it will become true. It’s a bit like those people who repeatedly warn that the end of the world is nigh, only for the forecast dates of doomaggedon to come and go as often as Gordie Broon intervenes in the Scottish constitutional debate for the very first time. It wasn’t even nighish. However the advantage of these claims is that if you just keep banging on at them, eventually one of them might turn out to hit the mark, and then you can boast to all the other press guys down the pub about how prescient you were. Which to be honest isn’t much to look forward to after the asteroid has struck and destroyed civilisation as we know it, but opponents of independence have to take what small pleasures they can find, because British nationalism in Scotland is an exercise in miserabilism.

Today it was the Herald’s turn at trying to be nighish, perhaps because it’s National Tell a Joke Day. The paper carried a report that a Facebook group which hardly anyone has heard of plans to organise a wee demo outside the SNP conference. The demo is called Use The Mandate, and has the aim of showing that there is support for the SNP leadership to make use of its existing mandate for an independence referendum. Since the SNP hasn’t actually said that it’s not going to use this mandate, a demo expressing support for it doesn’t really count as a division in the independence movement. Until such time as Nicola Sturgeon stands up and says that she’s not going to use the mandate, calling on her to use it isn’t a sign of division.

It still wouldn’t count as a division within the SNP even if those who are organising the demo were indeed members of the SNP, which is by no means certain. The Facebook group responsible, Scotland Land of the Brave Saor Alba, isn’t affiliated with, part of, or answerable to, the SNP. But hey, the independence movement is divided. And if the yes movement is divided, that’s got to be embarrassing for the SNP. It said so in the paper, which used the story to offer space to a series of British nationalist politicians to attack the SNP for divisions which exist purely in their own imaginations. Yet again we got the oft-repeated meme from the British nationalist press that the SNP and the wider independence movement are the same thing.

The Herald certainly isn’t reporting on this development because it’s keen to encourage a diversity of views and opinions to further enrich the Yes movement. Reporting that a Facebook page which hardly anyone has heard of plans to organise a demo isn’t so much a sign of divisions within the independence movement as it’s a sign that the anti-independence media is hard pressed to find any sticks with which to beat the SNP, what with it being the holidays and everything, and the usual rent-a-quote British nationalist suspects are off sunning themselves on European beaches before Brexit happens and the arse falls out of the pound.

The thing is, of course the independence movement is divided. It’s divided into hundreds of groups, into thousands of ideas, into millions of possibilities. That’s ever so slightly the point of a grassroots movement. Especially a Scottish one. Put two Scottish people in a room and immediately you’ve got three arguments. The fact that we don’t all agree about everything is the whole idea. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

The independence movement isn’t a political party with internal party discipline that we’re talking about here. There hasn’t been a single idea, proposal, or action within the independence movement that some other part of the independence movement hasn’t got all sniffy about. It doesn’t matter what the pro-independence intitiative is, but someone in the independence movement is going to complain that there were too many saltires, that there weren’t enough saltires, that the saltires were being waved with a lack of gender balance, that the SNP can do no wrong, that everything the SNP does is wrong.

There are in fact only three things that the independence movement is able to agree on. First is that Scotland should become an independent country, secondly that the gap between Ruth Davidson’s hype and her actual political substance is wider and emptier than the vacuum between Ross The Hoover Thomson’s ears, and thirdly that British nationalist trolls on social media get a free pass from a media that’s always looking for the nasty things said by independence supporters. With regards to absolutely verything else, the independence movement has a diverse range of opinions. And that is precisely how it should be.

There are some very real, some very deep, and some very damaging divisions within Scottish politics, and they’re within the British nationalist parties. The Tories are hopelessly divided on Brexit. Ruth’s wee band of MPs who she assured us were going to be answerable to her and who were going to vote in a bloc to defend Scotland’s interests have turned out to be as useless as David Mundell at a cabinet meeting. Many of them have come out in favour of the hard Brexit that Ruth told us she opposed. And she can do the square root of hee-haw about it. The Conservatives have absolutely nothing positive to offer Scotland, all they can do is to bang on repeatedly about not wanting another referendum, because there is no positive case for the Union. There isn’t even a Union to make a positive case for, only a unitary state in which Scotland has no voice.

Meanwhile Labour is hopelessly divided, well, about everything. They are so ineffective at standing up for the interests of Scotland that no one knows who the official shadow Secretary of State for Scotland is. Not even the Labour party knows who Lesley Laird is. Most of the party in Scotland opposes the Brexit that its leader supports, and wrings its hands helplessly while Scotland is sacrificed on the altar of a deeply regressive xenophobic British nationalist Brexit. Labour is more worried about doing anything that might inadvertently boost support for independence than about the harm and damage that the Tories are wreaking.

An opinion poll this week suggests that if there were a Westminster General Election tomorrow, Labour would lose all but one of its Scottish seats to the SNP, and the Tories would also suffer losses. The political divisions that concern voters in Scotland aren’t those within the SNP, they’re not those within the independence movement, no matter how much our anti-independence media tries to hype them up. The divisions that concern people in Scotland are the yawning cracks in the British establishment which threaten to destroy the British state and its public services. The yes movement and the SNP are not divided in our belief that we need to escape that crumbling edifice before it comes crashing down.

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35 comments on “The real divisions

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug The real divisions The British nationalist press is very keen to press the SNP is divided meme. Perhaps […]

  2. Absolutely nothing to disagree with here. I do very much get a sense of battle lines being drawn, though, and as the prospect of Brexit looms ever nearer, we can expect much more of the same from the BritNat camp.
    The challenge I think will be to hold our nerve and not be drawn into every ridiculous ‘look, a squirrel’ moment in the MSM…

  3. Movy says:

    Absolutely agree. I read the Herald’s nonsense this morning and came to the same conclusions. Tragic to see a once great paper resorting to such unbalanced reporting.

    • robert harrison says:

      They picked there side last time and helped sell our nation out to the English supremists that call themselves mps in the 3 England partys they made there bed it’s time they lied in it.

  4. susan says:

    Great blog Paul, right on the money.

  5. Macart says:

    Heh. Not just the brightest approach by the meeja, but their choice.

    Probably something else the meeja needs informed about. People are fully aware of what constitutes real crisis and real division in their lives. Partly because people don’t rely solely on the UK mainstream for its information anymore, but mainly because most of us can use and believe the evidence of our own senses and reason.

    That and the fact that both the UK state and the UK meeja have been caught once too often telling mahoosive porkies to yer general public. Leveson turning over a rock and letting the light of day reveal some of the skittery crawlies hiding there didn’t help their credibility much either. Oh, and as for political manipulation throughout two referendums and two GEs in the past four years? The needlessly inflammatory language and editorial policies on display? What many would describe as the reckless endangerment of the general public? I’m guessing your average journo and Westminster politician are ranking somewhere around the level of said skittery crawly thing in a great many folks’ perception around now.

    To put not too fine a point on it? They had trust. They abused that trust. They lost that trust. But mainly the ‘THEY’ bit is the important factor there. Trust can take an age to earn and a heartbeat to lose. Pretty much lost count of the state and meejas’ abuses of public trust by this point. Sooooooo… a Q.E.D. moment really in the cataclysmic drop in newsprint sales, viewers/listeners figures and trust percentages in political parties and institutions. Also? Once a thing has been seen for what it is? That can’t be unseen.

    They won’t learn though and even if they somehow did? They are both over committed to the narrative they created and unable to stem the ongoing damage done to their credibility.

    Can’t be unseen… Just sayin’.

  6. Catherine Kerr says:

    The arse will fall out of the pound- has already happened and will get even worse. 1.09 today in Cyprus. 1.3 at Brexit announcement

  7. Excellent piece, Paul. I’m with Catherine Kerr in saying that the arse has already fallen out of the Pound. My husband’s and my UK pensions are now worth considerably less here in Canada than when we first came out here 4 years ago. And it can only get worse ….

  8. Needed to be said, Paul.
    There is a storm gathering. Scotland, Northern Ireland, Johnny Furriner will get the blame of course when May’s Chequers’ soufflé collapses in on itself when exposed to the chill autumn air.
    Things are going to happen very quickly from the beginning of September onwards when Whitehall reopens and the Civil Service mandarins’ Bermuda tans start to fade.

    We will be campaigning when England is at its weakest, caught with its trousers down and no toilet paper to clean up their mess.
    I anticipate a massive Establishment Propaganda Campaign funded by England and Scotland ‘Old Money’ and the billionaire Russian Chelsea and Kensington mob.

    I sense the thrill and exhilaration of revolt in the air. I am in Bastille mood.

    We let them away with Nothing this time.

    Be warned, Glenn, Gordon, Jackie, and the rest of the Anglo Scot Brit Nat Establishment MSM McMafia.

    We shall challenge everything you say.

    You will get away with nothing.

    We shall expose you lot very publicly, instantaneously, through a sophisticated network that was barely in place in 2014.

    Tell me the oil is running out.
    Tell me Scotland will be a financial basket case.
    Tell me the EU will refuse us entry.
    Tell me England will refuse to trade with me.
    Tell me we can’t afford a Military.
    Tell me that Russia will invade, Boris will order air strikes on Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.
    Tell me aliens will land and demand to be taken to NS.
    Tell me we won’t get the BBC.
    Go on, give us all a fecking good laugh as EngWaland disappears down the plug hole.

    Rant over.

    • robert harrison says:

      You should sent that to those traitors in pacific Quay bastards they all are especially those at the bottom how do they live with themselves sure they need the wages I get that bit but how can they look themselves in the mirror after letting the BBC and others bad mouth the nation everyday over and over when they know it’s all bullshit.

      • weegingerdug says:

        Robert – could you please moderate your language. Calling people bastards and traitors isn’t helping. It just allows them to make out that they’re the real victims. Thank you.

        • Robert Harrison says:

          Yet it’s OK them slandering our nation with the same language no Paul n live tv and radio no I’m sick to the back teeth of this one way street I grew up around this xenophobic bullshite south of the border i wont stand for it here as well.

          • Robert, I’ve quoted Zsa Zsa Gabor on ‘divorce’ before:-

            ‘Don’t get mad, get the house’.

            I know:- ‘Let ye who is without sin, cast the first stone.’

            I should be the last one to talk.

            Some of my rants have teetered on the edge of sanity and reasoned comment.
            Many of of us feel the way that you do.
            Angry, frustrated, helpless, besieged, oppressed, persecuted.
            The Iron Heel Oligarchy of the British Nats treats Scotland with the same contempt it treats the EU 27.
            They simply ignore us and think that they are in a position to make demands on us because they hold some sort of mythical Upper Hand because they are England, and they once enslaved a third of the globe.
            Well, we, the people of Scotland, are fed up, and red hot ready for the next stage on the Road to Independene now.
            No more Mr and Mrs Nice Guy.

            This is too serious for mere name calling and red mist posts.
            They rejoice in watching us ‘lose it’.
            It gives the MSM and the Establishment licence to do, say, broadcast, and print, what they like.

            Yesterday’s attempt by the Sally Magnussons and the Steven Jardines of BBC Northworld to set up John Swinney, one of the most honest and honourable people ever to serve Scotland, by associating the Deputy FM with the appalling treatment of an 11 year old autistic schoolgirl, merely to besmirch his good character and reputation for their Blue Red and Yellow Tory mates, was appalling.

            Paul’s blog, and his rapier prose is essential; look at the recent attack on WoS.
            Firebrand and serial cusser Stu Campbell is hard work at times.
            But he does his fact checks and exposes the hypocrisy and lies of the Brit Nat juggernaut most times.
            The Establishment hate him.

            Any excuse, and the Brit Nats will try to close down any pro Independence site they can.

            Keep your powder and your wit dry, Robert.
            We’re nearly there. We need you.

            • The Herald tells its insignificant dwindling 25,000 readers out of a population of 5.4 million Scots, that John Swinney’s hour long BBC Radio Put Up Job Phone-In made for ‘disturbing listening’ over the issue of the autistic school girl’s treatment.
              I full expect ‘balance; from the State Propaganda Wing.
              I’m sure that Jardine has lined up Liz Smith, Iain Gray(?) and Mike Rumbles(?) Education Spokespersons for the Blue Red and Yellow Tories to provide an hour long phone-in of ‘disturbing listening’ as they take questions from ‘listeners’ who are ‘concerned parents’ or ‘teachers’?
              Does Jardine and his BBC Bosses really think that we are a bunch of idiots?

      • Cubby says:

        Robert the dug has just taken a chunk out of your ankle. Don’t know if they are all Alan B’Stards but they certainly are a lot of lying tractors who sell out their country.

    • FM says:

      I love it when you’re ranting, Jack. Genuinely.

  9. M boyd says:

    I think Paul hits the nail on the head with there isn’t even a union to make a case for. It’s about a failing English hegemon trying to hold on to its last external terrorities through any means.

  10. Andy Anderson says:

    I suspect that it may get nasty as we provide wealth to England. With Brexit and us leaving they will be in the Poo. The trouble is when we get free a damaged English economy will affect us.

  11. Macart says:

    A bit squooshed from archiving, but from the people who use the media to tell our population how uniquely rubbish we’d be at running our own economy and legislation…


    No Britnat politician and none of their media can tell me this is right or that we can’t do or be better.

    NONE of them.

    • And this is just the Employment Support Allowance deaths, Sam.
      I reiterate, Davidson’s, Leonard’s, and Rennie’s, Blue Red and Yellow Tory political policies are killing our citizens.
      Starve the poor, reward the rich.
      184 Labour MP’s voted for the Austerity Package with their Unionist Brit Nat Better Together fellow conspirators in July 2015.
      Rennie boasted that the Coalition had ‘saved’ £29 billion in welfare cuts.
      The very thought of this smirking little man makes my blood boil.
      People are dying, and he waffles on about nothing.
      They are as culpable in the Northern Branch Offices as their Handlers Down There in the SE LaLaLands.

      By the way, John Swinney is responsible for an 11 year old autistic Edinburgh girl being neglected at school, according to the Thought Police at BBC Distorting Scotland. They report that the girl suffered serious neglicence at school. Cut to Swinney on Radio phone in.What the fuck are you playing at, John Swinney?

      It’s clear that BBC Scotland has been taken over by the London Mob. Wall to wall SNP/Independence Bad and must be crushed.
      It is clear that they now realise the UK is finished.
      Oh what apanic’s in thy breastie, you wee cowerin’ timerous beasties.

  12. Thepnr says:

    I had a look at the Facebook page of Scotland Land of the Brave Saor Alba this afternoon and the only thing I can find on their page about this in in the Events section where it advertises the SNP conference and ends it with the hashtag #USETHEMANDATE.

    There is nothing at all about a demonstration or a protest yet the Herald and later the Scotsman both feature this as a story that was top of their online read pages during the day. The mandate is available for use until the end of this parliament and who is saying it should be used NOW?

    Only the crap press we have in Scotland.

    It’s pathetic that two daily newspapers have resorted to a Facebook page as the source of their story about division in the SNP/Yes movement. It’s beyond pathetic and particularly because there is no mention of a protest on that page.

    Deplorable and really scraping the bottom of the barrel for news, no wonder both are close to going out of business if this is any example of “investigative journalism”.

  13. Catherine says:

    Sorry may be a bit off topic.

    I didn’t hear the interview with John Swinney

    .But regarding all this ‘concern’ about Primary 1s being stressed at assessments. I have two grandsons at that age and they love school and are just loving all the new things they are learning. One can count to ten in Spanish and another can do this in French. Plus all the other things they are learning as well as their ‘lessons’ re the environment, wildlife, nature, space etc.

    I also have two grandsons at three years old and they can teach me how to work an I pad. !!!

    These wee boys attend different schools/nurseries in different areas and the standard of teaching and care they have received has been excellent.

    I am so tired of hearing that our schools are rubbish. It is not true.

    • Catherine, I have a sense that it is the teachers’ union reps, old style New Labourites who are still in control, using their position to attack the hated SNP at every turn.
      I find it difficult to believe that a teacher would reduce a small child to tears in any circumstance.
      I recall my first day in school vividly. There were a lot of youngsters not happy at the separation from their mothers. They were reduced to tears.
      I don’t recall anyone blaming the Induction process.
      WE have over a quarter of a million children living below the poverty line because of Brit Nat Austerity Cuts.
      Empty bellies and no hope.
      It is small wonder that our teachers struggle to cope.
      But John Swinney in a radio phone in is ‘blamed by association’ for problems that go deeper than a learning assessment package.
      In England 2 million kids are relying on foodbanks during the summer because of heartless politicians.
      Like the NHS attacks, bed blocking, mental health, cancer waiting times, Police Scotland, Transport Police merging, Rail Travel performance, Education Standards and performance are used by the Red Blue and Yellow Tories as baseball bats to beat the SNP over the head. In every public body, there are plenty of influential Brit Nat sympathisers who are more than willing to appear in print, on the radio and TV to give their expert opinion on why it is all the SNP’s fault.
      Nobody in Health, Education, Transport, or at Unionist Local Authority level is ever held accountable for the highly paid work they are supposed to carry out.
      There are many things that go wrong in life, yet our MSM and Persons of Influence in our public bodies, who are basically Unionist Careerists appointed when Labour was in office, will use unfortunate cases to political advantage because they hate the thought of Scotland as an Independent nation.

      Their jobs, future career advancement, honours, and elite lifestyle depends on them thwarting the democratic will of the people in order to maintain a status quo of privilege and power.
      Their power and influence is waning, and will die with Brexit and the collapse of London Rule.

  14. Guga says:

    We just have to accept the fact that we are dealing with a bunch of liars and charlatans. These include the English government and the so-called establishment, the English owned and controlled print media – which includes the Hootsmon, the Herald and the Daily Retard, and, of course, the EBC and the English owned and controlled STV. These liars and charlatans are ably assisted by assorted Quislings and Fifth Columnists, a.k.a. “boot-lace boys” who are solely interested in ingratiating themselves with the English government and establishment.

    The above garbage are, of course, all worried about the fact that it is Scottish money and resources which prop up the English government, and without which England would be a failed and bankrupt state.

    It would also appear that these people learned their lessons from Josef Goebbels who once stated that:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    Which is why the above mentioned garbage keep trying to propagate blatant lies on an ongoing basis.

    We, the Scottish people, and Scottish politicians should be doing our best to get the truth out to all Scots, bearing in mind that we are unlikely to get any help from either the Blue Tories or the Red Tories.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      I have read a few similar articles Sam. I know two people who actually believe a no deal will not be as bad as pundits say. They do think it is project fear and that all will be OK.

      Delusional does not even come close.

      • Macart says:

        Well they have a choice to make in terms of Brexit. 700k unemployed, 1.5 million or 2.5 million (ONS impact assessment I believe). Then there’s Mr Chote’s OBR assessment of what? 50 years of austerity economics? Mr Carney’s (BOE) view? Cost of Brexit to date, around £40bn.

        So, in the opinion of UKgov, ONS, OBR and BOE. The softest Brexit possible – 700k jobs. 700k wage packets impacting 700k families. The knock on effect to the high street retailers, suppliers, manufacturers will be devastating. How much worse the worst case scenario d’you reckon?

  15. Macart says:

    This is worth viewing and you’ll maybe see why some folk are talking in terms of preparing a constitutional stance for a GE rather than a referendum.


    • Stuart Mcnicoll says:

      The SNP could use the autumn conference to reinstate the GE as a route to Independence, I think that would really set the cat among the pigeons, no section 30 or the false premise of permission required for the media to bang on about. Would Westminster even dare to call a GE to thwart a referendum if the FM fired the starting gun in October.

      • Elizabeth Gray says:

        I’ve been thinking along those lines too stuart.
        Another General Election takes Scotland nowhere and won’t solve the political impass, unless the head of steam building up in the Yes movement is channelled into using it to vote in enough MPs with manifesto institutions to end the Treaty of Union!
        It would certainly give May pause for thought if Nicola announced that!
        We Scots cannot make a difference to how a Westminster Government is formed,we have already have a clear position on Europe.
        So what other use is a General Election to us… Unless Nicola decided to make it count..
        Its not as if she doesn’t have a mandate… Which by the way I’m pretty confident she knows about..LOL

        • Stuart Mcnicoll says:

          @ Elizabeth Gray
          Lol, indeed. I agree and its a good point, the GE means nothing to Scotland. We live in a sham of a democracy.

  16. Stookie says:

    Been busy last few days so missed this blog at the time of posting. Some great comments on here but none mentioned one of the highlights of your piece for me
    “Put two Scottish people in a room and immediately you’ve got three arguments”
    Troo verru Troo 😀

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