Some friendly advice to the SNP leadership

It’s been a long standing policy of this blog that I don’t criticise other independence supporters. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I agree with them. I frequently disagree with the SNP, with the Greens, with other pro-independence bloggers, organisations, or groups. But I usually keep quiet. I keep quiet because it’s important that we remain a united movement, and we don’t alienate one another.

However the main reason I don’t advertise my disagreements is because we live in a country where the media is overwhelmingly opposed to independence, and is constantly seeking SNP bad stories, stories which allow them to highlight divisions in the Yes movement, and which never gives supporters of independence the same opportunities to put their views across as it does to opponents of independence. Given the media environment in which we all live in Scotland, I don’t see it as being my role to do the anti-independence media’s job for them and to provide them with more ammunition to use against us. My job is to support the Yes movement.

So it is with a heavy heart and great reluctance that I publish this blog article today. I hope that what I write here will be received in the spririt in which it is intended, as a helpful warning from a friend that things need to change, that we cannot go on the way that we have been.

I refer to the attitude of the SNP hierarchy to the wider Yes movement. The SNP is seriously in danger of making the historic mistake of the Labour party in Scotland, and falling into the trap of managerialism and of taking its support base for granted. The leadership appears to many on the ground as being far more interested in attempts to placate the impacable beast of a Scottish media which is never going to be its friend, than it is to defend those of us who form the backbone of the movement. It gives the impression of having forgotten that many – if not most – of us do not vote SNP because we want the SNP to run a devolved administration, or because we want a lot of SNP MPs in the Commons. We vote SNP because we want independence.

Last Saturday there was a massive march and rally in Glasgow. It was organised without any support from the SNP, although a couple of well-known SNP faces did appear on the march, and Keith Brown did address the rally. The event passed off without incident. 100,000 people filed past a group of far-right British nationalists in George Square who were out to disrupt and provoke, and no one rose to their bait. That’s something deserving of praise. The day was peaceful, happy, and those attending left it energised and enthused, feeling that they’re part of a bigger movement. The day provided exactly the kind of boost and positive reinforcement that grassroots activists need in order to get out canvassing and campaigning and to convert people to the cause of Yes in a country where independence supporters are made to feel marginalised and excluded by the media.

Yet Nicola Sturgeon, who was happy to attend an anti-Brexit march in London, not only didn’t attend the Glasgow event, she didn’t even tweet a supportive message afterwards. Other SNP figures went on social media to criticise the march for taking place. Because apparently demonstrating that there is indeed mass support for independence in Scotland in the face of anti-independence parties and press which insist there is not is a waste of time that could better be spent sticking SNP leaflets through doors, leaflets that invariably get stuck in a bin without being read.

In fact, the last time that the SNP officially supported a mass participation independence event was the rally at Calton Hill back in 2013. That’s simply not good enough. But worse than that, the SNP led council in Glasgow became embroiled in a dispute with the march organisers, and now Manny Singh of All Under One Banner has been charged with an offence under the Civil Government Act. None of this is a good look for the SNP.

Something like Pete Wishart’s decision to stand for election as Speaker of the Commons is not a good look either. Perhaps he is trolling other MPs in an epic wind-up. I hope that he is. Unfortunately he gives every impression of being deadly serious. That’s a misstep, a sign that there are SNP MPs who seek to embed themselves permanently into the House of Commons, to settle in and not to settle up. A party whose raison d’etre is to achieve Scottish independence should not be permitting its MPs to join the British establishment. We don’t elect you because we want you to make the British state work better, we elect you because we want Scotland to become an independent nation.

However the day following the march and rally was what really did it for many grassroots independence supporters. Instead of publicity about a positive event for independence, the independence talking point in the media was an attack on the online behaviour of a minority of independence supporters for which the movement as a whole was expected to take responsibility. Everyone was tarred with the same brush, as is so often the case with reports in the anti-independence press. But instead of trying to defend the movement, to point out that the mainstream independence movement is no more responsible for the behaviour of a minority of extreme nutters than the mainstream British parties are responsible for the far right bigots in George Square on Saturday, some senior figures in the SNP enthusiastically joined in the attack and did so in blanket terms that made everyone feel that they were being criticised. Then that was compounded in the following days by comments which certain prominent SNP figures made on social media.

It was a massive own goal. Instead of building on the success of Saturday to create momentum for another referendum, we’re mired in a debate about “cybernats”. It’s a debate whose terms and boundaries have been set by our opponents, a debate which it’s impossible for us to win. Yet instead of trying to reframe the debate, instead of trying to point out that bad behaviour in social media is not an issue which is peculiar to supporters of independence, it was given traction by senior SNP politicians.

British politicians, quite rightly, insist that the behaviour of online extremists has nothing to do with them. The media in this country does not expect them to be responsible for it either. If they are ever asked to comment they simply condemn it as the behaviour of an unrepresentative minority and move on. The SNP doesn’t do that. The SNP agrees to the framing of a hostile media and hopes to be rewarded for its good behaviour – which is never going to happen.  However by doing so the SNP is implicitly agreeing that it is responsible for the behaviour of unrepresentative idiots and grants the media licence to continue its attack.  It’s a lose-lose for the party and for the wider movement.

There’s a lot of angry activists this week. A lot of people who put their faith and trust in the SNP now feel betrayed, let down, and deeply disappointed with the party. It’s not too late for the SNP to regain their trust. So here’s a message to the SNP leadership, a supportive message from a friend, a genuine attempt to help. Don’t turn into the Scottish fitba team which snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.  Don’t turn into the Scottish Labour party and take your support base for granted.  Start building bridges with the grassroots movement. Start to demonstrate that you value and support it. Start to show that you’re listening and you care about the people whose energy, time, and shoe leather has put you where you are. It’s over to you now.


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229 comments on “Some friendly advice to the SNP leadership

  1. Phyl says:

    Spot on. So many good, committed friends resigning their membership on Sunday instead of building on the positivity that was Saturday. So sad.

    • The SNP high head yins have got it right. If they were there, the unionistas would be saying it was Snp run and funded.

      • Craig says:

        Nothing to stop the SNP from saying something like “Whilst the SNP are not actively involved, we are grateful for the continued support shown by those AUOB in showing their desire to see an Independent Scotland and we support fully that message, we have no issues with any member of the SNP taking part as a citizen of Scotland”.

        That would show that AUOB is, without question, independent from the SNP and that all citizens are free to march in support of their wish in seeing Scotland free from Westminster rule.

        • Cubby says:

          It’s all under one banner. So SNP CAN and do attend but they do not run the marches. How hard is that for anyone to understand. I always see SNP flags and SNP MPs and SNP MSPs at the marches. I wonder sometimes if some of the people making these comments are actually at the marches.

      • Millsy says:

        So What ! Both camps want independence – so they are kidding nobody if they threw their weight behind AUOB and any other Indy group !

      • John T says:

        The SNP high heed yins were there. Keith Brown even delivered a speech from the main AUOB stage. Dr Phillipa marched, etc.

  2. Indy Chas says:

    Very well said Paul. It had been needing said for a while now. I do hope the SNP leadership will take it in the spirit intended and start moving against the media and Westminster, the SNP should no longer dance to their tune.

  3. Anne Martin says:

    This has made me very sad. The SNP Conference had everyone on a high again with Nicola talking in definite terms about Indyref 2 at last and Saturday’s march should have been the icing on the cake, but it has been spoiled in the aftermath.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Yeah Anne. I get you. I’ve been very saddened and upset as well.

      • Jim Mccaffrey says:

        I can understand the feelings regards the massive march and the disgraceful attitude from our SNP, at least there should have been some supportive comments from them, I believe that everything we do to push the momentum for Independence counts!, and especially the people who spend their time to organize this should be treated substantially better by the Party that we are depending on to get us there. I have said this before.. It is All about the votes, above all else ! unfortunately there are some people who seem to forget this.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Glasgow snp and green councillors just made it worse with having manny singh the organiser arrested because they changed the start time at the last minute without any time to prepare whos side are they on the snp and greens better ask themselves that question.

      • CATHY says:

        I’ve read elsewhere today that it was a tory councillor who made the complaint. Who knows but I doubt the PF will take it further.

        • Brian Powell says:

          Indeed so, but it has just been left hanging who made the complaint, it should be cleared up who did it.

  4. Millig says:

    Thanks Paul. You have set out, in a manner that I could not, the thoughts that were running around in my head.

    I have occasionally read, on some blogs and forums, conspiracy theories about fifth columnists amongst the SNP leadership. I gave them no credibility but after this weekend I can see where they are coming from.

    • Wee Chid says:

      If MI5 can stoop low enough to have undercover agents marry unsespecting partners and live a lie with them I don’t think it’s impossible to believe they would infiltrate a political party. It wouldn’t be the first time.

      • Jan Cowan says:

        My thoughts too, Wee Chid. Sad that they’re managing to manipulate so easily.

      • wm says:

        My very words Wee Chid they go back years of this infiltrating, I believe they have used this action to change the liebour party into the red tory party, never underestimate them.

    • fairliered says:

      Thanks Paul. Sadly, as an SNP member for many years, I have to agree with everything you say. I want an independent Scotland, and nothing less. I fear that there is an increasing minority in the SNP hierarchy that is happy to run a devolved Holyrood. I think they need to read their party’s constitution.

  5. katherine hamilton says:

    Hi Paul
    Don’t comment often. I’m with you all the way. I’m an SNP member and am apoplectic at this. I also received a letter from the FM at the week-end asking for money for the EU elections. Boy am I swithering. I give what I can to all sorts of requests for support for Indy causes.
    I noticed also over the week-end folks indicating they are leaving the party. Totally understandable. Felt like that myself on Sunday. All I can say is hold fast. I’m trying to suck up the insults as best I can.
    Fact is we can’t win without the SNP. After independence, have a long memory. Rememeber their names.

    • Anne Martin says:

      I agree with you Katherine. Leaving the SNP is not a good choice at the moment because things are getting critical and we need them.

    • Wee Chid says:

      Thinking of sending mine back with a note saying “I don’t think you’ll want a donation from trash like me”. It’s going to be very difficult to go out and vote for them in this election, never mind canvass.

      • morvenm2014 says:

        I understand completely how you feel about this, but we need to vote in this election. Alyn Smith will get back in regardless – it’s the candidates lower on the list we need to support with our votes and not let in Brexit Party / UKIP by the back door like last time. But the SNP won’t be getting any more donations from me till they name the day on Indyref2 or come up with a convincing Plan B.

    • I agree with you that SNP should show more appreciation to the YES movement for the hard work that they continue to deliver. Some show of respect and acknowledgment would go a long way to creating harmony.
      However, to compare SNP to Labour is a step too far. Labour did absolutely nothing for Scotland throughout their tenure in government. They had no ambition or imagination for improving our services or building much needed housing. We were saddled with PFI schools which were not fit for purpose and hospitals which incur huge annual payments for councils throughout Scotland.
      SNP have worked very hard to achieve a great deal and I’m sure will continue to do so.
      This ill feeling needs to be resolved with both sides sitting down together.

    • Katherine. I agree with that entirely and after a few ‘incidents’ where my faith in the SNP had been tested, this latest episode has convinced me that I will not be renewing my membership.
      I’m still 100% for independence but I believe we, the people of Scotland will need to achieve it ourselves without the support of a political party.
      Actually, I think that will be a better, cleaner Independence anyway, given recent events.

  6. Dave tewart says:

    Paul
    Not a criticism in there just a cry out for help and common sense.
    I’m with you all the way as i’m sure are many.
    We want our country to be a normal country with politicians held to account by us.
    Like you I see Peter Wishart’s position as his comfortable wee life for many years to come, he needs to rethink the position of the SNP, tell us if it is now a westmonster party.
    If it is I will vote for the first new party that has Independence as it’s first policy, the rest can get sorted out later.
    We need to be free of a corrupt and nasty westmonster.

    • deelsdugs says:

      Yes, I agree too. I attended an interbranch meeting last September and was dismayed by Roseanna and John as it seemed they were comfortable in their jobs and were in them for their pensions only.

  7. Margaret Noakes says:

    Agree wholeheartedly.The folk who march could certainly do with a lot more support and encouragement from the SNP.Our aim is independence and when that’s achieved we will vote for the party most deserving of running our country.

  8. crabbitgits says:

    Hear bloody hear Paul! Damn well said and thank the universe fir the Dug! I just hope that your words don’t fall on deaf ears, which I’m inclined to think that they will. Hope not.
    On another related topic, I have noticed with dismay that when a number of people on social media have declared their decision to resign their membership of the SNP due to all of this, they are immediately accused of retiring from the Independence cause by a good many indy supporters, despite saying to the contrary. When did membership of the SNP be a prerequisite of your loyalty to the cause of Scottish Independence? This is not a good development I feel. I myself resigned my SNP membership after the debacle of the Grousebeater kicking, when he was trashed and stashed by some committee or other within the SNP after a kangaroo court hearing. This wasn’t my Party so I left. Doesn’t mean I’m not a passionate supporter of Independence or blind to the road that leads to our final destination. I wish people would really think before they speak. If they did, maybe this entire shebang wouldn’t have happened at all.

    • Wee Chid says:

      I wonder if they will dish out the same treatment to Councillor Hunter?

    • steelewires says:

      I resigned from the SNP after Nicola’s speech in which she asked the Unionists for their contribution to Scotland’s future and seemed to imply that she was settling for federalism. I had written some time ago about the treatment of Grousebeater by the Gestapo-like discipline committee, and asked them to apologise to him. That was another factor in my resigning.

      After the Conference speeches I began to wonder if I had been precipitate in resigning, but now I feel confident that I did a right thing. I’m disappointed that the leadership is putting its energy into stopping England having its Brexit rather than getting Scotland out of the control of the English government of the UK. I believe that if England gets its Brexit, it won’t be long before the House of Lords fast-tracks its Act of Union Bill, and the Tory English government takes more powers from the Government of Scotland. Gove has threatened to do just that!

      Even if Brexit is softened Scotland will be a loser. I doubt if it can be stopped entirely. I think the SNP has wasted 3 years that they could have been acting for independence.

      I live in Wales for the sake of my family who moved here for work. So why should I care about Scotland? Well, I still consider Scotland as my home, and I hope to move back there when my grandchildren are older.

    • Douglas says:

      My membership is hanging by a thread but leaving raises the question, what type of people will be left in control of the SNP? On the other hand, I don’t feel that our branch can have much influence anyway (motions that are in any way challenging are not chosen for debate at conference -just like most political parties)

  9. Jim Cruickshank says:

    As said above, I was very saddened by the latest SNP lack of support. The Yes movement could move en Mass to the Greens as way of punishment, if they keep it up. I hope not. We are too close to our goal.

    • Brian Powell says:

      That would be pointless, the situation should be cleared up within the SNP members and the wider Yes movement. Protest votes do nothing for this and would wreck getting independence.

  10. Son of Perth says:

    Totally agree Paul. I have been on the last 3 Indy marches in Glasgow and the last one in Edinburgh. Every time I felt energised and enthused being amongst like minded people who shared my desire for a better Scotland. I’m afraid some of the bullshit we have been subjected to after Saturday has put me on a real downer. I will continue to vote SNP as it is the vehicle to independence but seeing Pete Wishart trying to be Speaker of the frankly disgusting House of Commons, hearing fellow Yessers described as “trash” by a SNP councillor, seeing high ranking people in the SNP criticise cybernats when British Nationalists are threatening Indy supporters with violence or even death and receiving lukewarm support for the marches from the hierarchy of the SNP has lowered my spirits to put it mildly.
    Despite all this I know we shall eventually reach our goal but it would be a lot easier if we did not play nice with a Britnat establishment and media who hate us and will never treat us fairly. The SNP should realise that no independence movement struggling to break free from the British state did so by becoming part of the very British establishment that has kept their country subjugated, colonised and treated with utter contempt.

  11. Therapymum says:

    Again, thank you Paul!

    You have said what so may have said on social media. I’m still furious. I haven’t cancelled my membership – yet. I agree that at the moment the SNP is the best hope for independence, so I’m hanging in there. But if they think that they will have an easy ride in the EU elections, the SNP hierarchy may be in for a shock! I wonder if they understand how the grassroots feel after the weekend’s debacle? Their credibility is at a new low. Hope they take it to heart, but somehow, I doubt it.

  12. Doug Porteous says:

    Paul this May well be the most important thing you’ve written. However, I feel that will fall on deaf ears.

  13. steve Bowers says:

    Well written Paul, let’s hope they’re listening

  14. 100%Yes says:

    I have been critical of the SNP and yes I’m a SNP member. I was at the SNP conference in Edinburgh and was at the rally and march in Glasgow. I have stated for a few months now that I am disappointed at the way Nicola had been handling Brexit and that we should be using brexit to gain support for Independence. I really became annoyed when Hope over fear contacted Nicola and the SNP about attending the rally in freedom square on 24.03.19, this rally was about using the mandate, but she didn’t reply, yet she did attend a rally and speak for England to remain in the EU, when England voted to leave the EU. I have the t-shirt saying Nicola’s tour 2014, it’s funny she could do the tour of Scotland when she wanted to become leader of the SNP, but since she become leader she hasn’t shown much interest at all in actively promting the Yes movement to acheive Independence, when the reason for the SNP’s existance is Independence, but instead has shown more interest in Westminster politics than she has shown in getting Independence for Scotland. Let’s remember Nicola the day after Brexit happened started the firing gun on Independence, sending emails calling on us all to get another five people to turn them into supporting Independence and that statement in Bute house saying she wanted to hold a referendum no later than march 2019. We are in now May 2019 and have no clarity on a date or even if we can hold a referendum on Independence, my anger goes further back than Saturdays march. I too got Pete’s email and my immediate response was, I thought we were leaving the the rest of the UK behind and becoming a country, and that Westminster didn’t work for Scotland, so why try and become the Speaker, if one of our SNP (independence) MPs is seeking to be a perminate resident of Westminster, this sends the wrong message entirely, not only to the independence movement but to Scotland and its people. It’s time for the Scots to be heard and to stop allowing others to decide our fate.

  15. Tim Rideout says:

    I would not be quite so hasty to tar and feather ‘the SNP’ as some people. I gather that the current problem is really that ‘the leadership’ is actually two people, Mr and Mrs. It seems they are not good at listening or taking advice from anyone else. There are a lot of people in the SNP and there are a lot of good and determined Indy campaigners. Perhaps, for example, we need somebody else as CEO who is not directly connected to the First Minister which would then break up the concentration of power and prompt a bit more listening and consultation. It is always the temptation for anyone in a position of real power to go down the ‘I know best route’, indeed they all succumb sooner or later, so something to try and guard against.

    • Alistair Robertson says:

      Interesting point well made Tim.

    • iamsoccerdoc says:

      Tim, how surprised should we be? The SNP has always been “famous” for its “iron discipline”. In 2015/16 when its membership went through the roof, how did they react? A party of c. 20k is one thing, but one with 100 – 120k is quite different – particularly in a relatively small place like Scotland. Less a party, more a movement. How did they react? They had to get bigger rooms for their meetings. If there were any other changes (and you are a member while I am not) “send me an email”.
      Thus my suspicion would be that if Mr Murrell were to fall on his sword (metaphorically of course) or go to something else, that his successor would be of the same warp and weft.
      This is a problem not just for the party, but for the whole Yes movement. I think the degree of “freedom” that Yes had (particularly given how much money was coming from SNP sources) was remarkable. I just wonder that in the event of indyref2 it would be repeated. I often wonder how Blair Jenkins’ cheerful admission that he had no real control of local Yes groups went down at SNP HQ?
      Where it will be another problem – as it was in 2016 is at the next Holyrood election. The electoral system there is set up precisely to prevent any one party having a majority on its own. The 2011 success was something of a freak – described in some quarters as hitting the “sweet spot” in the system. But, despite actually increasing their constituency vote in 2016 they got found out. There are several analyses which show the SNP simply did not have enough votes, when the list seats were allocated, to overcome the disadvantage of hoovering up most the constituencies. The answer to that is obvious – an alliance with another indy supporting party which might just be the Greens. The SNP would remain the largest party – there is no doubt about that on present voting intentions, but if their constituency voters voted Green on the List, then it is even possible that they might be the Opposition. But it wont happen. SNP wont wear it (you have no idea the abuse I got for arguing this in 2016) – like control its in the DNA

      • iamsoccerdoc says:

        Sorry, forgot to add – your speech at the SNP conference was excellent. Well done.

      • Illy says:

        “The answer to that is obvious – an alliance with another indy supporting party which might just be the Greens. The SNP would remain the largest party – there is no doubt about that on present voting intentions, but if their constituency voters voted Green on the List, then it is even possible that they might be the Opposition”

        This is the wrong way round.

        If you want to push for tactical voting in Hollyrood, then you want to push for voting Green in the Constituency, and SNP on the list. The List vote is your first preference.

        • iamsoccerdoc says:

          I think you must be joking. The SNP currently have almost all the constituency seats, and the problem is how to secure a larger share on the List given that the substantial pro-indy vote for the SNP wins very little in most electoral regions. As long as the SNP hoover up the constituencies this will remain a problem, so voting for another pro indy party on the List, which is not called the “second vote” for nothing. Its intention is to remediate for the unfairness of the fptp constituency system. What you are suggesting is that the SNP should stop focusing on where they are strong – the constituencies – 59 of the 73 seats – and focus on the list where there are only 56 seats in total.

          • Illy says:

            Last time this was tried, it backfired horribly.

            And the Greens aren’t even that firmly pro-indy.

            • iamsoccerdoc says:

              In 2016? How? Look at the data – almost 90% of the SNP constituency vote transferred to them on the list and secured 4 (four) seats (of 56) despite their List vote being almost 41% of the total List vote.

    • Tim, your post is the sound of a nail being hit very squarely on the head. There is no way the ‘CEO’ and leader of the Party should be a Mr & Mrs. Peter Murrell should have stepped aside the day Nicola Sturgeon became leader.

      IMHO, the SNP still hasn’t quite learned to manage the massive growth in numbers from ’14. It’s not evolved fully yet, but some senior members are feeling too comfortable in their positions. Pete Wishart only won his seat by some 23 votes, I know a dozen others in Perth, who like me, will vote for him on sufferance now.

    • Derek Millar says:

      Well said,Tim.

  16. Mike Ramsay says:

    Brilliant analysis Paul, and such a pity it had to be written.

    There’s a longstanding SNP policy of not appointing its people to the House of Lords, because they do not want to be part of the establishment they intend to leave. Pete Wishart’s attempt at Speaker, however much of a wind-up he thinks it might be, is seen as settling in, not settling up. Maybe SNP should now demand appointments of independence supporters to catch up with and overtake the number of LibDem Lords, to give a bigger voice at in the Upper House? If Pete wins election as Speaker, we lose a voice.

    The other point is that the “vile cybernats” (blanket term) are the only (dis)organised vehicle regularly and consistently rebutting and amplifying the brilliant work of Rev Stu – who was also disowned by SNP “top brass”. The SNP Fact Check and Rebuttal unit has been noticeably absent from twitter the last 2 months, and it’s not as if the unionists have been holding back on lies and distortion to starve them of work.

  17. I agree with almost everything said here – as usual – but I take issue with the criticism of Pete Wishart. Yes, his main “raison d’etre” should be (and is) Independence. However, I don’t think that a desire to show Westminster how much better things are done in Holyrood (Have you read Pete’s “manifesto”?) is a bad thing. Were he able to drag Westminster, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century, he would do Scotland a great service thereby. We would have more speaking time, we would be “heard” rather than merely shouted down. Yes, the ultimate goal is Independence from Westminster – but if having a speaker like Pete can help to oil the wheels, what’s wrong with that?

    • Les Bremner says:

      I agree. The Speaker is the Chairman of the House, and the Chairman in any organisation is the one who ensures that discussions and debates run smoothly and everybody gets a chance to contribute.

      Pete Wishart could change that pit of braying children into something remotely like a democratic parliament.

      It has always been a puzzle to me that while the gold standard for debating is the Oxford Union style, the complete opposite is used a mere 60 miles away in Westminster.

    • iamsoccerdoc says:

      And you are right to do so imo – here is a tweet in the last hour (at time of writing) from Mr Wishart “One last reply on this. I am standing for the Speakership because it gives a one in a ten year opportunity to expose exactly how Westminster works. If I didn’t SNP MPs would have to vote for someone from amongst the great and good of the unionist parties. ” My own view is that he is trolling WM – he knows he has no chance, particularly after EVEL – you can just imagine him chairing a debate that it covers, can you not? Also, while you are right about dragging WM into the 21st century, far too many of them down there would rather die in a ditch than appear to learn anything – anything at all from devolved legislature. He’ll never win and he knows it. I reckon what he is after is getting the WM backwoodsmen out to demonstrate their contempt of all things Scottish and of Scotland itself. If he does, it is well worthwhile.

    • Livia Burlando says:

      I also agree about the Speaker bid – I see that more as mischief-making, which is one of the ways a party like the SNP can make an impact in the two party set-up that squeezes them out.

      • deelsdugs says:

        Livia, Mischief-making and a wind up into the bargain. Sounds like he might really irritate them…

    • Joe Toole says:

      Pete Wishart is obviously trolling Westminster if you read his ‘manifesto’. If it’s not obvious to yessers then we need to distribute the sedatives.

      • weegingerdug says:

        The problem is that most people don’t read beyond the headlines.

        • Colin Mccartney says:

          totally agree, another example of some in the “leadership” trying to be too clever by half. If your supporters don’t get it, why do it?

          • Then we should see to it that they DO get it, should we not? And as for folk not reading beyond the headlines, Paul, if that’s who “we” are then I despair!

            • Colin Mccartney says:

              but that’s exactly who “we” are !!!! The indy movement isn’t populated by geniuses, just normal everyday people who care, but are still easily tricked and lied to, and it’s been happening for 300 years.

        • Clydebuilt says:

          Aye Paul that’s right . . . But given time as Speaker . . . Pete would change the ways of the House . . . . That would affect future headlines

          But I don’t see Pete getting the gig. . . . . They never pass an SNP motion never mind letting the SNP provide the Speaker

    • Graham says:

      Pete Wishart as speaker is utter fantasy, he must be on magic mushrooms or something.
      Any MP from a Scottish constituency will never again be speaker because of EVEL.

      • Mary Baxter says:

        Parnelling – I had that from the horses mouth

        The SNP representatives said the things you wanted them to say but they were not reported. Now why are you so surprised at that?

        I am also disappointed that the SNP seem to be less worldly than I would like

        We are in a bubble of activism and commitment – they are trying to reach people who do not understand or ever do politics.

        The people the SNP are now trying to convince don’t do logic.

        The SNP are not trying to reach out to the utterly confused or their (know all) leaders. They are trying to reach out to normal people who really have no time for or understanding of politics.

      • Douglas says:

        Possibly worth trying to demonstrate that?

  18. The Gillies says:

    Hear,Hear, Many of my friends who support and are members of the SNP are disappointed with the party’s current attitude.We are desperate to hear of some sort of redress to the lack of positive media reporting.We want to hear a meaningful clear indication to the way forward leading to independence.You are correct as are many others, we support the SNP as a route to gaining independence for Scotland. Let us think that the actions of ,”others” at the weeknd was just a blip and hope that heed will now have been given and common sense will prevail. This is not the time to give in. Well written Paul.

    ps, I have just sent my cheque as requested by Nicola- but the jury is out

  19. Iain says:

    This is one of your most important articles for a while, Paul.
    I understand that the SNP as government of Scotland need to be seen to be efficient, capable and unifying, but as lead party in the independence movement, they need to be supportive of their supporters or else lose them.
    I have never voted anything other than SNP, but unless the party takes a tumble to itself, I’ll be voting for them as a joyless habit.
    Why on earth is the SNP down the anti-independence media’s job for them?

  20. Frank Gillougley says:

    Absolutely, Paul and thank you for having the courage to say so. Since Saturday my head has been all over the place reading all the twitter/websphere comments. Today, I came to the conclusion that this was all one huge red herring and did exactly what the fifth columnists/unionists wanted to happen to completely DEFLECT from what they had witnessed on Saturday which was nothing short of a ‘miracle’ in that there was NOT ONE incident that occurred as 100,000+ maw paw and the weans and the dugs marched and rallied in Glasgow. As you say, politicking at the level of bank-rolled media celeb politicos is pointless, laughable really and the politburo’s comments and omissions towards the YES march was just a disgrace. They have to wise up – they really ought to be aware that the YES movement are the very people who put them where they are, irrespective if they are trying to woo as many undecideds as possible. Can you Imagine if there was a march by the OO – for conjecture’s sake say 100,000 – how many arrests would there have been? 50+? and what would Ruth have said? Not one word, such is the rank hypocrisy of politics and the 95% unionist press in Scotland. Yeh i do despair at times too. What we saw on Saturday was an astonishing and verneer miraculous expression of a collective will, unparalleled really. And what was the response? Trash? from your own side, FFS. And in spite of this, it’ll have to be SNP SNP. there’s nothing else furrit, even though at times ‘all IS dead here, save stupidity.’

  21. panda paws says:

    “We vote SNP because we want independence.”

    Yup and roll on the day. One because folk that accuse Scotland of being subsidised will get the shock of their lives and two because I can stop voting SNP, at least the current iteration of it.

    I’m not a member but I’m becoming increasingly worried by their lack of ambition and bet hedging. Nicola is probably the best FM we’ve ever had, but I now hae ma doots she’s the right person to lead the independence cause. We may need someone outwith the SNP to lead the Yes movement. No I’ve no idea who, pity Gandhi isn’t available. Being FM is a full time job so let’s get someone else to show some leadership. Salmond had his faults but at least his good conceit of himself stopped him being over cautious and if it hadn’t been for the vow he’d have achieved it. (Recent BBC documentary – BT had private polling showing Yes at 55% two weeks before polling day).

    As for Hunter, I’m not surprised at the disdain she’s shown just surprised she’s shown it and more surprised she’s not been censured.

    Great post Paul and needed.

  22. Kenzie says:

    I honestly thought that I would live to see my country Independent. Not now. The old “Divide and Rule” has been shown to still work a treat and this is just the opening skirmish. The worst is yet to come, and it will, be sure of it. I thought Angus Robertson – and his wife -would have known better. is what we are witnessing now, previously dormant sleepers being utilised?

    • Jan Cowan says:

      The lady at the top – and I mean the very top – not Surgeon but Evans, may have something to do with it.

  23. Millsy says:

    Completely endorse everything that Paul says in his article – and agree 100% with the comments above .
    Long past time for the SNP big guns to get into the fight for real .

    We will never persuade the Union press to side with us , we will never get a fair hearing from the BBC , we will never be given any credence at Westminster just scorn – so why the f*ck does the SNP hierarchy constantly try to appease them ?

    Time to get the gloves off , fight fire with fire , scorn with scorn , lies with facts , no more Mr Nice Guy , or Nicola trying to save a nation ( England ) from its own poor decisions .

    We are at the sharp end of the fight ( and it IS a fight ) for our country and no amount of low key , soft soaping of the naysayers from our Party leaders will get us one step nearer our objective .

    Ditch appeasement Plan A – we are at Defcon 1 .
    Time to SH*T , Nicola , or get off the pot !

    • Joe Toole says:

      While I share some frustration, there is no easy solution for engaging with the overwhelmingly dominant Unionist media. The negative stories, lies even, are themselves traps to drag SNPers into the field where the particular subject will be amplified by that same Unionist media and their paid-for politicians. I hadnt understood that previously.
      I think, unfortunately, that efforts to make further inroads into the Soft and not-so-soft No voters, there may be times where criticisms of SNP from fervent yessers (like me) will precipitate. I will keep my occasional irritation in check, saving that for my Tory MP, I will post off my donation, I will deliver leaflets, I will still attend and enjoy marches, I will still donate to Wings, WGD, AUOB and adhoc Indy causes. If I dont do that, the divide and rule will have worked and we will all be inconsolable after Indyref2.

  24. Les Bremner says:

    The Marches are organised by a group entitled ‘All Under One Banner’, in other words not aligned to any political party. I have always felt that this title encourages people from all parties and, especially, from people who despise politics, to participate. So, a lack of attendance on Saturday’s March by political leaders is actually a good thing.

    However, a supportive message after the event would have been not just courtesy, but essential, and it is disappointing, and indeed insulting, that it was not done.

  25. Wee Chid says:

    Thank you and well said. I was wondering if the feedback that Angus Robertson has had in his role with “progress Scotland” has been such that he feels soft Nos are put off by marches and what they read in the press about cybernats and that this is the SNP trying to win them over. They will never please all of the people all of the time and it looks like this time they have chosen to turn on the grassroots Yes supporters. I’m starting to feel too working class for the SNP and don;t think my money is good enough for them.

  26. Kenny Martin says:

    Independence is a peoples movement but once gained we need a government to run the country as we would like. I have voted SNP my entire life and passionately believe that the SNP that will deliver what the people want and govern with compassion and do everything in its power not to harm the country I love and live in but to place it where it belongs in the United Nations playing a part in world affairs. Last Saturday made me more certain that independence is inevitable but the SNP need to remember that it is the Scottish people that put them where they are to do this task. The people ARE the independence movement. Our government must be seen to back the people of Scotland just as much as the people of Scotland have backed them. If that means joining independence marches, so be it. It must be done. Faces have to be seen. Prominent faces. It truly saddens me that our government don’t seem to see this. Saturdays march with Nicola Sturgeon participating would have been broadcast around the world. Imagine. If our First Minister can march in London she can march in Glasgow. She should have.

  27. Don’t often post Paul, but after ah read yer post ah said tae Mr Pangloss that you had had a microphone installed in ma laptop an ye had been recordin our conversations an ye’d now pit them down verbatim oan yer blog. Unfortunately it took a minute tae get a word in tae explain tae him that ah wis jokin an the laptop got knocked ower an the cat got a fright an he had tae sit doon an everythin it wis quite calamitous ah forgot he takes me seriously, but ah explained that ye seem tae be seein an thinkin the same things. Thanks fer yer post.

  28. Movy says:

    Thank you for saying this so eloquently Paul.
    I am so angry today – and have been since Sunday.
    I hirpled (literally) my way round Glasgow on Saturday and the following day – cybernats, ‘trash’ and then the reporting of the AUOB march organiser to the police, apparently as a result of a meeting of 2 SNP and 1 Green ‘independence supporting’ councillors on GCC.
    I was particularly disappointed with next to no mention of the March – which is after all in support of our shared vision – on the sites of SNP MPs and MSPs. As you say, Nicola Sturgeon has supported other marches, Pride, anti-Brexit etc. – but her own supporters? Where’s the support on her twitter feed?
    Not a good look.
    Today I, and no doubt others, are reconsidering our membership of the SNP.
    It’s not too late, but rapid, very rapid, recognition and appreciation of the wider Yes movement is now essential.
    It’s because the SNP has been so successful that there is a wider, much wider, Yes Movement.
    The SNP should take pride in this success and embrace it, not deride it.

  29. AndyMak says:

    Fed up with the lack of interest coming from the high heid yin’s in the SNP regarding support for the marches whilst channeling all their efforts into trying to save Britexit. The final push for me was Pete Wishart wanting to get his feet under the table at Westminster. I will now be cancelling my membership but will continue to support independence.

  30. indyman says:

    I read Wishart’s article and I thought he was trying to wind them up, threatening to update their stupid antiquated practices etc. He would be a real pain in their arses and he’ll never get the job in a million years. I mean if they have a problem with Bercow being too radical what chance does Wishart stand?

    And even if he did get the job it would not be any kind of comfortable gig at all. The whole Westmister establishment would be out to get him, along with their lapdog media and he is not stupid, he knows this. Please get real everybody, he’s ruffling feathers and winding them up.

  31. Bruce MacDougall says:

    It’s time for the SNP to have a closer relationship with the AUOB Marchers, perhaps if they had the arrest fiasco would not have happened. Not all of the marching public are SNP supporters, but in the interest of independence they should be if only temporarily. Also in view of the Gove threat the timing of the next referendum may need to be sooner rather than later. Time to take of the kid gloves and tell, not ask Westminster that the political Union is over, whether they like it or not.

  32. Cailean says:

    Well said Paul!! For me the writing was on the wall in the 2017 GE when Nicola made the statement that the election was NOT about Independence. After hearing that, I resigned from the SNP after nearly 40 years memnbership because I always believed that ALL elections were about Independence.. I think my decision was vindicated when she chose to address the anti-Brexit rally in London recently and not once address any of the Independence Rallies here in Scotland. My impression of Nicola is that she loves to play to the gallery & that gallery is London!!
    As for the slightly ridiculous Pete Wishart to put himself forward for the House of Commons speakership, it reinforces the impression that the SNP are far too comfortable with the constitutional status quo and not really concerned about Scottish Independence. They are NOT in Westminster to ‘settle up BUT to settle down’ as they frequently asssert.
    So the SNP hierarchy NEED to be told in no uncertain terms how the Independence community feel & that if changes are not made, from the very top, then they are betraying the core raison d’être of the party and why many joined in the first place, including me.
    Nach math a rinn thu!!

  33. MichaelC says:

    I’m not so sure Pete harbours any serious hope of becoming speaker but I think he is doing a good thing in highlighting something that the independence movement is only too well aware of but that many others seem to have a blind spot for. Westminster chooses to be dysfunctional, they actively support not just ceremony and tradition but also technology and processes from the 18th century. A bit of pomp and circumstance may (just may) be okay for a ceremonial occasion but it is wholly inappropriate to apply it to all aspects of government. If Scottish MPs can help them catch up with the last three of four hundred years of advancements that have passed them by it will be to our benefit too (we might even have had Scottish input into the Scotland Bill)

  34. diabloandco says:

    I’m saddened that so many think it wise to cancel membership of the only party that is likely to lead us from Westminster to independence and curious to know for whom they will vote in elections.
    I am ever wary of the media and its claims , indeed I look forward to the house of cards demise. I know they twist and spin the words of all who have the temerity to support independence so I am loathe to order up a firing squad as yet.
    I do believe that the crappy article in the Herald has achieved its goal in sowing dissent and that it knocked a lovely , incredibly well supported , well behaved , enormous march off the front pages and off the thing we call news from either of the two so called Scottish broadcasters.
    As for Mr Singh , well the march was well organised and quite frankly I am far from upset that it started off at a time other than the one so lately decided by GCC, – playing by the rules while others don’t seems tantamount to bringing a knife to the OK Corral in the hope you are going to survive.

    • Movy says:

      Unfortunately diabloandco often the only way to make your point is to hit people in their pockets.
      That may or may not mean that they’ll vote elsewhere – although Green is a real possibility – but it certainly could curtail the SNP’s efforts.
      The SNP need to build a bridge to the wider Yes movement very, very rapidly indeed.

  35. Iain Murray says:

    It has been often said that Scotland will gain Independence despite the SNP, Saturday and Sunday showed that the SNP leadership are out of touch with the vast majority of those seeking to see Scotland become free. This coupled with the economic case post independence being confined to a neo liberalism shows that the SNP leadership has failed to grasp that not only do the Scottish people want to see a sovereign nation free of Westminster diktat, there is a genuine desire to see a fairer nation which spreads its wealth amongst its citizens rather that to continue to pander to the bankers and off shore billionaires. Like many I look forward to the day when we get to vote for a parliament that will deliver elected members committed to delivering a fairer Scotland that eradicates poverty, truly ends the threat of fracking and creates a more equal nation.

  36. Scott Cameron says:

    Absolutey spot on again Paul and captures the reasons perfectly as to why I have resigned my party membership. I’ve been troubled by the party’s MO since they left Michelle Thompson out to dry and it says a lot about her that she was able to feel ready to rejoin the SNP. I certainly would not have been that forgiving.

  37. crabbitgits says:

    And now Pete Wishart adding his tuppenceworth: https://petewishart.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/we-must-conduct-our-debate-with-respect/

    I looked through the past 4 days of his twitter feed and can’t see anything relating to abuse. Maybe I missed something.

  38. Neil Morison says:

    I am an SNP member and will stay a member until we achieve independence, I can understand the frustration directed towards the Party but I think we are all letting our frustartions blind us to the goal. I do not agree with all things SNP but I also don’t think we can get independence without them. I have noticed an certain degree of SNP bad creeping into the indy movement and can’t help but wonder where that is emminating from? Yes Nicola could be a bit more open to the indy movement but perhaps we could bide our time and give her the benfit of the doubt, a final point, it appears that Saturday’s march was actually illegal and I’m sure the MSM would have given it plenty of spin if she had. So maybe we can hold our wheeshed for a little longer, stick together and get the job done and save giving out the report card till afterwards.

    • Millsy says:

      Who made it illegal ? A late change of timing from the Council ( SNP lead ) which would have badly disrupted many marchers attempts to be there .
      Let Nicola have a word with her SNP Glasgow Councillors and find out who tried to sabotage the march .

  39. achmony says:

    Severely disappointed with the rigid and disdainful attitude of the SNP leadership to the efforts of the pro-independence movement generally. The lack of its support for the AUOB marches, where the grassroots were given their chance to express their desires and dreams, was seen to be contemptuous and utterly deplorable. The blatant ‘toadying’ to the Brexit and British establishment and their atrocious and malign media cohort is also totally unacceptable. What are you playing at Peter Murrell and Nicola Sturgeon? You give the impression, that the two of you personally, must have complete and utter control of everything, and this appears almost dictatorial in its nature. Do you realise that you are seriously ‘pissing off’ your core support. I have been a supporter of the SNP for a long, long time but I am now seriously thinking of changing my allegiances. Wise up! Be seen to do the positive thing by embracing your core support, not deliberately distancing yourselves from it. Do it NOW!

  40. Very well said Paul. The March and Rally was a Brilliant event indeed.

    I am angry at the way GCC has treated Manny Singh, and AUOB, and all of us by extension.

    As you say, Not a good Look for SNP at all.

  41. Michael Laing says:

    “It was a massive own goal.”

    This is precisely what it is. I’ve been feeling tempted to write to Nicola Sturgeon personally using exactly those words, but I could hardly express my thoughts more effectively than you have. Obviously we must remain united behind the SNP – there’s no alternative to that – but a drastic, damaging and thoroughly depressing strategic blunder has been made here which can only serve the interests of the opponents of independence. I very much hope that Nicola Sturgeon and her associates are paying attention and will ensure that this never happens again.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Michael I did just that when it was obvious Alex Salmond was getting the same treatment as Michelle Thomson I cant remember getting a reply if i did it was probably some bland one . it was that memorable

  42. rullko says:

    It’s good that the non-party political independence campaign is growing strong enough to stand alone without support from the SNP. I say that as an SNP activist for over 50 years and counting.

    Once a party gets into Government it becomes the obvious home for those who want a political career. People join and stand for election who are at best apathetic about independence (and who 20 years ago would have happily joined Labour).

    Although they may not be antipathetic to indy they are suspicious of grass-roots-led movements such as AUOB and the political blogs which they do not control.

    It happened to the Red Clydesiders/Independent Labour Party in their time. It’s Animal Farm!

    But AUOB is an essential antidote to the media-backed Unionist chorus that nobody wants an indyref, and that voting (and by extension, democracy itself) is b-o-r-i-n-g.

    And wherever you get uncensored social media you get insults flying about. (Not just on political blogs – the worst probably come from the world of teenagers, where some get cyber-bullied to the point of suicide. Nobody blames teachers or parents for this.).

    I’m very very glad the SNP are in Government and can offer a political career to those who want it. It’s a different planet from when we were 15 folk marching behind a saltire!

    I still agree with most SNP policies. If I get irritated because the Greens are less cautious than the SNP I’m not naive enough to think that this radicalism would last if the Greens got within smelling distance of power. We must always be grateful to the SNP for getting us our devolved Parliament and for making independence mainstream. Cancelling SNP membership is counter-productive – any fall in SNP membership would be trumpeted everywhere as support for the Union.

    However it’s really really good that we no longer have to rely on the SNP for spreading the popularity of independence amonst the general electorate. With the younger generation relying on uncensored social media for their information, time is on our side there.

    We may have to rely on the SNP Government for negotiating independence if we ever manage to force the UK Government to grant us another referendum. But at present that’s a distance away. Holyrood has no leverage with Westminster: there’s no obvious roadmap.

    Meanwhile all strength to the grassroots YES groups!

    • Livia Burlando says:

      You make some very good points here. I moved from irritated with SNP, to furious, over the weekend, but they are still the only Indy game in town, and they’ve brought us a long way.

      The biggest risk for them is that they start to believe their voters have nowhere else to go.

  43. Far more eloquently conveyed that I could ever articulate, Paul; thank you.
    I have increasingly grown frustrated with the upper echelons of the party over the last year or so to the point that I have allowed my membership to lapse.
    I never thought I’d see that but until we get more Mhairi Blacks, Phillips Whitfords and Tommy Shepherds at the top and a few less, Robertsons, McDonalds and the likely, I will continue to view the SNP executive with the suspicion that has grown since Robertson managed to jerrymander the party into selling Scotland’s foreign policy to NATO.

  44. Dunphail says:

    This needed to be said by someone respected across the movement. I sincerely hope that the protagonists of “friendly fire” take heed and act accordingly.

  45. jim says:

    As a snp member feeling very betrayed by the snp’s attitude they should be getting on with the day job supporting the people who elect them.Not spending the time trying to save westmonster from the political suicide of brexit.

  46. Robert Graham says:

    Well that needed to be said and straight to the point Paul well done .

    If the British establishments aim was to undermine these marches , well they got their wish , and got it in spades assisted by a clueless SNP management structure .

    I have lost count of the times i and many others have pointed out the wrong approach is being taken with the BBC and the rest of the media in Scotland .

    They are following the same line that was taken with Michelle Thomson ( under a bus ) Alex Salmond ( under a bus ) last but not least the ” YES Movement as a whole ” , Christ when Neil Findlay takes the moral high ground in his reference to comments by someone in the SNP about “YES” supporters that should be the “LIGHT BULB MOMENT”

    This petty distancing of any involvement with Alex’s show on RT who have a truly massive online audience is baffling, apart from a few brave souls who have appeared there has been a complete blank , anyone who has seen these shows will be impressed by the variety of guests and the subjects covered , it is not wall to wall independence , so whats the problem ? .

    As is pointed out every time on U/Tube RT are funded wholly or in part by the Russian Government really no shit sherlock , now where does that put Aunty and our very own imparcial BBC .

    I really hope the people that should be taking heed regarding your artical are doing just that , this comes from a long standing member of the SNP .

  47. Livia Burlando says:

    I wanted to add that I felt very angry on behalf of you and some of the other important campaigners at the implication that you are living high on the hog on our contributions. Being told that from a politician who makes a very good living off the Indy movement via journalist that’s paid to trash it, is infuriating.

  48. David McCloskey says:

    Cannot stress strongly enough my total agreement with Paul. I have watched the party I love become a vehicle for the glorification of certain individuals who clearly have lost any intention towards gaining the primary goal of Independence for Scotland and appear to have settled into being well paid professional poiticians intent on protecting their positions and salary rather than fighting in the streets to gain what this country desperately needs. The attitude towards grassroots supporters of independence is almost unbelievable in that there is a clear desire to denigrate those not toeing the particular party line and seemingly looking down on these serfs as trash not fit to be considered by their worthinesses. I am sorry, but I have cancelled my donations and membership to the SNP. I remain totally committed to Independence, just not to continue to support people who have disappointed not only myself but broad swathes of true independence supporters or “trash” as they are known in the hierarchy of the SNP

  49. Macart says:

    Well said Paul.

  50. Witchy says:

    Might be the only way to make it up to the electorate is by declaring the date of the Indy Ref and clear up all misunderstandings. Not a member, but can see how frustrated people are becoming. I will vote for the SNP as Independence is the goal…won’t trust any other party…but patience is wearing thin….might take to my cave and throw stones at strangers if this continues! 😉

  51. Had to be said,Paul. Well done.
    I don’t know who heads the SNP Communications and Media Team, but they need to get a grip.
    The Brit Nat media are not your friends, or mates, or ex school chums, who ‘play with a straight bat, to quote Jolly Hockeysticks Supermom Davidson.
    They are in the pay of US Right Wing Moguls, the Brit Nat Establishment, and the Iron Heel Oligarchy.
    Send a haggis to sit in the chair next time Hang On A Minute, Just To Be Clear, Are You Sayin, ‘shedload of new powers following Brexit Gordon Brewer asks for a patsy for his next Sunday Politics Scotland farce, which last week featured Willie Rennie, one of a long list of monumental Brit Nat failures to discuss the English Council Elections.
    My ‘dinging’ TV licence money pays for this inane tripe.
    The quality of our journos and TV Front Men and Women has suffered disastrously from the culling of Independence minded communicators from their ranks. Those deemed not ‘One of Us’ have been sacked, downsized, rightsized or relocated to the Births Deaths and Marriages desk
    It’s the Law of Diminishing Returns.
    There is no bottom to the Brit Nat barrel. They’ve clawed right through to Mother Earth now.
    James Kelly as Health and sports Minister? Are some folk completely off their rocker?
    Can Anyone really imagine Davidson as FM and Murdo Fraser as Finance Secretary?
    There are sick jokes, then there are the Brit Nat Never Weres on the Holyrood benches.

    Yet Toodle Oo The Noo and Glen and Sarah and Andrew and Douglas big them up without question, hesitation, or challenge.
    The Revolution will be postponed no longer.

  52. Charles McGregor says:

    Yes Paul, my SNP membership is teetering and I joined it as a junior member at 16 in 1967.

  53. Ian Chisholm says:

    I agree 100% and have been posting in a similar line. The SNP leaders who criticised our own may have had leadership asperations …they will never be elected to that office now…which kind of makes the point their actions meant they were never fit. We need a ..fundy….as Leader of the Party…a different role to FM. Trouble is the mechanism for such a leader to emerge has been closed down. Its sad to see us on a road the Labour Party went…good governance asan end rather than a means. I thoughtbit would hapoen maybe a decade into indy where it would not have mattered…it matters happening now…it matters a lot.

  54. It seems a great deal of the commenters are a lot of unionist 5th columnists trying to create dissent in the independence ranks, beware.

  55. Colin Mccartney says:

    I sent my SNP European election funding request back in the return paid envelope, with a curt message and no money. “When you start supporting the Indy movement again, I will start supporting you again”.
    Also on the media, I simply can’t understand why they invite the worst of the unionist press to the almost daily press conferences ( and feed and water them ). They are going to make up SNPbaaaad stories anyway so let them do it in the comfort of their own cave.
    With the added extra of them missing anything of news interest, like an Indy Ref announcement. Tommy Sheridan did it beautifully with the Sun group a number of years back.

  56. Iona says:

    Absolutely brilliant, Paul. I’m an SNP member who took part in the AUOB march on Saturday. I am absolutely bemused by the SNP actions this weekend and have gone from cheering them on at the Edinburgh Conference just over a week ago, to now questioning my membership.

  57. Marie Clark says:

    Hear, hear Paul, well said. I was very disappointed to hear the remarks from the SNP trio at the weekend. Then lo and behold, a cooncillor then comes out and calls us trash. Trash, is that what they really think of us.

    We, the people who marched, leafleted, chapped doors and talked to folk and try and persuade them to vote yes. We the ordinary folk are the grassroots, it’s our movement. It was us , not the politician who did the heavy lifting, and we damned near got it over the line, frightening the establishment as never before.

    Aye, they, the SNP need to catch themselves on, that was disgraceful at the weekend. Scunnert. I suppose now after all the insults, they expect the trash to go out and vote for them in the EU elections. Jeezo.

  58. Clydebuilt says:

    Excellent article Paul.

    Yes there will be some unpleasant trouble makers on our side. Are they all genuinely on our side, can’t think of a better way of putting undecided voters off from looking at “Pro Indy” web sites than to dirty the name of Cybernats. Our strength on the Web is a long time target of the Union. So this weekend senior SNP figures enabled a Unionist attack. Really does make me wonder what side they are on.
    They dont seem to have the brains to work out that a high percentage of the “trouble makers” might be Unionist plants.

    If Robertson, Smyth or MacDonald had been used inadvertantly by the author of the Sunday Herald’s article then they would have taken to social media to rubbish the article.

    I haven’t read all the above replys yet , I am going to do so now.

    I doubt very much if the leadership (Keith Brown excepted) will pay any heed to what’s being said. I hope I am wrong.

  59. JGedd says:

    Excellent post, WGD, with which I wholeheartedly agree – as well as with many of the comments above.

    As you rightly point out, it begins to look suspiciously like what happened to the Labour party and sadly, given the nature of party politics, was almost inevitable. The so-called iron discipline of the SNP has had the unfortunate side effect of facilitating the domination of control freaks fortifying themselves within a bubble of perpetual self-affirmation. Those outside that bubble – which would seem to be us, the ordinary voter – become the enemy of their special vision.

    It became patently obvious that the Labour party similarly became distanced from their traditional voter base and the disdain that many of them had acquired towards their working class voters on climbing the career ladder became more and more apparent. With the advent of Blair as party leader it became obvious to me that I could no longer vote for them.

    That decision was vindicated when Labour came to power and started using terms such as “underclass” and “hard-working” poor to cunningly exploit the division that already existed among Labour voters. It was successful because it played to those among the working class who had benefitted from post-war Labour welfare reforms. Labour triangulation involved detaching those comfortable Labour voters and gathering the votes of middle-class “liberals” into their new voter base so that they were able to desert the still-struggling.

    I don’t think that this was merely a cold calculation to gain power but more disturbingly, fitted that growing lack of empathy that these often middle-class careerists had for those from the lowest stratum of society and thus they were able to pull up the drawbridge and concentrate on that part of society for which they could tailor winning policies.

    The point I am trying to come to – at some length – is that, unfortunately; those who might have entered politics hoping to bring about social justice can become seduced away form those ideals because of their very comfortable lifestyle and income bracket. You also have to remember that they tend not to socialise with ordinary voters but with others in the political class and those in the same income bracket as themselves. This could be the case with some in the higher echelons of the SNP. Psychologically, it can be difficult to maintain affinity with those with whom one has little social contact.

    This distance from ordinary voters can lead to the sort of impatient arrogance that we have witnessed this weekend and while I see unfortunate parallels with some of the hierarchy of the SNP to what happened to the Blairite Labour party, I have to say that while some of them may have thought it, none of the Labour party – to my knowledge – ever was crass enough to call any of their voters ” trash”. If someone like Neil Findlay can take the moral high ground, then you have reached a new low.

  60. Derek Bryce says:

    2Can it really be that Messrs McDonald, Smith and Robertson (expected more from you Angus!) are such media naifs to imagine that this wouldn’t be the intended outcome of their interview with a Toom Tabard like MacKay? I mean … seriously? If they’re political virgins from the village to that hilarious extent, I have to ask which alternate dimension they’ve been inhabiting for the past few years.

    I’m entirely unconvinced by Stewart McDonald’s frantic bit of repositioning and reputation management in the National today. It reeks of the worst kind of treacly, middle class, NuLab insincerity that put paid to Labour in Scotland. In fact it made me sick in my mouth a wee bit. Other posters are correct in identifying a tendency within some of the upper echelons of the SNP away from being a campaigning party and towards one that merely manages the expectations of its supporters. If it has escaped their attention that the tolerance of folk who’ve LENT their support to that party to get us over the line to independence is wearing thin, then this ought to act as a sharp corrective.

    The Unionist side hasn’t, isn’t and will not play nice with us. There is nothing in the history of the British state to suggest any such faint hope will be fulfilled. Thats why they’ve won so far. They are willing to say and do whatever it takes to defend their position and we must acknowledge that and grant it conditional respect. We must do likewise. This pearl clutching and reaching for the smelling salts by the likes of Stewart McDonald and Alyn Smith at ‘cybernats’ and AUOB marchers whilst they preen and bat their lashes for a morsel of attention from our political enemies ain’t gonna get us to indy. It might very well get a comfy sinecure in a management consultancy, think tank or Unionist paper for them though. Tell you what, gents, when I want to read inspirational voices on Indy these days, I don’t go to the latest milquetoast SNP press release, I consult truly brave voices like Lesley Riddoch and Ruth Wishart … and I’m a party member (for now).

    Guys grow a pair, ffs! Deference is dead and Scotland is watching and taking note.

  61. Brian Powell says:

    Because of the attempts of Unionists of all kinds during the Referendum and since to connect the SNP/Nicola Sturgeon to any action purported to be from SNP/Ind supporters the SNP did keep a distance from the Yes activities.
    Then on Sunday three senior members appeared in an article where they took responsibility for all activity from suppose Yes supporters, undoing all the work of the last 5 years.
    It was a setup and they walked into it.
    Stewart McDonald tried to clear it up what he meant but a bit to late to do much, and as Paul points out not a bit of praise for the march and the joyful occasion.
    Nicola Sturgeon did say after the last Edinburgh march, during the Conference, that it made her heart glad to see it. Pd course that wouldn’t be heard outside the Conference.

  62. Terry Callachan says:

    Weegingerdug not practicing what it preaches .
    You could have sent a message to “the SNP” or whoever it is in the SNP you are addressing this story to.
    Publishing it online like this ? Gee ,
    Who’s side are you on ?
    Yeah, that’s me asking YOU the very same question
    Do you like it ?
    You making the very mistake the GB nats want you to make

  63. Contrary says:

    Very good article Paul, and I think most anything that I would have said has already been said. The SNP hierarchy are portraying themselves to be so much better than the rest of us. That is embodied by the use of the word ‘trash’ with no qualifiers. I am angry on a number of levels, and I think we will all have a long memory on this one.

    I have indeed noticed that you never criticise others in the independence movement, and I really really appreciate it – I get sick of the pointless moaning and whining and snide remarks that seem to keep most of the public figures entertained – appreciated to the extent I have donated the paltry sum that might have gone towards the ill-deserving SNP beggars to yourself – at least I know what the money will be used for (at a stretch you may be able to afford bread and milk for the week!).

  64. DaveM says:

    Thank you, Paul. The SNP appeared so sure-footed a few years ago; now they’re tripping themselves with their own shoelaces. Too used to power, complacent, and managerial. They are worrying me.

  65. Brian Powell says:

    The article the three appeared in will be used again and agin to link SNP Leadership to any supposed Yes activity that is deemed bad by the MSM and politicians.
    They will now have to spend valuable time and energy arguing that was not what they meant, if they had just kept out of the setup that wouldn’t be needed.

  66. 100%Yes says:

    At this very moment the British state is hard at work preparing now with every single Tory or unionist making it clear if FM asked for a section 30 order it will not be granted and preparing Davidson as next leader and she has the full backing of the UK and the media. And what is the SNP doing we have set up Progress Scotland for polling that should have been done 1-2 years ago when we knew we where leaving on 29.03.19 but we have a leader who is petrified to make a decision just in case it’s wrong. I find that very worrying and even more concerned that she adamant that Scotland should proceed to ask for a section 30 order when she been told it won’t be granted and we have to wait a further 18 month to hold a referendum in witch we can’t hold without Westminsters permision. For anyone who has been following this fiasco since brexit happened think back to the beginning of 2017 when the leadership of the SNP stating that we should wait to have a further Holyrood election before we called a further referendum, ask yourself this what game is being played here and I bet it’s not about Independence. I have stated this more than once we should get rid of Sturgeon and put Joanna Cherry in her place she stand up to the media and she is very strong and she liked unlike sturgeon who most Scots can’t take to her at all and wouldn’t vote for Independence because of her.

  67. Joyce says:

    Spot on!

  68. G H Graham says:

    Nicola Sturgeon is regrettably too distracted by gender related issues; equal opportunity employment quotas, universal access to toilets & free sanitary products. It appears that now she’s at the helm, independence takes second place to social re-engineering. It’s time for someone else to step up & boot her out of office before the grassroots support evaporates.

    • Millsy says:

      These same issues appeared to be a distraction and led to the fiasco of the Salmond court case , where Nicola and her appointed chief of the Civil service did not come out smelling of roses .

  69. Tom says:

    A question for Paul (rhetorical only, obviously): are you concerned that The National has turned into such an uncritical fanzine for the SNP?

  70. Welsh Sion says:

    Watch and learn, Cymru from the experience my Scottish friends are going through at the moment.

    I joined the SNP in the way that I joined a political Party which was leading the charge for the independence of its country, and which I, at least, could respect as an ‘older brother.’ Despite Plaid Cymru (my other Party Membership) being founded earlier, the SNP always appeared more mature somehow, more open-minded, more international. It also was (and is) more ‘professional’ than ‘the little Party’ (as Lloyd George and subsequent Nat-bashers) used to call Plaid Cymru. the SNP got more media coverage (including negative stories, obviously) than Plaid Cymru ever did – a feat that continues to this day.

    Maybe Scotland has always been an ‘older brother’ to us Welshies – and we had (and still have) much to learn from you in our pursuit of independence. However, I fear that the SNP leadership may be driving itself up a cul-de-sac with the latest shenanigans – and perhaps repeating similar mistakes made by Plaid Cymru in the 1980’s. A careerist President took us into the wilderness then and transformed himself from Marxist firebrand to Establishment figure, quango chairman, fawner of Charles Windsor (our titular Prince … aye right), Member of the House of Lords, Presiding Officer of the 1st National Assembly and latterly Culture Minister in a Labour Government, having left Plaid Cymru.

    And to what end? His own self-advancement … and to hell with grassroots and us the hard-workers for independence. One who thinks that the Welsh language is now ‘safe’ from extinction and that those who refuse to pay their BBC licence fees or fight on for our beloved language are ‘whingers’, while he himself sups in the right places, hob-nobs with the (English) Establishment and then dons the ermine despising the ‘wee folk’ of his own nation.

    Please, Nicola et al. Pull back from the brink. I have always looked up to you and your Party as a role model for my country and our mutual goal of the joys of independence. As I mentioned, being the ‘older brother’ (or ‘sister’, if you prefer) we knew we could look up to you and we could enjoy each others company and learn from each other – as good siblings do. On a personal level, it was your broad-mindedness that brought me to your Party before my own National Party. (The personal feelings remain – my songs and fables for independence are more inspired by Scotland’s struggle than by Cymru’s.)

    So, Scotland: Don’t do the classic Welsh football team thing – and miss out on independence or qualifying for the next World Cup by losing your last match – when a draw against a weakened, divided opposition would have been enough to see you through.

    Although I am an agnostic, I would say “God Bless, Scotland!” and I offer my heartfelt and sincere love and support to my friends in Caledonia at this difficult time.

  71. Andy Anderson says:

    As a Yesser who has in the last six or so months listened to SNP friends in Yes movement I am dismayed that no SNP branch, none has been working for independence since the Brexit referendum. Why? Why?

    My message is you have since then let Scotland down. Stop worrying about media opinions just get on with it. You have wasted three years campaigning.

    The unionist side never stopped after Sept 14 so why did you.

  72. Christopher Bruce says:

    At the moment, Scottish independence seems rather more important to a lot of us than it does to the SNP.
    No political party can be free of criticism, it’s the nature of the beast however, not criticising the SNP when they don’t call the bbc out over blatent lies, when they don’t even mention the thousands that have marched over the years, when they don’t refute the inane blathering of fluffy, Roothie and that Labour bloke, then they are effectively aiding and abetting those that stand against us.

    I believe that the SNP is the body that will deliver independence for Scotland but they need reminding that it is us that are making the SNP.
    I am seriously concerned that they are taking too long to act.
    The self agrandising forces against Scotland aren’t sitting there twiddling their thumbs, they are planning and acting to minimise Scotland’s opportunities to escape londons choking grasp.
    Ignore that reality and you are a fool.
    It’s no good chastising people that highlight the very real frailties of the SNP as people that want independence to “fail”.
    When a ‘fools mate’ is available to you, it is not wise to continue the game just because there might be a simpler way.
    In our electioneering, for over ten years, in our marches, we have told the SNP we are ready for independence. And that’s because we are.
    The SNP has focused on Brexit. Had they put half the energy they used on the Brexit game, into indy, we would now be independent.
    The fringe and potential members see the SNP prevarication, see them not calling out the bbc, see them avoiding confrontation, but these are the very people we want on side.
    The faithful just innanely say, ‘Isn’t everything lovely. I trust the SNP to do it right.’
    The SNP have effectively given the tories, red or blue, two years to set traps, asset strip, starve us of funds, find new ways to reduce the Barnet links that protect our NHS.
    Who among you will defend that?
    In my opinion, this delay is a severe strategic error.
    No government in London has ever been so weak and disorganised as Westminster is today.
    So, it seems the Holyrood plan is to let them recover, reform their ranks, focus on matters further from them than their own front doors, and expect that to make the task of gaining independence easier?

    Of course, I could be wrong. Have been before!

  73. Douglas Gregory says:

    Can we stop and consider that maybe the SNP leadership have made a conscious decision not to support AUOB events not because they are not wanting to support grass roots movements but because they have an issue with AUOB?

    In a similar way that Paul does not criticise other Indy supporters I do not either. I had to draw a line in the sand with AUOB though. A few months ago their Facebook posts took a massive nosedive in quality. There were comments that were borderline anti English and a series of other things that were posted that were just dodgy. There were people openly suggesting that there was a false flag whiff about the place.

    They lost a few followers at this point in time and if I was in the SNP leadership I would be giving them a wide berth too. Paul I utterly respect the vast majority of what you write but AUOB have a FB policy which demonstrates that they can loose the heid more often than they should. Wide berth deserved.

    • Millsy says:

      AUOB ”a false flag ” ? So getting 50,000-100,000 people out on the streets of Glasgow to support Independence is actually a Union ruse ? Is that what you are saying ?
      Too deep for me !

      • Douglas Gregory says:

        That’s not what I’m suggesting, they clearly aren’t. What I’m saying is that for a period ( and I unfollowed them because of) they were posting some dodgy stuff, so much so, that people were basically saying ‘WTF is this for real’. We have to be squeaky clean and that means that the SNP leadership team cannot endorse people posting away like a bunch of bams no matter how good a rally they organise.

    • Les Bremner says:

      Douglas, Could you please expand and give us details about what is behind your statement “there was a false flag whiff about the place”? I am an active follower of AUOB and I have no idea what you mean. If there is something which needs to be addressed, I would be grateful to know about it.

  74. Colin says:

    I posted over on wings after the last general election that I thought Nicola Sturgeon should step aside. The reasons being that she had been tarred with the same brush as Alex Salmond and in the face of such an obvious stitch up during the election campaign by the media she seemed unable to counter it in the slightest. The lack of fight was disturbing to me.
    After the lack of powers that came Scotland’s way after 2014 the SNP should have been the spearhead of outrage in the British media. There appeared to be none. I was rounded upon by fellow commentors over on wings at the time of my comment, I’ve hardly posted there since although I do still read the comments several times daily.
    Jean Freeman to me seems like just the kind of no nonsense person who doesn’t speak too much in that waffly way too many politicians of all kinds seem to these days. She puts the headlights into a daze and then fear before the killer blow instead of the other way around. As good a politician as Nicola is, she’s damaged goods and I would hope that after announcing the second referendum on indy would immediately step aside to throw off much of the work done to smear her and give the main indy party a better fighting chance of achieving its long stated goal.

  75. Catherine says:

    Thank you again Paul for this. What a disappointing few days it has been. I didn’t go to the March….too many aches and pains these days………but my husband did……the first March he has ever been to, but he feels so strongly about independence that he wanted to go….and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He and I both feel so let down at what has happened since then. We are both SNP members and are so disappointed in the three ‘senior’ SNP members and their comments in the Paper at the weekend. Also disappointed in the SNP … at the top, didn’t acknowledge the success of the March, … Well organised, huge crowd, peaceful, family day. So glad that you are here Paul, and continue to inspire us, and give us hope. Keep on doing what you are doing.

  76. Clive Scott says:

    Perhaps it would have been better to end the march at Pacific Quay with a blockade of the BBC if the objective was to gain attention or at the very least make the unionists and Britnat apologists within the building feel the heat. The best bit about Saturday in terms of entertainment was the pathetic counter “demonstration” from the 20 or so infuriated unionists in George Square.

  77. Colin says:

    To add to my previous comment, there just seems to be too many own goals coming from the SNP when facing the British media. It’s not as if wee ginger dug or any other decent bloggers who actually represent the best part of the indy community are appearing on or even being invited to comment in the mainstream media including our supposedly Scottish Broadcasters. Infact there’s many different points of attack we should be making but just aren’t allowed to because of the apparent timidity of the SNP. I was there on Saturday, I will be on every major march I can possibly attend until we gain our indy. I will vote SNP at every election including the first election of an indy Scotland but after that. Who knows?

  78. scotchcamel says:

    Well put as ever. Some points for you that come from your reference to Labour taking its own supporters for granted, and that being the reason for them (later than anyone could realistically have betted) losing their support base in Scotland. I think you – or those of your readers who head this far down the comments – are probably better able to judge how relevant these are to your current situation than I am.

    First, as early as the 1950s there was a substantial body of study analysing why a socialist movement with such high levels of support Britain-wide could have achieved so little. The core answer was – of course – the one you’ve hinted at. A movement that once appeared to have been about essential change had turned into one fascinated by the institutions it had once threatened to overturn.

    Why was this?

    There was never a single answer. But here’s some of mine.

    1. The hollowing of autonomous labour institutions. The “Labour Party” sought to dominate rather than negotiate with other labour-centred power bases. It succeeded so well that in contemporary English usage the word refers more to a political party than to work or the working-class, but it never lost the knee-jerk habit of seeking to destroy any kind of left-wing or working-class organisation that did not worship ‘the Party’ wholeheartedly.

    2. The corruption of power. I don’t mean the temptation to profit illegitimately from high position, though you’ll know plenty about how that happened in the Labour Party in Scotland.

    This is comparatively trivial compared to the isolation that positions of apparent power place their holders in, and the extent to which people can change under that pressure. For a socialist, becoming an MP is like going on Big Brother for five years. What is remarkable, to me, is that not all of them have been sell-outs from the off. Consider being that MP:

    The family home changes. It’s now, usually, hundreds of miles from the people you wanted to represent. It takes half a day to get back to the constituency, and you manage it less and less often.

    Nobody you see on a daily basis actually meets those people. It therefore becomes relatively easy to believe those you once sought to advance are just obstructive strangers, who don’t really understand how things work in the place you now live in.

    But you do meet a lot of media people, a lot of politicians, and some lobbyists. These are the only people you ever meet as equals. Except when you go back to knock doors come election time, the only people you meet who are still working-class are the ones serving your drinks and cleaning your house.

    Luckily for you a good few of your new friends amongst the media, politicians and lobbyists look (or sound) working-class. And after the first few weeks or years, you feel a certain comfort in them understanding your language whilst your old comrades don’t. Once a decade or two has gone by you start thinking maybe you got elected because you were a bit cleverer than your old comrades, and they ought to trust you more and question less…

    3. Legalism. The Labour Party’s first urgent task, shortly after it was founded, was to ensure that trade unions would be able to continue to fund it; and that it could not be perceived as doing anything illegal. It prioritised this over other objectives so much that it took barely longer than a single electoral term for the first accusations of selling-out over policy issues to appear.

    Oddly, this attachment to the appearance of legality was also to cover habitual criminal corruption at lower levels. Although it was often difficult to find out about this because of…

    4. The disappearance of Labour media. I don’t know whether this happened in Scotland or England in the same way as it happened in Wales. But here a smattering of socialist and socialistic newspapers and newsletters of the early Twentieth Century dropped away quickly once labour qua Party became a clear electoral favourite.

    Labour MPs probably weren’t too bothered by this – it meant that criticism of them from the left wouldn’t have anywhere effective to go. Labour councillors, by the 1970s, relied on it – with the unexpected resurgence of muckraking journalism burying over 20 councillors careers in Swansea alone.

    5. The myth of unity. This is the only one of my points where I’m clearly arguing against commonplace belief.

    Every Labour leader has desperately stressed the necessity of ‘unity’.

    But because they insisted on ruling out all the awkward types who weren’t willing to follow the party line on all matters, they ruled out all of the discussions and arguments that actually made politics interesting – and they have destroyed the possibility of Labour supporters freely working together despite (or through) their disagreements.

    They also restricted the legitimate “Labour Party” view to a single one – with all debate turned into weakness. (Socialists and Communists to the left often amplified this by talking about the Labour Party as if it was the only possible focus for political action no matter what the subject.)

    But, whisper it, unity is not strength. And it never has been.

    Strong political movements are remarkable for their fractiousness, division and sense of perpetual crisis. When it looks like everything’s going professionally and smoothly, when the big players bury their differences in common cause, it’s not a sign of strength. It’s weakness.

  79. George says:

    You’re right, they’re wrong. ’nuff said.

  80. Big Jock says:

    Thank you for expressing all of our feelings so comprehensively.

    Hate to say it but Nicola might need to go. She is becoming obsessed with staying in power for another term.

    The section 30 should have been requested 2 years ago. When refused we should have gone to court. The case would have been finalised months ago. We are essentially starting 2 years behind.

    Nicola has no intention of having Indy ref 2. She is duping all of us.

  81. Gerald Keogh says:

    I cannot dispute your rights to the opinions you all have written, however, I am truly saddened that those opinions will be very much enjoyed by the opposition and weegingerdug must surely take all the credit with his friendly Blog.

  82. Catherine says:

    Yes Gerald… but isn’t it great that we all feel comfortable enough to express our honest opinions in this blog without fear of abuse…..and I think that is down to the example that Paul sets… The opposition…..well…that’s up to them ….. It shouldn’t stop us…..

  83. […] wrote this before seeing this excellent article from Paul Kavanagh, which makes precisely the same arguments. Paul commands much broader respect […]

  84. My membership is automatic. Being a card carrying member is only to support the general principles of the party.

    For a while I put down the apparent shortcomings of the SNP leadership to vacillation and uncertainty in relation to the Brexit, there being so many strategic permutations at play.

    With this complete capitulation to the establishment agenda on cybernattery, I am changing my mind. Clearly there is scant understanding of internet reality in the depths of Dumbiedykes.

    Possibly there is infiltration from some agency or branch of the deep police, deliberately creating division or threatening, bribing or blackmailing significant figures. Possibly it is cowardice. Maybe unpublicised internal disagreements creating a climate of indecision. Maybe just incompetence. Perhaps the usual political inertia of power. Possibly just lack of vision and plain stupidity. Or some combination of all of the above. I don’t know yet. But I have no more illusions.

    Whatever else, as a statement of principle, I will continue to carry the card and will do so until this country is no longer ruled from afar.

  85. ScotsCanuck says:

    … aye, Paul … as I posted before … it appears Nicola appears more interested in saving the English from themselves than saving Scotland from the worst of English Nationalism … what now ?
    … while I don’t doubt Nicola’s commitment to Independence … I do doubt her ability to attain it … I can only see Alex Salmond returning to lead …. he scared the “living crap” out the establishment !!

    • Aye. He did that. But “investigations” into the alleged offenses he committed are now in the hands of the cops, who will take as much time as needed properly to uncover the truth. I’m sure it’s just coincidence though that this happened now. Really I am.

      • Millsy says:

        …and the Police investigation will be so thorough that it will not be until AFTER the next Indy Referendum that they will be able to announce that ” no further action will be taken against Mr Salmond .”

  86. alanm says:

    This has echoes of Labour’s efforts to distance itself from the trade unions. The political calculation was that trade union members had nowhere else to go and so could easily be ignored and/or talked down as part of a concerted campaign to broaden the party’s electoral appeal. Before Labour woke up and smelled the coffee their core support had melted away and their political opponents were dictating policy positions. Let’s not make the same mistake.

  87. Kenzie says:

    I still think we’re being hoodwinked.

    • In October when the battered old Brexit can at long last hits the buffers and Labour, The Red Tories, has sold out its core Remain support by saving their own well paid skins and co-signing the Blue Tories’ Hard Boiled/No Deal Brexit suicide note, then there is no more ‘wait and see’ wriggle room.
      Nicola Sturgeon will fire the starting gun BY October.
      But it may well be sooner than that, if WM cobbles together a neither fish or foul Withdrawal Package now, before the summer Recess.
      The SNP Government has a clear mandate to call Indyref 2 if there is a ‘material change’ which takes Scotland out of the EU against the express wishes of the Scottish People.

      This set of conditions is about to converge, either now, or by the autumn.

      Patience, troops.
      It is all about to kick off.

      There is no common platform within the AOUB, except Scottish Self Determination. When do we want it? ‘Now!’.

      The Gathering on Saturday witnessed Labour Tory Liberal Green SNP Marxist Nihilist Devout Christians, Muslims, Sikhs Buddhists Agnostics Atheists plumbers lawyers doctors nurses bankers the unemployed young old well infirm men woman and the nine genders in between and even some politicians walk ‘arm in arm together’ to show the world that there is a ground swell of support for a Referendum on Scotland’s future NOW.

      • Les Bremner says:

        Jack, I agree. The reason the AUOB marches are successful is in the title.

        The all-inclusive title attracts people from all walks of life, those of political affiliations and those who despise politics.

        They are the grassroots of Independence, and politicians who don’t take account of that fact are being not just naive or simply stupid, but even dangerous.

  88. Scott Surgener says:

    Part of the reason for Scottish Independence is to have our elected representatives closer to us and therefore more accountable. Perhaps this is an opportunity to test the theory out.
    The SNP are there to further the cause of Independence. By not supporting the AUOB movement they are not doing so and are shooting themselves in the foot.
    It should be demanded, by the people that voted for them, that they get their strategy in line with the broader Indy movement before serious damage occurs.

  89. Tatu3 says:

    We knew Westminster would play dirty near the end. Maybe we should all step back and count to 10 , let the mud fall, then fight back.
    Just keep voting SNP for a wee while longer. We’ve come a long way. Don’t give up now, it’s what Westminster want (and are achieving by the looks of it, reading above posts). Remember the England/Scotland 6 Nations rugby match? We were losing SO badly 31-0 at half time. But we didn’t give up, we got up and fought back. That’s what we should do now.

  90. Bob Lamont says:

    Whatever reasons lie behind SNP leadership’s prevarications over Indy2, (Brexit, tea-leaf alignments, uncertainty, polls, career prospects, threat of martial law), patience among the wider Yes movement is frayed, so the timing and format of the Sunday Herald stitch-up hit all the nerves intended, but context is everything in propaganda, nerves are exposed, divide and conquer.
    The AUOB charge following thereafter caused uproar after such a good humoured and peaceful march, and even though it will get far beyond the Police or Procurator Fiscal, it hit those same raw nerves.
    The Sunday Herald is in grave danger of suffering the same fate as the Sun in Liverpool, GCC have some serious questions to answer, Ruth the Mooth will be rubbing her hands with glee.

    However naively the SNP blundered into this, it is but the opening salvo in a dirty campaign which will make 2014 look like a tea-party. It can be no coincidence that this blows up when EU elections are just around the corner and SNP set to romp it, can it?
    Despite silence thus far from SNP, there will be feverish activity going on to figure out the who, why and how. Well expressed articles such as these will inform considerations for sure, but whatever else comes from their deliberations, I sincerely hope chain-mail gloves make an appearance.
    Ultimately SNP then the Greens remain the only electoral choices for independence whatever PR mess they make or the reasons behind it or indeed their membership numbers, and that will be a harder nut for the propagandists to crack.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Oops, the bit on the AUOB charge should have been a negative, I cannot imagine it getting beyond the Police or Fiscal since there no public disorder nor disruption arose from it.
      It was bureaucratic idiocy for the GCC to have kicked it off in the first place, they would be wise to withdraw the complaint entirely.

  91. Frank Lynch says:

    I’m a long term member of the SNP: I leaflet; I canvass; I go to SNP fundraisers; I attend the conferences.

    And now, I’m heartily sick of the caution; the constant deferral to a biased Scottish Media; letting the Unionist organizations get off Scot-free with their dissembling and bare-faced lies.

    And for an SNP-run Scottish council to threaten the jail against a fellow independence traveler? SNP cojones aren’t something in great evidence in Glasgow just now, regardless of how ‘hard’ Glaswegians are portrayed.

    We are receiving our orders from HQ currently in relation to the EU elections, but I’m finding it harder each time to get out there when the leadership does nothing more than try to show the opposition they’re ‘getting on with the day job’ of not scaring the horses.

    Once, I would use the following quote from George Orwell to describe Labour’s accommodation with capitalism and Tory unionism. As things go it would fit the SNP at this moment:

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    • Frank Gillougley says:

      Yes, sad to say at times it can begin to look like this as you describe, and also the well worn observation that all bureaucracies are self-preserving and self-perpetuating. However, there was an absolutely precise eloquence from Kevin McKenna in The National in a wonderfully succinct request/challenge/ultimatum? to the SNP leadership.

      ‘So, get your fingers out your arses and get real.’

      A Brexit no deal is unfolding in slow motion before us and what do we do? Perpetuate yet another unionist myth as part of the political strategy to gather more undecideds into the fold and institute yet more discussion groups on the benefits of independence (as if this hasn’t been happening in the last 50 years!)

      In saying that, I have NEVER seen so many comments on a WGD post, so at least there is something healthy in the real body politic.

      On a lighter note, I know the bar is awfully low and no disrespect to Limbo dancers, but there are more comments here on one cybernat blog than attended the scottish tory party whatever the other week.

      Now, that has to say something.

      • Kenzie says:

        “there are more comments here on one cybernat blog than attended the scottish tory party whatever the other week.”

        Nice observation which I’m sure hasn’t gone unnoticed

  92. Daisy Walker says:

    Thank you Paul for your article. (As always).

    I’ve been very afraid that the SNP have not been keeping their powder dry, but deliberately pulling their punches, for a while now. I keep hoping against hope.

    A remark was made about the motives being about ‘trying to get money out of the YES movement’.

    Twice now the SNP have asked for money for Indy (since the 2014 defeat) and both times I see no schedule for how they intend to spend it, or evidence that they intend to spend it. And their record during IndyRef1 was extremely poor compared to the likes of WBB.

    If they want my money, I want to see a costed out, planned out, schedule for Billboards, including mobile ones. I don’t want insipid slogans like ‘stronger for Scotland’ – that converts no-one. I want info graphics and myth busters – like the PV lot have done down in England.

    For 3 years we and the SNP have rung our hands at the nasty MSM and the BBC – and the official SNP response at Deputy leader level has been – ‘its always been like that, what can you do.’

    Well you can roll out the Billboards, and you can ask people to download the posters from the website and print them off and display them on your cars (every car’s a billboard) and windows, and you can select one topic per time period (like the economy) and swamp Scotland with info, so that come the GERS time of year people just laugh.

    Scotland trades more than 4 times as much with England than it does with EU…. aye right, and much of that is ‘leccie – whit they gonnae dae, sit round a candle.

    Well done to all who marched in Glasgow, I couldn’t make that one, I look forward to the next. Once again, you were a very public credit to peaceful protest. An absolute asset.

    Like many I hope Pete Wishart’s attempt to become Speaker of the House is him trying to troll WM, however, since he cannot publicly admit that, the other edge of it is, it also trolls SNP/Indy supporters, and it is extremely naive of him not to know this.

    Westminster now has an incredibly powerful tool now, call his bluff, give it to him. He will be extremely isolated if he takes it (Westminster can deal with that), they will look fair to offer it to him and in reality he would be forced to decline it. Utterly stupid – and for what, so he can claim ‘poor Scotland’ if they turn him down. That’s not winning votes, that’s playing to a ‘grievance monkey’ audience.

    If we go back to what we know…. the establishment is bricking it about the Scots getting anywhere near the ballot box, in any capacity what so ever. And they have to hold the EU elections on 23/5/19

    If there are members of the SNP who are deliberately there to spike, or sabotage Indy (and if there are not, then it will be the first time in history the British Establishment have not done so) then, I really think we need to see past – and play past – this most recent incident.

    And vote SNP or Green. If they win big, the message is simply YES. If they lose by even a little bit, the Unionists win, and current SNP leadership become even more timid.

    Right just now, its our own SNP Leadership’s feet that we need to hold to the fire.

    One last thing, there is an argument that all criticism (including constructive ideas) of SNP, should only be done at local meetings. The danger of that is gatekeepering.

    They say a lie can get half way round the world while the truth is still getting its boots on.
    Well a good idea can get all the way round the world in the same time period, if people are allowed to speak it, and those in positions of power are not too insecure to allow it to be heard. That was and is the power of the YES movement.

    I’ll be voting SNP in the upcoming EU elections, not because I don’t have reservations about the current SNP leadership, but because I do – they have made commitments, I’m holding them to them.

  93. Clapper57 says:

    Spot on. I am very angry at the SNP. I am a member and I am seriously considering cancelling my membership.

    I, for one, fail to see why some in the SNP hierarchy seem to be falling over themselves to give support to the ‘people’s’ vote yet distance themselves from the AUOB marches and indeed those supportive of them on twitter ..I appreciate that some in the SNP understand the importance of the grassroots movement and to them I say thank you.

    Labour in Scotland paid the price for taking Scots for granted and assuming our votes were in the bag….if the SNP are now adopting this strategy then they too may find their vote is impacted at a time when it is crucial that they unite and increase their support.

    I cannot understand this latest strategy that was deployed by certain individuals to choose NOW as an appropriate time to attack those of us who have supported them, defended them and voted for them in numerous elections…….and intended to support them in the ultimate vote for independence.

    It worries me that it seems as if the SNP, as a party, plays into the hands of those who want to see their demise and are only too willing to pander to their detractors interpretation of us who comment online as being abusive cybernats.

    What an own goal they have given and I for one find it hard to fathom why they thought “Now is the time” to voice such negative and insulting onslaughts towards many of us who have been there for them when the media have not…..someone should have a word in Nicola’s ear and advise her that this will lose many of their current support while, I suspect, win few new supporters.

    What next ( I dread to think) and who would have predicted this stupidity ?

  94. markrussell20085017 says:

    Well said, Paul. I had hoped the SNP would withdraw all their MPs from Westminster as the Brexit shambles unfolded and it was clear that the best interests of the UK government and the Scottish people were incongruous. Can’t quite comprehend why Pete Wishart would consider an application for the Speaker – seems like a spectacular own goal after Mundell’s comments at Scottish Questions earlier. Haven’t read Wishart’s ‘manifesto’ – but would be interested if he has indeed written that he will abandon his position on independence, if he is elected.

  95. Scozzie says:

    What you wrote in this article needed to be said and I hope the SNP listen hard.

    Some people spin Nicola Sturgeon’s caution as being clever political tactics. She is a gradualist not an agitator. The problem of gradualism is you can lose momentum and support. If Alex Salmond was still leader he would be going for the jugular with this perfect storm of Brexit and the sheer incompetence of this WM government – he would most certainly have announced a date without question. You can’t always have all your ducks in a row in politics and you need to take your killer blow on the chess board when the moment presents itself. This ‘waiting for the Brexit fog to clear’ shows uncertainty and hesitancy. That does not play well in galvanising a movement for independence – the party should be on the attack.

    For me, the writing was on the wall at the 2017 election when hardly a word of independence was spoken – that’s not a political party driving forward to achieve its goal! If I see another lectern with ‘hope’ written on it at an SNP conference I’ll bloody scream! Where is the determination to achieve our goal – we don’t want hope we want action and results!

    As for recent events, well in theory the SNP should be riding on the crest of a wave with this massive show of support of independence marchers making their desires felt marching on the streets What do they do – ignore the marches and criticise so called ‘cybernats’.

    I sadly foresee the SNP will be looking for yet another mandate at the 2021 elections. I don’t think Nicola has the guts. I fear this Citizen’s Assembly is a delaying tactic. Sometimes in politics you have to take risks – this is their time to take that risk. Announce a date and begin the campaign.

  96. Craig P says:

    All things have their time, and when the SNP took power in 2007 I guesstimated we had maybe 20 years max before they went the way of Labour in Scotland and became complacent and corrupt.

    Has it started?

    • Robert Louis says:

      I agree with most of the postings here, but this specific point your raise, has also been a fear of mine. We even have seen it at Westminster, good governments start to make bad decisions then lose support.

      I do think, there are some within the high level SNP who have forgotten who put them there. Hence, we have their ‘irritation’ at people daring to question what they said at the weekend. And the spectacle of cpuncillors linked to the FM in her constituency office calling some indy supports ‘trash’.

      They have become complacent, and are I feel falling into the very same trap that Labour in Scotland fell into. They are taking their voters or core support for granted. As in, ‘well, we don’t need to worry about indy supporters, since they will always vote SNP, anyway’. Labour did that, assuming that Scots would always vote Labour to ‘stop the Tories getting in’, and they stopped caring about or even listening to Scotland. Just look at Labour now, in 3rd place behind a Rabid gobsh*te Tory who is utterly devoid of principles, ethics or policies.

      As for Pete Wishart and his ‘wizard wheeze’ of standing for speaker, I just despair. If it is to ‘show up’ Westminster, it won’t work, and seriously why would he ever want to be speaker, since his supposed goal is leaving Westminster – isn’t it?. Even if he were elected to be speaker, their is no way on this planet that Westminster would simply sit back and let him change things – so his ‘manifesto’ is stupidity personified. They would have a HoC vote to alter the standing orders etcc, to prevent it. It is just a stupid piece of self indulgent nonsense, by somebody who I had previously thought more of.

      I, like others, kept quiet about my concerns for a long time, but eventually spoke out and also recently left the SNP, and am regularly called a yoon troll, over on wings, in response. Despite the fact I was one of the many at the SECC hydro cheering NS with my big foam finger when she took over the leadership. How things have changed.

      My view is really rather simple. We will never have a clear picture’ of brexit plans’, since even after the withdrawal agreement, their will be years of trade dealing and negotiations. So, I can see no reason to delay calling a referendum, and the tosh about section 30’s needs to end. By playing such a card, the FM sets precedent, in that it is Westminster’s gift to withhold or permit a referendum, and we know that simply is NOT the case.

      The situation is not irredeemable, but it will need active movement on independence, not just gestures. It will require the leadership to show by example that calling supporters ‘trash’ is not acceptable, ever (is that person still in the party? Really?), and to start actually listening to indy supporters – even if they think it might ‘soil’ their precious political hands.

      At some point, the SNP will need to effectively ‘bite the bullet’, they cannot simply scurry away each time London says ‘now is not the time’. They need to assert Scotland’s rights, and soon.

      Scotland is waiting.

  97. A. Bruce says:

    Excellent piece Paul. You’ve said most eloquently what I’ve been thinking for a while. And the weekend, Sunday, was like a bombshell. I joined the SNP last year after much deliberation, never having trusted political parties so much in my 68 years as to become a member. The renewal is coming up soon but I’ve decided that the money would be much better going to you. Of course we have no alternative to voting for the party but at the moment it really sticks in my craw.

  98. I am not a member of the SNP but will vote that way in very plebiscite until we are Independent.
    I will never vote for any English controlled Party again.
    And the Greens, well, check out their record recently.
    I have no ‘grievance’ to bring to the door of a self styled Colonial Master. Mundell insanely thinks that he and Davidson can tell us what to do because of a 312 year old stitch up between the Lairds and the English.
    What arrogance, what idiocy.
    I ‘demand’ that England get its interfering face out of my business.
    If Mundell and others continue to be Scotland Deniers, they can eff off back Down Their to their adopted green and pleasant land.
    I have no ‘grievance’.

    I am no supplicant kneeling before my conqueror.

    I am in control of my own destiny, and eventually, soon now, it is all going to come to a head.

    You are either part of the solution, or you are part of the problem.

    That’s the message NS sent out to the Fifth Columnist Scots at Conference.

    Join us or be swept aside. You have been warned.

    If this offends, terrific.
    I rejoice in being a keyboard warrior; better that a tawdry Murdoch hack lying and threatening their fellow Scots for money and advancement.

  99. Clapper57 says:

    Also worth saying that for those Unionists who now are witnessing this and who are crowing about “dissent in the ranks” twas not long ago they stipulated that we, as SNP supporters, were but a “cult”…..however unlike Unionists we have proven , when appropriate, that we will criticise the SNP when we feel they are wrong.

    Corbyn voters and Tory voters in Scotland however are willing to be dragged down the Brexit path simply because it is the direction their respective parties have now chosen ,however before the EU vote in 2016 many of them , as Unionist party supporters, were Remain supporters….so if the interpretation of a cult is one in which it easily manipulates and persuades it’s followers to support unquestioningly and unchallenged the direction they, as members, should follow because the party says so…then I would say on current evidence tis the Unionist parties that have indeed been more successful in creating a cult following….another one for the irony meter to swing to full on.

  100. Illy says:

    To all the “No other option” folks:

    The deposit for standing Scotland-wide at Westminster is only £29,500.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but if the SNP are looking like they’re going to bottle it, I will seriously be thinking about starting a crowdfunder to get 59 people to stand for Westminster on a manifesto of “Take Scotland Independent now”. It’s not as hard to do as people think.

    And for everyone who’s saying “Nicola’s just playing her cards close to her chest”:

    If British intelligence don’t have an informant in the SNP’s top-level planning committee, then they’re not doing their job. Her opponents already know the plan. So she should let her allies know it as well.

    • Illy says:

      Oh, and I’m autistic and trans, so I’ve very much aware that I’m not the best person to front this sort of effort, but if no-one else is going to do it…

  101. Robert Oliphant says:

    Could the SNP have handled all this better, possibly?

    However, to borrow from a female Chief Executive (think it was Ann Budge or Leann Dempster?) who stated that women in the boardroom have to be twice as good as men just to be taken seriously.

    Maybe that is what the SNP leadership, etc are doing similar here?
    We know that the MSM in Scotland is overwhelmingly Unionist/anti Independence, we all moan about it but it simply aint going to change in a hurry.

    So sadly they often set the narrative, SNP/Independence movement can just ignore their attention grabbing headlines (and continue to let Unionists attack without challenge) or they can acknowledge that there are extremists on both sides, they are attempting to challenge the pro Indy ones, who is challenging the Unionist ones? The reality of that is no-one will, but if it convinces one person to see the hypocrisy for what it is then it is a worthwhile (if undoubtedly dangerous) tactic.
    Blogs like Paul’s (and Wings, etc) are very useful tools and the more No folk we know who might be amenable to seeing the alternative we get reading them, the better.

    But, I’m sure we’ve also all seen the extremist opinion, his/her’s is the only one, no-one else can possibly be right, everyone has a right in a democracy to be heard but I’ve read a few Indy ones over the years that have made me cringe.

    Now onto the marches, the SNP leadership HAS to keep a distance from them, otherwise they will simply be written off by the MSM as “funded and stage managed, so don’t represent a plausible representation of Scottish opinion, no-one really wants Independence, it’s all just the SNP again….”.

    If they are organised by grassroots groups, it is harder for the MSM to write them off, they will (and most certainly do!) try to convince themselves that it’s just the SNP rabble rousing so we can ignore it but if that distance exists….

    As for Pete Wishart and the Speaker application, I think that is another brilliant tactic by some smart thinkers amongst our SNP MPs, does he have a realistic chance of winning, not a hope in hell but it will no doubt spark another round from the Tory benches that even if one second of it makes it onto the TV news will show them up again for what they are, again if one person sees it and thinks “aye time we went our own way!”, worthwhile exercise.

    If however by some miracle he does get the job, can you imagine the apoplexy of Bill Cash, Rees Mogg and their likes, no way they will be able to control themselves and it is most certainly harder to “edit” that level of abuse out by even the most fervent BBC editor when it’s aimed at the Speaker! Again, can’t harm our cause.

    As to those who think SNP are frittering away our best chance by not jumping now for Indyref2, I want it too, and the sooner the better but we simply have to remember that there is no guaranteed majority, we’ve been given a golden opportunity after 2014 that we didn’t think we’d get again in most of our lifetimes, when it comes, this one we simply HAVE to win.

    So the long game is the right one, the opinion polls are already going in the right direction for us but to get that moral high ground that makes it harder for MSM to assert “nothing to see here, no-one wants independence, move along”, the SNP, as the administration at Holyrood, have to be seen to have done everything to mitigate Brexit, so that they legitimately can claim “we did everything we could, Scotland has chosen a different path”, that is the best chance of convincing No voters last time to change to Yes IMHO.

    I’m not, never have been and probably never will be, an SNP member, I’ve always thought it a useful tool in countering any Unionists who declare “you’re just another blind SNP……”, I can always say no I’m not but I want independence , they are the party in power, and they are the best chance of me getting independence.

    I hope the day comes when there is a legitimate challenge to the SNP in an Independent Scottish parliament, a one party state does no-one any favours but until that day comes I’ll continue to vote SNP in every election.

  102. Ian Montgomery says:

    I really do hope that Nicola sits up and pays heed to what is being said here. I, like so many others have already stated, am deeply disappointed that the SNP do not endorse the AUOB marches.

    The trouble is, to protest against SNP by not voting for them would be folly. They are the only vehicle which ultimately will get us to where we want to be……Independence!

    When that day comes they will have fulfilled their purpose and then, and only then, should we consider allegiance to any other party.

  103. Muscleguy says:

    I’m not a marcher, I don’t need it. But I do see why some folk do. And I too was disgusted by the actions and words of the silly SNP Three who fell into a Unionist hack’s trap and should have known better.

    The SNP have long seemed to me to be naive about the media and that naivety never seems to be corrected. It’s like how supine Yes Scotland was to the media during the IndyRef, they didn’t even seem to be fighting it or if they were they were spectacularly ineffective.

    If we want independence the SNP needs to wise up and fast.

    Compare the situation here to that in Catalunya where they can get over a million people peacefully out on the streets of Barcelona and even get them into appropriate patterns.

    The provocations of the Yoons in George Sq are as nothing to those the Catalans have so admirably resisted. The Independence parties there don’t diss the gatherings, they take part.

    I think the SNP are feart of us Independence supporters because their control freakery means they cannot trust us. The SNP are, unfortunately control freaks. It was why the Greens left Yes Scotland and created RIC with the SSP. I was RIC for many of the same reasons.

    Back then the SNP were largely a middle class party, they had little idea of how to talk to folk in the schemes. RIC did that instead, here in Dundee and in Glasgow. They are Yes cities because of RIC in very large part. There was nowhere we wouldn’t go here in Dundee. One of our group tells of being pursued down a close while canvassing by a drugged guy. Turned out he just wanted voter registration forms for himself and his girlfriend.

    I’m a middle class academic type and I take no pains to try and hide it as it would be futile. I trod the schemes by myself quite often canvassing and never had any bother. I don’t even have a Scottish accent and it was and is never a problem either.

    The get out the vote campaign on the 18th was run by the SNP in the morning when the service buttons on the multis etc worked a whole carload of us were dispatched to a leafy suburb where we trudged down long drives with multiple cars parked at the end to ask if they needed help getting to the polls. It was a farce. As far as I’m aware NOBODY did the multis to get out our overwhelming vote there. Turnout was lower in both Dundee and Glasgow but it could have been higher if we had reminded those with less organised lives (no slur intended) to vote. Every vote counted. The vote might have been a lot closer as well.

    • Cubby says:

      I took a friend along to the Glasgow march on Saturday. He too was not a “marcher”and had great reservations. He loved every minute of it and kept asking when is the next one – this is brilliant.

      It is nothing like marching for pay rises etc etc it is a fun, very friendly, family type of march for a better future for your country. You should try it you never know you may well enjoy it as well.

  104. Jas. says:

    I remember a time when marching with flags was the highlight of the SNP year. Probably to cheer ourselves up after all those lost deposits!

  105. susan says:

    It really needed saying Paul and you nailed it.

  106. Alt Clut says:

    Every political party that participates seriously in what passes for ‘parliamentary democracy’ develops a body of careerist, salary seekers who see themselves as an entitled elite. The SNP is no exception.
    Conferences show them manipulating the membership as a matter of routine.
    The Manny Singh affair is a bloody disgrace. Personally, I intend to keep my SNP card until we secure indy – but unlikely to last much beyond that. We should ‘hold our noses’ and push on. It is coming !

  107. William Reynolds says:

    As an SNP member since 1974,this might have needed saying ,but I find the general mood depressing.Actually alarming.While I understand the frustrations and welcome the fact that the independence movement is now greater than the SNP,there is a danger to all of us if many people on this site cease their membership and funding of the SNP.The problem is that the media tend to view the SNP as the independence movement alone.Any fall in support for the SNP will be hailed as a drop in support for independence,and of coursethey will highlight divisions in the yes movement.By all means be critical ,but don’t shoot yourself in the foot.The SNP is a very large party and a few individuals who express clumsy views,are not the ownwers and exclusive policy makers of the party.
    Dr Reynolds

  108. Cubby says:

    Ian, I see SNP flags at the marches. I see the Deputy leader Keith Brown and other MSPs and MPs at the marches.

    However, I would not really be bothered if that was not the case. It is the PEOPLE of Scotland demonstrating their desire for independence not an SNP march. It’s called AUOB not an SNP march for a reason. I would also happily go along to any SNP organised march as well. Perhaps the SNP should organise some marches.

    Not sure what you mean by endorse AUOB.

  109. Voted SNP all my life. Cancelled membership about a month ago, joined the greens today. I didn’t leave the SNP the SNP left me.

  110. David dawson says:

    I’m kind of on the fence with this story,
    I agree SNP hierarchy should have been at the front of that march ALONG SIDE green hierarchy, socialist hierarchy and any other party hierarchy that supports independence to show their appreciation and support for the back bone of the movement so I’m not singling out snp on this like the ginger dug is doing.
    For snp to back this alone it would look like an snp march (which it was not) which in my opinion would damage support from others and with the idiotic charges being brought against Manny would have gave the unionist rags the headline of “snp support illegal march” damaging the cause even more. Again just my opinion.
    Not to mention adding stuff for sale at the end of the story looks like the ginger dug was looking for attention to sell stuff rather than making a point.
    BUT….. Words of support, acknowledgement and of pride in all those who turned up would have went a long long way.
    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿💙🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  111. […] highly commend what Stuart Campbell, Paul Kavanagh and Kevin McKenna have written on this. But I want to argue that there is a fundamental […]

  112. Muscleguy says:

    It is entirely on a par with the way the major roles of RIC and WFI and others played in the IndyRef was whitewashed out by the SNP and it was apparently all down to Yes Scotland.

    Then there was Nicola’s utter failure to even pick up the phone and ring Patrick Harvie after the last Holyrood election and at least explore the idea of perhaps a confidence and supply agreement. But she didn’t, the wider Yes movement which includes the Greens only matter when we vote SNP or vote with the SNP in parliament.

    Vis also the SNP in the last budget round hawk their budget around all the Unionist parties before, inevitably, agreeing to meet the Greens halfway because their requests were reasonable unlike those from the Unionist parties. Take a bow Wee Willie Rennie. I wonder how many in the SNP were tempted to take him up on it. Then they could point to it as why we couldn’t have a second referendum.

    And finally, why has Nicola not made Theresa May formally refuse a Section 30 request. She is clearly not going to change her mind and it is far from clear that she can be or will be unseated or that a replacement from the hard Brexit ranks will be any more amenable. Or that coming through on the outside lane riding the lame nag it’s Jeremy Corbyn who will doubtless invoke the brotherhood of the international working classes as why we can’t have a Section 30 while he is PM.

    We need a ruling on whether the arguable (legal experts) case that the first Section 30 order is still in effect and the sooner that one is tested in court the better. Instead they are trying to lynch Alex Salmond who is having none of it.

    The SNP leadership MUST see that the hounding of Alex is a Unionist plot to hobble him, yet their attitude and Nicola’s doubling down in her support of the guilty parties when the court roundly criticised them has been to wish he would take his lumps and shuffle off into retirement from public life.

    They must have been dismayed by his success in raising funds for his defence and will be equally dismayed that the Rev Stu of Wings has broken his fundraising record today.

    I have been afraid for some time now that the SNP may not be the indy vehicle we need. I at least am used to voting Green on the List and wish they would stand in more contests. Maybe it is time for a change of vehicle.

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