The value of emotion

There’s been a lot of justified anger this week. Partly it’s a symptom of an SNP leadership which many feel is at risk of becoming out of touch, managerial, and tone deaf to the sensibilities of the wider independence movement. Partly it’s the febrile atmosphere of Brexit, which has produced a political uncertainty and British government incompetence the likes of which has never been seen in the UK since WW2. Partly it’s the anxiety that the far-right is gaining a purchase in British politics in a way that it has never before. But it’s also partly because Scotland is inching ever closer to independence, and there are concerns that we now have an opportunity which must not be squandered.

Of course it’s not just the Scottish independence movement where you can see emotion. There is also emotion amongst the ranks of the Scottish Tories. It’s just that for them the dominant emotions are fear, jealousy, and bile. They are terrified of the future, the best that they can hope for is to screw down the shortbread tin lid in the hope of containing Scotland’s aspirations. They are terrified because they know that they have to win and to keep winning forever, to ensure that Scotland is kept encased the fragile glass of Ruth Davidson’s ego in perpetuity. We only need to win once, and there are so many more of us. As someone pointed out in the comments to yesterday’s article on this blog, there are more comments on this blog than people who attended the Conservative Conference in Aberdeen.

Ruth Davidson has often been accused of her detractors of being an empty vessel, a vehicle for photo-ops and cheeky sound bites empty of the cargo of policy. All this is true. However there is also one sense in which she is a finely tuned German automobile. She’s capable of instantly going into reverse. It was only a short while ago that Ruth was happy to concede that it was up to the voters of Scotland and their elected representatives to decide whether Scotland should have another independence referendum. Now she’s unilaterally ripped up the Scottish Claim of Right and has decided that power belongs to a UK Prime Minister and not to the people of Scotland. Ruth doesn’t want Scotland to have a referendum before 2021, or after 2021. And she expects a British Prime Minister to block it for the foreseeable future. Screw you and your electoral will, Scotland.

In an interview the other day, Ruth claimed that she’d changed her mind on whether it was up to Scotland to decide should have another independence referendum because during the most recent elections in Scotland, the 2017 general election, Nicola Sturgeon fought an campaign about independence and lost. That’s untrue on a number of levels. Firstly it’s untrue because the SNP didn’t lose the general election in Scotland. While it is true that the party lost ground compared to the historic and unique victory of 2015, the SNP won that election in Scotland. There is only one measure for victory in the First Past the Post system to which Westminster is so attached, and that’s the number of MPs a party gains. The SNP achieved almost three times as many MPs as Ruth Davidson’s Ruth Davidson’s Vote Ruth Davidson Party.

More importantly, it’s untrue because the SNP most categorically did not fight the 2017 general election on the basis of proving support for independence. Instead the party went to great lengths to tell anyone who was listening, which wasn’t Ruth or most of the media in Scotland, that this wasn’t an election about independence. The only people banging on about independence in 2017 were the Scottish Conservatives. The upshot was that pro-independence supporting voters were not motivated to come out and vote for the SNP in a way that anti-independence supporting voters were motivated to come out and vote for Ruth. We were there Ruth, we were paying attention, and you don’t get to claim that you’ve changed your mind on the basis of your fantasies.

The real reason that Ruth Davidson has changed her mind about who is the final authority on whether there’s another referendum from the people of Scotland to a UK Prime Minister is because she’s terrified there’s going to be one, and even more terrified of the result that it would produce. Ruth might have been on maternity leave for the past few months and not being actively involved in politics, but she will have noticed the complete and utter shitshow that her party has become. The Conservatives are currently not in any position to win a bottle of cheap supermarket wine in a raffle, never mind mount a successful campaign to persuade Scotland of the benefits of remaining a part of a United Kingdom that has spent the past few years alternately ignoring it and treating it with contempt.

Ruth knows that her party’s chances of retaining its sole Scottish MEP are even less than the chances that Murdo Fraser would win the clever Tweet of the year competition. The vote share for the Scottish Conservatives, sorry, the Ruth Davidson’s Vote Ruth Davidson for Greater Ruth Davidson Party, is going to plummet. It’s very difficult to maintain the pretence that you enjoy the political momentum when the only momentum you’re demonstrating is your ability to allow your support to fall off a cliff. That’s all the more painful when, like Ruth, you have done your utmost to ensure that your brand of politics has been so intensely personalised.

The anger within our independence movement of late is a sign of its rude good health. It means that we’re not going to be passive recipients of politics from above. We are the ones who are going to shape Scotland, and we reject the managerialism, the lack of care, the lack of empathy and compassion of British politics. That’s why we want independence, because we know that Scotland deserves better and we won’t settle for anything less. And if that means we sometimes need to read the riot act to those at the head of this movement, then so be it. Better that than the Scottish Tories, who are dying inside and rotting from both the head down and the bottom up. Our emotions are a sign of health and vitality. The emotions in the Scottish Conservatives are the last twitches of a political corpse.

No one can accuse the Scottish independence movement of lacking heart, of being emotionless, of being cold and clinical imposers of a heartless ideology. The fact that feelings are running high is a good thing in one important sense. It means that there is passion. That’s the passion that will drive us during the campaign that is ahead. Where there is passion, there is heart, and where there is heart, there is empathy. Where heart meets passion, it produces compassion and the hope for a better future. That’s the formula for independence.

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68 comments on “The value of emotion

  1. indyman says:

    Yes to all of that. Brilliant.

  2. astytaylor says:

    Passion is a great thing.

  3. Bob Lamont says:

    Yeehah…. Now THAT’s more like it…

  4. Marie Gray says:

    Any there great blog Paul.
    Has anyone seen or heard anything is the SIC? Were the Common Weal represented on the march? Why were there not more SNP well Kent faces there? I’m confused? I thought we were all working to the same end & I heard that we’d get our chance to vote for freedom when ‘ Th People of Scotland asked for it’s. How loudly do we need to shout & how long are we going to have to turn out in our thousands. The delay is allowing the 5th columnists & FB,GCHQ & who ever else to undermine the yes movement &
    Scot Gov before it goes into decline because a lot of us are exhausted having kept up our effort for 5 feckin years. I know I’m running out of steam.

    • Iain MacEchern says:

      I’ve kept my passion for independence for over 50 years. I fought for and voted for devolution in 1979 and in 1997. I then campaigned and fought for Independence in the 2014 referendum. I would never consider giving up on an independent Scotland, while I fully understand people being frustrated and impatient, I really do have to question the commitment of people who feel like giving up after a 5 or 6 year struggle.
      Remember in many other places around the world people have been tortured and killed as they struggled for independence. If you remember that, be thankful that your only struggle is peaceful campaigning and votive for independence

      • A. Bruce says:

        Iain, I don’t think that anyone on here is wanting to give up on an independent Scotland. By criticising the SNP when it’s due doesn’t follow that people are giving up. The SNP are not holier than thou and should be criticised when they mess up.

  5. A C Bruce says:

    That last paragraph says it all really – without all of that there’s just apathy.

  6. Over the weekend I was angry, disappointed and ready to throw my SNP membership in the bin. Reading the blogs and responses have convinced me that the right thing to do is take a breath and hold on for now. I will leaflet for the EU elections and keep on trusting that the SNP will come to its senses. But it is on notice and I hope it realises this and starts to concentrate on fighting media lies and fighting Scotland’s corner.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      It’s important to remember that Angus Robertson is safe as MD of whatever it is, Stephen McDonald is safe as an MP, for now, and Alyn Smith is safe as he’s number 1 on the MEP candidate list. So they can seflishly do what they want and not suffere any consequences themselves.

      But projections did show that 3 and perhaps 4 SNP candidates could be elected as MEPs, and who is 4th on the list? Margaret Ferrier, who WAS on the march, DID tweet pictures of it, SPOKE on stage at the rally I think, and DOES support YES actively and with passion. Unlike many SNP politicians who clearly think us trash are beneath them.

      Any witholding of support for the stupid sneering soulless SNP sadly makes Margaret Ferrier suffer, not the selfish unionist fodder culprits.

      • JGedd says:

        An excellent point. Did swither about voting but then thought of the worthy candidates, as you say, who would suffer as a result of the careless and arrogant remarks of those over-entitled ‘senior’ SNP representatives.( Representative of what, one wonders?)

  7. Clive Scott says:

    Great march in Glasgow last Saturday. I’ve read that the organiser has been reported by the police to the procurator for starting the march at 13.30 instead of 11.30. Hope this does end up in court so that we can enjoy a huge display of civil disobedience at the trial.

  8. A. Bruce says:

    Excellent blog as usual Paul, but I would have to disagree about the analogy of Ruth the Mooth being a finely tuned German automobile capable of instantly going into reverse. My German girlfriend and I owned a DAF , a Dutch Mickey Mouse like automobile, in the 70’s. It had only one forward and one reverse gear running on a giant rubber band which if it broke could be repaired with a pair of ladies tights. Our car once broke down in reverse and we were forced to drive 4 km’s in reverse to the next garage. At one point or another her reverse gear is going to get stuck and then it’s goodbye Ruth.

    • Alastair Gunn says:

      Ruth’s other problem is that she’s totally painted herself into a corner when it comes to the issue of independence. She has to fight against the mere possibility of an independence referendum because should the possibility become a reality, then she’s going to be (going to have to be) the front person for Better Together 2. And should she lose, then a face-saving resignation speech and personal political oblivion awaits.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      A. Bruce, your description of a 70’s car brought back memories – happy ones. And having studied a pic of Ruth in The National, I agree with you about her future. In repose her expression is not hopeful.

      Thanks, Paul. Your article cheered me up no end.

  9. As the Scottish people are sovereign, according to the Brittish, (English), Parliament, they could demand the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum to repeal the Treaty of the Union of Parliaments. Thus independence is achieved. All negotiations would take place afterwards.

  10. Saor Alba says:

    Too right Paul. We will NOT be passive recipients of politics from above. I agree entirely with your excellent discourse above. Much needed and timely.

  11. Marie Clark says:

    Oh Paul, thank you. You’ve fair cheered me up after the weekend shananigans. Your last paragraph is spot on. Well done sir.

  12. The Gillies says:

    Yep………….that’s more like it .I’ve got over yesterday’s ,”black dog,” day. More of this Paul.

  13. The latest report by the English Broadcasting Corporation finds that GP s in England,have dropped from 65 per 100,000 patients to 60 in the past five years.
    In England some patients are waiting 7 weeks for a GP appointment, and nurses are now undertaking patient examinations and prescribing treatments because of the shortages and plummeting of GPs.

    The English Blue Tories have cut Local Authority funding by 45% since they came in to office in 2015, and schools down there are installing foodbanks, and teachers are washing and ironing clothing for poorer pupils.

    This is Ruth Davidson’s Blue Tory Heaven.

    The Police Force in England has been cut by 20,000 and like English nurses and ambulance crews are paid less than their Scottish counterparts. All this in five years of Ruth Davidson’s brand of Toryism; every week some poor soul is stabbed to death London alone.

    This is Ruth Davidson’s vision for Scotland.

    She was inspired to become a Tory because of Margaret Thatcher and John Major?

    Jeez, I can’t wait for her first FMQ ‘attack’ on the Scottish Government for not doing its ‘day job’, like introducing University Tuition Fees, charging for prescriptions, cutting the Nurse Training Programme, introducing tolls on our bridges and motorways, stopping free care for the elderly and scrapping free transport for the elderly, slashing the number sof Police and emergency sevice personnel to bung JK Rowling and Lord Darling of Flipper a 5% rebate on their taxes.

    This is the Red Blue and Beige Brit Nat vision for Future Scotland.
    since the moment she staggered back to work at the week end.

    The moment she staggered back to work at the week end this woman has been feted as The Second Coming by our Dead Tree Scrolls and Toodle Oo The Noo

    As you can no doubt detect, I am being ’emotional’ again.

    Paul, you point out that there are more posts on your previous excellent piece than attended Davidson’s Born Again Rally at the week end.

    Of the 200 who attended, at least eighty were the Press Pack, camera men, and caterers.

    A Fish Named Gove addressed a throng of 7 (Seven) People in a broom cupboard and baldly announced that his Government would claw back Education and Agriculture from Holyrood, very soon now, sometime, erm….

    I refuse to be polite when I analyse or discuss the arrant nonsense produced by broadcasters and hacks, which at the week end, and since, has reached new levels of stupidity and downright inanity.

    I ask this: while we have all had a good moan about Robertson and Co., getting sucked in to slagging off the Keyboard Warriors (Great name for a Pro Self Determination Folk Group btw) will we all still be voting SNP at the Euros, and Yes to Independence?
    Of course we will, all under one banner.

    No contest.
    A Beautiful piece of writing once again , Paul.

  14. Terry Callachan says:

    Scottish independence supporters now turning on their own.
    It’s important to remember who your opposition really are.
    Criticising a tiny minority even a few Scottish independence and SNP supporters is criticism directed at the wrong people when there are so many in the opposition doing so much worse every single day .
    It’s interesting to see who the people are that turn against other Scottish independence and SNP supporters.
    Sometimes surprising.
    Makes you wonder if they really are Scottish independence supporters.

    • weegingerdug says:

      You perfectly illustrate the kind of paranoia that puts undecided voters off supporting independence.

      • Douglas says:

        I agree Paul, unfortunately that is the line that Alyn Smith takes in the Herald article with direct quotes about ‘False Flags’ accounts. This just makes things worse.

        I think their engagement with the Herald in this way was a big error in judgement.

        I don’t doubt that there will be false flag interventions on both sides (many of the purportedly pro union comments are also suspiciously unhelpful for the Union case) but best to ignore them.

        Thanks for such an uplifting and informative blog.

    • Illy says:

      “Scottish independence supporters now turning on their own.”

      No-one’s turning on anyone, except possibly whoever it was in the SNP leadership who made the “trash” comment.

      Everyone here is simply giving the SNP leadership an “intervention”, as the Yanks would say.

      The SNP have a very, very good team for managing the country. I’d be happy to have them as the main right-wing party in an independent Scotland.

      But Nicola seems to be a “work within the system” person, and that is never going to get us our independence. I am having major doubts about her ability to say “This is not a good time, but it’s the best chance we’ve got in the foreseeable future, so lets go for it!”

      Also, I have a *massive* problem with the SNP’s two top officers being a husband&wife team. I am frankly surprised that the media hasn’t been making headlines out of this since she got the leadership position with a “corruption and nepotism” slant.

    • Millsy says:

      Not so much ”turning on our own ” – rather fed up to the back teeth with a leadership who appear to think that they can somehow win over the Media and the dyed-in-the-wool anti-independence brigade by appeasing them , and now by providing them with ammunition to attack our own . ( Cybernat attack )
      Almost all the people ”criticising ” the SNP and its leaders this week have also added the caveat that they Will still support them in elections as this is the main vehicle for achieving independence .
      Perhaps in their political bubble MSPs and MPs need the occasional reminder that it is the people they are fighting for that matter , not how the Party is viewed by a media that will turn every drama into a crisis if it involves the SNP .
      The MSM matter rather less today than they did even in 2014 – too many , particularly the young find their information elsewhere , so the leadership need to give them less respect than they do – because it will not be reciprocated .

      • Illy says:

        “Almost all the people ”criticising ” the SNP and its leaders this week have also added the caveat that they Will still support them in elections as this is the main vehicle for achieving independence .”

        Unfortunately, the careerists will read this, and think “I don’t need to listen to these folk – they’ve got nowhere else to go”

        This is why I’m pointing out how *easy* it would be to start an “Independence Now” party and stand them in Westminster – It would only cost £29,500 to stand all the candidates, and that’s within range for a crowdfunder. If a party with a pure manifesto of “Take Scotland Independent” wins the majority of Scottish seats at Westminster, then there’s the mandate needed.

        • Anne Martin says:

          We don’t need yet another mandate, we need to vote for independence!

        • Douglas says:

          I agree that there is a danger that careerists would take the ‘they have no choice but to vote for us, let’s get on with pandering to other voters’ line. I hope the Green option is a big enough threat to concentrate minds.

          Splitting the Pro-Independence vote further would have different effects in the different electoral systems that we have, none likely to be good.

          Westminster first past the post -disaster for Independence votes unless complete annihilation and replacement of the SNP can be achieved without loosing voters -extremely unlikely.

          Holyrood D’Hondt. Disaster for constituency vote (see above), very unpredictable for list vote. We already have the Green Party; the effects of further options would make it much harder to achieve a pro independence majority.

          European D’Hondt type. Again very unpredictable but extremely unlikely to have a good effect. At before the recent spat, the SNP was on course to win 2,3 or on a good day 4 of the seats. The remaining seats are highly unpredictable with no more than one each likely to go to the remaining parties: Labour, Tory, UKIP, Greens, Brexit Party, Lib Dems and Change U.K. If those wishing Independence but who refuse to vote SNP have votes concentrated with the Greens, there is a chance that a Green MEP will be elected. If the Non-SNP Independence vote is further split then it is likely that the remaining seats will all go to Unionist Parties, including some very unsavoury characters.

          • Illy says:

            “Westminster first past the post -disaster for Independence votes unless complete annihilation and replacement of the SNP can be achieved without loosing voters -extremely unlikely.”

            Westminster is the only place I think it’s even worth trying this. After all, the Constitution is a reserved matter, and the SNP: a) Have no effect there anyway, and b) Shouldn’t ever feel that they are getting “settled in” there, so anyone who objects to losing their seat in the Commons to a different pro-independence party is a careerist putting their own interests over Scottish Independence.

            If anyone stands candidates against a party that’s standing on a simple manifesto of “If we win a majority of Scottish Seats then that is a mandate for taking Scotland Independent. We’re only doing this because the SNP have bottled it.” then they’re saying they agree with May’s statement of “Now is not the time”.

            Like many other people, I’m willing to give the SNP one last chance to get their courage together and get this done. If they bottle it (rather than try and fail), then I will unfortunately have to conclude that they have become too comfortable being managers of expectations within the system, rather than being willing to stand against the Westminster System.

            I don’t *want* to do this. It’s not a good idea. I’m not the right person to front it. Unfortunately, I feel that if the SNP decide to play Westminster’s rigged game (where we can never win), then it’s the best of a bad set of options. So I mention it to remind the SNP that if they don’t actually call the vote in the time they have given the impressions of (because they’re starting to use weasel-words in their announcements), then they are *not* the only option in town, and their voters certainly *do* have another place to go.

            • Douglas says:

              SNP leadership have to go for it ASAP.
              There are plenty of Unionists eager to try to make it impossible to even try.
              The longer they have to build barriers, the harder it will be.

              Many areas of public service are being set up to fail by financial squeeze from Westminster; that’s no accident. These services are run by very dedicated staff but they cannot hold out much longer.

              Time is running out.

              SNP have to act now.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Agreed on both of points but bear in mind that thus far neither Holyrood nor Westminster are inclined to an imminent election where such sudden emergence could disturb norms even were it to avert the attentions of MI?, better that SNP reformulate strategy and don mailed gloves.
        My suspicions are that SNP are trapped in Westminster’s games, it is entirely possible May screwed up Brexit to stall inevitable Independence, nobody knows what games or threats are afoot, but for the wider Yes movement these doldrums pushed nerves to the limit.
        With Farage’s Brexit Party (Zero to Hero in a month) expected to do very well across England, perhaps all that is missing for Scotland is a loudmouth millionaire figurehead with several millionaire backers prepared to lie through his/her teeth to promise the impossible with flair and media support. Ruth is no millionaire, but her backers ensured she cornered all the rest. Who might step forward with equal ruthlessness, after all, it is all about money and profit, as was Brexit, money trumps democracy every time, pun unintended.
        If SNP don’t take a more combative line soon, an alternative will arise, it is not a party which matters but the outcome, and patience is running on fumes…

  15. Millsy says:

    Is it just a rumour that Myth Davidson is changing her name to TRuth ( ? ) Davidson .

  16. Robert Graham says:

    Thanks Paul for a very inspiring post ,

    it’s good to hear the thoughts of someone who actually gets it ,and is able to put into words what a whole lot of folk are feeling right now, again many thanks .

    Maybe there is a silver lining to the clouds that were gathering , maybe just maybe this whole manufactured episode is starting to backfire just they all the others have and its jolted a few people and woken them up ,
    Independence wont be given , WE have to take it , go the extra mile , do the things we wished we had done in 2014 if we dont want the exact same result and the same hangover .

  17. Welsh Sion says:

    For information purposes.

    Pawb Dan Un Faner (= All Under One Banner), the Welsh equivalent of AUOB, are holding the first ever rally for Welsh Independence in Caerdydd/Cardiff from 1.30 pm on Saturday 11 May 2019.

    Speakers will include Adam Price AC/AM, the Leader of Plaid Cymru, Ben Gwalchmai from Labour for Independence, Sion Jobbins, the Chair of YES Cymru, Sandra Clubb from Undod (the equivalent of Radical Indepedence) and the poet Ali Goolyad.

    More info here:

  18. Movy says:

    Thank you as always Paul.

    Yesterday I was raging; today disillusioned and a bit fed-up but, having read what you and others have said, I know I’m not alone and that we’re still up for the forthcoming fight.

    Keith Brown and others of similar ilk must be pulling their hair out at the way this all played out over the weekend.

    As others have said; the SNP are now on notice. But I, for one, am not giving up on then yet.

  19. Eckle Fechan says:

    “For there’s no gods and there’s precious few heroes
    But there’s plenty on the dole in the Land o’ the Leal
    And it’s time now to sweep the future clear
    Of the lies of a past that we know was never real”

    Precious few Paul, but I believe yourself and other passionate patriots who are committed to the cause and do the work that you do will receive due recognition when future historians write it up.

    And Brian McNeil gets my vote for penning a new national anthem to accompany a new independent state’s constitution.

    Faith. Hope. Love.

  20. Alba woman says:

    Shout out for Margaret Ferrier …she worked tirelessly for the Yes movement and managed a 45% result in a very traditional Labour area….Margaret is totally committed to Independence and was a people’s MP. I wasn’t in the least surprised that she had an involvement last Saturday…Brilliant day!

    • Iain says:

      Absolutely. Margaret Ferrier has been a brilliant worker for independence and I sincerely hope she will get over the line in the EP elections. Good luck, Margaret.

  21. MacMina MacAllan says:

    Enjoyed the Glasgow march and patted wee ginger as I got ‘dug an bone’ badge fur ma bunnet.
    The inde Pipe band was great. Well done them!
    I was slightly disappointed at what I thought was a lack of our ethnic minority supporters compared to the last Glasgow march when they added so much noise and colourful activity.
    However your blog has cheered me up again especially the conclusion.

    Thoughts on the day.

    As thoosands passed by Glesca’s Freedom Square
    Hoo mony e’en noticed the gibberin Unionists there
    Haudin limp butchers’ aprons, an protestin in vain?
    Ah jist saw polis surrounding the politically insane.

    They’re Blue an Red Tories that aye staun side by side
    But the tide’s oan the turn richt here oan the Clyde.
    If that ‘no resigned yet’ Mundell wis lurkin aboot
    He must have been feelin like yon auld King Canute.

    Nae sae much ‘strong and stable’, he’ll soon hiv tae rin
    Frae the brave waves of Saltires that jist keep floodin in
    Tae scour a’ that Unionist flotsam richt oot tae sea
    leaving Glesca an Scotland clean, independent an free.

    Westminster’s determined tae ding us doon ony how
    Think McCrone, Smith an Sewell – an breakin the Vow.
    Insteed o’ bailin rich bankers we’d look efter the auld
    An ony puir disadvantaged welcome in oot the cauld.

    ‘Hostile environment’ Theresa will weep an she’ll moan
    When we vote tae mak inde Scotland a Tory-free zone.
    While Labour wance were socialist, they’re noo jist a farce
    But micht be made tae see sense, wi a kick up the arse!

  22. Through the wonders of i-Player, and because I was scratching around for excuses not to venture out into the back garden to mow the lawn, I went in search of Gordon Hang On A Minute Brewer’s wee midweek Bash The SNP and Independence half hour of bubble gum for the Brit Nat mind, to stretch James Taylor’s view on US TV to breaking point.

    I had to look down the back of BBC Pacific Quay’s battered old sofa and rummage around among the stale biscuit crumbs, old sweetie wrappers, and ancient soggy cheese and onion crisps of BBC Jockland, the new channel for the 9000, to discover that Old Brewdog has been relegated to the Land of the Living Dead, afternoon dead air on BBC ‘Scotland’.
    I mused, was I the only one watching?

    The format the same old same old.
    Gordon and his Brit Nat ‘studio guest’, who was Margaret Smith, ex Lib Dem MSP. Nice money if you can get it.
    Her job as usual is to comment on the wee segments that make up this sad wee weekly catch up on how Bad the SNP and Independence are.

    David Porter at WM with Douglas Ross Blue Tory (how does he find the time in between fitba’ matches and chasing Gypsies?), Red Tory Lesley Laird (whose name escaped me the other day and will doubtless not make it from my Short Term to Long Term memory any time soon now, Shadow SoS, and Christine Jardine, of the Beige Tories, who surprisingly admitted that ‘I agree with Tommy’ , Sheppard that is, of the SNP, on a Second Referendum or a UKGE.
    The same old banal Brexit nonsense.

    Then to Holyrood with Brewer quizzing the assembled three Brit Nats One SNP on matters devolved.
    Stewart Stevenson is in his 70’s now and seems a bit confused/was not briefed on what they were about to discuss.
    The SNP’ refusal to agree the processes of transferring 50% of VAT revenue to Scotland to spend on what it wants.
    The strong argument for sending the VAT proposals back to the UK Treasury to think again, were of course glossed over.
    The 50% would be HMG ‘estimate’ of VAT returns, and the Barnet Monies would reduce accordingly.
    Lack of trust with HMG’s ‘estimates’ and ‘what would be the point were two very relevant issues, as well as the quite obvious argument that if Scotland did not control rates of VAT, this was hardly ‘devolution’, in any sense of the word.
    Stevenson began by mumbling about Air Passenger Duty, then VAT charged for Police and Emergency Services; He obviously didn’t have a clue what the topic of discussion was.
    As I suggested the other day, the SNP should have sent a haggis.
    They really do need to up their Media and Communications game.
    He waffled and it showed.
    Of course the three Jobs for the Boys and Girls Brit Nat list MSPs Rhona Grant, Red Tory, Gordon Lindhurst, Blue serial political failure, and Captain Mike Rumbles of the Beige Brigade, were no better.
    4 Haggis puddings would have made for more dynamic TV.
    Armed Officers responding to incidents not requiring an armed response got the hardy annual outing.
    Of the 17,000 police in Scotland, 500 are trained in firearms, and were deployed in 0.03 % of non threatening incidents.
    They should have locked their guns in the cars.
    Aye, right.
    A man gets gunned down in his car outside ASDA.
    Tit for tat gun battles among the country’s drug gangs.
    It occurred to me; whose judgement do I trust.
    The Police or Rhona Grant’s?
    No Brainer.
    I don’t think I’ll bother tuning in to Brewer’s Droop again.
    It is a lonely existence out there in BBC Jockland.
    No sign of a Green MSP.
    Perhaps they have a better Communications guru than the EssEnnPee?
    But the BBC tactic will be the same as during Indyref One.
    Three Brit Nats and Brewer rounding on the SNP.
    Oh, dear,oh me.

  23. 2012nancy says:

    I always remember a speech many years ago (in the 1990s?) at the alternative ‘Commonwealth Heads of Government’ meeting in Edinburgh. It was by Robert Reid, who I think was head of the association of voluntary organisations in New Zealand at the time. I paraphrase but his gist was,

    “There are three kinds of people who want to change the world: The Stone Throwers; the Long Marchers; and the Alternatives. Stone Throwers criticise the status quo; Long Marchers join committees, sit through long meetings and try to change policy and legislation; the alternatives demonstrate that there are different and better ways to live. Too often, these three groups criticise each other instead of working together and understanding that they all want the same thing – a better world.”

    Maybe that’s what’s happening in the independence movement just now. Hold fast and hold together!

    • Millsy says:

      As only two men and a dog ( not a wee Ginger one ! ) watch these epic progs then no damage done .
      Or perhaps sending a doddering SNP spokesman was a GIRUP to the BBC ?

  24. Macart says:

    Well said.

    Yet again. 🙂

  25. 100%Yes says:

    Both my wife and I today cancelled our membership to the SNP to be honest it been a long time coming and its not because we do not still support Independence because we do and even more so now. I no longer believe that the SNP are a party for Independence they seem more a party for governement and to keep us hanging on to the believe one day Scotland will be Independent and that we have all just to sit and wait for that day to happen. Come everyone we are not fools somthing just isn’t right here and we know it, Ruth davidson shows and mentions Independence more than the SNP even the greens where asking only a few weeks ago about a date and why is it so important for the SNP to seek a section 30 order when the UK governement will say no.

  26. Clydebuilt says:

    BBC Radio2 . . . . 16.00 News

    Lead Story SNP Launch Euro Election Campaign hear The FM speaking

    BBC Radio Scotland . . . . 17.00 News

    Lead Story Bullying at NHS Highlands, . .,.

    As of 17.45 no mention of SNP EU election campaign

  27. Welsh Sion says:

    For info.

    20 years after the opening of the National Assembly for Wales, an opinion poll as to what Welsh people think of the status quo. (I was not asked.)

    Independence – 12%
    More powers to the Assembly – 27%
    Leave as now – 25%
    Fewer Powers to the Assembly- 4%
    No devolution – 15%
    Don’t Know – 17%

    Source: YouGov/ITV Cymru Wales, 1 025 Welsh adults, 6 May 2019

  28. Scozzie says:

    I’m probably a bit O/T here but … I’m of the opinion that ‘conviction politics’ strikes a chord in the voting public especially the undecided voters and especially at times of elections. Even if you don’t agree with the politics of a conviction politician / party – people somehow respect their ability to stand up for their beliefs and opinion. That can be enough to persuade undecided voters one way or another.

    When you get into consensus politics we get into the realm of ‘trying to be all things to everyone’ and in the end no-one feels they are being represented. I worry that SNP are too focused in consensus politics and so the people they want to attract remain unconvinced.

    Are we the ‘Stop Brexit party’? Are we the ‘Stronger for Scotland’ party? Are we the ‘Scotland’s voice in the UK” party – NO, we’re supposed to be the Scottish National Party delivering independence!!!! Where has that conviction gone? Where is our mantra of ‘fighting for and delivering independence right here, right now, with our mandate?

    I don’t believe the insipid approach of the SNP is attracting the soft no’s. I believe it’s the grassroots that’s doing all the heavy lifting and as such the SNP would do a bloody big massive favour to the grassroots if it would come out loud and clear that it’s either setting a date for a referendum or looking at an alternative route to independence.

    People saying that Nicola needs to keep her cards close to her chest is nonsense. What we need to do is attack, attack, attack. If it ends up in court, so be it! We need to know our constitutional position and take it to the ECJ / UN if that’s what it takes.

    There must be some constitutional lawyers in Scotland that can give an opinion. Surely a country cannot be locked in a union for perpetuity, and if not what is our way out?

    • Welsh Sion says:

      Scozzie @ 4.26 pm

      There must be some constitutional lawyers in Scotland that can give an opinion. Surely a country cannot be locked in a union for perpetuity, and if not what is our way out?


      I’m not qualified to speak for Scots Law or perhaps not even Scotland. My only associations with your country being I support independence, am a Member of the SNP and with (alleged, but not proven) ancestry amongst the diaspora post-Culloden who re-established themselves in North West Wales in the late 18th century.

      However, I’m sure that many here will quote for you the appropriate Articles of the United Nations Charter which allows for the ‘free determination of subject peoples’ (I forget the exact wording) and also of course the well-worn fact that in Scotland it is the people who are sovereign – not Parliament, nor Government.

      What I can say is that Westminster (yes, *that* Westminster) passed a Law in December 1993 (the Welsh Language Act 1993) which in its list of repeals of previous legislation (Schedule 2, WLA 1993) annulled the so-called ‘Acts of Union’ (more correctly ‘The Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542) which annexed my country (no union, rather an Anschluss) to its eastern neighbour by will of ‘the love of the King of England for his people of the Dominion of Wales’. Hence, from 1535 to 1967 all mentions of ‘England’ in Westminster legislation also encompassed ‘Wales’ unless noted otherwise. This changed in 1967, but the definitive abolition of ‘the Union’ between England and Wales was by virtue of the 1993 legislation – and that of course under a Tory Government, before Devolution.

      We in Cymru look forward to seeing your ‘Union’ with England also being annulled and that both our countries will be free, independent countries in their own right.

      Come to the AUOB Cymru March in Caerdydd/Cardiff tomorrow, to show your support one and all!

      Dros Gymru / For Scotland.

      • Andy Anderson says:

        If Yes Wales keeps at it I am sure you will get your freedom in the end. I live in hope that by 2024 we in Scotland will have our first Independence Day. That assumes a couple of years negotiating with those loving people in London.

        • Andy, you have conjured the delicious image of David Davis, newly appointed Minister for Scexit by PM Johnson, sitting across the table from Mike Russell, and having to sit thrugh Scotland’s red lines list.

          WMD, no butcher’s apron flying from public building Up Here, no FoM for ‘third country’ England into Scotland in Europe, ..oh, I could go on.
          Deliciously malicious.

          • Welsh Sion says:

            Johnners [speaking in Aberdeen yesterday] said: ““[A second independence referendum] would be nothing less than a flagrant breach of promise to the people of this entire country …”


            Does the man do irony?

            Was not the £350m a week promised on the side of a bus for the NHS which is still not forthcoming ‘a flagrant breach of promise’? Were not the breach of his marriage vows, ‘flagrant breaches of promise to love and cherish’ his new spouse (both of them? Did we see BJ lying down in front of the bulldozers to prevent the building of a 3rd runway at Heathrow? (lieing, yes … but …).

            You could add to this list.

            If anyone knows the meaning of ‘a flagrant breach of trust’, then BJ is an accomplished performer of the art. But I’ll grant him the privilege of witnessing an independent Scotland should we end up with a full, hard-boiled Brexit.


      • Scozzie says:

        Welsh sion saw the pics of the independence march was a beautiful sight to see the dragons. Hope it’s the beginning of a movement for change for the Welsh xxx

        • Welsh Sion says:

          Me too, Scozzie and thank you. But don’t forget – and it is very easy to do so – of the two national parties I belong to, Plaid Cymru (b. 1925) is actually older than the SNP (b.1934). Also, if you let by the exceptional bye-election in Motherwell in 1945, Plaid also obtained Westminster representation earlier too (1966 over 1967). And my argument has always been PC is older than the SNP, but the SNP is mature … 🙂

          But we are on the same side and return your affection (whatever gender you are.) I am, of course, male.


  29. The SNP send out hundreds of thousands of leaflets, wrongly addressed/wrong names.
    Seriously, who’s in charge of Communications and Media?
    Keyboard warriors-gate, Steward Stevenson’s car crash VAT dithering on Brewer’s Wednesday Droop, and now this Return to Sender mess.
    I offer my services free of charge to facilitate a workshop/seminar on Media and Communications Management.

    The list of basic mistakes and miscalculations grows unhindered by any professional nous in the background orchestrating the strategy.
    I believe Willie Rennie got a flyer addressed to ‘Edna’.

    I’m in the book, Nicola.
    It’s part of what I used to do to earn a crust.
    We can sort this very quickly indeed.

    Urgent work needed NOW.

  30. Andy Anderson says:

    Message to Welsh Sion

    Good turnout in Cardiff yesterday for your March. When we started we were lucky to get 500.

    Nice to spot a couple of saltires in the sea of red and green.

  31. Welsh Sion says:

    Tony Blair endorses the Nats?!

    “Who to vote for if you’re on the anti-Farage side of the ledger. There are unequivocal remain parties – Liberal Democrats, Change UK, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru. If, because of Labour’s equivocation, you simply won’t vote Labour, then vote for them.”

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