Arguing from a position of strength

This blog has a long standing policy of not attacking or criticising other pro-independence groups, blogs, or organisations. I’m not in the business of doing the anti-independence media’s job for them. For the same reason, that’s why I always ask that people who comment on this blog refrain from using it as a platform to criticise or attack other pro-independence campaigners, although this does not imply that I endorse what those other campaigners have been saying. It is just that I feel strongly, and have always felt, that when the independence movement turns on itself, the only beneficiaries are those who oppose independence.

Right now we are facing the likelihood of an early Westminster General Election. This is the first and most immediate electoral challenge that the independence movement is going to face. A Westminster General Election could take place as early as the end of next month. Even if it is delayed for a short while longer, it is most certainly going to happen before any other elections take place in Scotland, and before there’s any vote on independence itself. Sensible politics demands that the independence movement should focus on the electoral challenge which is most immediate. That’s the next Westminster General Election.

Due to the nature of Westminster’s first past the post system, the only pro-independence party which has any chance at all of taking seats in the Westminster General Election is the SNP. I might have considerable sympathies for some of the policies of the Greens or the Scottish Socialists, but they’re not going to win any seats in this election. Only the SNP can do that.

This coming election is vital.  Before we can make any choices about the best route to an independence referendum, we have to cross the General Election bridge. All routes to an independence referendum, irrespective of what they are, pass first over the bridge of a Westminster General Election in the coming months. If we fail to cross the bridge successfully and in style, if we fail to bring about a resounding and unquestionable victory for the SNP in that election, there will be no point at all in arguing about different strategies for bringing about a referendum, or debating the merits or demerits of another pro-indy party for the list vote in Holyrood. We will already have lost independence.

There are many people within the independence movement who have deep reservations about the strategy of the SNP leadership for achieving another independence referendum.  However the risk here is that constant carping about the SNP, the attacks on Nicola Sturgeon because of disagreements with her strategy for bringing about a second independence referendum, will only succeed in reducing the overall level of support for the SNP in the coming General Election. It risks alienating those who are open to persuasion about independence but who are not quite there yet. It risks alienating and discouraging some long standing supporters of independence. It risks turning some SNP supporters off from getting out and campaigning for the party in the General Election, and that in turn can reduce turnout and vote share for the party. It risks making the independence movement seem divided, confused, and obsessed with in-fighting, and that’s going to discourage soft yes voters from making sure they vote for the party, just as they were discouraged in 2017 by the SNP’s apparent lack-lustre enthusiasm for independence in the General Election that year.

Yet there is nothing to replace the SNP in the General Election to come. There is no other party which can hoover up the votes of those independence supporters who have been alienated by a seemingly over cautious SNP leadership. All that the independence movement will have achieved with its criticisms will be to have punched itself in the face and to have reduced the total number of people in Scotland who get up off their backsides and get out and vote for the only pro-independence party in this country which has any chance at all of taking seats in a Westminster General Election. The only people who benefit will be the anti-independence parties.  When we as a movement attack one another, it’s anti-independence politicians and journalists who rub their hands in glee.

We all know what the British media is like. The British media being what it is, if the SNP do not perform well in the coming General Election, this will not be seen as a reflection of the independence movement’s difference of opinion with Nicola Sturgeon about achieving an independence referendum. The BBC will not be telling us that it means that people would prefer to vote for another pro-independence party in the list vote for Holyrood. It won’t be portrayed simply as a defeat for the SNP leadership’s strategy or even for the SNP as a whole. It will be painted as a defeat for the entire independence movement. It will be taken as a reflection of a lack of support in Scotland for independence. That’s how the British media will portray it.

If the SNP do not perform as predicted, and fails to pick up a significantly larger amount of votes and Westminster seats, the constant carping message from the British media will be that Scotland has lost interest in the idea of independence, that Scotland doesn’t want independence any more, that the steam has gone out of the independence drive. That’s going to make it even harder to achieve a referendum or to pursue any alternative strategy – whether there’s a new pro-indy party or not.

Judging from Nicola Sturgeon’s speech to the SNP party conference in Aberdeen yesterday (Tuesday), it appears that the party leadership has indeed learned the lesson of the 2017 General Election campaign. The question of independence, the question of ensuring that it’s the people of Scotland who have the absolute right to decide the future path that Scotland takes, will be front and foremost in the SNP’s General Election campaign. This General Election in Scotland will be dominated by the question of independence as Scotland’s route out of the mess and chaos of Brexit.

It is always a good thing to ensure that political leaders, of any party, are held to account. But right now the priority for the independence movement must be to work our socks off to ensure that we get as many votes for the SNP and as many new MPs for the SNP as we possibly can in the coming General Election. A resounding victory for the SNP in the General Election to come will drastically alter the political landscape in Scotland and make it far harder for the anti-independence parties to resist a demand for another referendum. A continued refusal from Westminster under those circumstances will make it easier for the independence movement to bring soft yes voters and undecideds with us if the need arises to pursue another strategy to bring about an indyref. A large increase in the number of SNP MPs will ensure that the UK media pays attention and will make it far more difficult for them to peddle the false narrative that Scotland doesn’t want a referendum. It will immensely strengthen the hand of the First Minister in her demand for a referendum. There is no downside for the independence movement in ensuring that the SNP does extremely well in this coming General Election. There are potentially severe consequences for independence if our infighting means that the party doesn’t do well.

There may very well come a time when we need to pursue another strategy for getting to an independence referendum. That time could be soon, but we can say with absolute certainty that it’s going to be after this approaching Westminster General Election. The crucial task for the independence movement is to ensure that if the need arises for us to debate a Plan B, or C, or D, for getting an independence referendum, that we are doing so from a position of strength. That’s only going to happen if the sole pro-independence political party which can win Westminster seats achieves a resounding victory in the Westminster General Election that’s ahead of us and is able to argue for that independence referendum with the wind in its sails and the votes of the people behind it.

Let’s work to make that happen. Let’s argue for independence from a position of strength.


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76 comments on “Arguing from a position of strength

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Arguing from a position of strength This blog has a long standing policy of not attacking or criticising other […]

  2. Joe. says:

    Hello Paul
    Enjoyed the gathering in the St Clair tavern.in Kirkcaldy.last night.and the company very friendly people.will look forward to the next meeting.and to hear what you have to say.by the way.the £5.is for a treat for the lovely wee ginger dug.
    joe.

  3. skintybroko says:

    Thanks for your common sense approach to the main issue at hand – many others should be taking a long hard look at themselves as they hurtle our independence aspirations towards oblivion.

  4. Perhaps now there will be no general election. If this deal goes through. Why would Boris call one and how would the opposition hope to win a motion of no confidence in the government? Just thinking aloud.

  5. Stuart MacKay says:

    I wouldn’t take the spirited discussions and provocative posts on the various blogs too seriously since right now there’s nothing much happening. Also I would not overstate their importance amongst the general populace. If there’s a General Election announced and the disagreements continue that’s the time to start banging heads together.

    Paul, any chance we could get a follow-up guest blog on “Your chance to change the face of Scotland” to report how the fringe meeting at the SNP conference went? It would be interesting to see what direction the issue of land use is going.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I’ll ask Max to write something.

      • Stuart MacKay says:

        Thanks very much.

        I know all the negativity gets a little tiresome at times but a lot of these things needs to be said. After all you can be sure that the Main Stream Media will be chanting them in unison irrespective of what goes on elsewhere.

        What’s going to take the drive to independence over the line is a sense of optimism and a sense that we can do better. That’s what I liked about “Your chance to change the face of Scotland”. It opens the imagination to what we can achieve as a country once we have control.

        • weegingerdug says:

          My concern is that the negativity, as you put it, will discourage some indy activists from campaigning for the SNP in the General Election that’s coming.

          • mearnsgeek says:

            My concern along the same lines is that this is what the “there will be no referendum” pronouncements are for – to get the various factions in the movement at each others throats so that when a referendum is agreed we can’t work together :-/

          • Neil Anderson says:

            It won’t stop me. Have never been an SNP member but will campaign hard for them in the next GE. East Renfrewshire, wish me luck.

        • weegingerdug says:

          OK. Max, who wrote the original piece, is going to write a follow up. I’m going away for a week on Tuesday next week to spend some time with my husband (it’s our anniversary) so will publish it when I am gone.

  6. Heartsupwards says:

    thinking of voting for the Torys in the hope that Scotland can experience the “No Other Way Out” scenario, then we get our Indyref2.

  7. Heartsupwards says:

    so voting Tory in hope that Scotland will get a full taste of the future if we remain in UK is no good then? It may shake a few into action at Indyref2

  8. Jan Cowan says:

    Excellent! Great article. Thank you Paul.

  9. Excellent as ever, Paul. Thank you. The long-awaited and frequently postponed crunch time must surely be coming now. Time to buckle up – and buckle down.

  10. ArtyHetty says:

    Thanks Paul.

    Finding the infighting and SNP bad stuff from some I follow, very depressing. I can see why people are very concerned about self ID, but SNP bad is just pandering so much to the Britnat media who must be loving it. We need to stick together at this stage, it’s crucial. SNP are not perfect at all, but they are head and shoulders above any other Britnat party for policy and putting their words into actions.

    I don’t envy Nicola Sturgeon in that job at all.

    The Britnats are experts at distraction, protraction, and downright skullduggery when it comes to, well anything really. The SNP and Scotland are up against it for sure, therefore, making the right moves at the right time is surely very tricky. I don’t play chess, have watched it, Scotland needs to be very very good at it right now though.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      They may have the Queen, but we have loads of castles, quite a few late knights, and a wheen o pawns… And it’s our board… 😉

  11. Bob Lamont says:

    Indeed on the button, the next GE needs a clear splodge of yellow on that usual UK map, the orange apostrophe should it remain post Swinson may prove interesting, but the dead-fly blues and reds definitely need to go…
    It’s no longer a matter of blogger opinions nor party allegiances nor pro/anti EU sentiment, this vote has to send a resounding NO MORE to the Westminster mafia… England doesn’t have SNP else they’d be jumping on the bandwagon painting the Map yellow down to the northern limits of the M25….
    Time to make Britain grate again… 😉

  12. Brian Powell says:

    Exactly, 100 times over.

  13. crabbitgits says:

    Inspirational rallying cry WGD; and although I have shown my frustration recently, I agree with every word of it and am right behind you.

  14. Andy Anderson says:

    Agree 100% Paul.

    My wife and I were discussing this very thing yesterday. Indy first.

    However had it not been for indy the SNP would lose our vote over self-I’d. We both think they are great at the day job but this is one step to far. If self id goes ahead they will loose use after we win the referendum.

  15. Mark Russell says:

    Glad you wrote that. Spent a few hours last night reading some of the comments on like-minded blogs – and yeah. We all need to get off our cuddy-hunkers and give our tender egos a well-deserved rest for a while. There’s a sair fecht ahead. Everyone has a part to play.

  16. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    I agree, 100%.

  17. xtc says:

    If Independence supporters fail to get out in numbers in the upcoming GE they not only weaken the case for Independence but allow MP’s to stay in power that the SNP have every chanv=ce of deposing.

    There was talk of reducing the number of Labour and Tory MP’s back done to one each but it’s possible that the Tories could keep as many as 6 seats and how can that possibly help Independence?

    The simple answer of course is that failing to remove British Nationalist MP’s would be a horrendous blunder, I totally agree with your article and all supporters of Independence must keep Independence as their primary goal. Support the SNP in any upcoming GE as it’s the only way to move forward to another referendum that Yes can win. Please don’t lose faith now.

    • Craig P says:

      Yep. The amount of blue on the electoral map of Scotland is frankly offensive. It makes the north-east, Stirling, and the entire south look like banjo-picking bigots. Obviously that is an over-reaction, but it is my gut feeling when looking at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results/scotland

      On a personal note, in 2015, for the first time ever, I was represented by an MP I actually voted for. Would be nice for that to happen again. It won’t unless there is more energy and purpose to the SNP’s campaign than in 2017.

  18. Wullie says:

    The long game as played the world over by those in power is now beginning to show fruit. People get nervous fractious and extremely irritated and begin to fight amongst themselves you can see it now as plain as the nose on your face. We are waiting for that day that the powers that be know full well will never arrive and they can continue on as they always have done.

  19. I have emailed a complaint to the BBC news department about there bias. I have asked why their reporters and interviewers have never seemed to have been informed of the terms of the Treaty of the Union of the Scottish and English parliaments. They promised yo inform me of their findings by email. I hope.

  20. Jim Palmer says:

    You hit the nail on the head!

    Like many, I am a bit nervous about aspects of SNP strategy, and just want to “get it done” – but winning independence is the only thing that really matters right now. Everything else depends on that! (I’m really glad I don’t have Nicola Sturgeons job)

    However, some of our leading lights don’t seem to be able to see the wood for the trees. I have no patience with the egotistical willy measuring that’s going on right now.

    I am on the verge of giving up on some bloggers for whom I used to have the utmost respect. The infighting, sniping and SNP-baddery on display is nauseating. These blogs have, in the past, suggested that our SNP MPs were getting addicted to the Westminster gravy train. I wonder whether these bloggers have got to the stage where, at some level, their “influence” has become more important to them than our common goal?

  21. Terry callachan says:

    I like it
    I’m glad you said it

  22. Petra says:

    Says it all for me. Practically verbatim to what I and a number of individuals have been / had been saying, although not so eloquently, lol, for quite some time. Let’s hope that some ”others” take heed, although I doubt it.

    As to the Self ID that’s been mentioned a couple of times on here, it would be worthwhile to thoroughly check facts from a number of sites.The ins and outs of this would take fat too long to go into on this site (and this is probably not the place), but suffice to say that the bottom line is that if it’s not to the Scots liking it can be overturned just as the OBFA etc has been. Nothing is written in stone.

    Focus, focus, focus on taking the steps towards our main aim and that is Independence. Who’s the only person and party that can achieve such an objective? Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. Anyone who says otherwise is detrimental to our cause, imo.

    And once again Paul, I would just like to say thank goodness we’ve got, you, the voice of reason on our side. A true stalwart for Scottish Independence.

  23. Petra says:

    ”fat too long”? Eh, that should read ”far too long.”

    ………………………..

    Die in a ditch or choke on your ID card? Take your pick Boris. We don’t mind yah wee hypocrite. https://twitter.com/ThomasPride/status/1184193978947833856

    Taken from Nana’s Links. Check them out.

    https://indyref2.space/nanas-links-2/

  24. Petra says:

    O/T

    ‘Exclusive interview with Joanna Cherry.’

    http://www.holyrood.com/inside-politics/view,with-a-cherry-on-top-exclusive-interview-with-joanna-cherry_14544.htm

    ………………………..

    Richard Murphy:- ‘Is the Good Friday Agreement to be updated by a Bad Tuesday Deal?’

    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2019/10/15/is-the-good-friday-agreement-to-be-updated-by-a-bad-tuesday-deal/

  25. Contrary says:

    Well said Paul, and correct.

    I can’t say I particularly like the SNP (or any political party), but I have no argument with their strategy at present, and we need overwhelming numbers seen to be voting for them in a Westminster election to make any kind of impact. They are polled to get more seats, so I suspect there will be some complacency in voting too.

    The pro-Indy people allegedly complaining about the SNP strategy and angrily denouncing it, should have formed their own party years ago – because that is how long it takes to form and reach a credible stage of electability, and voters generally actually want to know something about the mundane policies not just the radical ones – so we already had a choice now. Too little, too late. A pointless exercise in expounding frustration and making us all feel miserable and trapped, while bad mouthing the SNP for not doing it the way they think it should be done. The SNP are not the be all and end all, there will be more options if their strategy fails. It seems like people getting so angry and frustrated are affected in the same way that the extremist leave/remain has been in England. Being unaware of the effect of the rants ‘…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’ (whether or not the accusations are true or not is irrelevant), shows a distinct lack of political acumen.

    The nativity displayed on how politics actually works in this country is astonishing – I would have loved to have had lots of different middle-ground pro-independence parties to choose from over the decades, but no one else has stepped up to the plate. I welcome any new pro-independence party, but to actually imagine forming a party now (without billions in backing) would make any difference to anything over the next two years is wishful thinking, and thinking any hard-line intolerant stance will win votes (in numbers that matter) even more so. We need charisma and nous, and a decent understanding of economics.

    A bit too encrusted in neo-liberalism and a potentially very toxic policy, for me, from the SNP, and rising hypocrisy, make them pretty much like every other political party,,, EXCEPT they do a better job of running the country, a far better job of representing Scotland in Westminster, and they have promised us independence next year – I will not be saying no to those things.

  26. Cubby says:

    Excellent writing. My thoughts exactly. It just seems so obvious I cannot understand why some Independence supporters cannot see it. We do not want a repeat of 2017 GE.

  27. kriskinch says:

    I too enjoyed your talk in Kirkcaldy last night Paul, and I agree 100% with this blog. In fact, as a very-long-term member of the Scottish Greens, I have tried to persuade my party at local and national level – for this election and this election ONLY – that we should NOT be fielding candidates and splitting the Indy vote. It is so important to get as many SNP candidates as possible elected, for all the reasons that you cite.
    So for the first time ever, if I had the choice between voting Green or voting SNP, this time I would vote SNP. However, I won’t have to make that decision, as there will be no Green standing here.
    Let’s just hope that Green votes – splitting the Indy vote – do not prevent an SNP candidate from being elected.

  28. Millsy says:

    Independence ! Independence ! Independence ! NOTHING else matters ! NO ONE else matters !

  29. Interpolar says:

    Yes. Paul, and yes again. Thank you for this cool-headedness. Scots are Scotland’s own best enemy, with constant infighting and tribalism throughout the centuries we have always been easy to buy off and be turned against one another. We can trash the SNP after independence, but for now, lump it, because they are – as you say – the only game in town. Given the urgency of Scotland’s precarious constitutional position, Independence IS the day job.

    • Petra says:

      I’m trying to think why you’d want to trash them (the SNP), Interpolar? Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP have been doing an amazing job (Day, Brexit and Independence), especially under the extremely trying circumstances, imo.

      • Terry callachan says:

        I agree , SNP do an amazing job and that’s with every newspaper radio station tv station politician at their heels biting away and telling lies about what SNP achieve.
        People have short memories
        Council tax freeze for years that rest of U.K. didn’t get
        Free prescriptions that rest of U.K. don’t get
        Free uni that rest of U.K. don’t get
        Lower income tax than rest of U.K. for lowest earners
        Gee those things affect just about everyone
        How is that doing a bad job ?
        Makes me wonder about some people who say they don’t like SNP

  30. bringiton says:

    Well said Paul.

  31. Colin Alexander says:

    Sending lots of SNP MPs to Westminster just for the sake of sending SNP MPs to WM is like Labour “opposing” the House of Lords by stuffing it full of Labour peers.

    The YES movement wised up to that mince in 2017 and didn’t bother voting by the hundreds of thousands. I’ll be doing the same, I think.

    I’ll save my pro-indy vote for indyref2.

    That’s assuming our Imperial Masters ever give consent to the colonial administrators at Holyrood.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Then you’re helping Westminster to insist that Scotland doesn’t want a referendum, and making it more difficult for us to get a referendum.

      Thanks for nothing. I hope you enjoy your ideological purity under UK rule. Because with your attitude, that’s where Scotland will be remaining.

    • good grief – if this post s not from Comton in Berkshire, it might as well be

    • Terry callachan says:

      If lots of people do what you suggest Colin , Westminster will openly say that people in Scotland don’t want another Scottish independence referendum ,the tv
      radio , newspapers , everywhere you look you will see that message being put out and all because you want a Scottish independence referendum by a different route that the SNP are taking.
      I think you will be better getting a Scottish independence referendum the SNP route than not at all Colin.
      Come on my friend we need you, lots of people read what you say and agree with you but Scotland as a country needs you to buckle up and link in with your fellow citizens all under one banner as they say, we need you on our side and if that means erasing a red line or two we have to do it, many of us are already doing it.
      We need you with us.

  32. Tol says:

    If an SNP speech happens in parliament but no one hears it – does it make a sound?

    You can’t ‘argue’ if they won’t listen – because if you follow the Westminster options, they don’t have to. YES may as well just scream into a storm.

    Remember the options Westminster focuses on are only a subset that suits them….thats deliberate – You have to use its options that makes everyone listen.

  33. Contrary says:

    It’s not just that I want independence, I want Scotland to want independence (and Scotland is its people), I believe we still need to heal after the highland clearances, we have indulged in self pity and misery for centuries since then. Revolving around the idea that we deserve to be shat on from a great height because we were so stupid to let ourselves be so easily defeated and sold out…. As interpolar says above. But I don’t believe this image that we’ve painted of ourselves is true, or rather has been painted for us.

    So easily bought off? Well, it took centuries of agitation and infiltration and fighting by outside agencies before the treaty of union was signed, centuries. So, not so easily. Infighting and tribalism? No more than any other country or group, and maybe less than, and it was that same agitation and infiltration that historically caused most of the infighting. It took them centuries, and it wore us down. That was no easy win, and no push-over. Time to start building ourselves and the country up again. The way to start is with independence, then we can lay the past to rest and move on. And we can stop believing the lies that we are told to believe about ourselves (e.g. Where did the idea come from that the scots are stingy? Most generous people in the world, but not the richest, and have a good sense of money management, but that’s a bad thing aye?).

    No, we aren’t, or ever were, a push-over or easily defeated. We’ve just had the longest licking-of-wounds ever recorded. It is time to stand up again.

  34. Good post – I wish this sort of common sense could be reflected in other blogs that shall remain nameless

  35. ScotsCanuck says:

    I’ll just add my two cents worth, Paul …. wise words, written by a cool head, to some who might be hot under the collar.

  36. Ken says:

    The words of reason. So true. Some folk seem to have lost the plot. Just when it’s close to being achieved. They seem to have gone to the dark side. Incomprehensible, Not right at all. Why? Goodness knows.

    What the Tories are doing is just unbelievable, Trying to tank the economy again. Thatcher Deja Vu, Mark 11.

    The deal looks like remaining for years. Until the Tories can be voted out and full EU rights restored. The Westminster unionist policy is just a complete and utter shambles, Completely lost the plot. Everyone is sick of it. Independence will come out of it.

    The SNP should get a majority, Get Independence and change the voting system back again. Unionists changed it to their advantage, First preference votes go in the bin to let 3rd losers in. They can’t be got rid. A fallacy,

    The Johnston pantomime goes on. Every day tries another way. The dope on the rope. What a joke. A lying joker. The deal is not a deal and never could be. For years and years, still aligned. Britain will vote to be back in but Scotland will vote for Independence. Two states in the EU. Scotland a successful place and nation State. If Scotland gets better off, so does the rest of Britain.

    There are great plans in place from the SNP Scottish Gov. Totally brilliant, Transport, marine links, education, social care. £10 child payment. Too many to mention. Even a possible increase in pension rates could fe achieved. Taking bureaucracy out of the system making it simpler. It is already being done in Scotland. Treating people with dignity.

    Getting rid of the Westminster stalemate, dross and mismanagement should do it. Scotland a really successful place with enlightenment. Not illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion.

    Thatcher put in place tax havens. The EU will abolition them and make them pay their share. A totally worthwhile investment and contribution. Worldwide. For peace and prosperity.

    It is such a shame some Indy support has gone over to the dark side, Just when the push to get over the line is so important. United it succeed. Divided is not an option. Indy support should get behind the SNP not hinder Independence. Divide and rule is just not a successful policy. A divisive wish at this stage is non negotiable and will fail.

    Scotland has never been better run. Independence will increase achievements, There are great plans in place for innovation. Independence will get over the line. A great future, everyone should get to it. Stop the division. No need for negativity. The final push is in sight. Everyone can do join in, donate campaign. Do not leave it to others. For a great future,

    The Brexit mess is just unbelievable. Everyone is sick of it. Just totally depressing and negative. Gie’s peace.

    Vote for Independence for a bright future in the EU. Scotland can’t afford to be out of it. Depopulated Scotland could not exist but for harmony. The EU helped Devolution being achieved and the principles will help bring Independence. Principles of self determination. People have to vote for it.

    Devolution is such a success. Independence will be even better. People should support it. Not Scotland being ill governed by Tories. For whom people in Scotland did not vote,

    The Scottish Gov should try to find a way
    to reimburse pensioners. If it can be done under the limited powers. It would be a total vote winner, The elderly anti disappearing the young ones coming on board. Opinion aligned to succeed.

    The united in a cause succeed, the divided fail. Be a winner and support the SNP. Standing up for Scotland. People know it makes sense. It has led to great victories. In a biased detrimental system. Out voted 10 to 1. The SNP has still succeeded. Even better things to come. Get on board to give support. Get over the line this time. Now is the time to hold the line. Get to it,

    • Bob Lamont says:

      As an infrequent visitor to other blogger sites much of what has been said about them passed me by, but is it not odd coincidence that at a time of Westminster in “apparent” disarray, the Brexit saga reaching the endgame, a GE imminent, and Indy2 on the near horizon, that rancour and chinese whispers bubble to the surface over SNP?
      Impatience is one thing, but fracturing a once unified and cohesive force is straight out of the “divide and conquer” rulebook, and it is not only HMG who are very good at it. SMSM has an army of keyboard on call to present the “majority” opinion of “there is no appetite/Too wee too poor”, despite being an inversion of %age-indy from independent polling.
      UK attitudes to EU were successfully manipulated by rich elites to their advantage, and with Leave.eu’s recently ramping up anti-SNP/Sturgeon rhetoric, my impression is this is not so much an extension of their anti-EU campaign, but a concerted effort to neuter calls for Indy and bind Scotland to their rebranded UK-reborn.
      I concur with “The united in a cause succeed”, but to do that we must resist being distracted or diverted from that unity by forces who would see it disintegrate. Whatever faults SNP may or may not have is not for now but for a post-Indy2 discussion.
      SNP are the only credible electoral force toward Independence, like it or lump it, they and we need 100% to get behind them.

  37. Ken says:

    Happy anniversary. Enjoy it. Time passes so quick. Especially as folk get older. Whosh. Like the internet connect,

  38. Eckle Fechan says:

    Another incisive on-the-money post Paul, for my money. That’s two back-to-back! Don’t comment often but I want to say thanks for this and other insightful posts. Long may you continue to express words of wisdom and encouragement at the time we need them most.

    Slàinthe.

  39. Petra says:

    The BBC (et al) tell us that Scotland’s deficit is 7 times higher than the UK as a whole, therefore the EU won’t want us. Who’s kidding who? https://twitter.com/Feroxbill1/status/1184417153199550467

    Taken from Nana’s Links site. Check them out.

    https://indyref2.space/nanas-links-2/

  40. Petra says:

    Brexit affairs committee, Joanna takes on Barclay: https://twitter.com/joannaccherry/status/1184522169923096576

    ………………………….

    Mr Hypocritical Mundell still hanging around like a bad smell https://twitter.com/itvnews/status/1184424295327502337

  41. Petra says:

    I say, too late for this now Mr Paun.

    http://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/news-and-opinion/deal-or-no-deal-uk-government-needs-new-strategy-union

    ………………………………………

    The dictatorship in action.

    ‘MPs won’t get a say on post-Brexit trade deals, claims government minister Liz Truss.’

    ..”If Truss gets her way, and if Parliament approves Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, MPs will be granting the Prime Minister absolute control to shape Britain’s economy for the next 100 years.”

    https://scramnews.com/mps-will-not-have-say-post-brexit-trade-deals-liz-truss/

  42. Petra says:

    C’mon Scots get off of your knees and help us to get out of this h*llhole.

    ‘DUP defends Arlene Foster’s ‘astonishing’ meetings with senior loyalists.’

    http://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2019/10/16/news/dup-defends-arlene-foster-s-astonishing-meetings-with-senior-loyalists-1739844/

    …………………………..

    ‘New IRA says border infrastructure would be ‘legitimate target for attack.’

    https://www.channel4.com/news/new-ira-says-border-infrastructure-would-be-legitimate-target-for-attack

  43. Ken says:

    The DUP have rejected the deal. Does anyone know what’s going on. Does anyone care any more. 300 DUP sectarian bigots ruining the world.

    The bribery and corruption of Westminster. They will be wanting another back handed. Although they have been given to much already. Marching over everyone’s rights. Blackballing people. Secretly and illegally. Taking Scotland’s resources and revenues,

    Iraq, Dunblane and Lockerbie. Kept secret for 100 years.

    The secret and illegal abuse in Ireland. The illegal Partition by Westminster denying people equal rights backed up by illegal bigotry, racism, misogyny. Unequal and illegal. Against employment and equality Laws, The DUP are a Law unto themselves. The want to be part of the UK but break UK Law. They make the Law and break the Law. Unlawful corruption. Getting away with it. .

  44. If only someone had warned us that Johnson would throw the DUP ander the £350 million a week NHS Wrightbus, that there would be a border down the Irish Sea, and the DUP would cry ‘No Surrender! ‘, and that there would be disruption and riots in London initially, and WM would jeject Boris Die in a Ditch Deal, and the Delay Letter despatched to Brussels.
    Hang on a minute.

  45. Craig P says:

    In the current nat spat I think of you Paul, as being like Billy Zane in the Zoolander film:

  46. Undeadshuan says:

    So NI will likely remain in the CU and single market, meanwhile Scotland leaves both.

    This can only boost support further for independence and should also be part of the next GE campaign by SNP.

  47. Ken says:

    It’s a pity some other sites did not take your good advice. The nonsense they are peddling is dangerous. Damaging for the SNP and Independence. Some do not even live in Scotland or have a vote, but think they can command the narrative, The total ignorance and arrogance. Diabolical.

    • Petra says:

      And the latest “nonsense” is pushing the line that the SNP should support LBJ’s deal in return for a Section 30 Order. The Unionists themselves couldn’t come up with a better Indyref2 scuppering plan. Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP would be crucified in Scotland if they attempted to do such a thing. They won’t of course and therefore will continue to be crucified for not doing so elsewhere.

  48. Peter A Bell says:

    The folly of this is the self-evidently daft notion that if we don’t mention the strategic blunders they will cease to be strategic blunders. Or that the effects of the strategic blunders will somehow be cancelled out by not mentioning them.

    I entirely take the point about how crucial the SNP is to Scotland’s cause. Few can claim to have done more to make this point than myself. But it is because the party is so vital to the cause that we must be sure it is functioning effectively for the cause. That cannot happen if serious mistakes are left unaddressed.

    There must come a stage where the mistakes put the entire independence project in jeopardy. What is being suggested here is that we ignore that risk. That seems wantonly reckless.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Indisputable in normal times Peter, the problem is these are not normal times, whatever review and remedy is required, is this really the ideal time for distractions?
      I’ve seen the rows flare and build in various quarter over SNP in the last 6 months even among dyed in the wool SNP campaigners, but what hit home beyond some silly decisions was “divide and conquer”, ably abetted by SMSM. Andy Wightman, Stu Campbell, law suits which previously would never have arisen but suddenly grew legs and debts? Hello?
      We presume much from the outside, none of us know why SNP behaved as they did, all we have left is trust however “reckless”, the objective remains Indy. As flawed and quirky as the SNP train may be (plenty ready to derail it) we need to keep up momentum and relay track when required… The alternative is to set the clock back 10-15 years to review management cockups, wait for the full picture, and then what?
      The anti-indy contingent have been praying for a fissure to exploit in the Yes movement for years and failed until now, that this angst manifests coincidental to peak Brexit screwup and an imminent GE is just a tad more than coincidental, and I’ve no SNP connection whatsoever. But I can smell a rat at 50m, IDS at 500km…

  49. Sue Varley says:

    I was prepared to trust the SNP strategy on getting another independence referendum, I have been doing so for three years and more, but I have now got two strong reservations.

    The first is the word that a section 30 order was never requested: this may be the literal truth but was very strongly NOT the impression we were given back in 2017 when we were told by the SNP themselves that an S30 order had been requested. It seems now dishonest and the politics of spin to claim that because of weasel words about “early discussions”, no request took place. I expect better from the SNP.

    Secondly, I quit the SNP this week over the way GRA is being handled. When I asked my MSP earlier in the year I was told there would be a proper consultation and review with all relevant groups and yet the SNP are still only consulting with groups who are in favour, some of whom are even being funded by the Scottish Government. Furthermore, while this review is still going on, an SNP minister announces at Dundee Pride that the GRA will go ahead! The election of Rhiannon Spear to the post of Women’s Convenor was the last straw for me. I cannot justify this policy on the doorstep so I will not campaign, and I am not inclined to fund a party hell bent on taking away women’s rights.

    I seem to remember Paul that you had similar reservations about voting for the SNP candidate in your constituency in 2015 over gay rights, surely you can understand our reservations now over women’s rights?

    I am still and always pro independence, will campaign for and vote for it if we ever get another chance, but what is the point of stacking up ever more mandates that do not seem to get acted upon? If we are waiting for clarity over Brexit before we can go again, we could be waiting for a very long time. We seem to be no nearer clarity now than we were after the 2017 GE.

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