The battle of wills

We now have some certainty about where we’re headed in terms of another referendum. The First Minister has announced that plans will be announced within the next six months, and the issue of independence and Scotland’s right to choose will be front and foremost during the next Holyrood elections. Voters will go to the polls in the next Scottish elections in the knowledge that this is not just an election to decide the party which will govern a devolved administration for the following five years, it’s an election to decide who has the right to choose the future of Scotland itself. Is it the people of this country, or is it a Prime Minister in Downing Street that Scotland didn’t elect.

If, as is to be hoped, there is a majority SNP and pro-independence government in the Scottish Parliament following that election, then Scotland should be able to move ahead rapidly to a second referendum. Or perhaps more accurately, to move ahead rapidly to a constitutional clash with the Westminster government. A clash which Westminster will lose as long as we hold our nerve.

This is a test of wills and resolve. Westminster is not about to concede another referendum unless it realises that one way or another, Scotland is resolved that the people of Scotland are going to decide the future of our country. That’s why it’s vital that we concede not an inch of ground to Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. Scotland has the absolute right to decide for itself whether it wants to remain a part of the UK. The people of Scotland have the absolute right to decide when we wish to ask the question. We will not be bound by spurious arguments about generational votes. We will not be held to promises which made or may not have been made by politicians. The Conservatives do not have the right to bind the hands of the people of Scotland. That is why we must not, and we will not, concede that Boris Johnson has any right at all to refuse our demand for a second referendum.

The purpose here is to create sufficient moral and political capital amongst the people of this country to ensure that Westminster realises that the people will support alternative routes to another referendum. The Tories know that if they continue to stand in the way of Scottish democracy, all that they will succeed in doing is to build up a head of steam and anger in Scotland that will ensure that when things do finally come to a head, whether that’s in a referendum without a Section 30 order, a plebiscite election, or some other democratic mechanism, that they will lose heavily.

The Conservatives need to be taught the lesson that the only hope in hell that they have of winning is to cooperate with a Section 30 order. That’s why it’s essential not to give them a millimetre. If they believe that our resolve will crack because many of us think that they’ll never agree to another referendum, then that only assists them in refusing another referendum. They’ll perceive it as weakness and that will only encourage them. They need to know that we are determined, and that we’re not going to go away.

This is essentially a campaign for the collective civil liberties of Scotland. In any campaign for civil liberties, those campaigning were not disheartened because the law was against them. They didn’t give in because they were in a minority. They knew that they had right on their side and that conviction is what carried them to victory. That conviction is what we need too.

The Scottish Government can only have sufficient resolve and determination to stand up to Westminster until it gets a referendum if it knows that the electorate are behind it. The SNP was seriously spooked by the loss of seats in the 2017 General Election, despite still ending up as the largest party. Losing 21 seats and some of the party’s biggest names in Westminster was a serious blow to its confidence. Perception counts for a great deal in politics. It counts for more than facts. That’s something that the pro-indy critics of the Scottish Government often fail to appreciate. Politics isn’t about facts so much as it’s about the stories that are told – and the stories that are believed. This is also why it’s imperative to ensure that the SNP gains in seats and vote share in the next election. Because if they lose seats, even if they lose seats to other pro-indy parties, the only story in the media will be that the SNP has lost and that Scotland doesn’t want another referendum.

Naturally these plans will not be sufficient for the woe woe and thrice woe faction of the independence movement. However, let’s be blunt here. If you are the kind of person who spends a significant amount of your time on social media banging on about Scottish independence, you are not the target audience. The regular readers of this and other indy blogs are not who the Scottish Government is seeking to persuade of the wisdom of its plans. Yes, it sounds like a slap in the teeth to those of us who have slogged our guts out in one way or another to keep the flame of independence alive these past years, and yes, some of us might feel that we’re being taken for granted and upset that we’re not getting greater recognition. But this is a campaign to win back Scotland’s independence. This is not Nicola Sturgeon’s best friend race. All she needs to know is that when another referendum happens, we’ll vote yes in it. And we will.

I’ve said this before but it bears repetition. The important demographic that must be wooed here is not those of us who would crawl over broken glass in order to vote for Scottish independence. It’s the ones who are uncertain. It’s the recently converted. It’s remain voters who are starting to realise that the best and quickest way back into a closer relationship with Europe is through independence. They’re the people who need to support an alternative route to independence if it is to succeed. And frustrating as it is to those of us who have already been in an independent frame of Scottish mind for a very long time, it’s only when those people back us that we will have a sufficient majority in order to win, and to win convincingly.

The simple fact of the matter is that there are not enough of us who are banged on independence supporters to get us over the line. Scotland is on a journey to independence, but a large number of our compatriots are not quite there yet. Much as some of our more zealous friends don’t wish to accept it, that’s the reality of Scotland. This is not a country which is ready for UDI. Yet. This is not a country which is ready for a referendum without a section 30 order. Yet. This is not a country which is ready for a plebiscite election. Yet.

We can now see the route to independence starting to appear out of the fog. We need to ensure that there’s a majority SNP government in power in Holyrood next May. Then we can demonstrate to an already cracking and panicked Conservative party that if it’s going to come down to a battle of wills between Boris Johnson and the people of Scotland, Johnson is going to lose. We have right on our side.


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250 comments on “The battle of wills

  1. Bob Lamont says:

    Merde, I enjoyed that.. Bravo

  2. andyfromdunning says:

    Merde again.

    I enjoyed this message also Paul. It’s about keeping the heid and conversation to help the undecided. Future does look a bit less foggy right enough.

  3. Millsy says:

    Independence- It’s a marathon not a sprint !
    We have come a long way in a ( relatively) short time . Now is not the time to lose heart or question other Independence-minded people of their commitment to the cause .
    The SNP is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is the only current vehicle which will help us to reach our goal .
    Be patient , be confident and we will succeed .

  4. proudcybernat says:

    Excellent piece, Paul.

    Mr only concern with this SNP SE2021 majority malarky. What if SNP don’t get a majority but there’s an indy majority of SNP, Greens and perhaps a couple of ISP MSPs? We cannot be told by British Nationalists that because the SNP didn;t gain an overall parliamentary majority then the IndyRef is off. What matters, SURELY, is what our ScotParl votes for, not the individual parties.

    I have seen a couple of senior SNP politicos driving this SNP SE2021 majority because it suits the SNP because what it will do is squeeze out the smaller indy parties – don’t vote for the smaller indy parties otherwise you’ll jeopardise the SNP overall majority that we need narrative. Such a narrative suits the SNP but it will come back to haunt them if they fail to gain the overall majority they seek.I can hear the BritNats already, “You cannae have yer referendum cuz yees didnae get an SNP majority!”

    So NO! Just NO! We must NOT be fooled into this and we most certainly must not allow any British Nationalist to bind us with such a condition and we most certainly must not advocate it for ourselves – that is stupidity on stilts at the top of the Kingston Crane!

    If our democracy means anything then that democracy is expressed by the will of our Scots Parliament and NOT any one party therein.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Personally I agree with you. I think that a majority of pro-indy parties ought to be enough irrespective of what those parties are. However as I pointed out politics isn’t about facts, it’s about narratives and stories. I think it’s a lot safer if we don’t give the British nationalists the opportunity to construct a story about how the SNP went into reverse.

      • Brian says:

        Yes I agree with Paul. However, it’s worth noting that the recently released poll from Business for Scotland indicates that 60% would support a non-section 30 order providing there is a majority for pro-independence parties after the election. So I think the people are on side with this.

        • weegingerdug says:

          Yes they’re definitely getting there. I am sure that poll put a shiver up what passes for a spine in the Conservative party.

          • Brian says:

            Yes Paul and the 63% who think YES will win is also encouraging. This means that there are a significant number of current NO voters who think they are going to LOSE. Also, I see the MSM have taken this up. All important as regards the perceptions of the populace. 🙂

    • jfngw says:

      I agree and the push by those wanting you to split your vote is playing into their hands. I don’t know if those pro-independence advocates are unaware of the danger or have agendas that they see as higher than independence.

      I remember someone once called them the buckaroo’s, strange that they have become the buck’s that may become the block to a referendum. I wonder if some of them now care, probably a few would choke at the thought of Nicola Sturgeon leading the country to independence.

    • Proud cybernat…..of course you are correct

      But let’s be clear about this
      What is the point of voting green or ISP if you can vote SNP and we are then all under one banner

      I’ve nothing against the greens I praise their aim for a greener safer environment

      I have no opposition to a List party ….if there’s only one List party running but already there’s more than one so it’s only going to split the votes for Scottish independence and possibly lose seats instead of gain them

      We are all pretty certain that this time we can get a majority for Scottish independence
      so let’s all vote SNP and get the job done

      Once we have Scottish independence there has to be a “Scottish general election”
      of course there has
      Because all previous were under British government rules

      As an independent country we can proceed to choose the kind of Parliament we want as well as the kind of voting system we want
      We can rid ourselves of D,Hondt
      We can reject SNP who knows it may split in fact it will probably split as the leaders define and choose the direction they want for Scotland’s future

      So Proudcybernat yes I think you are correct but for the best result it should be everyone of the 56% or is it now 57% vote SNP and if the number increases as we hope it’s a win for YES this time..

      • proudcybernat says:

        “So Proudcybernat yes I think you are correct but….”

        No but. We cannot advocate that IndyRef2 will only ever happen when there’s an SNP overall majority in HR and not when there is a cross-party majority for Indy. Advocating such is making a rod for our own backs for BritNats to use against us later. As I said upthread, I can hear the BritNats narrative already, “Yaes arenae getting a second ref cuz yaes didnae get an SNP majority in Holyrood – so there!” (even though there’s a cross-party indy majority sitting in parliament. SNP politicos should STOP pushing this idea. It’ll bite them on the arse.

        To bind ourselves to such a condition is just mental. Our PARLIAMENT is sovereign, NOT any single party.

        • weegingerdug says:

          I am not advocating that. I’m just saying let’s not give the British nationalists any excuses. I’d be delighted to see other pro-indy parties represented in Holyrood.

          • I know YOU’RE not advocating this, Paul – but there are some senior people in the SNP who are doing precisely this. They have to chuck doing it. Imagine advocating a parliament that is only sovereign when there’s an SNP majority passing the Bills in it. Bonkers.

            • Robert Hastings says:

              It’s all very well anticipating an SGE immediately following a vote for Independence but I fear, and I’ve never seen this discussed before, that there is a splintering of the SNP vote and we end up with some form of Unity Government with the Unionists in the majority. Just imagine them negotiating with the U.K the terms and getting their instructions from London. Let’s stick with the SNP until it is all done and dusted.

              • I’m not saying we don’t stick with the SNP. I’m saying the senior politicos in the SNP should stop with “only an SNP majority in Holyrood will be recognised by WM as a mandate for IndyRef2” narrative. Especially so in a parliamentary system that was designed by BritNats right from the get-go to make it near impossible for any single party to achieve an overall majority. By all means try and win an overall majority – they are perfectly entitled to try and achieve that.

                But the goal of IndyRef2 should not be hitched to that outcome and they should not be saying that it is.

                We are entitled to an IndyRef if our Parliament votes for it regardless of the makeup of that particular vote. Period.

            • weegingerdug says:

              They’re politicians. They want people to vote for their own party.

        • william purves says:

          Are you really a proudcybernat?

        • Golfnut says:

          Scots Parliaments, past and present, are not sovereign. Parliamentary Sovereignty isn’t recognised in Scots Constitunional law. It can only act when its instructed, hence the referendum or a plebiscite election.
          Nicola during an interview was asked, this is from memory so not exactly verbatim, when she would act. Her response was, when the people tell me to.
          To date, that’s not happened.

  5. Col says:

    I don’t mind admitting my thoughts feel like a tennis ball when reading through the different indy blogs. I want independence so badly and feel so passionately about it as not having it is a continued injustice on our nation!
    It’s becoming clear we must not feel defeated even when a major hurdle isn’t jumped because it is just another battle in a long running war and you made some very important points there!
    No matter our differing views on how we WILL achieve our independence International recognission is hugely important and we must first show to the world without any doubt the game is up for the UK!
    The last thing we need is to get caught up in an internal squabble which the outside world will be very reluctant to get involved with and certainly won’t come wading in on our side. No one is going to save us but ourselves!
    Thanks Paul from a frustrated indy supporter, yet again you have put things into perspective!

    • Golfnut says:

      Your right there are many different views on how this will progress.

      This won’t be to everybody’s liking, but there are some gems there on how this could go.

      • Petra says:

        Some gems right enough Golfnut plus …

        …”When the negotiations begin to end the union here is the reality. RUK actually has nothing that Scotland needs except good will. RUK needs 25% of its electricity, 100% of its oil, 80% of its Gin, 100% of its whisky from Scotland. We have Fish, Food and Faslane that RUK need. They have nothing we need! We can not only feed ourselves we also produce so much that we export the excess. England needs to import 70% of its food needs. We have more water in Loch Ness than all the lakes and reservoirs in England. Westminster you truly do not want to piss us off. We Scots are the best most loyal friends you can have, you should have learned and appreciated that a bit more over the past 313 years. We do however make the worst enemies you can possibly imagine, you should have learned that bit too!

        Your choice Westminster friend or foe?”

        • Jim says:

          Excellently put Petra!

          That should be put on to a letter and sent to No.10

        • Pogmothon says:

          Ahh Yes as my mother was want to quote, and we all have tried to live up to,

          “I make a really good friend, but A bad bastard of an enemy”

          An there was me thinking it was just my family.

  6. Amber says:

    Thank you for your wise commentary. Your point is a crucial one. Consolidating the support of those (and I include myself among them) who increasingly appreciate that independence is a step Scotland needs to take, is vital. I have always taken heart from the belief that the independence movement is inclusive and tolerant and hope to see these values become even more prominent as we go forward. In light of this I appreciate your stand against misogyny. It gives me hope that the new Scotland can indeed be a better place.

  7. jfngw says:

    We think the mischief making of those unionist who are now demanding a blood and soil vote (but to include potential No voters resident in Scotland no matter their origins, although I think they will try and whittle this down too) is just a distraction. I don’t believe it is, they expect to lose the referendum and are building a case to claim the result is invalid. There are too many of them now all over the media not to see this as a planned intervention.

    • proudcybernat says:

      That can’t and won’t happen so long as the referendum and the franchise is agreed beforehand – which is what NS is striving to do. They can’t moan about something afterwards when it was agreed by all beforehand.

      • jfngw says:

        Your showing more confidence in the integrity of the BritNats than I have, I hope you are correct and I am just over cynical.

    • Pogmothon says:

      Is there any other country who allowed expats, exiles 1st, 2nd, 3rd, generations to vote in their decisions on Independence.
      This is just smoke to get us arguing about something which does not apply.
      And does not matter, other than as a distraction.
      The unionists will continue to throw dead cats on the kitchen table.
      the answer to all of these to come is….

      AYE RIGHT.

  8. Alex Clark says:

    “If, as is to be hoped, there is a majority SNP and pro-independence government in the Scottish Parliament following that election, then Scotland should be able to move ahead rapidly to a second referendum. Or perhaps more accurately, to move ahead rapidly to a constitutional clash with the Westminster government. A clash which Westminster will lose as long as we hold our nerve.”

    Maybe those who have always said Johnson will never grant a Section 30 order are more than likely right, though I think that would be a major error on his part. Judging by his leadership to date though it looks almost certain that he will just put his big foot in it again and do the wrong thing in continuing to refuse thus increasing support for Independence.

    I also think that this has been anticipated, after all, he could only say yea or nay and it has always been the more likely that he would say nay, I’m sure Nicola Sturgeon has planned for every likely outcome and scenario before making yesterdays announcement.

    So, let’s have our clash then, it really has to happen, since Westminster will not surrender Scotland back to the people of Scotland without a fight. Last time in 2014 it was very different as they believed that victory for them was in the bag and that’s the only reason they agreed to a referendum.

    Now, they are running scared, they are now the underdog in any referendum, and a “constitutional clash with the Westminster government” is absolutely guaranteed before this is over.

    • william purves says:

      In 2014 how did the tories know they had won the postal vote before the count.

      • weegingerdug says:

        Because they could see the uncounted piles of ballot papers which had already been sorted into yes or no.

        • grizebard says:

          A practice which, interestingly, was stopped thereafter. Now all validated postal votes go directly, unsorted, into a ballot box provided for the purpose, and are only removed and sorted when opened with all the others. A lesson was clearly learned.

          • Juteman says:

            Are the postal votes counted separately, or mixed in with the physical votes and then counted?
            I would hope it was the former.

        • raineach says:

          We knew in Edinburgh. Both sides knew at the same time. Nothing sinister there

  9. Lenny Hartley says:

    When the SNP realise that issues like GRA and the Hate Crime bill is going to drive away potential yes voters Then I will agree with you, until then the current leadership are the ones sowing division in the Yes movement.
    I know of several Women who are on the fence regarding the constitutional issue but will vote No is Womans sex based rights are eroded. Now the real Trans people are not the issue but the Brit Nats will weaponise GRA against us and the perception amongst the general population particularly Women That their sex based rights are being eroded, Nicola needs to come out with a statement parking GRA and the Hate crime bikl until after Independence.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The polls would appear to suggest otherwise.

      • Nally Anders says:

        The only polls I have seen show only an 18% support for the GRA with particular respect to allowing biological males the right to access female only (intimate) spaces.

        • weegingerdug says:

          If those are the polls I think they are they are highly suspect because they used leading questions.

          The real question is how important people believe the issue to be to them personally. And I suspect that for the great majority the answer is “not very”.

          The minority of people who care about this issue appear to have extremely strong feelings about it, and in my experience they are highly reluctant to accept that most people do not invest the issue with the same importance that they do.

          • Douglas says:

            Thanks Paul, it’s true at the at the moment this is a minority issue but the media have not gone to town on it -yet.

            Conservatives have quietly backed out of GRA reform. I think it is being saved for the Election or Independence Referendum. Whatever people think about the merits of this & the Hate Crimes Bill, they are EASILY WEAPONISED against Independence, particularly amongst women. We can be sure of wall to wall media coverage and embellishments.

            At this time, ANY potential stumbling block to Independence must be firmly put to one side.

            The SNP do not have the right to risk Independence on this hill.

            List Independence Parties we’re a vague geeky notion until this came along but now there are a significant number of people (mostly women) fired up by what they see as a threat. Many are so angry that they view it as a choice between a List Independence Party and abstaining (the Constituency vote depending on the candidate’s personal stance). Hoping that these folk will just ‘whisht’ is wishful thinking; it will have a hard to quantify impact.

            Admittedly, my views are coloured by sharing my life with one such person.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Lenny, I’m sure you are aware of the latest polls that show the SNP with their highest support ever?

      I’m afraid that the idea that people won’t vote for the SNP because of GRA is a fallacy that has been around for well over a year now and the fact the polls show that SNP support is still increasing and especially among women proves that it is a fallacy.

      Reform of the GRA should never have been an issue associated only with the SNP since every other Scottish party was in agreement that the bill needed reform, this is a UK government bill and not the preserve of the SNP.

      Independence anyway, should not about any single issue, it is about the right to govern ourselves so why would anyone allow themselves to be swayed away from supporting Independence or the SNP because of GRA has me flummoxed.

      Anyway as I stated earlier, no one has been driven away, these issues you raise have barely registered on the majority of the voting publics radar. It is plain to see that most likely Tory incompetence and Nicola Sturgeon’s competence have resulted in an increase in support for the SNP and Independence as I’m sure you will have noticed.

      • Nally Anders says:

        Alex, the issue has barely registered on most men’s radar, given of course that male rights are not being eroded. However the other 52% of the population may think otherwise. Lenny’s comment is quite right. Let’s drop the social engineering and concentrate on getting shot of Westminster.

        • Alex Clark says:

          Nally, I am not giving an opinion, I’m simply stating a fact. Support for both for the SNP and particularly Independence has increased significantly among women in the past year, there is no evidence that the proposed reform of the GRA bill (now on hold) has resulted in a decrease in support as claimed by Lenny and many others would be bound to happen.

          We get shot of Westminster by accepting that no single issue is more important than Independence, I’ve no doubt you will disagree with me on that, if you do that’s fine by me as you have your own opinion and every right to express it.

          You don’t have the right to your own facts though and it’s clear what the facts are when it comes to current levels of support for the SNP and for Independence. Since the GRA has been making headlines, support has increased and not decreased, contrary to what you and Lenny might have thought. Why might that be?

    • Lenny Hartley….can you please all the people all the time ?
      Not very often
      I don’t think there are many Scottish independence YES voters who will change to a NO voter because of some other policy even one as important as GRE.

      Don’t you think it’s odd that even though GRE has not been decided upon yet and is still being considered by Scottish government ( not just SNP )
      that it is being presented by some as a make or break policy for Scottish independence ?

      Are there any other policies your friends don’t like ?
      Do they intend to change from YES to NO because of those other policies ?

      I suppose it could be said that your friends might still change from YES to NO if they dislike some “new” future policy
      even if GRE is amended or dropped to their satisfaction ?

      Do we then ask SNP not to make any decisions or policies between now and the next Scottish independence referendum for fear they might change your friends and other people from YES to NO ?

      Sorry Lenny but I don’t think a government can work that way

      The way I see it is the next Scottish independence referendum is crucial and if you are a serious YESSER you will pursue your other likes and dislikes after the Scottish independence referendum because GRE is a single issue affecting a smallish percentage of our population and an independent Scotland can change law relating to GRE whenever it wants whereas Scottish independence affects every single person in Scotland as well as all those who are born or live here in the future , what do you say to them if you reject Scottish independence now because of a fear of GRE law changes that have not even happened yet and may never actually happen ?

      • Petra says:

        Issues like the GRA and Hate Crime Bill pale into total insignificance compared to what Westminster has been doing / has planned for us. And as mentioned already nothing is set in stone. Bills can be amended and Laws can be repealed. Losing the election next year can’t be amended or repealed and by the time that another Indyref opportunity comes around there will be nothing left in Scotland worth fighting for (slight exaggeration of course). Time for us all to unite, ascertain who can win this battle for us (over and above ourselves – the SNP) and then focus SOLELY on supporting them to get our Independence.

    • In the SNP’s Programme for Government announced by the FM yesterday there was nothing mentioned about taking GRA reform forward. I think, and hope, that is a sign that the SNP have been listening to the wider opinion in Scotland (as opposed to the rest of the world).

      • Fair enough proudcybernat….but Scottish independence is what counts

        It’s not normal to dump Scottish independence because you disagree with GRA proposals

        It’s really not normal

    • Golfnut says:

      The GRA wasn’t included in her speech, so this may well have been ditched, for now anyway.

    • grizebard says:

      As far as I can see from the latest SG pronouncements, the GRA issue has been quietly parked under cover of the virus crisis. So people who continue to harp on about it like this are achieving what, exactly?

  10. Republicofscotland says:

    “A clash which Westminster will lose as long as we hold our nerve.”

    Whilst we’re holding our nerve, Westminster will be pulling the rug from under us with its EU power grab. The defence of the powers coming back from the EU, are vital, which if lost will allow Johnson to have a big say on devolved matters that are normally only decided by our parliament and government.

    I can see this going to court, and I say the retention of these powers is just as equally important as holding an independence referendum, for if it goes to court and I can see no other option for Sturgeon, and we lose, our parliaments ability to even hold a referendum will more than likely be curtailed as Westminster will increasingly deal with the Hub and not Holyrood. Who will we complain to about it and more to the point what will they do? Sympathetic words from the EU won’t do much good.

    Where will the case be heard, its more than likely in England, and Johnsons entire Trump deal hinges on US companies gaining complete access to the UK market including Scotland.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The issue about powers which are being repatriated from the EU has no bearing at all on Holyrood’s ability to hold a referendum.

      • Republicofscotland says:

        I beg to differ, a victory for Johnson on where the EU powers reside, will only embolden him, and cement his position on not endorsing the S30 order. The upside of that is that they’d surely be a surge in support for independence. But its Catch 22, we’d still require Johnsons approval, if we adhere to Sturgeon gold standard.

        I’m not being pessimistic, I’m being pragmatic.

        • They cannot refuse S30 forever and they know they can’t. They also will be acutely aware that refusing S30 will only drive indy support ever higher, meaning that it’ll be near impossible for NO (aka WM) to win IndyRef2 when it DOES happen (and it WILL). The British nationalists will be well aware that their best chance of winning IndyRef2 is to have it sooner rather than later, when YES are nearer 50% than 60%.

          However, I predict that Johnson will continue to refuse to engage in IR2. I say this because I am firmly of the opinion that he will stand down as PM early next year, having delivered England’s Brexit dream. That is the legacy Johnson wishes to be remembered by in the history books. He absolutely does NOT want to be remembered as the PM who lost the Union and he knows the writing for the Union is already scrawled in giant letters all over Hadrian’s Wall. He’ll give some other WM eejit the honour of picking up that particular ‘accolade’.

          • ghostl606 says:

            Why can’t they refuse a S30 forever? The unionists are in charge, it’s their ball, their rules and they want a United Kingdom. The only way to get indyref2 is through the courts and the SNP could have had this settled by now.

            I think there’s more chance of Holyrood being dismantled than independence sadly.

            • weegingerdug says:

              Because if they do then public anger in Scotland will only increase and support for independence will only grow. Elections and other democratic events in Scotland will not cease and the Tories are only storing up greater damage for themselves and for British nationalism. At some point there will be a plebiscite election, a referendum without a Section 30 order, or some other democratic event and there will be not the slightest doubt at all that Scotland will vote for independence with a massive majority.

              We will only win independence through the ballot box. Not the courts.

              If you think that the Conservatives will never agree to another referendum, then ask yourself why they are now currently trying desperately to embed the idea of extending the franchise to everyone in the UK who was born in Scotland. They wouldn’t be doing that if they really believed that they could keep saying no forever.

              • ghostly606 says:

                They are doing that because they’re worried that a legal referendum can be held without UK Government permission. The Tories know they’d lose it and I’m certain the Tories would quite happily plod on as support grows and will never agree to a S30 as this fundamentally contradicts what their party stands for.

          • Republicofscotland says:

            “They cannot refuse S30 forever and they know they can’t. They also will be acutely aware that refusing S30 will only drive indy support ever higher,”

            I agree, he will eventually have to yield on it, as you say support will grow for independence if he doesn’t. I’m just concerned on what damage he’ll do to our parliament and our ability for it to function properly between now and then.

            As for Johnson standing down, with an eighty majority, unlikely in my opinion, he’s arrogant with a huge self ego, and both he and Cummings have surrounded themselves with yes men and women. AS for Johnson being remembered as the PM who lost the union. I’m pretty sure he’ll not be thinking along those lines just yet, but like Trump he’ll be looking for a way to win, or a scapegoat.

          • Petra says:

            And daddy has said that his boy will be standing down in December. Doing a runner before the Coronavirus crisis, Brexit and Indyref2 sh*t hits the fan.

          • Pogmothon says:

            proudcybernat says: September 2, 2020 at 6:27 pm

            I agree with you that LBJ is unlikely to still be MP after March.
            I’m sure he will enjoy and probably dine out on the accolade of,
            “the last Prime Minister of Great Britain”

        • Petra says:

          RoS, Nicola Sturgeon mentioned at the end of January that she would consider taking another route other than via the S30 order. Lauded in fact by Joanna Cherry.

        • Nah not really republicofscotland…

          Boris already thinks he’s cockahoop
          Telling Scotland this that and the next thing as if he decides for us all
          EU powers is just another blah blah blah

          Once we are independent his EU powers will mean squidly dot

    • Alex Clark says:

      We are already out of the EU and Brexit day was celebrated by all staunch Brexiters on 31st January 2020. The people of Scotland were taken out against our will and those powers are already lost, if we want them back then the only way to do that is to support Independence,

      I hope that so many won’t make the same mistake of voting No the next time we get a chance to determine our own future and will ensure the decisions of the Scottish people are the ones that are relevant rather than decisions taken in Westminster by a government we never elected.

  11. Welsh Sion says:

    News from West of Offa’s Dyke.


    The new Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said that North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain will be his spokesperson on Wales (and Scotland and Chief Whip).


    – Anyone know how close Fife is to Cymru?

    Maybe this is one for WGD and his maps …



    65 per cent trust the Senedd to look after the interests of the people of Wales.
    35 per cent did not trust the Senedd to do so.

    28 per cent trust the UK Parliament to look after the interests of the people of Wales.
    72 per cent didn’t trust Westminster.

    Source: YouGov

  12. Julia Gibb says:

    First class article Paul. It is no surprise that your traffic is increasing given that you are one of the few voices of reason remaining.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with your observation regarding the target audience. It is not about US hearing what we desire to hear. It is about winning the Referendum and recovering Nationhood.

    You are on the mark also with perception is all in politics. No matter how many votes go to Indy parties the headline is always going to be the SNP vote. One vote less than 50% for the SNP will be the Unionist ambition….minority support for Independence.

    • You are right Julia Gibb

    • Dr Jim says:

      Westminster will count votes for the SNP as support for Independence all other votes will be counted as opposed to Independence no matter who the other parties might be even if they’ve got banners sticking out of their heads with Independence written all over them, it’s just the way Westminster behaves and folk can but but about it but we know that’s what they’ll do

      Bills and laws can be changed dropped or overturned depending on majorities, the OBFA was just such an example of where the opposition AND the Greens saw an opportunity to score themselves some points and or hoover up some votes by doing just that, and these couple of bills that will be making their way through parliamentary procedure have a long way to go and no doubt many amendments and changes until they become the finished article, even if they’re adopted and supported at all, if I was in charge I’d propose a bill that stood elite land owners up against a wall for killing our wildlife but we know a bill like that would never make it and I’d be thrown out for proposing it, so the safeguards are there to prevent extreme madness even if some of us might like it

      So voting for Independence has nothing to do with a political party or even existing laws, voting for Independence is simply a vote to be in charge of our own country then there will be elections for political parties to form Scotland’s government, which may or may not be the SNP as it exists now, it may be a selection of figures from any parties because following Independence there will be opposition politicians who no doubt will claim to have been secret supporters of Independence but they weren’t allowed to say before, or entirely new figures altogether, the point is there will be choices for us to make depending on our preferences and not England’s impositions

      Actual freedom

      • grizebard says:

        … voting for Independence has nothing to do with a political party or even existing laws….

        Precisely. As you say, it’s all about being able to freely choose our own government (of whatever future political complexion) as we please.

        And being prepared to shoulder the responsibility like proper grown-ups for the consequences, whatever they might be. (That’s the tricky part for the waverers, not having somebody else to blame.)

  13. Rowdy Yates says:

    I recognise that this is not a commonly held opinion but I do think that it might be worth considering. I suspect that the Tory Govt. might well accede to a Section 30 sanctioned referendum sooner than many of us expect. From their perspective, they know that the momentum is with YES and that it will probably accelerate when Brexit kicks in. They may well feel that while it’s hovering around 55% it remains winnable for NO. (My continuing concern is that they would be right!!) If it goes beyond 60% it’s almost certainly lost for them.

    So they may well feel it’s a choice of waiting for the YES movement to dissemble in a series of damaging squabbles or biting the bullet and going for it when the YES movement looks unprepared and unexpecting. The current UK Govt. is a demonstrably reckless crew and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they took a chance on an early referendum. By early 2021 we will be in a serious recession due to both Covid-19 and Brexit (which they will no doubt blame on Covid-19). That makes for very fertile ground for the “cannae afford it” trope and I suspect a lot of folks will be worried enough to swallow it.

    So ca’ canny people. We need to WIN this one. If we lose then the dream is dead for at least a decade and probably more.

    Paul – thanks so much for your continuing wise counsel. I read your posts every day and they never fail to make me feel just a wee bit better!

    • Petra says:

      Good post Rowdy and I’ve though about this too …

      ”By early 2021 we will be in a serious recession due to both Covid-19 and Brexit (which they will no doubt blame on Covid-19). That makes for very fertile ground for the “cannae afford it” trope and I suspect a lot of folks will be worried enough to swallow it.”..

      Just like the thing that when we were just about ready to go for Indyref2, Rowdy, we were hit with this Coronavirus crisis and of course the economic aftermath and as you say the Brexit financial repercussions will be masked by Westminster’s ”analysis” of the CV19.

      We really have to start bombarding ALL pro-independence sites with data highlighting how wealthy we are and making comparisons with other like countries, etc, that have also been hit with CV19.

      • Rowdy and Petra , I get where you are coming from but one thing

        Once a YESSER always a YESSER
        There’s no going back
        There really isn’t

        See these people who say I was going to vote YES but maybe I won’t because of
        GRE …or hate crime…..or banning football hooligans shouting and singing hatred of religions

        REALLY ? does anyone believe them ?
        What nonsense
        If you changed from YES to NO because of one of these you were never really a YES you were a maybe but I’m not sure and anyway I might be in the pub so I don’t know if I will make I t to the polling station to vote anyway …when is the vote ? what’s it about ?

        • Petra says:

          Yeah we’re all YESSERS Terence and when your eyes have been opened due to the facts there is no turning back, however as Paul says it’s not us Yessers we’ve got to convince to get us well over the line. We’ve got to convince the undecided and it looks as though that will come about during a period of real economic instability and more so a rise in unemployment that the BritNats will try to use to their advantage ….. by scaremongering again. So adding to our list of facts to get out there we have to show how poverty stricken the rest of the UK is right now, for example England is a parasitical basket case that’s been bleeding Scotland dry for decades (at least).

  14. Margaret BARRIE says:

    Paul, Every time I read your blog, I find myself thinking “ Oh, that’s so timely, so good, the best yet” … but, can I just say, your on-target message in this blog today is … so timely, so good and the best yet”!

    It must be difficult for you to measure the effect your words have on so many of your readers … people like me, who think on them, are uplifted and greatly encouraged by them, although not often responding because you have articulated what I feel and think, so much better than I ever could.

    This is one of those blogs that hits the nail right on the head of so many issues that have to be tackled. Thank you, most sincerely, for this and all the hard work you put in on a daily basis, to further our great cause.

  15. Tatu3 says:

    OT. What is the average age of the people who read WGD? Do young Scots follow this blog do we know? Are there any blogs that the young independence supporting Scots follow? If not, should there be? Where do they get all their information from? Are they being encouraged to register to vote?
    Btw I am almost 61.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I don’t have those statistics and due to the nature of the internet there is no easy way to find out.

      • Dr Jim says:

        My grand kids are young teens and they nor their friends read blogs, they do facebook and snapchat , but there’s one thing that’s different about that age group, they don’t argue or talk much about Independence because most of them are for it and are ready to vote YES and they don’t worry about it like us older lot because to us time is short, to them time is endless so their mind set is different, they’re uninterested in the minutiae they just want the event so they can *Partay*

        • True Dr Jim
          And the younger ones don’t get brainwashed by the newspapers or BBC or SKY or STV or Radio Scotland because they never read it or watch it or listen to it …BONUS

      • Alex Clark says:

        WoS did have a survey once of it’s readers and it included their age. I had a look tonight but I can no longer find it. All I can say from memory is that the majority were over 50.

      • Statgeek says:

        One easy, not very scientific way. It might hint at the general breakdown –

        Or create your own.

    • william purves says:

      Over 70 per cent of young folk 16 to 25 will vote for independence.

    • Molly McC says:

      I’m 75…

  16. Pete Roberts says:

    I hope you’re right, I really do.

  17. Robert Hastings says:

    Well said Margaret I totally agree. Paul I cannot imagine how we would cope without your wise, and incisive, counsel

  18. Ian says:

    I’d be wary of expecting the polls to continue to move favourably. It was the beginning of May that they started to increase from 50/50 to the present 55/45 (Business for Scotland). At the same time, the daily incidences of Covid fell dramatically in Scotland from May to July, especially compared with our southern neighbour. So it seems reasonable to conclude that it was the fall in Covid cases in Scotland during that period that led to the polls becoiming more favourable. But with the end of the lockdown in July, daily Covid cases started to increase in Aug and are now back to where they were in May. Fortunately although the volume of daily cases have increased, the death rate hasn’t, at least so far.

    Relying on one factor, the decline in Covid cases, if that is what caused the polls to move, is fraught with a risk of sliding back should the previous perceived success in managing Covid decline. Scotland isn’t now that different from England with respect to daily Covid cases. That is a big change from the period up to early August and it may affect the polls.

    My point is that the reasons, for those that are soft No/undecided voters, need to be much clearer than they are now. The polls currently show that the over 55’s are by far the main group that does not currently support independence. That age group has about 1,700,000 people in it and they have a higher voter turnout than most other age groups, so at 38/62, understanding their concerns about independence and communicating strong reasons to support independence is vital to gaining a higher overall level of support for independence. To use one example, there has been quite a bit of information provided about UK pensions compared with our neighbours, and you’d think that this would be a key concern for this age group. But is this information accepted or probably more importantly, widely known about in the over 55 age group? I doubt it.

    No doubt when a hard Brexit kicks in that will have the effect of increasing support for independence, but if Covid ‘competence’ is also perceived to have declined, overall the polls may not rise above 55/45 as the two factors cancel each other out. I’m not saying this will happen, just that it seems quite possible. The age groups up to 54 looks pretty solid at around 65/35. So for me what is needed is a broader understanding of the issues hidden within polls for the soft No/undecideds, particularly for the age group 55+. Why are they at 38/62? Without that, too much hope or guess work happens in relation to polls and that isn’t a strong position to be in.

    We can probably rely on Westminster to continue to be a major inadvertent advocate for independence, but it’s not something that we should be too reliant on. I don’t know if positive reasons are stronger than negative ones. Maybe that depends on age. But having both is really a gift that we need to make the most of.

    • Petra says:

      Don’t forget Ian that many in the older age group are concerned about health issues / healthcare (2nd in importance re. polls). Some I’m sure have moved north to Scotland for that very reason: Scotland’s superior performance in comparison to England, especially regarding social care and costs. Privatisation of NHS England should feature highly in relation to our campaigning, imo.

    • Ian I agree with you but from a different starting point
      You see I firmly believe the media in U.K. is corrupt
      Not many would disagree

      And yet so many folk cannot accept that the people who carry out the polls are corrupt
      Of course they are
      They’re funded by the same people who fund the newspapers employ the same people
      They gather data that enables them to choose a result they want
      and then they choose the participants who will give them that result
      That’s because every poll that has ever been done has had its results and data
      input to a computer programme that is designed to give them the answers they seek

      In other words
      Tell us the result you want and we will find a compilation of people who will give you the result you want
      Just the same as tactics used by the food industry where the seek an answer that shows beneficial results but ignores the elephant in the room by targeted questions

    • 60+ female says:

      I think the 55+ group find it difficult to accept the economics of independence. The young are in general more optimistic about a future independent Scotland whereas the older generation are more preoccupied about the finances. This is the area that needs to be clarified more vigorously. Every year I learn a little more about the GERS report but the penny has really dropped for me this year. We can’t afford to stay with WM. it is spectacularly failing and we have to take another road to avoid total disaster. Now that might sound obvious to everyone but I confess I used to have a wee niggle at the back of my mind as I could never understand why the SG wasn’t shouting this from the rooftops. I still don’t understand but it is now glaringly obvious to me and this is the argument I am now using. It makes financial sense to get out of this fiasco of a Union.

  19. Movy says:

    Just to say great post as usual – you always gave me hope in the darkest moments and now we’re heading out of the fog as you say.

    I have friends who I cannot think will ever vote for Independence – I (try to) respect their views as I would hope they respect mine, but I do ‘enjoy’ throwing in the occasional correction to their beliefs.

    The MSM has a lot to answer for.

    Meantime, we need to keep the heid, keep informing where we can, and not blow it!

  20. Bruce MacDougall says:

    I think Westminster will try to declare a State of Emergency in the New Year, because the Brexit transition period is completed on 31st of December. Part of that will be centralisation of power to Westminster and closure of all Devolved Parliaments. It’s the reason I would like the SNP to be moving forward to a referendum before the New Year. I believe that is the only way Westminster can retain control.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I’m quite sure Westminster would love to shut down our parliaments but do they dare to declare to the world that England has formed it’s parliament into the new Reichstag and filled it with the new order, we know that’s what they are but do they dare to go public with it

    • SuborbitalPigeon says:

      It would t be possible for them to admit that Brexit was something worth declaring a state of emergency over. We’ve been told endlessly about how brilliant it will be, and if they admitted they were lying about that, the shit would hit the fan very quickly.

  21. roderick mackenzie says:

    The SNP lost those 21 seats in the 2017 general election because the unionist party’s voters colluded to vote tactically in specific areas to dislodge SNP MPs. They were bending the rules and so should we. The SNP will get my first vote in the coming scottish election but I will be voting for pro-independence partys in the list vote. This will lead to a large pro-independence majority in Holyrood with lots of unionist MSPs being dumped out. This will not mean that a Section 30 order will be granted. Westminster will not approve one anyway as they will just make up an excuse and stick to it, no matter what.
    Independence will not come from discussions with Westminster – we will have to take it, with a Scottish Government able to stand up to them!

    • Petra says:

      Hi Roderick, Paul posted this previously. Well worth a read.

      ..”I also think that splitting the indy vote and giving support to minor parties with no chance of election only damages our chances. I found this article very persuasive :

      View at

      • roderick mackenzie says:

        How many list votes did the SNP get and how many MSPs did they get from those votes – I’ll let you find out the numbers and then you might understand my reluctance to vote the way you want me to.

        I am doing this after being an SNP member for over 30 years, working for them and voting for them at every election in that period. So I am not doing this on a whim or without thought – I have researched this on both sides and can only see this as the way ahead.

        We will get there, but not on Westminster’s terms or any referendum they approve.

    • 60+ female says:

      For this to work it has to be ONE alternative pro Indy party only standing for the list votes, I wish all those parties popping up would put their egos to one side and amalgamate into one party. That’s the only way I will split my vote. SNP first altindy list.

      • Petra says:

        Spot on 60+female. And of course we’d have to know who exactly was involved with the party and what they actually stand for.

      • Derick Tulloch says:

        There is only ONE registered and serious pro-indy list party, which is ISP. Who I will be voting for on the list

        • weegingerdug says:

          Sorry but no. There are at least six now. SNP, Greens, SSP, ISP, Solidarity, Alliance for Independence. There may be others by May.

          It’s only your opinion that the ISP is the “ONE registered and serious” pro-indy party. The point here is that other people’s opinions will vary, and that’s why the whole alternative party on the list plan is doomed to failure.

          • Derick Tulloch says:

            With respect I do not agree. SNP aren’t a list party. The Greens are, sort of, but do stand constituency candidates. SSP and Solidarity are far left parties with a record of failure. Alliance isn’t a registered party (and in any case is just Solidarity!)

            • weegingerdug says:

              If a party stands on the list, it’s a list party.

              SSP and Solidarity also believe in independence. You can’t say that they’re not indy parties just because they have other policies. ISP has other policies too.

  22. Hamish100 says:

    Roderick “ but I will be voting for pro-independence partys in the list vote.”

    Don’t tell folk you are voting more than once in a list vote. It’s. Not allowed. Are you voting Green? No voting for an other. 3 parties to vote for splits the vote and helps the unionists.

  23. Capella says:

    I would caution against complacency re the GRA and Self ID. It’s true that most women are not aware of the proposed reforms, or if they are, they don’t realise the implications. I didn’t either until I started researching this issue. Stu Campbell is to be commended for his persistence in publicising the proposals at great personal cost.

    True, the proposals are shelved meantime and are not mentioned in the PfG. But it’s also true that the Tories are planning to weaponise this. George Galloway’s AfU is already doing so.

    The problem is not that women won’t vote for Indy. The problem is that only an idiot would vote for a party which plans to remove your rights. I won’t vote for it and I’m an SNP member. So to risk alienating 52% of the electorate would be very stupid IMO. To get a referendum we need the SNP to win.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Capella, I like to think I have paid much attention to the views of the likes of yourself and others on this issue. There is one thing I am not at all clear about and that is why you choose to associate this as an SNP only issue.

      The problem is that all mainstream Scottish parties all support reform of the GRA act, so why is the SNP being targetted? Where is an idiot supposed to put there vote if every party supports it?

      Now here’s the rub, voting for Independence or the SNP is not a vote for reform of the GRA as seen by some current members of the SNP. They have a lot more policies and then some on top, you can’t keep everyone happy. Some will some NATo, some against, same goes for the monarchy, Trident, renewable energy, abortion, and a whole host of topics too numerous to mention.

      When I vote for a party I don’t expect them to have policies in line with everything I personally want from a political party. I guess the vast majority of voters feel the same way. By all means, campaign as strongly as you can on the issues that matter to you, that’s the whole point of politics and being a member of a party.

      Single issues matter most to those passionate about them, most people are busy dealing with day to day issues that concern them most and they maybe fail to notice talking points only heard in circles like these blogs. Maybe that’s why support for the SNP and Independence has gone up, they care about what matters most to them and nothing else means much.

      • Petra says:

        ”The problem is that all mainstream Scottish parties all support reform of the GRA act, so why is the SNP being targeted? Where is an idiot supposed to put there vote if every party supports it?”

        Spot on Alex and not only is it not solely an SNP issue or even a UK issue, it’s a Worldwide issue and that should be made VERY clear to all and sundry. It’s already been implemented in countries like Ireland and well maybe I’m missing something but there doesn’t seem to be too much of a furore about it there. In saying that I do have my ”reservations”, however as with all else these too can be resolved (or overturned) in an Independent Scotland when we have a government that is within slapping distance.

      • Capella says:

        I agree that all parties are committed to this policy – except the Tories. They have ditched it. Liz Truss has said they will not go ahead with reform. That leaves them in a perfect position to claim they are “protecting women’s rights” as Boris Johnston already has.

        The reason why the SNP are in the firing line is because they are the party of government in Scotland. Unlike Labour and the Lib Dems, they are in a position to legislate. Their majority currently depends on the support of the Scottish Greens, who are even more driven than the SNP.

        But I hope sense will prevail and it will be left on the shelf at least until we win Indyref2.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I’d hope for that too Capella. It’s an important issue and it really does need cool heads to resolve it. I would hope that with Independence we can find a way forward that satisfies both sides.

          We don’t really want to cut the baby in half and give a piece to each and yet satisfying none.

        • Petra says:

          Capella firstly I’d like to say that it’s great to see you posting on here 😀.

          Secondly the Tories may say that they’ve ditched it but do we really believe them? And of course much of what people are totally against has already been implemented across swathes of England. They are probably saying that they’ve ditched it to ensure that Ms Davidson can use it against the SNP when the time is right in the lead up to Indyref2, so I’d say that this should be put on the back burner … delay … delay … until after we get our independence.

      • Well said Alex Clark
        Capella is off the mark here
        Did something happen in your earlier life that makes you think GRE is going to harm everyone
        Get back to reality Capella get your feet on the ground

    • Capella ….commended for his persistence in publicising proposals ?
      Are you for real ?
      Get a life for heavens sake

      The proposals were and still are on the Scottish government website along with all the data showing discussions and evidence over a long period of time there’s nothing underhand about it.

      STOP spreading scare stories

      One more thing Capella…if you won’t vote for Scottish independence because of GRE proposals you are not a committed YESSER
      Being a member of SNP ? well there are a fair few people who are members of SNP to disrupt and prevent rather than aid and support I hope you are not one of them

      As has oft been said
      GRE is a single issue it can be passed or rejected reviewed and passed then rejected then reviewed and passed again
      Scottish independence affects everyone in Scotland GRE doesn’t and never will
      We can have GRE changes anytime we want for or against
      We can’t have Scottish independence anytime we want

      Are you serious ….you want people to reject Scottish independence because of GRE ? .?

      You can’t be serious…..surely

      • Alex Clark says:

        Terence, I’ve met Capella and can assure you that she is very much a supporter of Independence and the SNP. She also cares deeply about women’s rights which is something you and I probably know much less about than she does.

        It’s GRA by the the way not GRE.

        • Capella says:

          @ Alex 🙂

        • Eilidh says:

          I care a lot about Womens Rights too. I am a woman by genetics and identity. I am well aware that safe spaces for Women need to be protected particularly as I was a witness to domestic violence whilst working in a Homeless Centre but I believe suitable mitigation measures can be put in place with GRA to protect safe spaces for women. My Glasgow Club gym has had unisex toilets with seperate cubicles in the same corridor for years without any problems so some of that stuff is not new. I am sure free speech can also be protected in Hate Crime Bill Too. There is absolutely no way that these issues will disuade me from voting for Snp or Yes for Indy

        • Petra says:

          Seconded Alex.

  24. velofello says:

    Paul, reference your Important Note About Comments, well said and welcome.

    I will vote SNP constituent candidate, and for a pro- Indy List candidate, or the Greens candidate.I’m persuaded by the List vote maths.

    Whatever means achieves independence I will support, my misgivings on SNP careerism will be resolved once independent.

    I’ve found the Yes movement invigorating, but how do we resume campaigning?

    • grizebard says:

      What makes electoral sense may depend on where you live, of course. But I hope that come the result you won’t be regretting a wasted opportunity. While a bit of diversity would no doubt do Parliament a deal of good – as previously – the situation is currently so polarised that there just won’t be the opportunity. You may be as convinced as you like, but unless a considerable number of other list voters share your conviction, you will be throwing away your effort. And there is no evidence whatever that any significant number of ordinary voters do actually share your opinion. Until they cast their vote, the vast majority of them probably won’t even realise that there are several fringe indy parties on offer. Look how difficult it is in the current media climate for even the SNP to get its message across.

      This is politics, not mathematics. It’s going to be RISE redux for the true believers, I’m afraid, with only bitter disappointment again awaiting in its wake.

  25. yesindyref2 says:

    People are restless and irritable. But what was a major factor in my opinion in Indy Ref 1 was the positivity, the smiles, the laughs, the happiness, the song, the humour. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that, compared to the anger and sullenness of the Better Together? We will need to get back to that. Meanwhile it’s good to read positive stuff, and perhaps occasionally try to calm down the more over-wrought of us.

  26. You are one of my touchstones at the moment, Paul, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.

    Sometimes we place an awful burden on your shoulders, and when all this is done, I vote that we take you and yours out for a slap up meal in celebration.

    My mind is elsewhere at the moment.

    Sadly my mother in law passed, two weeks ago, peacefully, after a protracted illness, in Belfast.

    To compound things, my Everlovin’ who had her long awaited hip replacement operation cancelled in March when Covid hit, had had the op rescheduled for last Friday in Clydebank.

    We could not attend her mother’s funeral, as had three of her other children who could not get back from abroad.

    My wife underwent surgery on Friday, and I was allowed to collect her on Friday evening, and she is now safely home, recovering.

    Our Covid isolation is now 100% lockdown.

    I broke a tooth champing in a Topic Bar, rock hard straight from the ‘fridge on the Thursday evenin, the night before my Sweet Lady’s operation.

    Yesterday, my dentist, the ever cool Robert fitted me in, packed the gap, and I am to have a crown fitted.

    The surgery was Covid strict, and I have no doubts Covid free.

    Yet when I ventured out on my old bone rattler today, I accidentally ‘listened in’ to BBC Radio phone in with Kaye Adams, who was moaning about the latest return to lockdown in WoS.

    She whinged that she couldn’t visit her ‘old aunt’ two doors down to have a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit.

    Let’s assume that she is intelligent. Let’s assume that she believes she is speaking to an audience which is as thick as pig sh1t, and her job is to wind up the rabble and destabilise the Scottish government’s efforts to suppress this plague.

    Well. Me and Mine, have nothing but undying praise for all in Scotland who are keeping us safe, well, and shielding us from idiots like Kaye Adams and her BBC colleagues who would defend and make excuses for the selfish bastards who want to eat drink and be merry, who still jet off to Greece and Spain, and are subsequently featured on the telly, radio, and in the Rags moaning about that Nicola Sturgeon and the Nats.

    To the BBC ITV The Brit Nat Rags, Feck the lot of you.

    The medical teams at the Jubilee, our GP Practice, our local Pharmacist and his team, the Undertakers in Belfast, and Painless Robert, my dentist and dear friend, have been magnificent, outstanding, heroic,but that’s not the focus of Kaye with an’s bah rooh, bad SNP for stopping people enjoying themselves.

    They are beneath contempt.
    This is a national emergency, a Public Health emergency; yet these vile little toadies still trat it as ‘politics’, and get Nikla fodder.

    Got to go now.

    As I observed to my Everlovin’. if I don’t get a Louisa Jordan medal when she’s back on her feet, I’ll want to know why.

    BTW, she is making great progress.

    If for no other reason, vote yes to stop the WM carpetbaggers sell off our NHS to Richard Branson and Donald Trump.

    As smallaxe observed, peace always.
    Stay safe and well, all of you.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Sorry for your loss Jack

      • Thanks, Paul.
        She was a truly remarkable woman.
        Paul, I worry about you. May I suggest appointing an intern to vet the burgeoning posts?
        It is going to get very busy very soon now.
        I am certain that you would not be short of volunteers.
        Look after yourself, and those nearest to you; all of you.
        I feel that one of the upsides of this terrible tragedy is that it will make us all stronger as individuals, families, and as a nation..

        A bientot.

        • weegingerdug says:

          It’s getting exhausting Jack. It’s not so much the British nationalists as the unremitting doom and negativity from certain quarters – people who are very quick to attack and to condemn but who are remarkably short on realistic and plausible answers.

          • I’ll be back fighting fit in a week or so…remember, Paul, several million of us and counting, now have your back.
            By the time the leaves in our avenue are lying on the ground like wind swept bundles of giant corn flakes, we shall meet for a socially distanced pint. Non?
            As I say, don’t drive yourself in to the ground.
            Help is at hand.
            It’s comin’ yet for a’ that.

          • Petra says:

            Paul I’m sure that you’re considering all of your options right now and I wish I could help you, however I’ve got no idea how these sites function. If money is the problem, would help, let us know and set up a fundraiser.

            • weegingerdug says:

              No it’s not a question of money. However I am considering asking for a small team of volunteers to help with moderation. It’s vitally important that we have safe spaces to talk about independence, and the task of keeping this place civil is starting to get too big for one person.

              • Petra says:

                I don’t know how it works but can it be shut down at night to give you a break? No laughing anyone as I don’t have a clue as to how these sites function 😀.

        • Molly McC says:

          Sorry to hear of the lady’s passing Jack. I lost a brother during all this and couldn’t fly back to Scotland.

          We are all dealing with more than a “cup of tea and a digestive biscuit”as you point out.

          People have given birth, been ill, died, through all of this and families haven’t been able to get together as they have in the past. In many cases though, they have found ways round it making small gatherings for funerals a more tender time.

          It’s as if there’s a bus hurling straight at us with misery and moaning the only passengers. BUT we will come through this, that’s who we are.

          For our sakes and the sakes of those who have been taken from us, and the newborns, let’s make Independence happen.


    • Alex Clark says:

      That was a heartfelt post Jack, keep your strength and spirits up and yer right about the likes of Kay(e). She is an irritant that we can probably do without. Although I suspect that among those those listening, some are saying eh! and support for Independence will increase a wee bit more.

    • grizebard says:

      Well said, Jack, and my sympathy likewise to you and your Mrs. Keep well (and maybe stick to pan drops?).

    • 🙂 lang may yer lum reek

      yer post brought me back down to reality with a bump

    • Legerwood says:

      I am sorry for your loss which must be even more keenly felt at this time.

      I hope your wife’s recovery continues without complications. Take care both of you.

  27. ndls61 says:

    Sounds like a whole lot of wishful thinking to me, and to many other Yessers I’m afraid. WGD seems to be barking up the wrong tree. The Tories can and will refuse a S30 Order ad infinitum, simply because they can, and no Tory wants to go down in history as “losing” Scotland. The SNP, much like WGD it seems, has lost its way. I find it rather sad. There is little prospect of #indyref2 this decade unless the SNP changes course.

    I’m perplexed that so many people, who seem well represented here, retain their airy confidence that “Nicola’s got this”. I think you’re all in for quite a let down. It won’t matter if we get 70% in the polls, if there’s no Plan B you can kiss goodbye to #indyref2. The SNP have let us down: when realism hits and folk realise that, we can start the real work of building a movement actually fighting for independence, not just to remain a big fish in the devolution pond.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Your comment is illogical. If the Tories can and will refuse a S30 order ad infinitum then it makes no difference whether the SNP change course or not. The Tories will still block a referendum.

      It never ceases to amaze me that there are so many people who say that they support independence who have far more confidence in the Conservatives’ ability to resist another referendum than the Conservatives do themselves.

      • ndls61 says:

        No, my comment is realistic not magical thinking like so much of the analysis here. If you’re content for there to be no vote this decade, then carry right on. The SNP aren’t going to deliver one because they’ve painted themselves into a corner of accepting we need Westminster’s permission. However earnestly party loyalists insist our umpteenth mandate will force Johnson’s hand, it doesn’t make it true, or indeed even likely. It’s fantasy.

        We’ll still be here reminding you of your folly in 2029 when the second term Tory administration is still saying “Now is not the time” and Pete Wishart and his ilk are still telling us to be patient and give the party just one more mandate. Good grief.

        • Petra says:

          ndls61, I reckon that we will get a S30 order, however if not Nicola Sturgeon has already indicated that she’d consider an alternative to the S30 order. There is in fact no mention of such an ”order” in her latest announcement. I suppose for people like yourself time will tell and you’ll hopefully vote for her party when Indyref2 comes along next year.

          • ndls61 says:

            I’ll vote for who gives us the best chance of independence. I no longer believe Sturgeon’s “commitments”. If a S30 Order is refused I’m sure we’ll see action at some point – just not any time soon. Six wasted years. I’d vote SNP 1, but probably not 2. I simply don’t trust them anymore.

            • grizebard says:

              You talk about “wishful thinking” yet assume that voting for some garage-band party of disgruntled amateurs that no-one outside a small circle of acolytes has heard of will get us anywhere further along next May? Dream on.

              More and more I’m getting the impression that this kind of Nirvana-esque thinking is coming from a very narrow part of the political spectrum. (On either side, maybe even, if for quite different reasons.)

              • Daisy Walker says:

                Who will vote for ‘A garage band of disgruntled amateurs’

                Seem to remember IndyRef1 produced quite a lot of ‘garage band disgruntled amateurs’ that people went on to elect… only then they were called Independence Supporters and ‘people with experience’ as apposed to puppets put through the ‘party machine’.

            • Petra says:

              Just trying to figure out exactly when over the last six years we would have won a referendum?

            • millssandra says:

              ndls61 ? Is this a code for your position in the GCHQ hierarchy ? You sound pessimistic enough to be within their ranks – the polls are not going your way – lol !

              • weegingerdug says:

                Please don’t leap to the conclusion that just because someone appears to have lost hope that they must be a British intelligence operative or some such nonsense. We need to reassure people who feel lost and hopeless, not alienate them even further.

        • ndls61… is 61 your year of birth ?

          Hey getting Westminster’s agreement to a Scottish independence referendum is very very important make no mistake about it.
          Brexit will cost the EU and U.K. huge amounts of money over a very long time
          much more because of no agreements

          Scottish independence and the parting of U.K. will cost scotland and England a lot too if they cannot reach agreements on how to proceed

          Continued refusal errs on the negative side for England
          Repeated calm requests for agreement and cooperation augers well for Scotland
          Such is life in mediation across the world ndls61

          S30 isn’t about who’s in charge or begging
          It’s about cooperation and planning for the future
          Every successful organisation knows that if you don’t plan and reach agreement with those you do business with you both lose big time , may not even survive.

          England will lose many many benefits of a UK when Scotland leaves and that is why it’s dragging its heals
          Bluff and bluster is what we are getting at present but that will change overnight when Scotland gives a majority to SNP and Scottish independence

          Tell me ..what is it again that Scotland imports from England ?

          That’s right ….nothing

          We don’t need them

          But they are our neighbours , you don’t want neighbours who are in hardship or angry or failing it’s always best to do what you can to help your neighbours
          Help each other actually

          That’s what S30 is all about

          We keep saying
          Come on england let’s plan the future and reach agreement on how we proceed otherwise it’s a messy divorce

          • Golfnut says:

            History informs us that Westminster will go for a messy parting, its what they do, look no further than their negotiations ( or lack of them ) with the EU.
            The S30, as you know isn’t asking permission, its the transfer of a reserved power from the union parliament ( a non sovereign parliament as far Scots Constitutional law is concerned) to a devolved government in Scotland. Whether the UK gov does or doesn’t ( ref 1st paragraph )really isn’t an issue for us, we’ve ticked that box nor did the FM refer to an S30 in her speech.
            The ‘ terms ‘ are a different matter all together. Nicola asked for and received permission from the Scottish Parliament to agree terms with the UK gov. We have blueprint already, The Edinburgh Agreement, the gold standard all and sundry aspire too. Only the UK gov, the union parliament, the crown and her ministries pissed all over that agreement from day one. Nicola’s terms might be a little or maybe even a lot different this time round. Publishing those terms will be the marker on the route Scot Gov intends to take.

        • weegingerdug says:

          What exactly do you propose then ndls61? Where is your analysis? I am only seeing complaints.

          If the Tories can block a referendum indefinitely they will refuse to recognise the outcome of a referendum without a Section 30 order and they will refuse to recognise the outcome of a plebiscite election. They’ll also simply ignore any attempt to withdraw from Westminster and boycott it. They will be able to do all those things because clearly if it is the case that they can resist a referendum indefinitely then the weight of Scottish public opinion is meaningless.

          So how exactly do you suggest we get independence? A declaration of UDI that they won’t recognise either? If they can resist a referendum indefinitely they can resist that too.

          Seems to me that you’re either engaging in some magical thinking of your own, or you’ve conceded that we’ll never achieve independence at all. If we go down your route it’s an absolute certainty that we’ll still be here in 2029 – and then it’s you who will need to be reminded of your folly.

          • Jim Round says:

            As you know Paul, this is something I myself have mentioned on your blog on occasion.
            If you believe some circulating rumours, Boris Johnson will not be PM this time next year, an accumulation of failing health, countless U-turns and fiascos, Brexit delivered (if you can call it that) and Dominic Cummings. He will more than likely be replaced by Michael Gove (Dial M for Murdoch)
            If a referendum is granted, I can see Devo-Max being on the paper, in a last ditch attempt to avoid full independence, but also as a trap in case things don’t work out as planned for Scotland.
            I still say anything other than an S30 could backfire, it would be jumped on by the press, may put Scotland’s world standing in difficulty and as many talking heads as you could shake a socially distanced microphone at showing outrage.
            It is going to be an interesting 18 months for good and bad reasons, I hope you do another post in December 2021 to reflect on what has or has not happened and discussions continue.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Who really cares what the Tories will do or won’t do. It’s what the Scottish do that matters here. When it is overwhelmingly clear that Scotland want’s it’s Independence then there is nothing at all that the Tories can do. Section 30 orders mean nothing as there will be a plebiscite in the form of an election or a referendum with or without a Section 30 order.

      It’s people like you who are a hindrance to Independence, so quick to dismiss the chances of another referendum even “this decade unless the SNP changes course”.

      Now, why do I think that your comment is a pile of meaningless drivel written by a Unionist?

      You have no belief in the fight, you show no commitment to helping make another referendum possible, you blame the SNP for your imagined failures and you actually advocate waiting until “we can start the real work of building a movement actually fighting for independence”.

      You walk like a duck and talk like a duck, I think you’re a duck.

      • ndls61 says:

        You don’t appear to be taking WGD’s guidance that seriously. It’s just the usual hysterical reaction from ultra-loyalists: anyone with a different opinion MUST be a Tory/unionist. Give it a rest, huh? At least TRY to argue in good faith. I was a party member until 2 years ago. I left over their shameful political cowardice in expelling Grouse Beater. As one of the #cybernat7 outed by the Daily Heil, forgive me if I’ll be taking no lessons from you about being committed to the cause.

        The clear and present danger to achieving independence anytime soon is now the political cowardice of much of the SNP leadership and activist base. I agree we need a plebiscite: I and many others have been advocating it for many months. It’s the party and the slavish loyalism to “Plan A, only Plan A, always Plan A” that will ensure no such plebiscite happens. If that’s what you want, why on earth would you trust the SNP to deliver it?

        • Alex Clark says:

          You don’t have a clue do you?

          What is Plan A? Any idea, nah, you’re just pissed off that being a plan B advocate she won’t play ball and share with you what it is. What’s Westminster Plan B if she goes ahead with the draft bill to complete the necessary legislation for a referendum by stating the date and the question in that bill.

          What is it they might do to thwart that plan, do you have any idea?

          Of course you don’t because they are not stup[id enough to tell you what their plan is, are they.

          I remember the Daily Fail printing the pictures of the cybernat7, are you looking for a medal? Maybe look elsewhere, you sound like you have thrown in the towel on a referendum being delivered by the SNP.

          That’s a valid position but not one I hold, unlike you I do trust the SNP to deliver Independence and I will continue to argue exactly for that.

      • Eilidh says:

        I care a lot about Womens Rights too. I am a woman by genetics and identity. I am well aware that safe spaces for Women need to be protected particularly as I was a witness to domestic violence whilst working in a Homeless Centre but I believe suitable mitigation measures can be put in place with GRA to protect safe spaces for women. My Glasgow Club gym has had unisex toilets with seperate cubicles in the same corridor for years without any problems so some of that stuff is not new. I am sure free speech can also be protected in Hate Crime Bill Too. There is absolutely no way that these issues will disuade me from voting for Snp or Yes for Indy

      • Eilidh says:

        Yep ndls61 doth protest too much. There is a definite sniff of unionist in some of what he writes. At first with arguement that he poses I thought he was a bot especially with the incoherent posting name but then again I have seen more coherent argument from a bot. Go ahead ndsl61 go ahead vote for a wee diddy Indy party see what that gets you.

    • ndls61…..believe me if we get 70% in the polls we won’t need a plan B

  28. Alexander Russell says:

    and here speaketh the lord dug, follow the light of the star Nicola for she shall deliver unto you the promised land……….. so it’s simple follow the plan hold together and not any amount of rich english conservative criminals can defeat us

    • weegingerdug says:

      You know that respect thing I mentioned? That includes not being rude about me. Consider yourself warned.

    • Alexander Russell …..all that religious nonsense is out of date now

      People follow NIcola Sturgeon because she’s sensible
      People vote SNP because it’s the only party that can deliver Scottish independence

      Let’s face it WOS is a good read , a bit wacky at times but

      It’s not sensible
      And it’s never ever ever gonna get you Scottish independence

  29. Alex Clark says:

    Never knew the woodwork held that many worms but they’re all coming out now LOL

    • ndls61 says:

      Paul: “Do not abuse or insult others who post here. Be polite and respectful of other people here.”

      Alex Clarke” “worms”, “meaningless drivel written by a unionist”.

      Uh huh….

      • Alex Clark says:

        Hahaha offended by “worms” in a comment gie me peace.

      • Alex Clark says:

        In Scotland, Clark is normally spelt without an e on the end. Just a wee correction.

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Yep….looks like they’re working in tandem Alex…” The Gruesome Twosome.”

      • ndls61… we all get angry
        Say stuff we don’t mean
        Say things we shouldn’t
        This Scottish independence thing is no easy ride
        You ndls61 wouldn’t be on here unless it was in your blood we know that
        Take it with a pinch of salt..some YESSERS go too far but we are all for the same thing

  30. Margaret BARRIE says:

    Excellent reply Paul.

  31. Jim Hagart says:

    Just a suggestion (that might have been made already) – if you are finding moderation too time consuming I’m sure there must be some readers out there who would be only too willing to help out.

  32. Hamish100 says:

    Ndls61- you vote snp or you vote unionist.

    I’ll vote for the party of independence.

    • ndls61 says:

      Doubtless it comforts many SNP members and uncritical Sturgeon devotees, but it simply isn’t so. It won’t matter if the SNP have a crushing majority unless they have a Plan B. Given the modest rise in pro-independence polling (despite brexit, Covid-19 and the most shambolic government in generations remember!) I’m hardly alone in thinking we should be considerably higher than 52%.

      It’d be great if the current SNP were truly the party of independence, but anyone without political blinkers on can see they’re the party of “independence somewhen, as long as Westminster agrees and we don’t actually have to risk anything or fight for it”. Some plan!

      • Petra says:

        One thing for sure is that running Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP down constantly doesn’t help the stats to rise.

      • Julia Gibb says:

        If you do not feel miserable enough yet you could join the Labour Party branch in Scotland. “Every silver lining has a cloud” thoughts are always welcome there.

        I don’t know of any sportsperson who prepares by picturing themselves being beaten.

      • weegingerdug says:

        As I said to you previously. If Johnson can block a Plan A ad infinitum, he can do the exact same with any other plan.

        • ndls61 says:

          He can certainly try, but in the end it’s down to 2 things: 1) the willingness of international community to recognise a “claim” of victory by the Scots people in either a referendum or plebiscitary election; and 2) the appetite of the Scots people to accept a unionist veto or to reject it. In the end, independence is taken, not given.

          Johnson and any other British nationalists can effectively block #indyref2 “sine die”: we’d end up in the Catalan situation, having tacitly accepted that we could only ever exercise out right to self determination if Westminster graciously allowed it.

          For Johnson or anyone else in Westminster to face the international community, UN and EU after a victory for pro-independence parties in a general election (whether Holyrood or Westminster) is MUCH more problematic. If we had an independence party worth its salt, we’d be preparing for a plebiscitary election in 2021. Sadly due to their political cowardice, the SNP have contrived to kick our chances of actually becoming independent into the 2030’s.

          Many of you might be happy with that. I’m not.

      • Alex Clark says:

        You’re a right misery guts, aren’t you? Why do you feel the need to comment on a blog that believes in a positive message in an attempt to lower the tone? It’s almost like you want everyone to be as miserable as you, and like you to give up on Independence because of that SNP! Either that or yer jist avin a larf!

  33. yesindyref2 says:

    I have a very simple wordpress blog for info on the EU and a couple of other things. I disabled comments from the start as I don’t have time for it, thank goodness I did!

  34. Alex Clark says:

    As far as I can recall those that have long demanded a Plan B have stated that Plan A consisted of asking over and over again for a Section 30 order, When that was doomed to fail as it would forever be refused by the Tories then what was plan B?

    So now we have in place an announcement in Holyrood yesterday of a draft bill that will put in place the final legislation necessary for a second referendum that will set out the date, the referendum period and the question.

    Is that Plan B since it no longer includes asking for a Section 30 order or is that still Plan A? 🙂

    • grizebard says:

      I would vote for dumping any posting that contains the meaningless dreaded phrase “Plan A”, etc. (Your own admirable droll effort on this occasion excepted, ‘natch!)

  35. Plan B was always my plan A
    I just didn’t tell you

  36. ndlas61…,,

    I like the points you make
    I’ve thought along those lines too

    The reality is that YES has an increasing majority
    If we all vote SNP we are home and dry
    Job done
    We don’t need List seats
    Sure we would like them lots of them show those britnats

    But when it comes down to it voting SNP is a certainty if all 57% of us do it

    Forget Nicola Sturgeon
    Forget SNP

    It’s Scottish independence 57% you are voting for
    I will be right there in the queue with you

    All the best to you stick with it for Scotland

    • ndls61 says:

      In what sense are we home and dry? Those of us who don’t buy the “Nicola’s got this, she has a cunning Plan!” snake oil keep asking that question, and answer comes there nane!

      Unless the party abandons its monomaniacal insistenece that only Plan A works, and that Plan B isn’t feasible, you’re tacitly accepting that any referendum and thus any chance of independence is deferred until 2029 at the earliest. Good luck selling that on the voters doorsteps!

      • Petra says:

        As already mentioned Nicola Sturgeon has already intimated that she’d consider taking an alternative route to the S30 order. Maybe you missed it?

        • ndls61 says:

          Saying it and doing it are two entirely different things. Even if I had any confidence in her saying it (I don’t), what’s with the abject failure to have Plan B already primed and waiting to go? Why has the party leadership set its face against even discussing the issue? Remember the wet-nats actually booed the very mention at their last conference.

          Saying you *might* do it now rather begs the question of what on earth you’ve been doing for the past 4 or 5 years? Leaving the legal challenge on the S30 order to Martin Keatings just looks like political cowardice, quite apart from being terrible tactics. It suits far too many in the party to see “independence deferred”. the real question is…..why?

      • Julia Gibb says:

        In summary you want the General to make public every detail of the battle plan before the battle!


      • weegingerdug says:

        Sorry but you have it all wrong. Yes I agree that Plans A through Z are required, however those plans are only going to gain the necessary support if people see that the British govt is blocking the democratic will of the people of Scotland – and that means people like my dad or other waverers on indy. It means soft yessers, undecideds, and soft no voters. It doesn’t mean people like you or me. The only way that is going to happen is if we do not concede in advance that Johnson has any right at all to block a referendum.

        • Derick Tulloch says:

          There’s a lot I agree with in your OP and that comment. Not on wasting list votes on the SNP for no MSPs, but definitely on the need to give undecided/persuadable space to change their own minds.

          But we should be honest that the implication is that we are going to spend at least 2021-2024 asking nicely for a S30 which has zero chance of being granted, in order to demonstrate to those who need to come over firmly to yes that there is no alternative. It may be that this is the correct course in regard of independence. We will be having this same conversation in the run up to the 2024 General Election.

          I see that the hard of thinking are incapable of assimilating your wise advice that not everyone that’s sceptical of the current strategy are ’77 plants’ or ‘yoon agents’ or whatever. Rolls eyes!

          • weegingerdug says:

            The Tories are currently giving every impression of panicking about the rise in support for independence. They do not strike me as a party which is going to be capable of resisting a demand for a referendum forever. So sorry, I do not accept that there is “zero chance” of it.

            If you go into a fight expecting that you’re going to lose, you’re going to lose.

          • Alex Clark says:

            By introducing a bill giving the date for a referendum, the referendum period and the referendum question they are ignoring any requirement for a Section 30 order which westminster insist is necessary for Holyrood to legislate for such a bill.

            There will be no asking over and over again for a Section 30 order, the Scottish government have now set out their stall, We’re gonna do it anyway!

            • ndls61 says:

              No, they really aren’t. Firstly they lack the political cojones to do so, as the past 5 years so admirable demonstrate. Secondly, even if they miraculously grow a pair, the international community will only recognise independence NOT gained through the much vaunted “Gold Standard” referendum process in a restricted set of circumstances (see also: Catalonia amongst others).

              A victory for pro-independence parties in plebiscitary elections specifically called and fought on a platform of “victory = independence” would be persuasive, if not a slam dunk. Sadly for all the SNP ultras on here, the SNP don’t have a Plan B do they? Ignoring a unionist veto (particularly if the Supreme Court rules Holyrood has no power to hold referendums) means Sturgeon will have to finally put up or shut up. Like many others, I won’t be holding my breath!

              • weegingerdug says:

                OK sorry, but your first paragraph makes no sense. Catalonia’s independence referendum was held without permission from Madrid. The subsequent declaration of independence was not recognised by anyone. The same would happen in Scotland.

                If Johnson can keep ignoring a demand for a referendum ad infinitum as you have argued, he can just as easily ignore the result of a plebiscite election. He would argue that the constitution is a reserved matter and it is not a subject that can be decided at a Scottish parliamentary election. If the British state refuses to recognise a Scottish declaration of independence, the international community won’t recognise it either. The point of a plebiscite election is to force the British Govt to the negotiating table not to declare UDI.

                Secondly, and more importantly, Scotland is not ready yet for a plebiscite election. It’s only very recently that there have been consistent majorities for yes in polling. This lack of majorities has a considerable bearing on what you call the SNP’s “lack of cojones”. They’re very far from perfect, but I have no doubt at all that they understand the key issue is to win another referendum, not merely to bring a referendum about. You and others may be willing to gamble with Scotland’s future, I’m not. If we lose the second referendum we really have lost for decades. We’re only going to get one shot at this.

                And thirdly – do not refer to people you disagree with as “SNP ultras” or “wet nats” or any other disparaging terms. I’ve intervened to tell people not to call you and others unionist plants, so you can show other people who post here a modicum of respect too.

                Clearly we’re not going to agree . You’ve expressed your views. You’ve had replies. I don’t see that we will reach any conclusion that we’re going to agree on. So I’m leaving it here.

                • ndls61 says:

                  That was exactly my point. International recognition is key: it will only be granted in certain circumstances. So, the Scottish Government has painted itself into a corner by maintaining a monomaniacal insistence that only a Gold Standard indyref2 will do, and effectively ruling out any alternative, when it is quite clear that plebiscitary elections are eminently feasible, and indeed historically and constitutionally more common as a route to independence. Perhaps Sturgeon is panicking now she realises she’s standing in a freshly painted corner: more likley she doesn’t give a toss because she’s got no intention of pushing the matter any time soon.

                  You’re simply wrong about him being able to ignore plebiscitary elections: egregiously so in fact. Referendums are much easier to frustrate: any large scale unionist veto, legal challenges (Paul Keatings brave action notwithstanding….?) and possible refusal of local authorities to co-operate if they felt they were open to legal challenge à la Catalonia where some of the organisers were done for misuse of public funds. It would however be almost impossible for yoons to frustrate or veto a Holyrood or Westminster election. It just isn’t going to happen. Also the international community (and particularly our friends in the EU I imagine) will be quite happy to stick it to the British nationalists by recognising a mandate gained by winning >50% of the vote in a plebiscitary election.

                  If we’re ready for a referendum, we’re just as ready for a plebiscitary election. Your somewhat odd attempt to say that a majority would be harder to gain in an election rather than a referendum simply doesn’t hold any water, particularly if (as is increasingly apparent) the SNP have next to zero chance of delivering a referendum in this decade unless the current leadership is overthrown.

                  You seem rather thin skinned. Calling someone an ultra is hardly abusive, particularly given some of the comments on here earlier. I’ve no respect for unreasoning, tub-thumping loyalists of any persuasion. It appears the discussion BTL over in Wings Over Scotland was right: it’s just an echo chamber in here for happy-clappy Sturgeonistas. It’s rather a shame: your blog used to be an entertaining read and a place for debate. Now…? Not so much.

                  • weegingerdug says:

                    Re your last paragraph. This is not up for debate. If you don’t like it you are more than welcome to leave.

                    If this blog has, as you put it, become an echo chamber, that’s because it is now full of people who have been banned from WOS. Which doesn’t say a great deal for the willingness of that site’s owner to prevent it becoming an echo chamber full of people who have decided that the real enemy is Nicola Sturgeon and not the British nationalist parties.

                    But this is my blog. And I get the last word.

              • Bob Lamont says:

                “I won’t be holding my breath” – Please try, or at least unplug the keyboard….😜

  37. grizebard says:

    I’m coming reluctantly to the conclusion that what’s beginning to happen now is what I feared was almost inevitably going to happen, namely that supporters of “alt-indy for the list”, failing to get any real traction with the wider movement, let alone the necessary substantial support for their optimistic calculations to work, are now turning from their original claimed aim of “just assisting the SNP in parallel” to instead vociferously attacking “Sturgeon” and her party in a desperate attempt to salvage anything for themselves next May regardless. Almost certainly futile but still potentially damaging.

    That’s them politics for ya.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I have always suspected that’s how it was going to end up.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        10,911 votes between the lot of them, like in 2016. That’s if they’re lucky.

      • Petra says:

        Me too plus taking guidance from certain quarters on what to attack Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP with. Their manifesto having been constructed for them.

      • Julia Gibb says:

        It has been my view for many, many years that we should all have been under one banner. Every division such as SSP, Greens etc are based on issues that can ONLY be actioned post Independence.

        No group will ever start their journey until Scotland is a Nation once again.

        Why unite under the SNP banner! Only one reason…it is established and proven in power.

        I do not vote for a party. I vote for a Nation.

        When we are a Nation I will look at the future manifestos of each party before I vote.

        At the moment I’m voting for the RIGHT of Scots to shape Scotland.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Well if that’s all they have…

      Will it work? I think not and I’m not going be exercised by some who think they are a good deal bigger than they really are. I’ll just be ignoring them or maybe engaging in a bit of banter 🙂

      Roll up your sleeves, put your boots on. Engage your brain and use your tongue to tell those closest to you why Independence matters to them. Yes, make it personal because it does matter to them no matter who they are. That’s our secret weapon and that’s why we will win.

      We tell the truth, the Union offers only lies that we now have the ammunition to discredit without even trying. Try the same shit again as last time and they’re onto plums 🙂

    • Derick Tulloch says:

      I can answer that, for me as an ordinary ISP member (Hey, 32 years in the SNP – I did my shift!)

      Which is that the focus is not just on ‘next May’, but on the longer term to 2026, 2031 and beyond

      Scenario 1 – We have a referendum in the next 5 years and Scotland becomes independent. We need a healthier, wider, spread of parties for or independent parliament. Surely we are not going to be a one-party state?

      Scenario – no referendum before 2026. Which means that, if the SNP win in 2026 we will be looking at 2007-2031 effective single party rule. Which is not healthy, particularly in a unicameral parliament.

      Having a wider spread of pro-indy parties is good for democracy, better for Yes, because we can offer different policy options – e.g EFTA rather than the EU – to independence supporters, and a reassurance for those crucial voters who are not yet nailed on Yessers.

      I’m not personally that interested in the tactical vote ‘debate’ such as it is. It’s obvious that if the SNP clean up on the constituencies they will get zip on the list. In which case list MSPs are additional, not instead of.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        “I’m not personally that interested in the tactical vote ‘debate’ such as it is” is a little obvious when you follow up with “It’s obvious that if the SNP clean up on the constituencies they will get zip on the list” which is bunkum, that’s not how List voting works.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Thanks for that, you have made it very clear how you see things and I agree with a lot. I wish you well.

      • Hamish100 says:

        Derick – if a vote for ISP will the Greens not lose MSP seats. Ignoring the SNP 2nd vote how many IS seats do you believe you will gain set against the snp, Lib Dem’s, tories, labour, Greens.?

        Should a Wings party appear as a spoiler how will this independence splitting vote help anyone except the unionists?

        • Derick Tulloch says:

          Hi Hamish

          Whether ISP win seats depends on the voters! And also on the balance of votes for the various other parties.

          Target vote groups for us are

          1 people who have given up voting. 44% of the electorate didn’t vote in 2016. That’s a huge pool of potential support

          2 past Labour voters who support independence. 42-43% of Labour people support independence. Voting SNP is difficult for them. If there’s a vote to be split it’s the Labour one.

          3 Yes / Leave voters. 36% of both Labour and SNP voters. ISP will offer the EFTA option, which neither the SNP or Greens are.

          4 SNP voters list votes, which are vanishingly unlikely to elect MSPs in most regions.

          5 pro Indy, GRA sceptical voters. If the Tories weaponise this it’s better that there is a pro Indy option

          Yes, on a good night we might replace one or two Greens. The Greens have independence as a tactical objective, ISP have it in our constitution.

          1-3 are potentials to GROW the overall pro Indy vote.

          Sorry – that was a longer reply than I intended

  38. yesindyref2 says:

    Anyways, part of the problem is people trying to tell others what to do as though they have any right to, like an article in tomorrow’s National which is someone telling people what not to do, and the thing is this, it’s not always what’s said, it’s how it’s said.

    So while I’m almost about to do a 10 minute job I’ve been putting off for hours now, honest, straight up, someone mentioned TA and while I’m OK, You’re OK can still be actually be bought, new even, here’s a quick overview of TA which might or might not be any good:

    View at

    Now, about that job to do …

  39. Alex Clark says:

    Johnson might well continue to refuse our democratic right to hold a referendum but do I care?

    NO, because the will of the people cannot be denied forever and they will buckle to our will, the more they refuse to hear my voice the louder I will sing.

  40. grizebard says:

    If you were into game theory you would think that BoZo’s “Plan B” would be to seriously evaluate the optimal time to concede to the inevitable. To hang on indefinitely will lose him it for sure, since it would irretrievably alienate a significant majority and thus in effect concede the argument without a fight. With a fight he has at least a gambler’s chance of winning. (Though there’s no knowing where ignorance and arrogance will lead, I suppose.)

    So I reckon that given the necessary precondition of a decisive win for the SNP next May, there will be the offer of an agreement. (What kind of dodgy offer remains to be seen, but we do have an established precedent.)

    That’s my prediction, FWIW.

  41. Petra says:

    Here we go again!

    Tory Lord Finkelstein on new Scottish independence referendum:- “If they do have that referendum that’s something that everybody who was born in Scotland and has eligibility to be in the Scottish state, should have a right to have a say.”


    ‘Scottish independence: Jeane Freeman warns ‘fighting internally’ won’t win vote.’

    ”Jeane Freeman has called for the Yes movement to stop “fighting internally” and focus on securing independence. The Health Secretary said Scotland must “get to the point where we have the powers of a normal country and then we can argue about what to do with them”.

    ”She went on: “But let’s get them first. And the way we get them is to convince more and more people that collectively we can do this. We won’t convince them if we look like it’s a bunch of egos fighting.”

  42. Golfnut says:

    If your feeling a little sluggish this morning, this should get the adrenalin pumping.

    Off to the gowf 😀

    • Petra says:

      Nicola Sturgeon is a brilliant politician (no script necessary0 and it helps that Westminster has set Ermine Rooth up to take a fall …. every solitary week at FMQ’s 😀 .

  43. Petra says:

    ”This time the answer could be YES 😀.”

    ”While making big announcements on lockdown & quarantine, @NicolaSturgeon is also planning for indyref2. Independence is never far from her mind & she’s used powers of devolution to show (as opposed to tell) Scottish people why they could be better off moving away from UK policy.”


    Lesley Riddoch: ‘It’s good indyref2 has been knocked off the front pages.’

    ..”Messrs Johnson, Gove, Ross, Jack and Galloway can huff, puff, mutter about “once in a generation”, insist that “now is not the time” and state categorically and emphatically there will be no second independence vote – but we all know the Prime Minister’s style. He’s not a man given to … unnecessary work. So, the (relatively) frenzied energy he’s currently expending on Scotland, gives the lie to all his bluster. The endgame of the union has begun.”

    ..”And even if you abhor the politics of personality, it’s perfectly clear that person is Nicola Sturgeon. Why wouldn’t the Scots want someone of her calibre running every aspect of their culture, society and economy? That thought sits like a bubble o’er the heids of so many London-based commentators, it’s almost visible. Indyref2 is no longer an assault to the senses. It is now seen as simply inevitable. That is a result.”..

    ..”I know that seems to be conceding the latest Unionist line of attack – “how can the SNP even think of independence during a pandemic?” Now, it’s perfectly true that the Tories condemn Nicola Sturgeon for making indyref2 plans during the pandemic, whilst applauding visits by Boris Johnson to promote the Union. It’s always been one rule for the British Government and another for the Scots. And consistency has never been a Tory strength. Agreed.”..

  44. Petra says:

    The power of Policy Exchange.

    George Monbiot:- ‘No 10 and the secretly funded lobby groups intent on undermining democracy.’


    Kevin Hague seems to be out on his erse.

  45. Petra says:

    Can anyone else see former No voting Scottish farmers and fishers changing their minds now?

    ‘British meat exports to EU set to fall by 90% in ‘hard Brexit’ scenario, report warns.’

    …”UECBV explains that it would be “very difficult” for UK suppliers to find alternative markets for these products domestically, as the UK tends to export cheaper cuts not demanded locally. This will in turn hurt British farmers and businesses, leading to job losses across the UK.”..


    Michel Barnier: – ”We are ready to move on our initial position [on fisheries] if the UK moves. The UK will regain full sovereignty over its waters, no doubt, but regaining control over the fish in those waters is another issue.”

  46. jfngw says:

    I see the Tories are now claiming all casual comment made by the signatories are effectively part of the Edinburgh agreement. We will have to dig out all the casual comments made by David Cameron and Michael Moore also then as they would also form part of the agreement under these Tory rules.

  47. Petra says:

    Telt by Joanna Cherry. ”As another Tory #Brexit consequential bill goes through the
    @HouseofCommons I took the opportunity to remind the Tories that their wilful defiance of Scottish democracy has led to record support for #Independence.”


    Him AGAIN!

    ‘Ronald MacDonald thinks Scotland in EU would pay more for debt than Brexit UK.’

  48. Petra says:

    Let’s all blame Leonard for SLab’s ”further decline.” As Burns would say to folks like Kelly, ”O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us … To see oursels as ithers see us!”

    James Kelly MSP:- ”I have resigned from the Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet. I am saying publicly today what I have said to Richard privately. I sincerely believe that if we are to reverse our fortunes Richard must stand down.”


    Glen Campbell:- ”Labour facing an “extinction level” threat at Holyrood election if @LabourRichard
    remains in charge – according to MSP @MarkGriff1n in his resignation letter.”

  49. Petra says:

    There’s an awful lot of talk going on about an Independence referendum that some people reckon won’t be ”allowed”, don’t you think?

    Phantom Power:- ‘‘I think if the SNP go into 2021 in their manifesto stating categorically that a vote for them is a vote for another referendum and return a majority of MSPs, it’ll be extremely difficult for the UK Govt to continue to just say no.’ Adam Morris former @ScotTories Comms Director.”


    Check out Ann’s links on the Indyref2 site.

  50. Republicofscotland says:

    Tory peer Lord Finklestein has conceded that they’ll probably be a second Scottish independence referendum. However Finklestein wants folk living elsewhere in the UK but born in Scotland to have a vote as well. A plan pushed by Gove and Galloway.

    Meanwhile if there’s a referendum on independence and I sincerely hope there is one, 63% of Scots think Yes will win it.

  51. Capella says:

    Great links Petra. I was particularly struck by Ann’s link to this George Monbiot article alerting us to the think tanks which undermine democracy, such as Policy Exchange, once chaired by Michael Gove:

    …in the testimony of the Brexit campaign whistleblower Shahmir Sanni, there is evidence that these lobby groups coordinate their work, creating the impression that people in different places are spontaneously coming to the same conclusions. Several of them work from the same offices, in 55 and 57 Tufton Street, Westminster.

    Could this be the origin of the memes popping up everywhere that Scottish born voters living in RUK should have the right to vote in Indyref2 ?

    Apos in advance if the formatting doesn’t work. There’s no preview panel!

  52. Republicofscotland says:

    Former Tory minister Andrew Mitchell, speaking on Newsnight (Tuesday) has admitted that Brexit has created a real problem for unionists, making the case for the union more difficult, and the case for independence seem more attractive.

    Mitchell added that it will be difficult to resist the calls for a second independence referendum if the SNP do well next year.

    Mitchell’s comments can be found at the bottom of this link.

  53. Petra says:

    Thanks Capella and as you’ll see I get a great number of fabulous links from Ann on the Indyref2 site (team work 😀). A truly underrated site, imo. I had no knowledge of this ”Policy Exchange” before now, tbh, and it just makes you wonder about the magnitude of the British Establishment network, akin to a massive spider’s web no doubt. I reckon too that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg and will never get to the bottom of it all. Meanwhile as you say many of these ”memes” no doubt originate from a single source and then develop arms and legs. A bit like the BritNat MSM that seems to be getting fed information from the same source, such as from the BBC via GCHQ?

  54. Republicofscotland says:

    Wannabe economist and dog food sales man, blocks journalist on Twitter when he can’t answer a simple question on GERS.

    are we surprised, I think not.

  55. Dr Jim says:

    Now that Scotland has decided it’s future lies outwith the UK those who support remaining within that institution seem to have abandoned any and all attempts at subtlety and reason in their behaviour of their support for that Union, they’ve become climate deniers, Covid 19 deniers, they even advocate locking down the elderly and vulnerable so those younger can infect themselves cross their fingers and just get on with it in the sure and certain mibbees conviction that again mibbees not too many of them will die of disease to make it acceptable losses

    Apart from the obvious things wrong with this kind of behaviour these peoples arguments don’t make sense, on the one hand they say there’s little or no disease to worry about then argue that a certain demographic should be locked away to avoid it and if it wasn’t for the bad Sturgeon everything would be fine, they obviously haven’t noticed that the people of Scotland who invented the television actually have these devices so can see people in countries in the the rest of the world dying like flies from this non existent disease that some of them claim has now *gone away*

    Don’t wear face coverings they say because they’re more likely to give you a disease that they just said doesn’t exist, God help them if they ever need an operation and the surgical team were ever to ask them if they’re a Unionist so their operation can be carried out without the use of face coverings

    It appears the Scottish Unionists and Scottish government haters are all morphing into Donald Trump clones, it’s evolution in reverse before our very eyes

    I’m just guessing here but these notions as a Unionist argument to remain within the United Kingdom look doomed to failure unless, could they be right, are the majority of Scots as stupidly belligerent as this……..Nah! don’t think so

  56. Alex Clark says:

    Why would those that vehemently oppose Independence post images such as this?

    A bigger question though is why would anyone on our side come out with the same patter?

    • diabloandco says:

      The bigger question is why give it more publicity?

      As per usual Paul a big thank you , you ease my depression considerably.

  57. Petra says:

    It’s a bit like a so-called pro-independence site using data taken from a Times article to prove their point, Alex, and that is that education, health, crime, and most other areas, have started moving in the wrong direction since Nicola Sturgeon took over. We’ve progressed from the GRA, the Hate Crime Bill, the Alex Salmond stitch up (because it didn’t seem to be working) being used to undermine Nicola Sturgeon to attacking Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP on their ”day job” record now. Absolutely in line with the biased MSM, such as the GCHQ led BBC, and let’s just say that this is utterly disgraceful, if not downright sinister. As I’ve said previously, if people can’t see what’s going on there they require to make an appointment with Specsavers, ASAP.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The Times the Daily Mail and the Express are all fine and dandy reading now as that place sinks to the same bitter level and style of debate based on the authors personal hatred and sense of unrecognised grievance of his greatness, a small and petty individual

  58. Republicofscotland says:

    British nationalist Tory minister’s husband thinks Covid-19 is nothing more than a conspiracy, a mental illness. He’s a vice president for Credit Suisse.

  59. Republicofscotland says:

    Another mad Covid-19 conspiracy this time from the British nationalist Tory branch office in Scotland, the claim, Glasgow unlike Aberdeen didn’t need to go into a local lockdown because Glasgow voted yes in 2014.

    • Petra says:

      FGS. They’ll do and say anything to political point score and that includes undermining the CV19 advice and putting lives at risk..

  60. Republicofscotland says:

    Meanwhile Walter Mitty aka Douglas Ross, has been told to stop telling porkie pies.

    • Petra says:

      And Annie Wells of all people comes to the rescue 😀 .

      ..”Tory MSP Annie Wells then stepped in to tell the SNP’s Westminster leader: “Come on Ian … you must remember the Edinburgh agreement that Nicola and Alex signed. I can jog your memory if you like?”

      • Dr Jim says:

        “Voting NO is the sure way to remain within the EU”

        How about that statement that every single Unionist in the British Isles trotted out at every opportunity, even she of the prospective ermine jaiket the liar formerly known as Ruth Davidson banged on about it at FMQs, on the TV, on the radio, and even squealed it from public streets when there were BBC cameras there to take pictures of her doing it, I don’t follow her every move but I reckon I can be fairly confident she yelled that statement perched upon the backs of various farm animals generally of the bovine variety, much like the crap they deposit from their Arses Ruth Davidson deposited her crap live and in public arenas around our country from her very own big mouth

  61. Great article, Paul. 100% support from this old guy with cuts on his knees.

  62. Roddy says:

    Thanks as always for your fantastic analysis ,sometimes it seems like the more zelous ” we want a referendum yesterday ” crowd are the majority,of course when I speak to people who I know are committed activists I tend to realise that the vast majority are dining from the same hyme sheet .

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