The stakes are too high to risk everything now

It was only to be expected that as the independence movement tears lumps out of itself over Salmond vs Sturgeon or because of issues which are not themselves directly related to independence, the long run of opinion polls showing a lead for Yes has come to an end. The only beneficiaries of these disputes are the British nationalists. That’s what happens when you take your eye off the ball and lazily assume that support for independence will take care of itself. Well it won’t. The Tories and their allies have not had to try and persuade Scotland of the dubious benefits of continuing British rule, they have been able to sit back and rub their hands with glee as supposed independence supporters have done their job for them.

Unlike some who comment on this blog, I do not believe that certain ostensibly pro-independence blogs which have done nothing of late to promote the cause of independence but have instead concentrated all their energy on attacking Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have become conscious agents of British nationalism and the British state, that is to fall prey to the same conspiracy theorising which these sites promote. Rather I believe that these sites have fallen victim to their owners’ obsessive pursuit of their own grudges and vendettas to the extent that they no longer care what effect they are having on the wider movement or on the perceptions of the undecided voters and soft noes whom we need to get on our side if we are to have any chance of winning independence.

I have always had a policy of not using this blog as a platform from which to attack other independence campaigners, no matter how wrong headed I believe them to be. This and the preceding paragraph are a rare exception to that rule, and shall remain an isolated exception. I believe that if you want a particular voice to become irrelevant to the independence movement you should treat it as though it already is, all the more so when you believe that voice to be ego-driven and motivated by the attention being paid to it. Negative attention is still attention. Public criticism merely tells that voice that it is still being heard and that it is still influential. It acts to encourage and not to dissuade.

Instead I choose to focus on something far more important, and that is to make the case for independence and to talk about the dangers to Scotland that come from remaining under Westminster control. These are topics which the overwhelmingly anti-independence media in Scotland are keen to avoid.

There is no doubt at all that Scotland and the devolution settlement are facing the greatest dangers that they have ever experienced since the restoration of a limited form of Scottish self-government in the late 1990s. The Conservatives have now adopted the mantle of Ukip and become an overtly Brextremist English nationalist party. Given that the Labour party’s opposition is ineffectual and Labour is failing to dent the Conservatives’ lead in the polls, The limited autonomy enjoyed by the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments represent the sole remaing effective resistance to Johnson’s absolute control and power.

Neutering that resistance is a political priority for the Conservatives. Right now the sole factor that is holding the Conservatives in check is the fear of another Scottish independence referendum and the possibility that they might have to try and articulate some arguments in favour of the UK which could help to persuade the people of Scotland to vote against independence in an independence referendum. Once that fear is removed there will be nothing at all to hold the Conservatives and their allies back from mounting an all-out assault on devolution and the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

All that stands in their way is the possibility that the SNP and the Greens and any other minor pro-independence parties do well in the Scottish elections which are now less than two months away. If the SNP fails to do well in that election there will be nothing to prevent the Tories from eviscerating the Scottish Parliament. They will most certainly take steps to ensure that they will never again have to worry about another referendum without the express consent of the occupant of Downing Street. Even if the SNP remains the largest party – which will be the case barring something catastrophic – any failure of the SNP to win an outright majority will be spun by the Tories and their allies as a defeat for those seeking independence and it will be used to justify stripping even further powers from the Scottish Parliament and as an excuse to introduce legislation at Westminster to make it unlawful for Holyrood to hold any sort of referendum about Scotland’s constitutional status.

Once they have done that, the Conservatives will then seek to appease the English nationalists in their ranks by attacking and undermining the Barnett formula in the supposed name of fairness. Scotland will be powerless to resist as the Scottish budget is slashed and or public services are gutted. Labour and the Lib Dems will then shamelessly attack the Scottish government by calling these “SNP cuts”, and they will be aided and abetted in this by the majority of the Scottish media.

The stakes are frighteningly high, while sections of the independence movement devote their time and energies in the pursuit of internecine disputes, the Tories are looking forward to entrenching their power and escaping the scrutiny of the people of Scotland. In May there is only one choice facing the electorate of Scotland, do we want to assert our right to determine the future of this country or do we throw it all away in angry infighting. The Tories don’t care about the rights and wrongs of the dispute between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, they certainly don’t care about any of the other issues that divide the independence movement. All that they care about is that our divisions and disputes represent the most likely way by which they will be able to retain power and control.

The good news is that we remain in a strong position and are faced by opponent who have no convincing counter offer top put to the people of Scotland and we have a solid base of pro-independence support from which to launch an official independence campaign. The Conservatives’ only hope is that we self-destruct. It is imperative that w do not play into their hands. It is vital that we make good use of the weeks left to us before May’s election to continue to make the case for independence and to shout from the rooftops about danger that Scottish self-government is facing from this Conservative government. That’s the only way that we can win majority support, no one else is going to do that job for us, and we should not be distracted from that crucial task by those angry voices with agendas of their own.

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership ,or about some other issue not directly related to Scottish independence – there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

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117 comments on “The stakes are too high to risk everything now

  1. Ninian Fergus says:

    Very well put, and I only wish everyone seeking independence for Scotland could read it.

  2. Cameron Edwards says:

    Absolutely perfectly put.

    This just in, but you’re right – this infighting needs to stop. Otherwise the trend will continue.

  3. Petra says:

    Another timely reminder Paul. If only, if only others would follow suit and that includes Alex himself. When is he going to emerge, publicly support the SNP and put paid to those who threaten what was once his dream and is still surely ours.


    Some good news.

    ”Unreliable Anti-Scottish Independence Poll now RETRACTED.”

    ”Politics is such a dirty business. Unreliable Anti-Scottish Independence Poll now retracted. Not before #SaraSmith shouts out the misinformation on #Marr Remember @AndrewMarr9
    & that ridiculous 3 week stat on Scotland & pandemic. Very Fox News. Lost all credibility.”


    Ruth Wishart talking sense too.

    ‘Ruth Wishart: The independence movement is at a crossroads. We must seize the moment.’

    ..”The hostility of those purporting to be independence supporters is something else again. It’s not just that the level of vitriol poured over the current First Minister is both vicious and sustained, but that there seems no recognition that they are actively helping to burn down the house they long claimed they wanted to build.”..

  4. Chris Clark says:

    Very well said. United we can win. Division, however well intended makes us vulnerable.

  5. Hamish100 says:

    The best people to govern Scotland are the people of Scotland.

    Not Johnson and the tories or labour or Lib Dem who will and always will put the interests of England and London and the SE England first.

    • Irene Danks says:

      In all honesty, I don’t think Johnson and his leeches lie back and think of England at all! And the only part of London they give even a passing thought to is the financial sector. Let’s just dole out OUR money to help the impoverished and destitute inhabitants of the leafy Yorkshire constituency of the Chancellor and wee Alister and Fluffy’s ones in the Borders.

  6. John Wilson says:

    To secure independence ther must be a large majority of pro independence MSPs elected to the parliament, this can only happen if those voting SNP in the constituencies vote for pro indepence candidates on the list. Voting for the SNP on the list, based on current poll results will produce very little or no SNP MSPs, so using your vote tactically for Action for Independence candidates will return additional MSPs committed to delivering independence as a priority. AFIs overriding agenda is to deliver independence at the earliest opportunity. Only once we have independence will Scotland and the Scottish people have the opporunity to decide the political direction of travel, as a independent nation unshackled from Westminster and Tory rule.

    • Sorry, but this is not.good advice. If you’re in a region where you are absolutely 100% certain that the SNP will sweep the constituencies, you might, repeat might, just about have a point. However it is only valid if there is a concerted effort at co-ordinating the list vote, which is extremely unlikely. Where the SNP won’t take all the constituency seats (South for example), your advice is downright bad I’m afraid.

        • Statgeek says:

          The maths might compute, but the reality is that unless you know the constituency results before you vote, you can’t guess at who to vote for in the list.

          I’m a proponent of maximising the Indy MSP count, but only if the SNP are 100% winners of the constituencies in a given region. As for who to vote for if the SNP are at 100%, it would be the party most likely to get elected. Without inter-party deals, all bets are off.

          • Angry Weegie says:

            With inter-party deals, the Electoral Commission will call a foul. Multiple parties doing deals to maximise their chances is frowned on. If they tell you there’s a deal, they’re sunk.

            • grizebard says:

              What you say is perfectly correct – the EC would treat the combo as one party for election expense purposes. Any co-operation must be in the minds of voters alone, and that is where AfI et al have shown themselves to be complete amateurs – politics is about far, far more than theories and numbers on a spreadsheet, as they will no doubt discover soon enough.

              On the other side, the BritNat parties have past form in the constituencies for having tacit {ahem} “mutual understandings”, all but one of them putting up no-hoper candidates and spending no money on their campaigns, in order to focus the anti-SNP vote instead of dissipating it, and this could happen again. Having a strong list vote is good insurance against that tactic.

              The very best insurance of all, though, is achieving >50% of the vote. Nothing can beat that. Hence all the voter suppression tactics going on of late, including that “fixed” poll.

    • Me Bungo Pony says:

      Who on Earth are AFI? I thought I knew all the pop-up (allegedly) pro-Indy parties, but this is a new one. None of them, however, are even registering in the polls so are highly unlikely to return even one MSP between them. Though they just might garner enough votes from the SNP and Greens to rob them of List seats. The pop-ups are just an ego driven distraction that is more likely to harm than aid the independence cause in the coming election.

      • weegingerdug says:

        Action for Independence.

        • Me Bungo Pony says:

          My question was largely rhetorical Paul. The full name was in the original post. The question still remains though; “who are they”? A full answer would give a list of those at the heart of the “party” and their aims beyond simply independence (for example, are they right wing or left wing). It may seem irrelevant what they stand for beyond independence, but I assume they must have their own particular “hook” otherwise why would we need more than one pop-up. Although, I would argue, we don’t need them at all.

          • weegingerdug says:

            Sorry I misunderstood. I believe AFI is a vehicle for Tommy Sheridan’s |Solidarityparty

            • Me Bungo Pony says:

              Thanks Paul. I wasn’t expecting you in particular to give an answer. I thought the original poster might.

              • John Wilson says:

                I referred people to the AFI website so they could see some of the people that are involved and to highlight that contrary to the follow up comment from WGD that AFI was a vehicle for Tommy Sheridan. There are individuals who have been committed to independence for decades rather than years or months.

            • John Wilson says:

              Naughty WGD, have a look at the AFI website.

              • Bob Lamont says:

                Naughty John Wilson, diverting folks to the AFI website rather than explaining what was said that was wrong, are you on commission ?

                • John Wilson says:

                  If you are going to castigate a party committed to delivering independence you should have a look at what they have presented as the arguments for voting for them. Just to say that your comment about being on commission fails to recognise the contribution by many that are committed to independence without getting any payment, the reward should be independence, not for riches or glory.

            • Bill McDermott says:

              AFI’s Convener is Dave Thompson who is a retired SNP MSP, replaced by Kate Forbes. I will be voting SNP 1&2 even though Kate Forbes is a likely shoe-in. It is ironic that in 2011 Dave Thompson was the last list MSP even though the constituency seat was secured by the SNP. He famously sought a recount when the returning officer miscalculated the votes.

  7. Not quite, Paul. But point taken and understood:

    • weegingerdug says:

      Yes I saw that after writing and publishing today’s piece. I am relieved that the polls are better for us than has been reported and angry about the misreporting which only goes to prove the lengths that the BBC and others will go to to establish a false ant-independence narrative. However the points about in fighting and this being an an absolutely crucial election remain.

      • Tam the Bam says:

        I wouldnt hold your breath if you’re expecting a retraction or apology from Marr or Smith Paul.

        • weegingerdug says:

          Oh my breath is decidedly unheld. But the BBC’s “we don’t comment on opinion polls” hypocrisy has been well and truly noted

          • Gordon Murray says:

            Nobody seems to concerned about the root cause of the unrest and infighting in the indy movement.

            The FM has raised expectations for an indyref, only to dash those hopes, time after time.

            First it was going to be before the end of this 5 year term in govt 2021.

            Then it was between autumn2018 and spring2019.

            Next it was going to be the alternative to being dragged out of Europe over the Brexit cliff by a Westminster Tory govt we never voted for.

            Then we were going to be given an alternative to leaving the European Single Market at the end of the EU withdrawal transition period.

            A lot of us are sick scunnered being marched halfway up the indy hill, only to be marched straight back down again.

            Better by far to have said nothing at all.

            If Sturgeon had kept her word there would be no indy splinter parties and no infighting.

            If I’m being generous, I’d say maybe our FM has been led astray by Leslie Evans pouring Whitehall poison in her ear.

            Whatever it is imo the current leader of the SNP, with her gold standard and section 30 fetish, is the main obstacle blocking our route to independence.

            • John Muir says:

              So you’d have just called a referendum whenever, seen the red, yellow and blue Tories boycott it at London’s behest, try to campaign at the doorsteps because the media were pushing that narrative too, and then we won on the day but with a low enough turnout to put the true will of the Scottish people into doubt?

              Our international neighbours would look on and keep schtum. What else are they to do?

              That’ll have worked wonders for Scotland.

  8. Joyce says:

    Keep your eyes on the prize (= Independence)! That is the only thing that’s important right now.
    Anything else can be dealt with after Scotland has become an independent country.

    • John Wilson says:

      Joyce I totally agree that the prize should be independence, only by returning a large majority of pro independence MSPs will we be able to send a inequivocal messge to Westmister and the Unionist parties of whatever shade, that the Scottish people demand independence.

      • weegingerdug says:

        James Kelly has blogged repeatedly about the problems and difficulties of tactical voting on the list

        • John Wilson says:

          Yes the big problem we had in Central Scotland list in 2016 was that we got 4 Labour and 3 Tory MSPs elected because of the both votes SNP tactic. So taking the logic of James Kelly, it is okay the squander pro indepence votes in the list to return unionists, rather than returning MSPs committed to independence.

          • weegingerdug says:

            You don’t appear to have taken on board what James was saying – because you’ve just fundamentally misrepresented his argument. I don’t expect to have any more success , so let us just agree to disagree

          • Terence Callachan says:

            John Wilson i understand what you mean
            I have read much about votes and how the List MPs are arrived at and you are correct that in some areas of Scotland it is very easy to predict where votes will go because they just never change so yes in some places in Scotland you could give your second vote to someone other than SNP and be very confident that it will benefit a non unionist List MP but and its a BIG BUT there are so many areas in Scotland where votes move back and forth so much sometimes giving the majority to SNP sometimes Labour or Tory or Lib Dem etc its tricky not reasonably predictable so much so that its very possible you could give your second vote to someone other than SNP and find that it does the exact opposite of what you intend and i would say this unpredictability applies to nearly all of Scotland.

            If you are in one of the few areas where predictability is so accurate where voting intentions always matches outcomes fair enough give your second vote to another indy supporting party but also remember that the britnats when they lose will point to things such as how many votes did not go specifically to the SNP

  9. Dave Howie says:

    This is the text of a letter that I had published in The National recently. I totally agree with you, Paul.

    “ I write in response to the letter from the various Yes groups in today’s National.

    They ask what powers will the “Governor General” want to take over next.

    There are many clues. Firstly, there has been much talk of scrapping the Barnett Formula. Secondly, the idea floated by the Tory/Labour Aberdeen coalition of direct Council funding from Westminster met with Tory approval. Thirdly, Scotland’s Health Boards are organised in such a way that directly funding each Board would be relatively simple (at least on paper). Fourthly, EVERY aspect of Scottish life can be controlled under the Internal Market Bill, particularly when a new regime of funding is introduced to replace Barnett. This could be similar to the replacement of EU funding with the new UK Shared Prosperity Fund, with total control of spending by Westminster.

    Scaremongering? Maybe. But I don’t think so. My belief is that if Independence parties fail to win a majority in May, it will be open season on devolution. Remember Cameron’s EVEL about four hours after the 2014 vote was declared? The Tories have an 80 seat majority. They don’t need the feeble 6 from Scotland. They can just send the ones they want to keep to the Lords, like the Baroness.

    They know that there would be nothing that Scotland could do in response, as all final decisions on devolution rest with Westminster. And, as Scotland rejected independence, that is what the electorate voted for.

    Finally, I fully agree with the group’s conclusion that we have only one answer – independence.

    Or perhaps to misquote Mel Gibson:

    “And dying in your beds many years from now, will you regret that one final chance to tell Westminster that we demand independence was not taken?”

    • Capella says:

      I agree. Why else have the passed the legislation and built the Edinburgh hub? If we don’t want to be festooned in Union Jacks for years to come we have to vote for independence in May.
      For me that means both votes SNP.

  10. Tam the Bam says:

    Off Topic:

    George (Freedom) Sq; resembling Friday 19th Sept. 2014 all over again.


  11. Ian Caldwell says:

    I suspect that this was the SNP gameplan all along.

  12. Capella says:

    Newsnet recently analysed the chances of a third indy party succeeding in getting any seats in the Regional Vote. Basically none, barring miracles (which can happen).

  13. Petra says:

    And whilst the Tories get on with their current plans for decimating Scotland let’s not forget about this!

    ”Nukewatch:- ”More Nuclear weapons were delivered to the Trident base on the Clyde today. The warheads are due to be replaced at a cost of £4billion (the whole Trident replacement programme = £205 billion) And we can’t afford a decent pay increase for nurses!!”


    Lewis Goodall:- ”Some interesting inclusions in Tier 1 for the government’s levelling up fund priority 1 list.”

    Derbyshire Dales (265th most deprived local authority in England)
    East Northamptonshire (226th)
    Lewes (194th)
    Mendip (170th)
    Newark (148th)
    Richmondshire (251st)
    Trafford (209th).”

  14. Irene Danks says:

    Well said, Paul. Again. I’m sorry if this comes over as damning with faint praise, but I have completely given up reading any of the venomous, ego driven blogs. I know that sounds as if I prefer to dwell in an echo chamber, but that amount of negativity…well it fair puts me off my tea!

    • I can understand Irene. I’ve given up on Wings over Aquae Sulis & rarely look at Craig Murray these days; I used to login to both regularly. The last straw, with the irreverent Stu, was him bragging about his traffic volume, so I decided to channel Yogi Berra: “include me out”. I still visit SGP, but I wish James Kelly wasn’t so tolerant in allowing serial haverers to take up residence below the line.

  15. Ken says:

    The Tories want to close down Holyrood. The Tory 3rd raters are in there to do as much damage to the Scottish Gov and Devolution that they can. Troughing on Scottish taxpayers monies. They are complete and utter total hypocrites,

    The football fans are flaunting the rules and guidelines. Tradespeople and other people get fined for not obeying the rules. Double standards,

    • Ken ,
      You me tomorrow
      We will get a few thousand tradespeople out in george square
      See what happens 😉

    • Eilidh says:

      Yep I was treated to hours of the sound of fireworks today after they won the league and tonight some eegit in Milngavie who looked about 18 was wrapped in a Union Jack and staggering along the pavement while swinging a bottle of whatever. I have nothing against that team but for the most part I can’t stand football. Why should those eegits get away with it when I haven’t been able to see some of my friends since this time last yesr

  16. fairliered says:

    If the unionist parties manage to get a majority of seats between them due to SNP infighting, what is to stop them joining together to vote to abolish the Scottish Parliament?

    • fairliered, nothing , but they wont

    • grizebard says:

      On that issue they’re totally split, actually. Labour (and LibDems still, probably, but who knows?) are still pro-devo. The Tories might fervently wish to do away with it behind closed doors, but they daren’t come out in public.

  17. Dr Jim says:

    Every time there’s an election the SNP ask us for both votes they wouldn’t do that if they thought it wasn’t the right strategy, many times I’ve said this, Westminster counts vote share, they fully expect the SNP to win elections so they want to be able point to something negative and we’ve heard them do it many times

    People will say *but it’s not a referendum* but it is to Westminster, all elections are, they’re a referendum on the party

    *Scotland disillusioned by SNP as vote share plummets* *Voters turned off by SNP*
    *Sturgeon’s dream in tatters as Scots vote no* *Scots fall out of love with Sturgeon’s SNP*

    Any one of us could write newspaper headlines like that, and why? because we’ve all seen them before and we’ll see them again if we don’t vote SNPX2

  18. fionamacinnes says:

    Absolutely with you Paul and even if its a dodgy poll it will have done the desired propaganda damage as it was trumpeted into livings rooms around the country this morning.

    As to complex tactics to game the list vote – the majority of voters dont think in those terms,
    For them it has to be simple and clear. Gaming the list vote is highly risky and just too dangerous now.
    Voters who dont live politics will just be confused by this and that’s not meant in any way as a slight to them.
    Those of use who understand de hont, fpp,single transferable this that and the other, and revel in the perfect mathematical outcomes of perfect election results need to check ourselves because its us that are the nurds. Most folk are not like that!!
    It may be fine in theory and on paper but its just not how humans work.

    Gotta be both votes SNP
    As you say the stakes are way TOO HIGH.

  19. fionamacinnis well known election nurd

    I agree

  20. Capella says:

    It would be good if the rabid anti-SNP pretendy independence types could find a worthy cause to focus their energies on. Climate change, human trafficking, Westminster fraud, land reform, rug reform, saving the NHS, World Peace, Democracy or something like that. What a challenge.

    It seems so petty to concentrate every waking moment on attacking one woman in Scotland as if their lives depended on it. Unless, of course, they’re unionists, in which case their sense of self worth probably does depend it. Shame.

  21. Capella says:

    rug reform = drug reform 🙂

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I thought you were talking about the barnet formula.

      • Alex Clark says:


        • Bob Lamont says:

          …or not…

          • Alex Clark says:


            • Tam the Bam says:

              … thats a Crown Topper!

              • Axe(West)minster?
                I’m in reading mode.
                Ace, as per, Paul, and others.
                We fight the SGE on all aspects of Unionist corruption. Trident, the scandal of UCS, the threats to our economy from the UKIM, the disgrace of Brexit, the unionist Future of privatised healh and social Care, the slashing of investment in our public services, in Health, Police, emergency services, schools, LA spending, and so on.
                We need merely look South and describe Tory England, whom Dross Anas the Millionaire and Mental Health Rennie would use as a template o crush Scotland’s Parliament.
                We voted 62% to Remain, yet the Bully Patel has dragooned her English Border Guards to close 27 borfers to Scots.. Brazilian Beef, Privatised fragmented Health Services and GP Practicesand savage cuts to welfare spending, pensions, and so much more.
                Sarwar, Dross, and Rennie, are parish council rabble rousers, very low grade politicaibs abd orators.
                They will avoid speaking of Johnson’s evil fascist regime, Starmer’s powder puff Tony Blair Lite, or Lib Dem irrelevance when it comes to grown up politics.

                I have been placed under House arrest by our invaders.
                Up with that, I shall not put.

  22. Capella says:

    Yesindyref, Alex and Bob – very funny 😡

    James Kelly has more thoughts and numbers on the infamous ComRes poll. (Changes subject swiftly)

  23. Alex Clark says:

    It will be interesting to see the reactions from all those that were crowing today about a result in a poll that was not comparable with the previous polls because it was not weighted by intention to vote.

    Why the Scotsman choose to run with this story isn’t surprising, it was a Sunday and they needed an SNP bad story so they made one up that suited their agenda. It did the trick because the BBC bought into it and it was broadcast to all and sundry as support for SNP falling all due to Nicola Sturgeon.

    The fact it was utter bullshit is unlikely to ever have a mention on the Biased Broadcasting Corporation. These lies though are not anything but new. they have been going on for years and it’s just that they are becoming more blatant just because they can.

    Don’t fall for the divide and conquer, some have and the Unionist activists have jumped on the bandwagon in order to encourage more disruption in the Independence ranks. If you support Independence you will not care who gets us over the line and only that we get there. That’s pretty much how I feel and the crap that is thrown in our direction I can easily ignore no matter where it comes from.

    I support Independence above everything else, party, leader or policy mean nothing to me without Independence simply because you can’t have any of the rest without the latter.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      James Kelly’s “So what the hell are Scotland on Sunday playing at? The short answer is “I’ve no idea”, but here are a few logical possibilities… ” goes on to list 4 possibilities awhnd a summary “Wherever the truth lies, it’s hard to think of any explanation that doesn’t involve a heavy dose of shoddy journalism.”

      I wouldn’t be quite so charitable as James to describe the SoS article as “shoddy”.
      From it’s first appearance (Scotsman?) there was adequate time to correct, this was blatant collusion to farm a negative SNP story to the wider media to keep their ASvNS, Ministerial Code and fracturing SNP stories alive.

  24. Ken says:

    Johnston Press was sold out of administration to to National World – David Montgomery – ex Mirror group. In December 2020. For £10Million. Loans raised £8Million. Further loans loans to be taken out.

    The Poll was 53 Yes 47 No, once the don’t No’s were taken out.

    The Ranger people will be spreading the virus. Infection is down. No deaths.
    The infection and deaths will go up. Putting a further strain in the SNHS. It is disgraceful. Totally ignorant.

  25. Hamish100 says:

    I suppose we should be pleased that the unionists are worried enough to be forced into producing lies dressed up as fact. BBC should apologise.

    As the election approaches we can move onto the difference between Tory mis-governance over Brexit and the like. Would nurses prefer working for NHS Scotland or NHS England?
    Would students wish Erasmus or not, nuclear weapons or not, free prescriptions or not and so it goes on. Northern Ireland – U.K. govt have upset the unionist paramilitaries. We should show up the Irish getting a better deal than Scotland.
    The hypocrisy of Davidson and the tories nose in the trough. We have plenty to point out and promote the snp and more importantly Independence.
    We can win.

    • Bill McDermott says:

      I noted that Martin Guissler on the Sunday Show did express his reservations over the Scotland on Sunday poll, saying that it was not weighted to people who are likely to vote.

      • Alex Clark says:

        That doesn’t excuse Sarah Smith who appears on the main news and said no such thing.

  26. bringiton says:

    It is not only the Tories who want to end devolution.
    British Labour,now that their hegemony in Scotland is over,also want to see it defenestrated.
    Scots who think that at some future date,England will elect a Labour government,need to realise that the only prospect of progressive policies being implemented in Scotland is through independence.
    And one other thing.
    For those seeking a change of leadership in the SNP,the first step is to become a member.

  27. jfngw says:

    After the Herald reported the SoS fake poll, they have now moved onto the Boris Johnson Garden Tunnel, don’t dare say they shouldn’t be taken seriously as a purveyor of the truth.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Forgive my ignorance but what’s the Garden Tunnel?

      • jfngw says:

        I made the Garden bit up to match his failed London Bridge project. It’s the tunnel he kids on is going to join Scotland to Ireland, as it’s a fantasy project I thought we might as well go the whole hog and have an underground garden in it.

  28. Petra says:

    A couple of links to give you a laugh.


    ”This is Boris Johnsons forward for the UK Ministerial Code. This is not a parody I challenge you not to laugh!”

  29. jfngw says:

    I believe they have a working prototype:

  30. Hamish100 says:

    How I feel

  31. bewarethejabberwok says:

    Big applause Paul. Absolutely agree with you. As an Admin of a large Indy site, your’s is the only blog that we publish every time. Sick to death of bloggers who have forgotten which way to point their guns.

  32. Petra says:

    G man: ”Yesterday evenings poll, properly weighted

    47% Yes
    42% No
    (Inc DK)

    53% Yes
    47% No
    (Excl DK).”


    ‘Is the Scotland on Sunday/Savanta ComRes independence poll twisting the truth?’

  33. Petra says:

    Phantom Power:- ”A summary of Scotland on Sunday/Sarah Smith Scottish independence polling farce. The real story is the 26th consecutive poll with Yes on 50% or higher – but why would the British media want to report that?”


    ‘From PM Down Tories Reek of Hypocrisy and Double Standards.’

  34. Petra says:

    ‘Patrick Harvie open to coalition Yes government with SNP after May elections.’


    ‘Scottish Greens may back no confidence vote in John Swinney this week.’

  35. Old Pete says:

    Thought Mari Black was excellent on the TV yesterday.

  36. Ken says:

    The duplicity of the Greens. Talk about double standards. No sense at all. Useless.

    Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence.

    Get one other to vote as well.

    It is 2021. Not 2016. The franchise has changed. Extended.

    • jfngw says:

      I think what we are trying to do is have Green voters vote for the SNP on the constituency if there is no Green candidate, surely that’s better than them voting for any other party. So SNP1/Green2 is a valid choice for some. Not me as there is too much with the Green’s which I can’t agree with.

  37. ArtyHetty says:

    The Greens, doing the BritNats’ work for them, what have they got against John Swinney, or is it just more SNP bad to feed another frenzied BritNat media as a distraction from the real mess of Brexit, and EngGovs’ spaffing £billions up the wall to line the pockets of their pals, literally cashing in on Covid, allowing thousands to die.

    Really hope they are not required for a coalition government, they sided with the BritNats in removing the OBFA, and they’d have had everyone crossing the Fifth of Forth in canoes to stop the new crucial arterial bridge being built. Imagine, had the SNP not made sure that bridge was built, with the old one crumbling, folks would have a huge detour to drive and take goods north of the Forth. All the efforts of the SNP to start to repair the damage of British rule, thieving Scotland’s wealth, will be reversed if at this stage the BritNats manage to oust the SNP in May. With deep pockets and 100% media being anti SNP, to put it lightly, their deployment of wall to wall propaganda will be almost impossible to counter for those who don’t visit the pro independence blogesphere.

  38. Ken says:

    Alex Salmond did not do it. The charges were false, Just read the transcript of the ‘trial’. Nicola says mistakes have been made and they have to be rectified.

    Alex Salmond did more for Scotland than anyone. He deserves an apology and compensation. The charges were false. People lied.

    Women who co habit (the majority) do not have equal rights under the Law. They have to put in a claim (1/3?). They have to fight through Courts, it costs £thousands and can take years, There is little legal aid. It has to be paid back in any case. Married women have equal rights to half. This is 2021. Not the 1950’s. The legal structure has not caught up.

    Women cannot get away from abusive situations because of the Law. It should be changed, There has been consultations going on for years and nothing has been done about. Yet there is all the wringing of hands and commotion about woman’s rights. Double standards.

    Change the Law. Change the Law.

    So they have somewhere to go. To get away from abusive, unhealthy situations. They can lose their house/home. The Law has been changed in England so they can get Legal Aid,

    Change the Law so they have equal rights. For goodness sake,

    Letting agencies illegally (solicitors) demand 6month rent + deposit. From women with good credit scores and funds. This makes it difficult for women to find alternative accommodation,

    Change the Law. For pity’s sake. A fundamental failure.

  39. Golfnut says:

    The idea of a coalition government isn’t a bad idea in the run up to Indy 2 even though I believe the SNP will win a majority but it deserves some consideration. Unfortunately Harvie at the same time as he floats that idea, threatens to support the no confidence vote on John Swinney. Hmm.

  40. Pogmothon says:

    ‘Patrick Harvie open to coalition Yes government with SNP after May elections.’

    ‘Scottish Greens may back no confidence vote in John Swinney this week.’

    In case it escaped your notice Patrick Harvie is a party leading politician.

    Politician being the operative word here. he does and says what suits his party and their views.
    He is also one of the longest surviving opposition leaders, this would seen to indicate he is good at what he does.

    Now if he has enough fore sight to start campaigning Now, for a supporting role with an SNP majority government. I would suggest he needs to go further, and not look to pick up a few seats by become the second largest party at Holyrood.
    But to do this requires courage and a commitment to independence which his party has not yet shown.
    In order for the Green party to take up the position of the second largest party (by MSPs) in Scotland Mr Harvie needs to do a couple of things.

    1 Agree with all his colleagues to stand on the lists only.

    2 He and all other Green party members need to campaign on and activly promote SNP 1, Green 2.

    In response the SNP needs to be generous and agree to rolls for the Greens in government if they fail to become the second party at Holyrood irrespective of an SNP majority.
    And Promote SNP 1, Green 2.

    Without these commitments from Patrick Harvie. And the magnanimity from the SNP.

    The Greens can only hope to pick up 1 or 2 seats and hope to not loose seats to the unionists.

    I personally would dearly love to see an SNP Majority and the unionists replaced by the GREENS.

    How ever……..

    Without this understanding or something similar IT REMAINS SNP 1, AND SNP 2.

    • Golfnut says:

      You maybe missed the bit about ‘ deserving consideration ‘, threatening Swinney is none to bright though if he is attempting use it as leverage.

  41. Old Pete says:

    Well argued Pogmothon, I agree a coalition sounds a good idea but only if a firm agreement on Independence is agreed before the election.
    Can’t see any benefit for the Greens to vote down John Swinney?

  42. Ken says:

    The racist Tory monarchy. Tax evading breaking the Law. Illegally Interfering in Gov. An absolute disgrace. Head of State of the illegal Westminster Gov breaking the Law with impunity.

  43. duncfmac says:

    I agree with the sentiment that of this post – the stakes are too high to risk- but that sentiment must be aimed at ALL parties and bodies concerned with gaining independence, not used to manipulate any single part or faction. That will require integrity, humility and transparency ALL round.

  44. Dr Jim says:

    The Tories *within this Union* will always score around 20% of the vote, Labour will always score at least 15% and Lib Dems 5% with Greens doing much the same as Lib Dems, so count that up and we get 45% or thereabouts, so if we estimate that most of the remaining 55% support Independence for sure (because there are some SNP voters who don’t and some Greens who don’t) the status quo remains

    The SNP will never take votes from the Tories but some Labour and Lib Dems will vote Tory if they feel the Union slipping away so it’s not the Greens that need concentrating on, it’s the Labour party who are the weakest link but conversely are the strongest Unionist banker

    If Labour party voters in Scotland can be convinced to embrace democracy this Union is finished overnight

  45. Johnny come lately says:

    I really wish people would stop referring to this as the Salmond v Sturgeon feud.
    This is an enquiry led by The Scottish Parliament into why The SG pressed ahead with an illegal enquiry which they new to be illegal.
    Alex Salmond is only one of many witnesses called.
    No feud here, nothing to see, please move along folks!

  46. yesindyref2 says:

    Why give out disinformation? The purpose of the inquiry is NOT what you say it is.

    THIS is the actual purpose of the committee, from the scotparl page:

    To consider and report on the actions of the First Minister, Scottish Government officials and special advisers in dealing with complaints about Alex Salmond, former First Minister, considered under the Scottish Government’s “Handling of harassment complaints involving current or former ministers” procedure and actions in relation to the Scottish Ministerial Code.

  47. Angry Weegie says:

    “That’s what happens when you take your eye off the ball and lazily assume that support for independence will take care of itself. Well it won’t.”

    Could it be that the SNP are guilty of the same error. I note that election leaflets are being distributed with the word “independence” conspicuous by its absence. Remember what happened in 2017?

  48. John Watson says:

    That’s fine Paul, I agree with much that you say, but wouldn’t it help if the largest party (supposedly) in favour of independence actually did something to promote the cause? The in-fighting we see is largely a result of frustration with the lack of progress made on developing and pushing the case for independence, and the blame for that can only be laid at the feet of the SNP.

    There’s been a monumental failure of leadership. Leadership means keeping the base on board as well as trying to chase “soft No’s” and in this respect Nicola Sturgeon has been a disaster. It’s become a bit of a trope to say that she’s a manager rather than a leader but it’s true; I work in a Council and it’s full of people like her. She’s not going to lead us to independence and in my heart I’ve known that since that dreadful election in 2017.

    I suspect we could be in for a re-run. It’s all very well saying that the stakes have never been higher but why should people keep the faith when they have little evidence that the SNP will deliver. In terms of independence, there’s been zero intent shown since 2014, and their record in protecting Scotland from the ravages of Tory rule is hardly impressive. We’re out of the EU. austerity has smashed the social fabric of the country and our parliament is about to be emasculated. “Stronger for Scotland” – really? Does anyone truly think a whopping SNP majority will deter the Tories? Does anyone really think the current crop of SNP troughers, careerists and virtue signallers is up to the job of defending Scotland in any case?

    I feel a dreadful sense of de ja vu with the forthcoming election, though I’m not sure whether the resemblance is with 1979 (when the electorate last got fed up with the SNP and ushered in 18 years of brutal Tory rule) and 1987 (when we ended up with the feeble 50, which only highlighted Scotland’s impotence). I hope I’m wrong but we’ll only know on May 7th I suppose.

    As for me, I’m swithering about whether or not I’ll vote. I suspect I will turn out because the person at the top of the Green list was the convener of my local YES group in 2014 and would be a good addition to Holyrood. Regarding my constituency vote, however, the SNP are not exactly selling it to me. The party as an institution has become truly repulsive in my eyes and the government it forms looks pretty tired and clapped out. I probably will give them my first vote, just because of independence. I’ll try and put to one side the suspicion that lip service is being paid and I’m being had, but it will only take one SNP idiot to say that this election is not about independence – just like we got in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 – and I’ll spoil my vote.

    There’s one other wild card that I think could have an impact and I’m surprised it’s not really been commented upon, namely the effects of Covid. I think it could be a big factor and I don’t think it will necessarily play out well for the SNP. Received wisdom is that Sturgeon has handled it well but the death rate has been comparatively high and people are really, really sick of the lockdown. Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland is a pretty joyless sort of place at the moment and that may not auger well for the poll.

    Who knows what will happen, but whatever the result, I have no intention on giving up on independence. I suspect we will have to get shot of Sturgeon first and then start from scratch but so be it. And when we do get to that stage, we’re going to have to have the courage of our convictions because the sort of strategy of deceit the SNP have followed since 2014 won’t wash. We were never going to triangulate our way to independence; we’ll have to win it.

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