What’s the Plan?

James Kelly makes a vitally important point in his blog post on Wednesday. https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-time-to-decide-how-were-going-to.html He asks an important question of those independence supporters who are vocal in their criticisms of the SNP on social media and who loudly proclaim their lack of trust in Nicola Sturgeon, saying that while they remain committed to independence, they are not going to vote SNP in the Holyrood elections which are just a couple of months away. When you point out to them that as independence supporters we cannot cease making the case for independence, that we must be unstinting in our efforts to formulate arguments that will appeal to undecideds and soft-no voters, some  respond with vitriolic anger that they’re not going to wheesht for indy. Well you are not being asked to wheesht for indy. You are rather being asked a quite different question, one to which neither I nor James Kelly have yet to see any sort of answer – to paraphrase somewhat – what is your plan B? Or indeed the plan A?

The SNP’s critics are exceptionally vociferous in their demands that the SNP formulate a plan B to cover the eventuality that the Johnson Government refuses to agree to a section 30 order. Well the rest of us are entitled to ask such critics what is their plan if their incessant and unceasing attacks on the SNP in general and Nicola Sturgeon in particular only succeed in reducing the SNP’s vote share to the extent that the party goes into reverse at the Holyrood election and loses seats, allowing the British nationalists to deprive the pro-independence parties of a majority? Then there will be no chance at all of a referendum during the next five years.

Frighteningly this will mean that there will be nothing at all to prevent the Tories from gutting the Scottish Parliament of meaningful powers and taking legislative steps at Westminster to prevent any future Scottish Parliament from holding another referendum without the express consent of Downing Street. Right now the only thing that is keeping the Johnson administration in check is the fear that it might have to formulate a case for the continuation of Westminster rule in a future referendum. Once deprived of that fear there will be absolutely nothing to prevent them from neutering Holyrood and ensuring that they will never again have to fear another independence referendum. They could introduce legislation to make future independence referendums or even plebiscite elections unlawful and put Scotland into a Catalan style trap. After doing that they will pander to the English nationalists in their ranks and abolish the Barnett formula in the name of so-called “fairness”. Scotland will see massive and swingeing cuts to public services and will be powerless to resist.

The current critics of the SNP are not being asked to wheesht for indy – they have not shut up with their criticisms and attacks. They are being asked to speak up and speak out to explain how they propose to deliver independence within the next five years and how they are going to defend Scotland from a vindictive Conservative party which will not hesitate to put the boot in once the immediate threat of another referendum has been lifted. And if you are worried that the SNP leadership is authoritarian and undemocratic, just wait and see what Johnson Gove and the Conservatives are capable of. Their destruction of public services, health and social care, and employment rights represent a serious threat to the rights of everyone up to and including the right to life itself. It has already been claimed that the Tories’s ideologically driven austerity has been responsible for 130,000 avoidable deaths. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/01/perfect-storm-austerity-behind-130000-deaths-uk-ippr-report They will be responsible for many thousands more before they are done.

Many of the critics of the SNP claim that Nicola Sturgeon has no intention of delivering another independence referendum. Her supporters vehemently disagree. It seems that certain opponents of the current SNP leadership are determined to replace the possibility that there will not be another referendum within the next five years with the absolute certainty that there won’t be. They are hell-bent on burning down the SNP with no sign of a credible vehicle to replace it. Their a scorched earth policy will force us to live, or rather die , with the consequences of Conservative rule.

It is not a fact that Nicola Sturgeon will not deliver another referendum in the next five years should the SNP win a majority in May, it is an opinion, and a contested opinion at that. However it is a fact that if there is no pro-independence majority in Holyrood in May we can be absolutely certain that there will be no second independence referedum before 2026, by which time we will have a neutered Scottish Parliament and quite possibly no lawful routes to an independence vote left open to us. Replacing the possibility that you won’t get the outcome you desire with the absolute certainty that you won’t get the outcome you desire is not a logical or a sensible political strategy.

So far the only strategy approaching a plan from the SNP’s critics are calls to vote for a minor party on the list. The only hope for success with such a strategy is to have a single pro-indy list party led by a person of political stature who is well known to the wider public. Additionally that party needs to stand on the single issue of independence and not to muddy the waters by taking a partisan stand on divisive issues which are not directly related to independence. A far more coordinated, better publicised, and better organised, campaign for a different pro-indy party on the list – RISE, failed dismally in 2016. The current attempts will far no better, for all the noise some of their supporters make on Twitter.

We currently have two minor pro-indy parties, Action for Independence and the ISP, neither of which enjoys a high public profile and which have both failed even to register in opinion polling. The ISP is most notable for taking a strong stance against the GRA, meaning that it will fail to gain any traction amongst independence supporters who have no issue with the measure – a not inconsiderable constituency. Even worse these two parties have even been unable to agree not to stand against one another and so are most likely to fail to attract enough support to gain any MSPs and to succeed only in splitting the pro-indy vote on the list , and allowing an opponent of independence to sneak in under the wire.

As has been pointed out numerous times by James Kelly, you can only hope to game the d’Hondt system successfully if you know in advance what the result is going to be in the constituency vote. It follows then that it is only worthwhile to vote for one of these new pro-indy parties on the list if you can be absolutely certain that the SNP will not pick up any seats on the list in your region. In most of Scotland no such certainty exists. As things stand the only pro-independence parties with any realistic chances of winning seats are the SNP in the constituency vote and the list, and the Greens on the list.

Others demand that May’s election needs to be a plebiscite election, making it a vote directly on independence itself and doing away with the need for a referendum if we win. There are a number of problems with this idea. The first is that there is already a recognised route for Scotland to exercise its right to achieve independence, and that is via a referendum following an agreement with the British government. If we try to short cut that route by going immediately for a plebiscite vote, the outcome is highly unlikely to be recognised by the international community, and without international pressure the British government will not agree to negotiate, claiming that the constitution is a reserved matter and Holyrood is acting unlawfully outside its competence. That’s a position which would no doubt be supported by the UK Supreme court.

The second problem is that we have not had a Holyrood election since 2016. People have a democratic right to cast their votes on the basis of all the other issues that affect us as a society. There is no guarantee that the 30 to 40% of Labour voters who are sympathetic to independence would switch their votes to the SNP if a few weeks out from the election the vote was declared to be a plebiscite. We would be depriving ourselves of vital pro-independence votes.

If we try and short circuit the process we risk reducing the pro-indy vote and additionally finding ourselves in a similar position to Catalonia after its referendum in 2016. You may have noticed that Catalonia is still not independent. I’ve always been in favour of a plebiscite vote, but for it to succeed in its aims the timing is crucial.

We will only get the international community and above all the EU to accept the result of a plebiscite independence election if the British government has been seen to have blocked the existing route to an independence referendum for no other reason than its fear that it’s going to lose. Under such circumstances the EU and the international community is likely to see things very differently, and would act to pressurise Downing Street to negotiate with Scotland’s new pro-independence government. If Downing Street refuses a referendum despite a pro-indy majority in Holyrood elected on an unconditional mandate for another referendum, the Scottish Government would be justified in precipitating a snap election as a plebiscite on independence because the British government will be seen to have frustrated the democratic will of the people of Scotland. It would also then be far more likely that under such circumstances pro-indy Labour supporters would switch to a pro-indy party.

We can either have a plebiscite election as a futile gesture or we can maximise its chances of producing the desired result. Demanding a plebiscite election this May runs an unacceptably high risk of turning it into a futile gesture. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by waiting a few more months when we’d have a better chance of both maximising the pro-indy vote and of achieving international recognition. We are only going to get one chance at an independence vote and we must not squander it on a lost cause.

So the question for the pro-indy critics of the SNP remains. What is your credible strategy for bringing about a referendum within the next five years? Don’t tell us how much you distrust Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP. Don’t tell us how much you dislike certain policies which are not themselves directly related to independence. We’ve heard you already. For months now you have banged on about little else. What we want to know is what your plan is for delivering independence within the next five years bearing in mind that we have a crucial election looming in a few short weeks time and if we don’t secure a pro indy majority we are well and truly screwed and may never get another chance. The only credible plan entails voting for the SNP in sufficient numbers in May that we return an SNP majority government.

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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399 comments on “What’s the Plan?

  1. raineach says:

    In think the phrase is KISS. Keep it Simple, Scotland

  2. Skintybroko says:

    Spot on Paul, the papers are already shouting out headlines of fall in SNP votes and linking it directly to the independence question – the SNP are our only credible route to Indy at the moment. The rest of the so called Indy supporters need to take a long hard look at themselves and see what they are doing

  3. topcop says:

    I really want to believe that the SNP will lead us to Independence. I don’t want to even think about the stuff going on regarding recent events, but it has NOT been handled well and that raises legitimate questions in my mind and presumably in the minds of others.

    • weegingerdug says:

      You need to give them the benefit of any doubt, or we are definitely screwed.

      • Pat Hackett says:

        We can play the D’Hondt system. I agree that list votes are wasted on Parties that don’t pass the 5% minimum threshold. However we do know with little doubt that every region or most will return no Green constituency seats and at least 1 SNP seat. ( In most cases at least 5 or 6). The conclusion therefore is that it will take much less votes per Green list seat compared to an SNP list seat.
        The strategy of voting SNP 1 and Greens 2 is the best way to maximise the independence vote and minimizing the Unionist vote

    • I agree topcop theres been some really poor management nd the decision making/policy making process seems to have been very opaque. However the SNP remain our only chance of getting a pro indy govt so I have grit my teeth and get behind them for now at least. If we lose we will face a sustained attack on Holyrood from Westminster and a wider attack on the very concept of Scots as nation at all

  4. Maggie Noakes says:

    Well said.Seconded 100%.Most folk endowed with a brain will vote for the only party which can deliver independence.Patience is a virtue.True yessers know this.You don’t come round to the idea of independence overnight.It takes time to educate yourself.Time can only up the numbers

  5. AnneDon says:

    I don’t “proudly” proclaim my lack of trust in Nicola Sturgeon. I am devastated by it.
    I am distraught at the Hate Crimes Bill, disappointed by the lack of movement on land reform, and disgusted by the turning of Alex Salmond into a non-person in SNP history. I am, however, likely to vote SNP1 in May, only because my candidate is endorsed by Joanna Cherry.

    But Paul, I remember you refusing to vote SNP1 in previous Holyrood elections because you couldn’t vote for John Mason. I don’t remember anyone writing blogs slagging you off for that.

    Are you now saying you were wrong?

    • weegingerdug says:

      I also said that in the elections this May I’d hold my nose and vote for him

      • Ronnie Anderson says:

        Gra / Hate bill crimes / Withholding relevant paperwork from the Enquiry ect ect ect They’re will be a lot of us INDEPENDENISTAS holding our noses .

    • topcop says:

      My thoughts entirely. I want to vote SNP, but they are not making it easy. I have to add the apparent fixing of the list candidates to your list. to your. I haven’t seen the official results yet, but if the “leaked” results are accurate then i was misled when asked to vote.

      • Ken says:

        People voted for it on the internet. Secret vote by an official voting company. Might be hard to fix it.

        It has to be representative to be fair and equal.

        Women are the most unrepresentative. 30%

        Disabled people. 20% of the pop. The MSP’s have disabled people in their families. They appreciate people need support.

        BAME (3%), Black (0.700%) and LGBT (8%) are nearly represented. It just takes a few more representative. 129 members of Holyrood Parliament.

        UK Gov. Women unrepresented 30%. 52% pop.

        BAME (10%) Black (7%) LGBT 10%.
        Disabled 20% unrepresented?

        Westminster 650 members

        Cabinet 21men 6 women (of 2BAME % representative).

        More men than women join political parties. 10 to 1?

        • topcop says:

          I am not suggesting the votes were rigged. I think they were very secure and free from any interference. What I am unhappy about is that there seems to be a suggestion that the ranking will be adjusted to put BAME/disabled people at the top of the list regardless votes received. That if it happens was not mentioned clearly on the voting website, and is undemocratic and possibly illegal.

        • topcop says:

          I tried to comment here but it disappeared. so I apologise if it comes twice.

          I thought the vote was secure and difficult to “fix” . what I don’t like is the suggestion that BAME/self declared disabled candidates will be put at the top of the list regardless of the votes received. That is completely undemocratic and possibly illegal. I do not recall seeing this mentioned on the ballot information.

          • Ken says:

            No it’s not. People vote for it. It’s equality. Women lose out. Everyone is entitled to be represented. For an equal cohesive society.

            • topcop says:

              It is not fair either if people say “vote for these people” and then the result is manipulated to have a different result to the votes. If that is going to be done it has to be clearly explained to the voters before the vote.

              • Ken says:

                It’s not. The listed candidates are given. Candidates endorsed by the party member selection from each constituency. Ie need support of a certain no of members. 20? Or other?

                They are expected to show some evidence of activism. Councillor or campaigning etc. Earned nomination.

                After vetting. A personal statement.
                The members rank them in order. Secret ballot on the internet. For each area/constituency/region or individual branches upwards. A grassroots.

                Want to choose. Join.

                • topcop says:

                  I am a member and voted. I still have not yet seen the official results of that vote and the order in which the candidates have been ranked. My concern, is that it is being suggested, that some people are going to be placed at the top of the list because of being BAME or disabled, regardless of votes received That should have been mentioned on the ballot documentation. It was not mentioned in the email or on the website. If that turns out to be the case, it is as I say undemocratic and possibly illegal.

  6. weegingerdug says:

    I see Stuart Campbell is attempting to pop up in the comments here with his usual brand of angry insults. No doubt he’ll follow this up with one of his habitual spittle flecked rants on his own site. I won’t be reading it or responding to it. He has nothing useful to contribute.

    Meanwhile I’ve given him a taste of his own medicine and banned him from commenting here.

    • Fred Starr says:

      I tried three times to place a comment on Wings, asking the contributors who they were going to vote for in May, in light of their vitriol about the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon. My comments did not appear.

      • jfngw says:

        He has a simple blocking policy, if you don’t venerate him your blocked.

      • heilan' loon says:

        If you use a name new to teh system then it is placed into moderation, it happens every time the system recognises a new name, but that’s not an excuse just the way it is

      • Every person is entitled to their opinion
        I think WOS has gone astray
        Throwing the baby out with the bathwater

        At the end of the day im pretty certain that all those people who on the one hand say
        Scottish Independence is so important to them
        But on the other hand say they will not vote for SNP because of
        GRA or Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon or BAME etc
        know that only if a majority vote for SNP in may 2021 will there be a scottish independence referendum any time soon
        They also know that if they do not vote for SNP in may 2021 they will be helping westminster to deny Scotland a referendum on Scottish Independence

        So either they are just angry and threatening but will see there is no alternative but to vote for SNP in may 2021 if they really want Scottish independence
        OR
        Scottish independence is not their priority

        I think they will vote for SNP because
        They know that once Scotland is independent they will have as many chances as they want to right the past wrongs that anger them

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Independence for Bath. Lol

    • malkymcblain says:

      Bravo gloves off big yin ✊

  7. Dr Jim says:

    The Internet’s big but it’s also very small, out in the world where most of the people live and don’t spend their time trawling the gossip blogs this whole idea of opposition to Nicola Sturgeon based on *I don’t like her and I’m a mind reader* really isn’t having as much effect as people think it is

    When you talk to the non geeky normal folk about what’s happening they mostly don’t care and in fact are quite puzzled by this obsession some folk have of trying to remove the FM using the stupid excuses they’re using, the whole Salmond enquiry debacle to them is just that a debacle created by the opposition for the purposes of electioneering, in most normal citizens minds they know what they know and you can’t convince them of anything else, they just see a plot by the last guy who got away with something to oust the current woman, simple

    No matter how much the opposition to Nicola Sturgeon attempt to convolute their story and weave wondrous webs of entanglement conspiracy and bridge of spies tinker tailor blogger spy MI6 British sleeper agent bollox they make it worse for themselves, even though the opposition is sweating buckets and straining every sinew to prove the unprovable normal folk in the world just aren’t buying it in fact the harder the opposition try to paint Nicola Sturgeon as *the baddie* and not to be trusted the more it’s beginning to be seen through

    The latest wheeze by the *we hate Nicola* mob is that if they get rid of her now it’ll only be another ten years till the new shiny whatever party is organised and we’ll all go round again, or another strategy is to vote Labour and the folk will see how bad they are and they’ll vote for Independence when they see that, how bananas is that?

    In every country there are a % of stupid people, but in every country not all the people are stupid, the opposition to Scotland’s FM is insulting everybody now, not just the few but the many, and that never ends well

    • Jim says:

      I can’t see why you’re so sceptical of UK Govt operators at work in the SNP. If I were in their shoes, I’d be remiss if I wasn’t very busy destabilising the main threat to the existence of the UK.
      To be absolutely honest, it’s very hard to explain the Sturgeon/Salmond fight without the assumption of some state interference stirring the pot. Not Nicola, not Alex but just think of all the hangers-on and how they’ve moved and manipulated.
      I used to be heavily involved in the Militant Tendency. Turns out that one of their MP’s drivers was special branch.
      Why wouldn’t the security services be at it?

    • Mary Brown says:

      well said Dr Jim!

  8. njedmunds says:

    My biggest fear is that the huge numbers of people who became “politically engaged” in the run-up to and since Indyref 2014 will lose interest in the face of this squabbling (squabbling over issues which are of major importance to some, and which need to be aired AFTER May’s election, but squabbling nonetheless).

    The discord amongst us is being stoked by our opponents – the “us” being all who genuinely want independence – and risks making many of us take our eye off the ball.

    The SNP must win if we are to move forward, and only after Independence should we allow ourselves to squabble.

  9. bringiton says:

    Well said Paul.
    As Dr.Jim said,the vast majority of voters do not get their opinions formed by social media.
    The independence movement is now under sustained attack by HM press and the Unionist parties and having dissent leading up to a vital election is just giving them an advantage.
    People don’t vote for divided political parties,which is why the extreme left never get elected to power.
    The political left have a long history of division caused by fixation on single issue politics.
    Add to that,so called SNP members who take to social media as a means of electing a new leader,then we have a potential recipe for disaster.
    England’s Tories know how to win elections and that is by closing ranks and showing voters a united front.
    The old saying,Hang together or we will certainly Hang separately.

    • Clydebuilt says:

      England’s Tories United Front. . . . . The Establishment are not trying to engineer splits in their United Front. . . . England’s Tories are the Establishment!

      • Englands tories are not a united front
        They never have been
        They enjoy cover up by the newspapers and BBC etc
        They just dispose of and replace those who dont follow the leader

  10. Assuming that you get the nighrmare which you describe with the Tories oppressing Scotland just perhaps the Scots will get some Balls and take action to push independence. (I speak as an Ulsterman who is passionate about Scottish Independence)
    6 years ago they were offered independence on a plate, and they said no. Yes we decided to go for a Referendum, and we were wrong It should have been majority in Holyrood even if we were going to have to wait, but some people panicked after 2003. The Irony is that the Unionists say they are scared of a Referendum, but quite honestly apart from Common Weal no one has been doing anything credible about what an Independent Scotland might be like, and a Gender recognised, Hate Bill independent Scotland is not something to look forward to.

  11. jab64000 says:

    If people don’t vote for the SNP it is the SNPs fault – not the voters!

    Best Regards Jeff Brunton

    >

    • weegingerdug says:

      And if people don’t vote for the SNP we are all screwed

      • AnneDon says:

        And they know it – which is how they are able to fill their ranks with careerists who appear to have little interest in independence. 😦

        • weegingerdug says:

          We know you’re unhappy Anne, the point is what credible alternatives do you have?

        • 1971Thistle says:

          They do have an interest in independence, but not yet – they need to fill their boots for a while and build up their contacts for the future.

          Where’s the rush… bide a wee

          • weegingerdug says:

            That is bollocks – you seem to be more interested in having a referendum than actually winning it.

          • Clydebuilt says:

            That’s what Unionists want people to think. A divide and conqueror tactic.

          • grizebard says:

            Oh, another mind reader. {sigh}

            I might have suggested doing the same to the BritNats, but we all know what they’re about already. You seem to have quite lost track of that, though.

        • Mary Brown says:

          Did she respond?

    • Kind of yes but you cant please all the people all the time and until the referendum business continues as normal , if some people decide business as normal which always includes new policies isnt for them so be t they have to make a choice
      We cant abandon or freeze everything to please these people because by doing that you create a new group of dissatisfied people

  12. Mrs Watson says:

    As usual WGD is speaking a lot of sense. Is he not hinting now 1st Vote SNP 2nd vote Green in many cases?x That is what I intend doing cos Rona got in with 8000 majority which is a considerable amount therefore a vote for me on the list has to be Green, hopefully that will be written into their manifesto what PH has stated ie Greens want Independence.

    • jfngw says:

      It’s not how a single constituency result turns out, it depends on how well the SNP do in every constituency in a region. If you are confident the SNP will take every constituency seat in a region then splitting you vote is pretty safe as the chances of them taking a list seat is very small. If not then you are gambling on an outcome which is not easy to calculate in advance, you could be letting more unionists takes seats if it goes wrong, James Kelly has covered this much better in previous articles on his site.

      Obviously if you want to support the Green’s then vote Green on the list if their policies are what you want.

      • jfngw , well said , correct explanation of the danger of not giving both votes for SNP

        We are not asking people to give their votes to SNP for the rest of their lives
        Both votes SNP may 2021

        If SNP do not progress a scottish independence referendum as promised then many will definitely move on but they have said if they get a majority in may 2021 they will arrange a scottish independence referendum its the only realistic choice we have so go fir it

  13. […] Wee Ginger Dug What’s the Plan? James Kelly makes a vitally important point in his blog post on Wednesday. […]

  14. Valkyrie says:

    This whole mess is just blatant “divide and conquer” strategy.
    The solution is simple.
    Stick with the SNP until we get independence. Then once we’ve won that, feel free to vote them out if you don’t like them.

    (Yep, people have said this before, but it doesn’t seem to have sunk in. Maybe we need to draw a diagram?)
    Actually, saw this doing the rounds during the first campaign leading up to the 2014 vote. Maybe we need to dust it off and bring it out again? https://i.pinimg.com/originals/25/08/9b/25089b5344a20d8d25432d9ab559c5a5.jpg

    I’m not a fan of the SNP myself, but I’m even less of a fan of Tory governments for the rest of my (probably short) life!
    Get it together folks, united we stand, divided we fall. Simple as that!

  15. Dr Jim says:

    MP Dr Liam Fox you all know who he is, another one who hates his own country, has just raised a point of order in the House of Commons saying “given there is no devolved civil service in the UK and all civil service is under the control and answerable to Ministers of the UK government any Minister can make requests for information of the civil service in devolved areas”

    We can see what Liam Fox is trying to generate here but in his stupidity in revealing it he has exonerated Nicola Sturgeon of any and all charges aimed at her of controlling the civil service in Scotland, because Nicola Sturgeon is not a Minister of the crown for the UK government

    • Chalk1955 says:

      So why do the SNP MP’s in Westminster not do this? Sounds like a reasonable action to take if they think it will clarify things.

      Independence is about Scotland not any one individual be it the FM, MSP, MP, business leader, newspaper or blogger. By focusing on these individuals distracts us from moving forward.

      I do not expect independence supporting representatives to be easily distracted. That is why they are elected leaving us to cope with UK media bias nonsense.

      So why has Ian Blackford or any of the sitting SNP MP’s not raised this issue?

  16. arayner1936 says:

    Thank you for your efforts to keep Independence as a priority, Paul and I am glad that you are able again to share your thoughts. However I, like many, have reservations about the way the current SNP government is going.
    As I see it,they are more interested in policies like the GRA and the Hate Crime Bill than in freeing Scotland from Westminster rule.
    I would like to see more discussion on the GRA about how to protect women only spaces and participation in sport and I am very worried about the proposed Hate Crime legislation as I feel it will reduce our freedom of Speech unless amended.
    This means I am unsure how to vote in May and it could be very last minute before I can decide.
    As regards Independence and a Plan B, I want to see a manifesto stating that, if the SNP or SNP plus Greens, get a majority in Holyrood, they will hold a vote on Scotland being a sovereign country and having the right to secede from the Union with England.
    It has been suggested that in this case, as the UK government would say we cannot do that, we could appeal to the Council of Europe for support as the UK still belongs to that.
    It was Council of Europe pressure on Westminster to give powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which granted us the current devolution settlement and it will not be supportive of the present UK government’s plans to cut this back.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I’m afraid you may be falling for the propaganda of the divisionists with their idea that Nicola Sturgeon is immortal and will rule Scotland forever with the SNP and all laws can never be changed repealed or amended, we know this is far from the truth because the OBFA was repealed because other parties didn’t care for that law

      Any political party can change a law or make a law if it gains the voters authority to win an election
      it’s how the Tories enforce the *rape clause* or the *bedroom tax* and a multitude of other laws that nobody likes, if the Labour party even gained control of Westminster would they repeal those? I think not, but in an Independent Scotland who would repeal those laws? well we know the SNP would because they’ve said so

      The madman from Bath is also clever but not clever enough, his campaign is a personal one, not political

    • Alan Howard Baxter says:

      Good Afternoon arayner1936. You captured the essence of the issue in the first part of your first sentence – “Independence as a priority”.

      As a southerner, who feels privileged to live in this wonderful country. I can tell you – without any doubt – that the tory party are not interested in what happens north of Watford. They have no interest whatsoever in the “verminous” Scots race. All they want is the Water and the Space.

      Unless you are a youngster, the upcoming election is not about us. It’s about creating a future for our children and our grandchildren. Park your worries about GRA and Hate Crimes – issues like these can be fixed in time. Please, for the sake of our youngsters, hold your nose and place both votes 1&2 for the only party that has a cat in hells chance of delivering Independence. Failure to do so leaves us open to the prospect of there being no referendum – ever!

      It is clear to a blind person that the plan, which is already underway, is to end devolution. We must breakaway now before the creeping rot of corruption, mendacity, vindictiveness and down right nastiness, which is the hall mark of any tory government, destroys the spirit of the people. If I could get down on my knees I would beg you to vote SNP 1&2 and help deliver a wonderful future for the wonderful people of Scotland.

      • Tatu3 says:

        That’s it exactly. For our children and grandchildren’s future. SNP majority in May. YES in the referendum. Independence. Then vote for whoever you wish from the new Scottish parties.
        So simple I really do not understand how some people can’t see it.

      • Mary Brown says:

        That’s an excellent response thank you (from another ex southerner fortunate enough to live here). And the CRA and Hate Crimes are being made out to have much more impact than they will in reality. The only game in town is independence!

  17. Alex Clark says:

    A list party cannot command a majority in Holyrood no matter how many lists seats they win. If Independence supporting parties won every list seat between them they would still need the SNP to form a majority.

    As is made clear in the article, no majority in Holyrood you can say goodbye to another crack at Independence for a minimum of the next 5 years.

    I thought the whole idea of the new parties standing on the list was to boost the number of Independence supporting MSP’s at the same time getting rid of Unionists. The argument in fact was for Independence supporting SNP voters to lend them their list votes to these parties as a means of boosting representation at Holyrood and NOT as opposition to the SNP.

    That idea has been totally dropped and opposition to the SNP has become the main treason for supporting them it seems. I’m not surprised then that they are failing to make any inroads in the polls.

    As difficult as it might be to swallow for some, it is only the SNP that can deliver Independence for Scotland anytime soon.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, that turnaround from “assisting” to “opposing” is sad but all-too-predictable. There’s lots of us who are not totally delighted with the way the SNP is internally dissipating its efforts on well-meaning displacement activity instead of focussing relentlessly on what it should be doing: making the broadest possible appeal to the voting public of Scotland, based on the excellent example of stewardship the Scottish Government is demonstrating during the current crisis.

      The SG has rightly earned the respect of the people of Scotlsnd, including that of many who were either indifferent or antagonistic to the prospect of independence, the very people we must win over if we are to achieve our aim. That respect demands our unstinting support in the coming election, otherwise we simply amplify errors instead of diminishing them. As Paul correctly (and very obviously) points out, there’s nothing to be gained by throwing away a precious chance that may never come again, and sulking miserably afterwards for decades muttering “I coulda been a winner”.

      It’s time to get real. It’s time to grow up and make this thing happen.

  18. Ken says:

    SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence. It is 2021. Not 2016.

    Independence is the most Important thing. Not how it is delivered. There is no plan A, B, or C. According to the international lawyers. Peat warrior, Alyn Smith and Stephen Gethins and other academics.They have studied the position and the Law. They have experience of EU and International Law.

    There is just a campaign for Independence. Events change all the time. There is a response. It is not carved in stone.it is an on going campaign for freedom, justice and democracy. You have to be in it to win. Join, campaign and donate. Everything else is secondary and can be worked out.

    People have to vote for it. They will. The young are coming on board and the franchise has changed. Extended.

  19. Alba woman says:

    I am stumped as to fully understanding why folk who declare support for Indy are behaving in this way towards Nicola …..It is very clear as described by WGD that Nicola and the SNP are the way forward to Indy at this minute.. There is a whiff of Donald T emanating from such folk ….what is their motive in behaving in such a way and as WGD has asked, what is their plan to realise Indy.?

    Very positive results from consultation …..keep pacing yourself and remember setbacks are normal in recovery…..You are a very strong guy .

  20. fionamacinnes says:

    You analysis and explanation of the only credible available strategy and tactics are correct in my view. Living in a part of Scotland that is well removed from planet ‘Indysquabble’ but is an area that needs to be reached by credible and realistic arguments for indy, the messaging must indeed be Keep it Short and Simple .

    I have many issues with SNP policy but see one of the major reasons for achieving self determination through a true representative democracy is having the ability to repeal, change or challenge policies and laws which may in time be found wanting. If legislation and current laws are not fit then they should be challenged in future.

    Some might say ‘bad’ legislation should never have been passed but this too is part of democracy and unfortunately if there are cases of such legislation proving to have unintended damaging consequences then through our own Parliament we should be able to address that.

    As you rightly say and without a doubt, the gutting of our parliament will be on the cards at the slightest hint of frailty. Our only recourse to any type of power is through voting SNP at this election and voting big.
    It has to be said that those of us that had our youthful years ripped apart by the cruel policies of the Tories under Margaret Thatcher and endured her spiteful 13 years, when there was no Scottish parliament or hope of one, remember the total impotence, hopelessness and depression of the unending spectre of Tory rule stretching out ahead of us which it continued to do well beyond her time.

    40 years of waiting and witnessing the selfish policies of the Tories is way too long. The dismal legacy of the Thatcher years that we are still trying to mitigate of drug/alchohol dependency,generational poverty and workless-ness is where our focus should go.

    We did not go through those times in the 1980s to see this last precious chance tossed to the dogs now.

  21. KarenKDFA says:

    You’ve nailed it there Paul. I’ve been interested by other indy options but I think the risk is too great to not back SNP fully in May. My constituency is marginal Tory/SNP which means if SNP lose the constituency and people like me don’t give them vote #2, we could end up with fewer Indy MSPs, not more. Too great a risk not to give them both votes. Regardless of any other misgivings about them, SNP are really the only plan out there that can get us to independence. I for one don’t want to see it slip away and I don’t want to wait years either. I especially don’t want to see the Indy movement destroy what might be its only chance through infighting.

  22. perthcol says:

    Very well argued take on the current situation.
    I fear that those disaffected former SNP supporters, particularly the bloggers who demonize individuals have, front and centre of their thinking some personal grievance of perceived slight. Noses out of joint due to not being listened to when active supporters. Toys out of the pram merchants who can’t see that whatever the failings of the SNP the pram is still the vehicle that will get us to where we need to be in May and beyond.
    I won’t be seduced by the SNP 1&2 mantra but will support them, as a member in the constituency and Greens on the list. Being in Perth I believe this to be the way to maximise an Independence body of MSPs in Holyrood. It may be that in the Borders the SNP mantra is the best to follow.

  23. I agree with you that the SNP are the ONLY party that can get us independence and, as I live in the Borders it’ll be SNP 1 & 2 for me. I also agree that the call to make the May election a plebiscite election for independence is madness. However this will be the last time I vote SNP if they fail to get us a referendum or, as you suggest, a plebiscite election on independence after refusal of a sec.30. My personal view is that the SNP have rested the party away from the members and heads need to roll, not least the CEO, but after the election.

  24. mike cassidy says:

    Sorry

    Can’t vote for a party that is making it a crime to say men cannot become women

    So won’t be voting at all

    • You might as well go the whole hog and vote for a Unionist party then; you’re halfway there already.

      Not voting is ½ a vote for the Union.

    • weegingerdug says:

      That is not what is happening at all. You have lost all sense of perspective.

      That’s a reply to Mike Cassidy.

    • Statgeek says:

      Priorities. Which of the SNP and Tory parties do you trust to live under for the next 10, or 20, or 50 years?

      If the latter, you’re a unionist. If the former, go with Paul’s advice. The other parties can’t win a majority in either Parliament.

    • Sophie Grace Chappell says:

      They’re not making that a crime. They’re making hateful, aggressive, and insulting speech a crime. If you say that in a calm and respectful way, then you won’t be committing a crime.
      You’ll be wrong, of course. But you won’t be a criminal.

      Let’s not get distracted from the main thing here. Which is independence.

      • weegingerdug says:

        There’s a lot of mischievious myth making about the hate crimes bill

      • Gregor says:

        ‘Hateful conduct’ can be perceived and interpreted as both objective and subjective. For example, a bad/unhinged Actor (even a influential group with an agenda/lack of reason and understanding/intolerance towards other opposing views) might interpret a legitimate public act of expression, such as speaking in a robust, emotionally charged manner, as an ‘insulting’ and ‘aggressive’: ‘Hate Crime’ (and potentially send ‘you’ to prison for exercising your fundamental Right/being a normal, caring and passionate human being).

        Now Scotland must deal with such a deranged Pandora’s Box…

      • Mary Brown says:

        Exactly – it’s a storm in a teacup. In reality you might see 1 prospecution in 10 years!

    • Hamish100 says:

      Mike,
      If you don’t vote why should we care for your opinion?
      You know whether you are a man or women , age over 16 and live in Scotland you can vote. What a shame to waste it. A no vote helps the Unionists.

  25. James Mills says:

    ”Many people are unhappy with the direction of the SNP Government ” appears to be a common whine among some ‘SNP’ supporters .

    Firstly NO legislation can be passed by an SNP Government – it is a minority administration ! So , if you are unhappy with some law or other who do you blame as well as the SNP ?

    Secondly , is there a Government under the sun that has ever passed laws that EVERY citizen was completely happy with ?

    This stooshie – orchestrated in my view by the unionists who hide among us – is pointless .

    If laws are passed that we in Scotland do not agree with , then the democratic route is to vote in an administration that you think will repeal these .
    However we are part of the UK and when Westminster passes laws which we do not agree with we , in Scotland , have NO recourse to the ballot box to change matters . We rely on the people from another country to , hopefully , hold the same views and support them .

    How has that worked out in the last few decades ?

    Thatcher destroying our industries ,
    Blair taking us into an illegal war ;
    Tory austerity for the poor to bail out the corruption of the banks ;
    millions of women denied their pensions by both Labour and Tory Governments ;
    the worst death rate from Covid in Europe coupled with the worst corruption seen in these islands since Henry VIII seized the lands of the Church .

    We in Scotland didn’t vote for any of this but had it imposed upon us by another electorate .

    So how can you say that ”I don’t like Nicola Sturgeon ” or ” I don’t like the GRA bill ” and that will stop me taking control of my country so that NEVER again will I be forced to accept the political disasters imposed on my country by another ? That is cutting off your nose to spite your face !

    Those who complain about the SNP , Nicola Sturgeon , plans for Independence , the weather or whatever would have you accept the status quo and your second class status while our neighbours to the south f*ck up our lives even more !

  26. Mike Lothian says:

    Thank you for this

    It’s about time folk started pointing out the absurdity of getting rid of Nicola – or worse the SNP – without any idea what could realistically replace them before May

    I still think Nicola is our best hope for becoming Independent in the next Parliament

    • LAC says:

      I agree, I’m a new yes voter because of our FM. I also know a couple of Tory voting acquaintances are now all avid followers of Wings. I’ve no idea why anyone who wants independence can even think about not voting SNP on May 6. SNP 1&2 for me and the rest of my household.

  27. Dave tewart says:

    A journey starts with a single step.
    There’s a long and winding road ahead of a normal country called Scotland BUTT we have to cross the first bridge.
    Agree Paul, we need to vote for the only party that is in the frame to move us onto that road.

  28. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    O/T

    Keir Starmer today launching election campaign for council elections ….

    Note what he says about the SNP in Scotland in contrast to what he says about Labour in Wales.

    The elephants in the room all said ….Why do you never mention us ?

    Also note how much of his information on Scotland , a place he is ignorant of, is (mis) information from his Scottish branch office…….just like his predecessors he believes what he is told because that is all he has…….like Boris he lies with impunity because it is the only way he can get the gullible to vote for his party.

    I guess though his speech today will stop all of the nonsense about not being able to have an election in May …cause of pandemic……though with labour their double standards seems to be part of their DNA.

    Here’s part of his ‘speech’ where he talks about Scotland and Wales :

    “In Scotland the SNP are fighting among themselves rather than fighting for the Scottish people.

    Their 13 years in power has seen child poverty rise and educational standards fall and if you can believe it Scotland now has the lowest life expectancy in western Europe and the highest number of drug deaths. That’s a record of shame.

    And what’s the SNP priority ? Another divisive referendum. Under our brilliant new leader Anas Sarwar Labour will focus on what unites Scotland. Not what divides us.

    A Covid recovery plan to protect our NHS . A catch up programme to tackle the SNP’s appalling failure on education, a job’s programme to get Scotland back to work and to build the economy for the future.

    That’s what Labour offers in Scotland. Social justice in a modern United Kingdom.

    In Wales it’s been Mark Drakeford’s Labour Govt. that’s taken the tough decisions that were needed and now has a plan to take Wales forward. Mark has shown leadership that has been lacking from Boris Johnson and he has shown the difference that Labour can make in power .

    This election is the chance to give Welsh Labour the tools to finish the job and to deliver recovery that puts jobs and the NHS first”.

    **************************************

    I wonder how often Starmer and Johnson confer on their strategy on Scotland…as they still seem to be reading from the same script…….do they allow Ed Davey to join them ?

  29. raineach says:

    Reading some the comments here I suspect that certain individuals are in danger of letting the excellent be the enemy of the good. Therefore unless Devolution under the SNP is perfect, they shall not support an independence where all domestic policies can be the subject of normal political debate – as happens in every other country. So, in search of the excellent they will abandon the good, and be left with whatever Boris has in store for us.

    • There certainly seems to be an ongoing delusion that an alternative party can emerge. A party that’s purer than the driven snow; immune from the influence of careerists or entryists and will never make mistakes.

      There’s the unmistakable whiff of old-fashioned misogyny from certain quarters.

      I suspect most of it is coming from Unionist concern trolls & those that have fallen for their drip-fed negativity.

  30. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    @ Me @ 1.24pm

    “.just like his predecessors he believes what he is told because that is all he has…….”

    Obvs I should have included the fact that it is not that he believes what he is told but that he is just another liar willing to lie to save this unfair and dysfunctional union.

  31. P Harvey says:

    Excellent synopsis of the choice/dangers ahead Paul
    The imminent route in May to independence. is via the SNP
    Miss it and it will be a long long time, if ever, before another chance occurs
    Differences in policy, leadership etc must wait until after the May election
    Assuming Independence is achieved people can vote for whoever they want – but at least they will be at Holyrood and answerable to the Scottish people

  32. Excellent Article… but something it doesn’t explain is… it didn’t take a crystal ball to figure out what Westminster was going to do after Britex, or indeed 2014 so why are the SNP or indeed the YES movement so unprepared for their plans. I think their strategy has been partly to blame and some of their priorities. Why do we appear to be just accepting things…or rather just seem to be reacting to events since 2016 rather than have been telling our own narrative? So in that sense what was their plan? Stopping England having its Britex, or even trying to change their mind was never going to work.

    As for plan A… a plan… well after 2016 there was material change and we should have let Westminster know that whatever they were doing with Britex we weren’t taking part…. however you want to word it or spell it out to them. I have never been sold on the idea that we ‘Scotland’… ‘The Scottish People’ need another country, through a section 30 order to give us permission to decide our own future so at the very least our Government could have been challenging this and then the so-called ‘other side’ of the YES movement may have seen that some action was getting taken and been a little more cheerful.

    Sadly I think though that the SNP has been trying too hard to sway soft No voters. Anyone who voted No in 2014 had perceived vested interest… Mortgages, Pensions, EU status, Jobs, relatives, etc. They will always have vested interest and they will decide YES or No depending on how they feel about how it affects them. Are they really the group we should be trying to sway or selling a dream? Maybe the ones without a stake in a future Scotland the 15.4% who did not vote… because they saw or heard no narrative that inspired them should be the people we are trying to selling a dream to… if they turn out to vote we win handsomely.

    We all have our stories in 2014 I stood on Nairn beach with my 2 young sons. We built a YES castle and watched it wash away in the tide… I could barely speak to anyone who walked on the beach… they mostly look like those comfortable people with vested interest soft no voters… A scot who walked past me looked at our Castle and said ‘We’re fucking pathetic’ and walked on. I get the same feeling today as I listen to all the rubbish in the MSN… and all the bickering and infighting within the SNP. Your, asking us to put Scottish Independence first… I do… maybe the SNP could put it first too.

  33. weegingerdug says:

    Quite a few people trying to comment here to reiterate their unhappiness with the SNP. WE KNOW THAT ALREADY – THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU ARE BEING ASKED. You are being asked what credible alternatives there are.

    As expected there are also some vitriolic and angry people posting who are determined to insult me personally or to impugn my integrity and motives because I’m telling them something they don’t want to hear. That earns you an instant ban. Piss off back to Whinge over Scotland with that sort of behaviour – you’re not doing it here.

    • jfngw says:

      One thing that has been revealed is many online claiming to be the moral voice are actually no more than an epicentre of hate, it’s just we previously have not been the focus of their vitriol.

    • topcop says:

      That really is the dilemma. Once it was easy. I don’t like the hold your nose close your eyes approach. I have never voted like that before. I want to believe but the belief is fading. It is quite depressing really.

    • Jim says:

      I’m unhappy about the direction of the SNP. There isn’t an alternative. So, I will vote SNP 1 and possibly 2, depending on how things are looking where I am. The Greens may well be a useful 2 instead.

      I have enjoyed being a very late reader to your blog. Just one thought; Catalonia. Several pro indie parties varying from solidly right wing to far left. It’s a pit that we don’t have a system that could promote that. However, Catalonia is currently more buggered than us – with the complicity of the EU.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Much though we sympathise with Catalonia’s plight, Catalonia is a region of Spain attempting to become a country, Scotland is already a country divorcing itself from a union, there’s a world of difference

        • Jim says:

          Dr. Jim, I suggest that you do some reading on the history of Catalonia. You are completely wrong.

      • grizebard says:

        We’ve been over this hoary old canard a hundred times by now. The EU is obliged to respect the sovereignty of its member states. (It’s a union of sovereign states, y’know.) It doesn’t have the legal or military power to intervene, and if it somehow could and did, many of the very same people would immediately jump up and shout “interference! dictatorship!” For its critics, the EU is both criminally impotent and simultaneously rudely interfering in all our affairs. Duh. It’s “heads I’m right and tails you’re wrong”.

  34. Excellent Article… but something it doesn’t explain is… it didn’t take a crystal ball to figure out what Westminster was going to do after Britex, or indeed 2014 so why are the SNP or indeed the YES movement so unprepared for their plans. I think their strategy has been partly to blame and some of their priorities. Why do we appear to be just accepting things…or rather just seem to be reacting to events since 2016 rather than have been telling our own narrative? So in that sense what was their plan? Stopping England having its Britex, or even trying to change their mind was never going to work.
    As for plan A… a plan… well after 2016 there was material change and we should have let Westminster know that whatever they were doing with Britex we weren’t taking part…. however you want to word it or spell it out to them. I have never been sold on the idea that we ‘Scotland’… ‘The Scottish People’ need another country, through a section 30 order to give us permission to decide our own future so at the very least our Government could have been challenging this and then the so-called ‘other side’ of the YES movement may have seen that some action was getting taken and been a little more cheerful.
    Sadly I think though that the SNP has been trying too hard to sway soft No voters. Anyone who voted No in 2014 had perceived vested interest… Mortgages, Pensions, EU status, Jobs, relatives, etc. They will always have vested interest and they will decide YES or No depending on how they feel about how it affects them. Are they really the group we should be trying to sway or selling a dream? Maybe the ones without a stake in a future Scotland the 15.4% who did not vote… because they saw or heard no narrative that inspired them should be the people we are trying to selling a dream to… if they turn out to vote we win handsomely.
    We all have our stories, in 2014 I stood on Nairn beach with my 2 young sons. We built a YES castle and watched it wash away in the tide… I could barely speak to anyone who walked on the beach… they mostly look like those comfortable people with vested interest soft,no voters, many tried to engage me in small chat none mentioned the castle, for me a sure give away as to which way you voted… A Scot who walked past me looked at our Castle and said ‘We’re fucking pathetic’ then said sorry for swearing in front of my kids and walked on. I get the same feeling today as I listen to all the rubbish in the MSN… and all the bickering and infighting within the SNP. Your, asking us to put Scottish Independence first… I do… maybe the SNP could show in more demonstrable ways they put it first too

    • Despite the Brexit result, your actual material change only happened, to all intents and purposes, 10 weeks ago.

      Even if you discount the transition period, you can’t deny the pandemic ruled out any effective campaigning.

      • Correct Drew but we knew it was going to happen for a substantially longer time before… had the Tories not delivered it They would have been torn to bits in any subsequent election and as people who love power over anything else they would not risk that. Britext was a massive opportunity for Scotland to re-establish itself. Instead we were sidelined at every opportunity as our Representatives point out and apart from Bombast and flashy buses we created no new narrative for Scotland. Where were the meetings with the EU even if Westminister didnt include us in the talks? Where was the fight over the returning devolved powers as Westminister suddenly realized that the main things the EU needed access to were actually Scottish. It just appeared that Scotland kept trying to be reasonable and gave in… instead of having some balls and saying no way… do you imagine for an instant the English would ever accept another nation dictating to… no way.

        • Knowing Brexit was going to happen & it actually playing out are completely different. It doesn’t matter how vanishingly small the likelihood of cancellation or endless postponements were, they were still possible. So there really wasn’t an alternative to letting the process play out; no matter how frustrating it was.

          I’m fairly certain Scotgov have been in dialogue with various parties within the EU, so I’m not seeing what your issue is there.

          As for being sidelined, you should be aiming your guns at the Tories.

          It’s not just as simple as telling the rest of the UK that we’re ending the Union, without international recognition the game’s a bogey. That means doing all the boring procedural stuff; you don’t have to like it, but you do have to lump it if you don’t.

          Same with section 30, it doesn’t matter if the whole exercise seems pointless or futile; we have to jump through the hoops for the benefit of the international audience. You don’t have to like that either.

  35. Here we go again. snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as we have done down the ages! We are more interested in fighting one another than in uniting to defeat a common enemy. Read your history, people! Get a grip! Swallow your pathetic grudges until Independence is achieved and THEN do your worst! If we let infighting ruin this, the best chance we’ve ever had since the Act of Union, then we deserve all the misery that is coming to us … and it will!!

  36. Dr Jim says:

    Although most of the arguments presented by the Bath led divisionists in Scotland are disingenuous nonsense designed to prevent Independence, in a way they are helpful in pointing out that a small Independent country like Scotland in the future can have conversations by virtue of being smaller than our total domineering next door neighbours who simply dictate to Scotland what England decides

    The big flaw in the divisionist argument of not voting SNP is that we allow England to continue to rule meaning we don’t ever get to have Scottish conversations ever again because make no mistake this is it, we blow this chance at our peril, right now Westminster has already diverted our own taxation away from us to fund whatever England’s voters who vote Tory decide they want and not what we vote for

    If you want an Independent Scotland and don’t vote 1×2 SNP to help give Scotland the majority choice on what we do for our future you might as well pull the duvet over your head and wait for England to stick a Union flag on the whole of our country the same way they’ve stuck them on our produce

  37. Gordon Murray says:

    I’m voting SNP1&2.
    Always have done.

    I expect the SNP leader once again to give me the ‘right to choose’ self determination for Scotland.

    I do not expect Nicola to actually give me a vote to choose self determination for Scotland.

    I can understand why the grassroots are getting sick scunnered with the current leadership of the SNP.

  38. goberre says:

    You have to get out more Paul. There are plenty of alternative plans circulating that do not involve a section 30 agreement. I prefer Peter A Bell’s proposition Manifesto for Independence.
    https://peterabell.scot/2021/03/10/legal-and-constitutional/

    • Malcolm H says:

      So goberre, are you voting SNP 1 and 2 or something else?

      • goberre says:

        That will depend on the SNP’s manifesto.

        • Malcolm H says:

          So not the prize of independance then?

          • goberre says:

            Don’t be stupid. Would you vote for an SNP manifesto that states they believe it was a once in a generation commitment for example.

            • Hamish100 says:

              Where does it say that? Oh it doesn’t. Fantasy. I’m no voting cos….
              Pathetic. Don’t vote = unionists win. Agree?

    • Alex Clark says:

      This article isn’t arguing for a Section 30 order as the only route to Independence and the question being asked is not what are the alternatives to a Section 30 order.

      It asks what are the alternative routes to Independence if the critics of the SNP result in a failure to gain an Independence supporting majority in the May elections? Without which no plan matters a toss.

      “Well the rest of us are entitled to ask such critics what is their plan if their incessant and unceasing attacks on the SNP in general and Nicola Sturgeon in particular only succeed in reducing the SNP’s vote share to the extent that the party goes into reverse at the Holyrood election and loses seats, allowing the British nationalists to deprive the pro-independence parties of a majority?”

      • weegingerdug says:

        Thank you for getting the point Alex. Peter Bell’s manifesto matters not a jot if we don’t get a majority in May

        • goberre says:

          An SNP majority matters not a jot if we don’t have a firm commitment to a realistic plan for a referendum in the manifesto, that is how democracy works. The parties state what they intend to do, if they form the government, in their manifesto that they present to the electorate to get their vote. If that party wins enough seats to form a government their only legitimate mandate is to implement the policies in their manifesto.
          A majority SNP government is useless without a prior manifesto for independence otherwise the unionists will rightly claim the electorate did not vote for independence.

          • Alex Clark says:

            What evidence do you have that there will not be a commitment to Independence in the SNP manifesto?

            Will you eat humble plan and give them your support if there is a clear commitment to Independence in the SNP manifesto when it is published or will you continue to do your best to undermine them?

            • goberre says:

              Point to any SNP manifesto that contained a hard and fast spelt out route to independence and not just “there will be a referendum this parliament” which is uncertain if the “gold standard” requires a section 30 agreement.

              • grizebard says:

                I’m sure the BritNats will just love you for your high-minded idealism. (Not that they share it, of course.)

            • goberre says:

              Oh and you can cut the stupid rhetoric “or will you continue to do your best to undermine them.” I was canvassing with Winnie Ewing in 1974 when I suspect you were still in your Dad’s bag.

              • Alex Clark says:

                Right now you’re undermining them. Not rhetoric at all and simply a fact.

                Who cares who you were canvassing with in 1974, that’s a lifetime ago and living in the past. It is of no relevance whatsoever to circumstances today in 2021,

                There is an election to be won in less than 2 months time or haven’t you noticed. Will you support the SNP in this election or continue to undermine them as you are doing right now?

                • goberre says:

                  Listen laddie please state how I am undermining the SNP. I have spent the best part of 50 years fighting for the SNP and independence and I do not appreciate fauxrage as a result of your lack of understanding.

                  • weegingerdug says:

                    Can we all remember that politeness costs nothing please

                  • Alex Clark says:

                    You are undermining the SNP by backing advocating a “Manifesto for Independence” which is, in reality, a non-starter over the path that the SNP are currently pursuing.

                    It is your right to argue for a different path but to do so undermines the leadership of the SNP.

                    Is that simple enough for you?

    • bushgeoff says:

      Or there is a more comprehensive plan The Manifesto For Indy – see post below, which is an actual plan, and is being offered to all parties and organisations to adopt as a common manifesto Read It, Share It, Vote For It

      • jfngw says:

        It’s half a plan as it doesn’t address the problem of if the UK wins in court, claiming the Scot Parl does not have the competence to declare independence in this manner. The assumption is the international community will side with us, what happens if they don’t?

        It may be a plan if we call a plebiscite election, if the SNP win a majority in May and Westminster refuse a referendum, the international community would then see we have exhausted the UK’s make it up as you go along constitution options. Then it will be the only item in the manifesto, no argument about what was voted for. No majority in May then you can make all the suggestions in the world as none of them will happen.

        • weegingerdug says:

          It also makes the fundamental mistake of conflating nationhood status with a legally enforceable right to sovereignty and independence. Indigenous nations like the Navajo in the USA are legally recognised as sovereign nations but don’t have a legal right to independence. They are considered sovereign but their sovereignty is not absolute. Sovereignty is not an all or nothing proposition. Legally the Scottish Parliament is a non-sovereign devolved Parliament, the legal position of the British govt is and always has been that sovereignty remains with Westminster. hence the formulation “a power devolved is a power retained”. Statements about the sovereignty of the Scottish people are essentially political declarations not legally enforceable facts.

          • goberre says:

            Paul, I’m disappointed that you are spreading the unionist myth that the Crown through the Palace of Westminster is sovereign over the Scottish people when it is simply not true. The Declaration of Arbroath declared that the people of the nation of Scotland were the sovereign body, not the monarch or the parliament. The union of the parliaments did not abolish the nation of Scotland or its laws hence that sovereignty still exists and is upheld by The Claim of Right which received unanimous approval in a vote in the commons a couple of years back.
            Westminster is desperate to change public opinion that they are sovereign over Scotland and it does us no help for you to spread the lie.

            • weegingerdug says:

              I hate to tell you this – but it’s a legal fact. That’s not my opinion – it’s Andrew Tickell’s. As a law professor I rather think he knows more about it than armchair constitutional lawyers like Peter Bell.

              • goberre says:

                I did not reference Peter regarding the sovereignty of the Scottish people. “I hate to tell you this” but Andrew Tickell is a lecturer in law at Glasgow Caledonian University teaching jurisprudence, public law, criminal law and evidence. He is not suitably qualified to pronounce on constitutional law.
                I prefer the advice of Professor Mark Weller, the former senior legal advisor for the UN who said “Scotland could hold a referendum under the United Nations law and it would be perfectly legal and recognised by international law.”

              • Ken Waldron says:

                As I understood things the sovereignty of Scotland as stated clearly in the Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 declares that the polity of Scotland is the ultimate arbiter of our nationhood. That polity is the Scottish electorate.
                The powers of a section 30 do not supersede the declaration of Arbroath but merely declare Westminster recognition of the right of the polity to assert that power. A refusal on the other hand to recognise the right of the polity of Scotland as the ultimate arbiters of Scotland’s destiny makes Scotland a non-country: a vassal state or region.

                I’m not even an Armchair lawyer but to accept the latter looks like an acceptance that legally Scotland is a mere appendage of England. Do correct me from your own armchair perspective if you think me wrong.

                On other matters I have admired both your own and Stuart Campbells contributions to Independence: still do, and as someone who has voted SNP and Independence for over forty years I am seriously saddened that it has come to this point where I am no longer sure that the SNP even recognises the mess they have made and the bickering that they have created at the most crucial point in modern Scottish history. It appears to me that the party have apparently forgotten why we voted for them.
                I do not want to reward them by blind voting: neither do I want to aid the destruction of them nor the parliament. But yet how do we reach a government that appears to have stopped listening and don’t seem interested in its raison d’etre: Independence?

                There’s a serious number of us in that bind.

                • grizebard says:

                  (No, there’s not really.)

                  (At least not to the point of clouding judgement as to what unquestionably needs to be done this May. Be the BritNats useful idiots – really? After that, we’ll just have to see.)

                  • Ken Waldron says:

                    If “not really” were the case this post wouldn’t be needed and as above, no better Britnat “useful idiot” than those who bow to the authority of section thirty.

                    • grizebard says:

                      Well, when Judgement Day comes on 6.May (or very shortly thereafter), we’ll see who’s right. Likewise about your self-made “section 30” stumbling-block.

                      Hasn’t it dawned yet that in the (thankfullly unlikely) event that your pessimism were widely replicated, it would be a self-defeating dead-end? A non-strategy? Though I suppose it would give you the chance to wallow in the misery of Tory thrall for decades therafter with complete self-satisfaction.

    • weegingerdug says:

      You don’t seem to have noticed that I made my own suggestion for a route to indy that doesn’t involve a Section 30 order in the article above, but that idea and Peter Bell’s are equally irrelevant if the infighting means we don’t get a pro-indy majority in May

      • goberre says:

        I repeat from above;
        An SNP majority matters not a jot if we don’t have a firm commitment to a realistic plan for a referendum in the manifesto, that is how democracy works. The parties state what they intend to do if they form the government, in their manifesto that they present to the electorate to get their vote. If that party wins enough seats to form a government their only legitimate mandate is to implement the policies in their manifesto.
        A majority SNP government is useless without a prior manifesto for independence otherwise the unionists will rightly claim the electorate did not vote for independence.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I repeat from above;

          What evidence do you have that there will not be a commitment to Independence in the SNP manifesto?

          Will you eat humble pie and give them your support if there is a clear commitment to Independence in the SNP manifesto when it is published or will you continue to do your best to undermine them?

          I’ll bet Winnie Ewings would boot you in the bag for your attitude to the SNP today LOL

          • goberre says:

            Are you a sleeper trying to divide and conquer?

            • grizebard says:

              You’re a stranger here or you would surely realise that Alex is very familiar to us, and his views are respected and trusted (for good reason). So we would politely bat that question back to you. (You do though seem to be heading for squirrel land now.)

        • grizebard says:

          “…if we don’t have a firm commitment to a realistic plan for a referendum”

          Sorted.

          “Realism” in politics is like beauty – it’s in the eye of the beholder.

          We really need to get away from this “everything must be fastened down in advance” mentality. But you are correct inasmuch as this time round there must be a firm committment to a referendum as a matter of principle, so that no-one has any doubt as to what they are voting for and (as you say) there can be no challenge to the issue thereafter.

          Which is why it not only “must” be there, it assuredly “will” be there, because it’s the very essence of what this election is all about, and everyone knows it. After all that has happened since the last election, the era of “better managerialism” is truly over now, and unavoidably so.

        • Petra Wishart says:

          “Goberre” I think I love you 😊. You get across all that I feel and believe, but you do it so succinctly. Kudos.

          • Alex Clark says:

            We all love you too 🙂

            Away now and play with the rest of the weans on the swings and roundabouts, they’re missing you.

          • Alex Clark says:

            By the way, a wee tip for you, it is probably not a good idea to post on Wings using a name that links to a website promoting a business. You know what I’m saying makes sense.

    • Ken says:

      Who elected Peter Bell?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Peter A Bell disagrees with everyone except Peter A Bell until someone agrees with him then he changes his opinion again

  39. bushgeoff says:

    Good to see you back in full swing Paul, and greetings from a fellow South Ayrshire dweller.

    I’m afraid I disagree completely with your statements about the likelihood of International recognition.

    The UK government has announced itself to be a democracy-denying colonial overlord as far as Scotland is concerned and there is little doubt that the international community would recognise Scotand as a sovereign independent state as long as that status is achieved in a legal and constitutional manner according not to UK law butt to International Law. (Take another look at the Kosovo precedent in that regard)

    We all need to think outside the box of UK law in order to achieve independence quickly, relations between sovereign countries are governed not by state law but by international law.
    International Law forms the basis of a new manifesto which the authors of The Manifesto For Indy are offering to all independence-supporting parties in Scotland – including the SNP of course, and in fact it has been authored by 2 SNP activist members, myself and David Henry together with an expert group on Constition and International Law.

    The Manifesto For Indy can be summed up as follows:

    1. The Scottish People are Sovereign
    2. The election in May should affirm the status of Holyrood as the only sovereign parliament of the sovereign Scottish people
    3. If a majority of seats are won by parties adopting the common Manifesto the the Parliament declares that Scotland is an Independent Sovereign nation.

    At that point a number of major actions need to be taken by the new Scottish Government, the Manifesto For Indy lists 10 sets of actions, but the first 2 are:

    Firstly seek recognition by other countries and international organisations
    Secondly apply for EFTA membership – we will be welcomed with open arms – and via EFTA gain access to the EEA – thereby undoing – within 6 months – the damage done to our country by Brexit.

    So we do have a plan, we are very confident that it will work, all we need is for all independence seeking parties and grassroots organisations to share and adopt that plan and unite the movement towards independence for our country.

    For more information http://www.manifestoforindy.com

    • Alex Clark says:

      I agree that the Scottish people are sovereign, a majority of support by the sovereign people would be required to achieve international recognition of Independence.

      That is not the same thing as a majority of seats which is achievable without a majority of the vote. So if a majority of seats are won on 45% of the vote then 55% of the sovereign people of Scotland have rejected Independence. Or are those voters not sovereign too?

      • Ken says:

        Different electoral system, D’Hond’t. (6 candidates screwing the vote).

        Referendum, (one/two question?)

        Different questions/manifesto

        Turnout. Franchise.

        Not comparable for the outcome. More complicated,

    • grizebard says:

      The Catalan Fallacy repeated, I fear.

      If the people of Scotland were 98% for independence as Norway was back at the start of the 20th Century, life would be a breeze. Even somewhat less would be fine. Where we are now, arguing furiously about “some bolts on a bridge not yet made” is simply suicidal. I despair sometimes at the amateurism too often on display.

    • goberre says:

      Concisely put Geoff. I don’t understand why the SNP and the bulk of their supporters don’t get it. If we want independence in this parliament we must ditch the section 30 route and Tony Blaire’s Supreme Court as the arbiter.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Hay Mr Canvasser for Winnie Ewing what don’t you get about “the SNP and the bulk of their supporters”?

        You claim to have carried Winnie Ewings bag hahaha. Yet you talk of “the SNP and the bulk of their supporters” like they are aliens to you and you were never one of them. I think you speak with forked tongue LOL

        Did I mention that you are also trying too hard?

      • “…Ditch section 30…”?

        Not an option, never was and never will be. We have to exhaust the process before we can move on to alternatives. There’s no legitimacy in the eyes of the international community otherwise.

  40. Liz g says:

    Well Paul , my plan at the moment and I’m aware I’m just one voter is to vote SNP in the Constituency and ISP on the list.
    It has all the faults and failings you mentioned and I understand that , but at this point in time it’s the electoral offer I’m most minded to support and could pay off if enough took the same view.

    Having said that ( because it’s what you asked in the article ) I really can’t agree that We ,as the Indy movement are screwed if the SNP fail in May.
    The way they have handled things and the results from their actions are on them but they are not the Indy movement and , we need to learn to adapt to the constantly shifting ground of Politics and not see everything in such black and white terms.

    If the Indy parties have screwed things up , all that’s really happen is that Holyrood will become part of the problem and not part of the solution.
    I suspect that’s probably what it was designed to be anyway.
    So…..We have to pivot to making the best use of what we do have and turn our attention to the Scottish Westminster MPs.

    At this point we have a majority of pro Indy MPs with a few years left yet ( I’ve always held that the power to end the Union lies there, but that’s an aside to what I’m saying here ) .
    Therefore we as a movement need to look at Westminster to see what can be done and work out how to apply political pressure there.

    If the Unionists are to win Holyrood then we must withdraw political support for it, make it a pointless part of our objective and let them waste their time with it.
    We shouldn’t waste our time and treasure on defending Holyrood, it’s a creature of the Union and if it’s starting to work for the Union we as a movement should disengage with it as a serious part of our cause.
    We only really need to support it if it works for us.
    The Union will depend on our continuing support for Holyrood to be able to use it against us and we should not hand that to them.

    We should turn our attention back to Westminster and our own MPs.
    Who lets face it should be starting to worry about their own reelection and bring it home to them that we have learned our lesson about getting behind their party, and we have time to from a force to stand beside them.
    So they too can shape up or ship out.
    But Indy …..Indy is never off the table…

    • P Harvey says:

      Liz

      So we give up on independence re the May election. The best chance for many generations and turn to Westminster and somehow force them to give us independence?
      Can’t see that as much of a plan
      10 English MP’s for every Scottish one – of course they will grant us independence

      • Liz g says:

        That’s not what I said at all P Harvie @ 3.08
        I’m saying that, if , as some are claiming the SNP leadership has indeed squanders the majority control of Holyrood.
        We should change tact and not waste time on mitigating what the Unionists do with it.
        We work with the majority we have and I’ll certainly not be supporting a Unionist First Minister in attempting to keep power in Holyrood for the next 5 years
        And if you are saying Independence can’t be done without Holyrood then what was the SNP for before 97 ?
        Because I don’t remember a Devolved Parliament on their bucket list.
        Westminster has the one thing we’ve run out of road on in Holyrood and that’s time to fix the mistake the Yes movement made by not forming alternatives to the SNP.
        I don’t think we should waste the next 5 years fire fighting for a Unionist Holyrood.
        And no I don’t think that Westminster will hand our MPs independence either !
        But I do remember how frightened they were about the 57 SNP MPs arriving in 2015 and how nervous Alex Salmond made them before then too.
        Which tells me there’s routes to be exploited and we should go looking for them.
        I’m personally ambivalent about the how and the who of Independence and I don’t do loyalty to anyone or any thing ( loyalty is the dumbest thing poor people are sold and Scotland knows to her cost , or should , that buying it is paid for in blood ) .
        So if the current independence politicians in Holyrood fail the Yes movement in May ….then I’m saying , they are of no use to us any more so shift the ground to Westminster and don’t wast 5 years trying to get back to just here..

        • grizebard says:

          Tack, not tact. (A sailing term.) But there’s certainly not too much of the latter going around at the moment, eh?

          Otherwise all you seem to be saying, despite your evident reservations about every UK democratic institution, is to start from scratch with another party entirely. Seriously? How long do you think that will take? Do you really have that much time, and with a UKGov now able to focus much of its beady-eyed attention on us to reverse even the little we do have?

          After your hoped-for alternative fails in May, as it assuredly will do, where will you turn then? Retreat to the political wilderness for a decade or more and let everything go sour, or give up on the democratic route entirely? Is that where your Great Leader is taking you…?

          • Liz g says:

            Great Leader ….. ?
            I’m not a member of the ISP
            I thought I’d said so before on here!

            • grizebard says:

              I wasn’t referring to the ISP.

              • Liz g says:

                grizebard @ 6.01
                Then I don’t understand ?
                I don’t join political parties…any of them.
                I’d never pre commit my vote in that way.
                And I understand very well too that we vote ( or are supposed to ) for the best candidates in our ward/constituency/region.
                And there’s the rub…. the best candidate for my regional vote by far is the ISP one.
                The SNP gave me a poor choice.
                That is the system I am in is it no ?
                There’s nae “Great Leader” required and in my experience most of them have feet of clay anyway, but nevertheless there’s no party leader standing in my area on the list or otherwise.
                Nothing trumps a good local candidate especially because they don’t require to have that “loyalty ” troupe going on, which , I’ve already said , is , I think, for those attracted to “such things ” but I’m no one of them.
                And if you read again what I actually said you’d see that I’m talking of looking at the democratic alternatives for us if the SNP fail in May.
                At no point did I say give up on the democratic route, I said withdraw support for Holyrood if it is being turned back into a UK administrative puppet and concentrate all efforts on Westminster.

                A make it clear to the British that we don’t actually need Holyrood to achieve independence we never have… we were making good use of it sure …..but they had to go wrecking it … so now we are looking to do this thing in Westminster…. because we’re no about to spend the next 5 years playing on British turf in our own capital.

                • grizebard says:

                  Well, we’ll see what you say in 8 weeks’ time after the results are in and history has repeated itself (though hopefully for the rest of us not in the same way as 2016-17). But the Sage of Bath will no doubt have his excuses ready and waiting for you then.

                  • Liz g says:

                    I don’t need to wait 8 weeks I can tell ye right here right now.
                    The SNP will either have pulled it off or screwed it up.
                    Either way none of that will be my doing.
                    If they control Holyrood I’ll be expecting a reffrendum PDQ, and I’ll work as hard as I can to help win it.
                    If they don’t I’ll be campaigning as best I can at my MP and encouraging others to do the same.
                    I won’t be giving up on my Country or throwing blame around, I’ll be as usual hoping to learn from whatever has happened.
                    I also won’t be accepting any blame for that over which I had no control either, as I said already ,I’m not an SNP or ISP member and their party choices have not a thing to do with me…
                    Also
                    While a whole other conversation but still a plan of sorts….
                    I think the Scottish Constitional Convention had way more power and democratic legitimacy than any political party…. No party’s, no Westminster , no Holyrood , control , just us Scots getting organised, through “Civic Scotland” … well we can be Civic Scotland too, so mibbi that’s a conversation worth having after May as well ?
                    Who knows, all I can say for sure is I’ll be civil about it and there will be no backhanded barbs from me then either !

        • Ken says:

          Vote SNP/SNP like everyone else.

          Keep it easy and simple. Don’t over think it.

        • P Harvey says:

          Liz

          Independence is what I want ASAP
          And the SNP in May is the best & quickest option
          Westminster has and is a waste of time to anyone seriously in support of Independence
          Anyone who thinks this way does not support Independence
          You talk of wasting 5 years – down your path we would waste a hundred years!

          • Liz g says:

            P.Harvey @ 9.43
            I’m on the same page P…. the path you think I’m wanting to go down is not an option if the Indy parties win in May.
            I’m only exploring what we could do next if they don’t , and disagreeing with Paul that we’d be “screwed” .
            And trying to NOT waste 5 years either !
            I’m saying we still have options and here’s one of them …that’s all..and it has to be said … a wee bit disappointed no one has said they’ve a better one…

            • millssandra says:

              Are you seriously suggesting that the SUP ( Scottish Unionist Parties ) could win a majority at this next Scottish election ?
              What ARE you drinking ?

    • Col says:

      Agree

    • Union Man says:

      “ If the Unionists are to win Holyrood then we must withdraw political support for it, make it a pointless part of our objective and let them waste their time with it.
      We shouldn’t waste our time and treasure on defending Holyrood, it’s a creature of the Union and if it’s starting to work for the Union we as a movement should disengage with it as a serious part of our cause.
      We only really need to support it if it works for us.”

      This is Trump-esque nonsense. So you only support the Scottish Parliament whenever it’s convenient for you?

      You would choose to undermine our democratic structures if the Scottish electorate dared to vote in a government that was to your dislike?

      This is hardly the mindset that is going to win over hearts and minds. I thought this movement was supposed to be civic?

      • weegingerdug says:

        Liz’s sentiment is not one I would agree with.

        • Union Man says:

          Although I’m a unionist – I’m not a unionist at any cost.

          I am open to being convinced but this kind of rhetoric will simply push away soft YES/NO voters.

          Independence can only be achieved by winning over voters like myself.

          My preference is for devolution max but in it’s absence, I would have some serious soul searching to do.

          I genuinely don’t know how I would vote if it were a straight choice between the status quo and independence. Hence my preference for a three question referendum.

          • grizebard says:

            Which gives you an easy out. The poison-pill defence. Once the other defences are breached, that’s the predictable last line for the Union. (Oh, and quotas, don’t forget quotas. Let the dead vote too.)

            Most though, once they do move, move on from the incredible and unbelievable – “once bitten” and all that. And want our own foreign policy. No more knees on our necks. No more Brexits or other catastrophic errrors forced on us against our will. Once you see that, you can’t unsee it.

          • I am not ‘open’ to having to convince you, ‘Union Man’.

            Let’s see the ‘Unionist’ Better Together Manifesto.
            Convince me, Union Man.

            It’s GE, not a Referendum on Self Determination.
            Will the ‘Unionists’ have anything to offer other than No Indyref when they appear on Glenn Campbell BBC Scotland SNP Sex Scandal and Salmond The Groper Editor’s debate nights…

            You are a Brit, and I care not to indulge your superiority complex.

    • grizebard says:

      You’re living in fantasyland. Real politics will just eat you up and spit out the bones, Liz. Vote as you please, but the lesson of RISE is there for the learning, and this time it’s even more fantastical. You may live to regret that choice, I just hope the rest of us don’t have reason to regret your choice also. Volume alone doesn’t make a case, and our real enemies are just lovin’ the distraction.

      Thankfully though ordinary people aren’t distracted by such arcana, and I believe the SNP will prevail, “warts and all”, and to all our ultimate benefit. We can argue about the spoils when we actually have any to argue about. Until then – and never forget it – we live in UKToryland.

    • Eilidh says:

      Liz g. I have to ask myself what on earth are you on if you think 46 Snp MPs at Westminster have any chance of helping us get Independence when there are 650 MPs in the HOC and Labour Tory and Fibdems would be totally against Indy. The only chance we have of getting Indy is through the Scottish Parliament and the Snp. That is why I will be voting Snp 1 and 2 in May. I won’t be wasting my 2nd vote on voting for an unknown Indy party and I have my issues with the Green party do won’t vote for them either. The Snp are not perfect by far but they really are the best chance we have of freeing Scotland from this despicable Union.

  41. Col says:

    All very good and the answer is simple. As we have a mandate then why don’t we set a referendum date, say Sept 2022. That way any mistrust of snp as not really wanting a referendum go away, thus enhancing the likelihood of a majority which in turn takes Westminster out the equation. So snp get the majority and we move forward, if there’s a unionist majority the referendum gets cancelled, disappointing but democratic.

  42. Arthur Thomson says:

    Thank you for your considered post Paul. As someone who has promoted independence all my life, I am grateful that you promote the same cause.

    It is a shame that some people are choosing to create and stoke division but it was, of course, inevitable. The Brits were always going to choose what they thought would be the best form of attack. This is their attack of choice right now.

    My view on how we should deal with it is that, distressing as it is, we need to AVOID obsessing about it. Instead we need to focus exclusively on promoting the advantages of Scottish independence and spelling out the disadvantages of being part of the British state.

    I am not going to fall into the trap of second guessing the motives of those who claim to support independence but are obviously actively undermining its achievement. They are entitled to their perspective and they can get on with it. They are just another obstacle we have to overcome. The olive branch you offer is there for them to take up but let’s leave it at that.

    Let’s not afford them the oxygen of publicity – as someone infamously once said.

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      ” Instead we need to focus exclusively on promoting the advantages of Scottish independence and spelling out the disadvantages of being part of the British state.”

      I’ve lurked for a while now, but never previously posted. Speaking as someone who voted No last time (EU, The Vow etc), this time it HAS to be YES. There’s no other option. Well, except recolonisation…

      I’ve never knowingly voted SNP either, but I shall be doing this time.

      However, speaking as one of the people YES needs to reach, may I add something to the above statement? You need to explain HOW it’s going to be done. Last time there wasn’t a prominent plan as to how it was going to be paid for etc. (Not for the non-politically active, anyway).

      So, in addition to focussing on the pros and cons, I think there needs to be a focus in getting all the ducks in a row and starting to put them in the water – preferably in a calm, authoritative manner. Like to Government we hope to have.

      • weegingerdug says:

        That’s a good point – food for thought, thank you

      • P Harvey says:

        Pros
        We make our own decisions
        For better or worse
        Cons
        We deal with our own mistakes
        For better or worse

        • Alex Clark says:

          The Cons you list are also Pros. There are no Cons that I can think of.

          • A government of the people, by the people, elected by the people, and accountable to the people of our dear nation, Scotland.
            It is an abxolute crime agaimst humanity that 550 English MPs and a government for whom we didi not vote controls our destiny. It is perpetual colony status, and theft of our resources and revenue by English Insurgents.
            Is that a hate crime?
            No hatred, just facts.

            • iusedtobeenglish says:

              I don’t disagree but what I was trying to get across is that most of the (non-foaming!) contributors to blogs like this already know this. But they’re not the people who need informed and convincing to vote YES. (Firm YES and No voters are unlikely to be swayed – though this latest ‘divide and rule’ tactic may gain a little traction if we’re not careful.)

              What I was trying to communicate was my belief that if you want to enlighten/convince what I’ve seen called the ‘Dinnae Kens’, this should only be part 1 of a 2-prong attack. Not everyone is as politically and economically aware as you good people. As my username implies, I originate south of the no-border and I only became aware of how much I didn’t know quite recently. (My daughter works in England and was appalled at the last election to hear her English colleagues say “Oh, but we shouldn’t be talking politics…” Really. It’s how we’re educated.)

              Some will need to have what you say made clear to them – with examples. So it can’t be accused of being hate rhetoric but, as you say, it’s just facts. The fudging of export categorisation, taxation, how the IMB(A?) is undermining Scottish rights, our wealth of resources, currency etc You doubtless know the list far better than I do .

              Others will very often be aware of this, but will also need information on and a vision for the future of Scotland and how it’s to be achieved. Far more that was apparent during IndyRef1. What *is* going to happen about currency? eg How did Eastern bloc ‘escapees’ do it?. If YES was successful, how would we ensure there was no nasty divorce a la Brexit? What could we do if there was? How would plans be funded? How would we rebuild trade links to EU/Europe in general quickly enough to avoid the struggle we’re threatened with?

              I suppose, in other words, not just “we’re going for independence” (reasons) but also “and this is what we’re going to do for the next few years to achieve it” (those ducks I mentioned above).

              Crucially, IMHO, is a good case for why federalism/devomax etc are dead in the water and nothing else besides total independence will work. What chance promises would be honoured, considering The Vow, staying on the EU, the NI mess etc (Is very little to none at all too generous?!)

              Sort of Scotland the Brief for Dummies – ie people like me! And, I suppose, if not a Manifesto, at least a statement of intent…

  43. Dr Jim says:

    Well you did it Paul you poked the hornets nest and out they come with their big trope *I’m not voting SNP so if the SNP don’t win the May election it’s their fault*

    You can expect this coming at you all day now that you’ve banned their dear leader, no amount of reason will suffice, no amount of truth will ever prevail, hate is infectious and even though their dear leader has been banned from Twitter for hate speech, even though his credibility amongst every single political party is zero, even though the only people who agree with him are Unionists George Galloway and Effie Deans the faithful funders of this grievance driven egotist persist like the little jehadis they’re instructed to be

    You’ll probably ban me for that, ach I wouldn’t blame you

    • weegingerdug says:

      Aye, I knew this was going to happen even before I published this post and the narcissist in chief made his entirely predictable response to anyone daring to imply that he may not, after all, be infallible.

      What gets me though is that he bans everyone who dares to disagree with him from his blog, but he thinks he has an absolute right to pitch up on other people’s blogs and actively insult and abuse them.

    • jfngw says:

      I still find it funny (not in the amusing way) is those ISP supporters proclaiming they will waste their constituency vote. They don’t even realise this course of action ends up moving the chances of an ISP MSP from unlikely to impossible.

      • grizebard says:

        Thanks for the astute observation. I never realised that until you mentioned it, but it’s absolutely true.

        (Talking about sawing off the branch you’re sitting on… )

      • Liz g says:

        JFNGW @ 3.46
        You haven’t said as much but if that’s me you mean in supporting the ISP … I absolutely do realise the risk and responsibility involved in how I’m choosing to vote at this point in time and,I mentioned how I planned to vote only because Paul asked what’s your plan… and it led me to speculate on what’s to be done should the SNP fail in May.

        I don’t believe it would really be the end of the independence movement at all was the real thrust of what I was saying, and, that’s based on being very aware that Holyrood is as much a part of the word play this Union uses to describe us when trying not to say England ,Britain, the Country , the Nations and Regions of the UK all that smoke and mirrors.
        It’s a Devolved Administration we call Parliament.
        It’s an instrument of Westminster and it always has been.
        It’s not really “one of our democratic structures” and the last few years have demonstrated that a fair few times now.
        We ( the Scottish Electorate) were morphing it into an actual Parliament and already treating it as such….but when it can’t meet our needs and will revert back to a Westminster administrator then I have no issues to leave it to be what it actually was designed to be and stop wasting time and treasure on it…
        If anyone has a better suggestion than concentrating on the Westminster MPs we already have in the event Holyrood becomes Union led then fine I’m all ears,
        It’s a debate very much worth having at this point in time, and in keeping with what Paul actually asked.
        Or if the consensus is we should all give up then that’s a valid point worth discussing too.
        Just taking swipes at me not so much, I only ever say here what I think and why I think it .
        And it won’t be little ole me British Politics chews up it will be Holyrood and it’s half way there, so turn about being fair play …. Westminster should, I think be very much in our sights.

        • P Harvey says:

          Westminster is a waste of time
          Perhaps you are in fact a supporter of Westminster

        • millssandra says:

          ”Westminster should be in our sights ”- What on Earth do you mean ?

          We are treated like scum in that place , even when we sent 56 out of 59 MPs it did not matter a jot !

        • jfngw says:

          If I had been referring to you I would either have mentioned you or replied to you. I didn’t actually read all your post so it is unlikely I was referring to you. My comment was in respect to the number of those on twitter who have made this comment. So it would appear the only person having a swipe at someone is yourself.

          But if you intend to not vote SNP on the constituency and ISP on list list then it is clear if the SNP take less constituency seat then they will more than likely take more list seats and the ISP will be frozen out as the SNP will almost certainly have many more list votes than the ISP. If you want the ISP to have any chance of seats then ensuring the SNP take the constituency seats is their best chance.

  44. Statgeek says:

    The reality is that the Tories are making every single Scottish vote a vote on Indy. Anything less and people scream that the SNP are not delivering on Indy.

    Once again, London’s Tories are calling the shots. Making the rules. Moving the goalposts.

    When will Scottish politicians ever learn to just ignore them, set out a manifesto, and go campaigning? When Indy is delivered, is the short answer.

    Until then, never, and certainly not with the anti-Indy media giving it their all (and Fox News UK soon to be added to the mix – seven years since Indyref 1 and no one has setup a Scottish news service of any substantial backing – Broadcasting Scotland is woefully underfunded).

    If we even consider attempting Indyref 2 without greater balanced news services, we will struggle to win.

  45. LAC says:

    Wee ginger dug, only blog worth reading👏👏👏

  46. Derek Mair says:

    Worth noting that no matter what changes, Mike Russel’s 11 point plan, GRA shelved, Nichola Surgeons evidence to the committee. The rhetoric and shrillness persists from some corners. There seems not to be a point where common ground and conciliation can found from the people guilty of the white noise. Which leads me to believe they have another bigger agenda which has nothing to do with the grievances and certainly has nothing to do with independence…
    Sadly if this infighting does lose us this chance, you can be sure the same quarters will be blaming Nichola Sturgeon and the SNP for that too. “You didn’t vote for the pop up on the lists”, “you didn’t take advantage of the polls and the mandate” they were three years too late. The drivers of the divisions will not claim responsibility for their actions, they will just lay more blame and excuse themselves of any blame.

  47. roganderson says:

    I think Paul you’re failing to acknowledge the agonies some people are going through because of what the SNP have done, more understanding might help somewhat.

    My intention is still to hold my nose & vote SNP1, I cannot in all conscience vote for the list I’m presented with though, it’s way past my red lines + an SNP2 is probably a wasted vote where I am anyway.

    I don’t think any of that’s unreasonable tbh given the SNP has insisted in putting folk in this invidious situation through their own behaviour.

    Under any normal (non constitutional) circumstance I wouldn’t for a second consider voting for a party behaving like this but for the sake of Scotland’s cause, one last time.

    Thanks.

    • Alex Clark says:

      “I think Paul you’re failing to acknowledge the agonies some people are going through because of what the SNP have done,”

      Just some of the things the SNP have “done” Part 1.

      1. Baby Box – Giving every baby born in Scotland the best start in life by providing families with a Baby Box, filled with essential items needed in the first six months of a child’s life.

      2. Childcare – 600 hours of early learning and childcare, saving families up to £2,500 per child per year. In August 2020, over 60% of funded children were accessing 1,140 hours, worth around £4,500 per child per year.

      3. Free Tuition – Students in England face tuition fees up to £27,750 – Scottish students receive university tuition free.

      4. Period Poverty – Scotland is the first in the world to make sanitary products available to all those who need them, free of charge.

      5. Record high health funding – Our latest health and care portfolio spending will exceed £16 billion, with resource funding up by over 60% under the SNP.

      6. Free prescriptions – Prescription charges abolished in Scotland – now £9.15 per item south of the border.

      7. Cheaper Council Tax – Every Scottish household benefits from cheaper tax bills – on average £500 less than England, and we’re delivering a national council tax freeze.

      8. Care For All – Free personal and nursing care extended to everyone who needs it, regardless of age.

      9. Free Bus Travel – Over one million Scots now enjoy free bus travel across the country, including over-60s and disabled people – and we’re now expanding it to all under-19s.

      10. Scottish Child Payment – New benefit for families, the only one of its kind in the UK, has been called “game-changing” by anti-poverty campaigners, and will help lift around 30,000 children out of poverty.

      https://www.snp.org/record/

      • This is the ground upon which we fight the Brits in May.
        Plus the Grown Up Things that the Linesman Dross, ‘see my cute wee baby, as I starve your 3rd and 4th child?’ Millionaire Sarwar and his privately educated kids, and Willie Mental Health Rennie, who declared the WM Coalition Govt cuts of £32 billion, which killed 130,000 UK citizens, starved to death to give the Filthy Rich a 5% tax cut, as a ‘success’ up on his pins, in Holyrood, being good little poodle for his Englsh Handlers.
        Ad this little squirt keeps banging on about the mental health of Scots children whom he plunged into poverty and depravation?
        I couldn’t be in the same room as this little dung beetle.

        We rip their lungs out, describing the Alternative Hell that awaits Scotland post May 21, even when we vote overwhelmingly for Pro Independence Parties.
        Johnson is destroying England on the back of a FPTP 43% of the vote.
        England has gone mad.
        WE screw Ross, Rennie, and Sarwar to the floor and demand answers, not the fluffy shit coming out of Rennie’s mouth in yesterday’s Yellow Tory PPB.
        He was wearing a poppy, FFS.

        If you vote Unionist, you well get Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg running Scotland.

        .

      • roganderson says:

        And I was a member & proudly voted for those things.

        I could copy & paste a long list of excellent things the Labour Party did -starting with the NHS & Welfare state. Does that mean I’ll uncritically support them now,nope!

  48. Capella says:

    Well said Paul I intend to vote SNP 1 & 2 for the reason you outline. Anything less will be used in evidence against us. Nothing would persuade me to vote for another party.

    I too despise the HCB and wish the SNP had dropped it. I can understand how angry this piece of legislation will make a lot of voters. But there is a bigger picture which critics of the SNP overlook. Between now and May the unionists will attempt to bring down the government using VONC. The Holyrood PR system is deliberately designed to prevent the SNP from gaining a majority. That was Westminster’s dark scheming. In order to win a VONC, the SNP relies on the Greens. So the SNP must give the Greens some of the tribute they demand. This is realpolitik.

    If we want out of this ghastly situation, created by the union, we have to vote for the only party capable of delivering. I assume most of the anti-SNP brigade are unionist trolls, some are easily led concerned voters being used by trolls, others are people of integrity who expect a level of purity in their representatives that they will never find.

    I think we have to rise above petty divisions and win the election in May with a big majority. Eyes on the prize.

    • jfngw says:

      The HCB does have the potential to become the OBFA on steroids if it is perceived to be criminalising people unfairly, it gives the media such potential for mischief making. If this happens watch the opposition parties hold their hands up and say ‘nothing to do with us’, then demand its abolition (maybe they already have this as a plan).

      • Capella says:

        I agree The HCB is riddled with anomalies and provides the Tories with some cast iron ammunition. I was hoping Humza Yousaf would withdraw it this afternoon.

        The saving grace is that Holyrood will be dissolved in two weeks so there’s no need for immediate hysteria. Young indy supporters will be delighted. Maybe they’ll even bother to go out and vote.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          “Young indy supporters will be delighted. Maybe they’ll even bother to go out and vote”
          – Recall the 2019 GE and Tories winning because Labour supporters didn’t “even bother to go out and vote”, the same game is in play from the Tories re Scotland…

          • Capella says:

            Yes – voter suppression is the game they’re playing. They hope to persuade SNP voters to tear up their membership cards again and never vote SNP again again.
            Let’s disappoint the unionist trolls.

  49. Alistair Donaldson says:

    I shall vote SNP 1 and 2 until I’m blue in the face or until we have our independence. Your latest offering WGD just confirms my feelings on the matter but laid out with a degree of clarity and simplicity that I could never hope to equal. Your writings are so much appreciated and I wish you continued improvement health wise. We must ignore all the distractions, be it from the british media, which we expect, or from the likes of WoS, which is a great disappointment to me and we really must concentrate on the prize – INDEPENDENCE.

    I’ll not be holding my nose, I’ll not be voting under duress, I’ll be willingly voting SNP 1 and 2 for the sake of my children and my grandchildren. Let’s do it this time.

  50. Gregory R Nunn says:

    I was fortunate to be taught early in my career by a wonderful boss who told me:
    “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions”.
    Start to finish, ready to act upon solutions.
    No solution, no complaint.
    You are spot on.
    But what about the general unrest, discontent, and so on?
    Is it real or part and parcel of social media shit stirrers?
    We are in a bit of a vacuum right now, and that falls upon the shoulders of who is in charge.
    Leadership seems to come and go with the breeze, from periods of ” well done” to periods of “where are you?”
    This has to be fixed immediately.
    And not by finding solutions where there is no problem, or finding problems we didn’t know we had.
    Leadership must be positive, likable, surrounding itself with smiles and optimism.
    Government right now feels like a gray, snowless winter day.
    Leaders must look over the horizon, get in front, and do the impossible.
    Or try.
    Go big, or go home, as they say.

    • grizebard says:

      I’m not sure where you’ve been, but the government here has been tackling a truly historical crisis, and dealing with it remarkably well on the whole, wouldn’t you say? I would have thought that was demonstrably real leadership. (Or are you thinking of the other one down south, perhaps?)

      That’s the kind of practical effort that ordinary folk really do appreciate. Whereas the w(h)ingers have no solutions on offer, only problems and complaints. So your old boss was indeed offering good advice.

    • ‘Government right now feels like a gray, snowless winter day.’

      An American abroad, Gregory?
      Up Here we spell, ‘gray’, ‘grey’.

  51. Bob Lamont says:

    The beauty of blanking response whilst engaging for a few hours doing other things, is catching up in the intervals with the comments, and realising not only how many lurkers were buried in the woodwork, but none of the antagonists gave a cogent and workable ANSWER.

    The reality is that there is no realistic alternative for the May elections unless you are a Time traveller who can advise all how best to manipulate the result. The rest of the “knowledge” was put there by clever psy-ops types who are only interested in a specific outcome for the Client and that Client is not Scots.

    Dr Jim made the excellent point that to the vast majority of the Scots electorate the red-line issues of the “geeks” are irrelevant despite how hard some have tried to promote them, they really don’t nudge on the horizon of being a deal-breaker for Independence, they’ve truly had enough from Thatcher onward seeing society diminished to a book-keeping exercise.
    As for what the Etonian clowns tapping English Nationalism have in store, that may have worked in another time, but this gravy train is at the end of it’s tracks for the majority of Scots…
    It will be Indy1 &2 because that’s all they have left, hope

  52. Lizzie55 says:

    Having read your article and all the comments I am saddened by the situation we are now in. I have been an snp member for many years and a voter for 40+years. Indy ref 1 was a fantastic experience and after we lost we all made an effort to fight on and we did. 5 mandates and a cast iron promise that we “would not be taken out of the EU against our will” later and we are not in a great place. Out of the EU and 5 never used mandates. I’ve even written to my mp, she replied telling me there was a plan for Indy, that was 2018. It didn’t happen. I wrote to the FM, reply we have a plan it’s happening shortly that was 2018. My business is now going down the drain and it’s not covid it’s brexit. SNP’s policy on brexit was a disaster …England voted for brexit why on earth would we stand in the way. We shouldn’t have tried to stop it we should have been busy, as we were told, not leaving the EU. Many examples since 2015 have not gone down well. We are again being asked to vote for them, with no alternatives. It’s not going down well with the snp Indy faithful.

    I vote for policies and then people. The policy the snp have for Indy is close to nonexistent and you are asking me to give my thoughts on what an Indy policy would look like. Firstly, it’s not my job to create a credible policy. We vote for a political party to create one. We join political parties to be part of policy making. Snp have blocked any discussion on a policy about independence. That is very wrong. Finally, there are many who would advocate a plebiscite others a legal approach and many others have different ideals again. What the snp don’t have is a policy on Indy that is credible, discussed with members or even committees and it’s no longer their main focus.

    I don’t enjoy this situation but to deny it would be foolish. The party needs a good shake up, new leaders and to find its Indy direction again. I hope it does. It will lose votes in May, much like the 2017 GE election, because of the lack of independence being front and foremost, people will simply stay at home.

    People are angry and rightly so.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The problem is that if we stay at home we run the risk of replacing a flawed and imperfect pro-independence government with one which is actively opposed to it. Then there’s no chance of independence at all.

      • Lizzie55 says:

        Yes, that is a problem. The snp really need to solve it quickly.

        • grizebard says:

          The most pressing and immediate problem lies at the door of all those “blogging for independence”, because we need record turnout for the SNP in May to make progress. Anything less won’t meet the occasion. Only after a big win will we have a good chance of spurring the party onwards to bigger and better things. (Which is why the Tories above all would just love a repeat of 2016/17. Which they “won” {cough}, remember?)

        • Alex Clark says:

          Only the voters can solve that perceived problem and that is by voting SNP in May.

          Problem solved, we will have a Scottish government actively supporting Independence rather than one actively opposed led by Unionists but I’m guessing you just don’t believe that do you 🙂

        • James Mills says:

          No , YOU need to solve it by voting SNP ! That will be one less person not staying at home and not voting . Simples !

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “People are angry and rightly so” – Where, Banchory ?
      🤣 What’s the weather like in Chelmsford currently ?

    • Do you actually understand what a mandate is?

      A mandate merely gives the authority to act on the constituents behalf, it is not an obligation. Had any of the mandates been exercised between 2015 & Covid it’s extremely doubtful we’d have won & we’d be in a really sorry state now; no prospect of another indyref for a proper generation.

      We’ve got one chance, not two, three or five, just one chance & we have to win. So please ask yourself who benefits from the bleatings about unused mandates? Ask yourself the same question about any other manufactured grievance & you’ll soon figure out that there’ll be a Unionist concern troll, or one of their dupes, behind it.

  53. Alex Clark says:

    Just some of the things the SNP have “done” Part 2.

    1. 19,500 more staff in Scotland’s NHS, that’s over 15 per cent more under the SNP.

    2. Record high health funding – 2021/22 health portfolio spending will exceed £16 billion, with resource funding up over £6.4 billion (70.9%) under the SNP [since 2006/07].

    3. Scotland’s core A&E services are the best performing in the UK.

    4. For over five years, Scotland has had the highest number of GPs per head of population anywhere in the UK.

    5. We’ve expanded IVF to more families – making access in Scotland the fairest and most generous in the UK.

    6. Scotland is leading the world on alcohol pricing, being the first country to implement minimum unit pricing.

    7. We’ve protected free tuition for nursing and midwifery students – and their bursary rose to £10,000 in 2020.

    8. Parking charges at all NHS-run hospitals scrapped – saving patients and staff over £42 million.

    https://www.snp.org/record/

    • You be Good Cop, Alex, bags being Bad Cop.

      Douglas Ross would introduce privatisation to our Health Service, £30 fees for a GP appointment, allow Brazilian steroid beef to flood our Scottish Market, introduce University Tuition Fees, put tolls on our bridges, tunnel, and motorways, prescription charges, bring Back the Private Finance initiative for his hedge fund pals making billions out of schools hospitals and prisons that cost millions to build but billions of debt to the Tory’s Paymasters, sell of Council Houses, beef up the Nuclear menace in Faslane, rape Scotland via the UKIM Devolution busting power grab keep our pensions pegged as the worst in the developed world, and despite 62% Remain, place Scotland under Priti Patel Homeland Security House arrest, denied access to Europe for education, travel, work, and resettlement, and so much more.

      Anas and Willie would do the the same.

      We rip their lungs out.
      When Glenn or the Hon Sarah open with ‘what about the bird droppings at QEHU?’, the pro Indy guest merely steers the debate towards the dark Tory portal into the Future Scotland, by outlining what the English are suffering under Douglas Ross…well, he’s Unionist’, and wants the same for Scotland?
      No more Mr and MRs Forelock Tugger.

      • James Mills says:

        and don’t forget the Gypsies , Jack . That was his top priority if PM for a day! Guess he’s lost the Travellers’ vote !

        • Who’s going to sharpen his hedge trimmers and hoe when the Linesman is put on gardening leave when he fails miserably in May, and the Blue Tories stab him in the front?
          Perhaps one of the evicted Travelling Folk could sell him some lucky white heather, tell his fortune, throw in some complementary wooden clothes pegs, and lift the 60 Year Curse on the Blue Tories?

          The man with bowling ball nostrils will be plucked from the pack and sent back into obscurity, running the line at BB Matches?

  54. Dr Jim says:

    A word to students,

    They’ve taken away your EU citizenship, they’ve taken away your Erasmus chances, they’ll take away your free tuition as soon as they get the chance, what about a nice holiday in France or Germany or Italy? well they’ve done you on that one too because even if you can afford the cost of going to these places again you’ll need a visa, you’ll need health insurance, you want to drive there? you’ll need more insurance, probably a temporary driving licence too,
    can you afford all that? of course you can’t, and you’ll be amongst many thousands when holidays are safe to go on again who are in for the shock of their lives because of this stupid Brexit that the vast majority of Scotland was against

    There’s only one answer to all of this, you’ve got your chance now that many of you didn’t have in 2014 where some of our older folk in Scotland were afraid to vote for freedom and stuck us in this nightmare, you young folk aren’t afraid and right now Scotland needs its youngsters like never before

    We know this last year has been garbage for you but at least you’ve got the rest of your lives to catch up, some of us don’t have that luxury but if you let the government in England have its way with Scotland by not turning out to vote SNP 1X2 they’ll screw you and Scotland so far down you’ll never have the advantages I or they had before they pull up the ladder behind them and you get F****D

    I had to pay for my degree under Labour and Tory before the SNP came to government in our country, if you pay any attention to these subversive nitwits led by the idiot from Bath who has no degree, who hasn’t lived in Scotland for 25 years, who has no vote in our country yet seems unconcerned about the government in his own country of England where he actually lives

    Ask yourselves the Question, what the F has this got to do with him? It’s your vote your life get out and vote SNP 1X2 and get our country back

  55. Alex Clark says:

    You know what seems to be the plan of the Unionists for the upcoming election? Well to me it looks like an attempt at demoralising the SNP voter from bothering even going out to vote, you can see it right here on this blog.

    “It will lose votes in May, much like the 2017 GE election, because of the lack of independence being front and foremost, people will simply stay at home.”

    You can see it clearly too on other Independence supporting blogs. A comment in the last 10 minutes from the blog referred to in this article.

    “As for SNP supporters, I can’t see what their motivation is to bother to vote, apart for the few who think that leaving the UK is the most important issue on our dying planet”

    Hahaha

    Yes, this tactic will win them a majority in Holyrood in May and kill any thoughts of Independence for a generation. They don’t need a positive case for the Union and only a negative case for not voting SNP or even not voting at all LOL

    I’ve fallen for it, I’ll not be voting for the SNP in May in the constituency vote, instead I’ll be giving them both my votes SNP 1 & 2.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, BritNats taking their cues from the US, with absolutely nothing positive to offer, only abject dependence on support from down south that they lack here, so voter suppression is all they have left. The saddest thing though is that at this pivotal moment with everything at stake, there are those proclaiming to be on our side who are actively helping the opposition!

    • Capella says:

      Concern trolls. Perhaps they should wait till the manifesto comes out before judging it to be devoid of indy. A bit like Douglas Ross calling for VONC in Nicola Sturgeon before she gave evidence at the Harassment Committee. That turned out well!

  56. Geordie says:

    Strong post, Paul.

    Despite self-proclaiming as a die-hard Indy supporter Stuart Campbell and his gigantic ego has gone from some of the best pro-Indy work to a clear threat to our chances, and all over one single policy that has him frothing at the mouth. The damage he has caused to the only – THE ONLY – realistic political vehicle for Indy makes me despair. He sees no irony in the fact that everyone from Ruth Davidson to Jackie Baillie to The Spectator quote him. Boasts about increased web traffic, almost certainly all pro-Union. He’s essential reading for them now.

    And make no mistake, if the SNP vote falls in May he will blame them. Nope, nothing to do with him. And where does that leave us, eh Stu? Tell us.

    At this moment, NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING matters more than Independence. Christ, I’d vote for Ruth D if I thought she’d deliver. But I don’t have to, thank eff. So it’s SNP 1&2 in May. Repeat until Independent.

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Geordie: Forget Stuart Campbell!

      Moaning about him, or his recent direction or proclamations is not going to change his and a large proportion of his followers viewpoints.

      Our goal and our energies, is to gain an SNP majority in the May elections and take it from there.

  57. grizebard says:

    We’ve had plenty of the familiar whinges upthread – not all of them entirely unjustified but mostly all misdirected – but I’m still waiting for a single posiive answer to the question Paul posed.

    Meanwhile there’s an actual election imminent that’s going to be a bare-knuckle fight with Unionism – you know, the actual enemy – which – if you somehow hadn’t noticed – has lately been on the defensive, its vacuity and antagonism transparent and its growing desperation very evident. First we have to prevail, since otherwise it’s “game over”. And there’s only one way to win, and you all know fine what that is.

  58. Jim says:

    Guys,
    This is classic British divide and rule tactics.
    They’re scewing the polls to get us fighting amongst ourselves, the dirty tricks are in full flow because they have nothing to offer.

    The recent poll figures looked at by Prof. John Robertson indicate this and it’s been passed to Scot goes Pop for clarification.

    People asked: South Scotland 178
    NE Scotland 164
    Lothians 184

    Glasgow 106

    Mid Scotland 117

    west Scotland 111

    They’re asking the people they know are pro no on purpose to give them the poll they want in order for Bojo to stand up and say ‘Scotland doesn’t want a referendum’
    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2021/03/11/is-poll-biased-against-glasgow-i-should-probably-ask-an-expert/

  59. Old Pete says:

    100% right Paul, agree with all of your article.

    The ” Bathman” and his acolytes have nothing but bile and hate towards the SNP and the FM. The “Bathman” has worked tirelessly to undermine the SNP for some time now, working hand in glove with anti- Scots pro Union parties, papers and supporters. His true believers hang on his every comment and remark without question.
    But don’t his acolytes claim to support Scottish Independence ? Well the vast majority either now don’t support Scottish Independence or are to stupid to realise they are being “played” ! , however he now has a hard core of openly UK supporters totally against our cause.

    To win our Independence we always needed to be fighting for the same cause, sadly for some that cause is no longer theirs.

    Saor Alba

    • Arthur Thomson says:

      Old Pete, independence never was their cause, it was their curse. They are Brits to a man/woman.

      The tripe I have read on here today is something else. Lolz.

      Such devout statements of nothingness. That terrible SNP. The awful things they have done/not done/thought of doing/dreamt of doing/imagined doing. How very dare they not do what I want, when I want, as I want, because I want it.

      It all sounds eerily like Keir Scammer ‘s Labour Party manifesto.

      Fortunately the public are no more likely to swallow it than I am.

      • Arthur Thomson , well said

        • The ‘I’ve been an SNP Supporter for 307 years ‘ sh!t, you mean, Terence.
          WE go for the jugular. What’s on offer is re-colonisation, and English carpetbaggers destroying Scotland.

          If we don’t get three clear Brit Nat GE manifestos covering all aspects of life in a modern democracy, Health, the Economy, Law and Order, Education, foreign policy, defence, international relations, including the EU, and so on, then we expose these Brit Puppets for what they are, ventriloquist dummies serving an English Oligarchy.
          We examine, dissect, and challenge, the fatuous lies and emptiness of their rhetoric, and as the sham of Better Together crumbles before our eyes, then all is lost for the Brits.
          Willie Rennie’s PPB the other night was vapid meaningless junk. I note that they kept Mike Rumbles Bumbles Grumbles, the Tuscany man, off our screens,

  60. Alba woman says:

    Reading through replies on J Kelly site it seems like folk are following a pattern of responses which are shaped to give out a divide and rule …Alec versus Nicola ….hate Nicola …..hate SNP .continuous message.

    If these messengers are successful they will get a very large bonus and we will never hear from them again as they are directed to other duties.

    • grizebard says:

      I regret that James doesn’t seem to tend to his BTL very diligently, if at all. There is one particular offender, for example, who is routinely personally abusive and foul-mouthed, contributes less-than-nothing, and by any reasonable judgement should be long gone. I tend to visit far less often as a consequence, which (if it’s not merely another manifestation of the more-extreme end of the current online Zeitgeist) is perhaps the intention.

      • weegingerdug says:

        I understand the platform he uses makes it difficult to set up filters to prevent certain words or phrases being published or to block individual users who are persistently badly behaved

  61. Alex Montrose says:

    It’s ironic James Kelly asking the SNP naysayers, what’s your plan if it’s not the SNP?
    when James himself has been slagging the SNP off himself for most of this year.

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/02/the-snps-adoption-of-overly-broad.html

    along with a twitchy delete finger and the acceptance of disruptive posters, reading his blog can at times be hard going.

    • Hamish100 says:

      I can slag of my family doesn’t mean I would sell them off to the tories or trust them. Disruptive posters have an agenda.

    • grizebard says:

      There’s a whole world of difference between being a “critical friend” and being an “attack dog”, and James is self-evidently one of the former. Though personally I do find his recent odd hankering for The Return of Salmond at the helm of some alt-indy party taking his genuine reservations just a tad too far.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Folk aught to remember that Alex Salmond had he gotten his way would’ve been the father of Devo Max had David Cameron not shut that option down and Scotland would have been Devo Maxed for the next 300 years

        • James Mills says:

          And remember , for some strange reason , Alex Salmond was a lot less popular with women voters than Nicola Sturgeon , so having him lead another Indy party has its drawbacks !

    • Alex Montrose , so are you voting tory labour or lib dem in may

      • Alex Montrose says:

        Hello Terence, thanks for that, how will I be voting in May?

        I’m in the North East Region so I will be voting SNP 1 Green 2, in 2016 the SNP won 9 of 10 constituency seats and even with 137,000 votes, no list seats, the final tally for the NE SNP 9-8 Unionist Party.

        Hopefully the Greens will pick up 2 maybe 3 list seats to give a final result of Indy Parties 12-5 Unionist Party.

        I have posted similar stuff over at SGP, but for some reason James always deletes my posts.

        • iusedtobeenglish says:

          This is useful info. I’m in the NE too and was wondering how the list went last time. Saved me a job – thanks! 😀

        • yesindyref2 says:

          The prroblem is, looking at wikipedia for the detail, the Tories took one seat off the SNP in 2016, and spurred on by that, there are another 5 Aberdeen / Angus seats that could give the Tories at least one gain. In 2016 the SNp had 44.7% in the region divided by 10 (/10) = 4.47%, whereas the Tories had 28.0% / 2 = 14.0%, 28.0% / 3 = 9.33%, 28.0% / 4 = 7.0% and even 28.0% / 5 = 5.6% for 4 regional seats against the SNP 0.

          If the Tories had won 1 more constituency, for a total of 2 not 1, making the SNP 8 not 9, the SNP would have been on 44.7% / 9 = 4.97%, the Tories then on 28.0% / 3 = 9.33%, 28.0% / 4 = 7.0%, 28.0% / 5 = 5.6% for 3 regional seats, but then 28.0% / 6 = 4.47%, so the SNP would have got the seat, just ahead of the Greens.

          So the total SNP number of seats in either case is 9, the Tories 5.

          THAT’S the danger of presuming the SNP will win the same number of seats; if they win 1 less constituency seat, they will generally win 1 more regional seat for the same total.

          But not if people “tactically vote” for some pther partgy presuming the SNP vote is wasted.

  62. Hamish100 says:

    Some are showing their true colours.
    Hold steady, take each day as a day towards defeating the unionists.
    We can win.
    Their incessant cry’s of anguish shows how worried they are.
    We are being asked to vote.
    It’s not hard if you wish to defeat the Brexit unionists and win Independence.

  63. Alex Clark says:

    Just some of the things the SNP have “done” to us Part 3.

    1. Scotland provides the best package of support for university students anywhere in the UK – with free tuition; low interest rates for student loan repayments; and a minimum income guarantee of £7,750 for the poorest students.

    2. Since 2015/16, we have invested over £576 million in tackling the poverty related attainment gap. In 2020/21, we are investing a further £182 million – which includes over £120 million of Pupil Equity Funding going direct to 97% of head teachers in Scotland.

    3. All 167,838 pupils in primaries 1 to 3 now benefit from access to free school meals, allowing families to save around £400 per child per year.

    4. We have provided extra resources to local councils – allowing spending on education to increase in real terms for the past three years – up by £189 million in 2018/19.

    5. 958 schools upgraded under the SNP (since 2007) during the last 13 years, providing well-designed, accessible and inclusive learning environments for pupils.

    6. A record 260,490 students enrolled at our world-class Scottish universities in 2019/20.
    Latest HESA statistics show we have met the key target to have 16% of students from the most deprived areas of Scotland by 2021 at universities.

    7. The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is encouraging children and young people to read for pleasure. In 2019/20, 971 schools and groups across Scotland registered for the Challenge.

    8. We’ve introduced a national minimum school clothing grant of £100 to help more families afford school uniform costs.

    9. Since 2012, we have invested over £1 billion per year in Scotland’s universities.

    10. We’re providing our further education students with record levels of support. £138 million in 2020/21 – up 58% in real terms since 2006/07.

    11. We’re leading the way as the only nation in the UK to offer bursary support targeted specifically for care-experienced students.

    https://www.snp.org/record/

    • James Mills says:

      And we helped out NHS England with PPE during the worst of the pandemic last year – and never a word of thanks !

  64. Hamish100 says:

    I see the so called hate crime bill has been voted on by the MSPs have passed by 82 to 32.
    So I assume SNP, labour, Lib Dem’s, greens voted for it.
    The bbc states that ”The legislation consolidates existing law and extends protection for vulnerable groups with a new offence of “stirring up hatred”.
    Does it apply to blogs?

  65. Alex Clark says:

    So 32 out of 129 MSP’s voted against the so called hate crime bill. That’s just 25% of all MSP’s and there are 31 Tories. Does that make this an SNP law?

    If you oppose this bill with a passion then you need to forget all about Independence and vote for the only party that oppose it. Your choice and I’m sure the Tory party will welcome your support.

    Personally, I don’t know what all the fuss is about, there are many laws I find dubious or dislike doesn’t mean I blame them on the SNP or will abandon support for Independence because of any law that the SNP might support at any particular time.

    I don’t expect any party to agree with me on every topic and in fact, I’m happy for them to agree with my views on a majority of topics as I realise that others supporting the exact same party may not have the same views as me. That’s how democracy works.

    • Bill McDermott says:

      I would be interested to know if Adam Tompkins voted for the hate crime bill because he certainly worked assiduously on many amendments

  66. tom nicholson says:

    if only the ISP and SA and the SSP could join forces under ” one banner” and stood in 3 or 4 regions they could get 6 to 8 seats at least, That would stop those seats going to tory/lab parties, They could share seats evenly ,but, most importantly they would be IN the parliament! That is where we need them .Now more than ever. When we get independence the SNP will no longer exist it will become a party ,a political party, At the moment it seems to forget it is a movement a broad church. That is what I have always been told over the past 40 year or so. Get the word out 2nd vote for INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND GROUP or what ever they want to call it ,We need those seats the SNP always lose out on the second vote and they know this. You could put money on it and they know it .Almost 1 million votes to get 4 seats? Tory/lab get 3 times that for 1//2 a million .Another pro indy party is essential to keep them on their toes and inform the whole world there are TWO independence parties in Scotland. If we do not win this election we must be seen as the most gullible race on this planet.

    • Alex Clark says:

      That is exactly what RISE tried to do in2016 when the SSP joined up with RIC, it got less than 2% of the vote which is probably less than the SSP would have got by standing alone.

      Unless you have something to offer the voters what they seek then you will get nowhere and the same will happen with the ISP and AFI in this election. That’s the reality.

    • Dr Jim says:

      You do understand that Westminster recognises no other political parties in Scotland except their own and seats won by other parties in Holyrood are counted as anti SNP ergo anti Independence no matter what they say they support, the truth is no SNP majority no Independence

      Votes count, not seats for the Judean popular front

  67. Great, now that we have agreed to stop talking about GRA and AS v NS who agrees with me that the main priority once Scotland becomes independent should be a huge programme of housebuilding , houses with the most up to date insulation , heating , building materials .

    We should legislate to make it more profitable for companies to build houses with gardens than flats.
    We should include assurances that appropriate numbers of the houses that are built are actually bungalows , our elderly find it difficult to get houses that are all ground level , so many older folk cannot climb stairs , people in old age should be able to get a bungalow with a garden so they are not confined to live their last years indoors all the time.

    A big housebuilding programme will help us move people to good houses too many live in houses and flats that should by now have been demolished.
    Train young people to do the many jobs this project would provide.
    Do not give the contracts to the big companies in England or overseas get our own people to do the work.

  68. william oliphant says:

    Lots o food fir thought Brian. WGD says five years o Tory rule and A wid go further. Could be 10-12-15-20 year afore we get to poll levels o 56% that we saw few months back. It’s choice o corrupt SNP govt at Holyrood or corrupt fuckin Tory govt at Westminster fir foreseeable future.

    Wee Ginger Dug wrote: > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: underline; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com weegingerdug posted: ” James Kelly makes a vitally important point in his blog post on Wednesday. https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-time-to-decide-how-were-going-to.html He asks an important question of those independence supporters who are vocal in their criticis”

    • Alex Clark says:

      Well said willie and I totally agree with whatever it was you were blethering about to Brian.

  69. Dr Jim says:

    Speaking on renewable energy projects a Tory minister described that power as *British* wind
    Watch the skies folks they’re going to stick Union flags up there too

  70. william oliphant says:

    Sorry Paul that last email wis fir ma brither o course!!! Jist in case he missed yir article !!!! He’s in the AM NO VOTIN FIR THAT MOB camp unfortunately despite bein a VERY VERY committed independence supporter fir thirty year. Wullie

    Wee Ginger Dug wrote: > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: underline; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com weegingerdug posted: ” James Kelly makes a vitally important point in his blog post on Wednesday. https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-time-to-decide-how-were-going-to.html He asks an important question of those independence supporters who are vocal in their criticis”

  71. Old Pete says:

    What the hell ? Are you OK pal, think something’s not right “corrupt SNP govt in Holyrood ” you are off your rocker. Possibly a visiting Tory ?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Did I fall asleep and miss the trial and guilty verdict on the SNP or something, nope, didn’t think so

    • James Mills says:

      Old Pete , you clearly don not speak fluent gibberish – let me translate : )%3£4099((&3$%4″!1$£4%( ?9 )

      How’s that , now ?

  72. yesindyref2 says:

    In 8 weeks time unless there’s a delay, the votes will be in, the ballot boxes sealed and most will be in the 32 unitary authority counting places, locked up I think until tomorrow as the counts won’t go overnight this time (I could be wrong). So there’s less than 8 weeks to convince the voters. Postal votes will be sent out some time before, maybe 4 weeks, can’t find anything about that though the deadline for applying for a postal vote is April 6th.

    So we’re looking at manifestoes being published some time before that, meaning that the SNP and Greens will need to get theirs finalised and set up soon. Timing is everything, and the SNP need to have sailed out of one or two stormy waters into shelter.

    If the SNP have Mike Russell’s 11 point plan enshrined in a full-blooded manifesto promise at the beginning of that manifesto, much of the opposition to the SNP should just melt away, and probably not even be noticed by the average voter.

    That might leave a few hundred Indy supporter activists who think the SNP with a membership of between 70,000 and 135,000 depending on who you believe, should still do things their way and change an already published manifesto, or they’ll consider not voting for the SNP. Plus some who may vote for the new unknown pro-indy parties, and even convince some ordinary voters to do so as well.

    It could be however, that their suggestions for that manifesto will help to influence the final version – I actually hope so, at least as far as having Indy front and main in the manifesto rather than lost on page 22 in a small paragraph. Like many I support the S30 route as the first choice, then the point 10 and 11 of Russell’s plan if that fails.

    Most of that few hundred have already said they’ll hold their noses and vote SNP anyway when it comes right down to it. So that leaves maybe 100 people prepared to throw their toys out of the pram.

    The 32 Councils have decided there is no need to employ extra litter wardens.

  73. P Harvey says:

    After Independence all options are possible

  74. yesindyref2 says:

    Just looking at an article in the National made me do a bit of googling and at last I refound the old article by David Walker 2007:

    https://www.lawscot.org.uk/members/journal/issues/vol-52-issue-06/the-union-and-the-law/

    Someone posted that on the Grun back in 2012 and it started my interest in the constitutional and legal aspects – and “informed” my opinions. Even now there’s something new which I just noticed, in light of the infamous Crawford & Boyle Annex A:

    That it was a treaty in international law is amply evidenced by the terms of preceding legislation (e.g. Treaty with England Act …

    A word search on that fully opened Act gives 12 occurrences, and there were probably more in the orginal 1707 version in articles (a treaty term not an act), that were “repealed” (don’t start me …).

    So that’s even a further yah boo sucks to C&B. C&B are well rebutted by Ian Campbell in 2014:

    https://www.lawscot.org.uk/members/journal/issues/vol-59-issue-07/the-union-and-the-law-revisited/

    If this gets held because of 2 links, I’ll repost it with the second link separately, I forget the rules.

  75. Ken says:

    A separate Legal system forever. People in Scotland are sovereign under the Law. (Roman or Latin) Different legal systems, A separate Protestant church. Led on to a separate education system. Education funded on church institution.

    Communities funded education through the Churches. A tithe. 10% of income when to the Church. Heaven or Hell.

    Religion was used as a form of social control. The monarch at the head. For civil obedience. Be good go to heaven. Bad go to hell. Fire and brimstone, Be good or you cannot go to heaven. Philanthropy. You cannot take it with you. Give it away to get to heaven. Buy your way to heaven. ‘Rich man and the eye of a needle’. Shared Protestant monarch. Orange Ann.

    Negotiated between representatives of both countries, Scotland had to be treated equally.

    The Treaty was broken as soon as it was signed. (EU). Scotland has never been treated equally. Ever. The Treaty was broken if one party broke the agreement. The Clearances. The Jacobite rebellion cruelly put down. The Treaty has been broken too many times.

    1928 Universal Suffrage. Westminster/monarchy/state. keeps it’s criminality secret under the Official Secrets Act. To put Scotland down. Not treat Scotland equally. The Treaty can be broken by representation of both countries coming to agreement. Or if the Treat if broken. It has been many times.

    It is an international treaty. It is acknowledged in the document. The people in Scotland did not support it. There were riots and petitions against it. The Jacobite rebellion rose up against it. 1725/45. It was forced upon people in Scotland by force.

    The Scottish education system. The first countries in the world to have tertiary education open to all. Still one of the best education systems in the world. According to ability to learn. Not the ability to pay. In the main.

    The Age of Enlightenment. 1750, Scotland led the world. New ideas and philosophy of equality. New developments in science. The Declaration of Arbroath. Influenced democracy worldwide. The French Revolution 1798. Equality, Fraternity.

    The Americam Revolution. Scots founding fathers. Based on Declaration of Arbroath. Checks and balances. Thstboften do not work. A country of migrants. Many migrant Scots/Irish. 10% of the population.

    The Age of Revolution 1850’s Europe. The Russian Revolution 1917.

    ‘Scotland the land of discovery and invention.’ The Chinese.

    People in Scotland can vote for change. It is acknowledge under International Law. The UN charter. Principles. People are entitled to self governance and self determination. If they vote for it. Many have achieved it. Scotland can do it too.

    Devolution was achieved because of lack of democracy. Scotland outvoted 10 to 1 at Westminster. Undemocratic, Scotland has less democracy than the emerging Eastern European countries gaining Independence and freedom. Self governance and self determination. Scotland can do too. Upheld by the EU and UN. Under International Law.

    A 40 million diaspora. Who will give support. The Auld Alliance France. Mr McAllister Germany. Australia, US, New Zealand, Canada.

    Scotland one of the oldest nations in the world. Has major support around the world. Renowned throughout the world. Burns, whisky tartan, oil, renewables technology.

    TV/radio, telecommunications. Led on to the internet. Scottish discovery and invention shaped the modern world.

    Westminster hypocrites are trying to destroy Devolution. Do not let them. Cheats and liars. Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence. Make the world a better place.

  76. Ken says:

    The SNP Gov achieve to deliver. A manifesto that can be delivered. That is why they are trusted they try and do keep their promises. Other do not. So they are not trusted. Westminster policies reneged upon as soon as soon as they are elected. Spivs and liars.

    Independence negotiations would be on going. Events ever changing. To put commitment in a manifesto. It must be realistically delivered. There is no plan A, B or C. According to the experts. Lawyers and academics. Under the Law. Just a continuing campaign for support and change. For Independence as events unfold.

    Putting a date in a manifesto might not be a realistic proposition. Until people/electorate vote for it. In a tight margin with events ever unfolding. Once people vote for it. Then a vote ref/date can be proposed. Not putting the cart before the horse. It is more sensible and deliverable. For trust and reassurance.

    Other Indy Parties should be approached with caution. What are their motives? Their manifestos? Who are they? Anti EU. Farague supporters. Right wing? Anti SNP? They might be more of a hindrance than a help. Under the grand scheme of things. Voters might be undecided and deceived. Without any knowledge or information.

    Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence. Get others to vote as well.

  77. Dr Jim says:

    The wasted vote that isn’t

    Voting SNP on the list is a wasted vote claim some people, I’ll vote for somebody else and that’ll do more good, claim some people, there’s more chance of a list seat for somebody else, is another claim

    All these claims are something we’ve heard over and over again from folk who think they’ve read the correct information or have the idea that some other Independence party that popped up over the weekend after a conversation in the pub with each other, nobody knows who they are most of the time but the folk who say they’ll vote for them insist it’s a good thing even though experts far and wide have explained that this gaming of the system doesn’t work to better than around 2% of the vote

    To vote for a political party of a persons choice is an absolutely legitimate thing to do but in the case of Scotland there is only one politic and that’s Independence or not Independence, so if a person claims their objective is solely Independence yet they intend to vote for a political party who even with a gale force wind up their backside cannot possibly achieve such a thing then they’re mistaken, and very badly mistaken, because in order to achieve Independence votes for a new Independence supporting party those votes have to come from somewhere, you’re not going to attract Tories or Liberal Democrats or even Labour voters to a new Independence party so those votes have to come from the original Independence party the SNP thus reducing the total votes for that party

    At every election in Scotland we expect the SNP to win the bulk of the seats and Westminster expects that too, how many times have we heard post election the opposition parties immediately claim support for the SNP is falling if their vote share happens to go down, which means in Westminster speak support for Independence is falling, that then translates to the media and the headlines follow “Blow for Independence as support falls” “Sturgeon’s hopes of Independence in tatters”

    Every election in Scotland whether we like it or not is treated as a referendum and has been since the SNP came to government, so voting SNP on the list even though it doesn’t achieve a seat leads towards achieving majority voting numbers that Westminster and the opposition in Scotland cannot ignore, plus, and this is a very important plus it sends the message of confidence to the SNP and to every supporter of Independence that self determination really is the settled will of the people of Scotland and cannot be gainsayed by any partial or impartial observer

    Freedom of choice is every person’s right and what we own but those who say I’m voting with my principles so I’m voting for A.N. Other party who cannot possibly do anything other than make a tiny wee noise in a quiet corner somewhere that not a soul will ever hear ya da ya da yah then those principles are not Independence

    Here’s a question, why do the Tories always win, they stick together even if they despise one another in order to beat everyone else and they keep beating Scotland every time because they despise us more, how about this question do you think the whole of England are Tories, of course they’re not, but the people of England vote Tory because the Tories win, ask any English person who the Sec of State for Infrastructure is or transport or digital connectivity or anything, they won’t have a clue because that’s not what they care about, they only care about winning over somebody else, hence Brexit, do they care about Boris Johnson being the biggest liar in the universe, no they don’t, they only care about him winning then they’ll moan later

    But whatever happens they must beat Scotland ….or Germany… or France…. or everywhere else

    Scotland needs to use that mindset or remain subjects of those people

    • Ken says:

      The Tories and their associates buy elections. They use public monies. Donation and support for favours. Totally illegally. Cambridge Analytica. Bought data from Facebook. To influence voters and the electorate illegally. To illegally influence the result. Used Pollsters and others totally illegally. To influence the result. Illegally accessing private data. Against the data protection act, the right to privacy and the Representation of the People’s Act. The polling industry has been censored and fined many times. For breaking electoral rules and the Law.

      The Brexit Ref was rigged. Hedge funds, politicians and their associates used it to make monies. Wasting private and public monies Stealing from the public purse, using private monies to influence the result. Totally illegally.

      All right wing. Cameron, Clegg, Gove, Murdoch etc, the Tories and their associates. Making money killing people. Worldwide. Clegg now making £Millions from tax evading Facebook as their corrupt EU representative.

      Cameron tax evading. The Chinese economic partnership. Fleecing the taxpayers. Hinkley Point and HS2. A total corrupt waste of monies. With far better alternatives. The Tory slush fund.
      Mismanagement and appropriation of public monies, while people are starving.

      EU result/ outcome totally rigged. The majority want EU membership, especially the young. The decision will be reversed eventually after the Tories loses and the economy ruined. They will be voted out.

      The EU Serb suing Westminster for breaking the Treaty signed in December. It will take 3 years,

      That did not take long. For liar Johnston to renege. Wasting £Billions of public monies that could be better spent.

    • JoMax says:

      What I find depressing is the number of staunch Indy supporters who are using the new popular in-phrase “I’m going to hold my nose and vote SNP”. That sends a huge message out that, look, even Indy supporters think the SNP is rubbish. How the unionists must laugh. I understand if people are not happy with elements of the SNP (although I think a lot of the recent ‘crises’ have been subtly managed by the usual suspects and blown out of all proportion) but why publicly declare it in that way?

      How many people will say, “I’m going to hold my nose and vote Tory .. Labour .. LibDem”?

      Of course it’s up to people who they vote for but as Dr Jim says the Tories always win because they stick together. Labour have a staunch army of supporters who will always vote for them no matter what.

      The problem for the SNP particularly in Scotland but further afield is that every action taken, word spoken, thought expressed is microscopically examined by everyone and his dog. It must be extremely difficult to operate under such conditions particularly when the other lot do not get such a high level of continuous scrutiny in order to provide reasonable balance, or if they are subjected to some scrutiny, the outcome is quietly shelved and forgotten.

  78. Tatu3 says:

    This https://munguin.wordpress.com/2021/03/10/36263/ is the kind of candidates ISP have attracted. Is this the kind of man you, who think ISP should get your vote, want to have anything to do with the running of Scotland?? Really??

  79. Ken says:

    In the US the candidates buy the Presidency. (With donations from the Saudis. One of the most repressive regimes in the world). Mercenaries,

    The US great democracy? The leader of the ‘free’ world? Held to random by the most repressive regime in the world. Totally Undemocratic. Killing people.

    UN “Westminster is balancing? the books on the killing of people in Yemen’.

    Selling illegal weapons. Cutting off aid. Keeping it secret under the Official Secrets Act since the 1960’s. Same in Ireland. Illegally killing people. Keeping it secret under the Official Secrets Act.

    Iraq, Dunblane, Lockerbie kept secret under the Official Secrets Act for 100 years.

    Westminster corruption and lies. Manipulation and mismanagement. Unjustifiable. Breaking International Law with impunity. Breaking Scottish/UK/EU Law. Having to be held to account in the Courts.

    DUP suing Westminster. Foster suing Johnston.

    EU suing Westminster. Johnston has broken EU Treaty as soon as it was signed. Manipulative liar. Killing people. Chronic mismanagement and manipulation. Wasting £Billions illegally.

    The Tories and their associates lining their pockets with wasted public monies. Illegally. Unscrutinised contracts. The reason they are in office and join a political party. Self endorsement and illegal lies. Greed and vanity. Ignorance and arrogance. Chancers.

    Vote them out.

  80. Old Pete says:

    Sent this comment by my daughter from a self proclaimed Scottish Independence supporters blog ;
    “For the last couple of years this site has been critical of the SNP’s failure to make any sort of progress on independence. But this is far, far worse even than that. Because if they somehow miraculously achieved independence tomorrow, we’d be afraid to live in the Scotland they’re creating”

    Guess what self proclaimed Scottish Independence blog it comes from ?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Is that from the guy who’s lived in England for 25 years and only comes to Scotland to answer court cases against him for hate speech, and loses

    • bringiton says:

      Only the Monarch and those with split personality disorders refer to themselves as ‘we’.

    • James Mills says:

      Is it the LibDem supporting Scottish Nationalist living in a cellar in Bath , with a big computer and an even bigger box of Kleenex next to it ?

    • Alec Lomax says:

      From outside Scotland, presumably?

      • Old Pete says:

        Yes you all guessed the right man ” Bathman” . There are worse quotes than this, but thought this shows the amount of time he has been openly waging war against the SNP the FM and the cause of Scottish Independence.

  81. Ken says:

    Hate Bill. Just do not open the door to the Police without a warrant. They just will not bother. It is not worth the effort

    Change the Law.

    Women do not have rights of other women. Women who co habit (the majority) do not have equal rights with other women or men. They have to stay in abusive, unhealthy situations because they do not have equal rights.

    Women who co habit have to put in a claim (1/3) and fight through Courts. It can cost £thousands and years. The women do not have equal rights with other women (or men) They have to stay in abusive, unhealthy, unsafe households. Or lose their house/home. The roof over their head. They do not have the funds. Or the support.

    There has been consultations going on for years but nothing has been changed. There is little legal aid. It has to be paid back in any case. The Law has been changed in England for legal aid. So women do not lose their house.

    Change the Law.

    Letting agencies (solicitors) illegally demand 6 months + deposit upfront rent. From women even those with good credit and funds.

    Change the Law.

    The obsession with who uses a toilet or changing room. Many mixed for years. Without any problem. Or install a separate toilet. Without any problems.

    Women do not have equal rights with other women (or men). If they co habit. The majority, They suffer in silence for years. A lifetime. Affecting children

    Change the Law.

    They are reading out lists of dead women in Westminster. Change the Law. Do something about it. Incompetent imbeciles. They do not have a clue. They cause it. With austerity and no support for people. Appalling hypocrites. Killing people.

  82. goberre says:

    Well that was an interesting experience. As a supporter of independence for all my 65 years and an activist for the SNP for 50, I posted my thoughts on Paul’s blog and to my surprise was subjected to a tirade of abuse from what I assume are the wheesht for indy faction I’ve heard of. I’ve also heard that they are becoming Stalinist and I can see why.

    • P Harvey says:

      Goberre

      Have looked back over your postings on this thread and the replies made to you seem only to challenge your views and can hardly be described as trying to “weesht” you or be stretched to “ Stalinist” as you claim. If you can’t take being in a discourse………

      • goberre says:

        Oh the irony “If you can’t take being in a discourse………”

        • James Mills says:

          YOU haven’t been banned , have you ?
          YOU haven’t been deemed an unacceptable contributor , have you ?
          YOU have had your points answered in the main politely , haven’t you ?
          Why are YOU so sensitive to a critique of your views ?

          There are other Blogs where if you diverge from the narrow views of the fat controller you will immediately be a non-person and banished into the abyss .
          YOU are still posting on here – or hadn’t you noticed ?

        • P Harvey says:

          It wasn’t irony but my impression of your comments and replies
          You have continued in this provocative manner, in your replies to others who have replied to you

    • You claim to be a lifelong supporter & long-term activist goberre.

      Unfortunately your comments would indicate otherwise. Your posts are full of classic concern troll woebaggery designed to sow doubt in the minds of the reader. My conclusion is you’re a bona fide Unionist concern troll or you’re a mug that’s fallen for their drip-fed bile. Either way, that’s the impression your posts give; so own it or change your tone.

      If you genuinely are a lifelong supporter, you’ll have through many ups and downs; why the big crisis of confidence now? What is your actual path to indy if you don’t vote SNP?

      • goberre says:

        If you want to know my path to indy do me the courtesy of reading my comments. And as I stated I have been an SNP activist since canvassing with Winnie Ewing in Moray in 1974. I suspect you joined the party post Sept 2014 and have such little understanding that you insult me and my devotion to independence.

        • I have read your posts & I read them again before I posted above.

          You claim you’re a lifelong supporter, but your posts are full of negativity; it just doesn’t add up for me. I’m not asking you to like it, I’m just telling you what my impression is. If you don’t want to be tagged as a Unionist troll, or a dupe, don’t post like one.

          FYI, I can trace my support for the SNP & indy back to February ’74 when I was all of ten years old. I have never been a member of any party & have no intention of joining one; make of that what you will.

          Again, what is your preferred route to independence should you opt not to vote SNP in May. No deflection and no strawman arguments please. If you’re as politically engaged as you’d have us believe, you must have considered your options; so do us the courtesy of sharing your insights.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The only abuse I’ve ever seen on this blog generally comes from Unionists or supporters of Bathman

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Who told you that WGD site is Stalinist? Mr Trump?

  83. Arthur Thomson says:

    Thanks for that first thing in the morning, Old Pete!! I’m glad I had my cereal before I read it. Assuming it is an accurate quote, it should put to bed any idea that the said site is other than demented. It is time for us to move on to sharing our thoughts on more important things.

    I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but I would ask everyone to pause for a moment and think of the awful plight of the bairns in the Yemen and in refugee camps all over the middle east. They are living in hell, in no small part because of the efforts of the British to maintain their corrupt influence wherever people can be exploited. The British people have no interest in what is happening in their name, they are perfectly happy to sing Rule Britannia and pretend that they are superior. Meanwhile large numbers of their own live in abject poverty. THAT is the truth of what it is to be British.

    An independent Scotland will be able to reject involvement in such obscenities while ensuring that its citizens are properly protected from predators. Scotland will be able to exercise a benign and humane influence in the world, home and abroad. Scottish people will be able to put their head down at night in the knowledge that they can live well and still leave the world a better place. There are hundreds of other advantages to Scottish independence but for me this is number one.

    What is your number one?

  84. Capella says:

    The Hate Crime Bill can be repealed or amended – repealed would be better IMO. But without independence we have no chance of controlling our own laws and parliament. Priorities. Unionism is the enemy of democracy. End unionism and fight for democracy. Every blog and every political party which does not support that aim is anti democracy.

    • Ken says:

      Just don’t answer the door to the Police, without a warrant. To not have any bother. Hate crime? Not enforced.

  85. Ulfisch says:

    Why not call out the elephant in the room?
    Those fierce SNP critics who claim to be Independence supporters are pursuing the exact same strategies that Cambridge Analytica used against Clinton: make SNP voters withhold their vote due to being disgruntled in the same way Bernie Sanders supporters were with Clinton…with the result of getting Trump !

    So to be frank, some of the SNP critics are either incredibly naive, or even worse, part of this Unionist undercover strategy against Independence.

  86. Ken says:

    Trump lost. D’Hond’t system. Clinton got 3 million more votes. The loser wins.

    D’Hond’t imposed on the electorate with no mandate. To help unionism. 3rd losers win. On the list.

  87. Robert says:

    I am not a member of the SNP but I am a firm supporter of Indepence. I believe that unless the SNP get the necessary majority at the May election ( possibly with Greens support) we can kiss any prospects
    Of indepence bye bye for years to come. This is the only chance and anyone thinking otherwise is .not facing the reality of the situation.

  88. thesnpleftme says:

    It is with great regret that I cannot vote for a Party in which I was an activist for decades.

    My reasons are quite simple.
    Free speech
    Women’s Rights
    Independence

    The foundations a Nation is built on are critical.

    • Clydebuilt says:

      Bringing an end to kids starving can’t wait. How many decades do you want them to have to wait for the electoral prospects we have currently.

    • Alan Howard Baxter says:

      Oh for goodness sake get a grip, grow up, act like a clear thinking adult. It seems you are a tory. Your list of wants (I assume they are wants) bears all the hallmarks of what a right wing tory, uk wide, government will deliver:- NO Free Speech, NO Women’s Rights, NO Independence.

      Note the use of the phrase UK wide. Failure to secure Independence will see Scotland reduced to a mere region of the UK. There will be no Devolution, plans are already in hand for it’s destruction, Holyrood will be converted into luxury apartments for UK Civil Servant and visiting Ministers. Lose in May and we are lost FOREVER.

      I’ve said previously, all the UK want is our Water and our Space – they care nothing for the “Verminous” race.

      If, on the other hand you are a genuine supporter of Independence, then please, please please vote SNP 1 & 2. Having secured Independence you will have your opportunity to shine. Create a new party, or join one of the parties that will morph out of the current bunch. Become leader and introduce whatever Foundations you wish to build the Nation on. But please do not waste this opportunity. Independence is the Critical foundation. Nation Building can only come after Independence.

    • weegingerdug says:

      We know what your dissatifaction with the SNP is based on, the talking points of a certain website based in Bath and its unhealthy obsession with trans people and its author’s desire to be offensive, insulting and abusive about everyone with the temerity not to bow before his own estimation of his genius. Now maybe try answering the question this article poses. How do you propose getting Scotland to independence within the next term of the Scottish Parliament if you succeed in depriving the SNP of a majority in May?

    • Well I’m glad you have such utopian ideals. Obviously the purest of pure indys is much better than any old indy

      Meanwhile the poorest amongst us will be so grateful when they start paying bedroom tax (disproportionately affecting Scotland, one bed accommodation is relatively rare). The rest of us will sing your praises as we part with £9.15 per prescription item. Our brightest youth won’t be discouraged by tuition fees. Our grannies won’t have to lie in their own mess for hours waiting for an overstretched family member to clean them up because they can’t afford the personal care.

      Aye, principles are a win thing.

    • James Mills says:

      @thesnpleftme – snappy moniker by the way !

      It is with great regret that I cannot believe that YOU are or were an SNP activist for minutes never mind decades , Just my opinion , of course .

      My reasons are quite simple .

      No serious Independent minded Scot would contemplate for a MOMENT throwing away the chance of Independence because of a fear that the ”foundations of a Nation’ are not to their liking .
      If we all thought like that we might as well just give the keys of the kingdom to Boris’ Bungling B*stards and leave .

      And how does ‘Independence’ figure in your shopping list of things you disapprove of ?
      Are you one of those strange tacticians who think that NOT voting for the only party with real chance of winning Independence is a sound move ?

      It would have been more honest to say : ”Independence will be achieved in its purest form when everything that pleases ME is in the constitution of the New Scotland .”

    • Dr Jim says:

      Sure, Sure, uhuh, is that right, my my decades eh, and you just thought you’d create a brand new code name to let us know the Bathman’s truth

  89. Capella says:

    Obvious provocation. Ignore.

  90. Clydebuilt says:

    New posters quick to boast of long Party membership and activism, remind me of Unionists during Indyref1, they were always quick to claim that they were “Proud Scots”.

    • raineach says:

      It has to be remembered that for many decades Party membership was in 4 figures, say about 8000 at its height. So all these 40 year + members are a surprisingly high percentage of the long time members.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        And 18 of these veteran survivors suddenly feel “betrayed” over things the public don’t frankly give a toss about and spout on this one WGD article in just over 24 hours, now what are the odds on that 🙄

      • Clydebuilt says:

        Raineach

        Do you think any of the new crop of posters claiming long party membership and activism, but just cant bring themselves to vote SNP (at this cruical election) have ever been members of the SNP?

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Exactly Clydebuilt … ” I’m a Proud Scot ….BUT……………….”

    • jfngw says:

      I believe Boris Johnson is going to tell us on Sunday that he will not allow Scotland to become independent. Is it there last throw of the dice, trying to instil the idea that it is not worthwhile even turning out to vote. They think they are going to lose big time, I agree with them on this at least, so the pushing for a low turnout seems to be the strategy now, if they can get it low enough then they can ignore the result is the calculation.

      Don’t fall into the trap, make sure you vote, encourage your friends & family to vote. The higher the turnout and majority then it becomes clear their position has no foundation, it is built on sand.

      • James Mills says:

        Boris the PM of the country that say it ”values” democracy is reinforcing his anti- democratic message to the world : ” We value democracy as long as it chimes with my role as King of the World ”.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        On your ultimate point, correct – Ulfisch above highlighted this in terms of Clinton v Trump, but did not expand it to include Brexit or the 2019 Tory Red Wall invasion in Northern England – Convince opposition to THEIR objective just to sit at home, don’t vote.
        For England this was the antisemitic trotskyist allotment gardening Corbyn – The Tories didn’t win, Labour lost, in droves.
        Now the technique has been turned on SNP (for all it’s flaws) and you can see the exact same methodology pan out, MSM stories of SNP imploding (Labour collapsing), (Labour supporters depressed by what they read on the internet) the tsunami of “depressed Indy supporters” flooding this blog offering Nirvana with party X or not voting at all…
        FFS – We are none of us immune to being nudged, but when the nudge systematically exploits a human frailty we should be getting bloody furious..

    • I know, funny how it’s taken them all decades to lose their faith and they’ve all lost it simultaneously.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Yes, and right on the cusp of Independence having become the majority view in Scotland. The one thing that they claim to have supported all their lives above all others. Aye right.

  91. Capella says:

    Very odd local by-election result for Leaderdale and Melrose. Every party increases number of votes but turnout is down -15%.
    Con ~ 1380 (39.9%, +8.0)
    SNP ~ 1042 (30.2%, +12.4)
    LD ~ 538 (15.6%, +6.2)
    D (Ind) ~ 159 (4.6%, +4.6)
    Grn ~ 152 (4.4%, +4.4)
    Lab ~ 115 (3.3%, +3.3)
    W (Ind) ~ 69 (2%, +2)

    Con elected stage 7.

    How is that possible? https://twitter.com/BallotBoxScot/status/1370369515595440131?s=20

  92. Capella says:

    OTOH Livingston South – SNP hold. A bad result for the Tories and Labour.
    Livingston South (West Lothian) first preference result:

    SNP: 43.9% (+3.0)
    LAB: 24.6% (-10.9)
    CON: 17.6% (-1.8)
    IND: 5.9% (+5.9)
    GRN: 4.2% (+1.7)
    LDEM: 3.3% (+1.5)
    UKIP: 0.5% (+0.5)

    SNP HOLD.
    SNP elected stage 7.

    Not watching the BBC in Livingston South? https://twitter.com/DouglasDaniel/status/1370362096706318340?s=20

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Good news indeed Capella re Livingston South and actually a very good result in Leaderdale & Melrose also when you consider (as one commenter put it) ” “Melrose is the Henley-on-Thames of The Borders “……so a 12.4% increase is not too shabby at all!

  93. giesabrek says:

    I no longer even click on Whinge over Scotland, let alone comment there. The folk on there are almost all useful idiots for the unionist cause, obsessive Sturgeon haters and unionist trolls. Don’t even click on his site, it just gives his ego the excuse to boast about his traffic. Deprive him of his publicity oxygen.

    It’s a no brainer. How did we get Indyref1? By voting for the SNP and they got a majority. How will we ever get Indyref2? Ditto.

  94. Capella says:

    A reminder of what the alternative to an SNP majority in May will be. Jacob Rees Mogg in November last year opposes the devolution settlement and plans to restore the pre-devolution “constitution”.

    The last Labour government decided to take a wrecking ball to our constitution and made a bit of a muddle with it.
    “Some of their most foolish interventions were their constitutional blunders which were out of step with many centuries of our parliamentary democracy. Blairite constitutional tinkering has weakened our parliament and has helped to divide the United Kingdom.
    “I hope that this government finds an effective way of restoring our constitution to its proper form.

    https://archive.fo/Yxgkj

    • Dr Jim says:

      People like English government’s Jacob Rees Mogg always give the game away when the say things like *our democracy* when referring to themselves, because that’s not what they mean, there’s only one democracy and that belongs to everyone equally in every country

      That’s England redefining the meanings of words once again

  95. Ian Gibson says:

    Long time lurker, fist time poster here… I think the premise of your challenge to those unhappy with the SNP’s current behaviours and trends is a bit of a trap, in that it’s too narrowly defined. What it doesn’t allow for – and this is the question with which I am desperately struggling right now – is not, what’s the alternative, but whether independence, fiercely desired as it is, is sufficient a reason to validate behaviours that simply can’t be tolerated. Putting it another way: is independence bought at such a price actually worth it? I’m still struggling with that question because, for me, independence is such a powerful goal; but a look at history tells a pretty unequivocal story that turning a blind eye poisons the very thing you do it for before it even gets off the ground. The notion that we would be in any position to sort the disastrous trends and plain corruption if a stronger SNP representation were returned is pretty wishful thinking.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Welcome to the comments on WGD.

      I’ve been hearing a lot recently of the massive corruption within the SNP and now the “disastrous trends” which is new to me. I presume you mean Scotland are currently experiencing “disastrous trends and plain corruption” caused by the SNP and that this would only be magnified by having a stronger SNP?

      What examples can you provide of these “disastrous trends and plain corruption” that you hold the SNP responsible for, you make it sound like there are plenty of examples to share with readers of WGD. I look forward to hearing about the examples you know of.

      • Ian Gibson says:

        Neutering of party member’s input to policy or control of the party with increasing control of conference.
        Suspension of members and representatives of ‘other than NS’ factions within the party on spurious grounds.
        Fixing the electoral rules to block Joanna Cherry.
        Gerrymandering the list votes in a way that not only lacks transparency but, on legal advice, is likely to be unlawful.
        The entire business of the handling of the evidence to the judicial review – withholding evidence not just from the court but their own counsel, FFS?? – to AS’s criminal trial, and to the Fabiani inquiry.
        Persisting with the judicial review when (as Gordon Dangerfield forensically shows on his blog post today) they were fully aware at a very early stage that the process was unlawful.
        Pursuit of contempt of court cases only against those journalists who ‘supported’ Alex Salmind (i.e. gave fair and balanced reports which actually just how overwhelming the defence evidence was, rather than just omitting it as nearly all the MSM reporting did) whilst blithely ignoring more mainstream reporters who identified the complainants much more clearly.
        (I acknowledge that these last three are not simply SNP mattes, but involve the government, but I think it’s inconceivable that any of that happened without political direction, however indirect.
        The willingness of many, including NS, to undermine the verdict of the jury (although this is far from exclusive to the SNP.)
        The refusal to consult with many of the groups unhappy with the HNB and GRA, despite fulsome promises so to do.

        • Ian Gibson says:

          Oh, and how could I forget this one: an admitted malicious prosecution which cost north of £100M, and no-one even gets admonished, let alone loses their job? Bloody hell, malicious prosecution – just think about that for one minute and tell me that isn’t the sort of stuff that could bring down governments?

          • Alex Clark says:

            Who has admitted to a “malicious prosecution” and where is the evidence that such a thing if it exists cost “north of £100M”?

            Ian Gibson you come across as a complete fantasist.

          • Capella says:

            The malicious prosecution was during Frank Mulholland’s time as Lord Advocate, an Alex Salmond appointee.
            Arguably, the current Lord Advocate has apologised and made amends.

            • Ian Gibson says:

              Yes, I understand that, but that doesn’t absolve the people at the head of the department taking responsibility – or it certainly shouldn’t, in any functioning state.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          The answer is very simple. Vote SNP to get Independence, and then there will be an election just as soon as Scotland actually is Independent, and then vote for whoever you want. Others will be doing the same as you.

        • Alex Clark says:

          Well, there’s a surprise, a regurgitation of the most popular conspiracy theories and reasons for attacking the SNP as espoused on Wings?

          Give me an example of NS specifically undermining the verdict of the jury?

          • Ian Gibson says:

            Try coming back with reasoned discussion, or even evidence, rather than just slurs, and I might take you seriously. Apart from which, you’re asking me to do exactly what WGD has asked not to happen. I’ve tried, honestly, to answer the question in the way he framed it. What a surprise that many of the faithful aren’t able even to hear it.

            • Alex Clark says:

              Ive just asked you for evidence of NS undermining the verdict of the jury?

              This is a claim you have made I do not need to provide evidence. You do.

  96. P Harvey says:

    Iain Gibson
    Your not the tennis player from DL & VA?

    Independence for Scotland far outweighs any fears you harbour re – SNP
    After Independence their will be a Scottish election in which everyone can vote for any party they want.
    And for the first time in a very long while Scotland will get the government it votes for
    Or, we can continue getting the Tory government England votes for – that’s the stark choice

    • Ian Gibson says:

      Not unless DL & VA are in an awful lot worse shape than I suspect they are…

      Well, that’s an opinion: perfectly legitimate, but not one I share. In my mind, they’re balanced, which is why I’m struggling. And my reading of history is that ‘sort it out after independence’ is wilfully naïve and historically poorly informed: you build a new state on those foundations, and you’ll have to go through just as big a revolution again to fix it. And no-one will have the stomach for it, or there will always be another pressing reason why ‘this is not the time…’

      • P Harvey says:

        Iain

        You say

        “ In my mind, they’re balanced”

        In my mind, it’s no choice
        Stick with Tory English government or be independent
        Independence- all the way! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

        • Ian Gibson says:

          Yes, I understand that point of view, it’s been repeated over 300 times in the comments above after WGD iterated it in his OP. I believe it to be dangerously wrong-headed, and think we would be poisoning the country we leave our children before it is even born. Perhaps someone could point me to a revolution of the sort we want that did turn out well from such a base? I certainly can’t think of one. I can think of several that emphatically didn’t.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            So what do you propose – a few hundred who think like you while the majority – 82% – think the SNP Government have made a good fist of the Covid immunisation programme with just 11% unimpressed – “punish” the SNP and at best do nothing, at worst make it a minority government meaning another 5 years of yes – you guessed it – the evil demonic SNP in government, followed by another 5 years of the evil SNP and then another 5 years of the evil increasingly geriatric SNP?

            Or all vote SNP on May 5th, SNP 1 and 2, get Independence, and then vote for the Free Corn Flakes Party for the first Government of an Independent Scotland, if you want?

            • Ian Gibson says:

              What I ‘propose’ is that validating malfeasance and corruption at the ballot box is every bit as serious a question as enabling independence. As I’ve said a number of times now, history tends to suggest that ‘just sort it out afterwards’ is not what happens.

              • Hamish100 says:

                Ian

                Let’s assume a new Scotland will not be perfect.

                It won’t, because we are human and despite our best intentions sometimes we fail and we don’t come up to the mark.

                The alternative is to stay with the lily white ( no pun intended) Tory unionist cabal who through all the years of austerity ( who suffered there?), the Profumo scandal, financial crash, Thatcher, Sir Saville and the bbc, Gove, Rees -mogul, Davidson, Johnson, Prince Andrew, Andrew Neil and MSM. Further back illegal wars with labour, even further highland clearances. Oops forgot Brexit and the 60% ignored. Have they said “ mea culpa”, will they ever?

                To stay with them is fine but surely you should tell us how Westminster & the little England era will see the light of day.

                If people wait for perfection before doing something bold St Peter will tell them that they were fools when they arrive asking for forgiveness.

                SNP 1 & 2 or SNP 1 & Greens 2

  97. Alex Clark says:

    “Suspension of members and representatives of ‘other than NS’ factions within the party on spurious grounds.”

    Care to provide some examples of SNP members that you know of who should have been and deserved to be suspended but weren’t because they were part of a “NS faction”.

  98. Capella says:

    I think visiting wingers should get out more and read around the indy supporting blogs instead of obsessing about Stuart Campbell’s pet hates.

    I appreciate that you all hate Nicola Sturgeon and love Alex Salmond. But that’s teenage talk.

    Newsnet has a good summary of the recent Court, the SPCB, the Crown decisions. Nicola Sturgeon does not run the Crown Office, the Scottish Judiciary, the Scottish Parliament Corporate Bureau, the Harassment Committee, the Civil Service and the Westminster Government.

    If you think the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon are corrupt, wait till you hear about the Tories and Boris Johnston, Matt Hancock, Michael Gove, Jacob Rees Mogg, Priti Patel and Co. That’s the alternative and you want to be stuck with them forever?

    https://newsnet.scot/news-analysis/salmond-scottish-parliament-spcb-and-crown-office/

  99. Alex Clark says:

    What evidence do you have that anyone in the SNP was involved in pursuing “contempt of court cases only against those journalists who ‘supported’ Alex Salmond”

    It’s news to me that they had such powers.

  100. P Harvey says:

    It’s not a revolution- as you say
    It’s democracy
    A people freely choosing who should run their country
    Clearly your view will not be changed and your simply baiting people and repeating your dilemma
    Many, many countries have made a great success of Independence
    Why should Scotland be any different
    You stay with Westminster if you want
    Goodbye!

    • Ian Gibson says:

      Jeez, is that the best you can do? I want independence as much as anyone here. I don’t think Scotland would be anything other than a success – unless we blow it by turning a blind eye to corruption that should not, at any time, be acceptable.

      I’ve laid out my reasoning, calmly and in full, I did it to answer the question that WGD asked. Yet you are so close-minded that you can only see that as trolling? I have to say that the quality of the discourse on here isn’t doing anything to improve my estimation of our chances if we did just press ahead. If you can’t see the legitimacy of my concerns – even if you don’t agree with them, something with which I have no problem – but see them as baiting, then you’re exactly the kind of zealot who would be manning the guillotine in a short space of time.

  101. Ian Gibson says:

    Wingers? Tennis player? Was is this about mistaking me for a sporting person…? If you’d read carefully, you’d have noticed that I introduced myself as a long-time lurker here, and I do read pretty much every other independence supporting blog (and a number of others) on the basis of getting as wide a set of viewpoints as possible. It’s nothing whatsoever to do with hating one person or supporting another: if the personalities involved had exactly reversed roles, my take on this would be not one whit different.

    I had read that Newsnet article already, and whilst I agree it provides some clarity in areas not well understood, I do have some issues with it: for instance, the claim that Lady Dorrian’s initial judgement was ‘crystal clear’; this was shown not to be the case when the Spectator went to court to get clarity on the legal position, and she changed the wording as a result (and, incidentally, characterised the position then being taken by the SPCB as ‘grotesque.’) The fact that some of the evidence which was being redacted was in the public domain all along showed very clearly that the redactions were not about complying with the terms of her order but about removing references to NS’s connections with the decisions being made.

    And, although it’s a childish accusation and barely worth an answer, no I wish very fervently not to be stuck with the Westminster toxic waste: the question is, what price am I willing to pay to be free of them? Merely having a Scottish version of the same thing is not appealing to me.

    • Alex Clark says:

      You produced a nice long list of claims of corruption and other misdoings by the SNP in recent years, I have asked you to back up your claims, on so far, three of them. Do you care to provide any evidence that will back them up or will you just keep wittering on and changing the subject?

    • Hamish100 says:

      You believe Westminster is better? You have no view of nuclear weapons, illegal wars, one of the worst covid deaths, Brexit. All is comfy in you world but you have one major failing. You assume what is now is how Scotland will be. That is nonesense

      • Ian Gibson says:

        No, I don’t believe Westminster is better. I abhor nuclear weapons as an abomination, I will never vote for Labour again until they properly disown their shame of Iraq (never mind the rest of it…) I’ll fight Sturgeon’s corner over Covid any day, and I loathe brexit for a million different reasons – so no, my political world is far from comfy. As a young man, I remember reading (IIRC) Ursula LeGuin talking about how she was getting angrier as she got older, and being shocked by it – surely, my young optimism thought, things were getting better through time? Well, now I’m older, now I understand.

        You say it’s a failing to think that choices made in the present influence the future: I say history suggests otherwise. It’s an opinion thing. The difference is that I’m not scornful of you for holding a different one. That in itself says something.

        I understand people finding this difficult and even feeling threatened by it: but if you don’t understand that the vast majority of those expressing these kind of sentiments have genuine and legitimate concerns, there’s no chance whatsoever of starting a new country in the spirit and fashion it would need to be successful. It’d be like giving the current Labour Party a country to run…

        • Alex Clark says:

          You don’t have a problem though with producing long lists of accusations of corruption and when asked for evidence of what you claim you fail to provide any at all?

          Maybe it’s time you backed up your claims of SNP corruption with evidence if you want to be taken seriously.

          • Ian Gibson says:

            Thing is Alex, I did produce one piece of evidence which showed you to be both (startlingly!) ill-informed and totally wrong in your assertion that I was a fantasist. I told you then what you needed to do for me to engage with you any further: and apart from this reminder (out of the kindness of my heart, natch) I won’t be again until that’s done.

        • Capella says:

          OK. We’ll do whatever it takes to get an independent country instated. You can join in when you feel ready.

  102. Clydebuilt says:

    Yet another troll new to site, never commented before. Out to wear down folk, with long replies. With lots of reasons for not voting SNP. That are more important than ending poverty and starvation for our kids.

  103. Eilidh says:

    Paul posted a new article hours ago and still the Bathistani bulsh*tters keep posting here I am not voting Snp because….. or the Snp are corrupt blah blah but not one answered the question posed in Paul’s article. Unbelievable. Give it a rest please. Those who are refugees from that other place are decidedly unconvincing that they are Indy supporters at all

  104. Alex Clark says:

    Apologies Paul, I’ve saw your post I’ll desist.

  105. Derek says:

    Hello, with regard to…

    ” They could introduce legislation to make future independence referendums or even plebiscite elections unlawful and put Scotland into a Catalan style trap.”

    …would that not be contrary to the act – or acts – of Union? One side can’t unilaterally change the terms of engagement/agreement.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Westminster broke articles of the Treaty of Union within a few years of 1707

      so even if it was directly in breach – that wouldn’t stop them.

      • Derek says:

        It might not stop them trying, but – by way of the internet – there’s a lot more public oversight now than there was then, so I’d suggest that any attempted breach would be less likely to succeed and more likely to be observed and commented on.

        • grizebard says:

          Uh, like Brexit foisted on us, you mean…?

          • Derek says:

            How so? The union – as a whole – voted for it so the union gets it. Doesn’t mean that it’s good for the constituent parts that didn’t vote for it, like Scotland and Norn Iron.

            I suspect that it’s legal though, as everyone was consulted. The overwhelmingly larger population of England, however, makes it a somewhat skewed result.

            We are currently part of a union. We missed a trick when we failed to disentangle ourselves from it a few years ago. I suspect that the bar might be raised for future attempts.

            • grizebard says:

              Look into it. One of the most important parts of the treaty is the guarantee of free and equal trade. It was the very threat by England to effectively blockade Scottish trade that convinced many of the “parcel of rogues” into signing, so it wasn’t some casual afterthought. Yet now we have Northern Ireland having a privileged trade position vis-a-vis the rest of the UK, where recent revelations show a stonking slump. Which is real people’s livelihoods, dammit. That is a direct breach of those terms, no less than the principal others such as law. Not that anyone would know it from the partisan media, who don’t have a backbone between the lot of them.

              And please, spare me this fable that “Britain voted for it as a whole”. That’s BritNat framing. The universal majority referendum “yes” vote here is our “casus belli”, the fundamental underpinning of a mandate for the coming referendum. It’s what will yet see us free.

              • Derek says:

                “please, spare me this fable that “Britain voted for it as a whole”

                Purely in terms of numbers, nothing else. England’s population outweighs the other parties’.

                Is britnat framing something that one might do for a portrait of T****her?

                • grizebard says:

                  “England’s population outweighs the other parties’.” Do spare us the obvious. And no, I think framing is what the new parcel of rogues have recently been trying-on with our FM.

                  But we are rather getting away from your more-amusing assertion that Union Treaty breaches are no longer possible these days because of {ahem} “media oversight”…

                  • Derek says:

                    I didn’t say. that they weren’t possible; just that they’re more likely to be noticed than in the past. The media (as in print, TV etc.) don’t seem to move much outside their comfort zones – with a few exceptions – so might not be looking for such things. The general population has much more information available to it, so if you smell a rat, know what you’re looking for and where to look, you could find the proof.

                    How can something be “obvious” and “this fable” at the same time?

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