Putting a stake through the heart of the Tories’ disrespect for democracy

I’ve made my views clear about the new Alba party and Alex Salmond’s real motivation for setting it up.  This blog will continue to advocate SNP 1 and SNP or Green 2 in the elections which are just six weeks away now and to provide a space for people who continue to support Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.  But the Alba party has been launched now, it’s a done deal, and whatever our views about the former leader of the SNP and whether this move is a help or a hindrance to the independence cause, it’s in the interests of all of us to ensure that the presence of the Alba party increases rather than diminishes the total number of pro-independence MSPs in the next Scottish Parliament and that we maximise rather than reduce the total number of votes for all the pro-independence parties. Successful and pragmatic politics means dealing with the situation we actually find ourselves in, not the situation we wish we were in.

It is doubly important that we all now work to maximise the vote for pro-independence parties and to concentrate our rhetorical fire on the Conservative and Labour parties and not on each other because even should Alex Salmond succeed in his gamble with all our futures and we win a new Scottish Parliament with a healthy and unassailable pro-independence majority, Boris Johnson and the Conservatives will only seek to shift the goalposts and will point to the total vote share received by the pro-independence parties. If that total is less than 50% they will use it to claim that the people of Scotland have rejected independence and cite that as a reason why they feel justified in resisting the democratic will of the people of Scotland to revisit the question of Scotland’s constitutional relationship with the other nations in this wet and windy archipelago sitting just off the north west coast of Europe.

It will of course be an entirely specious and hypocritical argument. The vote that Scotland faces in a few weeks time is an election not a referendum, but when did hypocrisy ever stop a Tory? Under the rules of Westminster elections, the Conservatives got a mandate to pursue their vision of Brexit despite securing less than 45% of the popular vote. Under the rules of the far more proportional and fair electoral system used for Scottish Parliamentary elections, the if the pro-independence parties win a majority of the available seats they will likewise secure a mandate to pursue their policy of a second Scottish independence referendum even if their total vote share is slightly less than 50%. Them’s the rules. The Tories don’t get to retrospectively change those rules just because the outcome was not to their liking.

Nevertheless that won’t stop the Conservatives and their allies from trying. They will be aided in their efforts by the BBC and the overwhelmingly anti-independence media. That makes it all the more important that as independence supporters we redouble our efforts to attack the anti-independence parties and rebut their arguments in order to minimise their voter appeal as much as we possibly can and by reducing the anti-independence vote to a minimum to deprive Johnson and his allies of any wriggle room.

Over in the Scotsman, the Über unionist British nationalist Brian Monteith is getting his excuses in early. In an article published today https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/alex-salmond-has-plunged-a-stake-into-the-heart-of-scottish-democracy-brian-monteith-3181513 he accuses Alex Salmond of plunging a stake into the heart of Scottish democracy. To be fair Brian knows a lot about plunging stakes into the heart because he’s a long-standing close associate of Michael Forsyth, the Thatcherite Dracula of Scottish politics. It’s pretty rich of a man who has argued that the Conservatives in Westminster should simply ignore and override the outcome of a Scottish election to argue that someone else is plunging a stake into the heart of democracy by [checks notes] standing for election in a democratic election, but as previously noted the Conservatives are no strangers to hypocrisy. They are however most definitely strangers to self awareness.

Of course what is really thrusting a stake through the heart of Scottish democracy is a Conservative government in Westminster which, without any democratic mandate for it in Scotland whatsoever has unilaterally embarked upon a weakening and hollowing out of a devolution settlement which Scotland overwhelmingly supported in the referendum of 1997 and which the people of this country were promised would be strengthened and entrenched in return for a no vote in the referendum of 2014. Yet despite receiving nothing from the people of Scotland which remotely approaches a mandate for reducing the powers of the Scottish Parliament or allowing Westminster to intervene in areas which are supposed to be devolved, that is precisely what the Conservatives are doing.

Furthermore the Tories have made no bones about their intentions to disrespect the outcome of the Holyrood elections if the people of Scotland give their parliament a mandate for a second independence referendum. It is because Scotland possesses no mechanisms within the structures of the British state as it is currently constituted in order to ensure that a British government must comply with the democratic will of the people of Scotland, and because the promises and commitments made to Scotland by the Better Together parties in 2014 have been so comprehensively traduced that so many people in this country believe that we must revisit the question of independence as a matter of urgency. The fact is that Scottish democracy faces an existential threat from this Conservative government.

The thrust of Brian Monteith’s article was to complain about the supposed unfairness of pro-independence parties gaming the system by calling on the anti-independence to game the system themselves. The Conservatives have indicated that they may not stand candidates in certain seats in order to encourage anti-independence voters to vote tactically. That only reinforces the importance of supporters of the Alba party campaigning to ensure that the SNP sweeps the board in the constituency vote, the success of their party’s super-majority strategy depends on it. As independence supporters above all we must use these elections to thrust a stake through the heart of the Conservatives’ anti-democratic vision for an emasculated and enfeebled Scottish parliament and not to shoot ourselves in the foot.

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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306 comments on “Putting a stake through the heart of the Tories’ disrespect for democracy

  1. Sophie Grace Chappell says:

    Alba is based on muddled thinking.
    They say they’re there to game the vote. But the Greens already exist, & are a much better instrument for gaming the vote.
    When you say this to Albaites, they say “Yuk! I hate the Greens!”
    If the point is to game the vote, that’s irrelevant.
    Alba are confused between standing to game the vote, and standing because they can’t abide the SNP’s and the Greens’ progressive politics.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I tend to agree with you, Sophie But unfortunately this is where we are now.

      Certainly in some of the comments I’ve seen on social media (not from anyone here I hasten to point out) from Alba supporters attacking me for continuing to advocate SNP 1 and SNP or Green 2 there has been an unmistakable whiff of homophobia. That suggests to me that those who make such comments are more interested in opposing socially progressive politics than they are in independence

      • Ian Davidson says:

        As an Alba supporter I love the Wee Ginger Dug. Truely wonderful. I plan to wait till May look at the polls and place my 2nd vote for either SNP, Green or Alba, what ever works best. The Unionists will encourage our infighting, but I know the WGD will fight them off. Go Dug!

        • Alex Clark says:

          Well said Ian, that is putting Independence above any party if you will vote SNP in your constituency too, that will maximise support for Independence in our parliament.

    • david says:

      Can anyone think of a time in British politics where tactical voting actually had a major influence? It’s been all the talk amongst certain people since the conservative/lib dem coalition. But I can’t see any proof of it working, because quite frankly, you’d have to have a crystal ball to know how the electorate is likely to vote.

      Personally I’ve always considered there is one correct way to vote. And that is for the party that aligns most closely with your beliefs or aims. Even if that party has little chance of winning.

    • granda16 says:

      Sophie,

      The idea of splitting the Indy vote was based on the (I believe) mistaken idea that the wee parties would be able to persuade SNP voters to vote for them in numbers sufficient to win seats from unionists. I absolutely agree with those who criticised the ISP and AFS for doing this.

      Alex Salmond entering the fray completely changes that rationale. I have little doubt that Alba will win at least one seat in NE Scotland. I have no idea how big the Salmond name is in other regions of Scotland, but the fact that AFS immediately withdrew from the race suggests that they (at least) think that Salmond is a game changer.

      I have been a fierce critic of the “vote-splitters”, but I agree with James Kelly of “Scot Goes Pop!” that Alex Salmond is the one name which could entice sufficient numbers of SNP voters to give their vote to a party he was associated with.

      Accordingly, I intend to vote Alba in the NE Region. I wouldn’t presume to tell others how to vote…..I am willing to explain to that’s why I’ve changed my mind about vote-splitting.

      It’s not muddled thinking, if a drastic change in circumstances changes your thinking. I think I’m being hard-headed and logical……

      • granda16 says:

        There are a couple of things I would add to the above. I think that a greater number of pro-Indy MSP’s is a good thing. As Chris says below, the difference between 19 and 25 Tories won’t make a lot of difference, but if it is possible to accomplish it, I’d prefer 19 Tories.

        However, the importance of that is minuscule compared to the REALLY important thing, which is that we ALL hope that the total number of votes for pro-Indy parties is greater than the total number for unionist parties. In this area, a majority of 50,000 would be MUCH better than a majority of 5,000, when we look forward to a referendum and international recognition.

        • granda16 says:

          And another thing. It IS possible that the total number of votes for the SNP and Alba and Greens could be greater than the SNP and Greens only.

          Who would prefer 1,000,000 votes for SNP and Greens, over 1,100,000 votes for SNP, Greens and Alba?

          I have no idea how many disgruntled SNP voters there are out there, because I live in the same social media bubble as everyone else, but there is little doubt that they will vote for Alba, if that is available to them.

          The unionists can disparage (wrongly IMO) Green votes as not being “real” independence votes. Even the most hard nosed unionist couldn’t claim that about Alba votes…..

        • Alex Clark says:

          “I have no idea how many disgruntled SNP voters there are out there, because I live in the same social media bubble as everyone else, but there is little doubt that they will vote for Alba, if that is available to them.”

          That’s absolute rubbish, only 14% of voters in Scotland have a favourable opinion of Scotland and that will include any number of “disgruntled SNP voters” who is they bother to vote at all might give it to the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, ISP or some other party.

          “Little doubt that they will vote for Alba” an assertion based on absolutely nothing other than what I assume to be wishful thinking.

          • Alex Clark says:

            Made a bit of a mess there, I meant of course only “14% have a favourable opinion of Salmond” and that includes disgruntled SNP supporters who are no more likely to vote Alba than they are any other party standing on the list in my view.

            • granda16 says:

              Alex Clark,

              You and I will just have to agree to disagree on the likelihood of disgruntled SNP supporters voting for Alba.

              As to the 14% favourable opinion of Salmond, what on earth has that got to do with Alba picking up seats? It would be a meaningful figure, if Salmond had dreams of becoming FM, but you DO know that if the14% of the electorate were to translate their favourable opinion into votes for Alba, it would yield between 12 and 15 seats, right? 14% is WAY above the threshold for winning seats. In 2016, Labour got 21 seats with 19% of the vote, while the Greens got Six seats with only 6.6% of the vote.

              I have NO idea how many folk will vote Alba in the rest of Scotland, but I DO know a bit about NE Scotland and the number of folk who still revere Alex Salmond, and while I’m an Aberdonian at heart, and so wouldn’t bet on Alba winning two seats here, I’d be happy to take bets on Alex Salmond sitting in Holyrood after the election as a sitting MSP.

              • Alex Clark says:

                I think you have no idea of how many folk will vote for Alba in the NE region which also includes Dundee and Angus. It may well be fewer than you think. A seat in Holyrood for Alex Salmond is a long way from being in the bag yet. Both you and he would be wise not to count your chickens until the votes are in.

                You know no more than any of the rest of us how the electorate will respond to this new party. That is a fact and not a guess which is what you would have us believe to be the truth.

                • granda16 says:

                  Alex Clark,

                  I see little point in exchanging opinions. We’ll know soon enough who knows more about the North East – you or me. I’ve fought tooth and nail with ISP supporters for at least a year now about their ridiculous claims as to how many SNP voters would vote for them. When I canvassed the folk I knew about the ISP taking seats, by far the most common answer was “who?”. Everyone I’ve asked so far is voting Alba, because everyone knows who Alex Salmond is…….. If I start to hear contrary voices, I’ll be sure to let you know.

                  Anyway…..time for me to put on a bet….. although I confidently predict I’ll get shite odds…….

          • aLurker says:

            Alex Clark says:

            That’s absolute rubbish, only 14% of voters in Scotland have a favourable opinion of Scotland and that will include any number of “disgruntled SNP voters” who is they bother to vote at all might give it to the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, ISP or some other party.

            Unsubstantiated assertion with added opinion.

            Show a source or this will remain utterly unbelievable.

            • aLurker says:

              posts crosed in flight. 😦

              Now I am the one wishing that there was a ‘delete’ button.

              … Although in all fairness,
              the ‘Holding their nose’ brigade argument could equally be applied to the Leader as the Party ATM.
              😉

      • I don’t think we’re all that far apart granda. I understand your rationale & appreciate your willingness to adapt if need be.

        Here in the Lothians it’s not so clear cut. 6:3 SNP:Unionist in the constituencies with 2 Greens on the list.

        Edinburgh Central is the Mooth’s seat and should be up for grabs, but it’s student territory (normally) & with them away, who knows? Edinburgh Western (LD) & Southern (Lab) are tactical voting holdouts; Tory voters propping up the other Unionists.

        If Alba do take a seat here, it’ll likely be at the expense of a Greens for no net gain.

        Pentlands could easily fall to the Tories, it’s one of their top targets, so for the moment I’m still SNP on the list, just in case things go wrong.

        I’ll want to see high numbers for the SNP before I begin to think about finessing my list vote.

        It used to be thought free around here: SNP + Margo.

        • John Muir says:

          There is a potential upside here in Lothian: keeping Alex Cole Hamilton out of Holyrood! I’m voting directly against him: for Sarah Masson here in Edinburgh West. But it’s down to all of Lothian to make sure he doesn’t bounce back in by the list. Don’t fail us!

          Cole Hamilton is the Lib Dem’s number 1 for Lothian, of course. I’ll vote for either the Greens or Alba, expressly for indyref2 and to keep him out.

      • Chris Rose says:

        Oh for goodness sake, the man may have been cleared of criminality but “inappropriate behaviour” has been accepted as his defence. If he was elected to Holyrood I would do everything in my power to dissuade any female I know from working there.

        • granda16 says:

          Chris,

          I guess I’m just old fashioned. If a jury (mostly female) finds a man not guilty of 11 of the charges brought against him, with one charge being dropped by the prosecution, and finds not proven, the charge which involved an admitted (and fully apologised for) incident, (after which the woman continued in the same job for many months), then I regard him as Innocent.

          But, for goodness sake, you just stick to your dearly held prejudices. Who am I (or the jury) to try and dissuade you?

          • weegingerdug says:

            The jury did not pass a judgement on whether Alex Salmond acted appropriately. They were not asked to consider that. they were asked whether his actions were criminal, and they found that they were not.

      • grizebard says:

        “I have little doubt that Alba will win at least one seat in NE Scotland.” There goes that crystal-ball gazing again. This is based only on your own evident admiration for Alex Salmond, and if that floats your boat, fair enough, vote away. But as yet you have no proof whatever of your assertion – such poll evidence as does exist tends to contradict you – and alas it’s wishful thinking of this ilk which has been our undoing in the past.

        • granda16 says:

          Grizebeard,

          You call it crystal ball gazing. I call it informed opinion, gathered from experience, local knowledge and common sense. I have as much proof for my assertion, as you have for refuting that assertion.

          As I’ve said elsewhere, we only have a short time to wait, to find out which of us “wild speculators” is correct.

          It is hard-headed decision making which has got us this far, but it is wishful thinking like yours that could be our undoing. Stupid people get an idea in their head and it becomes fixed. Slightly less stupid people adapt their thinking to changed circumstances.

          You have just asserted that James Kelly of “Scot Goes Pop!” Is guilty of wishful thinking, because he stated that the only person capable of “splitting the vote” successfully, was Salmond. Right up until Salmond announced the advent of Alba, I was committed to voting SNP/SNP, with a TINY part of me tempted to vote Green. Salmond’s entry has changed the whole dynamic, and if you want to bury your head in the sand and pretend that it HASN’T changed anything, and THAT floats YOUR boat, then you go ahead …… bury away……

          • Pogmothon says:

            Sorry but calling the people who’s votes you are trying to secure STUPID I suspect is not the best strategy.

            • Alex Clark says:

              Happens often, granda16 has got it into his head that the voters who don’t think like he does are stupid which is rather stupid of him and tells its own story.

            • granda16 says:

              Who’s trying to ” secure votes”? I’m giving my reasoning for why I am voting Alba. That’s all. I couldn’t care less who Grizebard votes for. I’m just pointing out that when you get fixated on an idea, and ignore how changing circumstances might change that idea, that is almost the definition of stupidity.

              If the cap fits, then just clap it on yer heid, mannie……. if it disna, then walk on by…..

    • Drew Morrison says:

      “But the Greens already exist, & are a much better instrument for gaming the vote.”

      Agreed Sophie and they are more suitable partners in any future coalition with the SNP. I struggle to find a situation where Alba and the SNP could actually work together such is the recent history and I find it hard to visualise Alba in the SP as being a constructive force for Independence. To my view, they are a party that dwell in the past not in the progressive future that Scotland needs.

    • Ian R says:

      In all the years that the Greens have been around they have failed to provide more than a handful of seats.They are not an attractive option for most voters.
      SNP2 do not do well because they do so well in the constituency vote.
      A super majority would allow the SNP to bring Westminster to the table on even terms

  2. Maggie Noakes says:

    Spot on as usual Paul.

  3. An important point to realize is that an overwhelming SNP majority is not possible. An overwhelming Independence majority is and this of course minimises the Tories.
    So the question is alba 2 or Greeens 2.
    The greens are not going away because they are there for reasons other than Independence and it makes sense to rally around them. Splitting the second vote is not quite as bad because of the D’Hondt system but nevertheless is not as efficient.

    • Chris says:

      What meaningful difference does it make if the Tories have eg 19 or 25 seats? I see very little to be gained by ‘gaming the system’ (or whatever you want to call it), when polls suggest that there is every opportunity to win a ‘clean’ mandate without resorting to any tactics that give the unionists what they’ll probably try to spin as a get out clause.

      And one other thought in terms of ‘minimising Tories’ – I think, on balance, it’s helpful to Indy to have the Tories as the main opposition in Holyrood. Frames it as SNP vs Tories, and I know who wins in terms of Scottish opinion on that one…

      • Chris says:

        But I agree with you about pushing the Green vote, if you are tempted to deviate from SNP 1 and 2.

        i think they’ve been really good recently eg the whole vote of no confidence debacle.

      • The problem is that there is slight risk in a strategy aiming for an SNP overall majority that doesn’t succeed and throws away an otherwise inevitable overwhelming Independence majority.
        In terms of the Unionists get out clause they would rather you took that risk and whatever the outcome will renege anyway

    • Why is it automatically a question of Alba or Greens on the list?

      The argument varies from region to region, especially so in SoS, but dismissing the SNP without due consideration relies entirely on 2016’s constituency vote being replicated or bettered.

      I still intend to vote SNP on the list, at this stage, as insurance against a constituency outcome like 2011’s.

      I’ll need to see some very solid polling results before I’ll begin to think my list vote can be gifted.

      • Regardless of polling and regions we can look at the mathematics with a few very reliable assumptions. We only need number crunching in explaining concepts concretely.3. Does this apply to every region of Scotland?
        The lowest number of constituency seats won in any region was in South Scotland where 4 SNP seats were won. So the handicap there was 5. So less of an issue there and the SNP did gain List seats but they could have gained more Green seats at the expense of at least a Tory seat.
        In the Highlands and Islands the SNP won 6 constituency seats and managed 1 SNP list. If the SNP2 votes were exchanged for Green 2 votes then 1 less SNP list seat would have allowed up to 3 more Green List seats and 2 less Unionists seats including a Tory seat.
        In effect the simple solution of SNP 1 and Greens 2 is the best solution in every region.

        • Sorry Patrick, I don’t care much for assumptions, reliable or not.

          I have a scientific background & variable remains a variable until we know otherwise. In this case, after the votes are counted.

          There is far too much faith being invested in 2016’s constituency numbers. Any projections based on those are highly dubious in my book.

          Until such time as my risk/reward analysis tells me otherwise, I’ll be voting SNP on the list as insurance (or an each way bet) just in case the constituencies are a let down.

          If it’s looking like a sweep for the SNP, then I’ll reassess.

          I certainly won’t be overly concerned about indy parties having a huge majority; anything workable will do just fine.

          • Yes we don’t need to look at the 2016 numbers.
            That was my point.
            The assumptions are virtual certainties. Namely the Greens will be large enough to get past a minimum threshold and they will get less constituency seats than the SNP.
            After that it’s maths. ( numberless)
            It’s an oxymoron to wait until we see what the last minute Polls are before we advise in changing the vote unless of course it is procrastination so as not to change what many of us see as misunderstanding.

      • granda16 says:

        Drew, I absolutely agree with you about the variation from region to region. My decision to vote Alba would be far less certain if I lived in South Scotland, rather than NE Scotland.

        Every yes voter needs to evaluate the chances in their own region. If I lived in South Scotland, and there was the slightest doubt about the constituency vote, I would almost certainly vote SNP/SNP, but I’ve always been “belt and braces”. If there was a doubt in my mind that a) Alba wouldn’t win a seat in NE Scotland, or b) that there was a chance of the SNP winning less constituency seats than last time, then I would be voting SNP/SNP.

        Alba COULD be the icing on the cake, but the MOST important thing, is that the SNP cake is big enough…..

        • We crossed there granda, while you were writing this, I was replying to you above; with my take on the Lothians.

        • Clachangowk says:

          The problem in all this is that the great majority of voters will have no idea about the different variations from region to region. All this talk is going on in our own bubble or echo chamber.
          I can see that Alex Salmond might attract votes but it will be by his name only; Alba party will mean nothing to the majority of voters.
          What I do know as mentioned already is that both votes SNP is absolutely essential in South of Scotland. Alba have already put names forward to fight the list here. Makes me wonder what their real agenda is.

          • grizebard says:

            If Alba are truly on the list in South of Scotland, they aren’t allies, they’re wreckers. Simple as that. They couldn’t have made it any more obvious except if they had made a big flashing neon sign. That’s offering direct succour to the enemies of independence, there’s no two ways about it. All this fancy talk of “supermajority” is then an outright deception, and we shouldn’t let ourselves be fooled otherwise by any wormtongue on here or elsewhere.

            • granda16 says:

              Grizebeard,

              I don’t know the answer, so this is is a genuine question. Were you as vehemently against IFS and AFI, as you are against Alba?

  4. Great article Paul.
    Hope you are recovering well.
    Please take care and stay strong..

  5. Dennis Power says:

    I agree with you Paul, that’s why Dross is cramping himself because he can see the damage ALBA could do. Remember AS quoted “you haven’t seen the last of my bonnet and me”
    I think he knew what he was doing back then. I’m sticking to SNP 1&2, but can see the appeal to some folk towards the newly formed party.

    • heilan' loon says:

      He knew from the minute he lost the seat at Westminster he would be back, in fact I remember a tv interview saying he would return to politics at Holyrood 2021, Each region is different, some need SNP1+2, but to me, the Greens are too similar to the SNP in policies, and that doesn’t make a good opposition. Also, the Greens have stated they are standing for constituency seats in competition to all the other parties inc the SNP but at times they have gone against the SNP looking at gaining votes, remember the OBFA, or how many times has Ross Greer attached SNP policiy

      I respect Paul for his political stance but he should also respect others, by stating homophobia is a trait in the Alba support is not a good comment, Yes they disagree with the proposed GRA as did the ISP, but even the ISP was more to do with the proposed legislation rather than being against transgender folks.

      Let us all just get Holyrood to a more proportional representation, why should parties rejected by voters in the constituency then get so many MSPs in through the back door on sometimes tens of thousands votes less than the SNP who still won the list vote as well.

      They might say it is gaming the system, but the unionists have been gaming the system since Holyrood reconvened, uniting against independence parties, the unionists to say it plainly are shitting themselves, and so they should be, many will be getting a P45 if we vote smartly, maybe even get shot of Annie Wells who doesn’t even recognise Holyroods powers.

      • weegingerdug says:

        Sorry but when I am subject to attacks that are clearly motivated in part by homophobia I am not going to remain silent about it. It is a fact – however much you dislike it – that some people who identify as Alba party supporters have insulted and vilified me in ways which are clearly partially motivated by homophobia . I have also seen Alba supporters online sharing homophobic memes. That in no way implies that all Alba supporters are motivated by homophobia – but it is nevertheless a fact that homophobia remains an issue in Scotland and if I see it – from whatever source, I’m going to call it out.

        • granda16 says:

          Paul,

          You are one of the most inspiring speakers I have heard (I travelled to Elgin to listen to you talk a few years ago), and I will stand beside you against homophobia, wherever it comes from. Homophobia is a dying phenomenon in Scotland (not quickly enough for my taste) but it still exists, in Alba, in the SNP, in the Labour Party, in the Lib Dems, in the Tories, and all we can do is to keep educating people).

        • granda16 says:

          If someone is making homophobic attacks on you, then you have a perfect right to counter their homophobia. What has their membership of a political party got to do with their homophobia? I know a few homophobes who are SNP supporters, but I don’t tar the SNP with that brush. (I’m a SNP member). If I met a black person who was homophobic, I’d comment on his homophobia. I certainly wouldn’t mention the colour of his skin, which would be (rightly) viewed as an attack on black people.

          • weegingerdug says:

            they were Alba party supporters attacking me for not supporting the Alba party – that’s what their party has got to do with it. Once again I am NOT saying all Alba party supporters are homophobic, but it remains true that all the homophobia I have experienced in recent days has come from Alba party supporters

            • granda16 says:

              Paul,

              Fair enough……

            • Sophie Grace Chappell says:

              To back up what Paul says, I’ve seen plenty of homophobia from Alba supporters. And I will add that they are even worse on transphobia. They’re absolutely up to their ears in it; at times at the moment it seems like transphobia is Alba’s main policy. I’ve heard plenty of that from them in the last couple of days.
              I’m all for mutual respect. But some of the Alba supporters are showing trans people in Scotland absolutely no respect at all. They’re abusive, and insulting, and they’re scare-mongering.
              Most of the people behaving like this are angry white middle-aged people with a long track-record of just loving conspiracy theories. You know, like a certain Ghanaian tourist authority.
              I wouldn’t touch Alba with a bargepole. And I don’t think they have any real sense of how out of touch they are with under-30 voters in Scotland. The SNP and the Greens have a much better sense of what young people care about, and that’s partly why they don’t buy into this rather horrible bigotry.

              • weegingerdug says:

                I have to agree, any homophobia I’ve had to deal with is as nothing compared to the torrents of transphobia. that are being spouted.

                • Sophie Grace Chappell says:

                  To be honest it frightens me.
                  Scotland used to be *markedly* more trans-friendly than Tory England. That wasn’t the main reason why I became a Yes supporter in 2016, but it wasn’t irrelevant either.
                  Now Scotland is in serious danger of becoming far more transphobic than England, not because of the Tories, but because of alt-right Indy supporters.
                  I am beginning to worry about my personal safety.

        • Davie says:

          “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.”

          Paul, I hope you will be holding those mouthing off about their dislike of Alba to account in the same manner? As with those slandering Alex Salmond?

          Having read your comments section, it certainly seems as though you are not?
          I think we have to remember ALBA stand for independence and nothing else and we need to realise we are all on the same team.

          As a long time independence supporter and, to date, a loyal SNP member and voter, I have decided I will vote Alba with my list vote.
          Whilst trying to make constructive argument on social media, I have been accused of stupidity and naivety, called a splitter, divisive and a traitor. Decried as a unionist. As have those who share my point of view.
          I’ve witnessed Alba voters slagging off the SNP loyal and those looking towards the Greens and witnessed the SNP 1 + 2 brigade slagging off Alba/Green in equal measure. What I have not seen a lot of in the least few days is indy supporters attacking the unionists.

          Now I don’t doubt for a second you have faced the homophobic slurs you mention and that is completely unacceptable, but your insinuation is no different from those that try to link racism to Brexiteers or anti-English racism to ourselves. There are no doubts that those within the ranks of Brexit have dished out racist abuse or that there are Scottish independence supporters who have made derogatory comments about the English online.
          Your article talks of working together and the first comment I see from you in the comment section is making insinuations about Alba supporters, their views on homosexuals and political motivations and I’m sure you know what you are doing there. I am voting Alba because I believe it is the best move to maximise the pro-independence movement. Yet the first thing I see in the comment section leaves me feeling I need to defend myself.

          The abuse and divisive talk needs to stop from all sections of the independence movement Paul.
          All sides.

          • weegingerdug says:

            I was very careful not to tar all Alba party supporters with the same brush. I am not going to stop calling out homophobia. As I said, it is a fact that over recent days I have seen some Alba Party supporters attack me in ways clearly motivated by homophobia. I’m not going to stop calling it out just because it makes you uncomfortable. Take it up with the homophobes not with me, because from where I am sitting it looks like you have far more of an issue with me calling out the homophobia I’ve been subject to than with the actual homophobia itself.

            • dmckenzie1980 says:

              Well from where I am sitting I can assure you you would be very very wrong to think that.

              The past few days I have spent little time doing anything other than fire fight between independence supporter, asking them, as your article does to focus their arguments on the opposition, not on each other.
              I have told people if they don’t like Alba/Salmond, use their second vote on Green, if they don’t like Green contesting constituency seats then vote Alba. Everyone needs to vote SNP 1, regardless of your feelings towards Nicola and/or SNP
              We need to work together and stop hating each other.

              I have witness all manner of abuse and insults hurled at fellow independence supporters, at each of the parties and Salmond and Sturgeon in particular. I’ve challenged that abuse, which was of a wide and varied nature. I’m glad to say I have not witnessed homophobic abuse or I can assure you I would have challenged that too. However those who abused you were not here to be held to account so I did not feel it necessary to say anything more than I found it unacceptable.

              However, that was not the main point of my post. The point I was trying to make (which you failed to address) is there is now a deep divide in the independence movement, one that the unionist parties and their supporters will be revelling in. The Salmond/Sturgeon debacle of late has cut the support almost completely in two.
              I hold both Sturgeon and Salmond in the highest regard as politicians, I believe we owe both an enormous debt for the commitment they have made to the cause of independence and the progress the movement has made under both of their leadership. They now stand as the leaders of the two parties best placed to take us further than we could have imagined until recently and for that we will need them to work together.
              Other than that I don’t want to be drawn on their personal issues, Alex was found innocent by a jury of his peers and Nicola cleared of all wrong doing by two separate enquiries.

              I have had more than enough of Wings over Scotland and their attacks on the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon and my worry is that I see the same partisan leanings here.
              We need to stop attacking each other and work together, I actually made my way to the comments section, (which I don’t usually do, I usually just read the articles) to tell you it was a well written article. The first post of yours I see you are sticking the boot into Alba supporters.
              I fully support you in calling out homophobia and I can only give you my assurance and hope that you believe me, I would call it out too if I see it. However the implications and insinuations in your post were clear, just as the above response is, however indirectly you try to say it.

              I believe we need work together and promote all pro-independence parties, particularly now that the only ones on the scene all have a realistic opportunity to contribute towards a large Holyrood majority.
              If you don’t like Salmond, Sturgeon or Harvie for that matter, leave it to the unionists and the MSM to tear into them, they won’t need any encouragement. Vote for those you can stomach and keep your anger and bitterness for the real opposition.

              • Alex Clark says:

                “The Salmond/Sturgeon debacle of late has cut the support almost completely in two.”

                In terms of personal support, you are most certainly way off the mark, the polls tell you that with Salmond way below Sturgeon in approval ratings among all Scots and massively below when it comes to SNP voters alone.

              • Pogmothon says:

                This is not a house to which in past decades the police attended only to leave quoting “it’s a domestic” or “try not to make him angry mrs”. You deal with your own house, if it contains homophobes that is your problem. And it doesn’t require other people to keep quite about it to sort it. When you’ve put your own house in order. Then we may consider listening to your plea for quite. And do not ever think to imply that the head of this should remain quite or tone down because your house is cast in a bad light by something abhorrent to us all.

                • dmckenzie1980 says:

                  “My house”?
                  You seem to be missing my point here.
                  My house is your house.
                  I am an independence supporter, we are part of one and the same movement.
                  I am an SNP member and long time supporter.
                  I suspect I only see the political mathematics of Holyrood elections slightly different to you, nothing else.
                  You see, Alba supporters are not “They”. Alba supporters are us.
                  These people and their abhorrent views exist within our movement but it is convenient for you to tell me it’s my house, not yours.

  6. P Harvey says:

    Great post once again Paul – how do you do it, time after time!
    Let focus on maximising the Independence vote
    But you take it easy and ignore the haters

  7. yesindyref2 says:

    OT. Well, it looks like I’ll be barred from posting on The National from tomorrow as I don’t take any subscriptions, but do buy The National paper copy a fair bit – or as of now used to. With my irregular finances I don’t commit to any regular payments if I don’t have to.

    Problem for them is that they won’t get any undecideds or soft NOes below the line either, which does seem to take away much of the point of having a pro-Indy Paper, apart from talking in an echo-chamber – or having the usual Sturgeon vs Salmond battles btl 🙂

    I think it’s stupidity on stilts, but Baird only replied to views that agreed with him and totally ignored the rest.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The paper was having a real problem with trolling in the comments section. They are trying to prevent it descending into the childish mess of the Herald or Scotsman’s comments. It’s not at all about censoring people who don’t agree with the editor.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Comments below the line ADD to the value, not subtract. It even helps revenue. What they should do is employ a full time moderator, like the Calum of old from the Herald.

        A few times I had to reply to him during Indy Ref 1 to accept the terms and conditions of posting aftger he deleted a post I went too far with, he was a good guy. So did DDM, AG, others, and even OBE. We had a good laugh about it.

        OBE (unionist) actually contributed quite a lot, I used to use his postings as a good platform to add another 4 paragraphs of no more than 4 lines each to expand on a point hopefully without boring people. If the forum then was all “Isn’t Independence going to be great?”, “Yes it is, wonderful”, “Oh, I love Independence”, “I’m going to vote YES”, it would have had absolutely no value at all.

        Anyways, it’s their paper, not mine, and now it’s their below the line as well, no entrance for the general public, the 4.1 million voters, unless they pay. I’ll be on the Herald until kicked off, and then maybe back to the Grun – or even new fields like the Record or Sun.

        Or just have more time to myself. The house and garden do need some attention …

  8. Margaret Barrie says:

    Excellent article again, Paul. Fair, perceptive and balanced. Wish I could say the same about comments on Twitter from Alba supporters. All this mindless hate and venom against other Indy supporters, does not bode well. Some of them seem more than a little confused as to who the Opposition are.

    You are doing an amazing job, Paul, but I do hope you take time out to switch off and get some down time. Arrangers!

  9. All good words Paul. I take no sides. Like most, its indy for me not personalities. All indy supporters should make the shift toute suite into the political landscape that is the sudden and new reality, and do it with grace and positivity. There is no option now but to hope and try and make this work.

    • grizebard says:

      How, exactly?

      It was already too late for an understanding, bridges burnt by you-know-who among others – and now it’s super-late. With the vast majority of SNP voters entirely indifferent at best. And all we can see on offer are the fond hopes of a few online zealots that a man with a tarnished personal reputation will somehow magically change all that in the next week or so, without any evidence. It’s painfully amateur, the persistent curse of the independence movement.

      This is a total distraction, and it won’t end well. The best we can do is totally ignore them.

  10. bringiton says:

    The unionist parties in Scotland have been effectively operating as the Scottish Unionist Party since 2014,so their “threat” to stand down certain candidates in certain constituencies is nothing new.
    At least,this election is clear,it is either independence or bust and so long as all parties declare their stance on holding a referendum,there should be no confusion about the outcome.
    This is about the right of the people of Scotland to decide their future and not just those who support the SNP or Tory political parties.
    It is an election about a referendum.
    No ambiguities.

  11. Arthur Thomson says:

    Thanks for that Paul, with which I agree entirely.

    I hope you are getting fit and strong, for your sake and ours.

  12. Alex Clark says:

    That Monteith article is a belter and exactly what I would have expected from an ex-Brexit Party MEP. He does appear to be undeniably concerned that somehow people’s vote will give Independence supporting parties a majority in Holyrood come the May elections.

    He is also attempting very much to whip up support for an official or even unofficial coalition between the Unionist parties to withdraw candidates from standing from constituency seats and encouraging their voters to get behind the Unionist candidate most likely to win. In that scenario, you will have Labour voters voting for a Tory candidate and vice versa.

    This ploy wouldn’t have to be that widespread to threaten winning seats from the SNP where the result is currently close. That makes it absolutely necessary to vote SNP in the constituency and if ANY constituency in your region is also threatened by such a ploy by the Unionist parties then it would make sense to vote also for SNP in the list as a form of insurance.

    No majority, no 2nd referendum so use your votes wisely.

    • Exactly Alex, insurance vote not wasted vote. Few people see home insurance as waste, even if they don’t like the cost.

      It’s arguable that sweeping some regions and doing very well in others was what cost the majority achieved in 2011; where the list seats complimented a good, but not spectacular, constituency performance. It would be the irony of ironies if 2016’s constituency vote cost a majority this time too.

  13. Potter says:

    Sorry, not buying the be nice to each other line. Salmond is more of a threat to Indy than the Unionists. The damage has been done, we won’t see Indy anytime soon.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Sorry, not buying “we won’t see Indy anytime soon.”

      • Potter says:

        Salmonds intervention is a dream for the Unionists, he toxic with voters. Far from a Supermajority his intervention splitting the list vote will cost an Indy majority, sad but true.

        • Potter says:

          Because of Salmonds intervention the Tories are now going to withdraw candidates in places they have no chance in. That’s a game we will lose.

        • Alex Clark says:

          Your crystal ball might need cleaning as your prediction is looking a bit iffy since SNP supporters still intend to vote for the SNP in the constituency seats and the last poll I saw predicted that would result in 71 seats for the SNP.

          An Indy majority in Holyrood requires just 65 seats so even ignoring any gains by the Alba party, the likelihood is an Independence supporting majority of MSP’s between the SNP and Greens alone.

        • No it won’t, whoever you are. Is your name Monteith?

    • Sorry, not buying the be nice to each other line…….. except paul isnt selling that line, what paul is selling is the dont be nasty to each other line. not the same.

      if you must aim both barrels at someone, try the unionists. bojo is far more a threat to scottish indy

  14. Lynn Fraser says:

    Women won’t vote for Green’s and SNP as No2. Their position on Womens Sex Based Rights makes it untenable. I reply not to convince you but to make you aware of how deeply this conviction is held amongst women.

    I left SNP on Friday and joined ALBA. I was a committed activist, out in all weathers, ABranch Organiser, Womens Officer and CA delegate. My husband and son followed me. The level of harrasment at all levels in SNP is intolerable. No one is listening. My Branch had the man who targetted Jo Cherry as a member, SNP lied about his membership status and continue to do so. He was terminated after the event on 4th Feb. The same man has had access to my personal details for the duration of his membership and lives in my community. SNP wouldn’t even acknowledge this to the Branch.

    Many of my female SNP friends have left too. We don’t feel comfortable anymore in the party. I have emailed Nicola Murrel Brown Nat Sec MP MSP trying to get my personal complaint against a current member resolved since June 2020…nothing. He carried out his abuses on Social Media with our Branch Banner in his hand.

    SNP has serious issues and all the people flocking to ALBA know that. Rather than slandering us they should be taking a look at why and asking the questions. But SNP will not do it.

    Its a sad state of affairs, but it is where we are. SNP could have addressed and fixed most if this last year. You have to wonder, why they didn’t.

    Yours for Indy Lynn.

    Get Outlook for Android

    ________________________________

    • Alex Clark says:

      More women support the SNP and Independence now than did under Alex Salmond’s leadership.

      • LAC says:

        Very true, we have three women voters in our family all previous no to Indy now all yes voters thanks to the FM. We were not Salmond fans last time, and we are still not. SNP 1&2.

    • Eilidh says:

      You forget one thing most women are mere voters like me not members of any party and I do not know any woman (and I know lots) who has a problem with GRA particularly as the implementation of any legislation relating to that has been suspended for a year now. I say that as a committed feminist

    • David says:

      From the few conversations I’ve had with women I know about the election, they day the won’t vote for Alex Salmond as they think he is a creep. Now that may or may not be deserved, but it seems to be a relatively popular view.

    • Legerwood says:

      Lynn,
      What is the SNP’s position on sex based rights for women?

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      “Women won’t vote for Green’s and SNP as No2. Their position on Womens Sex Based Rights makes it untenable”.

      I will.

      And so will many women, especially non-SNP members, since their views on Alex Salmond make it untenable.

      I reply not to convince you but to make you aware of how deeply this conviction is held amongst women.

      • Petra says:

        Women’s Sex Based Rights versus Women’s rights. Who to vote for? Ironic in a way don’t you think?

        • iusedtobeenglish says:

          I wouldn’t know, Petra.

          I’m a simple person-in-a-female-shaped-package who doesn’t actually understand the difference between Sex Based Rights and Women’s Rights. Alas…:)

  15. we should hit the unionists where they are weakest, the eu, exports, especially food and drink, erasmus, free movement, independence may mean a border with england but it will mean the removal of the border in the irish sea between scotland and NI.

    as for a unionist coalition, they already win the majority of their seats on the list. no coalition will increase that

    in the constituencies that the unionists do hold presently, the unionist voters already vote tactically to keep out the snp.

    as long as the snp poll above the 2016 constituency level of 46.5%, there is every chance the snp will win a majority on constituency votes alone. the actual number of snp constituencies won will be less important than the over all support for snp in the constituency vote, eg, better 51% and 65 seats than 49% and 69 seats.

    we can only do what we can do until the results come in. the better they are the better for all of us. but beyond that, its difficult to know what will happen next, that will be down to boris’s reaction

    • Pogmothon says:

      Agree whole heartedly.
      Heard an ad on radio forth today. Basically saying the wastemonster government has departments and plans to help you develop your export trade and smooth the paperwork.
      After they have destroyed 80% to 90% of it and created all the extra paperwork.

      Isn’t hypocrisy wonderful.

  16. yesindyref2 says:

    Cat, I think WGD was trying to make the point we should talk about positive things all Indy supporters can share, rather than pushing our own version of SNP v Alba v Greens and flooding btl with that sort of stuff …

    • Eilidh says:

      Exactly my thoughts entirely

    • i thought he was saying turn your guns on the unionists, eg, the fishermen have been well and truely screwed by brexit, thats obvious to all dads, regardless of which indy faction, or none, you belong to.

      to that end, i was also focusing on what the unionists were planning, re tactical voting and how that effects all of us.

      i also pointed out the importance of snp getting 50%+ in the constituency vote and that regardless of the actual result for any party in May what happens after will depend on bojos reaction. once the results are in we will all be in the same boat. at that point, either we hang together or we will surely hang separately. going forward after may, we will all be facing the same enemy

    • jfngw says:

      We have spent probably three days having a slagging match about voting, most who post here are not going to change their views about the best vote outcome, I see little point in wasting more time on it.

      It now needs the independence parties to drive some narrative, the media are not going to cover the negatives that Brexit has reaped on Scotland (the BBC have no intention of highlighting any of the issues affecting Scotland unless it is to the detriment of independence). Bloggers and online platforms only have a limited reach, it needs the big political hitters to move this onto the agenda the media will find hard to ignore.

      • i think the common goal should be show how badly the fishermen have suffered from brexit, before brexit the tories held the fishermen up as the cause celeb. they have now dropped them like hot potatoes.

        the eu is a very difficult subject for both lab and lib dems. we should focus on these issues.

        i get dads and paul pointing out that we should focus on the positives bvut it depends on how you frame the issues, rejoining the sm/cu would benefit fishermen and farmers and it cant hurt to point out the unionists betrayal and lies to them. the returning/exiled brexit supporting brits are also experiencing the sharp end of this betrayal

        why not highlight it?

        • Alba could do with adopting a positive on the EU.

          I don’t see how they can attack Brexit if they as evasive on EU membership, can you?

          • yes i do see how they can do this. im very pro eu, believing in a united states of europe, the euro and a standing european army.

            however, independence should be followed with the launch of £scots and immediate accession to efta. Why, cos to join the euro we would still need to launch the £scots, also, immediately joining efta would instantaneously restore our access to the single market and the customs union, which presently is hammering our export market (i read 98% of scottish salmon exports have collapsed sin jan?)

            joining as an eu member would take at least 2 years and i doubt we would have a food and drinks industry left in 2 years.

            what type of eu membership we want is something we can discuss at our leisure, once indy and in efta

        • jfngw says:

          There is nothing wrong with highlighting it but i suspect nearly everyone that comes to these blogs already are pretty much aware of it already. I don’t want to end up believing we are winning because we are all in agreement BTL on various blog sites.

          That’s why it needs good communicators (not me as after trying to persuade a couple of unionist friends the benefits of independence in 2014 they were more unionist at the end than when I started), I don’t believe everyone has the capability to present information in a coherent manner and be able to field negative questions, I’m too volatile.

          • politicians read these blogs and arguments made here often end up in the mouths of those defending indy in the msm, indeed, alex jibe about there being more giant pandas in scotland that tory mps was lifted straight from a comment made btl in a wings blog post

        • Petra says:

          ”i think the common goal should be show how badly the fishermen have suffered from brexit.”

          And privatisation of the NHS is something that we should be shouting our mouths off about, imo.

          I’d also like to see Paul repost his article on countries that control their own media like a small part of Moldova called Gagauzia. Then again it might not be Gagauzia 😀. Somewhere in that region anyway.

  17. boskie says:

    Look forward to your writing daily Paul please keep it up , I also abandoned the Vile little man from WOS I have never in my life met a creature who loves himself as much as he does.
    The only vote I am certain of at the moment is SNP 1st, I am torn between SNP, Greens or Alba for my 2nd vote. Trying to judge how to hurt the unionists the most and which party would have the most chance of cutting the seats available to them, the last election the SNP list vote was roughly same as Tory and Labour put together and didn’t gain another seat, as there were 4 list Tories and 2 list Labour MSPs managed to use the systems without getting directly voted for in person.

  18. one thing that did come out from the comments yesterday was the lack of genuine knowledge as to how well Alba will do, there was a poll back in june last year that showed sizable support for a list party led by alex, but im unsure if this data is still valid today. we wont really know until we see some opinion polls with voting intentions for Alba on the list.

    • A C Bruce says:

      James Kelly – Scot goes POP – plans one soon.

    • Capella says:

      I was once in favour of voting for the ISP and would have welcomed Alex as a member to boost support. But now now. Not after the events of the past months. So that poll won’t be valid IMO.

      Nicola Sturgeon has worked her socks off this past year fighting the pandemic, attacks from Alex Salmond and the Harassment Committee members and the VONC. She doesn’t deserve the threats and smears still emanating from the people who support the Alba party.

      I will vote SNP 1 and 2. Other people must vote with their conscience.

      • granda16 says:

        I have never been in favour of voting for the ISP. I have argued vociferously against those who advocated voting other than SNP/SNP if you are a SNP voter, and SNP/Green, if you are a Green voter. I considered those who advocated voting ISP to be charlatans and chancers.

        I have been a fervent admirer of Nicola Sturgeon since before she became party leader, and have loved the way she has handled the sceptics who (falsely IMO) accuse her of “dragging her heels” when it comes to obtaining independence. She has been an inspiration to all of us. She definitely doesn’t deserve the smears directed at her by anyone, including those who support the Alba party. Having said that, Alex Salmond didn’t deserve the animus directed at him by certain folk, some of whom lied to try and get him imprisoned. (I do not consider Nicola Sturgeon to be among those people).

        I agree with James Kelly of “Scot Goes Pop!” that voting for ISP would be a wasted vote, but that voting for a Salmond-led party would have a realistic chance of picking up seats from unionists. Accordingly, I intend to vote SNP/Alba in NE Scotland. Other people must vote with their conscience.

        • Alex Clark says:

          Who lied to try and get Alex Salmond imprisoned? Can you direct me to your evidence for that statement?

          • Alex , you do not have to prove a lie in court.
            If you do not know this by now here is something to keep in mind.

            If people think you lied , that is enough to damage your reputation its happened to a lot of people over the years.
            The AS court case like many court cases is often unable to prove a lie so if you seek evidence of a lie best look at the court proceedings which will show you that on several occasions evidence given against AS was discounted as unproven and unlikely and even not possible you cant be in two places at one time .
            Balance of probability does not require proof that something is truthful or a lie.

            On the face of it if you have ten charges against a person and in nine of them they are found not guilty with the tenth not proven you have a choice

            you can believe the accused is guilty of ten offences but the court just could not prove it in any of the ten cases

            or you can believe that the prosecution in all or some of the ten cases were not telling the truth.

            I suppose it depends to a great extent on how much faith you have in the justice system.
            Very little i would say if you think there were ten out of ten erroneous decisions by the court

            To further compound matters there was evidence that procedures leading up to the court case were suspiciously irregular with civil servants employed by westminster but working in Scotland being found to have colluded with the plaintiffs after denying having done so.

            Proof is always difficult to provide in cases like this where two people might well be alone together , ten cases involving the same person certainly looks suspicious but then the details of the ten cases on examination were showing that to the court that much of what was presented as evidence simply was not true.

            The court could have gone for ten “not proven “ verdicts
            But they didnt
            They felt that the evidence was unreliable

            As individual members of the public we have an opinion based on our personal lives and experiences and of course existing views of the personality involved.

            Finally my own viewpoint is that if a person is charged with ten crimes and is not found guilty in any of them i personally believe they deserve the benefit of the doubt i say that in this case because as i said earlier not one of the charges led to a guilty verdict not one, ten separate cases ten different people with all their legal representation .

            We cannot ignore the fact that the ten were bot unknown to each other or to the civil servants who contacted them.

    • Petra says:

      A WoS poll SC. Someone posted it again on one of his latest articles.

  19. Kane says:

    I’m curious about the following comment you made:

    “Under the rules of Westminster elections, the Conservatives got a mandate to pursue their vision of Brexit despite securing less than 45% of the popular vote.”

    Did they not get above 50% in the referendum for Brexit? I understand the once in a generation Independence Referendum failed to do so.

    • weegingerdug says:

      December 2019 was an election not a referendum. Johnson claimed the result of that election gave him the mandate to implement the version of Brexit of his choosing. But you knew that.

    • Calum says:

      A generation is 7 years. In any case that old chestnut is a lie. When pressed AS said the generation thingy was in HIS opinion only . The Scottish people will have a referendum whenever they want.

      • Tam the Bam says:

        “Once in a generation” was a figure of speech for goodness sake.
        You certainly wont find it contained in The Edinburgh Agreement .
        Every time a yoon casts that line up .. just reply…..” Why isnt Boris lying dead in a ditch?”

  20. boskie says:

    Should have read SNP list vote was roughly the same in MY AREA

  21. Petra says:

    You’ve got to laugh Brian Monteith when he says, ”The once-hallowed concept of providing proportionality in the outcome of voters’ intentions is, thanks to Alex Salmond, being put to the sword.”

    One wonders why he’s not been complaining about the status quo at Westminster before now.

  22. astytaylor says:

    Just my 2 cents worth from Canada this morn.
    everytime i fly back to Glasgow and see the rack of newspapers and glance at the headlines, i think “what a load of crap and propaganda”
    and when i go north to stay with my dad, and watch the BBC news with him, i think similar thoughts.
    These feel like exciting times. Keep the heid an’ keep yir eye on the ball.
    Play the ball, not the man.
    Ah hope ye unnerstan’.
    (bad poetry, is me. Don’t ya see?)
    Ps; bring on the Faroe Islands, ya beauty. One of our near neighbours. Treat them with respect and kindness, They’re a darned good team for a wee nation.
    Pps; 2 cents rounds down tae zero these days in Canada, as they got rid o’ the cent. But still; mony a mickle maks a muckle, See ya.
    @james mill, from yesterday, jags roll out a bit slow here, maybe late summer for youngsters like me. Take care all.

    • James Mills says:

      Astytaylor : That’s twice you’ve got my name wrong . If it happens again I’ll think about a change under deed poll ! LoL !

  23. Jacksg says:

    I came across this yesterday posted by our friends in Wales.

    It is a Memorial Lecture given in 2017 by the actor Michael Sheen. For those who have not had the pleasure yet, you should watch it.

    There are numerous mentions of the scots, but two things struck me whilst watching, The first was the shared history between Wales and Scotland particularly our relationship with the English state, and the second was that this man has missed his calling.

    Enjoy 😊

  24. raineach says:

    I suppose much depends on polling data and whether the Alba crew are viable anywhere. In order to make an informed decision we need to know this on election day. Election day is mid-April. If Alba are doing well, then maybe, but without clear evidence then caution is best and that’s either the SNP or Greens on the list. My informal feed back is running around 15 – 1 against, btw

    • granda16 says:

      My decision to vote Alba in NE Scotland might change if the poll coming shortly from “Scot Goes Pop!” Indicates that Salmond’s popularity has waned.

      However, among my friends, family and neighbours, the feeling is almost unanimous that they are going to vote Alba, because Salmond is still a revered figure here. (I live in his former constituency).

      Unless the polling throws up a surprise, I’ll be voting Alba, and (IMO) it’s quite possible that a second seat could be won in NE Scotland on Salmond’s coat tails. The Greens could suffer quite badly in this region because of Alba. I know quite a few SNP supporters who voted Green last time, but will definitely vote Alba this time……

  25. 2p3rf3ct says:

    SNP1/2 in Highlands (where I am) and South Scotland. They are strong Lib/Tory areas, and the SNP get list seats – any competition – Alba for example will take seats from the SNP.

    For all the rest, it is far easier, by moving SNP2 to Green2 in relatively small numbers to get rid of a lot of Tory – Red and Blue and Orange.

    But for Alba to have an impact it has to take Unionist seats – meaning it will take some SNP and Green as collateral. That is the gamble.

    40-50k Alba2 in the central regions would have a serious impact – but be astonishingly hard to get.

    Upping the SNP vote on SNP2 can get a few list seats, but ….

    I hope Alba flops, Greens flourish and the supermajority is SNP/Green – Alba seem only able – so late into the game – to be able to remove SNP/Green list seats.

  26. Tomorrow night, the Hon Sarah Smith is set to ‘chair’ a ‘Leader’s Debate’ on BBC Plantation Quay, with an invited audience.9Aye, richt.)
    We all know the format by now.
    This will be the Linesman Dross’ first outing, and Millionaire Dentist Sarwar’s, and Wee Willie Winkie, whose party consists of 5 MSPs, on 5,25 of the vote last time will be given a full share.

    This loose and politically poor mish mash of Britter Togethers will deploy the same tactics used at FMQ for the past five years, on every topic which the Hon Sarah Smith engineers into the debate via her Jordanhill and Meadobank plants in the audience.

    Smith will set the agenda, and you can bet that Brexit, Johnson’s corrupt Government, the new round of Cuts to the Poor to fund tax breaks to the rich will be studiously avoided.

    There will be maximum effort to avoid Brexit, the financial disaster that this Fascist nonsense has visited on Scotland already, FoM, Priti Patel’s Homeland Security, the closing of 27 borders to Scots by Johnson’s 43% FPTP Blue Tory Fascist Government, the banning of our students, workers, and travellers from free travel in our own continent, and, as pointed out above, the destruction of our fishing, and agriculture, as the UKIM power grab robs Scotland of its right to protect our land from Brazil Beef, and Malaysian chickens.

    The SHS, will be part of a three pronged attack by Sarwar Rennie and Dross, Better Together in action, so NS and PH better be ready with stats and compare and contrast our HS’ performance with the Blue Tories in England and the Red Tories in Wales.

    Remind the audience of how well the SHS is performing..4% increase in nurses’ pay, public satisfaction with Health, our Police numbers as opposed to England, crime rates, etc.
    Same with Education, and social welfare.
    Blow holes in England’s UCS, the Rape Clause, the two child limit, five years of payments frozen, and so on.
    Trident, HS2, and so on.

    Get Nicola and Patrick prepped to steer the debate in the direction we choose, not a four part harmony from Smith and the Brits on how Scotalnd is shite and depends on handouts from the English.
    If Rennie peddles what currency and the laughable claim that we are somehow £15 billion in debt, rip his lungs out.
    And Education? Apart from Sarwar and his fondness for fee payingying schools, get the figures for England’s performance…
    And ask, when are the Brits going to publish their manifestos.

    Tutition fees, prescription charges, road tolls, Bedroom Tax, Rape Clause?

    Rip their black hearts out, guys.
    The SNP and Greens have a manifesto for a Scottish future, Dross Sarwar and Rennie, have nothing.

  27. Capella says:

    AFIK Brian Monteith lives in France and is a Brexiteer. He is an utter hypocrite, but we knew that.

    The unionist parties will definitely collude so that the one with the best chance of winning gets a free run. That’s how they unseated Alex Salmond in Gordon in 2017. I know people who were phoned up and advised how to vote tactically to get rid of him.

    In my constituency the Tory, Andrew Bowie, won because the Liberals fielded what looked like a schoolboy whose leaflets came out long after the postal votes were in.

    So although tactical voting is going on all the time it’s better to run a positive and optimistic campaign as Nicola Sturgeon is doing. We need to know what policies the parties are putting forward. So far I’ve heard no policy from the opposition parties apart from NO REFERENDUM. Not good enough.

    Let’s see what the polls say nearer the time.

  28. ALASTAIR MORTON says:

    I am not aware that Alba is targeting the unionist vote .
    Also ,AS has said that he is not looking to be FM nor be in government.
    So Both Votes SNP in this household

  29. grizebard says:

    Im not sure that people here, in getting distracted by all this strategising over the list, are entirely appreciative of the danger posed elsewhere, when clearly the Tories are aware they can do the same kind of “partnering” in the constituencies. BitterTogether personified, but all done by nods and winks, just like they did before for hmmm…, now who was that again?… oh, somebody called Salmond. And if you think this is purely theoretical, read the runes of the recent local byelections in Glasgow, where quite a noticeable proportion of ordinary Tory voters are clearly willing to give Labour second preference as an anti-SNP tactic. In Partick East and Kelvindale it even worked. If the constituency elections turn into straight SNP-Unionist tussles, the SNP can lose them unless the pro-indy turnout for the SNP is high and over 50%. And if the SNP slip over into the list, what happens then? Just think about it.

    This could be like the Maginot Line, looking strong but the enemy just exploit the weakness elsewhere and go round the sides…

  30. Potter says:

    Meanwhile we’re getting the god cop, bad cop routine from ALBA, lets be pals, gies yer vote fae Salmond.Over in Wingland their advocating voting against Sturgeon in her constituency.

    • raineach says:

      So the question here basically is – do you trust Alex Salmond?

    • Petra says:

      It’s all about a game called follow the leader, Potter.

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says: 29 March, 2021 at 1:21 pm

      “Vote Sarwar’..a hahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha’.”

      Campbell’s response:- ”If you believe Sturgeon is a block on independence it’s a very rational position.”

    • grizebard says:

      As long as that kind of dastardly blogosphere backstabbing is happening – and as one pro-Salmond commentator yesterday put it, he runs a very tight ship, and as we all know SoB is very much on board the ship – there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of the co-operation that the pop-ups on here keep demanding.

      Having a strong mutual understanding is crucial to the alt-indy strategy, whoever is pursuing it, and the rank amateurish failure of the whole shower of them to establish this from the very get-go was already a fatal flaw. So any backstabber like BathMan is simply delivering a coup de grâce to the very thing they claim to support. An early mercy killing, wanton self-destruction or what…?

  31. I think there is a myth that we can’t ” game the system” perhaps because of James Kelly’ s mistaken view on this before the 2016 election.
    All we need to know is that if the Greens ( or Alba) get past a minimum then your vote will count at least 5 times or more likely up to 9 or 10 times than an SNP 2 vote anywhere in Scotland. It only appears complicated because people feel the need to do the number crunching. The number crunching should be seen as a way of exemplifying the principles. If you focus on the principles it is simple. We can game the syt and I firmly believe we should

    • grizebard says:

      This vapid nonsense just doesn’t bear repeating, yet here it is again from yet another pop-up, shorn even of the usual geeky rationalising. It’s positively ill-informed “stands-to-reason-innit” and potentially dangerous to success.

    • You are still trying to insert hypothetical known quantities where there is a variable.

      Your extrapolation is based on the flawed assumption that you know, with a degree of certainty, how the constituency vote will go. When the reality is that and no-one knows.

      If the constituencies don’t go as you hope, the list might not compensate if there’s a split vote.

  32. ISP standing candidates down to leave field clear for Alba Party:

    • i dont think afi or isp can be accused of putting party before country. good on them both. if max the yes was really their aim, standing down was the best way to achieve this. well done to them both

      will the greens now stand down all of their constituency candidates or split the vote as they have done in previous elections. if not asking for yes voters to back them on the list will be a futile affair.

      • M biyd says:

        Yeh great news.

        I think its important as Paul has said that we Alba Party members support the SNP. I’m hopeful that in my constituency Swinney gets in as usual as well as an ALBA candidate. I would hope it would be good riddance to Murdo Fraser who continues to be an embarrassment to Rangers supporters for independence amongst other things.

        • Potter says:

          Ye might get rid of Murdo, but you’ll get a Salmond,Murdo converts more to Indy than Salmond will.

        • grizebard says:

          This is politically illiterate. You won’t get rid of Murdo so long as there are a significant number of Tory voters and Murdo stays top of the Tory list.

          Or are you seriously wanting us to believe that Salmond and his assorted wee band are going to convert Tories en masse to Alba and independence?

          It’s this kind of shallow emotive thinking that can – and might – just screw things up.

      • jfngw says:

        I think you mind find those in the ISP will feel somewhat pissed off after the effort, time and presumably money they have invested for around a year.

      • Eilidh says:

        No why should they. Greens have been standing in Scottish Parliament elections for years with some success. Suddenly a new party run by the anointed one means other Indy supporting parties should give up. Not a chance. If I was not going to vote Snp 1 and 2. I would vote Green on my 2nd vote Independence is 1st priority for me. 2nd is the environment. Green party suit my values

    • James Mills says:

      Why couldn’t Alex Salmond have joined a party like the ISP who , as they stated , had done so much groundwork over a year ?
      He must have been aware of their ongoing work – as many were .

      The short answer for me is – It had to be The Alex Salmond Party , aka Alba .

      He would not have been allowed to control ISP or any of the other Indy parties – so started one to suit HIS needs !

      • grizebard says:

        Actually, James, from some info posted on here the other day, apparently he got it “off-the-peg” from some well-known Marxist who had registered it back at the start of 2020, but was willing to pass control over to the Messiah, presumably to get his own cause some “skin in the game”. So far, judging by their public pronouncements and personalities (if we can call them that) it seems to be a kind of unholy alliance between radical lefties, identity politics (anti-)warriors, impatient reckless gamblers and starry-eyed hero worshippers, all ruled over by a giant ego who seeks his own social and political redemption.

        And we keep on asking without any answer, who’s bankrolling this thing? It’s certainly not subs from a very limited party faithful.

      • Petra says:

        ”He must have been aware of their ongoing work.”

        He was and nicked it.

  33. Hamish100 says:

    Just shows how they Alba group only formed in February 2021 is intending to disrupt.

    In place of discussing policies it’s focus is quite clear. Get rid of the FM and who cares about Independence.

  34. Hamish100 says:

    And before someone says it ain’t we just want to be happy together.

    Cynicus says:
    29 March, 2021 at 11:52 am
    If you are.in the Dreghorn Midden’s constituency, vote SARWAR in the head-to-head.

    Vote ALBA on the list.

    Mysoginists unite right enough.

  35. Dr Jim says:

    You have to laugh at the Salmond party supporters when after a two tear campaign of hatred towards Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP they say let’s all be pals now and we’ll vote SNP honest we will, we promise with sweeties on top, now for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya
    while their online mouthpiece vows death to Nicola Sturgeon and all who vote for her, plus so far the only policy announcement I’ve heard is clear out the civil service clear out the judiciary clear out the SNP

    Oh yeah they’re here to help alright, firstly the Greens are supportive of Independence and that’s fine but they are an opposition party in the same way Tories Labour and Lib Dems are opposition parties, so are the Salmond party supporters now claiming they will not be an opposition party if they are elected, will Alex Salmond not speak in opposition if he is elected, already Salmond has been making demands as if he’s already elected such as demanding he be part of drawing up the white paper on Independence, I will guarantee now that even IF Mr Salmond is elected the only thing he will ever be drawing up is his seat nearer to a heater such is the momentous freeze that will be surrounding him

    I have four granddaughters in higher and University education and that’s one demographic that Mr Salmond and his crew can definitely not count on, they don’t like it or him one bit, but they do like Nicola Sturgeon, and some of them like the Greens

  36. Guybrush Threepwood says:

    It’s great to see Alex Arthur standing for Alba. The working class are by the the most underrepresented group at Holyrood. The SNP is too middle-class and far too many MSPs are privately educated. Nicola has made great inroads bringing in more women but most of them are middle-class professionals.

    If it’s wrong that straight, white males are over represented in politics, then it’s also wrong that the LGBTQ community are over-represented at Holyrood, in comparison to their proportion within the wider population. Sauce for the goose.

    A working class hero is something to be.

    • James Mills says:

      Yes , but just as long as he does what he is told by the white , middle-class trump-in-chief .

    • Ken says:

      Women are under represented 20%. Men are not. Men are over represented. (70%) Working class or not.

      Disabled 20% of the pop are under represented 20%.

      LGBT & BAME nearly represented.

      • weegingerdug says:

        LGBT people are certainly not over-represented among the ranks of indy bloggers. There’s me, and eh, that’s it. I suppose I’m also officially disabled now too. Robert Somynne’s the only BAME blogger as far as I’m aware and I don’t think he’s been active for a while.. I don’t think there are any women.

    • Petra says:

      It would seem that everyone and their granny is welcome to represent Scotland now. No vetting of candidates?

    • Alec Lomax says:

      To quote the Richard Dreyfuss character in Jaws : “Spare me the working class hero crap”. There’s enough of the pseudo-proletarian stuff from McKenna in the Herald.

  37. Legerwood says:

    Ok, enough of these circular arguments about votes here or votes there. Time for a change. I saw this quote on Caroline Lucas’ Twitter feed and think it is worth thinking about. It is from a speech delivered by Bobby Kennedy at the University of Kansas in March 1968. The whole speech which is about GDP is worth reading if you want to go looking for it but here is the last section:

    “”Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

    It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

    And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

    If this is true here at home, so it is true elsewhere in world. “”

    Maybe worth thinking about during this election.

  38. Michael says:

    Apologies if already posted.

    Re the suggestion that BJ will claim that less than 50% of vote means Scots reject independence therefore no indy2.

    In 2011 SNP won 69/129 seats with 45.4% of Constituency vote and 44% of the Regional vote. Cameron agreed to a referendum.

    BJ better sticking with ‘once in generation’ nonsense.

  39. Great news from SNP
    The things they say they will do if re elected
    Fast track cancer diagnosis in every health board , fantastic
    No council tax for 21and unders
    Renationalise railways FAB
    Build 70,000 new social rent homes FAB
    And more

    • Golfnut says:

      Vote for them then.

      • grizebard says:

        {laugh}

      • I always vote for SNP
        I am a longstanding member of the SNP
        I go to all of their AGM meetings for the whole three days
        My parents were SNP , im 64 they are deceased

        Its not SNP thats important they are just the vehicle being used to get independence
        Once we are independent SNP will dissolve
        Who will take power then ?
        A centrist / left party would be my choice and who i would vote for

        SNP 1&2 will work well in some parts of Scotland but not in others
        I will not be wasting my LIST vote in Dundee where SNP will win Dundee West easily

        If i give my LIST vote to SNP it will be of no use whatsoever because SNP will win the constituency so easily there is zero chance of them getting the LIST seat.

        The greens might continue to support Scottish independence but they might not
        If westminster comes along and throws money at them like they did to the DUP in Northern Ireland what then ?
        Stranger things have happened
        And we are getting to the endgame now
        So believe the impossible can be possible where westminster is involved

        ALBA on the other hand is being led by AS who is undoubtedly committed to Scottish Independence its what he has worked for his whole life and that commitment to Scottish Independence is not changed by the failed court proceedings against him.

        I will vote SNP and ALBA

        • Golfnut says:

          Take it easy Terence, no need to list your creds here.

        • Terence, you don’t have a list vote “in Dundee”, you have a list vote for NE Scotland.

          “…I will not be wasting my LIST vote in Dundee where SNP will win Dundee West easily…”

          You need to take account of those areas to the north of you that went heavily Tory in 2017’s UKGE & held a few in 2019.

          There are 9 other seats in your region, 3 of which (Angus North & Mearns, Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, Moray) are the in the Tories’ top 5 targets. You can bet limbs and vital organs that the Tories won’t play nice.

  40. Bob Lamont says:

    Somewhat bemused by DRoss threatening to stand down candidates in response to this Alba business – Has AS hit a nerve in upsetting their little applecart of stitching up List votes, or is it in anticipation of their widely expected drubbing ?
    DRoss doesn’t do honesty…

    • jfngw says:

      Not sure what you mean by stitching up the list votes, their list percentage look pretty similar to the constituency percentage. Our problem is the independence parties support is not high enough, just re-arranging the deck chairs doesn’t increase support.

      You can’t decry the list system when it works against you and ignore the fact in 2007 without it Labour would have been the government. Without that list vote in 2007 would the SNP ever have been given the chance to prove themselves, and would we still be locked in the the cosy London financed parties running Holyrood.

      My gripe with the list system is not how it makes the parliament more proportional but the fact it is not the voters who select those representing them from the lists.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        By “stitching up” I meant the discussions which will inevitably have taken place between managers and analysts for the unionist parties leading up to the election, and jockeying for List positions in each of them, the SNP were all on their own…
        The AMS bugbear for me aside the collusion aspect is the likes of Turdo repeatedly getting a seat in Parliament despite never once being elected.

  41. Arthur Thomson says:

    What’s the chances of the electorate reacting to Salmond’s party by giving increased support to Nicola? Pretty good I reckon.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Anecdotal evidence so far suggests this is happening, Nicola appears to be benefitting from reactive voters

      • jfngw says:

        I voted for NS in 1992 when she had no chance of winning (I think it was called Baillieston & Mount Vernon then, Labour won the seat) why would I change now to support some fringe party.

  42. Dr Jim says:

    Kenny McAskill interviewed on the 9 and was embarrassingly arrogant and defiant, he cited his own credentials as if to say *do you who I am*
    Apparently his constituents don’t care much for any of this either and suggested there should be a by election as the 9 interviewed a couple of them and claimed they were representative of those they did interview

    So all in all not going what you’d call well, others might say bombing by the minute, but I couldn’t possibly say that, I would describe it more as heading for ignominious defeat

    • jfngw says:

      MacAskill when he was at Holyrood always took me back to the end of term school service and the minister droning on giving a sermon, I can still remember that red cloud of boredom descending.

      • Petra says:

        More worrying for me was Kenny MacAskill’s behaviour at the last SNP Conference that he attended and following on from that him disappearing off of the radar for a few years which didn’t surprise me one bit.

    • Eilidh says:

      In my experience people do not like charlatans or liars or being made a mug of. Can’t blame them for being annoyed when their Mp jumps ship to another party.Goods were not as described as they say in some consumer protection rules or you could say you thought you had gold but it turns out it was only tin

    • Petra says:

      ”Apparently his constituents don’t care much for any of this either and suggested there should be a by election.”..

      So what did MacAskill have to say about that, Dr Jim?

      • Dr Jim says:

        “I will continue to serve my constituents as I always have” then he made whataboutery references to others who had done the same, in other words they can’t do jack shit about it so tuff

  43. crisiscult says:

    A wings reader here, popping in “in peace” to say my respect to WGD for being pragmatic on this and focussing on what I think we should all be focussing on if we’re independence supporters – attacking the British parties, not each other.

    Fine, you may say we’ve been attacking each other for a while, and have a “you started it” “no you started it” debate but we are where we are now and I for one will be trying to focus on getting others to vote wisely for indy, which in Glasgow where I am is SNP1, but imho, not SNP2.

    I hope that the more reflective of indy supporters, whichever side we are on (if we’re on a side) of the Salmond v Sturgeon battlefield, will gather their wits. I was chatting to someone on twitter today (a bothvotesnp guy) who said he’d rather have British parties in Holyrood than Alba members. I’m not surprised there are people like that out there but I hope they are in a minority.

    • potter says:

      Still nae gettin my vote wi your, I come in peace,guff.

    • Petra says:

      Nice to see you come on here proffering an olive branch, crisiscult. I don’t hold it against anyone wanting to vote for Alba if that’s what they plan to do, however what I do resent are the Wingers who at this very moment are planning how to ensure that Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney and so don’t get selected. The Unionists will be working on doing this behind the scenes. So-called independence supporters are doing it in plain sight.

    • Alex Clark says:

      It might be that your real issue is not with Independence supporters that are posting here but those that are definitely not Independence supporters that are posting on Wings, and of which there are many.

  44. Hamish100 says:

    Crisis cult, sorry can’t believe your last part. Why?
    Alba ain’t going to do as well as the fantasists have predicted. Simple maths. You rely on the list vote. Greens ain’t going to vote for you, many SNP that I know are voting SNP 2 as well or will vote Green.
    That leaves labour, Lib Dem’s and tories. They may well look after themselves or combine to beat any Independence Party. Alba is at the bottom.

    • crisiscult says:

      No idea. I assumed he was so angry at something, or Salmond, or Wings over Scotland, or whatever. Seems self harming.

      As for Alba being at the bottom, you may be right, but the aim of my tweet was to encourage indy supporters not to attack each other. I’ll promote Alba on the list where I live and then see where we get. I won’t criticise you for promoting your indy option.

      Maybe Alba has energised nationalists like myself. I make no apology for being a nationalist. I want Scottish independence. That’s all. I think a lot of people who have been activists were ready to quit. Now we’re ready to get out on the streets and round doors. That is surely a good thing. Apathy is one of the main enemies.

      • crisiscult says:

        Ah, sorry, didn’t get you initially. You meant you don’t think that happened? Well funnily enough the tweet is now deleted but you can still see the reply to it from someone else https://twitter.com/M_Bizquits/status/1376516173156790278?s=20 If I was going to come on here and post a message encouraging peace between different groups of indy supporters, I’d probably come up with a better story to “invent” than that one.

        • I liked this from Martin J Keatings, a few posts down in your link:

          “The question is not about SNP or ALBA on the regional ballot. The question is do we want to let unionists in the back door by default? That makes this a mathematical decision, not one of the heart or feeling or intuition or bias or dislike of a single candidate.”

          Try posting similar on Wings & let us know how you get on.

  45. Calum says:

    I agree with you. Independence first and foremost. Hopefully a clear SNP overall majority and then, ideally, as many ALBA MSPs as possible. Plus some Greens, I like Patrick Harvie’s combative approach. The fewer there are from the others the better.
    I know it’s very unlikely but here’s hoping.

  46. Terence Callachan says:

    Well ,

    Nicola Sturgeon is a hero to me

    Alex Salmond is a hero to me

    One vote each

    • Eilidh says:

      No offence Terence but to quote Tina Turner We don’t need another hero We need Scottish Independence and for me the party that is creating chaos and threatening the possibility of that happening right now is Alba

  47. Hamish100 says:

    Ahh but will most women feel the same?
    My girls and wife look on at the former FM and will note give ALBA their votes.
    Some of the homophobic remarks on blogs will lose even more
    I suspect Alba will have lost near 50% of potential voters already.

    I suspect I am to woke whatever that means.

  48. Alex Clark says:

    Opinium poll from 11th March 2021

    “Q:scot9. Do you have a favourable or unfavourable view of Alex Salmond?”

    Very favourable 4%

    Somewhat favourable 10%

    Somewhat unfavourable 26%

    Very unfavourable 48%

    Don’t know 12%

    FAVOURABLE 14%

    UNFAVOURABLE 74%

    This is why the Alba party will have their work cut out with election day just 6 weeks away.

    https://www.opinium.com/resource-center/uk-scottish-parliament-voting-intention-11-march-2021/

  49. Hamish100 says:

    Eilidh. Absolutely. No Alba we would be discussing policies. Instead salmond is tucked up at home and his followers have morphed from wingers to Alba.
    What if their is no super majority-who decides. Salmond? Ross? Is alba success winning 2 seats with the greens losing 3?
    This is created to hurt. Independence is just a shimmy, a mirage for the Alba gullible.
    The

    • Petra says:

      AS didn’t win Indy first time round and can’t win Indyref2 on his own (only piggy-backing on Nicola Sturgeon’s success) this time around.

      His political party had been set in motion prior to the Hamilton / Committee findings where he no doubt hoped that Nicola Sturgeon would have to resign. That didn’t happen so move on to plan B.

      He’s totally driven to be remembered as the guy who achieved Scotland’s independence. So what next? The Kingmaker?

      I’m no fan of John Curtice, but I’m inclined to agree with him when he points out that Alba could scupper the SNP getting a majority in May and says, ”Mr Salmond may not want the SNP to get a majority in May so he can be “kingmaker” – and dictate indy tactics to Ms Sturgeon. If the SNP gets an overall majority then it will be able to determine what tactics it deploys vis-a-vis the UK Government, what it tries to do if the UK Government says no to a referendum, etc. It will not have to accommodate the Greens, and/or Mr Salmond. Perhaps Mr Salmond actually really wants to be in a situation where he is the kingmaker – ie somebody to whom Ms Sturgeon has to look to for support in order to be able to pursue a nationalist strategy. That’s up to Mr Salmond to deny or otherwise whether or not that’s the case, but perhaps, at least you can see why, maybe it’s one of the reasons why the SNP are not very keen on his strategy.”

      • James Mills says:

        What a scary thought – Alex Salmond ”Kingmaker” .

        The creepy video of him at the Alba launch which made him look like a bad Bond villain threatening the world with destruction was bad enough . But giving him any sort of hold over Nicola Sturgeon and the SG is the stuff of nightmares .

        • Petra says:

          Scary thought right enough James. Kingmaker = Boss and that’s what he’s planning to do with his cohort of loudmouthed, arrogant narcissists forming a wee cabal at Holyrood: Plus his Somerset mate continuing to undermine the vote for the SNP. Meanwhile his latest case will roll on with him hoping to make megabucks from the ScotGov. You couldnae make this stuff up.

          • deelsdugs says:

            Just like the ‘freedom’ pitch using a director ego-maniac’s blockbuster, then a monument looking like that said ego-maniac director. AS is no daft, but this is another male ego trip, perhaps with his own blockbuster film in mind from his mega bucks…

        • Alex Montrose says:

          If Salmond is Kingmaker after the election, he’ll demand a heavy price from the SNP for a confidence and supply agreement, Nicola Sturgeon’s head.

          • Arthur Thomson says:

            Don’t worry, Nicola will keep the heid and see off all comers in her own inimitable way.

            She is truthful, so she greets each day with a light heart and a ruthless determination to lead her country to a better place.

  50. yesindyref2 says:

    Regardless of SNP, Green or Alba, there is one golden rule, and it’s because the SNP should take most constituency seats, certainly more than Labour and Conservatives, unless the bottom falls out of our world (or vice versa).

    And it’s “vote SNP Constituency” or “Vote SNP 1”, don’t spoil the ballot paper, don’t vote Labour, vote SNP. Unless your party – Greens or Alba – stands a candidate for the constituency when by all means of course vote for your own party, even if just to boost the losing vote.

    The thing is if you withhold your vote from the SNP on the constituency and the SNP candidate loses because of your actions (and others like you), your Green or Alba party now has to get MORE votes on the list, and the SNP LESS.

    So if the SNP get 8 constituency seats in the region, their multiplier is 8+1 = 9. If they get 48% say in the region, then their effective vote is 48 divided by 9 = 5.33%, If your party gets 5.5% you beat the SNP and get an MSP. But if the SNP get only 7 constituency seats because of your spoilt vote, the multiplier is 7+1 = 8, and the SNP 48% on the region becomes 6.0%. The SNP beat your party on the region and you go away with NOTHING. Your party would need over 6.0% because of your spoilt action (so to speak).

    Alba need to publicise this as a standalone thing, never mind wrapping it up with a hoodoo voodoo clooless year selective video. And of course so could SNP activists (as opposed to the party who can actually not say that in detail).

  51. Petra says:

    Hahaha. Ma National fleg’s bigger than your fleg 😀. Good one Nicola.

    Nicola Sturgeon :- ”Behind the scenes of a Covid election – recording my conference speech at home (filmed from outside to comply with restrictions). You can watch the speech ⁦@theSNP at 11am.” https://mobile.twitter.com/NicolaSturgeon/status/1376434613858484227

    ………………………………….

    Looks as though Hanvey has lost a couple if supporters! At least.

    ‘Neil Hanvey’s defection to the Alba Party has left me completely shattered.’

    ..”I see Alba as a party born out of vengeance.”..

    http://www.thenational.scot/politics/19193683.snp-mps-defection-left-completely-shattered/

  52. Glasgow Gowan says:

    Why are we dividing ourselves?

    Why don’t we ignore Alba and focus on the SNP?

    There are only one or two supporters of Alba here.

    Are we afraid of Alba?

    No.

    Ignore Alba and don’t reply to any posters promoting Alba.

    And don’t visit WOS and post from there.

    Paul has a wonderful pro Nicola pro SNP blog.

    Let us not pollute it with what Alba says and what WOS says.

    Don’t mention either here.

    Nicola will lead the SNP to a thumping majority.

  53. Dr Jim says:

    The problem with the Salmond party supporters is they’ve been sold a bill of goods by the subversive from Bath in his attempts to destroy Nicola Sturgeon, he created the impression that having a referendum was more important than winning one, at no time did the FM say there wouldn’t be a referendum she always insisted one would happen at the right time but Campbell invented all the time as the right time then cooked up his conspiracy against her on that basis and the suckers went for it, some out of general stupidity, some out of frustration, and some because they’re not Independence supporters at all but just wanted a referendum at the wrong time so Scotland would lose, and Salmond was behind all of this

    This has gone on and on day after day and here we are now when Independence has never been closer, some say 2014 was the closest, I say bollox to that, in 2014 we were never going to win because Salmond either blew it or he made sure we didn’t win (read Alistair Campbells book)

    People talk about the sex scandal as though that was when the falling out began, it wasn’t it was long before that, Nicola Sturgeon had to rebuild a broken party and everybody seems to have a funny memory over that as though Alex Salmond handed her the keys to Independence to take when she wanted, Salmond stuck her and us with a defeated Scotland, and defeated by one of the biggest Numpties going, Alistair Darling, I mean how is it possible on the face of this earth that someone as sharp as Alex Salmond could be made to look like a div by Alistair Darling for God sake, Nicola Sturgeon had to rebuild everything to the position where Scotland can win, where was Salmond the patriot in all that time? he and his subversive wee gnome from Bath were plotting their revenge takeover after Nicola had done the job for him

    When Nicola Sturgeon made her statement about wanting to win a referendum not just have one is when Salmond was shown up and he didn’t like it, so here we are now with him and his little band of haters using the people of Scotland to take down his opponent Nicola Sturgeon and could he give a monkeys about Scottish Independence? I very much doubt it, we’re all just for the use of

    • Capella says:

      Interesting! What does Alasdair Campbell say that raises doubt about AS commitment to independence? I believe that AS wanted Devo Max on the referendun ballot in 2014. He referred to it as wanting “All or something” (is that a gambling expression?). David Cameron refused because 70% of voters would vote for it.

      Recently, the idea of sticking with the £ as currency, at least at first, has been described as a policy of a unionist. This is targetted at Andrew Wilson and the Growth Commision which NS supports. But, of course, this was AS’s policy in 2014, largely credited with losing the referendum.
      So do tell. Or am I going to have to buy the book – against my religion 🙂

    • barpe says:

      Well said, Dr Jim,.
      I’m sure you’re right on this matter.

    • don Carr says:

      What a load of complete and utter tosh!
      Salmond made sure we’d lose it???
      Let me tell you that without Salmond, a much flawed man, but easily the greatest politician of his age, Scotland wouldn’t have had a referendum.

      • Dr Jim says:

        A referendum that he lost isn’t proof of the desire to win, I can’t know and neither can anyone else but after the last two years I can suspect his motives and do

        The referendum was easily achieved at that time because support for it was 28% so David Cameron fully expected to win easily then when Salmond proposed the devo max option Cameron rejected it as a sign of weakness that Salmond didn’t have the confidence of his convictions and forced him into the YES NO position, this was Salmond the gambler who gambled with Scotland’s future and lost

        Both Cameron and Salmond knew that the devo max option would likely have won the day and Alex Salmond would have possibly still been FM today but with absolutely no chance ever again of an Independence referendum after signing up to devo max if he’d been given the opportunity

        So what did Alex Salmond actually want? we’ll never know because we the public with regard to politics never find out the full facts of anything till years have passed in case our perception of politicians becomes so affected we just stop voting altogether

        The appearance of democracy is paramount and must always be maintained to keep order no matter what political party is in power, the very word *politics* is defined as artful characterisation and deception

        • Ken says:

          It takes the electorate to vote for it. From 27% to 45% is quite an achievement. Especially with the forces being raised against it. The Vow etc. It nearly made it over the the line. It will the next time with Alba support.

          Alex Salmond has spent his whole life supporting and working for Independence. To achieve it.

    • Tatu3 says:

      My thoughts are along those same lines Dr Jim. Mr Salmond is up to no good

  54. Iain Barker says:

    I am voting Alba.You can like it or hate it but it seems you will hate it and prefer Tories getting elected on List including Red Card Ross. That is an insult to every Scottish family that suffered under Thatcher and you should be ashamed of your stance. I thought you would know that feeling but it appears not.

    • Iain Barker says:

      My comments are addressed to the haters who never lived under Thatcher. There are Scottish villages and towns that haven’t recovered from the destruction she wrought on them with her malice. Oh and think about this Alex Salmond didn’t kill six million Jews or slaughter 1 million Iraqis like Blair. Some of you need a good shake or a good slap. Scotland comes first and not any one Party. I will vote SNP on constituency but Alba on List. For Scotland!!!!

    • Capella says:

      You must vote with your conscience. We all will.

    • Hamish100 says:

      My the wingers are on site early. Guys is it a shift operation you work? Lol

      You don’t like the FM husband. Does he know you? He might not like you either.

      If there anything that has taught us over the past years the FM is a fighter when friend of wings MacCaskill and co were attacking her and still are.

      Don carrreloni you prove my point.

    • James Mills says:

      Iain Barker : If you think that ”Red Card” Dross won’t be elected because of patriots ( for Scotland !! ) like you then you need to study the D’Hondt system of voting . Then come back and apologise – we’ll still be here !

  55. Capella says:

    The EU referendum was an advisory one – they all are. The majority in Scotland and NI voted remain. Some practices to obtain a very narrow majority were illegal. It breaks the Treaty of Union.
    The Tory government was elected with a minority of votes and could, for all those reasons, have opted for the status quo ante. But it didn’t.
    It’s true that the SNP will need a majority of votes to secure a referendum. That’s why both votes SNP is the best way of securing it. If we want independence we have to vote for it.

    • Don Carr says:

      Advisory ???
      Are the people not sovereign ?
      Why bother having one if our representatives know better?
      You don’t make sense!

      • Dr Jim says:

        In England the people are not sovereign, their rights to sovereignty were given away to the English parliament by the dictatorship of monarchy so any vote by the people in England carries no legal weight whatsoever

        The only population with recognised sovereignty are Scots, the problem is England refuses to recognise that state of affairs because our country was sold to them so they claim ownership, so how does a country who signed up to be an owned colony be sovereign

        Scotland is in the same boat as any people from the Caribbean or other colonies except most of us are white so can be abused in the way black people now can’t be, the idea being how does one white nation racially abuse another, we’re innocent don’t you know

        There were always white slaves as well as black ones for thousands of years, the rich don’t care what colour we are

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Seems quite apt if you haven’t seen this yet @Capella https://mobile.twitter.com/archer_rs/status/1376510056888418305

  56. Ken says:

    An EU Ref was forced through on a 2%. The vote was totally rigged by illegal practices. Facebook etc sold people’s details to be targeted. Against the data protection Act, the Representation of the people’s Act and against electoral Laws. It was illegal behaviour to make Hedge Funds £Billion on the illegal results. For donations to theTories and Brexiteers.

    Everybody’s else will pay for these illegal actions and illegal gains. Cambridge Analytica etc received paltry fines. It makes it worthwhile for them. The should have gone to jail. Gerrymandering receives a jail sentence.

    The percentage of votes for an election is different from a Referendum. Different rule no of participants, campaigns, manifestos. Different questions, Referendum one or two question. Higher turnout? Etc.

    Scotland did not vote for Brexit. No wonder. A catastrophe unfolding. The poorer will pay for it. Higher prices. Exports and businesses already are badly affected. A complete and utter disgrace.

    The Tories are ignorant, incompetents wasting and mismanaging £Billions of public. Starving and killing people.

    People in Scotland do not vote them. They get in under the radar on the lists with an extremely low proportion of the vote.

    Alba will sort them out. An Indy majority. Just what is needed to break D’Hond’t. The people in Scotland are sovereign. People elsewhere are subjects of the Crown. Different legal systems, forever. Based on Latin or Roman Law.

    • Don Carr says:

      The English didn’t like the amount of immigration, it was little or nothing to do with much else, as you suggest.
      What if the remainers after indyref2 took your anti democratic arguments?

  57. jfngw says:

    Paul, I was replying to a post that seems to have been removed so this reply now makes no sense, you should just delete it.

  58. Ken says:

    If people come back from Spain etc, There will be more coming back then the migrants the Tories are trying to reject.

    Apart from the millions of people from Hong Kong invited in. They do not seem very keen. Better off abroad.

    Over 3 million people from Britain live and work overseas. In all parts of the world. These countries put restrictions on in retaliation of the Brexit policies. On goods and services. Damaging the economy, imports, exports and tariffs.

    Free trade exists under international world trade rules. Break them and they are out. The Tory unionists shambles. They could not make a bigger mess.

  59. JoMax says:

    Just had the ‘local’ Tory leaflet through the door. Pics of Baroness RD and DRoss throughout, of course.

    This is their message:

    End Division (unless you’re a wealthy Tory, Tory donor etc, land owner, then division’s OK)
    No Referendum (unless you’re a Tory Brexiteer)
    Rebuild Scotland (with pocket money from Whitehall, given with the tag – ‘Here’s you’re subsidy.
    Without us you’d be dead.’)

    That’s about it. It’s all about stopping the SNP.

    He manages to mention ‘failing infrastructure’. The Highland infrastructure has been failing for generations under Tory, Labour and the LibDems, because Scotland has had little or no control over her own wealth and expenditure. These people belong in the 19th century but the Baroness will be able to revel in Victoriana down in the English Empire’s HoL.

    • Macart says:

      Got one last week. It hit the bin approximately two seconds after it hit the mat.

      Waste of paper really.

      • Naina Tal says:

        Just sent some stuff to them: Their questionnaire (dutifully filled in of course), some Screwfix fliers, some SNP stuff and some miscellaneous bits of paper I had hanging around. Should be nicely over the postal limit for their stupid prepaid envelope. Other stuff without a return address gets filed in the big outside filing cabinet marked “cardboard and paper”. If there’s an addressed envelope I always return it. Stamps? Naw!!

  60. Dr Jim says:

    Tories love talking about any division that mean the finger points at them, politics is division with different sides asking the electorate to pick them instead of another, and the reason? the other side is bad don’t pick them, so insisting the public should have no division is insisting it’s everybody else who’s creating it but not them

    Even if there were only two political parties they would both insist the other was the bad one, take the SNP out of the equation and we all remember well how the Tories and Labour told us over and over not to trust the other party, so division is not new, it’s normal and has ever been so

  61. Petra says:

    George Kerevan and Craig Berry supporting Alba now?

  62. Petra says:

    SNP:-”Watch Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP21 address. Make it Both Votes SNP by May 6.” https://mobile.twitter.com/theSNP/status/1376474263989809156

    ……………………………………..

    SNP videos.

    http://www.snp.org/news/

  63. latest poll has constituency

    snp 50%
    greens 4%

    the case for voting greens 2 would be much stronger if they withdrew their constituency candidates

    the case for indyref2 needs snp to get 50%+ in the constituency

  64. Dr Jim says:

    I can barely believe what I’ve just witnessed the BBC doing at the FM Covid briefing

    Nicola Sturgeon specifically said she would refuse to answer any political questions only for the BBC to switch to the studio where Gary Robertson invited the leaders of the opposition parties to make political statements on the briefing

    Wiilie Rennie Lib Dem criticised the vaccine roll out, Anas Sarwar Labour displayed a campaign billboard behind him and DRoss Tories criticised the speed of reopening, Allyson Johnson of the Greens was the only politician who stuck to the rules

  65. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    We all remember the scrutiny applied to Nicola Sturgeon these past weeks (also months and basically years) both on Scottish TV News and National News aka English news…..headline news BTW…with many skewed opinions given….and from those who were shall we say less than impartial……..

    Compare and contrast the revelation of one Boris Johnson that when London Mayor it has now been revealed that he gave public money to an individual’s ‘business’ who has now disclosed she was his LOVER at the time.

    Below are some observations from others :

    In 2019 Boris Johnson said to Andrew Marr when asked about Jennifer Arcuri ” You have to declare an interest did you declare it…..Boris responded “There was no interest to declare”

    However ….one observation has been re this :

    “There was an interest. There was a financial interest. There was a personal interest. There was a public interest.

    There is a clear appearance of corruption and misconduct in a public office.

    A resignation is insufficient. Where are the police”

    A QC stated on twitter “Non-declaration of an ‘interest’ obviously suggests impropriety – at its very worst potentially bribery. This is extremely serious. It is astonishing that the media is not reporting on it”

    Yesterday BBC website still not reporting the Arcuri revelations and the explosive claim that the PM lied about the affair. Not even reporting the PM spokesperson’s denial, as the Times and Guardian has today…………………YET the BBC on both their National page and Scottish page websites had numerous stories on Nicola Sturgeon and Salmond……….so whose side are they are…oh course we do knwo who they favour…but does the average voter know…..

    AS well as the above scandal…the media are also NOT emphasising the chaos of Brexit on businesses and exports…..however I suspect as DRoss tries to deflect and fabricate how bad Scotland is being run by the SNP in the upcoming debates on TV…Nicola Sturgeon will have some facts on the devastation that has ensued via a Tory Brexit on Scotland’s food, fishing, drink and business communities and also on us, as individuals, losing our freedom to work, travel and live in the EU………Brexit promises broken…Brexit lies told and all being suppressed by a complicit media……the same media who are always there to reveal the Unionist politicians and biased political commentators…mostly Tory….. numerous versions of SNPBAD and thus assumption is that the Unionists perceived as good, or not as bad as the SNP, via non reporting of corruption, scandals and bad policies and impact of courtesy of a La Tory party ….while falling over themselves to churn out various versions and overblown stories on SNPBAD.

    What say Ruth Davidson…who, according to her , states that the SNP are THE most corrupt government ever…mind you she is an ex BBC employee so she has form on ignoring and denying ToryBad…and now as a Tory herself she has adopted the stance of projecting her own party’s failings upon another party…classic playing of politics to gain undeserved advantage… thus operation Tory deflection in full mode…..as per.

    BTW the BBC also NOT mentioning the David Cameron story….more suppression….BBC the Tory PR machine……….BBC news where truth goes to die and lies are given life….twas ever thus and will forever be…..until we get out via getting independence……

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      The BBC NOW reporting on David Cameron story…was not on their earlier headlines …however according to Kwasi Kwarteng, Tory Business Secretary…David Cameron did NOTHING wrong…assume he also thinks Boris Johnson did NOTHING wrong…..Tories defending Tories what a surprise……perhaps the David Cameron ,ex PM, story will deflect attention away from the Boris Johnson, current PM, story…..say story mean scandal.

      • Capella says:

        I don’t think they have a procedure for investing historic complaints of former ministers in Westminster.

        But they do have a procedure for investigating current ministers – Boris Johnston is judge and jury..

  66. yesindyref2 says:

    Anyways, it’s Tuesday, 5 days or whatever after the launch of Alba, and you’d think the message would have got out to SNP politicians to calm down and stop talking dirty, specially about ex-colleagues and co-workers.

    Geez. That was a totally embarrassing interview with Neale Hanvey. Now you know the reason why you haven’t heard from him before….. The cause of the ‘supermajority’ won’t be helped by this.

    twitter.com/PeteWishart/status/1376803082974167040

    Oh well, why not show yourselves up and increase support for Alba by being dicks?

  67. Peter Whiting says:

    Vote Alba on the list.
    “it’s logic and common sense” Angus MacNeil, SNP, in “The National” 2nd April 2021,

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