Getting back on the horse

Well first things first. Despite the spin you’ll hear in the media from anti-independence parties and their supporters, the SNP won this election. It won decisively and handsomely. Scotland has chosen a majority Green and SNP pro-independence Parliament elected with an unambiguous mandate to deliver another independence referendum within the term of this new Parliament.

There’s now going to be a huge constitutional battle between the Scottish Parliament and the Conservative government over Scotland’s right to hold another independence referendum within the term of this Scottish parliament. As supporters of independence we now need to get behind our parliament in asserting the need for the democratic choices of the people of Scotland to be respected. We also need to recognise that this election has proven that a large number of people in this country have yet to be persuaded that independence is the way ahead. The task over the months and weeks ahead is to assert the democratic right of the people of Scotland to another referendum and to reach out to those still unsure and undecided and to persuade them of the need for independence.

The parties that got hammered in the Scottish elections are claiming that the party which beat them by 20% hasn’t got a mandate to implement its manifesto because it did not win an outright majority in an electoral system designed to make outright majorities next to impossible. Irrespective of what you think about independence, this is an extremely dangerous precedent for our democracy. It’s deeply misleading to present the possibility of an astonishingly rare outright majority within a proportional system by using the language and expectations of first past the post. Legitimacy in Holyrood comes from multiple parties coming together to form a majority. That’s how our electoral system is supposed to work, and between them the pro-independence SNP and Greens have achieved that majority. To deny their legitimacy to implement their mandate is to deny democracy itself. In 2015 David Cameron’s Conservatives won the UK election with a manifesto commitment to hold a Brexit Referendum. They went on to deliver on that pledge. They did so having won 36.9% of the vote. The SNP and the Greens stood on a platform of support for another referendum. They won. Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems stood on a platform of opposition to another referendum. They lost.

I’ve had a few weeks to recover, rest and reflect. I’m slowly recovering, but the reality is that there’s a very high chance that I will be left with permanent or at least long term damage from the stroke. It’s highly likely that sensation and full movement will never return to my left hand side and I am unlikely ever to regain the dexterity I used to have in my dominant hand. Fatigue continues to be a serious problem. I have constant pain in my left leg ,arm and shoulder. Every day is a battle against debilitating exhaustion and I’ve had to learn the hard way what my new – and restricted – limits are. If I overdo things, as I did as this election campaign began, I hit a brick wall. So with all this in mind I’ve made some decisions about the future of this blog and my continuing involvement in the independence movement.

As regular readers of this blog know, I never bought into the narrative that Alba was pushing. However I am surprised by how poorly they performed. Many believed that the new party was merely a personal vehicle for Alex Salmond to get revenge on Nicola Sturgeon. Whether that was a fair assessment or not, it meant that Alba was always going to struggle to get SNP supporters on board. Its difficulties in establishing itself as a broad church indy party which could attract wide support were compounded by some of the party’s supporters who took to promoting homophobic and transphobic scare stories online. These two factors made Alba toxic in the eyes of many. I never expected the party to help win a supermajority, but I did think that it might pick up a seat or two.

We’ve now had two Scottish elections where a new pro-independence party has called on its supporters to vote tactically on the list. Rise in 2016 and now Alba. Both attempts failed to produce a single MSP. Perhaps now we can agree that tactical voting on the list is fraught with difficulty and more likely than not to fail. The only successful tactical voting in Scottish elections is that used by unionists in the first past the post system used in the constituencies and that only has success because the anti-independence vote is split between three main parties.

It should be clear by now that scaremongering about Scotland’s tiny minority of transgender people or making the outrageously homophobic claim that the leading gay rights organisation in the country is secretly campaigning to reduce the age of consent to ten and to legalise paedophilia are not vote winners in modern Scotland. That’s a testament to the maturity of the people of Scotland. Opposition to gender recognition is a topic which consumes and obsesses some people online – but it does not have the traction among the wider public that people in the so-called “gender critical” social media bubble think it does.

I’m glad that the bigoted scaremongering found no traction amongst the wider public, however the vast majority of ordinary Alba supporters are not bigots and were simply frustrated at what they felt was a lack of progress towards independence. Alba’s failure is not something to gloat about. We need to put the divisions behind us and unite around making the case for independence. The real battle we face is with Westminster, not with one another.

I’ll be honest, I came very close to packing it all in. I have been battling ill health, and battling British nationalists, that’s more than enough for anyone. For a long time I have been ploughing a lonely furrow as one of the few indy bloggers from 2014 who is still focused on supporting the largest pro-independence party ,on making the case for independence and on attacking the parties of British nationalism, and ultimately that is why I have decided to keep going.

Sadly I have no confidence that certain of Alba’s online supporters will cease their attacks on Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. They will continue to undermine the Scottish government and the case for independence. The results of this election prove that there are still large numbers of people in Scotland who are unconvinced about independence. The reason the new Scottish Parliament contains a significant number of unionist MSPs is not – as certain Alba apologists claim, because of voting SNP 1 & 2, it’s because a significant number of people in Scotland voted for them. It really is that simple. Those people who still back anti-independence parties need to be wooed and persuaded. There needs to be a forum for those of us who seek to articulate arguments that can cut through to them.

Someone needs to make the arguments that will reassure and persuade the soft noes and undecideds – that was, and shall continue to be – the focus of this blog. I do not believe the conspiracy theorists who claim that Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t really want another referendum. There will be another referendum within the term of this new Parliament. The job of this blog is to help to ensure that we win independence at that referendum when it inevitably occurs. Nicola Sturgeon has already told the media that she will go ahead with legislation for a second referendum and Boris Johnson will have to go the Supreme Court if he wants to stop her.

However I cannot keep going as I did before. Instead of trying to blog every day, the frequency of new posts will have to be significantly reduced. In the months ahead I intend to aim for two posts per week instead of trying to post a new piece every day. That’s as much as my health will allow.

Even when covid restrictions are fully lifted, I will no longer be doing any public speaking events. There are two main reasons for this, firstly, I can’t drive any more, so getting to venues is now a lot harder. Equally my walking is still very restricted and I cannot stand for any length of time. Before I can drive again I need a specialised assessment which my occupational therapist has referred me for, although there is a long waiting list and it will be many months before I am seen and assessed. However more importantly I no longer have the strength or the stamina for standing in front of a crowd of people for an hour or more and effectively performing.

For some time I’ve been working on a series of pieces each of which tackle some of the main topics which are likely to be an issue in the independence campaign – issues like the border, currency, EU membership, and many others. Work on these was disrupted due to the stroke but over the coming weeks I’ll be revising them, bringing them up to date and publishing them on this blog.

Now let’s get back to the job of making the case for independence, of healing our movement and winning back Scotland’s rightful place among the independent nations of the world.

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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600 comments on “Getting back on the horse

  1. Petra says:

    Mark McGeoghegan:- ”So, under normal circumstances we’d have seen three resignations by now: Douglas Ross, Willie Rennie, and Anas Sarwar. We haven’t, and I find that interesting. Ross first. Arguably, he had the worst campaign of the three… (1/11)”


    Channel 4:- “Are you really saying if the SNP had won one more seat, you’d be fine with referendum going ahead?” @krishgm asks Scottish Conservatives’ leader Douglas Ross if he would have backed an independence referendum if the SNP had won an outright majority.”

  2. Petra says:

    ‘The Scottish Parliamentary Elections and the “Second Referendum” Debate.’

    ..”Moves are afoot which seek to reform how the UK is governed, in particular the ‘shared rule’ dimension. For example, a review headed by Lord Dunlop on the Union and an ongoing inquiry by the House of Lords Constitution Committee on the Future Governance of the UK, the latter following upon earlier reports by that Committee on the Union and devolution and on Intergovernmental Relations, from which a number of recommendations have gone unimplemented.”..

    ..”The legal issue could however be resolved before too long. The SNP administration is likely to bring forward a bill within months rather than years. If, as seems inevitable, this is challenged before the courts, the question of the Scottish Parliament’s competence to hold such a referendum without Westminster’s consent may well be settled within the next year.”..


    ‘Forcing people to starve because they were late to a Job Centre did not appear in a Tory manifesto.’

  3. The 120 seconds of Scotland is Shite on the English BBC Brexit’s Good and Building Back Better 3 1/4 hours today included the usual dig at Devolved Scotland.
    The Brit Nat leaders of Unison surveyed 500 nurses, and ‘found’ that over half considered quitting in the last year, and ‘two thirds’ , and this is where they don’t even edit their Brit Nat propaganda any more, felt UNDER worked, and under paid.
    This Scotland’s Health service is crap item was wedged in hurriedly to counter George ‘Useless’ Eustace admitting ‘live’ that English doctors nurses and medical staff were bound to receive a pay cut, in the form of a measly 1% raise in salary which falls well below inflation.
    A dam Fleming (you don’t get more Uncle Tam Brit Nat than Fleming) failed to tell the viewers in England that Scots NHS staff are to receive a 4% raise, on top of the £500 Covid payment,

    Of course his colleague in Glasgow, Graham Stewart, repeated the farcical statement that nurses in Scotland are underworked and underpaid at 8.30 am …
    They are dim bone headed talking propaganda machines now.
    If I were in Unison, I’d demand my fees back. They are using members’ money to lie and damn our NHS>

    UNISON declares that our nurses are underworked?

    More haste, less speed, Yoons.

    • bringiton says:

      Can’t help but think that the pathetic 1% pay rise for NHS staff in England is an attempt to keep costs down for future private companies.

      • It is classic Thatcher privatisation, bringiton.
        Fatten up the product they are selling off by slimming down running costs and staff wages and conditions.
        There are already 500,000 GP patients in SE England in the hands of Big US Private Medicine.
        We are not indulging in hyperbole when we assert constantly that England is in the grip of a fascist xenophobic corrupt regime, and Sarwar, Dross, and Rennie, are their willing functionaries Up Here.
        The dam is about to burst.
        It’s time for ‘Scottish’ Labour to sign up to Self Determination.
        Dross is on CH4 boasting of his success, on the back of Labour voters conned in to ‘holding their nos’ and voting Blue Tory.
        How much are Scottish Socialists going to put up with. 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, of an English Far Right Government destroying Scotland.

        Something is going to break soon, with or without Socialists in scotland actively taking part.
        Sarwar is an insult to working folk.
        He is a classic Tory, FGS.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye Jack, John Robertson nailed that this morning, tearing this shabby piece a new one, with a bottom line of 0.44% or less than 1 in 200 CONSIDERED quitting.

      To what extent the Union colluded to misinform versus what HMS Sarah Smith did with it is open to debate.

      • They are twa fleas aff the same putrid Brit Nat Dug, Bob.
        The ‘Unions’ are run by Brits, who use their members’ subscriptions to attack Scotland, on behalf , yet statistically 50% plus of their members support Self Determination.of their English Head High Yins.
        I’d resign from any Union that mounts these Scotland is Shite Put Up Jobs.
        Larry Flanigan is the classic Brit plant.

        They take their members for mugs.
        They are as much part of the Brit Establishment as the belted earls with their grouse moors.
        Oops, I used my Everlovin’s a/c by mistake. Mum’s the word.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Jack, as you know, Unison regularly publish the results of such surveys in Scotland and they always receive around 500 responses. There are in excess of 62,000 Nursing and Midwifery staff working in Scotland, so the 500 that respond to these regular surveys is a very small sample indeed.

      Only Unison members would have been asked to take part, of course, I’ve no idea how many Labour supporting shop stewards Unison have among the nursing membership but they claim to “have a rep in every workplace” so I wouldn’t be that surprised if I was to find out that it was in the region of the same number who regularly take part in these surveys.

      • Alex, as if on cue, the Herald Britland’s On Line Headline is the SQA disaster facing poor pupils this year, with a barrage of BTL Swinney and SNP bashing posts, inspired by no doubt Flanagan and the EIS Brit Nat shop stewards.
        They don’t give a crap about Scotland.
        They are quite happy that we are a colony of England.
        Six figure salaries, a company car, and an index linked pension and lump sum based on that six figure salary buys a lot of collaborationism.
        I have teachers as neighbours. They voted SNP1 and 2.

        • Petra says:

          Every solitary teacher in my family voted SNP1 / 2 also, as did a 17 year old who is still at school. First time voter 😀.

  4. Petra says:

    George Monbiot:- ”When I ask myself what trajectory this country is on, the most likely answer seems to be Orbán’s Hungary. How much in this thread sounds familiar? 1. The ruling class, wallowing in corruption, enjoys total impunity. Meanwhile, peaceful protest and other freedoms are criminalised.”


    ‘Scottish independence: Tories admit there’s an indyref2 mandate, says ex spin chief.’

  5. Petra says:

    ‘BBC accused of ‘blatant bias’ against Scottish independence after Radio 4 report.’


    Check out Ann’s latest links on the Indyref2 site.

  6. Bill Boggia says:

    Glad you are back and posting again 🙂

  7. Dr Jim says:

    Douglas Ross Anas Sarwar and Willie Rennie presented manifestos on the basis that they’d implement those manifestos if each of them won the election, but they didn’t try to win the election did they because not one of them stood for a constituency seat so they risked nothing to win nothing, isn’t that lying to their constituents who they asked to vote for them to win, and that shows how disingenuous they are, because one minute they claim to be three different parties (each of which lost the election heavily) the next minute they claim that collectively they could only equal the seats of the SNP and that declares them the winners, y’see if that’s the claim they’re sticking by they can’t then discount the voters of the Green party by the same logic who took the Independence vote over the line to win the election

    Douglas Ross Anas Sarwar and Willie Rennie are not only liars they should all three resign and go into the movable goalpost manufacturing business

    The BBC and other broadcasters will not point these things out to the public because they’re all anti Scottish Independence, but we must, and we must do it as often as we can and perhaps by volume of complaint against the English owned broadcasters in Scotland we can expose to those folk in the public who don’t know these things exactly how the political parties of England are one and the same when it comes to Scotland and you couldn’t fit a keycard between them

    If you vote Liberal Democrat, you’re just voting Tory, if you’re voting Labour the same thing applies
    there’s no difference, it’s all anti Scotland no matter what they call themselves

    One of the parties in the election who asked for the Scottish people’s votes to stop the SNP were called the *Family party* those guys are an almost anonymous group of Tories from Essex led by a person from Essex and for all anybody knows he’s never even been to Scotland in his life or even ever intends to, and probably couldn’t pick it out on a map

    All of these people represent one party, *The England party* and not to stop the SNP, Oh No! they’re here to *Stop Scotland*

    One thing that happened during the election was that the SNP stood in the constituency seats and risked all to put themselves forward to legitimately win the vote, no tactical shenanigans, no jiggery pokery, no weasel words, they asked the public to vote SNP 1 & 2 and they won the right to implement their manifesto to govern, that means they won the right to implement *everything* contained in their manifesto not just what suits the England parties who didn’t win anything and lied to their voters in the process, those parties cannot now have the right to claim the SNP can implement only the stuff they approve of, because they bloody well lost and lost bloody massively

    • Capella says:

      Anas Sarwar stood in Glasgow Southside but was beaten by Nicola Sturgeon 19,736 votes (down 1.2%) to Anas Sarwar’s 10,279 votes (up 8.4% proving that there are indeed some Tory voters in Glasgow.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Anas Sarwar’s Daddy and friends made a massive effort by phone and text from another country to individually canvass Glasgow’s ethnic voters to back him and some did because they work for the Sarwar family

        I think if we can criticise Russia or Iran or England for interfering in other country’s elections we can criticise India or Pakistan equally

  8. Hamish100 says:

    There was always Tory voters in Glasgow. Some are labour millionaires who believe to get elected you had to have a red rosette. Now they are just more interchangeable.

  9. Capella says:

    OT completely but cheering – Richard Burton talking about his father, a Welsh miner, and the skill used to extract coal. Great 2 min clip of that voice again.

  10. Capella says:

    Douglas Fraser mourns the closure of McVities, another iconic Scottish brand, sold to England, bought by Turkey and now closing the Scottish factory.

  11. Johnson at PMQ today announcing an enquiry into Covid but not starting until August 2022, qhich means it won’t report back for another 3 or 4 years yet.
    He pledged that the ‘devolved administration’, as part of Team IK’s handling of the virus would be consulted.
    So there we are, and the Speaker didn’t pull him Up; we no longer have a Scottish Government, we have a ‘devolved administration’, Johnson sending all traces of 22 years of a Scottish Government down his own personal 1984 memory hole.
    David Porter on BBC Jockland radio repeated the phrase ‘devolved administration’, colluding with London’s Ingsoc attack on Scotland, its government, and its people.

    Oh, Mr Porter, we have a Scottish Government Up Here.

    Something’s going to burst.
    How any right minded human being can look to Johnson as their leader and saviour beats the heck out of me.

  12. And there was Graham Stewart at the Lunchtime desk, not informing, entertaining or educating us Northern Brits.

    Surely this would have been sensational headline news:-

    “Covid Update

    Scottish numbers: 11 May 2021
    238* new cases of COVID-19 reported
    15,532* new tests for COVID-19 that reported results
    1.7%* of these were positive
    0* new reported death(s) of people who have tested positive
    6 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
    70 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
    2,928,963** people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination and 1,506,613** have received their second dose.”
    BY any standards, these stats are tremendous good news, but didn’t even warrant a mention on Plantation Quay.

    Not a mention on BBC Plantation Quay. Good news Scotland? Not on the Boris Broadcasting Corruption.

    They dropped the 3/4 Nurses ‘underworked and underpaid’ Unison survey, from the bulletin, because truth will out.

    Despite the Firebrand Brit Unison shop stewards recommending rejection of the 4% increase, 84% agreed to the raise, that’s about 52,000 bodies, as opposed to 66% of the 500 ‘polled’, that’s give or take 340 poor souls, whom Unison dragooned into reporting that they were threatening resignation or feeling ‘under’ worked and under paid.

    So nurses, ambulancemen, doctors, and such were sitting twiddling their thumbs during the greatest medical crisis to hit Scotland ever, under-worked?

    Of course Unison knew that the 4% award had been accepted, and so did Graham Stewart…but that doesn’t stop them and the Ministry of Truth.

    What a grimy wee channel this is.
    Shame on you, Graham.

  13. James Mills says:

    Covid Enquiry –

    No doubt chaired by a Peer of the realm with myriad connections via school ( Eton ? ) , family , business etc… to Bojo The Clown ( pat. pending ) and other public-spirited Tory types .

    Report will be delayed , just like the Russia Report into interference in UK politics ( aka donations to the Tories ) in 2019 , as there will be a General Election in 2023/4 which Bojo The Clown will win – then ignore the enquiry report even though it will put all the blame for deaths on the Scottish Government for moving the elderly into Care Homes – despite a plethora of warnings from Anus Sarwar !

    In the 2023/4 GE there will be new boundary changes to suit the Tories , new rules on voting to suit the Tories , new ballot papers sponsored by Tory donors and all Postal votes will be under the supervision of Baroness /Col. Davidson , who will forego one of her many selfless money-making enterprises to offer her services for the Public Good .

    In the GE , Scottish voters will need to produce a photo ID card which can obtained free of charge ( £50 post and packaging ) from the Department for the Union , Whitehall , London .

    No complex form filling is required for this document – simply name and address , plus a signed declaration that the bearer will uphold the principles laid down for voting by the Union Minister , Rt.hon. Michael Gove .
    The main principle is the Methuselah Clause which states that no Scottish referendum on Independence may be held within a generation of the previous one , which for the purposes of this declaration is that used in Genesis 5 : 21-27 – approx 969 years ( not including Bank Holidays ).

  14. Petra says:

    Thanks for the Covid figures Jack and once again the content of your post overall just highlights how the BritNat media are using a number of propaganda strategies to gaslight the Scots into believing that we are too wee, poor and stupid. Terrible to think that this has been going on for decades now: Cherry-picking data, lying by omission and just downright lying through their teeth on a daily basis. One just wonders what the selection criteria consists of (not really) for such people to get a job in the first place and what actually occurs during their in-service training sessions. Brainstorming and coming up with another brilliant way of making us us all feel like sh*t? All vying to be the top dog …. more so snake or rat. Hand up, look at me, look at me, ain’t I just a clever wee man / woman / Westminster lackey. One thing for sure is that they’ll all be out on their erses when we get our independence and that can’t come soon enough now.

  15. Lynn Fraser says:

    Sadly I am going to unsubscribe. I along with your friend Emily Bryce and others you know from here are ALBA party members now. The toxic nature of the SNP is what left 5000 plus people to move to Alba.

    We are not homophobes, transphobes, or anything else we are being branded. There is no shame in an independence party pushing to keep unionists out of Holyrood. I personally have suffered abuse a plenty in the SNP which lead to a formal complaint, unanswered. My branch housed the fella charged with sending threatening messages to Joanna Cherry, which SNP lied about. Unfortunately it was also the branch which housed the infamous @ mammothwhale who bullied and harrassed a young woman on twitter to her emotional and financial detriment. He continues to defame me personally and my husband along with the full branch with the standard you are transphobes and bullies.

    When a party acts in the way it has towards elected reps like Joanna Cherry and with its complete failure to act on my complaint along with hundreds of others, its time to go.

    My hubby and I hosted the National roadshow in Bannockburn which you attended with Richard Walker. We remain committed supporters of scottish independence. I would hope you can find space to stop targetting Alba party members in the way you have been. We campaigned for SNP on the constituency ballot, I have no doubt that our leafletting played its part in the higher turnout.

    SNP are the political means to indy, most of the toxity you read about is fact and has substance to it. 5000 plus people turning their backs on SNP some of whom have 40 yrs plus membership does not happen because all is tickety boo.

    Try looking at things minus the rose coloured specs please.

    Regards Lynn.

    Get Outlook for Android


    • grizebard says:

      You’ve failed to get support from the people of Scotland, that’s your fundamental problem, and for very good and obvious reasons that we here were simply trying to warn you about, even though you wouldn’t listen. Trying to blame the likes of Paul for Alba’s failure (predictably like RISE before) is simply ducking the issue, “shooting the messenger”. Continuing to cover your eyes and plug your ears isn’t going to get you anywhere, and it isn’t any help to the rest of us either, unfortunately.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yeah but you felt compelled to spread your anti SNP rhetoric on this site by claiming your Salmond party is all sorts of good when the tactics they employed were every bit as devious and disingenuous as the Unionists and that Alex Salmonds motives are benign when most folk know they’re not

      Scotland didn’t agree with you and they don’t agree with allowing Alex Salmond anywhere near politics again, he’s more toxic than Boris Johnson and you have to go some to be thought of as worse than him

  16. Capella says:

    Hearing that WoS has imploded but hopes the Murrells will be arrested and sniping at Paul as he goes. Seems to have taken bizarrity to a new level. I can’t bring myself to read it.
    So sad.

    • Dr Jim says:

      As the guys in white coats arrive and the straight jacket is tightened around this nut job he’s still heard screaming it’s everybody else wot dun it, infamy infamy, they’ve got it infamy
      The clown even wanted to go round to this site authors house and duff up a guy who’s just had a stroke, and he still claims he’s the good guy

      Of course all of that was a direct signal to the rest of his nutjob followers to wing their way over to Wee Ginger Dug and abuse the rest of us, it’s how he operates

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