Now that the dust has settled

The dust is starting to settle after the election campaign, so it’s time for an assessment of the results and what they mean, most importantly what do they mean for independence. I’ve never bought into the conspiracy theory that Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t really want independence. She is by nature a cautious person and she knows that irrespective of the outcome, the next Scottish independence referendum will be the last.

Either the referendum will secure Scotland’s independence, or we will lose and Westminster will take legislative steps to ensure that there will never be another. There’s little doubt that the SNP leadership was seriously spooked by the party’s heavy losses in the snap General Election of 2017 and put the issue of independence on the back burner fearing that attempting to force the question would only result in a referendum defeat that Scotland could ill afford. At the time support for independence was still bumping along in the mid 40s % range. Back then independence supporters would have bitten the hand off any polling company showing a 51% figure for Yes. Nowadays we take that level of yes support for granted.

Times have changed. Although support for independence seems to have declined from the high of 58% achieved in one opinion poll some months ago, it’s still higher than it was in 2017 and it is no longer a surprise to see a poll showing a Yes majority. Although Scotland seems fairly evenly split on the question of independence we would be entering an independence campaign with the support of half the country. Brexit has happened. We have a public which has more confidence in the Scottish government’s handling of the greatest global crisis since WW2 than it does in the British government.Nothing can be taken for granted but the independence movement is in a much stronger position than it has ever been.

We’ve just gone through an election campaign in which the issue of another referendum dominated. Despite a concerted and suspiciously well funded tactical campaign from anti-independence organisations , they failed to prevent the election of a parliament with a strong pro-independence majority and failed to deprive the SNP of any seats. Indeed the pro-independence SNP and Greens were the only parties which gained seats in this election. Even with a significant tactical vote the anti-independence parties either stood still or lost seats.

It should not be forgotten that there was no Unionist tactical vote in 2011 when the SNP won a majority. That makes the SNP’s achievement at this election all the more remarkable. Despite significant unionist tactical voting in the constituency vote, the SNP gained seats and came within one seat of an outright majority in its own right. Together with the Greens there’s now 72 pro-independence MSPs versus just 57 who are opposed.

Despite what they say for public consumption, the anti-independence parties and in particular the Tories are very much aware that this election delivered an unarguable mandate for another independence referendum. Former Conservative spin doctor Andy Maciver admitted to STV  that senior figures in the party privately accept that there’s a mandate for another referendum and if democracy is to mean anything at all, a referendum will have to take place. Certainly the issue of independence is not going to go away and eventually it will have to be settled one way or another in a referendum.

The SNP leadership is well aware that this election victory is its last chance. This Scottish Parliament and government must deliver an independence referendum within the term of this Parliament. If it does not it’s probably game over for the SNP – and certainly for its current leadership.

This election also saw the first outing for a party born out of anger and frustration at the perceived lack of progress to another referendum and a more widespread dissatisfaction among segments of the independence movement with the SNP. However the Alba party performed poorly and fell far short of the excited predictions made by some of its supporters upon its launch. Some had claimed that the new party could take 30% or more of the SNP’s list vote, The SNP took 40.3% of the list vote and won 1,094,374 votes. If Alba had succeeded in taking a third of the SNP’s list vote the new party could have won over 300,000 votes and around 12% of the total list vote. In the event it managed just under 45,000 votes and 1.7% of the vote share.

Alba is a party founded by independence supporters who are hostile to the SNP. Following its poor performance in the election its supporters have continued to blame the SNP for Alba’s defeat and for advocating SNP 1 & 2 votes. However no political party on the planet is going to advise its supporters to vote for another party – moreover a new party created out of hostility and anger towards its leadership, policies and strategy. It was always naive and unrealistic for Alba supporters to think that the SNP ought to have tacitly supported an Alba vote on the list. You don’t get to piss on someone’s picnic and then complain that they don’t invite you for tea and cake.

In any event voters are not robots. The SNP cannot compel anyone to vote for it. If Alba is to continue as a credible political force its supporters must look past their anger with the SNP and ask themselves why their new party proved not to be an attractive option for the great majority of the independence supporting general public. If they seek to have a significant impact in the independence process , the new party’s supporters need to get past their SNP coulda shoulda woulda and consider how to improve their own appeal to the electorate the next time around.

We’re not going to have an independence referendum while covid remains a serious threat to public health. Realistically it will be 2022 or 2023 before we have a referendum but I have no doubt that a referendum will happen within the next couple of years. If we want to win that referendum it is sensible to wait until we can once again do the sort of grassroots face to face campaigning which did so much to boost the yes vote in 2014. That’s vitally important in a country such as Scotland where the traditional media is overwhelmingly opposed to independence. Alba’s failure in this election proves the point. Theirs was by necessity an almost entirely online campaign, but it clearly failed to break out of its social media bubble. The result proves the limitations of pro-indy blogs , twitter accounts, Facebook pages and websites (this one included.)  A social media campaign can only succeed as an adjunct to a grassroots “real world” campaign, not as a replacement for it.

When the referendum happens the parties of British nationalism are going to throw everything at us. They will go into the campaign knowing that there is a serious risk of losing. They will not make the mistakes they did in 2014 when for months their campaign was characterised by arrogant complacency. The task for independence supporters now is to ensure that we are ready for them.  It’s time to prepare.

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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90 comments on “Now that the dust has settled

  1. AAD says:

    A political party cannot be expected to advocate that its supporters vote for another party. Except the three unionist parties did just that and the unionist voters obeyed the instruction.

    Alba advised its supporters to vote SNP1 and Alba 2, except in specific areas where to do so would damage the SNP. In the other areas SNP1 and Alba 2 would have resulted in more Independence MSPs.

    One major reason why Alba struggled was the mainstream media blackout of Alba. Alba needed mainstream exposure which it did not get.

    O/T May I express my dismay at the sentence handed out to Craig Murray yesterday. The Journalists Union who refused him membership should be aware of the thin edge of the wedge.

    • weegingerdug says:

      It is naive in the extreme to expect that the SNP would ever advocate voting for a party born out of overt hostility to it. Alba needs to reflect on why so few thought it was an attractive prospect and stop blaming the SNP for its failure

      • Good to have you back Paul. Now that there’s a clear mandate for a referendum and soon I think a lot of the frustration will evaporate, everything will settle down and people, while they may never be best buddies, will at least recognise that there’s a shared purpose.

    • raineach says:

      Had the SNP supported Alba then the electoral commission would have been down on both parties like a ton of bricks. The 2 parties would have been counted as one and no extra list seats would have been gained

    • jfngw says:

      Alba stood in areas that did damage the SNP vote, the fact that it made no difference was purely co-incidental. More independence MSP’s is meaningless, there is already a majority and the unionist are using the voting percentages as the argument, changing the distribution of these would make no difference to the argument, in fact they would use the drop in SNP list votes as even further proof of their point of view.

      As for Craig Murray, he stuck two figures up to the court when told to remove a blog, what else did he expect to happen, but martyrdom will fit well with him I suspect.

      I didn’t vote for Alba because the SNP told me not to, I did it all by myself. This Alba image of SNP automaton voters who follow blindly or are ‘imbeciles’. as characterised by the great ones PR man, is just laughable.

      • Ann Christie says:

        hfngw

        Those are the kind of comments that inflame the current situation unnecessarily.

        You say that Alba damaged the SNP – what about the Greens who stood against the SNP in 12 constituencies? Did challenging the constituencies not harm the SNP by challenging for the same votes? Up to this election, the Greens had not seen, or perhaps demonstrated, Independence as a priority. Lorna Chalmers even seemed to back away from Indy during her election interview Surely a large part of Alba’s push was to have a majority of openly pro-indy MSPs in Holyrood? Was that not a worthy aim?

        In my own area, on the List we had 3 Tories, 3 Labour & 1GP. I knew that voting SNP 1& 2 here would produce only unionist MSPs. And that’s exactly what happened. We have exactly the same return. I would far rather had that number, especially Tories, had been reduced by an alternate Indy party. The unionist parties understood that perfectly, which was clear in the tactical voting in specific seats. Over 1 million list votes to get 2 list seats is a tragic waste.

        Unionists outside Scotland have no understanding of d’Hondt, so regardless of the landslide victory they are still saying the SNP hasn’t won a majority!

        Your comment about Craig Murray shows a complete lack of understanding about what has happened to him. It wasn’t about removing a blog. And as for the automatons – over a million votes to elect 2 MSPs!

        That said, I am glad that the SNP is still the government. Hopefully an Independence referendum campaign will follow soon and we will all move forward with a common purpose.

    • Alex Clark says:

      The Alba supporters I heard from weren’t in the least interested in SNP 1 Alba 2, for them it was all about stopping the SNP. On the day of the election, Wings advised voters that the best chance for Alba to win seats was to vote for Unionists in certain seats and then listed marginal seats that the SNP had to win if they hoped to get a majority.

      It’s not surprising then that the vast majority of SNP voters gave their list vote to the SNP and suported Green over Alba. As the article says “You don’t get to piss on someone’s picnic and then complain that they don’t invite you for tea and cake.”

      I welcome Alba as an additional Independence supporting party but before they could ever consider getting a vote from me they would have to focus on their own message and not make it all about attacking the leadership and policies of the SNP.

    • Col says:

      Yes it’s funny how unionists managed to vote tactically but Independence supporters are are just too stupid to do do likewise. SNP 1 SNP 2 is just using your 2nd vote to cancel out your first. How incredibly daft can folk get.

      • grizebard says:

        An analysis that is as shallow now as it was before, and of course in between the electorate found it wanting. But maybe you want a new electorate? (In some alternate universe, perhaps?)

        • Col says:

          The electorate is always right. So I guess we don’t actually see independence as important as we like to pretend it is, fair enough.

          • Alex Clark says:

            Who is “we” I know that 50% of Scotland don’t want Independence and that is exactly what you see. and for them, it is unimportant which is fair enough. Our job is to convince them otherwise.

      • Drew Anderson says:

        I predicted weeks ahead of the election, that around 80% of SNP voters would do what they always do; vote the same on the list. They’re not as engaged as people who post on, or even view, indy blogs.

        Neither you, me nor anyone looking at indy sites will ever have much of an impact on the general public; however much you wish otherwise. Once you consider the Greens voting SNP in the constituencies that were always going to go native on the list, you’re looking at 10-15%, 20% at a push, of indy supporters that were even aware of the tactical voting arguments.

        Calling people stupid, too or not, because they’re busy getting on with their lives (in tough times) is not going to win hearts and minds is it?

      • Robert Oliphant says:

        Consider that had every SNP voter did SNP 1+2, they would have won an extra FIVE seats on the regional lists, so SNP 2 was only wasted because not everyone did it!

        • Me Bungo Pony says:

          Exactly Robert. Conversely, SNP1-Alba2 didn’t work because “not everyone did it”. However, SNP1&2 was the more likely to work as it is easier to persuade people to support a Party they already intend to vote for, than to support a Party that is barely registering in the polls, led by the most unpopular politician in Scotland and slagging off your first choice Party.

  2. Anne Martin says:

    It’s so good to have you back Paul. You never fail to make me feel better, especially at the moment when the elation I felt at the pro-indy majority is being tempered by the indy movement still arguing amongst themselves. We desperately need to get together and move forward to our shared goal.

    Nicola still has to have all her focus on covid and the recovery, but there is nothing to stop the indy movement to work on soft nos to change their minds before our FM is in a position to give us a date to aim for.

  3. Luigi says:

    Noone expected the SNP to support another party on the list, but they could have eased off a bit. Instead, they doubled down on the “Both votes” nonsense that probably cost them the majority. And worse than that, the deliberate smearing of Alex Salmond at every opportunity (by our own side!) was utterly despicable.This was just wrong. Based on the UK media blanking, and the dirty attacks by the BBC and SNP leadership (shame on them), if ALBA had broken through in six short weeks, it would have been a bloody miracle.

    Sure some angry ALBA supporters have probably misbehaved somewhat, in the heat of battle. However this is nothing compared to the vitriol directed to our former FM, ye know, the guy that actually got us a referendum and took us from 25% support to within 5% of winning it, There’s gratitude for ye. Alex Salmond himself has been gracious in defeat and has never said a bad word against Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP. If only the other side of the independence movement had been so gracious. Their appalling behaviour has only served to ensure that those who left will never come back. ALBA is here to stay and will continue to grow. I for one am glad, not for the division created, but because it provides a new home to those who want to fight hard and fast. If the SNP react in a proper way, and look for ways of working with ALBA, then everyone in the movement (and Scotland) will benefit. The ball is in the SNP court. Your call, Nicola.

    Anyways – Welcome back Paul – great to see you back.

    • P Harvey says:

      Luigi

      You say …… “Salmond himself has been gracious in defeat and has never said a bad word against Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP”

      I don’t know how anyone could come to such a conclusion which is the complete opposite to the reality – as is the rest of your post!

      • Fable says:

        👍

      • Luigi says:

        Sigh. Here we go. Yes, its easy to rubbish someone’s post without providing actual evidence. Au contraire, I know what I have seen and heard first hand from the SNP leadership. Why are you in denial about this? Do you think that by saying “opposite to the reality” makes it all go away. Don;t you think it’s time you ALBA-haters woke up and smelled the coffee.

    • Alex Clark says:

      The SNP have always advocated for “both votes SNP” they never doubled down on anything but asked of their supporters what they have always asked and that was to give them both votes as it maximised the number of seats they would win. Not the number of seats that Independence parties might win but seats that the SNP would win.

      What cost them a majority was not all SNP supporters voting for them 1 and 2 because if they had, then with 48.5% of the list vote they would absolutely have had a majority in their own right.

      I’m not sure where you’re claim of smearing of Alex Salmond by the SNP has come from, even one link would be good as personally, I haven’t witnessed any smearing other than from the media.

      All the vitriol and appalling behaviour you speak of, are you talking about here on WGD? I’d like to know where it was all coming from. One thing I do know is that there was plenty of smearing, vitriol and appalling behaviour by “supposed supporters” of Alba over on Wings against the SNP and especially the FM and her husband. Didn’t you notice that?

      The ball is in Alba’s court, they are the ones looking for support from voters in Scotland, not the SNP who have just won an election with the most votes for a party ever for Holyrood. The ball is very much in Alba’s court if they are looking to increase their broad support and a little humility in recognising that fact would probably do wonders.

      • Gordonb says:

        Good post.

        The vote share differential is a crucial aspect of Holyrood voting.

        Example:

        In 1999, Labour won 53 Constituency seats and got 3 List seats.

        In 2011, SNP won 53 Constituency seats, and won 16 List seats.

        So what was the critical difference for list seats ?

        Well, in 1999, the labour vote share differential was 5.2% (Constituency vote share: 38.8%, list vote share: 33.6%.

        In 2011 the SNP vote share differential was 1.4% (Constituency vote share: 45.4%, List vote share: 44%.
        ……..

        In 2016, SNP vote share differential was 4.8%

        And they won 4 list seats.

        Last week, the SNP vote share differential was 7.36%, and got just 2 list seats.
        ……

        Anyone thinking the SNP would have still just won 2 list seats, if they had replicated the Constituency vote share of 47.7%, on the list, is a tad deluded.
        ………..

        • grizebard says:

          Thank you for that insightful summary, Gordon. Says (almost) it all, really. And where did the ~2.6% additional slippage between the “minority” election of 2016 and this one go, do we think? Into a custom-built “superminority” hole, presumably…

        • Pat Hackett says:

          Yes If all Green supporters had “tactically” voted SNP 2 as well as SNP 1 we could reduce the so call slippage and the 8 green seats won could have been replaced by 1 SNP seat.
          A tad deluded to expect that instead of going for the obvious advantage of maximising the Green 2 vote

          • Me Bungo Pony says:

            In the scenario you depict, if all Green List votes had gone to the SNP instead (with all Alba votes too), the 8 Green List seats would have been replaced by 7 SNP List seats, not 1. The SNP would have a 13 seat majority.

            I’m not advocating Greens should have voted SNP. The Greens have their own distinctive voice in Scottish politics. Unlike Alba’s bid to simply parasitise the SNP support. I’m just pointing out the flaw in your numbers.

    • Petra says:

      ”Instead, they doubled down on the “Both votes” nonsense that probably cost them the majority.”

      The ”both votes nonsense” that you refer to was in fact advocated by Alex Salmond himself, Luigi, and may have accounted for, to some extent, people not trusting him this time around in conjunction with him appearing out of the blue just weeks before an election following attempting to force Nicola Sturgeon to resign. It didn’t help either that he started to shout his mouth off about Holyrood getting into Independence negotiations with Westminster immediately following the election. He should have been aware of Scottish priorities and that is that dealing with the pandemic takes precedence over independence. That he didn’t, and therefore seems to be out of touch with popular opinion in Scotland, is a cause for concern.

      He was / is also extremely unpopular in Scotland now and rightly or wrongly that was down to him and no one else. There’s no point in trying to pass the buck, Luigi. And just to add that if his bullying of staff and sexual shenanigans, those that he admitted to, in 2013/14 had come to light at the time Indyref1 could have been halted altogether and if not led to far less than 45% support. The only thing that I’m ”grateful” about was that he wasn’t outed at the time leading to the dashed hopes and dreams of so many extremely hardworking activists and supporters who were absolutely euphoric that summer. Conversely individuals that he worked closely with no doubt had their own lives blighted due to his behaviour and that’s a crying shame, imo.

  4. James Mills says:

    Another Alba Historian , rewriting Election History !

  5. […] Wee Ginger Dug Now that the dust has settled The dust is starting to settle after the election campaign, so it’s time for an […]

  6. Great to see you back Paul and sensible and pragmatic as ever.

    Something crossed my mind today–I wonder if BBC Scotland “…privately accept…” that there is “…an unarguable mandate for another independence referendum…”?

    There lies the battle ahead.

  7. Tom Parkhill says:

    Just reminder that it’s not so long ago that the Conservatives thought that 5% was a mandate. “Referendums on any local issue if 5% of the population sign up”: this is in their 2010 election manifesto, see report at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/apr/12/conservative-manifesto-cameron-power-people

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, a very apposite reminder of another skeleton in the Tory/BritNat cupboard that media amnesia has conveniently “vanished”.

      Indeed, in those places which do these things, 5% is generally about the amount of support that is normally accepted as justification for a referendum on anything. If the requirement was >50%, having one would be pointless anyway, because everyone would know the result beforehand without any need for the bother and expense!

  8. Pat Hackett says:

    Another good article but please consider 2 points
    1. Never say this is our last chance. In fact say if we fail this time we will try try and try again.Do not make the same mistake as saying once in a generation. Every election in Scotland can be about Independence if we so want it. If you are tired of a ” neverendum” then vote Yes.
    Every election will bring in new younger voters, many of them also Green supporters who have the right to go for independence if they so wish.
    2. The timing of indyref2 is in the hands of our MSPs but they will be influenced by public opinion. Do not forget the Greens who argue we need to have the people of Scotland who will determine how we rebuild our economy for the health of the people and the Planet and this is an excellent argument for going sooner.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, never leave hostages to fortune. The “generation/lifetime” one has not just been cynically done to death by Unionists, it has been zombiefied.

      But Paul has a point, that the English Government and its local proxies here are really scared now, whatever bluff they present to the public, and if they are determined to hang on to us whatever the consequences, they could change the ground rules Spanish-style with something like a deceptively-entitled “New Union Treaty” forced through WM, and on whose terms of course we wouldn’t be consulted. (As we have already seen recently, “no is just another word for yes”.)

      What happens after such an affront to democracy and self-determination is anyone’s guess. It would be a completely different ball game with entirely different rules. English governments in the past have taken great care not to go anywhere near there, but with insecure EngNats now in power, anything is possible.

    • Alex Clark says:

      The only historical comparison I know of and I’m sure you’re aware of is the Quebec referendums on Independence in 1980 and 15 years later in 1995.

      The first referendum was brought about by the Parti Québécois winning the regional election in 1976 with 71 seats from the 110 available a result that was totally unexpected jsut as the majority SNP victory was in 2011. The result of the referendum though did not go their way and 60% voted against Independence with 40% for.

      However, the issue never went away and for the next 15 years the constitution was very high on the agenda at every election.

      After the Parti Québécois returned to power in the 1994 elections with 44% of the vote and a manifesto promising a referendum within a year the stage was set for the 2nd referendum that followed. Once again though the supporters of Independence lost by the narrowest of margins 50.6% No to 49.4% Yes on a massive turnout of almost 94%.

      So far there is no sign of a 3rd referendum, the voters were sick of it and all enthusiasm for Independence drained away and now even 26 years later there is still no appetite for a third referendum that has wide support. I think that’s why we really can’t afford to lose this one as the likelihood is it really will be for a generation of 25 years or more.

      Let’s make sure then we get this one right, and that means just one thing, making sure we will have enough support to win it.

      Just the one job to do and that’s to convince a No to Yes. Then we win.

      • Pat Hackett says:

        When we go for it we of course go for it as though it was the last chance. However best not to state that. If those opposed believe that they only have to stop it once more then they will also be more motivated. Better for them to believe that we will eventually wear them down. We should not deny the new younger voters who don’t need to think that Quebec has to be the pattern that decides the outcome for everyone else.
        The danger of delaying is that we lose reasons for wanting independence. The economy rebuilt, nuclear weapons increased, Brexit trade rules , regulations and standards already lowered and done along UK lines.

        • Alex Clark says:

          The danger of going before the people are ready for it is that we lose. We need to consider both going too early and delaying, that’s not an easy decision.

          • Pat Hackett says:

            The danger of going before the people are ready for it is that we lose. We need to consider both going too early and delaying, that’s not an easy decision.

            Indeed but having good reasons for us to rebuild our economy could slip out of our hands and the SNP feel cornered into having to go at the end of this parliament when we have perhaps lost momentum

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, but I’ve always felt that the Québéc example is “read across” too superficially. (Being the only vaguely-comparable one, and all.)

        It is potentially misleading because already-federal Canada did respond meaningfully to the situation and address separatist issues to some extent, and thereby blunted their case, unlike here where all the Union can come up with for us is denial and more gaslighting.

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Pat: I totally agree your point that this is “never” our last chance.

      Who knows what’s round the corner. We are a country with a longer history that most European countries and are only being held back by a crooked Westminster political system and a biased media run by another country, who’s purpose is to put down and negate Scotland and it’s people.

  9. Debs Reilly says:

    What a well thought out and straight talking blog. As always getting straight to the heart of the matter. The unionists are terrified and will come out fighting. All Indy parties and folks need to garner their strength and be ready for the assault of too poor, too wee or too stupid to manage our own country. Let’s be ready to get the undecided to yes with one conversation at a time. If we lose the next one it’s game over. Thank you Paul for your brilliant insights it’s great to have you back

  10. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, well said Paul.
    Best allow 3 spare pages on this article for the inevitable spleen venting which will most assuredly follow.

      • John Muir says:

        Indeed! We all need to cool our heads and, some of us, lick our wounds. The Yes movement needs to act as one. And right now, only Nicola can lead it.

        Alba’s reputation is already in the dirt. I say this as someone who voted for them! I’ve never had such a negative response from friends after the fact. The smears against the party have been very, very effective. I had to explain my way out of, apparently, giving my support to a sex-pest positive, transphobic, across the board intolerant bunch of weekend Claymore enthusiasts. People thought I was off my rocker! And the result says they’re right.

        So, no. I’m not joining the 1 point whatever percent again. Guess I’m going back to the Greens.

  11. Movy says:

    Welcome back Paul. Meant to reply to your last blog to say great to have you back – but do not overdo it!!! – for health reasons I hasten to add!!!!

    And – I AM PREPARING!

  12. Anne Mackie says:

    Thanks for a really interesting article. I’m new to your blog and enjoying reading some sensible views.

  13. perthcol says:

    Let’s not forget that Mrs.May sprung an election in 2017 expecting to build a majority. That she failed is not my point.
    That the Tories arrogance allowed them to do this should cause the SNP and wider Yes Campaign to be generating the case for independence now.
    We know that Boris is perfectly capable of, whilst saying ‘now is not the time’, springing a surprise referendum on his terms.
    A failure to plan is planning to fail.

  14. Izzie says:

    Does anyone have the energy for another campaign ? I really don’t want another referendum nor indeed any campaign feel exhausted and politi sized out.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Yes.

    • Alex Clark says:

      If you’re the same Izzie that posted here telling how you felt a twinge of regret voting SNP 1 and 2 when you saw Alex Salmond’s name on the ballot paper when his name was not even on the ballot paper so you couldn’t possibly have seen it then I can understand you being exhausted and not wanting another referendum.

      Trolling is such hard work.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I just hope nobody crows over it. Seems to me Wings was the pivot after the 19th September 2014 for the revival of the YES movement, and the SNP 56 out of 59 MPs, frm which all things follow.

      • Gordonb says:

        All undone over the last 2-3 years, and telling folk to vote tory last week to shaft the SNP..!

        Happy to ‘crow’ about his demise.

      • Me Bungo Pony says:

        Given that the “bloggerati”, such as The Rev (brandishing his site visitor figures like the Harry Enfield character “Loads-a-money”), James Kelly (doing a ridiculous u-turn on his “no to gaming the system” opinion), Iain Lawson and Jason McCann, were 100% behind Alba/Salmond throughout the campaign (and for months beforehand if you count the other pop-ups) but only managed to influence 3% of the Indy vote …. I’d say Wings had a lot less influence than The Rev would like to think even then.

        I would think that is why he has gone off in a great huff. He us not some one who likes to think he has no influence beyond his own small, self validating, sycophantic echo chamber. Not only has he been cold-shouldered by the SNP, he has now been cold-shouldered by the Scottish public and his great hero has been decisively rejected at the polls. He is alone in his pram with the toys scattered all around the room.

        • grizebard says:

          Yes, though it’s a sobering thought that – as Paul himself mentioned – none of the indy blogs (for better or worse) appears to be nearly as influential on general public opinion as we might hope, given the BritNat lock on conventional media. Especially given the latter have the very audience/readership we need to reach most.

          Instead, in present circumstances, we have to rely on “social osmosis” and the steady accumulation of recognisable “facts on the ground”, which can be frustrating for most – if not all – of us.

          Arguably there might be more traction with younger folks, for whom social media is more commonplace. I haven’t any idea how influential the blog sites were with them in particular over the issue. Maybe no greater, though, since the fundamental problem with the message was the message itself, which was far from convincing to anyone except a few political anoraks and hotheads.

          • Me Bungo Pony says:

            The “young folks” may well be more open to the dissemination of information via the internet, but they are much less likely to frequent “conservative” (small “c”) sites like Wings where diversity and tolerance are used as sticks to beat the SNP with.

  15. Hamish100 says:

    And the Independence movement marches on regardless.

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

  16. Mike Lothian says:

    So glad you’re back, hope your health has improved

    I’m looking forward to the Wee Ginger Book

    Shout if you need any help with it

  17. 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.

    Reposting this from previous thread – didn’t realise we had all moved on 🙂

    • jfngw says:

      We’ve not, the Alba people are still calling us a**eholes.

      The bad news is where are all these WoS disciples going to preach the gospel from now on. This is one of the few active truly pro-indy blogs and I suspect they will want an outlet. I’m concerned Paul may not be in a robust enough health position to deal with an onslaught if it comes.

      • Me Bungo Pony says:

        “The bad news is where are all these WoS disciples going to preach the gospel from now on”.

        “Yours for Scotland” I suspect. That is a site that is going seriously overboard on the anti-SNP rhetoric.

  18. Izzie says:

    Miss him but let him go. WOS has done its bit. The movement has to move on. I am convinced there is a time and place for WOS in the coming fight

  19. Welcome back.This is the best analysis and synthesis of the current political that I have seen so far.I can see from the comments that some people still want to denigrate people who are actually on the same side.We dont have to agree on everything but attacking people who have helped get us where we are today weakens us.

  20. Martin says:

    I suspect that a date of the next referendum will need to be announced before next year’s council elections. Lots of SNP supporters held their noses last week. I don’t think there will be vast numbers switching votes if no date set – but enough to dent support and any momentum required.

  21. Luigi says:

    Sigh. A lot of ALBA-haters still in denial I see. How ignorant and oblivious to the truth can you get. You know what your SNP leadership is guilty of. At least have the courage to own it. 🙂

    • Alex Clark says:

      Prey do tell, I am ignorant, so what are they GUILTY of? Tell me and if I agree I will own it.

      • Andrew says:

        You must be wilfully deaf and blind if you have not noticed that the party’s internal democracy has been trashed. Conferences used to be lively policy making forums, Now we have staged events, if the conference is allowed to take place at all, where delegates get to ‘consider’ composite motions so bland they are meaningless. Look what has happened to the NEC. It is now dominated by people whose top priority is not independence and whose chair dos not stick to the rules. Can you explain, Alex, what has happened to the £600,000 we donated to a ring-fenced fund to fight a referendum? Because the SNP can’t or won’t. What happened to the rebuttal unit we were promised? Instead we use the framing the Unionists use and are immediately on the back foot. Where is the preparation of the policies we need to bring the unconvinced over to our side? Not there. Why can’t we pay more heed to the good ideas coming from the wider Yes movement? We can’t have a referendum right now but the preparatory work needs to be done, and quickly, before Johnson legislates for a union held together by force of law, not consent.

        • Alex Clark says:

          Still Andrew, what does that make the SNP guilty of since that’s the accusation?

          From what I read of the NEC elections last year, they were still democratic and new members elected included some who have since defected to Alba. Are you saying that members with a different view to the incumbents couldn’t be elected to the NEC?

          I have no idea about the ring-fenced £600,000 but neither do you. Are you saying the SNP are guilty of misappropriating that money? Do you have any evidence of that?

    • Alex Clark says:

      By the way, who posting here are you accusing of being “ALBA-haters”?

    • jfngw says:

      The only thing I have taken from this is Alba supporters believe belittling women in the workplace and showing no remorse should be no barrier to being an MSP. You really need to look in the mirror.

    • grizebard says:

      Look in the mirror if you want to see who’s really in denial.

    • Golfnut says:

      I’m an ALBA hater, I’m not in denial, in fact I made a comment on the previous thread that the independence movement dodged a bullet in denying access to Holyrood to those who have spent the last 2 yrs spreading poison throughout the movement. The reality is that the SNP didn’t stop you winning seats, the electorate did. They, the vast majority rejected you, they rejected your leaders, they rejected your message, they rejected your associates and backers, whoever they are. I have little doubt that had your party gained any seats in Parliament you would have continued your campaign against Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to the detriment of the movement and independence. I will always speak against you because you bring no light, no positivity, no sense of unity. You are a hindrance not a help and for those of us who witnessed first hand the aggression directed at those of a different opinion, you are no loss to this movement.

  22. Wee CB says:

    It’s good to have you back Paul and you’ve always been my favourite independence blogger. I am in no doubt that the unionists will try every stupid and dirty trick in the book this time and more. Just 15 minutes ago I blocked an advert for a Unionist Facebook page on Facebook. I just though uh-oh here we go again. I believe they’re already wheeling Gordon Brown out. The one problem that they do have is that we remember what they said the last time to convince the No voters to vote that way and the Vow was like something quickly scribbled on the back of a packet of Benson and Hedges in a pub. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

    The hope I do have is in our younger voters. I spoke to a lovely 17 year old outside my polling station in the pouring rain last Thursday who was there to represent the local SNP branch. He assured me that the most of the young people he knew all wanted independence, they were sick of mainstream media like the BBC peddling blatant lies and that any young voters voting Tory (in a minority apparently) were influenced by their parents. The kids ARE alright.

  23. scottish liberal party (4)nearly destroyed by their voters switching to stop snp

    we need to ask them, why the union
    use that info for the independence cause

    wings thought the snp vote was soft for alba – total misjudgement

    bye, bye

  24. Alex Clark says:

    Just for the record, that high of 58% Yes referred to in the article was from a Savanta/Comres poll for the Scotsman, and in which they later corrected the result to 55% for Yes. They did the same for 2 other polls as well.

    One poll that made more headlines than most was a Savanta ComRes survey in December which found that support for a ‘Yes’ vote to Scottish secession was polling at 52 per cent compared to ‘No’ on 48 per cent. Excluding ‘Don’t Knows’ the figure backing ‘Yes’ rose to 58 per cent, with the Scotsman noting it was ‘a return to record high levels of support for independence.’

    However it now transpires that Savanta Comres failed to adjust that poll by respondents’ likelihood to vote for three months, with the company releasing a grovelling statement on Tuesday apologising for its error

    The original polls in December, January and February reported support for independence as being 52 per cent, 51 per cent and 47 per cent respectively. When retrospectively adjusted they reveal support was actually 49 per cent, 47 per cent and 43 per cent – potentially narrative-changing figures.

    https://archive.is/OGE11

  25. millar421btinternetcom says:

    “However no political party on the planet is going to advise its supporters to vote for another party”, (unless it’s the Tory or Labour party) .Get in touch with reality, Paul. SNP played this badly. Always a serious mistake when you put personal grievances before your country. Getting my message? I shall always put my country first. No, individual, is more important than my country and it’s future. That applies to Wings, you, AS and the FM. Time all of you prioritized Scotland’s future.

    • grizebard says:

      Thanks for about the stupidest contribution of the whole thread. The SNP won, but somehow you seem to have entirely missed that salient fact. Must be smarting about something or other. I wonder what?

      And since you seem to have entirely missed this also, the FM-elect has been working assiduously day and night for the last year in putting all of us first, in the midst of an historic crisis, despite being simultaneously targeted by the slimiest pro-Union campaign ever.

      “Get in touch with reality”? Self-administer a big dose of your own medicine before presuming to advise others. You clearly need it.

      Oh, and take your false equivalencing and shove it.

  26. Fiona Orr says:

    Perhaps there needs to be an expanded understanding that not all indy supporters are neither SNP nor Green Party voters…. Increasingly, we hear of the percentage of Labour voters, for example, that would welcome independence but resist changing political party affinity away from their Labour roots.

    The SNP and Greens combining to press for a new referendum ought to consider how supporters of other parties can feel comfortable supporting Yes by making the ultimate goal a distinct concept that crosses political boundaries.

    How best to achieve this is the challenge that will take Independence several steps closer to being the ultimate prize.

  27. Craig P says:

    It certainly is time to prepare. There are four things the SNP need to do, that they aren’t doing particularly effectively at the moment.

    1. The SNP need to be talking up the benefits of self-determination.
    2. They need their representatives properly trained in rebutting unionist whataboutery and hostile interviewer pressure.
    3. They need to be able to reframe the questions being asked, to convincingly compare Scotland to other small independent countries, and get voters asking why we aren’t as rich as them when we have more resources.
    4. They also need clear, sensible policies on a few key issues, particularly currency and relationship with Europe – ironically they could look to Alba for those.

    And a fifth, if it were possible: we need our own broadcaster.

    In the meantime, the unionists are taking action. I can imagine a potential plan to save the union, beyond simply reacting to try to block the SNP. But as it would involve treating Scotland with a bit of respect, I can’t see it ever happening.

  28. malkymcblain says:

    OT however I needed to convey the pride I felt this morning when I saw this online. What a city! what a country! what a nation! You brought a tear to my eye Glasgow I’m so very touched by the natural compassion and solidarity you showed the world.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye Malky, it was a fine thing to see, it drew international attention and condemnation, not what the Home Office anticipated at all.
      The HO would have been acutely aware of Eid’s huge significance to muslims, so the timing of this raid was deliberately provocative, but instead of leaving intimidation and anger behind them in the muslim and wider community, they were stopped dead in their tracks by superbly organised activists and locals.

      Peaceful but steadfast protest, Police Scotland pushing HO to de-escalate what they had provoked, SG highlighted as having no say whatever over London’s hostile Immigration policy, all this beamed by the media to a gawping world.
      London’s HO ended up with egg on it’s face instead of an arrogant smirk, priceless…

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