Independence for recovery

Nicola Sturgeon has been re-elected by MSPs as the First Minister of Scotland for another five years. Given the SNP’s victory in the recent elections, her re-election was always something of a formality. Today she announced her new cabinet.

In about one year’s time Nicola Sturgeon will overtake Alex Salmond as the longest-serving First Minister since the introduction of devolution, but in her acceptance speech after being re-elected as First Minister she also clearly signalled that she wants to be the last First Minister of a devolved Scottish administration. She used the occasion to reiterate that her government had been elected with a clear mandate to deliver an independence referendum during the term of this Parliament. However she also stressed that she would exercise that mandate “with responsibility, humility, and only when the crisis of Covid has passed.”

There are two different issues when it comes to discussion about the Scottish Government’s preferred timing for another referendum. Firstly there’s getting out of the immediate covid crisis, and secondly there is Scotland’s recovery from that crisis. These are quite different and distinct, although many people conflate the two. However it’s important not to lose sight of the vital distinction between them. To use an analogy from my own recent bout of serious illness, in the immediate aftermath of the stroke I suffered, I was experiencing a health crisis. There was a high risk of suffering another stroke and I had to be hospitalised until medical professionals could be sure that my condition had stabilised. It was only after they could be certain of this that I was allowed to go home whereupon the focus became long term recovery from the stroke.

Applying this to political considerations about the timing of another independence referendum means that the Scottish Government does not wish to press for a second referendum while there remains a significant risk that covid infections could surge out of control, leading to a significant rise in cases requiring hospital treatment or cases severe enough to lead to death. This possibility means that there is a fear that the NHS could be overwhelmed and that our health services might not be able to cope. That’s the definition of a crisis, and it’s the situation we remain in for the time being.

It’s because the primary duty of the Scottish Government is to minimise this risk that there must be restrictions on people’s right to travel and to associate freely. While these restrictions remain in place it’s extremely difficult to conduct a normal political campaign. It’s even more difficult to conduct a campaign which is reliant on the kind of face to face mass participation and street campaigning which characterised the first independence referendum in 2014.

As long as we remain in this crisis situation it is unwise to press for another independence referendum. Many independence supporters are deeply unhappy about this, claiming it as evidence that the SNP leadership “doesn’t really want” another referendum. They are partially right – but what the SNP leadership doesn’t really want is a referendum which the independence movement has to fight with one hand tied behind its back and where an important strategic advantage has been conceded to those opposed to independence. After all, the point of the exercise here is not simply to secure another independence referendum. The point is to win it.

The experience of the recent election is a lesson to learn from. Alba party supporters complain that one reason their party performed so poorly was that it was sidelined and marginalised by the media and so it struggled to get its message and policies across. They have a point. However we all know that the media in Scotland is overwhelmingly opposed to independence and always seeks to amplify anti-independence voices at the expense of those in favour. The fact it behaves this way should come as no surprise. The anti-independence bias of the Scottish media has to be priced in to any independence referendum campaign if it hopes to be successful. The Scottish media will do exactly the same in a future independence referendum campaign. Any independence campaign which bases its chances on getting a fair hearing from the traditional Scottish media is a campaign that’s going to lose.

Alba’s experience ought to teach us that we cannot rely on digital and online campaigning. It’s far too easy to become trapped in a social media echo chamber and to fail to break through to the wider public. Since we cannot rely on getting a fair hearing from the traditional media and social media campaigns are not sufficient by themselves, this makes it all the more important for a successful independence referendum campaign to be able to deploy the kind of face to face “town hall” and community based campaigning which proved so effective in boosting the pro-independence vote in 2014. This is precisely the kind of campaigning that is most negatively affected by the lockdown restrictions on gathering and social interactions which must remain in force as long as the country is dealing with the crisis of the pandemic.

Once Scotland emerges from the crisis phase and starts to move into the recovery phase, that’s the time to hold another referendum. It is not a question of referendum or recovery, it’s a matter of independence for recovery. However we will only be able to make those arguments effectively once we have got out of the immediate crisis. Like most independence supporters I want independence yesterday. I want another independence referendum as soon as possible. I do not want Scotland to have to spend one single day longer than it absolutely has to under the rule of this malignant Conservative government. But I don’t want another independence referendum for its own sake, I want one which gives us the best possible chance of winning.

Much as many independence supporters dislike the fact, there are still large numbers of people in this country who are not convinced that independence is the way ahead. Not all of them are diehard unionists. Many of them could be amenable to persuasion, but only if we have an independence referendum campaign which allows us to reach them in order to persuade them. That’s the kind of referendum campaign we are going to be contesting at some point over the next couple of years, and that’s the kind of referendum campaign which is going to be victorious.


In the wake of recent events I am determined that this site will not become a home for bigots and conspiracy theorists. They will not be welcome here. Moderation is the most stressful part of running a blog, but this site is going to continue to make the positive case for independence. With this in mind as of today a new moderation policy is in force.

Anyone who attempts to use this site to post hatred, bigotry, or conspiracy theories will be banned. If you attempt to insult and abuse anyone you will be banned. This site has a zero-toleration policy for homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny. Failure to respect this will result in a ban.

If you intend to spend the next four years undermining the SNP, the Scottish Government and the pro-independence parties that the great majority of independence supporters voted for, you can do so somewhere else, because you’re not going to do it here. The reminder that has regularly appeared on this site is not a serving suggestion. It will be rigorously enforced. If you don’t like this rule – there is a small x at the top right of your screen. Click it, close this page and go elsewhere.

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107 comments on “Independence for recovery

  1. Excellently said Paul. A pleasure to read your blog, as always. We shall wait and be patient until we can campaign properly. All the best to you. Mireille Pouget

  2. Interpolar says:

    Good post!l, Paul!

    Independence for recovery will soon become the watch word, but as you say, there is no point in having a referendum if we are set up to lose. We can’t wait, but wait we must a little longer if we are going to win this thing!

  3. Drew Morrison says:

    “After all, the point of the exercise here is not simply to secure another independence referendum. The point is to win it.”

    Aye, patience is going to be the key attribute required until the FM give us the go-ahead then we have to hit them with everything we’ve got (of course in a non-confrontational but yet extremely persuasive manner). No doubt Angus Robertson is already on his brief and so should we be. Onwards and upwards.

  4. PaulaJ says:

    “While these restrictions remain in place it’s extremely difficult to conduct a normal political campaign.”

    I suppose one could suggest that it didn’t stop a handsome result for the SNP in (very) recent memory?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      True, but next month could be VERY different, that is the danger of the lunatics in charge of the southward asylum..
      I would not put it past the Prime Charlatan to engineer a disaster to subvert a referendum, “bodies piled high” are not on his list of primary concerns…

    • Drew Anderson says:

      Despite the, pro Union, mainstream media having a near monopoly on your average voter’s attention. How much better could the result have been with a proper campaign?

      “Independence for recovery” is great sound bite Paul; I can see it growing legs.

  5. Bob Lamont says:

    Superbly put, you’re getting better at this… again 🤣

  6. Petra says:

    Spot on Paul.

    ..”Alba’s experience ought to teach us that we cannot rely on digital and online campaigning. It’s far too easy to become trapped in a social media echo chamber and to fail to break through to the wider public. Since we cannot rely on getting a fair hearing from the traditional media and social media campaigns are not sufficient by themselves, this makes it all the more important for a successful independence referendum campaign to be able to deploy the kind of face to face “town hall” and community based campaigning which proved so effective in boosting the pro-independence vote in 2014.”..


    Richard Walker:- ‘Beware Unionist traps to deny Scotland democracy.’

    ..”The Scottish government will hold a second independence after Covid has been beaten and within the current parliamentary term. Until then there is much to be done within the independence movement to prepare the best arguments and focus on the real issues.”..

  7. Mary Brown says:

    You are right Mr Paul – we MUST win the next referendum and the timing is crucial. As long as any attempts from the fat monster down south to attack the devolved powers Scotland already has, as I think another poster suggested. Well done for calling out the bigots and conspiracy theorists – I’m fed up with them!

  8. Petra says:

    Another reason to unite and to work our backsides off together to get out of this Union ASAP.

    ‘Urgent Questions.’

    ”James Dornan: To ask the Scottish Government what engagement it has had with Police Scotland and Rangers FC regarding the reported COVID-19 regulation breaches, incidences of vandalism, violence and anti-Catholic bigotry in Glasgow city centre and at Ibrox Stadium on 15 May.”


    ‘Celtic chief Peter Lawwell’s home ‘petrol bombed’ in early morning attack.’

    • jfngw says:

      It’s British Nationalisms ugly face, they must be convinced Project Fear in its 2014 guise is not going to work. This time they want the ‘fear’ bit to be a more direct. I have no knowledge of what Peter Lawwell’s opinion on independence is, I would suspect he probably opposes it, that is no consequence to British Nationalists, it’s the message that’s important to them.

      We need to be prepared when we win the referendum, they are not going to take it peacefully, after all they didn’t when they won. I suspect we may need to close our borders immediately to curb an invasion, not from the UK troops but UK government financed incursions.

      • iusedtobeenglish says:

        “This time they want the ‘fear’ bit to be a more direct.”

        Is it possible that the aim is to make SG look incapable of controlling it ‘on their own’. So the gallant UK has to come to poor Scotland’s rescue?

        We say “Oh thank God you’ve arrived, UK”

        They say “OK, lads. Mission accomplished. You can pack up and go home now.”

        I never used to be this cynical…

        • ArtyHetty says:

          Yep, correct. Also, the stepping up of orchestrated violence is no doubt to portray Scotland as divided and as you say, the SNP government as being incapable of
          keeping control. It’s a ploy to undermine the integrity of the Scottish parliament, and also into the bargain, to make Scotland appear a divided country, incapable and definitely not worthy of rejoining the EU.

          It’s been done the world over, especially if you look to Latin America, almost all countries there have had their democratically elected government, usually of the left wing social democratic persuasion, taken over by the right wing, installed by the US. It’s all about money and more so, resources.

          Pretty horrified to hear of a petrol bomb being deployed already, it’s extremely worrying they are taking it that far only a few days after Scotland’s democratic election taking place.

          • iusedtobeenglish says:

            ” it’s extremely worrying they are taking it that far only a few days after Scotland’s democratic election taking place.”

            Seems like they’re feeling the pressure of time too. Which is both good news and bad,,,

  9. yesindyref2 says:

    An anti-SNP and anti-Sturgeon blog elsewhere (no, not that one) publishing a letter by Alistair Bonnington who apparently was a university tutor to Sturgeon, but here’s who this guy is:

    or indeed by LPW

    Some of us have long long memories and can’t be taken in.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      One of the old Grun btl crew as well, along with macart and heedtracker amongst others. Sad what we come to sometimes, all in the cause of Independence but some on opposite sides.

    • jfngw says:

      He was the BBC Scotland lawyer for years, I suspect he has that BBC gene ingrained in, like a stalk of unionist rock I suspect. Nobody reached a position of any influence in the BBC whilst being a supporter of independence, unless they hid their political views. Obviously this was no issue if you were a supporter of the unionist parties, you just need to look at the cross fertilisation between the BBC and these parties to reveal this.

  10. Petra says:

    Does this refer to the ”impatient” crew?

    AUOB:- ”In the interests of public safety we have decided to cancel this Saturday’s Rally at the Parliament due to Glasgow remaining under level 3 restrictions, as we don’t wish to encourage travel between Glasgow-Edinburgh. We look forward to our next Rally on Bannockburn field 26 June.”


    Devi Sridhar:- ‘If we loosen restrictions too early, there is a real risk of a third wave in the UK.’

  11. Petra says:

    ‘Government to hire adviser to identify post-Brexit benefits.’

    ..”Unbelievable – shouldn’t the government have identified opportunities BEFORE they dragged us out of the EU?” asked former civil servant Siobhan Benita.”..


    ”Still no answers on the Government’s testing mega-laboratory in Leamington. Despite emails, letters & press questions, we don’t know when it will open, how much it will cost the taxpayer or if it’s really NHS run. This Government doesn’t like scrutiny, public. #MegalabMystery.”

  12. Petra says:

    Well done to Adil Ray for tearing strips off the Tories again 😀.

    ”Adil Ray – Boris Johnson lied to the nation on Friday… which one of those 4 excuses is the truth? I expect none of them are… it’s just more lies.”


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

  13. Allison says:

    Transition and strategic planning should precede a campaign and that (incredibly) hasn’t happened since 2014 despite many mandates and democratic opportunities that we were just not but ready for. If we as the electorate and you as the new media don’t hold our elected government to account for that then who does and what changes? With power comes both responsibility & accountability.

    There are many assumptions as to what ‘after COVID recovery’ means, including yours as the statements made to date have been deliberately vague, and include post health crisis & post economic recovery, I’ve heard both yet the timescales, outcomes and impacts are hugely different.

    As a global pandemic is beyond the control of any government, how can a commitment be made that post COVID recovery will be in the term of this parliament? If another crisis were to hit the people of Scotland, as we have experienced in recent years, from a Financial crash of 2007, Brexit and COVID, Scotland will again be left to tackle the impact with ‘one hand tied behind our backs’ as a devolved nation (whatever that means by then). How do we proactively plan to mitigate risk of further virus or other crisis as other similar size independent nations are currently doing if we don’t control the required levers? If we create a narrative of pushing for Independence post recovery we are saying that we need the UK TO recover!

    The NHS, which we all hold so dear and owe so much to, was first discussed in 1942 when Britain was losing the war and it came into being post war in 1948. Crisis is THE catalyst for change, not to harness this now for a truly better vision of recovery through independence, with negotiations and planning risks squandering the catalyst. If the largely risk adverse Scottish population believe they have recovered from the third crisis in a generation when Scot Gov tells them they have, then where does the energy for more change come from? Independence is change with the associated risk and many will want to settle to a status qui – it’s what British Establishment have gamed in playing the long card on the constitutional question. Their other play is the short ‘put up or shut up’ card which would force Scot Gov to turn down a referendum opportunity or be forced to one they are not ready for. We are not holding the all cards here and need to be much more strategic than anything that’s been done since 2014.

    There is a real fear that those of us who are the progressives on the constitutional question are fated to rely purely on an un-evidenced HOPE of a government that have little impetus for change, rather than momentum if we do not consider both the interval and external factors and what they do to the chances of success. The onus is on the politicians to convince us they are serious and have a plan, not the other way around.

    2011/2012 started a campaign that brought real hope by creating a alternative vision to Tory Austerity from the financial crash. The 20% rise in support was largely due to the grassroots but the grassroots had a common goal and a target date. Without a date and a clear vision, out grassroots can expend more energy but without a clear objective and date we are not working on a common perfect but a random series of tasks.

    All independence supporters need to take a step back from partisan politics and observers the chess board with which we are faced: we are playing for Scotland’s future.

    • Golfnut says:

      Excellent comment.

    • Ann Christie says:

      Spot on! Great comment.

    • Capella says:

      How do we proactively plan to mitigate risk of further virus or other crisis as other similar size independent nations are currently doing if we don’t control the required levers?

      Precisely. The Scottish people must come to the conclusion that they alone should be in charge of our recovery. Sadly, a great many of them do not see what is so blindingly obvious to us. Control of the media is the main reason IMO. Without control of the media the Independence movement has no means of educating and persuading. We only have the street stalls, the hubs, leafleting round doors and town hall meetings. None of those can happen during a deadly pandemic.

      We do have social media and young people use that to inform themselves and young people are overwhelmingly in favour of independence. That’s what happens when you don’t watch or listen to the BBC.
      Once we can meet socially in town halls and on the streets, then campaigning is possible. Meanwhile – here we all are on WGD.

    • grizebard says:

      “progressives on the constitutional question”? That’s a novel way of saying “impatient”! {grin} Actually we here are all “progressives on the independence question”, it’s the other people whom we need to persuade who are not.

      There’s two different issues here which you seem to be conflating. One is a definite need to prepare the ground for the eventual showdown, and that certainly needs to be done well in advance, including in order to have ready-made appropriate responses to hand to rebut the various media assaults on both the notion and the practicality of independence that are constantly being essayed by the BritNat media. So I tend to be with you there. I’m not sure though your blank assertion that “Transition and strategic planning … hasn’t happened” is well-founded, it may simply reflect your own impatient lack of awareness of what may be happening out of sight.

      The other, and entirely separate issue, is what to do about the current crisis, and there your impatience gets the better of you, I’m afraid. You appear to suffer from “bubble view syndrome” – the fatal error of 2014 – and confuse your own convictions and those of your fellow-travellers on the one hand with those of the general population on the other. Though you do seem to recognise the risk-averse inclination of the latter, you don’t seem to draw the appropriate conclusion from it.

      Alas it needs more than wishful thinking to make the current ongoing pandemic go away, both in reality and in the minds of ordinary people having to make their way as best they can through it all. It’s simply fatuous to wish it all away and proceed regardless, even if the delay to the inevitable showdown remains unclear. To put it in concrete terms, the decline in hospitalisations in Scotland, which was progressing on schedule from mid-Feb. until recently, has now started going into reverse again. A continuation of the decline would have seen numbers today down about 30, whereas it has jumped back up to 78. And if we have another summer like the last one with people swanning off abroad for a holiday in the Sun and bringing back with them – under poorly-enforced quarantine arrangements – another set of viral family relations like last time, the consequences are anybody’s guess. But not good.

      So just like the rest of us, you will have to buckle down and see the immediate crisis pass, because until then, however much it might chafe, far too many people just won’t be paying attention. But your earllier point about getting seriously prepared is a salient one, and that can’t wait.

      • Legerwood says:

        Getting seriously prepared applies to each and everyone of us not just to the SG/SNP. We all specific interests/areas of knowledge so should keep those up to date in order to be able to underscore and/or extend anything produced by the SG

        • Drew Anderson says:

          An excellent point Legerwood. With baseline support for Indy at, or near 50%, we can reasonably assume our side has as much collective skills and/or knowledge as the other side.

          I know from experience that commenting on blogs takes a certain level of confidence that doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but perhaps we could encourage Paul’s occasional posters, or passive readers, to weigh in, if they know better than whatever someone’s posted?

          Let’s hear from you folks.

          • Pogmothon says:

            Careful what you wish for….

            This is one of the reasons that I do not attempt to interact with anyone who is not yet convinced on the need for independence.
            I am far to confrontational and reactionary.
            Before I make any comment on this blog, it is read over 3 or 4 times, occasionally I will ask the boss for her opinion on my scribbles, and perhaps 40% of the time they do not make it to the post.
            It is not the first time Paul has told me in reply “You are not helping” although I have never had any comments barred in moderation a few times but never barred.
            So I guess I must be getting better.
            The point is encouragement of new (to us people is to be applauded, but a mass of reactionary comments is more likely to put new people off.
            Is it your intent to encourage a mass of reactionary comment some possibly abusive in an attempt to overwhelm the new moderation process.
            Have I tain that to far ????

      • Allison says:

        It’s interesting the assumptions you make on my ‘impatience’. 😁 My ‘impatience’ is to ascertain when Scotland will be ready, state a clear intention to proceed to a constitutional choice by getting a reasonable date – putting down the deposit and calling the architect to get the vision on paper if you will, not to buy soft furnishings 😉

        I was on SNP NEC so I’m fairly well attuned to what’s going on (or otherwise) ‘out of sight’ 😉

        By progressives I’m speaking in terms of political science terminology of early adopters to the opportunities of constitutional change in Scotland. The moderates are those who can be convinced, the small ’c’conservatives less so thus not the target of energy for creating of convincing arguments, as it’s less likely to be effective if modest if more fixed on perceived benefits of status quo.

        As to the ‘bubble’ I’m operating in, again making assumptions is not helpful as I work extensively at grassroots specifically with the undecided to establish connection on common ground and build outwards from there by establishing trust through respectful conversations. Our own groups was. Reared for precisely the purpose of a wider door and longer table for a national conversation. I am on the strategy team in National YES Network and a proponent of the need to consider a losers’ dividend to address what neither Indy ref 1 or Brexit did, to consider how to bring those with you to move beyond an election.

        I get completely that text based conversations are not conducive to as constructive a debate as in-person, but I caution against making assumptions to allow communication to flow, as constructive conversations are vital. I look forward to many conversations both online and face to face in the weeks and months ahead to make the case for both the peoples’ engagement and the politicians’ accountability.

        One last point of clarification, 2011 was when the preparations began for Indy ref 1, the vote happened in Sep 2014. To affect a democratic opportunity in this Scottish Parliamentary term required the work to start now. If we’ve learned anything from the last term it’s a Government have no compunction about using their democratic powers to frustrate the will of the Scottish people. They alone (in reality) hold the key to when they call a GE. If we don’t take the initiative proactively we risk being in a continual loop of reactiveness as we were last term (‘now is not the time’), which is far from the position we should aim to be in as proponents of Scotland’s capability for self determination.

        See you on the campaign trail. I’ll be the one at the front looking ‘impatient’ 😉

        • Capella says:

          We are not in the same situation as 2014 and Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that the process will be very much quicker this time. Preparations have already been made. The Referendum Bill, passed last year and with royal Assent, lays the framework for holding a referendum. The question has been submitted to the Electoral Commission for agreement and as it’s the same as last time there’s no reason why they shouldn’t agree. All that is required now is a short bill to go through Holyrood with the date and timetable. Since the SNP and Greens have a majority that shouldn’t take more than an afternoon.

          What is needed is the agreement of the Scottish people. It’s great that you will be out in front leading. But we really need the people to be there too. All the strategy papers in the world will be useless unless the people want to take control of their country.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            “We are not in the same situation as 2014” – Or 2011 come to that.
            There are few if any NEW arguments (aside Brexit) over Independence, post 2014 Scotland’s electorate went through a dramatic re-education on the many subjects raised in the fear-mongering. eg If a Tory wag spouts “you’ll lose your pension” it gets laughed at.

            Scotland’s demographics has also markedly changed, the young are predominantly pro-Indy and know where all the debunking information is (Here, Business for Scotland, etc..), parents once averse to risking the future of their kids are now left with the dilemma of only protecting their own to the detriment of their kids, it’s a whole different game.
            IMHO, this time around, all it needs is the starting pistol….

          • Allison says:

            Indeed we are not in the same situation as 2014 and never would be. Even the Smith commission changed things (slightly) even if Brexit had never happened. This is why the planning for independence should have kept in step with developments to seek opportunities for transition planning where they arose with new powers. The key advance I can see was the creation of the Scottish Social Security System under Jeane Freeman. It is disappointing that the most vulnerable as still at the mercy of a hostile DWP for PIP when it could and should have been transformative to lives if the plans had been delivered by end of last parliament as promised.

            I genuinely don’t understand why it’s not clearer to people that what makes preparations for Indy is not solely the mechanism for the vote itself. Look to other counties across the world and you will see the years long transition planning that was done, not to hold the vote but to win the argument by making the ‘leaf of faith’ seem less so by actions ans. it words.

            We as the people can try to convince with words but only government can demonstrate deeds like our own Social Security System.

            In 2011 we had had an independence minority government for one term and an ambitious legislative agenda won a majority which was capitalised on to get the Edinburgh Agreement. Since then we should have been building and socialising credible options to the key identified barriers that 55% had in 2014 like economic security, Scotland’s place in the world (European relationships) etc., and demonstrating our direction of travel on issues that matter to folk, like pensions and showing how devolution takes us so far and no more to meet an ambitious agenda for Scotland.

            The people must demonstrate that they want to take control of their country indeed but it’s the role of government to show them the art of the possible and build the confidence that they can deliver on it.

            • Capella says:

              I agree with much of what you say, except that the most important priority is to win the vote itself. Without a YES majority all else falls.

              Transition to an independent state will probably take about 2 years AFTER winning the vote and yes, the government will have to have credible plans to reassure people that important economic barriers will be resolved.

              What I see as the main government project in the 7 years since losing the referendum has been to build confidence in the Scottish people that not only can we run our country but that we must. Polling since last summer shows that that shift in confidence has happened. The huge vote of confidence in the SNP on 6th May shows that they are building a consensus among soft NOs, young people and women in favour of self determination.

              The new cabinet is now in place. Let’s ee how they progress in the next few months.

        • grizebard says:

          I think with this “early adopter” usage, you’re answering your own question – it’s not the “early adopters” we need now, but the late adopters. And they won’t be paying a whit of attention to the likes of you while they’re struggling to just get through the current crisis. If they can’t even be sure whether they’re going to get away for a well-earned holiday break, just how much attention do you think they are going to pay to a self-declared political theorist, however “progressive”?

          Given the nature of the crisis, insisting on some predetermined artificial deadline for action, as some seem to be demanding now, is just plain daft. A sure indication of the degree of political disconnect.

          You also seem to be contradicting yourself by declaring (rightly) that a considerable degree of preparation is required to “pave the ground”, yet in the next breath you claim we’re at the mercy of an [English] “Government” that can pre-empt matters whenever it pleases. Perhaps you are just chafing at the current uncertainty of it all, and (like some others) taking that as “proof” that the SG somehow isn’t interested, but personally I think that is just letting your evident self-certitude curdle into unwarranted mistrust. Meanwhile the ongoing virus crisis is still a chiel that winna ding.

          • Allison says:

            I wondering if your approach to conversations works to convince anyone?

            Attacking the credibility of people you don’t know who are seeking the same destination is certainly an interesting approach…

            Good luck with that. Don’t let my strategic analysis background and time on NEC get in the way of your theories on my ‘chafing’.

            Hope you aren’t disappointed as, in my experience of analytical troubleshooting, a blind faith approach, dismissing alternative views (especially critical friend’s points and questions) is not the path to good problem solving or decision making.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Allison: “There are many assumptions as to what ‘after COVID recovery’ means, including yours …

      Neither WGD nor the SNP have said “after Covid recovery” for Indy Ref 2, at least, not as far as the SNP 2021 manifesto is concerned which said “after the Covid crisis is over” but implies BEFORE recovery, as independence is needed for recovery to give Scotland the tools we need.

      In fact as far as this article is concerned, THIS is what WGD said, making it very clear that there is a huge distinction, he even uses the word ‘distinct’:

      Firstly there’s getting out of the immediate covid crisis, and secondly there is Scotland’s recovery from that crisis. These are quite different and distinct, although many people conflate the two.

      It appears you conflated the two.

  14. James Mills says:

    ”Independence for Recovery ” is not just a slogan but a vital necessity for Scotland .

    Watching the daily sh*t show that passes for a UK Government as they lie and lie and lie about Covid ,Test and Trace , PPE contracts , travel restrictions , bodies piling high in the streets , wallpaper and nanny’s for Johnson , it is paramount that WE get as far from their influence as possible .

    If Covid had never happened we would STILL need Independence for Recovery .

    Don’t take my word for it – ”Too Wee , Too Poor and Too Stupid ” was the mantra among many of our unionist partners .
    If this was true , as so many of them appear to believe – just listen to the Question Time audiences- then it damns the 300 year Union . It clearly hasn’t worked for Scotland .

    If this mantra is NOT true we STILL need to address the grievous economic , health , social and environmental problems which blight so many of our communities . And these did NOT start with Devolution nor with the SNP gaining power in Holyrood .

    For too long Scotland has been an afterthought at best in Westminster ( as have Wales and particularly Northern Ireland – Brexit Border , anyone ? ) .

    And sadly , this second-class treatment has been all too often with the complicity of those Scots whom Dr Johnson was quick to spot on ” the high road which leads him to England ! ”

    ”Independence for Recovery ” is needed now more than ever as this most irresponsible and unaccountable Government in Westminster continues its blatant profiteering policies .

    ”Independence for Recovery !”

    • Golfnut says:

      Well said, and spot on. Although I agree totally that we need to get in front of the virus before we can utilise our best medium, the YES movement, coronavirus hasn’t killed as many people as poverty and the ills which follow it. Paul’s own words ” Scotland isn’t poor, it’s impoverished ” describe best why Scotland needs Independence. Coronavirus isn’t needed to justify independence, poverty and the malice directed at this nation by westminster are.

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      “For too long Scotland has been an afterthought at best in Westminster ( as have Wales and particularly Northern Ireland – Brexit Border , anyone ? ) .”

      Time for a cooperative Four Nations approach to this Union? Surely we can all do better and should all be applying pressure for it in WM?

  15. Stella Falconer says:

    Thank you, Paul. The voice of intelligence, calm and reason, as always.

  16. One tactic must now be employed, and that is to exploit every move made by Johnson’s government if it is clearly a threat to Scotland.

    One great opportunity now looks like it will, very soon, fall into our laps. Today, it is being reported that Johnson is about to agree to a Trade Deal with Australia which will remove all tariffs on their agricultural products. The NFU has clearly warned the Tories that allowing such products, like Lamb and Beef, to flood into the UK market will pose a huge threat to many UK farmers, as their products simply cannot compete on price. The result? Many of them will go out of business…. It has also emerged that Johnson’s government has instructed Civil Servants to draw up a scheme offering financial inducements to farmers to encourage them to retire, or find alternative employment, at the same time as the overhaul of Planning Laws is bring proposed (South of the Border anyway). Ian Blackford’s pointed questioning of Johnson on this very subject was arrogantly mocked, then dismissed at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, suggesting that Johnson couldn’t care less what happens to UK farmers, from the Australian or other trade deals (the NFU and others fear that Brazil and the USA will then demand the same zero tariffs approach in any trade deals that they sign with the UK).

    As the Tories have traditionally been the party of choice for many farmers (for example, pro-Tory signs sprout like weeds in fields here in Galloway at every election), and the fact that the Scottish Tories cannot stop Johnson from screwing them over, as he doesn’t need their measly 6 votes in his huge, 81 Commons majority, there is surely a chance to talk to the Scottish farming community and to try and persuade some of them that to keep backing the Tories, and the Union, is to back their own destruction? Winning over farmers to the SNP and Yes would pose a dangerous threat to the No side in rural areas of Scotland if it could be done on a large enough scale. Johnson’s likely move over Australia may just offer a priceless chance to do so.

    The fight to prove to enough Scots that Holyrood is superior to Westminster, and that a government that we choose, compared to one that is forced upon us, is the best way forward is likely to depend on exploiting such opportunities when they present themselves. We should start now.

    • Capella says:

      Excellent point. Mairi Gougeon is the new Rural Affairs Minister. This will be in her already over-flowing portfolio now that Fergus has departed.

      Traditionally, what the Tories do is buy the farmers off. Many of them are landowners and farmers themselves, and the House of Lords is stuffed full of them too. Huge grants to plant trees may be offered, which we will pay for of course. Or, as you say, planning permission in England for executive housing estates will be granted liberally.

        • Capella says:

          That’s nice isn’t it. Lots of them will be Troy Lords, MPs, councillors and voters.

        • A good plan if you want to destabilise a country.
          Retire its farmers so that the country has to import all of its food.
          And if food is being imported from USA or Australia , New Zealand it will arrive in England before coming to Scotland.

          • grizebard says:

            You seem to assume there is a “plan”, Terence. Somehow I feel it’s largely “unintended consequences” of a totally clueless and unprepared Brexit. Just like the situation in NI, which English ministers are now beginning to admit they didn’t foresee. While experts like Prof Michael Dougan were warning them long before, they had their fingers firmly in their ears.

            Which does rather highlight that we really need to reassure the current sceptics of independence that such a transition, as well as being essential for full recovery, is also perfectly manageable, and that invidious artificial comparisons between the “40-year dissolution” and the “300-year dissolution” have no traction.

      • Pogmothon says:

        “Or, as you say, planning permission in England for executive housing estates will be granted liberally”.
        This has been one of my pet aggravations for several years now, and seams to be accelerating in Scotland.
        Please tell me now we will continue with the ability to feed ourselves when the farming land is continually falling under concrete.

    • Alex Clark says:

      This “no tariffs” on agricultural products trade deal that is likely to be signed with Australia sets a very bad precedent for future deals with other countries that you correctly point out will be expecting the same.

      I’m not sure that Australia will be able to undermine the domestic market for Scottish beef but Brazilian or Argentian beef imports to the UK might very well do. What is very clear now to both Farmers and Fishermen in Scotland is that Brexit is and will be very bad for their businesses. They have yet to see this but they won’t be able to hide from the reality of their choices forever.

      Chickens do come home to roost as I sincerely hope the Tories will find out.

    • grizebard says:

      “financial inducements to farmers to encourage them to retire” – I’m glad you mentioned that, Christopher, because otherwise I would have. This is the BoZo regime doing exactly the same to the farming sector as the notorious Thatcher one did to the industrial sector. Using precious public funds to create an irrecoverable desert (in this case, maybe even literally) and calling it a success.

      And the snatch I caught of the R4 news sometime today declared it was because of “reallocation” {ahem} of subsidies, a disgraceful mealy-mouthed BBC re-framing of the harsh reality that EU subsidies have gone down the tubes with Brexit and the English Government isn’t in the least interested in replacing them.

      Reaching-out to the Scottish farming community over this might be worthwhile, but you would think that the grim reality would already be sufficient all on its own. Oh, and it’s foolish to hope that it can all be sorted by expecting the SG to mitigate every consequence of Brexit away. (Though NorthBritLab will undoubtedly claim it ought.)

    • Drew Anderson says:

      It’ll be interesting to see how, largely sustainably produced Scotch beef or lamb, being sidelined is going to help the bloviator-in-cheif meet his recently announced emissions targets.

      Shipping non-indigenous meat halfway across the globe, from intensive systems, instead of locally produced, grass fed beasts is reducing the carbon footprint in what way exactly?

      Ah, tick the box, transfer the emissions to the producing country, job done. Meanwhile, it’s a jolly wheeze to transfer yet more public money to one’s chums in the landowning gammonry. They can “retire” from farming whilst keeping their collective snouts firmly in the trough.

  17. Hamish100 says:

    So the “ colonies” have got more authority and power than poor old England. How embarrassing for the brexiters

  18. Dr Jim says:

    The fishermen and the farmers can all retrain as scientists fruit pickers or digital technology experts to lead us into a brighter new tomorrow

  19. Statgeek says:

    Billboards across Scotland with:

    “If Scotland were already Independent, would we want to join England for their Brexit?”


    “If Scotland voted Indy in 2014, we would be back in the EU by now.”


    “How much of your taxes went to Tory chums in Government contracts?”


    “Beware love bombs from London. Their payload includes reduced powers.”


    • Capella says:

      If Scotland had voted YES in 2014 we would never even have had a BREXIT referendum. The plan was for a 2 year transition period and independent in 2016. Sigh.
      Still – we have a second chance.

    • grizebard says:

      Actually, if there’s anything we could do to counter the BritNat stranglehold over the print/broadcast media, some well-placed permanent electronic billboards with changing messages like this would be a prime candidate. Would just need some sympathetic property owners and a deal of crowdfunding…

  20. I Wright says:

    Some clarity on what the criteria are for being out of ‘the crisis’ would be welcome.

  21. techniphobia says:

    As someone who has become increasingly cynical about the SNP (ex-member after some 20 odd years in the party) and increasingly skeptical about the chance of another referendum in the foreseeable future, I want to thank you, Paul, for a well reasoned argument.

    Please be right.

  22. yesindyref2 says:

    It’s funny. Pretty obvious to anyone with half a brain Sturgeon has her Indy Ref 2 war cabinet in place already and it’s still only May. And a couple of places still to spare for Ron – later on. Now let me see, what are the reserved issues that would need a Minister, errr, ummm …

    • grizebard says:

      Hmmm, maybe she needs a “Minister for Reserved Matters”, whose task (besides the obvious preparations) would be to pop up whenever Sarwar or one of his party colleagues demands the SG “do something” that requires reserved powers, and immediately put them (and the public) straight. And where relevant, also remind then how their party stooge on the Smith Commission stopped them coming to us in the first place.

      • Statgeek says:

        I hear Swinney is Minister for handling Covid recovery. Interesting post. The better he does, the quicker he’s out of a job. Just in time to handle the Indyref that follow the Covid recovery.

        (here’s hoping)

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Precedes I think. From the manifesto:

          We are seeking your permission at this election for an independence referendum to be held after Covid – when the crisis has passed but in time for us to equip our Parliament with the full powers it needs to drive our long term recovery from Covid

          I read this as Independence is neccessary for recovery. But hey, what would I know, and I might be doing this to run interference for the SG for the benefit of any UKGov spooks 🙂

          Hi there 😎

          Or it could be a double bluff.

      • iusedtobeenglish says:

        Good points!

        I like the idea of a Minister for Reserved Matters.


  23. bringiton says:

    Britishness for many Scots is like a drug which creates a dependency.
    Those who advocate cold turkey as a means to ending this dependency underestimate the resistance many people have to that idea.
    By slowly weaning people off this,we will eventually free ourselves from the pushers
    who have profited from the misery inflicted on so many.
    People need to see tangible evidence that there is another way to live and that,Yes,we can do it.
    That requires good governance as we have seen during the Covid pandemic.

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      Necessary but difficult, bringiton.

      We all inhabit 1 archipelago called the British Isles, No arguments. We’re all British. So to many changing the mindset would be a bit like trying to wean a Frenchman off being European. So weaning off thinking of being a… what?

      I’ve never really thought of this before (well, note the username!) We’ve got British, Scottish, Welsh, English, Irish but no word to describe some one from the UK. If we’re One Nation and One Country why not? I’m going to use Yookers. Possibly YookNats?

      I see comments sometimes which – understandably – sound quite stroppy, responding to non-Scots saying Indy will “destroy my country”, with “It’s NOT your country”. I wonder what would happen if the response was “So what word do we use that tells people we’re from the UK?”

      I think you’re right about good governance. Devolved anti-Covid measures in both Scotland and Wales have set a lot of people thinking.

      • Hamish100 says:

        You can be british or a Brit. I’ll stick with Scotland and European.

        Brit is political British is political these days Scotland and a Scot is how I feel and believe in part of who I am.

        • iusedtobeenglish says:

          “Brit is political British is political these days”

          Ah, I think that’s where we differ, Hamish. In interpretation only. No offence meant.

          It’s the term UK that I think of as political… To me, British is a neutral – and often incorrectly used – term based on geography. Scotland – and the other 3 nations – are parts of the group of islands off the coast of mainland Europe known as GB or the British Isles. (Similarly France etc are part of Europe – as is Scotland, come to think of it!)

          (Brit is a hideous Americanism! 😀 ).

          It would be hard to argue with people who are used to confusing/conflating Britain/UK/England. It wouldn’t make sense to them. But the question “if there isn’t a name to describe someone from the “country” of UK, how can it be a country?” might get them thinking.

          Could use Serf, I suppose? I’ve only been here since the 1980s, so I’d have to go with Anglo-Welsh New Scot and European. Bit of a mouthful, but there you go. How long do you have to be in Scotland before you can shorten it? 🙂

          • Hamish100 says:

            I understand your comment. Just the bbc – refers to Brits on holiday Brits this and that. For that matter it is also a music award. The Brits.
            Saying I am a Scot/ Scottish ; English; Welsh is jus more accurate.
            The names Britain, Great Britain, Team GB have been corrupted for political reasons.

            • iusedtobeenglish says:

              Right. Gotcha!

              Thought you thought I was calling you a Brit or something. Or worse – you were calling ME one!

              So what would you call someone from the glorious country of UK? (Keep it clean… {grin})

              • Pogmothon says:

                As you have already pointed out UK is not a country but merely a convenient political construct.
                And what you want to call yourself is entirely up to you Scotland and Scottish is personalized and shortened in many fashions. Some pleasant, some humorous, some purposely offensive.
                As I said what you want to call yourself or are willing be addressed as, is entirely up to you.

                However as I occasionally need to correct my good o’l boy cussins “Scotch is golden coloured and comes in bottles, but since you brought it up yes! I will have a dram”

  24. granda16 says:

    Great post, Paul.

    One of THE most distressing things about reading Indy blogposts which focus on denigrating Sturgeon and the SNP, is the CERTAINTY that these people display. There is never the slightest hint of doubt in their writings.

    If Sturgeon makes any statements, they are immediately parsed, and the worst possible interpretation put on them. The glass is always empty for them.

    I freely admit that these people have caused me to doubt my own beliefs that Sturgeon is sincere. That’s the problem with propaganda. It is corrosive.

    The MOST important points you’ve made (in my opinion), are about the soft noes, and the only effective way of reaching those folks, which is face-to-face conversation with a POSITIVE and CHEERFUL demeanour!

    Your point about the meeja is absolutely correct. We will get zero help from them. It will be down to us to get the message across to our FRIENDS. Put three Scots in a room, and you’ll get four opinions – on just about any subject under the sun, so let’s not forget that when we talk about no voters, we are talking about compatriots and friends, who disagree with us – not enemies.

    I look forward to a resurgence of the joyful campaign that was extant before the pandemic. Once that happens, the “voices” of these internet “experts” will be greatly diminished, and the Yes movement will once again be a thing of joy.

    By the way, I have no idea how your stroke has affected your physical health, my friend, but it certainly hasn’t affected your mental acuity! Keep up the good work, Paul!!

  25. andyfromdunning says:

    Paul, you often correctly emphasise the need to combine people of the merits regarding independence. Electronic media canvassing only catches part of a community.

    Talking is the only answer. There are many people with zero interest in politics who you somehow need to generate enough of an interest in them to think about independence. One person I know picks up his news only from BBC radio and is only interested in doing his job well and his family. I think people like him are common. It took me two years to make him see what it is all about. He is now a Yes supporter. You cannot convert people quickly.

    As part of my local Yes group I would estimate that at least half of our supporters are not confident enough in facts to try to discuss points with a stranger or even someone they know who is repeating Unionist lies.

    It is not easy. A campaign catches the media and makes some people think but most May vote for the present situation because of the fear of change.

    It is not easy. All of us must concentrate on everyone we know and when possible politely with strangers. I personally started converting people I know in 2013. I know that I have managed to get 29 people to support the cause. The latest 3 weeks ago. Four are Conservative supporters.

    There is lots of talk about this but I am unsure on the level of conversation success. If every Yes supporter converts one person we win.

  26. AAD says:

    I agree that the timing of the next referendum is crucial and the whole movement needs to be ready for it. The YES grassroots movement is still working as far as the Covid situation allows as is Believe in Scotland and the various blogs (whether you totally agree with them or not) are still going.

    The SNP, as the perceived leader in the movement needs to step up and “show its working” on what it is doing to lay the ground work (eg currency, constitution, land reform).

    I am concerned, however, that the SNP is showing a democracy deficit in that it is reported that the results of the NEC elections have been set aside without member consultation and at least one member who was voted off has been reinstated into their previously held position.

    If true, this will result in anyone who is interested in a democtratically run party being seriously scunnered.

    • Capella says:

      That isn’t true. There was an election in November last year. The person elected to the post then defected to ALBA. The votes were recalculated and the person next in line was appointed. There will be another election this year.
      So the results of the election have not been set aside. There is no democracy deficit in this instance.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I saw that on SGP, and people aren’t voted OFF positions, they’re voted ON them, or into them. You don’t get to vote against candidates.

      With list MSPs in Holyrood, if one leaves, the next on the list takes the place. Whereas with a constituency MSP it needs a by-election. That’s the way it works for all parties:

      Some of those on the SNP NEC who won last November left to go to Alba so there are vacancies, and I guess the NEC just made a ruling that, like for list MSPs, the one who would have been next on the “list” in the November elections, takes the vacancy.

      It’s not undemocratic, it’s the NEC making a ruling which is what they are there for and “saving” having another election (considering it’s halfway to next November). I think it’s crap, but they are allowed to do it – they are the NEC, the rule making body. I’m not a member of the SNP by the way (political parties are not for me). What they should do is change the rules for next time so everybody knows vacancies get filled from the unsuccssul candidates in order of votgs they received. It does make sense, as long as everybody knows the rules in advance.

      Their reasoning was that they need to start getting ready for the council elections next year, without more disruption. Which again makes sense.

  27. JoMax says:

    O/T – but the BBC is reporting that the UK Govt is going to shake up the railways by setting up a new state-owned body – Great British Railways (GBR). Now don’t laugh back there. Presumably it will replace boring old Network Rail which doesn’t sound terribly great or very British.

    • andyfromdunning says:

      I am old enough to remember the old British Rail. Years of under investment in trains and the rail network. Poorly dressed train staff as well. There are serious problems with privatisation but at least it has brought us a better maintained track system, new trains and smartly dressed staff.

    • Legerwood says:

      I wonder if the new body will take on Network Rail’s debts which the last time I looked were heading towards £50 Billion? Network Rail is actually nationalised although it is called something else to try to cover that fact.

      Network Rail also receives an annual Direct Grant from the UK Gov of around £4Billion. For ‘Direct Grant’ read subsidy.

  28. yesindyref2 says:

    OT – I’ve been monitoring comments on the National since it became pay to post to get rid of “trolls”, and what’s left is Sturgeon-haters and SNP-haters, bar one or two brave souls. This is the best comment of the day:

    Judging by some of the comments on here I wonder just who is paying their subscription?

    Sadly, it even seems to have affected one or two of the columnists [1]. Exposure to the below the line negataivity and hatred is possibly to blame. I’m actually glad I can’t post there any more, it would be constant work and stress to try to stay polite and not swear,

    [1] as in this article “Cabinet is more of the same but Scots need radical action now”

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Someone making this comment there, first one in, always negative, got 49 upvotes [2]:

      This woman needs a rocket up her jaxxy. (about Sturgeon)

      A comment suitable for the Daily Mail.

      [2] 2 SIU IDs, refresh, upvote, refresh, upvote, refresh … you get the picture. Upvotes should be named as they used to be in the Herald, so you could see who upvoted.

  29. James Mills says:

    Great British Railways – with Mary Berry as chair ! Episodes on BBC 2 every Tuesday !

  30. Alex Clark says:

    The railways have effectively been completely re-nationalised but of course the Tories won’t describe it that way, you are not supposed to take public ownership of anything you are supposed to sell it as the private sector can always do it better. Tell that to the probation and prison services.

    So Network Rail is no more and neither are the individual train companies in private hands, the names might remain the same but they are owned by the government who will now “contract out” the running of them.

    A new public body, Great British Railways (GBR), will integrate the railways, owning the infrastructure, collecting fare revenue, running and planning the network, and setting most fares and timetables. GBR will simplify the current mass of confusing tickets with new flexible season tickets and a significant roll-out of more convenient Pay As You Go, contactless and digital ticketing on smartphones. A new GBR website will sell tickets and a single compensation system for operators in England will provide a simple system for passengers to access information and apply for refunds.

    I very much doubt that this new model for managing the railways will be any better for the taxpayer and train commuter than the failed model that it replaces. Hopefully, in Scotland the running of Scotrail will not be contracted out and will be managed directly by a new department of the SG, I’ve no idea if something like that is on the cards so I guess we wait and see.

    • Legerwood says:

      I think there has been mention of the SG taking Scotrail back under SG control when Abelio’s contract ends in a few years time.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Yes thanks, I was vaguely aware of that. What I’m uncertain about are any plans for managing Scotrail, I suspect though it will be similar to the system currently used for managing Scottish Water which “is a public company accountable to Scottish Ministers and Scottish Parliament.”

        It would be good to think that it might be possible for a Scottish Government to invest more in rail infrastructure improvements across Scotland.

        • Capella says:

          Another issue in which the Scottish Government would be backed by the voters. Railways are reserved although special permission to vary the network can be obtained. AFAIK that’s how the SG rebuilt the Borders Railway. Almost everyone backs renationalising the railways.So what the Tories are proposing is not really doing that but maybe stymying the SG in their stated intent.

          We could have a referendum on nationalising Scotrail 😂 and also taking over immigration policy, border control and farming and fishing.

          • Capella says:

            Oh…and finance (all of it), foreign affairs, energy, social security and pensions, broadcasting, telecommunications, defence… anything else?
            A referendum a month till it’s all in-house.

            • iusedtobeenglish says:

              What a great idea, Capella!

              Security? Or is that included in border control?

              Oh! But, but… what about Independence?

      • Bob Lamont says:

        March 2022

  31. Capella says:

    Great British Railways was a TV series with Michael Portillo. Is it being revived? If so it should be called something else. Calling it Great British is a recipe for disaster – oh is that Mary Berry’s recipe ?
    Hubris 😂

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      Good question.

      What about the Great British Shake Off – and we get to throw out one politician at the end of every episode?

      They could have a souvenir Apron…

  32. Linda Bates says:

    It’s a delight to read your posts, as always, Paul – it’s great to have you back and I wholeheartedly support your stance on dealing with the nay-sayers and in-fighters.

    We need more positivity – as Harvey Milk said, “you’ve gotta give people hope”!

    My Positively Yes for Scotland facebook page strives to do the same thing 🙂

  33. Statgeek says:

    Can’t wait for the Great British Dividend.

    Not appearing any time soon, or ever.

  34. Dr Jim says:

    Reported by Sky news England has the biggest educational attainment gap between rich and poor in the UK @55%

  35. urapps says:

    “Alba’s experience ought to teach us that we cannot rely on digital and online campaigning” especially all the YES social media pages controlled by SNP supporters that deliberately removed all posts mentioning Alba or in fact any other Indy party.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Just before the election – a prominent Alba supporter boasted that 80% of pro-indy sites by readership were backing Alba. But sure – Alba’s failure was the SNP’s fault.

      Incidentally, I was on a protracted break for the sake of my health before the election and comments here were not being moderated at all.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I’m afraid Alba’s failure in the election was because it’s leader was rated as the most unpopular politician in the UK let alone Scotland, the people neither liked nor trusted the brand so didn’t vote for it

    • grizebard says:

      This is a fantastical inverted rewriting of history, which is pretty much what we predicted people like you would try to do. Everybody’s fault – especially that dastardly SNP – except that of a shambolic half-arsed late-arrival dog-and-pony show.

      You Albanistas had all the political sensitivity of a half-wit before the election, and here you are proving it again afterwards, just to make sure we get it.

      Adapting the exclamation of a gobsmaked Gen. Pierre Bosquet in observing the debacle that was the charge of the Light Brigade back when, “C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la politique, c’est la folie”.

    • Statgeek says:

      I saw Alba supporters denigrating the SNP and Sturgeon at every turn, and I saw SNP supporters telling them to get stuffed.

      Seems Alba made their own bed, and arrived to the party too late to make an impact. You can’t blame the SNP for that.

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