Campaigning not Complaining

According to The National, later this week the First Minister is expected to announce her plans for a second independence referendum when she unveils her programme for government to the Scottish Parliament next week. The programme should have been revealed this week, but was postponed to September 7 pending the finalisation of the cooperation deal between the SNP and the Scottish Greens.

A commitment to hold an independence referendum within the first half of the current Parliamentary term of five years was front and foremost in the co-operation agreement between the SNP and the Greens.

The deal states: that the Scottish Government will secure a referendum on Scottish independence after the Covid crisis. This would be within the current parliamentary session on a specific date to be determined by the Scottish Parliament. If the Covid crisis has passed, our intention is for the referendum to be within the first half of the five-year parliamentary session.

Note that this specifies “after the covid crisis” and not “after the recovery from the covid crisis”. That means that the referendum will be held once case numbers have been brought under control and there is no threat of the NHS collapsing under the strain. Both the SNP and the Greens believe that independence is necessary in order for Scotland to make a recovery from the pandemic. Right now case numbers are rising at an alarming rate and there is also a rise in hospitalisations. Clearly we are not yet out of the crisis phase. As we approach winter the strain on the NHS will only increase.

However the vaccination programme continues to be successful and there are hopes that next spring or summer could see Scotland definitively exit the crisis. There is every reason to believe that the referendum can indeed be held within the first half of this Parliament’s five year term.

There are those who claim that we were able to have an election in May and therefore there’s no reason why we can’t have a referendum right now. However there’s a significant difference between the election and a referendum. The election was a legal obligation, the referendum is a political obligation on the part of the SNP and the Scottish Greens, it is not a legal obligation on the part of all participating parties. Should the referendum campaign be linked to any increase in covid infections or deaths, the anti-independence parties and the media in which they predominate would ceaselessly push the narrative that Nicola Sturgeon’s “obsession” with an independence referendum was costing lives. That’s a narrative that they could not promote during the Holyrood election because Labour, the Tories, and the Lib Dems had an equal interest to the pro-independence parties in ensuring that the election went ahead.

Perhaps more importantly, winning the referendum will entail far more face to face contact, local “town hall” style events and in person canvassing than we saw during the recent election. Although I live in a constituency where the outcome was very far from being a foregone conclusion, not a single representative from any party knocked on my door during the campaign in order to canvass my vote. However in person and face to face campaigning will be vital during the referendum campaign in order to counteract the massive advantage that opponents of independence have in the traditional media. The London based media in particular will not approach the next referendum with the same arrogant complacency which characterised their coverage during the early phases of the 2014 referendum campaign when it lazily assumed that a victory for No was a foregone conclusion. They will start the next campaign in the knowledge that a Yes victory is a very real prospect and will subject Scotland to a barrage of scaremongering and threats similar to those which we saw in the last fevered week of the 2014 when a single poll gave the Yes campaign the narrowest of leads.

It should never be forgotten that the point of the exercise here is not to get a referendum, the point is to win it. It’s going to be a lot harder to win it if we rush into a referendum which forces us to campaign without the tactics and strategies which were so successful at boosting Yes support in 2014. You don’t win when you insist on fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Equally we are not going to win it if the wider Yes movement concentrates its energies on sitting on social media and snarking at other parts of the independence movement over strategy and tactics or about issues which are not themselves directly related to independence. That’s not going to persuade anyone to vote yes.

Thankfully there are welcome signs that the grassroots movement is once again starting to develop the campaign to persuade soft noes and undecided voters of the necessity for independence and taking steps to re-energise a campaign that has exhausted itself on internal wrangling and has beendemotivated by the stresses and strains of lockdown.

On 18 September this year Believe in Scotland together with The National, the Scottish Independence Foundation and the National Yes Network, are organising a national Day of Action for Independence. The day will see see a series of events being staged throughout the country, including street stalls and coffee mornings as well as food bank drives and musical events. More than 80 local Yes groups across Scotland have already signed up to participate and have committed to delivering over 150,000 leaflets through doors on the day. Every Yes group that registers to participate in the Day of Action will receive a free campaign and fundraising pack worth between £125 and £250, depending on the size of the group.

The Day of Action will not be a single one-off event, the idea is that it will “fire the starting gun on a major co-ordinated grassroots independence campaign” that is to run until the second independence referendum takes place. As organiser and founder of Believe in Scotland Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp says, “It’s time to stop complaining and start campaigning.

Local Yes groups can still join the grassroots-supporting organisation by emailing Believe in Scotland, or getting in touch via their representative to the National Yes Network.

Individuals can pledge their support for the organisation at

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 there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

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100 comments on “Campaigning not Complaining

  1. uno mas says:

    Just the other day a parcel with a Cumbernauld Scotland postmark on it arrived at my flat here in sunny ( blistering hot!) Spain.

    It contained, to my delight, the indy info items that were my reward for investing in the “Believe in Scotland “campaign.

    Fun fact postcards, a badge, several copies of the outstanding “Scotland the Brief” booklets and most important of all my new favorite mug printed with more useful facts about Scotlands economy to arm myself with in any upcoming debates re Scottish independence.

    I tell you when the smoke has cleared from the indy ref 2 battlefield and the Saltire flies in victory Gordon Macintyre Kemp will be (along with your good self Paul) one of the heros mentioned in dispatches.

    If any of you “duggers” haven´t already availed yourself of the material that the “Believe in Scotland” people are producing you need to get on the programme ASAP!!

    • Tatu3 says:

      I bought the book a couple of years ago and I donated a while ago (also from sunny, hot Spain), and got my rewards. It is a great site and full of really useful information, especially when “discussing” Independence!

  2. Joyce says:

    Thanks Wee Ginger Dug your article balances the need to be cautious about the timing and purpose of the next Scottish referendum and going forward with the Yes movement.

  3. Capella says:

    I bought the Believe in Scotland factbook a couple of years ago too. They produce excellent materials; factual, readable and well designed. I agree that Gordon McIntyre-Kemp is a stalwart of the YES movement. He manages to stay positive and full of enthusiasm no matter how much flak is generated by the doom and gloom brigade.

    It’s certainly time to gt the firing gun out of the locked cupboard and polished up.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      I think you should send Stephen Jardine a copy of the Believe in Scotland factbook may enlighten him regarding powers devolved to Holyrood and powers reserved at Westminster.

      Stephen Jardine mind (not the other one!).

  4. Meanwhile Micky Gove is practising his Jiggin’ in old Aberdeen ( he is already an expert at jiggery-pokery).
    Is he auditioning for “strictly”, or maybe spending all this time in Scotland in preparation for replacing the hapless DRossie.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      As posted on the National article – Most amused by the Parody Boris Johnson comment on Twitter – “Michael Gove proves that the current transportation problems are not affecting imports from Colombia”

  5. Capella says:

    New Green ministers roles to be appointed (subject to Parliament approval) announced by Nicola Sturgeon:

  6. Bill McDermott says:

    Let’s hope this is the start of positivity by all concerned in the ‘Yes’ movement, I was on the Scot Goes Pop site the other day taking ‘Independence for Scotland’ to task for his/her tirades against Scottish Skier and Capella and also casting aspersions on you Paul. I am going off James Kelly a bit since his move to Alba. He should be condemning people like ‘Independence for Scotland’ but not a word from James. A pity because he was a go-to blogger for me when looking at polls. I agree that Gordon McIntyre-Kemp is a great person to have on our side as is Mike Snall and John Robertson.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Read your comment Bill, but suggest such comment remain on SGP’s blog, no disrespect intended.
      We’ve seen previously how blogs, the only alternative to MSM narrative, have become the favored target of the “manipulators” and been systematically weakened if not destroyed. They have good reason to do so with Scottish MSM’s propaganda largely ingored.
      They cannot weaponise the blog articles so they weaponise the comments as proxy, but we’ve got to be smarter and not play their “game”.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      It’s a classic example there,Bill, of flattering to deceive – and create splits. I can’t believe anyone is so gullible as to fall for it.

    • Capella says:

      If it’s positivity your looking for Bill then you’ve come to the right place. Flattered though I am at attracting the attention of notorious trolls elsewhere, I will continue to treat them with the complete ignoral they deserve. Life’s too short etc etc 😂

  7. scottish skier says:

    Spot on. Pretty much agreed on all points.

    This issue is a classic unionist canard:

    There are those who claim that we were able to have an election in May and therefore there’s no reason why we can’t have a referendum right now. However there’s a significant difference between the election and a referendum. The election was a legal obligation, the referendum is a political obligation on the part of the SNP and the Scottish Greens, it is not a legal obligation on the part of all participating parties

    I’ve lost count of the times I’ve said this to people. The SNP didn’t choose to have an election and anyone who tries to imply that’s the case is deliberately misleading folks. The SNP didn’t even organise the election; it was, as you note, a legal obligation for all MPS to step down and put themselves forward for election. At the same time, Sturgeon had to step down as FM as she resigned as an MSP, retaining only a caretaker role, until such time as she might attempt stand for re-election as FM. She was, from the day of parliament dissolution, no longer our FM, ceasing to have the normal ‘powers’ that entails, with the cabinet only allowed to deal with any emergencies that might arise.

    Short of some severe national emergency, there was no way the election could be delayed by anyone. By contrast, like you say, the referendum and its timing is an entirely a political choice, and it was expedient not to do this in the middle of the pandemic.

    And the other silly thing is ‘why are the SNP not doing enough for legislating on independence since May!’.

    Sturgeon ceased being FM and the cabinet stepped down on the 25th of March. She only became FM again on the 18th of May, just a matter of weeks before the parliament closed for the summer recess on the 26th June. It would have been impossible to legislate for an iref in that time, if simply because the SNP held no majority to do so, and we had no functional government.

    Holyrood only reconvened just over a week ago, and it is only the past few days we finally have an official administration entering office as the agreement between the SNP and Greens is finalised.

    So anyone moaning that the ‘SNP have not done enough since May’ thinks Scots are idiots that button up the back.

  8. Capella says:

    Excellent statement from Assistant Chief Constable, Bernard Higgins Police Scotland:

    “A retrospective investigation into this anti-Irish Catholic singing has been launched and we are following up a number of lines of enquiry, including reviewing CCTV footage and footage on social media. I fully expect a number of arrests to be made.

    “This type of anti-Irish Catholic behaviour is wholly unacceptable. Our enquiries are ongoing to identify those who were involved and we will take the appropriate action against them. We would ask anyone who has any information that could assist our investigation to contact us.

  9. yesindyref2 says:

    It should never be forgotten that the point of the exercise here is not to get a referendum, the point is to win it.

    Actually the point IS to get a referendum, because if no referendum is held, then by a process of logic understood even in P1, it can’t be won.

    As it stands the statement appears OK, but it does unfortunately belong to the school of thought that maintains a referendum should NOT be held until we’re “certain” of winning it. Which of course is transparent defeatist nonsense – look at how many elections had completely different results to the polls just months before, including the one in 2011 that gave us our first Indy Ref.

    There is a momentun for Indy; delay it unnccessarily and it disaappears down the plug’ole with the bath water. The poor little thing wot was so skinny and thin.

    • Alex Clark says:

      This idea that a referendum should not be held until “we’re certain of winning” has been around since 2015 though I have never heard that from the lips of Nicola Sturgeon.

      Scotsman 18th October 2015
      She has suggested that a new vote could be triggered if the coming in/out referendum sees Britain exit the EU in defiance of Scottish wishes.
      But senior SNP sources are said to have told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics that they have also set a “test” of polls showing at least 60% support for independence for more than a year.

      Now I wonder just who that “senior SNP source” might have been or even if it was said at all? Then we hear three years later.

      Scotsman 9th April 2018
      “If we are to build a majority, once we know what policies to deploy when the terms of Brexit are finally known, we need to be strong on the ground, capable of launching and sustaining an educational campaign to take us up to 60 per cent in the polls, and stay there over at least six months, so that our support is rock solid and our demand for a referendum unstoppable,”.

      Who might have said that? A wee clue he detests the FM and said he wouldn’t vote for the SNP in May.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Sillars has been a liability for a long time. Fine for him to apologise for his “Day of reckoning” stupidity days before the Ref, something which could have cost YES a lot of votes (nobody will ever know). Then in 2015 to say Sturgeon should go all out campaigning for Indy, only to change his muddle as you point out in 2018. The media love it, but it’s a bit sad them allowing him to humiliate himself over juat about everything these days.

        But he does have competition from McAskill, and has since after the Ref the Herald happily gave him a platform.

        What Sturgeon has said – repeatedly – is that there will be a Ref when the people want one. And who can argue with that? It’s actually while I support that rally tomorrow outside Holyrood at 1pm though I can’t be there. I don’t agree with most of the themes, well, Indy is the only one basically,, but it will show the will is there and the energy.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          why not while, please use your imaginataion, as it’s hard to see what I’m posting these days or make the usual typo corrections.

          WordPress don’t like my Windows XP last version Firefox supported as it’s out of date, but all my business software is old and needs XP and the new computer had an AMD which was incompatible to the MS XP in a sandbox software and (mumbles mumbles mumbles).

          • grizebard says:

            (I see your technical dilemma, in which case might I gently suggest any Linux flavour for your new computer and run your business apps with Wine or in an XP virtual machine?)

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Yes, I have linux on my webserver. I had a dedicated one with Fedora Linux but my needs are a bit simpler now so I have a virtual webserver and leave the main techie stuff now to the hosts. Problem is that AMD processor for the VM machone, and then for the last 2 or 3 years too much happening to try one of the other VMs available. Ho hum.

            Problem is all these people writing websites like wordpress themselves now, sniffing browsers rather than “just” generating W3C valid HTML, and another problem is when they relay on javascript and don’t have the wit to let it degrade gracefully.

            (mumbles off about stupid script-kiddies who would probably have thought Matt’s Archive contained scripts that were totally secure like chat roome susceptible to meta character invasion mumble mumble mumble).


        • Alex Clark says:

          Yes of course you are correct, it was Sillars, a man who now says he will not vote for Independence if it means rejoining the EU.

          He is excess baggage, a rent a gob for SNP BAD media sound bites, and a liability to the Independence movement who is best ignored.

          • grizebard says:

            Another sad victim of the “my road or no road” fallacy.

            He would best serve the independence he claims to want by taking an extended holiday in Outer Mongolia or anywhere else suitably far out of sight and sound until the job is done. Then he can happily moan away all he likes.

          • wm says:

            Sad, but he only makes up a team of auld has-been’s that never quite made it.

    • scottish skier says:

      There is a momentun for Indy; delay it unnccessarily and it disaappears down the plug’ole with the bath water. The poor little thing wot was so skinny and thin.

      Sorry, but this does imply that if we had a vote and won, Scots might subsequently reverse it once that ‘passing fancy’ passed.

      I cannot personally believe this to be the case given the 70 odd year decline of unionism that has prompted 2 devo referendums, yielding first a somewhat narrow Yes (52%), than a massive one (74%), with this ultimately evolving to a substantial vote for indy (45%), which has done nothing but increase year in year since.

      This is well established to have been driven by generational changes in national identity associated with the decline of the British empire, and then the subsequent post-war pan-British social-democratic consensus that first really created a British identity in Scotland within the post war baby boomers.

      I think we are over the line, and the result probably already a forgone conclusion, but god help us if Scots ‘endorsed’ English Brexit and Tory rule by 50.5%. Could be another 5-7 years of s**t before we could try again.

      The spring should see things more clearly. If the decadal trend is right, as it was in 2014, then it will be next year when polls show that indy is the settled will with no going back.

      And the latter is key to international acceptance. Our neighbours will be ok with it if they know it is the will of the people and will not be undone.

      • Dr Jim says:

        “I don’t want to just hold a referendum I want to win one” said the FM right after she was elected as FM following the 2014 referendum

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, that statement tends to get my back up too, because it has been used in the past as more than a mere truism, more like a fig leaf to justify near-indefinite postponement by the “60-percenters”, who certainly did exist then at least. The implied lack of resolution has certainly been a notable cause of unhappiness in the past among the more impatient among us. But that was then – we are operating within an entirely different context now.

      I have always agreed with your penultimate sentence. However events are not entirely under our control, as we saw back in 2017, which began with such promise. Theresa May may have caused indy a setback then, but it fatally holed her own administration below the waterline in the process. So while it was frustrating, the time then was clearly not ripe, and it was still a net gain.

      This does in the end come down to the popular will, and that will cannot be forced, it has had to be allowed time to evolve. Maybe some as-yet-unknown charismatic individual might have swayed opinion faster and more strongly, but it’s the ever-cautious Scottish character we’re dealing with here. If we were English we would have become independent back in 2014. Next time we will – among other lessons learnt – need a far more inspirational figure at the helm of the Yes campaign, to parallel up with Nicola on the respected and trusted political side. When the hour comes, we will still have to win over a sufficient percent of nascent waverers in the face of the expected full-on scare campaign from an increasingly-desperate Unionism.

      But things are moving, the required pieces are visibly coming together, and soon everyone is going to be put on clear notice that this upcoming communal democratic decision is both necessary and unavoidable. And eminently winnable for indy. I have no doubt about any of that.

  10. Legerwood says:

    Slightly O/T. A useful article on Newsnet on energy and renewables which would appear to be the first of what will be a series on this topic. Useful as an intro/primer on the subject which will no doubt feature in the coming indyref

    And this on the not unrelated subject of global warming and COP26 etc

  11. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Completely O/T, but how nauseating is this – considering her past form? (Interview with Sky News):


    Home Secretary Priti Patel added: “This week we have all seen the relief on the faces of those who have made it from Afghanistan to safety here in the UK.

    “Our message to those who have already arrived, welcome – we are glad you are here and you will be treasured members of our communities.”

  12. James Mills says:

    ”There is a tide in the affairs of men .
    Which , taken at the flood , leads on to fortune ;
    Omitted , all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries .”

    One has to seize the RIGHT time to make one’s move against the ‘foe’ or else lose one’s advantage .
    We in the Independence movement have to judge our time , for if we get it wrong ( again ) , most of us on here , I suspect , will never see a Free Scotland .

    Those who impatiently urge the SNP Government ”to act now” or who continually claim that the FM ”does not want Independence ” are the siren voices that may wreck our hopes .

    I am impatient for Independence ; I do not doubt that there is a single person on this blog who is not frustrated that we have not had the opportunity to vote in another referendum .
    But we have to remember , as has been said often on here , that WE are not the ones to be convinced of the necessity for Independence .

    We need to convince people who will never read a blog like this , people who do NOT follow every twist and turn of political events .
    People who get their news and ( sometimes ) their views from the MSM . NORMAL people – not political nerds like me or some of you !

    Patience is a virtue – that has never been so true for the Independence movement than at this moment in time . We must remain united .

    As Jesus said in Matthew 12 ” …every city or house divided against itself cannot stand ! ”

    Or more prosaically ” Disunity costs votes ”. John Major

  13. Neil Munro says:

    So another nine months before they even think about it…..Here we go again.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Where does your claim of “nine months before they even think about it” come from? The article tells you the FM will lay out her plans for a second referendum next week. Try keeping up.

      “According to The National, later this week the First Minister is expected to announce her plans for a second independence referendum when she unveils her programme for government to the Scottish Parliament next week.”

    • grizebard says:

      It’s getting boring now to have to repeat this once again for the hard of thinking, but what you clearly fail to appreciate is that the referendum won’t be won by people who feel like you (or us here). It will be won by people who are currently not at all sure of what best to do, and who still need to be convinced.

      Yet just like others before you, up you pop with the familiar old moan, yet nary a single positive suggestion as to how that vital step might be achieved. It certainly won’t be by “just adding water” on the day, as you evidently seem to imagine. This is not HarryPotterLand, and it’s not a textbook exercise in practical magic. Or anything like.

      It starts first and foremost by thinking beyond yourself and your own incoherent impatience, understanding how it is for those who are still to be won over, then doing something positive to make that happen. It won’t happen by wishful thinking, however strongly you may feel about it.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Yes, now is still not the time, but it will be soon hopefully, though the new cases of Covid need to be watched carefully. In real life, away from us people who post about Indy, I find nary a soul mentions Indy just at the moment. But if I ask, people who were previously against it are neutral now. That’ll do for me.

        • grizebard says:

          Yup, it’s only when otherwise-busy people see that an extremely fateful decision is about to be taken, with or without them, that they will engage.

          We’re well past the stage now of credibly offering people an alibi for total disengagement a la Davidson (hence her political eclipse), but we’re not yet at the point of offering them the absolute certainty of a scheduled event, both because (as you say) of the pandemic but also because some time is still needed for other pertinent matters, such as the harmful consequences of the ongoing democratic affront that is an enforced Brexit, to fully penetrate the national consciousness. But there is, I think, already a growing realisation that a resolution is both necessary and unavoidable, a feeling that can only intensify unprompted as events unfold.

          The due date isn’t in the calendar yet, but it feels closer now than it has ever been during the last 7 painful years. And ultimately it won’t depend on any “approval” {cough} by the BoJo Circus.

  14. malkymcblain says:

    OT however this is a comment I posted about Paul’s column in the National re Rangers supporters and sectarian behaviour. I repost that comment here.

    As a Rangers fan I condemn this mindless embarrassment to Rangers Football club. My loyalty to the club has been severely tested over the last months. Rangers have issued a statement condemning this latest outrage and I am hopeful an inquiry leads to life bans from Ibrox and prosecution by the police and the courts. The ball is now firmly in the Rangers FC court and I urge them to fully back any action to deal with this. Here are a few suggestions on how to deal with it.

    1) the Scottish govt should reintroduce the OBF legislation previously voted down by the Tories Labour and Lib Dems.

    2) Rangers should introduce random banning of supporters identified by in-house cctv as participating in the singing of sectarian songs at Ibrox. Take out a few and the rest will soon get the message.

    3) when sectarian singing begins the referee is empowered to stop the match and players walk off the field for 10 minutes.

    4) Rangers should revert to club colours of red white and blue and discontinue the production of non Rangers coloured merchandise. Orange was never a Rangers FC colour but has somehow been adopted in recent years. The football club needs to forcefully distance itself from sectarian organisations such as the Orange order.

    Back in the day it was said that if Rangers ever signed a Catholic player then Ibrox would be empty. What actually happened when Mo Johnson was signed was that season ticket sales went through the roof. Therefore it is quite evident that strong action by Rangers would not be detrimental to revenue or fan numbers.

  15. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Yet another BBC story spinning that Nicola Sturgeon’s Government is not good enough. I post it here in the expectation it may well change its headline or some sort: (Please archive if you think it’s worth it.)

  16. Dr Jim says:

    Do the phrases *less worse* or *not as bad* not mean *better than* and could it be Greta is just a grumpy person saying *I want my sweeties now and I want the best ones or I hate you all* stamps foot

    I have a granddaughter like that

    Or could it be we don’t know what she said or how she said it because it was the BBC who asked her in a specific way so as to produce the *correct* headline

    Scotland has a BBC Glen Campbell like that

    • Capella says:

      I suspect the BBC are indulging in their usual unionist game of “let’s you and him fight”. The Greens are in the government – it’s all looking great for the SNP, NS and the Greens in the run-up to COP26. So how can we divide and conquer? Get Greta to diss Nicola. We’re now all supposed to fight each other over how “green” we are 😂

    • scottish skier says:

      TBH I think the Greta Thunberg approach to climate change is likely bad PR, and probably counter productive. Her opinion is no more nor less valid than any non-expert, and largely irrelevant compared to those who are experts on this subject.

      Personally, I don’t pay her any attention as she says as she’s just not qualified. I prefer to listen to those who are highly qualified in this area. Being originally a geologist / geochemist, and having worked in the energy industry for 21 years now, I’m very well grounded in global climate change and surrounding issues. From what I see, I know a hell of a lot more about the topic and the challenges in involved.

      Maybe she might inspire youngsters somewhat, but I think she just gets people’s backs up like any ‘armchair expert’ would.

      A huge problem we face is that those in lower incomes are the least able to become ‘green’, at least in terms of what’s apparently being expected of people. They are in much less of a financial position to renovate their homes to make them insulated…install a heat pump or solar panels, even if they could afford to actually buy a property. If they rent, they of course can’t do this as it’s not their property.

      They will also be the ones driving the oldest petrol/diesel cars around 20 years from now as they can’t afford a 50k Tesla, never mind the coast of installing the power supply for that in property they don’t own. And they will be made to feel guilty about all this every day by Greta Thunberg types while they are forced to pay spiraling fuel costs even though their energy / resource consumption – and so likely overall carbon / resource footprint – is a tiny fraction of that of the rich in their mansions with Teslas, solar panels, heat pumps and super insulation in the swimming pool house.

      If you can’t afford anything other than an old diesel that’s increasingly falling foul of emissions targets, then being made to feel you are the cause of the ‘climate emergency’ just isn’t really helpful. That is my fear of this type of ‘you are not doing enough’ finger pointing approach to the problems we face here.

      • dakk says:

        Very true.

        And the rapidly increasing price of property and construction along with the increasing gap between the haves and have nots in the covid era is only going to exacerbate this.

  17. iusedtobeenglish says:

    ” But if I ask, people who were previously against it are neutral now. That’ll do for me.”

    Speaking as one of the people who – to my shame – did vote no, it won’t do for me! My heart said YES, but, like many, my head wasn’t sure it could be financed. I thought I had such facts as were available, but I didn’t. I was, in fact, woefully and shamefully ignorant.

    And, though I’m sure the facts were available in a large document somewhere, plain, easily understood versions weren’t. Most people – including me – don’t have the time or inclination to wade through complex, ‘political stuff’. And, eg, a smile – easily interpreted as a patronising smirk by some – and “We Have Oil” was never going to cut it with people who saw the loss of jobs, businesses and homes during the previous oil slump.

    “We need to convince people who will never read a blog like this , people who do NOT follow every twist and turn of political events .”

    That’d be me!

    Sometimes described – rather insultingly IMNSHO – as the “hard of thinking. It only takes one thing to get people like that (like me!) thinking. For me the EU ref was the trigger.

    For others, it’ll be the UK setting electric transmission charges 15 times higher than England.

    Or Scotch being exported via Dover.

    Or WM not allowing safe injection rooms for drug addicts. It may be the allowing that triggers, rather than any benefit to the addicts.

    I’m not really a marcher, but I’m actually finding “Yes. I used to think that. But…” in everyday conversation surprisingly effective.

    Once seen, you can’t unsee it. But what’s blindingly obvious to those who have ‘seen’, isn’t obvious to others. And they’re the people whose votes are needed. Unfortunately, that does take time. I wish it didn’t…

  18. Legerwood says:

    Another interesting article on Newsnet with video of the Gavin Esler interview

  19. Capella says:

    Derek Bateman tweets a recommendation to read the WGD article in The National on the SNP/Green agreement and why it boosts the YES cause. So here it is:

  20. Dr Jim says:

    The day we’re born the world changed, then we grew up and the world changed again as we don’t live in our parents home, then the world changed again as we marry or partner with another, then we have children of our own and the world just won’t stop changing, then we get old and have grandchildren, boom! world changed hard

    All these changes are inevitable, the world changes and here’s nothing we can do about age and time, countries all over the world change leaders policies status constitution friends allies and we accept it all as natural, the problem Unionists in Britain have is with themselves, they accept every change in the world in every country in the world but like King Canute refuse to accept that the passage of time and events changes right in the country where they’re standing, they don’t want to accept living in the today world they want to close their eyes and make it all go away with raised outstretched hands hoping when they open those eyes again the rest of the world will have moved on but they remain the Greatest of the most British of Britishness that was a mighty power sailing the world and taking what they wanted from others because the others were lesser mortals and didn’t deserve to have whatever we British took from them anyway and please bloody stop it with all this Scottishness, even when they themselves are actually Scottish and they do know the truth but like King Canute they really really don’t want to know

    Unionists in Scotland know their vote doesn’t count in England because they’re outvoted ten to one yet they accept England deciding their fate in Scotland, do Unionists in Scotland all believe they’re under 16 years old and shouldn’t be allowed to decide anything for themselves, do Unionists in Scotland believe they’re less intelligent than the people of England, why do Unionists in Scotland not desire to run the country they live in, can Unionists in Scotland supply logical answers to themselves to these simple questions, if they can’t then they’re not Unionists they’re another name entirely and should be ashamed

    • Hamish100 says:


      Dr Jim

      Allowing someone to think and act for you is an easy get out clause for the tories.

      Thinking and doing is hard and they do not have a capacity or a desire to think on behalf of Scottish people.
      Inevitably, they condemn Scotland to 4th best or worst.
      Examples are Davidson and Mundell not resigning when Northern Ireland is effectively still in the EU.
      They are they butler Hudson in the TV programme “Upstairs Downstairs”. England is the Master the Scot a servant.

      It is easier to blame the snp and that we are too wee too poor and to promote division through sectarianism and division.

      They are of the past and are scared of the future. Thankfully our younger people recognise this.

  21. Capella says:

    MSM Monitor – BBC Scotland is currently promoting a Scottish Tory claim that the Scottish Greens are “extremists”.

    Also MSM Monitor – A colonial media will actively seek out and embrace attacks on the country within which it operates.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Making you out as an extremist or a Marxist or a commie friend of Putin is exactly what they did with Corbyn. It was highly successful for them so it makes sense for them just do it again with the Greens.

    • Statgeek says:

      I predict the Beeb inviting some Green MSP on to QT as soon as possible, with an audience plant question along extremists lines, so said Green will have to prove a negative. Or perhaps the panel will try to get an SNP guest to distance themselves from a Green bad story.

      I also predict the Greens will send on someone capable of answering most/all points sensibly, and that’s the last of the invites. That’s the jist of what happened with the SNP.

      Frankly, until the Beeb adopts a truly random audience, there should be no more programs, but failing that, political parties that can’t benefit from it should ignore the program, with a statement to this effect:

      “We love debate and discourse, but there have been too many instances of the BBC QT audience being packed with activists, bent on attacking parties that were anti-Brexit, or Pro-Independence. Until the BBC can be trusted to be politically neutral, and not quietly support the reigning party of Government, we cannot participate in what amounts to state-sanctioned propaganda.”

      Or a better written version of that. Yes, there are pitfalls, but like the BBC comments online, the audience are primarily unionist / non-Scots, and load the comments with bias. Power over truth, and all that twaddle. No amount of sensible debate will change the fanatics who head there daily to post their ever-constant mindset.

      I’d sooner fund an independent broadcaster with a fraction of the license fee, and get a random audience based on face to face canvassing, rather than people who apply to the programme.

  22. Alex Clark says:

    All this media talk of the Greens as extremists is not political, no it has nothing to do with politics.

    But Scottish Conservatives have vowed to vote against the appointment of the two Green Party co-leaders to the government.

    Tory Covid recovery spokesman Murdo Fraser said: “In the middle of the biggest economic crisis in our lifetime, it’s deeply worrying that Nicola Sturgeon is turning to anti-jobs, anti-business extremists.

    “It is pure economic vandalism to hand power to Green MSPs who have admitted they want to limit growth and hold back Scotland’s economy.”

    He added: “Nicola Sturgeon is taking a nationalist gamble with people’s jobs. She is bringing in radicals, all in the hopes of ramping up her push for another divisive referendum.

    “Only the Scottish Conservatives will stand up and challenge this divisive coalition of chaos and provide a real alternative to end the obsession with independence.”

  23. scottish skier says:

    Scottish Tories are most extreme of all the parties in the Holyrood chamber, being +7 on the economic right and +7 on the (Taliban-like) authoritarian scales.

    Greens are less than half as ‘extreme’ as the Tories on -3.5 left and -3.0 liberal, which TBH is better described as ‘just a bit to the left of the middle ground’.

    This is why 1.3 m+ skilled workers fled the rapid advance of the brexit fundamentalist conservatives who swept across England in late 2019. Planes are still departing each day with thousands of refugees escaping developing economic / humanitarian crisis there to Europe and beyond. Everything from food to blood tests and key medical equipment is now increasingly in short supply.

    Scots in their Midland Valley stronghold have been welcoming many of these fleeing the Tory advance in England; Scotland is the only area of GB to have seen continued EU arrivals, many seeking protection from the situation in England.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Interesting that Labour are seen to be 3 points to the right of the SNP and 3 points more authoritarian. Numbers that I do not doubt.

    • grizebard says:

      The Tories are the real extremists, as witnessed by Brexit.

      But of course you won’t get the shower of pusillanimous self-servers in the BBC calling them that.

  24. JoMax says:

    Well, well, well. How can she possibly understand about Scotland’s political situation? Did she realise she was being used? Not a good look. This ‘news’ is, of course, plastered all over BBC Everywhere’s news today.

    • Dr Jim says:

      One minute she’s a head case, the next she comes in handy to misquote about Scotland

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Frankly it matters not a damn what Thunberg thinks or said, the BBC controls the interview, the questions, the editing, and crucially the broadcasting, so don’t be so quick to fault the girl.
      It could as easily have been edited to prove “She said nothing…” a la Robinson, or “I’ve seen the emails FM” a la Cook….
      It is the BBC propaganda unit at it’s overblown finest, but what joy to see them being rightly pilloried across the blogs and media watchers…

      “News you can trust is news you can use” is their popup, but it’s a little late in the season for manure. It’s almost as laughable as the Herald variation on the same theme…

  25. Dr Jim says:

    Up till five minutes ago the Greens were considered also ran nonentities who supported the SNP to get budgets through, overnight they’ve become demons from hell who must be struck down by the forces of good, unfortunately the guys who claim to be the forces of good are known to be the biggest liars and planet killers on earth, the Tories, blue red and mustard coloured

    The BBC are not even ashamed of themselves for promoting this sh*te, not even in England does this type of dialogue surround the Green party, of course they have been trying very hard to discredit and destroy Greta Thunberg for ages, they’ll be advocating smashing our windows next

    • ArtyHetty says:

      I can’t remember where, but I saw that Green MP Caroline Lucas was being congratulated on all sorts of things, just yesterday. The Greens are not it seems, ‘extremists’ in England, hmm, maybe because they are literally powerless.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        I have a friend who is a Member of both the SNP and the Green Party of England and Wales.

        Wonder how they would deal with that? She, of course, has no problem with it.

  26. scottish skier says:

    Unionists one day: ‘SNP should cancel cambo and all new North Sea licenses to save the planet!’.
    Unionists a few days later: ‘Greens are economic extremists that want to destroy North Sea oil jobs!’.

  27. Hamish100 says:

    Easy to get your U.K., GB, GB& NI and Scotland mixed up.

    I’m the same with Scandinavian, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the like

  28. Alex Clark says:

    This is getting more and more ridiculous by the day.

    The Independent Friday 20 August 2021
    Greta Thunberg accuses UK of lying about being a ‘climate leader’

    The Independent Monday 31 August 2021
    Greta Thunberg: Cop26 host Scotland ‘not a world leader on climate crisis’

    • Alex Clark says:

      Guess which of these two stories featured on BBC news?

    • jfngw says:

      I wonder if Greta Thunberg realised that BBC Scotland had no real interest in her climate change opinion but as the UK state broadcaster was using her as a political tool to try and undermine the SNP/Green deal and independence. If not the she needs to be educated on the politics of the UK and the reason why the BBC exists.

  29. grizebard says:

    Alex Cole-Scuttle can’t seem to get with the oppositionalist programme. (What a surprise. Has he ever got anything right?) While the BritNat media are going full tilt on the Scottish Government now being taken over by “extremists”, the FibDem “leader” {ahem} of the Band of Four accuses the Greens of caving on everything they proudly stood for simply in order to gain a couple of government jobs.

    According to this dolt, to be internationalist it’s essential to be a British Nationalist.

  30. Hamish100 says:

    The unionists have been outthought by the FM again and they don’t know what to do.

    • grizebard says:

      They have reacted in Parliament this afternoon by doing what they always do, instinctive knee-jerk rejection, a blank refusal to co-operate for the good of the country, and a chorus of contradictory ineffectual moaning from the sidelines.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yep, Nicola Sturgeon made Dross’s wee fat face swell up to bursting levels of bright red when he came out with his Green extremist drivel and followed it up by putting Sarwar in his wee fake *care about the people* place, then she went on to burst Stephen Kerrs bloated costly government statement by blasting back at the Tories Scotland office and the House of Lords that costs Scottish taxpayers unimaginable amounts of £millions

      She was naebdy’s Mammy the day, she was back doing her politicking thaang

      • grizebard says:

        I thought that quip from her about Scottish Office and HoL bloat was right on the button. Rapier sharp response right on cue. Or does DRoss possibly have yet another paying job as secret “straight man” for the FM…?

  31. Alex Clark says:

    Unionists still crying crocodile tears over the SNP/Green deal gies me the boak.

    Sturgeon insists mandate for indyref2 is ‘undeniable’ after deal with Greens

    Dross insists that “the SNP have got their priorities all wrong.”

    Sarwar claims they should be focused on issues such as “child poverty, the drugs deaths crisis” blah blah blah.

    • scottish skier says:

      Aye, the SNP should focus on issues like the acute labour shortage, empty shelves, growing medical equipment shortages…,the crisis for Scottish farmers / fisherman and business in terms of exports to the EU…the collapse in student numbers from the EU…the lack of Holyrood control of welfare, furlough etc if covid strikes back…

      This is what they should propose solutions too; the real issues staring us in the face!

      Wait, hold on…

    • grizebard says:

      We didn’t expect anything from the Forres Gump, and dross is exactly what we got. I was curious to see how Sarwar reacted, though, but he spectacularly failed to rise to the occasion. Bailey once again demanding action on matters she well knows are reserved. There’s no way back for these people, they are simply following in the footsteps of the FibDems on a slow descent to ever-greater irrelevance.

      The sorry sight would be in full view of the Scottish public if it wasn’t all very carefully edited by BBC Jockland “for balance”. (A euphemism.) After all these BBC talking heads telling me what to think, and increasing failures even to provide, I’m starting to watch on Parliament TV now to get the full story direct from the source. What a blessed relief.

  32. Capella says:

    Well the new Holyrood term got off to a flying start. Nicola Sturgeon, in fighting form, saw off DRoss’ whinging about the Green “extremists” (that word again) in government. Anas Sarwar missed most of the speech and asked about jobs so she had to repeat it. Alex Cole Hamilton prattled on in some confusion. I think he may have turned over two pages of his notes because it was a bit incoherent. Jackie Baillie wanted to know when care workers were going to be paid £15 per hour. This from a member of a party who took Glasgow women workers to court and spent £1,000,000 to prevent them getting the pay rise they were entitled to.

    Ross Greer made a pointed riposte to the Tories reminding them of their sly double standards when it comes to tolerating extremists.

    Nicola’s motion to appoint Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater as ministers won the vote so that’s that settled. Looking good.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Not to forget Anas Sarwar, whose company paid most workers less than the living wage never mind £15/hr.

      As uncovered by Sunday Herald investigative journalist Paul Hutcheon, the Cash and Carry operator UWS offers £7.50 per hour for a 45-hour week, less than the £8.45 generally demanded by living wage and anti-poverty campaigners, as well as the £10 minimum wage committed to by UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

      Baillie and Sarwar have real brass necks demanding anything of the Scottish government when they can’t even get their own houses in order..

      • grizebard says:

        The Labour Party Scottish Twig-not-branch is becoming synonymous for facing multiple ways at once over any issue of importance. Any principle they once possessed (and cherished) has departed long since.

  33. Alex Clark says:

    From today’s reopening of Holyrood (Video)

    First Minister’s Statement: Agreement with the Scottish Green Party

  34. scottish skier says:

    A message to anyone who voted for brexit who might be reading this blog.

    Can you please stop buying things that are in short supply in the supermarket? It’s the reason for the empty shelves.

    You voted to have these items made less available to you, so enjoy what you desired, and let people who voted remain get what they wanted; e.g. nice fresh produce from France, Spain etc.

    Same goes if the pub is short of beer…if a restaurant is struggling for staff so has less tables available. You want this, so have some decency and leave what’s available for remain voters.

    Wetherspoons – if there is a beer shortage, then ask to be last in line for deliveries. It’s what you wanted!

    And don’t forget medical stuff like blood tests. Please tell your doctor you voted leave and that remain voters should be prioritized for these. If you take a test when you voted for the required vials to be in short supply, you may be responsible for killing someone through your own selfishness.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      38% of people in Scotland voted LEAVE, some of them already independence supporters.

      How, exactly, does your divisive posting help the cause of Independence?

      • Hamish100 says:

        I wouldn’t say it was a divisive post.

        Brexit was divisive when 62% of us were ignored by the tories. Why should we be punished further?

        • yesindyref2 says:

          The post doesn’t attack Brexit – it attacks the people who voted for Brexit.

          • scottish skier says:

            Ok, sorry for sounding harsh.

            A technical point first. Nobody in Scotland voted for ‘an independent Scotland outside the EU’ in 2016 as some do seem to argue. They voted for English [British] Brexit. It was that alone which was on the polling card, which is why the small group that do support an independent Scotland outside the EU are now demanding some sort of referendum on this post-independence.


            And it this and similar articles elsewhere that prompted my unusually (I hope) harsh sounding post. Nowhere in the article were the empty shelves and job losses mentioned; just a demand that the SNP / Greens bow to their desires (?) and represent their pro-leave ‘indy’ position. This prompted some late-night frustration, which came out in the above post.

            That aside, my post is true, which is why it sounds harsh. It is the harsh reality. I don’t have any personal animosity to anyone who voted Brexit (and I know at least a couple at work quite well) as generally they didn’t seem to really understand what they were doing. However, it is plain for all to see that Brexit is doing enormous damage to the country, including to my own employers. It has also cost me financially a large sum (e.g. nearly 2k for a British passport for my wife we don’t want to ensure she can work, will keep her pension payments, and isn’t turned back at the border). I would hope that they’d acknowledge that and show some humility.

            We must take responsibility for how we vote. We cannot absolve ourselves if things go wrong, especially if we still maintain support for what we voted for; which most 2016 brexit voters do. The majority of these still support Brexit, so still support the cause of the labour shortage, empty shelves, and very worryingly, key medical equipment. Brexit will cost some lives most likely. While I can appreciate that part of the comment might seem below the belt, it is a frightening reality for doctors and their patients right now. God help GPs having to decide who does and doesn’t get a blood test at the moment; what if they miss a diagnosis and someone dies as a result. Should they feel the guilt when it was not them caused the shortage?


            Now I know people of course probably didn’t want this to happen – and I will apologise for saying they did as part of my comment was untrue – but they were reliably informed by experts from every sector that it (mass emigration of key workers, huge interruption to the supply chain, including disruptions NHS treatment) would happen, and they chose to ignore that / not believe it, which amounts to the same thing. EU workers started leaving the day after the 2016 vote; net migration from the EU has been in freefall since then. The acute labour shortage started before the UK had even left the EU / the deal was made. Brexit voters gave the thumbs up to the deal which caused the shortage as they watched the exit gates filling up with skilled refugees heading for Europe.

            I can honestly say that if I voted Brexit, I would not take one of the last loaves of bread / last packet of loo rolls in the supermarket because I would acknowledge that this situation was my fault. But maybe that’s just me.

            When I vote Yes in iref2, I will take responsibility for that, just as I did for my SNP vote. If it does turn out that Sturgeon was a ‘secret unionist’ and in fact has no plans for indy, I will admit I was wrong, hold up my hands, say sorry, and try to undo my 2021 vote with my next one.

            I hope that explains better what I was saying.

            The situation is only going to get worse too, sadly. Those that might wish an indy Scotland outside the EU (and I’m not specifically against EFTA/EEA) really need to think about how to sell that in light of the situation, and I’d advise them to maybe take some responsibility for the empty shelves if they voted for English brexit in 2016. Otherwise, they’ve not a hope in hell of winning support for their cause.

            • scottish skier says:

              Oh, and obviously the last part applies to leaving the single market and, most importantly, ending full free movement.

              A Scotland in the EFTA/EEA would not have a labour shortage and empty shelves problem, so would be fine.

              It is the end to free movement that is the most damaging aspect, and is the primary cause of the bulk of the problems the UK is now facing. It said ‘Go back to where you came from!’ and EU citizens complied.

              Key to the 2016 vote was ending free movement. That was absolutely central to the Leave campaign and everyone who voted for brexit endorsed this with the deliberate aim of creating a labour shortage. People wanted to end free movement specifically to limit the supply of EU workers, i.e. ‘British jobs for British workers’. So there really are no excuses here. The labour shortage at least was definitely desired by leavers as a rule.

            • scottish skier says:

              Just a last thing. One of my graphs (I know!). The acute labour shortage is nothing to do with covid (this is just a BBC etc lie), but purely a product of those who voted to end free movement in 2016, who did so with the specific goal of causing a labour shortage as noted.


              This had the effect of sending net EU migration immediately into freefall, without any change in immigration rules, just as basic common sense predicted. The 1.3 million that it is currently estimated left over the course of 2020, fled not because of the pandemic, but because they all knew they needed to leave by the 31st December 2020 – when free movement finally ended – unless they planned to stay for the long term, which many had no interest in doing. The latter required lots of form filling to beg to stay in a country where they were not wanted, so they didn’t do it. They left as leave voters asked them to.

  35. Dr Jim says:

    Scotland is a strange country full of Scots of all colours and persuasions yet when BBC Scotland decide to interview the common man or woman in our country of 5.5 million people they struggle to find actual Scots on our streets or even in their homes to interview
    If we didn’t know better that the BBC is an honest upright decent unbiased organisation you might wonder that everywhere the BBC ventures in Scotland the only folk they can find to interview seem to be English people, ye couldnae dae that wae a screwtap if ye threw it in Argyll street

    BBC Scotland are so unlucky at finding Scottish people to talk to yet we’re everywhere, on streets in pubs in shops in hooses, in fact there isnae anywhere we’re no in

  36. grizebard says:

    SS on the ongoing Brexit debate (in The National at least): the giveaway in that letter you quote is the phrase “neoliberal capitalist institution”. The number of holdouts who subscribe to that particular notion can probably be counted in two digits; it certainly isn’t anything like “one third” of pro-indy voters as is being claimed.

    While the point also made about the issue of EU membership not getting in the way of independence is reasonable, in the event, whatever our individual current preferences might be, we will all have to evaluate afresh the opportunities for international co-operation that will be opened up by independence. One suspects though that with a population freed from dark-money-funded toxic propaganda, practical realities will likely confound the hopes of a small coterie of dirigiste class warriors, however many long letters they write in the meantime.

    But of course we (all) have to get there first to see.

  37. grizebard says:

    Are my ears deceiving me, or is DRoss a ventriloquist who can do animal impressions whilst simultaneously delivering his usual drivel? Anyway, the henny sounds were certainly more entertaining and convincing than his usual droning.

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