I read the news today…

Oh boy! It’s like the last couple of months didn’t happen. Which shouldn’t be surprising given that the last three years have been like a grindingly self-indulgent director’s cut of Groundhog Day. Lot’s of stuff happening. But nothing changing.

For several weeks I have tried to avoid reading the news. I’ve picked up bits and pieces here and there. But I’ve actively shunned the detail. Returning to it over the last few days, I’m struggling to find anything that so much as hints at this lengthy hiatus. I pity the folk at The National who have to contrive something even mildly interesting with only the insipid gruel of political inertia to work with.

Nicola Sturgeon deserves some credit, I suppose. She has at least tried to give them something to work with. All those announcements about an impending announcement helped to fill the column inches. There must have been great relief when the endlessly heralded announcement actually arrived. Although, as it turns out, those journalists are still having to work hard to generate anything akin to excitement.

One of the reasons I stopped writing articles here – and why I disengaged from social media – is that I had nothing new to say. How could I? As nothing new was happening, there was nothing that I hadn’t already commented on repeatedly and at length. I don’t get bored. But I recognise that I could get boring. It seemed the only way to avoid this was to stop commenting altogether.

I do get angry, however. And disappointed. And frustrated. Which is another reason I felt I had to take a break. I was waking up angry every morning and going to bed angry every night, That’s not conducive to health. When anger is combined with powerlessness, the product is stress. I confess to being particularly susceptible to such stress. Not least because of the strength of my commitment to the cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. A commitment which is unequivocal and unconditional.

To all those who have contacted me during my self-imposed exile, I offer my grateful appreciation for your concern, and my sincere apologies for not responding. My purpose was, not to be discourteous, but to properly disengage. To respond would have been to engage; and would have defeated my purpose.

I’d love to say that I’ve been prompted to write again by some significant development. It would be great if I felt I had something new to say. But, reading Nicola Sturgeon’s recent statement purporting to set out a “plan” for taking the cause of independence forward, I found nothing that I had not commented on previously. Everything I might wish to say about this “plan” has already been said in articles such as the following –

At a time when Scotland needs bold, decisive leadership, Nicola Sturgeon opts for cautious, vacillating political manoeuvres. If the SNP will only fight the fights it is assured of winning, who will fight the fights that need to be fought?

There is a point at which engaging with Westminster becomes indistinguishable from being just another cog in the British political machine. A point at which the effective political power which the SNP provides to Scotland’s independence cause becomes an end in itself. A point at which the means becomes more precious (to the party) than the end.

I’m still angry. But, these days, I’m angry at people I really don’t want to be angry with. Or, to put it another way, people who really shouldn’t be making me angry.


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10 thoughts on “I read the news today…

  1. Spot on. I’m left feeling flat by yesterday’s wait and see announcement that we’re definitely heading to Indy (if Westminster play ball)… maybe… unless they apologise in which case we’ll stay… probably.

    The glimmer of light is that many, less cynical than you and I, have rejoiced and embraced the good news. If their collective outrage, when Westminster inevitably reveals its dirtiest of tricks, can be harnessed then we may still dissolve the union before the constitutional doors slam shut.

    What other revelations, produced by House of Lords secret sessions – empowered by Henry VIII – actively enabling No Deal Brexit, can we expect?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When you write “At a time when Scotland needs bold, decisive leadership, Nicola Sturgeon opts for cautious, vacillating political manoeuvres. If the SNP will only fight the fights it is assured of winning, who will fight the fights that need to be fought?

    There is a point at which engaging with Westminster becomes indistinguishable from being just another cog in the British political machine”

    I actually have some agreement with you, but my problem with articles such as your own – and the recently published similar on Wings for instance – is that its all very well describing Sturgeon’s policy as “cautious, vacillating political manoeuvres”, but what would you have done instead?

    Her problem is that you dont need to be Mastermind to work out that when she goes to May (or whoever is doing the job by this time) to see a S30, we all know that she (or he) will say “No”. If they really lack imagination they might add “Now is not the time”, but we all know there will never be a right time. Would you not agree with the benefit of hindsight that we only got the vote in 2014 because Cameron reckoned it would be a walk in the park (lets call that a mistake, but what should we call making the same mistake again with the EU referendum?).

    Lord North still gets a bad press for losing America 200+ years ago, but I dont think there will be a long line of politicians wanting to claim to be the PM who lost Scotland.

    Thus it seems to me that what is needed is a debate about alternative routes, for the public are going to recognise that S30 is a lost cause when May says “No” (which may give Nicola the boost in support that she said in her statement is needed). So debate about the legal issues – for instance the legals of UDI, would a majority of MPs in General Election on a manifesto of that being a mandate to begin independence negotiations – about the international implications – for instance we could kiss goodbye to membership of the EU because Spain will blackball us (we could of course join EFTA and the EEA if they were willing). Perhaps we need to talk about campaigns of civic disobedience that will really cause the UK govt serious difficulty.

    We need a strategy Peter, but it would be best to be multi-dimensional (ie a range of approaches) and these all need to be properly thought through, for if they are not they wont work and even worse, no one will believe us.

    Much to do that is more creative than being angry.

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    1. I have not exactly been reticent when it comes to stating what I would do instead of the “cautious, vacillating political manoeuvres” preferred by Nicola Sturgeon.

      If we are only now starting a debate about “alternative routes” and beginning to develop a “strategy” then we’ve completely wasted the last four or five years. Personally, I have been considering “alternative routes” since at least September 2014. And the “strategy” required has long been obvious to me.

      Anger is an energy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes Peter, there comes a point when it becomes a merry go round on what to say, however, SNP are the vehicle to get us there and we must trust there judgement to fulfil the mandate the Scottish people gave them, or otherwise, they will never be forgiven by the electorate.

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  4. Very true, Peter, what you write.
    As for “clarity” on Brexit? we will wait forever!
    And waiting ’till Scotland is already out of EU, is not good enough.
    It is already too late as it is.

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  5. I understand the frustration, but honestly believe this wing of the Yes movement – the indignant folk for whom the SNP aren’t hardcore enough – has nothing constructive to offer. Reality is what it is and chest-puffing indignation isn’t going to shift the polls. If you don’t take the people with you, you risk ending up a small group, standing alone with your burning passion.

    Are the SNP hitting it out of the park strategically and tactically? I really don’t know. But I think they’ve got it a lot more right than you lot.

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    1. Instead of thoughtlessly slapping facile labels on people who challenge your views, the mature thing to do would be to listen to what they say and make at least a token effort to understand. It is only possible to be as dismissive of sovereignty as you are if you haven’t grasped the concept. And if you haven’t grasped the concept of sovereignty, what the fuck makes you imagine you have the authority or credibility to criticise others?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You make an argument here that I’m missing the whole point, but of course use a lot more verbiage to make it. Have you ever considered that you might be wrong, or pursuing the wrong strategy to achieve our shared goal?

        You’ve built a fortress of your own infallible rightness, so of course, looking down from those high windows, anyone who disagrees must be a fool.

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  6. Good to have you back.

    As for what you wrote; I couldn’t agree more. My approach has been to get resigned to disappointment rather than getting angry & stressed but that’s only because I know how damaging stress is to me personally…

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