Step back to step up!

I like Angus MacNeil. I regard him and Chris McEleney as two of the most potent allies of those in the Yes movement who are trying to inject a desperately needed sense of urgency into the SNP leadership’s lackadaisical approach to the constitutional issue.

I don’t like Angus MacLeod very much at all. I hold him largely responsible for the appalling treatment meted out to the individual known to most of us as Grousebeater. But I’d taken against the man long before that. Admittedly, my instincts could be wrong. Undoubtedly, Angus “Mumbler” MacLeod has fared badly on the conference platform in comparison with the likes of Derek Mackay, and that may have unduly influenced my attitude. But I just don’t like him.

So it pains me that I am obliged to agree with Angus MacLeod. It pains me even more to say that Angus MacNeil and Chris McEleny haven’t handled this matter at all well. It’s going too far to describe their resolution as “whimsical” and Angus MacLeod’s use of such language serves only to reinforce the impression of an unfortunate lack of respect for party members. Nobody should doubt that Angus MacNeil and Chris McEleny acted with the best of intentions and the worthiest of motives. But if party members deserve to be respected so too do the procedures adopted and approved by the membership. Angus MacLeod is surely correct to say that proper procedures were not followed. And it is certainly true that the MacNeil-McEleny resolution, while definitely not “whimsical”, was woefully ill-thought.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have repeatedly pointed out the problems with this ‘Plan B’ (https://peterabell.blog/2019/07/15/lets-get-confrontational/). To the best of my knowledge, none of the issues identified has been addressed by either Angus MacNeil or Chris McEleny. That is deeply unfortunate and suggests that the resolution might not have survived the heat of debate at conference. One should never make a proposal or express a view that one is not prepared to defend against all criticism.

This situation cannot be allowed to fester. My advice to Angus MacNeil and Chris McEleny would be to avoid getting carried along on the wave of knee-jerk support that the pair are enjoying at the moment. It won’t last. And the conference agenda committee is not going to back down. Getting embroiled in a fight with Angus MacLeod and the rest is not a productive use of your talents and public profile. I’m not going to give you any of that s**t about ‘damaging the party’. The SNP is not harmed by internal debate, it is strengthened. But conference time is a scarce resource. It has to be allocated wisely and used efficiently. Debating ‘Plan B’ was never a good use of conference time.

The best thing would be to step away from this discarded resolution altogether. Normally, when a resolution is rejected, those responsible for drafting it will have the option to rework it and try again. The MacNeil-McEleny proposal is not worth the effort. It is a non-runner. Tacking new legs on it isn’t going to help. The second option when a resolution is rejected is to start afresh. And that is what Angus and Chris should do. I, for one, would be totally supportive of an appropriately worded and properly constructed resolution impressing on the Scottish Government the need for a sense of urgency. Such a resolution would have the added advantage of providing an opportunity to rehearse, in a very public forum, all the reasons why a sense of urgency is required.

I sincerely hope Angus MacNeil and Chris McEleny have a bit of a rethink while they can abandon their ‘Plan B’ proposal with honour and pride and credibility intact. While I’m at the wishing tree, it would also be nice if Angus MacLeod could try to be a bit less of a tosser.



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7 thoughts on “Step back to step up!

  1. As always you make very good & relevant points. But the bigger issues that I’m seeing more & more each day in various websites, is that this is because of the depth of the frustration with the current leadership in the snp. The leadership ignore this at their peril. Scotland needs its freedom & all we get is outrage at the bbc every few weeks, Nicholas sent another tweet re trumpet. The leadership need a serious boot up the arse & get their best game on. Lots of people are seriously fed up with nichola’s inertia. Meanwhile we have QE2 buildings in Edinburgh. So WM have a plan & we all know it. What’s the snp response.? If it’s courts or whatever then it’s all already over…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I took up this “inertia” point recently with my SNPMP by email. It went back and forth a few times with his office mngr, until eventually I had to ask “in the 2 yrs in power,what has my MP done to get us closer to independence?”
    He sent me a video, on Youtube, uploaded June 2019 (last month . . . 39 hits so far), going over same old same old since Indyref.
    No fresh thinking, no clear strategy to win, no evident plan.
    I despair.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A video on YouTube is your mp’s response. This makes my point entirely. Things are even worse than I thought & I’m a pessimist my nature. I suppose I better learn how to mKe jam 🥴
    Are all politicians destined to betray us 🤔

    Like

  4. The SNP must be made to realize, that if it doesn’t have some secret plan already in hand, (we hope it does), and if we are forced out of EU in November, and still no clear strategy to end the Union, then another Political Party is likely to appear, and it won’t be interested in playing the Westminster system, and SNP could end up going the way of Labour in Scotland!
    We hope of course, the First Minister will indeed come up with something, and something, that will shock Westminster…. The alternative,of waiting and waiting, is too dangerous for this country!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A party of independence that will not fight for independence or use any of its mandates for independence. Only in Scotland. And can we all please stop calling the UK a union. The act of union was an act of colonialism. Nowt more. Nowt less.

    Like

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