The mood

Boris Johnston may well be the last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. But it is distressingly difficult to see how this will be brought about by the SNP. Angus Robertson has lots to say about what the British government will be doing. It would be a very generous interpretation of his article, however, which finds any suggestion that the Scottish Government has plans of its own. Apart, that is, from conducting research of the kind that should have been done long since.

What I take from this article is that the SNP is content to let things play out under the auspices of a malignant child-clown on the assumption that this will somehow lead to the restoration of Scotland’s independence. With all due respect to Angus Robertson, this is dangerous nonsense. Restoring Scotland’s independence will require bold, decisive action by the Scottish Government. If Mr Robertson’s report is any guide, bold, decisive action isn’t even under consideration.

We must assume that Angus Robertson is close to the SNP leadership and familiar with the prevailing mood. Clues to that mood are, perhaps inadvertently, scattered throughout his article. There is, of course, the ongoing obsession with Brexit and the SNP’s stance on that issue – which seems to have shifted from outright opposition to Brexit because Scotland voted Remain, to futile opposition to a particular form of Brexit despite Scotland having voted against any kind of Brexit.

I’d like to ask Angus Robertson what Brexit ‘deal’ might negate that 62% Remain vote? When I voted Remain, did I unwittingly vote to keep Scotland in EU unless there was an acceptable Brexit ‘deal’? Acceptable to whom?

When it comes to Boris Johnson’s interest in Scotland, Angus Robertson discusses this solely in terms of electoral impact. He refers to Boris Johnson and his transition team having “put some thought into how to deal with their unpopularity in Scotland”. When he imagines us asking “where stands Scotland in all of this”, he answers with a firm prediction of SNP electoral success in any head-to-head contest with the Tories. Incredibly, there is no mention at all of the constitutional implications for Scotland of a new hard-line ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist administration in London.

With what looks like quite breath-taking political naivety, Angus Robertson assures us that Scotland is not top of Johnson’s list. How is it possible for him to be unaware that locking Scotland into a unilaterally rewritten ‘British Constitution’ is an imperative for the British state? If Scotland is of as little concern to Boris Johnson as Angus Robertson implies, does it not occur to him to wonder why the self-anointed ‘Minister for the Union’ might be so relaxed about what is surely the greatest threat to his precious Union?

But it was the following passage which really provoked me to anger. Assuming the SNP would trounce the Tories in a Westminster election, Robertson opines,

All of this will strengthen the SNP mandate for the Scottish Parliament to decide on holding the next Scottish independence referendum. Having already won elections to the Scottish Parliament, Westminster Parliament and European Parliament, and secured a majority in favour in the Scottish Parliament, the undemocratic excuses to block a democratic vote will no longer be sustainable.

I read that and found myself wondering how “undemocratic excuses to block a democratic vote” could be “sustainable” in light of three electoral and one parliamentary confirmations of the mandate to hold that vote. I found myself wondering how “undemocratic excuses to block a democratic vote” could ever be “sustainable”. I found myself unable to understand why we would need yet another confirmation of a mandate which was already vastly more valid than the mandate of those making the “undemocratic excuses to block a democratic vote”.

I found myself wondering just how many confirmations of the mandate to hold a new independence referendum would be required before the SNP decides that the “undemocratic excuses to block a democratic vote” are no longer sustainable.

If Angus Robertson is affording us anything like an accurate sense of the SNP leadership’s mood, then Scotland is in serious trouble.



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21 thoughts on “The mood

  1. Agree. And angry as well. I also puzzle over the SNP’s lack of connection not only with their membership but with the wider Yes movement. There’s been no interaction, no feedback on the many many concerns raised about the lethargy they are showing. They don’t seem to even have enough fight to defend themselves to parties that basically support them. Much less those that are set on trapping Scotland forever in Brexit Britain.

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  2. Angus Robertson is a decent man, and I know he believes powerfully in Scottish independence, but I also think that he has been unable to persuade the leadership that they need to act decisively and has turned to his own devices to support his family while, at the same time, doing work for the cause. He was instrumental in bringing the SNP into power and keeping it there. It should have been plain to every MP that he or she was living on borrowed time, and that their seats at Westminster were only ever meant to be temporary. After all, hundreds of thousands of Scots have lost their livelihoods or been affected by welfare cuts under Thatcher, Blair and May, et al.

    I can see no real impetus to take us out of the Union before Brexit, and they are going to make the same mistake again, in believing that the suffering brought by Brexit will galvanize the Scots. It won’t because they are rudderless, in treacherous waters, and there is a captain at the helm who is reading the out-dated manual on sailing who appears not to have realized that the shipping company actually wants it to sink and go down with all hands, having holed it below the plimsoll line, all for the insurance provided by a cut-throat American company. I have voted for and supported Nicola Sturgeon since she took the helm, and domestically, I believe she has done a very good job, but even she must see now that we have no choice but to confront and challenge the shipping line, The British State. There is no other way. None. However we do it, it must be done. Don’t listen to advisers, Ms Sturgeon, who may not have your or our best interests at heart (most of them are Whitehall proteges) but listen to the mood of your own members who, perhaps, see more than you think out here in the real world.

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  3. Words fail me Peter.

    If we let them ignore one mandate. Then collecting mandates like Smarties, will not make the slightest difference.

    Mandates don’t stack up like cherries in a fruit machine , until you hit the mother load. The reason a mandate is ignored, is because the person you are asking approval from is a fascist dictator. The Tories are not democrats. They will carry on until we say no and stop complying.

    If they think the only consequence of their lies and bullying , are angry words from Blackford. Then they must be rubbing their hands in glee.

    Are the SNP really this dumb! Do they really not know what the British state did to its colonies.

    I just can’t think of anything positive to say about the SNP strategy. Because it appears there isn’t one.

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  4. If everyone’s worst fears are true (that the SNP has been nobbled), and lets be honest the British Establishment would not be doing their job if it hasn’t, and its a very good tactic (worked for the Labour Party early doors) then what to do.

    Sadly, for every Yesser that cannot bare to contemplate the above possible scenario – they hit one fact on the head. We cannot win without the SNP.

    So, what to do. We could tear up our memberships and stomp out, to show our disapproval. Which is what the Unionists would like.

    Or, we can anticipate the above and work round it. Call an emergency meet with your local groups, get your local MP’s, MSP’s and Councillors to pin their colours to the mast.

    The Gender Recognition Legislation is so poorly thought out – it must be put on a back burner or the Media will make the SNP unelectable – which is probably what its been designed for.

    And the ground that needs covered to convert No’s to Yes must happen now. At the very least Billboards (with info graphics, not stupid posters of babes in arms).

    If your local reps are not willing to do this, then the rule book needs examining and votes of no confidence carried out by members, and they need to be replaced.

    And look to the calendar, I can’t remember the exact legislation, or timing, but roughly speaking for both a GE or a Referendum it requires a statutory minimum of 8 weeks.

    Work that back from 31/10/19 and there really isn’t much time. We only got Holyrood because of our membership of the EU. Once we’re out – we’re F*CKED.

    NH$cotland – $OLD by Boris YES NOW

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  5. Johnson has just appointed Robin Walker, the MP for Worcester, as Minister of State at the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland. War has been declared.

    Time to forget the love. All is now fair.

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  6. Yep I reckon if no referendum happens by October. Then it’s over for us.

    That sounds over dramatic doesn’t it. But it’s not. The dismantling process will intensify when we leave the EU. The EU is like a loving parent trying to control an unruly child. Once the child goes feral, self destruction is the normal conclusion.

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  7. There is no reason as to why she should wait with a Section 30 order. Johnson is more likely to be elected than Jeremy Corbyn is, and even if Corbyn was elected, he won’t grant it either. Labour’s numbers are likely to be such that even if they won, it wouldn’t be enough even for a comfortable majority with the Greens, SNP and Sinn Fein and the Lib Dems, not least because Jo Swinson has already ruled out a coalition with Corbyn, presumably because she has a confidence and supply deal in mind. Long way of saying that another Section 30 won’t be forthcoming either way so Sturgeon ought to ask the question now and not wait until after the election. She doesn’t have to announce the new mandate now but she’d have to say so when the next GE is announced. It pisses me off so much that Angus Robertson suggests that they’re going to ask for yet another mandate. They already have a triple mandate and a fourth isn’t going to sway Westminster. They need to stop playing by London’s rules, and take bold action. They have already wasted two years by not asking the courts to rule on the legal necessity of Section 30. It’s theoretically possible that the current SNP leadership is planning a bolder move in the months ahead but based on the last two years and the mood music coming out of Bute Street, it doesn’t feel like it. This approach might ultimately work out but it risks alienating swaths of the grassroots movement and it risks severe damage to the Scottish economy if Sturgeon decides to do a plebiscite on Independence not at this snap election but in May 2021 when the next Holyrood election is due. Anyhow, there is no strategic advantage to wait yet further for asking for Section 30 and I’m very, very concerned that they’re going to wait until after October with more months wasted. I really wish Alex Salmond hadn’t resigned.

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  8. This starts and ends with Sturgeon. The responsibility is hers, not her advisors. The power to enact change lies not with Robertson, nor with Wishart, nor with the SNP Nomenklatura, but with the person who holds virtually unchallenged power at the centre of government, and that is the First Minister.

    It is she and she alone we should should press, not her acolytes. Those closer to power who recognise the need for urgency have little influence or substantive effect on strategy.

    My growing sense of it for some time, based on the empirical evidence, has been that there will be no useful movement toward dissolution of the Union until Sturgeon is either removed from office or voluntarily chooses to step down.

    With respect to our independence she has now been there too long for any good she may have done.The role needs to be filled by someone with the vision and the balls to see it through. This mission requires a Salmond.

    [My humour is disturbed by the nagging thought that Johnson will or already has offered Sturgeon a neutered form of FFA in lieu of independence and my opinion of the lady had eroded to the point where I fear she will accept it.]

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    1. No leader in the history of leaders has ever stood alone, CW. Hitler hinted at what he wanted done and those around him enacted what they believed to be his wishes, enabled by a self-serving administrative level. Those around Stalin enacted his will with relish. It is always the mistake that people make that leaders act alone. They never do. They are always surrounded by those with their own agendas. That is why infiltration is always the favoured method, by their enemies, of forcing leaders down cul de sacs where their actions are limited by their own coterie, and the more isolated they become, the more than rely on those around them who are offering advice. Bringing down a leader or ‘dangerous’ person by allegations of sexual indiscretion is also widely favoured. Having someone close to the leader, whispering in the leader’s ear and, in turn relaying back what the leader is saying and the direction he/she is contemplating, is the most favoured counterintelligence method – because it works. The British intelligence community is a past master at this and have passed their expertise on to every other intelligence service in the world.

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      1. The Dunning-Kruger effect manifest before our very eyes? No. Heaven forfend.

        Yes, I do read, Lorna, and gently, ask you to consider I may already be aware how Hitler and Stalin operated.

        If you have hard evidence to corroborate your speculation then produce it, otherwise it’s worth the attention of none save yourself. Do you think sturgeon incapable of considering such doings? It would seem likely the FM and her team have war-gamed this business to death, even employed game theory to optimise strategies and outcomes (I would).

        Consider first, before pronouncing on the limitations of their cognitive reach, your own, and the tendency of those who are not the brightest bulbs on the christmas tree, to apprehend that deficit only dimly. I know that is not you but others may not.

        Let’s apply Occam’s razor instead. The most likely reason for the pusillanimous response of the Scottish Government is it reflects its leader’s technocratic thinking, her innate caution, and her lack of global (with a small ‘g’) vision.

        Yes, I do not think it quite impossible Salmond was seen as the real threat, or a real threat, and has been stitched-up, accordingly. But for the moment, it is largely speculation.

        Let us deal with the known, the simplest explanation commensurate with the facts, and form opinions about the best way forward based upon those facts, guided by the precept that in matters constitutional and Scottish we the People are sovereign, and that we will not liberate our country adhering to the rules of a rigged game written by our masters.

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  9. Let Nicola decide , she knows the stats best , now is not the time , 55-60% for required , we are not there yet , there will be no second chances !

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    1. As expected. Nothing to say about the consequences of delay. You are not unusual in any way. None of those who parrot the British Nationalist line “now is not the time” ever show any sign of having given a moment’s thought to the consequences of delay.

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      1. Wrong Peter , I have given much thought to what the consequences would be if having a vote on independence happened now , it will still be no . We have to convince a lot more of the Scottish population that Scotland can stand on her own two feet , the BBC and the MSM don’t help with all their doom and gloom about the Scottish economy , it frightens people , (as of course is the intention) Nicola knows this .

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      2. Again, as expected, evasion and refusal to address the consequences of delay. And we both know why. Frankly, anyone who commends a course of action without at least having given some consideration to the consequences has to be regarded as reckless and just not very clever. This lack of intellectual rigour is evident also in the fact that you are still talking about trying to “convince a lot more of the Scottish population that Scotland can stand on her own two feet”, while the more thoughtful elements of the Yes movement long since realised that what we should be doing is demanding that British Nationalist defend their claims that Scotland is ‘Too wee! Too poor! Too stupid!”.

        Unless you have something to say about the consequences of delay, I shall just ignore you.

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