Time to push back

I think it’s really nice that Nicola Sturgeon understands “the frustrations that many of those who support independence feel in terms of the stance taken by the UK Government on the referendum issue“. I think it would be nicer still if our First Minister were to show some understanding of the frustrations that many independence campaigners feel in terms of the stance taken by the Scottish Government on the referendum issue. It would be quite delightful were she to give the smallest indication of even being aware of an increasing clamour for action from herself and her Ministers. But she continues to appear oblivious to this clamour.

When you see the sole of a boot about to come crashing down on your face, that is not the time to be passively pondering the pattern of the tread. That is the time to be taking evasive or defensive action.

Nicola Sturgeon says that this is the approach she is committed to. And that is precisely the problem. She committed to a very specific approach some considerable time ago and has remained immovably invested in that approach ever since. This has rendered her unable to respond flexibly to events and developments which even she says she never thought she would see.

Which only prompts the further question of why she did not consider the possibility of a far-right government in England prepared to trample all over democracy in pursuit of an extreme British Nationalist agenda. Why was she not mindful of a threat to Scotland that some people were warning about long before the EU referendum, and even before the 2014 independence referendum?

Is it any wonder some of us feel let down by the politicians we entrusted with our democracy and our nation’s future? When we see that boot about to crush everything that our government is charged with defending and protecting, are we not entitled to expect something more from our First Minister than stateswoman-like posturing and empty platitudes?

Nicola Sturgeon has been acting in a “calm, considered and consensual” way for the past five years. Five years of wasted time and squandered opportunities. Now that Scotland is teetering on the brink of an unthinkable abyss with the British political elite eager to push us over the edge, maybe it’s time for a rethink. Maybe it’s time for a different approach. Maybe it’s time to push back.

Maybe it’s time to remove the velvet glove and unleash the iron fist.



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30 thoughts on “Time to push back

  1. Not long ago I had a wee chat with a prominent member of the SNP who indicated in no uncertain terms, but without being specific, that they know exactly how evil and ruthless (no pun intended) is the bit of the Tory Party that has now taken over government. Much is being blogged right now about how democracy is dead, that there has been a coup, that Westminster is going to close down Hollyrood, that there are British State operatives deeply embedded in the independence movement, etc etc. These things are undoubtedly all possible, but at the same time, it seems equally possible that the SNP leadership is still keeping its cards close to its chest, not being entirely candid with the electorate and its membership, and that there is a secret strategy underway. If this is so, then the situation would be pretty much indistinguishable from a situation of authoritarian incompetence. The only difference between the Scottish and English parliaments is that the latter has access to well established secret services and departments of dirty tricks, while the former, I presume, does not. We have been living through particularly dangerous times for some years, during which it has become clear to all but the terminally deluded that democracy is a sham at every level and that real power is exerted behind the talking shops of government. I only wish I was a younger man who was not facing accelerated departure from this mortal coil, for then I would be doing secret stuff myself. Then I would not have to pretend to be a “good democrat” ….

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    1. It’s time to declare UDI , and for Sturgeon to grow a pair a baws. War is coming with Boris in charge of the English national party

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  2. Duncan -The above requires absolute faith in something of which there is no tangible evidence.

    Indeed we have already witnessed the devolution settlement trashed, with the continuity bill being challenged and then ignored. The withholding of farmers payments. Our EU citizens leaving Scotland in droves. The Britishing of our produce at home and abroad. The threat to jobs and loss of EU fruit pickers. The reputation and social bonds of Scotland being destroyed by right wing Anglo Saxon Tories.

    Brexit is already happening. The leaving date just piles more damage onto what has already been damaged. Nicola has allowed the damage to happen.

    Why is she not taking steps to protect us?

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    1. I do not disagree. Speculation and blind optimism on my part. But like I said, my chat with a senior party person left me in no doubt that they know this is war.

      Of course, as “good democrats” we are not allowed so much as to acknowledge this, lest we become purveyors of sedition. This the most wicked perfidy of Albion, that they expect us all to play nice in the name of a democracy they have knobbled.

      And if I were forty years younger …. I would not be working with words.

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  3. We’ve paid a big price for being reasonable and ‘waiting until Brexit is clear’.

    I think that the expected advantages of this approach were the moral high ground of ‘we did our best to save everyone but now we must go’ which might attract Europhiles who voted No in 2014 for fear of loosing EU membership.

    It is really not clear if it is going to be worth the high price but we’ve almost completed that phase.

    I just hope that we move on from this phase immediately and that it is not now too late.

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  4. I understand your frustration but if we had gone on 19th September 2018, as you advocated, I strongly suspect we would have lost. It cannot be denied that we are much better placed to win now than we have ever been. We cannot move until after the UKGE which is pretty well a given; then we can mobilise the troops and go full out for a convincing win.
    We must also see the Referendum Act on the Statute Book to ensure complete validity of the result. I do regret that this was not put in place a few months ago but we must hope for a speedy and smooth run through to completion.
    We must not panic but instead need to hold our collective nerve and strike when the time is right – which will be soon. Boris is making wrong decisions and these all help our cause.

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    1. Once again, some fool banging on about waiting until the “time is right” without a word about how that is to be recognised in advance, or about how we might deal with the consequences of delay. Dismissed.

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      1. Way to go, Peter. Call every Indy supporter you disagree with a fool or somesuch, so that when we do get Indy, we all go down the unionist pubs to avoid Indy supporters we have fallen out with.

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      2. Evasion. I called you a fool for a reason. You seem unable to address that reason. You still have nothing to say about how your “right time” is to be recognised in advance. Or about about how we might deal with the consequences of delay.

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      3. Peter, you are just too grumpy. I might have a conversation with you about when the time is right, I have already given my answer in the consequences of delay. You can’t say I haven’t answered, you can only say that you don’t accept my answer. I am not going to be too precious about it. But I am not having that conversation with you at the moment.

        Because right now, you are letting anger get the better of you and you are in true believer mode where you are hitting out at people you don’t consider to be true believers. The Indy movement is too broad a church to be turned into a cult of true believers. All you are doing at the moment is stoking an Indy on Indy brawl, when we should be more comfortable with ourselves and in a happy frame of mind to talk with our unionist and undecided contacts.

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      4. You didn’t even address the consequences of delay. Because you haven’t even considered those consequences. And if you imagine this makes me angry you are even more of a fool. I see too much of this complacent drivel to possibly remain angry. Your “true believer” pish is just laughable. You really need to bugger off until you grow up. This exchange is ended.

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    2. Robert – surely we use the GE to advance the cause? The Scottish Government puts the Referendum Act on the books and the SNP stands in the GE on an independence ticket. The troops can be then mobilised and go full out for a convincing win. The battle cry on the second day of Bannockburn was “On them! On them! They fail”. It is time for action.

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    3. We have to move and mobilise all the time Sir! This insurrection is underway, we either go with it or will be dragged along in its detritus. I wonder too about your “we” – for whom do you believe you are speaking?

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  5. I understand that during the prorogation of Westminster that Holyrood will be the acting parliament for the UK. For a week at least Holyrood should play merry hell. Revoke section 50 for a start.

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    1. I don’t think it works like that.

      What you suggest sounds like a Parliamentary ‘Watch Keeping’ system.

      Sorry but I don’t think Holyrood will be officer of the watch (in charge on the bridge).

      All the power will be left with the Blonde buffoon.

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  6. “…Which only prompts the further question of why she did not consider the possibility of a far-right government in England prepared to trample all over democracy in pursuit of an extreme British Nationalist agenda. Why was she not mindful of a threat to Scotland that some people were warning about long before the EU referendum, and even before the 2014 independence referendum?…”

    I have to say that I knew from straight after that NO vote that its real, underlying significance was not going to be allowed to surface when No voters were assured that they had every right to vote as they did. They did not have that right. No one has the right to thwart an internationally recognized principle of self-determination without having to answer for it. Just as we abhor the Tories domestic policies, designed to hurt the many in order to protect the few, so we should have stated loudly and clearly that the NO vote was not so much an expression of satisfaction with the Union as, to a great extent, a deliberate, selfish, self-interested and colonial action to prevent Scotland from taking a different path, that needed to be called out.

    The Remain voters in England, in particular, have not pandered to the sensibilities of Leave voters, but called out that vote for its apparent selfishness and unreasoning insularity. We should have done the same in relation to the NO vote instead of pandering to the worst excesses of irrational and mind-numbing status quo-ism. We didn’t, of course. We were far too busy being stupidly and wilfully blind to the message that NO vote was sending us. We have allowed the Orange DUP lookalikes to dictate who may walk our streets; we have allowed people we welcomed to Scotland as friends and neighbours to tell us that we cannot have independence because it might just inconvenience them, and, why are we so ungrateful; and we have stuck rigidly to the rules set by Westminster in full and pusillanimous knowledge that these rules have no sound basis in the Union we signed up to. We have been conned by professional political and social and economic sadists for 312 years, and many of us have actually come to enjoy it to the point of being desperate and fearful of losing the perverse feelings of misplaced gratification it affords us. We enjoy the feel of the handcuffs of ‘one size fits all’ chafing our wrists, the feel of the halter of English Nationalism tightening around our neck and we are ecstatic at the thought of more of the same in this carousel of masochism that we call the Union. I just hope that we have learned the stop word because, if we haven’t, the pain has only just begun and it might just spiral out of our control completely.

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    1. I do not know if this is irony, but I reflect that during the first referendum campaign, this message was bellowed loud and clear by rather many ancient Labourites, often laced with fury through gritted teeth. I cannot recall direct quotes, but many said that in the event of a no vote the Scottish parliament would be reduced to the status of parish council. We were warned. The folks who voted no because … reasons … knew also, at least in principle, that this would be the effect of their victory.

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  7. So, There may be a GE in October. This is golden opportunity to announce as its platform, that a majority of independence supporting MPs elected will be a mandate for them to withdraw from the English parliament of the UK, join with the Scottish Parliament, and resile the Treaty of Union with England, and revoke the Act of Union with England, then negotiate, as an independent state, with the government of England for the just distribution of the assets of the former UK.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/12/the-scottish-parliament-does-have-the-right-to-withdraw-from-the-act-of-union/?fbclid=IwAR1qusDGh12Jqivd6-GcnVSaOF3iy9loIUepK5da2W5Fl5hHZ4k82pwyJdI

    H don’t however, believe that the SNP will do that. They will cling to getting a section 30 Order, and make the effort to get that their platform. I’ve given up hope for the SNP to act for independence. Nicola says, “Our voice will be heard”, but she will not act. If, however, the Scottish independence parties don’t act, their voice will be silenced.

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    1. It would split the vote. Especially at Westminster. The only sensible way of getting as many independence supporting MPs into Westminster as possible is to have only one independence supporting party. We may not always agree with either its domestic policies or its apparent strategies, but it is the only party with any clout. It is the political vanguard – temporarily – of a wider movement. We must support it.

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      1. Yes, indeed, DS, but we should never rule out other actions and have all our eggs in one basket because,m if that goes belly-up, so do we.

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    2. Yes, it would very likely split the vote, steelwires, if this was mooted as a replacement for another pre-independence referendum but what could be done is for a people’s crowd-funded case to be taken to the international court as a parallel action, independent of the SNP and the SG, but this would entail legal preparation by a constitutional specialist. The YES movement could do this itself. There is a wealth of evidence out there to support our being an equal partner in an international treaty, and that England, from day one, more or less, has sought to both undermine the real Union and the Scots. The result is that which we see today.

      What such a case would afford us (if the ruling was in our favour and I, personally, cannot conceive of any other scenario) is the backing of the international court that we have been dealt with in bad faith by Westminster and Whitehall together, that Westminster has acted ultra vires towards us, that devolution has been rolled back to facilitate Brexit, and so on. We would also have the backing of the international; community in those circumstances, avoiding pariah status after independence. Effectively, we would be de facto independent as soon as the ruling was given, and it could be expedited very rapidly, as we have seen in the Court of Session. Thereafter we would need to ratify independence with a referendum after the fact, not before it, and proceed to negotiate with rUK while we are setting up a Scottish nation state, independent of the UK.

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  8. If Nicola doesn’t use the election as a de-facto independence referendum. Then not only is it a dereliction of duty. It will be the biggest misjudgement and strategic mistake since Flodden Moor. The election cannot be boycotted , The Tories will be fighting Brexit and Labour. The result is as clean a result as you can possibly get in a referendum, it also turns the unionists own weapon against them.

    If people choose to vote SNP , then they accept it means independence. Without utilising the tool. It can be claimed that not everyone who votes SNP wants independence. Not only that. Why would another mandate be anymore respected than the existing one.

    Nicola needs to realise that this is our ticket out of the UK.

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    1. How can a UK general election be used as a proxy for both a Brexit and an independence referendum? It is all but impossible to have a single-issue election. It is totally impossible to have a single-issue election with two issues.

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