I am not the enemy

One of the ways we recognise the “siren voices of populism” is their penchant for grossly misrepresenting any who challenge or criticise them. Andrew Wilson evidently wasn’t mindful of this when he implied that those expressing concerns about the SNP’s strategy were trying to “sell a pup to a population that deserves the best of honesty”. Or, indeed, with that line about “siren voices of populism and extremism”. Or even the repeated mentions of “populism”. I’m sure he reckons he’s done a rather fine job of tarring the SNP’s critics with the brush of “Trump, Johnson, Farage et al” but, for me, the attempt to contrive negative associations was all a bit obvious. One might even say clumsy.

As one of those who is deeply troubled by Nicola Sturgeon’s approach to the constitutional issue I am left a little perplexed by Andrew’s attempt to discredit and diminish people such as myself. He says that the SNP is at its best when it is “front foot, ambitious, outward-facing, welcoming, positive” – and I couldn’t agree more. In fact, this is precisely what I am urging. Andrew Wilson might have done better to consider the reasons I and others find it necessary to so urge the party leadership.

Had he not been so intent on disparaging those who decline to toe the party line on the new independence referendum and the subsequent campaign, andrew might have been able to discern the fact that what I and others are seeking is no more than that the SNP should be what it is when it is at its best. We want Nicola Sturgeon to get on the front foot rather than merely reacting to to the pond-life twitchings and squirmings of the British political elite. We want her to be more ambitious than settle for whatever the British state is prepared to offer. We want her to be outward-facing towards the wider Yes movement and to welcome it as a rich resource rather than shunning it as if it might sully her political purity. We want her to be positive about Scotland and its people and its capacities rather than about her own ideas of how to proceed.

We want the SNP to remember what it is for and to at least acknowledge what it is against.

We need no lectures about the absolute necessity of backing Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. We know, at least as well as Andrew Wilson, that the SNP is the lever by which Scotland will be prised out of an injurious and demeaning political union. We know that Nicola Sturgeon and her administration represent the fulcrum on which that lever move. But we recognise that it doesn’t end there. We are aware that this lever requires a solid base on which to rest – the Scottish Parliament. and we have long been cognisant of the threat to Holyrood which Nicola Sturgeon has only lately acknowledged.

We further recognise that this lever is all but useless without the force that can only be provided by the Yes movement. So we can hardly be criticised for our anxieties about that force being diverted or dissipated as a consequence of the way Nicola Sturgeon is seen to be handling things.

I can only speak for myself when I say that I with Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP all the way to independence. But my commitment is, not to any party or personality, but to Scotland’s cause. I therefore reserve the right to do whatever I might to steer the party and its leadership on what I consider to be the course which will most surely take us to the restoration of Scotland’s independence. And to sound a warning when I think they have strayed from that course.

I am firmly persuaded that this can be done without harm to either the party or the cause. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing it. I am not the enemy. Neither are any of those in the SNP or the wider Yes movement who voice concerns about Nicola Sturgeon’s option-squandering and highly contentious commitment to the Section 30 process. Or about what many see as a failure to learn the lessons of the 2014 campaign.

It is disappointing, to say the least, that the SNP should feel it necessary to propagandise against those who do no more than offer alternative ideas as to how we might best proceed on Scotland’s journey to independence.



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7 thoughts on “I am not the enemy

  1. His reverential style when discussing the Party and Sturgeon in particular, frankly, give me the creeps. His admonitions really deserve to be delivered from a pulpit (and one feels they are being so delivered). His own markedly rigid thinking is projected outward onto those he considers… apostate.

    He raises affected piety to the level of a clinical disorder. I have genuine concern for the lad.

    There is something of the night about Andrew.

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    1. Must agree, CW. John Knox sprang to my mind; that preaching, hectoring, thundering, Calvinistic rectitude that has been Scotland’s bane. As a woman, and, therefore, always an ‘apostate’ of some kind, it is a massive turn-off for me. No one has the monopoly on independence.

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  2. ‘..He says that the SNP is at its best when it is “front foot, ambitious, outward-facing, welcoming, positive”…’

    Couldn’t agree more, but when you place these above pragmatic solutions, when you revere these above common sense and fact, you will not achieve your goal, as the SNP seems not to understand. The desperation not to be what opponents casually accuse the party of being – inward-looking, insular, nationalistic in the sense of being exclusive, in other words, fascistic and akin to Nazism, instead of hitting back at the stupidity of such comments, the party has buckled under the strain of its self-imposed purity of thought and purpose. Yes, nationalism can be a force for evil, but it is only the intellectually stunted, and I refuse to apologize for saying so, who dare to claim that all nationalism is tainted or who see no different kinds of nationalism. Nationalism that seeks to achieve or to recover independence within the broad sweep of the law (i.e. civil disobedience, for example, is within that broad sweep, though, technically, not necessarily lawful), that does not seek to treat sections of its population as being unworthy of citizenship or does not seek to use methods that are injurious to the mental, physical and psychological health of its people, is not a ‘bad philosophy’. Of course, all nationalism can be twisted out of shape, but it is people who are responsible for that, not nationalism per se.

    Asking why NO voters voted NO and challenging their perceived ‘right’ to stand in the way of independence, an internationally recognized right, is not ‘bad politics’, and neither is challenging their perceived right to prevent another indyref, an illegitimate action of colonial proportions, according to UN perceptions. We all have the right to use our vote how we choose in a democratic state, but what we do not have, can never have, is the absolute right not to be challenged on that vote. If that were the case, no one would be able to challenge the Tories’ inhumane policies; no one would be able to challenge anything Johnson does at all. The opponents of Scottish independence appear to believe they are endowed with ‘divine right’. It is quite ludicrous to suggest that people have no right to challenge per se. That 2014 NO vote should have been challenged and called out immediately. Had it been, I doubt that we would be in the mess we are in now. What has triumphed is English Nationalism, which, as far as these British Isles have been concerned, has always been something to fear, yet the same people who condemn Scottish Nationalism as being ‘narrow and divisive’, supposedly, take the opposite tack with English Nationalism, which many of them see as a force for positivity – the very antithesis of what experience and history and plain fact proclaim it to be. It is a kind of madness which we have been too afraid to challenge.

    It appears that the SNP is to continue its ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ stance, and, if orthodoxy insists that I must toe the party line in all things when it is patently ill-advised in its present position on independence, then I believe that the party and I must part company. I would be very, very sad to do so, but, until now, it has been a broad church with room for all views. Since 2014, the views of those who actually voted against independence, who actively work against independence even now, appear to have become a kind of orthodoxy: they must be propitiated while long-term supporters of the party are sacrificed, or, at any rate, told to shut up. In these circumstances, it is almost inevitable that another independence party will arise to take us forward.

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  3. There’s always a risk that a body which is reluctant to take the initiative will eventually succumb to pressure and rashly throw itself behind the wrong initiative, and I get a bad feeling about this apparently forthcoming General Election.

    Boris Johnson is playing the victim card, shunned by Europe, betrayed by doubters, plotted against by his enemies… Oh poor, poor Boris. He is actively pursuing a populist agenda aimed at the Farage led Brexiteers reserves, who are already frothing at the mouth about the perfidious shenanigans of MP’S and enthralled by the “plucky” rogue Johnson who will make Britain great again. He has thrown away his majority with a purge of heretics for goodness sake. That isn’t the action of a PM planning to govern.

    Scotland’s voice in such a UK General Election will merely be as part of an anti-Brexit manifesto which cannot decide whether it is anti-Brexit or anti-No-Deal-Brexit. As the Lib Dems are swelled by boatloads of expelled Tories seeking asylum, it is also difficult to see Swinson reconciling her misgivings about Corbyn in the driving seat. This rebel alliance will not survive exposure to daylight I fear, nevermind the enemy.

    Churchill said the only thing worse than going to war with allies was going to war without them, but a fractious, Corbyn led, anti-Brexit, anti-Boris, election campaign against the hard right English Nationalism of Johnson and Farage unleashed, fills me with trepidation .

    I would much prefer the SNP to double down on the subjugation of Scotland’s constitutional sovereignty angle, and unleash the redoubtable Ms Joanna Cherry to wreak havoc with the UK’s unwritten constitution and the casual disregard for Scotland in this false “Union of Equals” .

    “You voted to stay in the UK”, they will cry… and we did, and for ordinary daily business, Westminster governs legitimately with Scotland’s sovereign consent. But that all changed the moment the Scottish population rejected Brexit by emphatic majority. Suddenly things aren’t ordinary but extrordinary, and it isn’t a question of Scotland’s tacit consent and business as usual for Westminster, because in Brexit, they suddenly have a sovereign objection from Scotland which must somehow be removed or overcome.

    Westminster’s Plan A is to ignore it, apply a liberal doze of BBC propaganda, and hope it goes away. Fair strategy.. It has worked for 300+ years , but when that fails, Plan B is going to be outright colonial subjugation.

    The General Election is a trap. In my opinion Scotland must engage hard it’s Constitutional defences, and do it while we remain under the benign ECJ umbrella with powerful allies sympathetic to our predicament.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Pete.

    I enjoyed your article, as I have many before, and apologies for derailing the thread however I note you’ve blocked me on Twitter and wondered if there’s a reason for this, or perhaps it’s twitter up to its mendacious political tampering as we’ve seen with other accounts.
    Either way I’d be grateful if you could offer an explanation.
    Thanks in anticipation.

    Jeff Saunderson.

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    1. Pretty much the only reason I block people – other than obvious BritNat trolls – is complaints about or unasked advice about the manner in which I express myself. The sort of thing that invariably ends with something about how I’m “not helping the cause”. If you want to know why I blocked you, look at your last post prior to being blocked. The answer is there.

      That said, I am always amenable to unblocking. It’s my forgiving nature.

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