Here we go again!

Assuming he is offering even the vaguest insight into current thinking at the top of the SNP then Toni Giugliano’s article in The National will make depressing reading for all but the most mindlessly complacent independence campaigners. The message I’m getting is that we should expect the First Minister’s ‘demand’ for a Section 30 order will be treated with the same contempt as the previous request to Theresa May and that the First Minister’s only response will be to try and whip up some outrage at the contempt with which Scotland is treated by the British political elite. Outrage which, when combined with anger at the impact of Brexit – not the fact of Brexit but the consequences – will generate a massive groundswell of support for independence propelling the SNP to an equally massive victory in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections that will “make a Section 30 irrefutable”.

Haven’t we been here before? It’s like déjà vu on an endless loop. It’s like somebody lost the last two reels of Groundhog Day. It’s like the entire independence movement has come under the leadership of the Grand Old Duke of York. We’re repeatedly marched up the hill only to have John Bull send us scurrying back down the slope where we stand around telling each other how close we were and how we’ll make it to the summit next time. But the hill never gets any lower. And John Bull is tireless as he blocks our path.

The cycle is endless. The Grand Old Duke of York is set in his ways and won’t even listen to suggestions of another route to the top which bypasses John Bull. Talk of confronting John Bull is considered mutinous. The Duke is an officer and a gentleman and insists that John Bull be respected and obeyed
It would, he insists, be pointless reaching our fortress atop the hill without John Bull’s permission because even with an entire army we would not be able to defend it.

Mostly, the troops dutifully follow the leader. A few wonder aloud why we are unable to get back to Independence Castle when we own it and all the roads that lead to it. But their voices are drowned out by the bugles and the bands and the battle-cries as the Yes army sets off on another futile expedition.

I’ve probably strained the metaphor beyond breaking point. But I try to find different ways of saying the same thing even if Toni Giugliano doesn’t.

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12 thoughts on “Here we go again!

  1. It is a bit de ja vu Peter, and I find that extremely depressing, as I would imagine most SNP supporters will. And as an SNP card holder if they dont get the finger very quckly, the card will be in the post and the DD will be cancelled enoughs enough. Im sick fed up with the waiting game, how many bloody mandates do they need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have come to realise that rather than YES/SNP having a clear vision for INDY and then enacting a clear strategy to reach it. They are looking at every random thing and just giving it an INDY spin. This scattergun approach is nearly always pointless (sure it will tick boxes for reports and campaign material).

      The random approach means your opposition will exhaust you by making you run in circles never getting closer to the main goal. (notice how many of the current actions feel similar-but not exactly the same).

      If YES is serious, it is time to:
      – Set the goal,
      – Out line the strategies to win and
      – Ignore everything that diverts you from that path.

      This random approach means you never have to do the really hard bits. No civil disobedience, No removing consent of to be governed via Westminster. I.e. you will never achieve INDY until Westminster is finished with you….given Scotland’s resources, that will only occur when it has been sucked dry.

      If this keeps up, it will get to the point where people need to ask if this is actually more damaging than doing nothing because pointlessly chasing every dead-cat is making you run in circles. It is sapping energy and making YES realise it is a quagmire- all the while Westminster closes the trap….Lets be honest, who joins a movement going nowhere, and who starts a movement when a current one is taking up all the oxygen.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. It is so much more, Mr Bell than just having been here before – marching up the hill only to have to march back down again immediately – and just before we reach the summit. If we are willing to play the game, this can go on indefinitely, so long as the faith holds. I have said that I will not remain with the SNP – yes, I know, I’m about as important to the SNP as any voice in the wilderness’ I’m not that self-regarding – and I will not remain after January if there is no movement on independence – and, by that, I mean forward movement. My position is about as popular right now as a fart in a spacesuit, but I believe that it is the only route left to us, resiling the Treaty in the international courts, apart from taking the Treaty by the twin Claim of Right and Mandate and twisting its throttle it into submission – and, furthermore, Westminster and Whitehall know it.

    The whole thrust of the attempt in the HoL to introduce a Bill for the creation of a new Union settlement, but making it an ACT – an Act being a piece of domestic legislation under the jurisdiction of the domestic courts, where the Scotland Act is as safe as a blown-apart bridge – as opposed to what the Treaty is at the moment, an international agreement under the jurisdiction of international law, means that they know the danger and tried to head it off at the pass. I believe that Bill fell when parliament was prorogued by Johnson. Let us hope it is not revived.

    We are going nowhere so long as we stick to domestic legislation, domestic courts and domestic constitutional circles. This is a cul de sac, just as devolution is a cul de sac, cleverly contrived to ensure than we are kettled at every sign of rebelliousness. Furthermore, we can do nothing on the domestic front without the backing of the electorate in Scotland in a new indyref if we keep on pursuing the same old, same old because the same old, same old opponents are still there, still firm in their belief that they have the right to scupper independence. They do not have that right. It is contrary to the UN Charter.

    What we should be asking, and asking loudly, is why the SNP has adopted this non-sensical approach, particularly in light of the fact that the Budget has been held up and the SG could see all its areas of mitigation, all its pet policies fall because of lack of funds? This is war by any other name, and the SNP and the wider YES movement are acting like the Vichy authorities in France in WW II. They seem to think that, by collaborating they will save themselves and Scotland. They need to dig out those history books and realize that Vichy France also fell under the jackboot. I am not a coward and, when roused, I would face down Auld Nick himself, but I can take no more. If the SNP lets me down again – and I have been a supporter, albeit not always consistently – since a very young age, I will never forgive them. Individual politicians in their ranks, I have a high regard for, but the party is letting us all down if it does not move soon on independence in a manner that will lead to success, not failure. Generations of my family have died never having seen the independence they longed for and knew we needed.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. And yet there is a nuclear option for Nicola!

    She can resign from Holyrood and force an election. Technically the opposition can try and form a government in such a situation. However they don’t have the numbers , so that would never happen. If no government is formed then an election is necessary.

    That election could be fought entirely on independence. Vote SNP and they proceed to dissolve the Union. It’s a battle the opposition would probably relish, but they would lose in my opinion.

    However I don’t believe Nicola is serious enough about independence in the present moment to carry this out.

    Hence she will be drifting along awaiting 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even if it was possible to force an early election, and it is by no means certain that what you suggest would dos so, it is not possible to have a single-issue election. Think about it. All the British parties have to do is talk during the campaign about everything else except independence. Afterwards, they would claim the election couldn’t be a proxy referendum because the campaign had been about so many other things. The most an early election can do is the same as what the 2021 election might do – provide yet another mandate for a referendum which the British would deny even if the SNP took over 50% of the vote.


      1. I agree, Mr Bell. It is not want of elections or mandates or even referendums within which the problem lies: it lies with even the sole party of independence simply not being willing to do what it takes to achieve it; and we will never achieve it unless we are willing to be as ruthless and opportunistic as Westminster is in opposing it. Perhaps the FM will accept soon that there is no other path than either to resile the Treaty or dissolve it, but I am not placing any bets on that action being taken. As has happened in every almost other independence struggle, a new, hard-line movement will have to emerge if the SNP will not do it.

        As a democrat and a believer in human rights, if it were just a case of a few diehards wanting independence against a massive groundswell of Unionist Scots, and if Scotland were not in danger of being eclipsed finally, after a thousand and more years of existence, by an England that has been relentless in pursuit of our incorporation into a Greater England, if I did not look around me and see my fellow Scots sitting in shop doorways, or working but still struggling just to get by, or addled through drink and/or drugs because all hope has gone, I would never have supported independence at all. The facts are that we are in an almighty mess that is going to get a lot worse, all courtesy of Westminster, and, particularly, the Tories, since Thatcher, and it is no longer about the niceties of independence or a federal set-up, about whether we should just agree to disagree and get on with it because we are one big, happy family in the UK.

        It is not going to get better for us. It might just, by some miracle, get a bit better for the Northern regions of England, and the Midlands, if they play their cards right and make the South pay for years of neglect by demanding meaningful devolution, but, for Scotland, for ‘the Scottish region’, it cannot get better because we will never be allowed, as things stand, to make our own choices; if they do not chime with Westminster’s, they will cut the funds, and they can do so with impunity under devolution because it is a cul de sac and because the courts will simply not entertain any real challenge to Westminster’s hegemony. The Unionist Scots, the British Nationalists and the English Nationalists in our midst have no right – none whatsoever – to do this to us. We don’t need supermajorities to leave the Union. We need to make our case based on all that has happened in the past and all that is likely to happen in the future, linked by all that is happening now. It is happening and has happened, and will happen, because we have acquiesced in England’s assumption of the Union, in England’s interpretation of the Union, and in England’s governance (and constant breaching of the Articles) of the Union. We need to end the Union. If I go on any other marches, I will carry a banner saying: END THE UNION.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Peter,

        The other issue with an early election is once you let go of power it potentially makes it easier for Westminster to make it permanent.

        Opportunity creates new opportunities.

        I could see any myriad of ways Westminster can engineer to shut parliament down – with pseudo-plausible reasons for the press to print 24/7. SNP can screen from the rafters but the media and Union parties will make it like SNP are yelling in a vacuum. We have seen the UK government in action before at home and abroad, If their just happens to be an “event” it would seal the deal.


        1. Aye. The more you look at the idea, the worse it gets. High risk with no real gain. And a massive distraction from the task in hand. I’m surprised the SNP hasn’t done it already.


  4. The other thing about 2021.

    Even if it delivers an SNP majority. WM will say that as 50% of the electorate didn’t vote SNP it doesn’t matter. In other words they will continually move the goalposts , as they have been doing for the last 3 years.

    This is a complete trap and the SNP are walking head first into it, over and over again. The narrative must change. The SNP have to stop stacking up mandates like towers of Babel , only to have them knocked down like a giant game of Jenga.

    In short the SNP cannot continue on this road to nowhere!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I hate to rain on everyone’s parade today.

    However I have heard from a directly elected member of the Scottish government that Indy ref 2 is not happening in 2020. For reasons of timing i.e it’s not a good time to have a referendum from the SNP’s perspective. Also because of actual timing for legislation to go through.

    We are being led a merry dance, and the SNP are playing a very dangerous game with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have written many times that independence must be taken out of the hands of the SNP., which has become a British party. Who will come forward and take it in hand?


  7. Steelwires -Maybe not a British party. Rather an established party. Now they are established they have many pots to keep on the boil and many salaries to pay. Has the SNP machine grown too big to break up?

    I suspect many of the leaders in the party have lost their way, and lost their radical vision of the past. Devolution might actually have been the worst thing to happen for the independence movement. Not for the country, but just for the journey to independence. The SNP seem to have settled in!


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