Plotting and scheming

Suppose you were in charge of a Scottish political party with, say, 120,000 members. Suppose that party was in government.

Suppose you’d made a bit of an arse of things. Maybe you’d tried to introduce a policy that was extremely controversial. Or there’d been some scandal which, although fairly minor, was blown out of all proportion by your political opponents and the media scum-pack. Or maybe there was another potential scandal looming. Or maybe you’d failed to honour some long-standing and crucially important commitment.

Suppose you were anticipating a certain amount of backlash from a significant number of members. Suppose you were aware of how forceful and forthright many of the party members could be.

Suppose you wanted to avoid a situation where a large group of these dissenting members are gathered in one place in such numbers as might make it difficult to prevent this dissent becoming publicly visible.

Suppose all of this. Then suppose it’s coming up to that time of year when the party holds a conference. Suppose these conferences are normally attended by well over 2,000 delegates and almost as many non-delegate members as well as a massive contingent from the world’s media.

Suppose you’re shitting yourself.

Suppose, having cleaned yourself up and changed your pants and switched on the fan to dispel the odour, you started thinking about what might be done to prevent or, at least, reduce the likelihood of further shit making an appearance – perhaps in precarious proximity to that fan.

First off, postpone! You’re really good at that. Postponing and prevaricating and delaying are all parts of your skillset. It’s an iron rule of political party management – and of politics in general for that matter – that the things which are most urgent are the things you most want and need to put off. Postpone and plan. Even if it’s only planning another postponement. Hell! The entire party organisation is geared up for a strategy of waiting. Postponing a conference should be a dawdle.

What’s next?

You’ve already got tight control of the agenda, so there’s not much more you can do in that area. There’s already been rumblings about the ratio of debate to theatre. Probably best not fill even more time with set-piece events. How to cut the time for debate even more and so reduce the number of opportunities for someone to get up on the platform and say something unscripted by you and your team?

How about cutting the conference from three days to one! That’ll do it!

But that doesn’t solve the problem of a large number of members gathered in one place at the same time and the risk that this might create a critical mass of dissenters. Slashing the duration of the conference should put off a few folk. But it’s not likely to deter the trouble-makers – or “activists” as they like to call themselves.

How about moving the venue to some remote location. Not the islands. That would be too obvious. Knoydart? Applecross? Might be worth having someone check the availability of venues in those locations. Obviously, they wouldn’t have to be large venues. The smaller the better, really. Then again, we must cater to the media. You need to get the right balance between inconveniencing the delegates and keeping the journalists whatever it is they have instead of happy. Drunk?

Got it! Aviemore! Perfect!. Well… nor perfect, exactly. St Kilda would have been better. But it’ll have to do.

You’ve postponed, curtailed and distanced the conference. What else can you do? Pray for an outbreak of some virulent viral infection, perhaps?

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37 thoughts on “Plotting and scheming

  1. Agree with Angry Weegie. Actually too close to the bone to be funny. SNP members should realise that the Yes movement is counting on them. Their voices and their party votes are the ones that can fix this. Fix this before the wider electorate’s votes (or lack of them) does it to the detriment of the immediate cause of independence.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anyone else feel like the momentum has gone? The chance to strike was missed and we will go back into our boxes like the spineless apathetic creatures we are. It’s in our nature at this stage.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, we are nearly there don’t be distracted by anything, especially the woke and anti-woke brigade, give yourself a good talking to.


      1. Marea,

        Please explain how we are nearly there? What magical plan is in place? If being dragged out of the EU won’t do it what will ?

        I live in Ireland and I can tell you how Marie Lou Macdonald would interact with the British Establishment right now if she was in the same position as Nicola Sturgeon; It certainly wouldn’t be asking for permission for anything from a fascist state and the all powerful Bojo.

        Nicola Sturgeon has been a great servant to Scotland but she is a career politician and lacks the killer instinct to do what is necessary, that is as clear as day now.

        Would Alex Salmond have been so submissive?

        Your blind faith is your weakness so perhaps you should evaluate your own perspective. I prefer to judge things as I see them and my gut feeling like many others is that this is not going to happen under the current leadership.

        How many SNP member have announced they will not be running in the next elections for family or retirement reasons? Are they deflated by the lack of movement perhaps?

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so – there seems to be traces of smoke emanating from many different places right now … and where there is smoke … I just wonder if there is a fire door, and how long it might last?


    1. The smoke’s coming from the opportunity incinerators. Let’s be realistic, Mike. It now looks more likely than not that the party has totally fucked it. Although there’s also the possibility that they’ve fucked it totally.

      If anybody knows how we get from here to a referendum on the necessary timescale they’re keeping it to themselves. The only way I can see depends critically on Nicola Sturgeon getting aff her face on Buckfast.

      Liked by 6 people

    1. Peter will judge this – (badly maybe) … but the newly formed, still very much in gestation, so formed is probably inaccurate, “Alliance for Independence” will be holding a Conference late May/earlyJune, we hope. The current Aims and Objectives – are limited – for now -and can be found on the facebook page for the Alliance – plus a considerably growing interest from the Yes movement as a result of meetings taking place around Scotland with Yes Groups.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. The Orkney Statement

      YES has waisted the last 2 years and failed to even build a shared language for the issues currently at play. Its all over the shop and is flailing about waisting energy jumping at every dead cat the union puts out. Oh for something like iScot/The Orkney News/IndependenceLive to gather all their leading contributors in one place to map out the language and the fundamental issues that defines the INDY push ahead – to build a shared language at least. It would make an unmissable manifesto issue.

      Orkney is a perfect place as it is the essential point that highlights an INDY Scotland – where the flipping of Scotland from England facing and readdressing its natural front door of the North Sea and the Islands.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. QUESTION.

        How many YES still subconsciously see Scotland from the English perspective…think about it do you still see the sequence as: Europe, London…Scotland.

        That is just the BBC weather map view of the world – where Scotland is the arse end of the world.
        That map projection that so many arc up over didn’t just make Scotland look insubstantial, it deliberate isolated Scotland from Europe. Projecting it as a lonely outcrop into the ocean.

        ENGLAND is not your front door. Its should only ever be a side door at most. Scotlands Front door is its coast and the islands.

        Ever noticed how early map makers saw Scotland not only as connected to Europe but often more dominant than England. They had a different conceptual view of a country – one that is as equally related to Europe as England. Ancient Rome (Tabula Peutingeriana) drew Great Britain horizontally and this view of Scotland continued to echo for centuries (as in the Bertius’ Map

        And the famous Ptolemy 1467 map didn’t see Scotland as sideways, he saw it rightly connected to Europe. Moreover, It is not sideways at all once you see the Ptolemy globe map in total. It only looks distorted if you crop out the rest so you can’t see the map projection.

        At some point YES will need to start talking and thinking about Scotland through an Independent lens. That means relegating isolationist England to a Southern boarder and prioritise its European and Global connections via its coast. Seriously…how different is Scotland if you stop thinking of it through the BBC weather map lens and revive that earlier European connected view. In this world view Orkney and Shetland are central to the vision of Scotland.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I think when the Yes movement gathers in Arbroath we should be seeing Nicola Sturgeon’s name on a few banners instead of Boris Johnson’s. What did he ever promise but the shit we’ve had from him?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The gathering in Arbroath might present an apt moment to remind Nicola of the fate and legacy of Toom Tabard.

        Additionally, the original Declaration of 1320 setting the will of the people above the King can easily be read across to 2020 where the will of the Yes movement takes precedence over that of the titular (and temporary) leader of the movement.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve enjoyed a good laugh over on Wings at the expense of the SNP even though I’m a fair weather member of the party. But really, with schoolboy tactics like this it’s more than time for a few people to sit down and have a long and frank conversation with themselves, or even other people, about whether the party even has the capability to function and longer.

    Time for someone to grow up, grow a pair, take the beating and get back to the purpose for which they were elected for.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have pledge elsewhere to never vote for the SNP, or the Greens for that matter if GRA is passed and I repeat that here. If the Rev Stu of Wings doesn’t form a Wings party I shall likely have to spoil my ballots by writing ‘No to GRA’ over them.

    I’m a Biomedical scientist and I understand how sex determination works. I even know what Sry does and it is not very spectacular but it has implication for the idea female is the default in mammals. Physically that may be so but genetically male may be the default.

    I’m one of the few people who can reliably sex newborn mice so don’t tell me sex doesn’t exist. I can determine it without any visible external genitalia being present.

    I’m also very concerned about my great number of female relatives and their safety under all this and I do not want to find myself discomfiting a woman because gender neutral toilets are the only ones available. I’m of that age where the prostate means you can go from fine to bursting in minutes but I will cross my legs if at all humanly possible.

    As to transwomen in women’s sports, as a Physiologist and muscle specialist I can give chapter and verse on why that one is manifestly unfair. I don’t want my younger female relatives getting hurt by a male bodied person when trying to play sports.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Declaration of Abroath indeed. States the principle of the right of resistance.

    ‘We have set King Robert over us, but if he should fail in this undertaking and no longer defend us from English domination, then we will depose King Robert as one who has invaded his rights and ours, and set over us another more able to defend our rights’.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Conversely, it does increase the chance there’s something hidden up the sleeve like the foolproof way to #indyref2020, because the alternative is the null hypothesis, that this latest action of the SNP is thick as two short planks.


  8. I think the plan has been all along that support for independence would increase all by itself with no effort from SNP because of Brexit, then they would press the ‘start’ button.

    Only it hasn’t.

    Spectacular miscalculation.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Exactly, when IndyRef1 was first called support for Independence was less than 30%. In two years of official campaigning we got it to 52% in that poll with 2weeks to go which stimulated the Infamous Vow* and 45% on the night.

      A Vow 2 wil not work because 70% of Scots do not believe the first one has been lived up to. The Rev Stu has his Little Black Book detailing all the scare stories if we voted Yes which came true anyway, they were policy proposals, not scare stories. Leaving the EU was the biggest one of course.

      A lot of people are struggling with life and making ends meet etc, they have no time or attention for politics and will only pay attention when they have to, because there’s a formal campaign and we chap her door. I remember those doorsteps, especially the one with 2 weeks to go.

      IF there is to be IndyRef2 this year s Sturgeon keeps lying to us about then we should have had a declared campaign starting last year. Starting now. Yet she hasn’t called one which shows the lie.

      The polls will not move absent something like Westminster licensing baby eating unless we campaign for Indy and get people’s attentions and give them reasons to vote Yes.

      We should also use our own scare stories, last time it could be hard to articulate to some folk what was wrong with Westminster. We had smarmy Cameron and the cuddly FibDems in coalition. Now we have the most right wing and xenophobic Tory majority govt since Thatcher. We should invoke the shade of Thatcher and make her dance in people’s minds wearing a mask of Bojo.

      But we will need a formal campaign, to get folk to answer their doors and give us the time of day. To get volunteers to come out for canvassing and manning street stalls etc. etc.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Yep. They were waiting for events to deliver 60% yes. Not realising that 60% might not even come in an actual referendum.

    I believe that independence will be won on a very tight majority. It’s what happens after independence that will make it 99% independence.

    The Scots have to live with independence to realise how blind and brainwashed they were.

    No amount of campaigning will change at least 45% of the blind unionists.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I predict that come Independence day so many folk will be so full of the possibilities opened up that finding folk who will admit to voting No will be hard. 2 years afterwards only dinosaur Yoon newspaper commentators will be grumping.

      I predict the Hootsmon will try and position itself as the paper for die-hard Yoons and die a death doing it. How it has carried on this long is a bit of a mystery.

      I think we will have to mint a Scottish Broadcasting Service and make BBC employees apply for jobs in it. The higher up in management they are, the less likely they will be accepted. Ordinary staff may need re-education before they will believe the shackles are off.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have just read an article by a well know blogger, who insists, Independence has never been closer, and goes on to list all the reasons why it is so much nearer…. But,but, but,….. doesn’t say just how this ever closer Independence is actually going to happen!
    Just waiting ,for the tory regime in London to implode, is not a good way to get us there. Just waiting for Boris Johnson to throw in the towel, and tell us we can go now, is not a god idea either.
    The fact is, we have to make a move for it to happen. Sitting back, doing absolutely nothing but hope somehow more and more ppl in Scotland demand Independence, is not the way to go.
    How many times have we heard both Labour and tory and Lib politicians tell us, it wouldn’t matter how many folks want Independence. It doesn’t matter if there was an outright majority of pro Independence politicians elected in Scotland next year or any year, they will not accept it?
    We get this from Labour and tory all the time now.
    Without an action plan for moving forward, we will not go further by default. Not unless something truly serious of cataclysmic proportions comes along. We don’t want to have to wait for something like that to happen, tho this new Flu virus might be along those lines We hope, not of course.
    I wouldn’t put it past the London Regime to try use this to curtail freedoms, impose controls on this country, etc, and what could we do to opposes them at present?
    The current SNP strategy is not doing anything to move Independence further forward, and by the looks of it, the SNP leadership are doing their utmost to keep things as they are, maybe in this forsaken belief, it will all work out fine in the end.
    This Spring Conference debacle, looks like a part of that, and to try keep dissent at bay.
    It is also unfortunate we have some who criticize those who point out the flaws in SNP leadership strategy, as if it is almost a heresy to question the leadership.
    Common sense should tell these ppl, we have every right to question how things are going.

    Unless there is some movement fast, then the SNP will be in a bit of trouble, It could find itself in very real trouble.
    It has been able to keep a remarkable unity all this time, in the hope it would gain Independence .But it is beginning to look a little less certain SNP leadership want Independence at this moment in time.
    They seem to to want to wait for such a time, I don’t know, as suits them, rather than suits Scotland.
    That’s not good enough, and it begins to look like we will have to turn to others to get us there,as SNP doesn’t seem to want to take us from out of London control just now.
    The Union could be over tomorrow if SNP really wanted to end it.
    This waiting game, could well end SNP instead,…..and we become Independent, with or without them.
    It is a pity, because they have been reasonably good at Government in Edinburgh, but, that by itself, is not why they are in power..Getting Independence is. And that, as soon as possible.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Is the SNP salvageable? Not if its membership do not wrest control from Sturgeon and her cadre. Not if they do not purge the apparatus of her hand-picked woke identity-politics apparatchiks. These actions are a first tier requirement to save the SNP from destruction.

    Sturgeons wee-pretendy nationalist place(wo)men infest and enervate the parliamentary parties in Holyrood and Westminster, too. Some even predate her rise. The SNP has long had its Vichy wing. We read just this week of a timeserving MSP who has trousered of a third of a million pounds in salary and expenses in the past five years alone, shamelessly calling for 60% to 70% op poll majorities before any action is contemplated on delivering an indyref.

    Meanwhile his fellow country(wo)men suffer the indignities of foodbanks and the tyranny of universal credit. Apparently though, they will have to wait even longer as this trougher puts himself forward for another five years as their SNP representative and pockets another third of a mil – ca..ching!!!

    It is often argued that there is no alternative to the SNP. However it should now be crystal clear to all with a functioning cerebral cortex that as currently constituted, the SNP is the solution to nothing. Under Sturgeon’s leadership it has demonstrated again and again that is no longer the party of independence. The malaise, the cosmic inanity of its S30 strategy, the Animal-Farm narrative documenting the corruption of its career pols – all augur a downward spiral of a party that will shed the confidence of the People like snaw aff a dyke.

    It has been clear to me for some long while that we will never see an independent Scotland while Sturgeon an her Union-centric cadre rule. It is also clear that if the SNP cannot reform itself by excising this cancer it will perish. There will be no choice but to start again.

    The best way forward is for the Party to purge itself of this diseased tissue and move forward under authentic leadership devoted to realising our nation’s independence. Alas I see no sign that the membership and crucially, its few possible leaders in the Party hierarchy, have the energy or balls to do so.


  12. Not for the first time I agree with Christian Wright and others that NS is NOT going to lead us to independence , she has taken yes voters for fools , but what I find most infuriating is that she sits in her ivory tower and IGNORES the damage and denigration that we all suffer at the hands of the unionist cabal without even a semblance of any fight , passion or aggression

    Also what is equally infuriating is that continuing along the same route leads nowhere , ( as the saying goes ,doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is the definition of madness ) she also knows that as time is crucial we have a limited choice in our options

    Many people on twatter and elsewhere are stating openly that if she doesn’t shelve this lunatic GRA wokefest they will NOT vote SNP , so basically if people don’t vote SNP or spoil their ballot there is an increased chance that we will end up with one of the unionist fanny parties , so basically we the independence movement have been hoisted by our own petard and unless the SNP membership waken up and remove NS and replace her with someone who is willing to FIGHT for our independence then we are fucked

    Yet Stu Campbell took / and takes all sorts of abuse from SNP members for telling it like it is

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I suggested on another forum that Nicola should go I have to be honest I got shouted down by some Nicola devotees. The problem is she has many apologists who still adhere to the moment isn’t right and Nicola has a great plan up her sleeve. It’s not a great historical parallel but it reminds me of how the Germans in WWII thought they’d end up winning once the wonder weapons were produced and when that failed; the Allies would split after FDRs death. It was all wishful thinking. There is no plan and the continued delay shows and ignorance of the Scottish psyche: if Brexit is a disaster we’ll be too scared to go alone and if it isn’t initially at least we wont go alone because it wasn’t such a disaster. Either way the figures for independence will slide. Now is the moment.


  14. Peter. It’s not a question of if she will go. I suspect she is at the end of her reign.

    She might not be leader after 2021. I think ultimately it will be her decision to stand down though. I think even she will realise that her strategy failed and she has reached a dead end.

    I think we might have to go through some real pain for a few years now. However if the next leader has the right strategy then we can get back to the glorious Salmond era.

    The fact is , we are in the shit right now. We just need to find a way out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In a “few years” the British Nationalists will have secured their grip on Scotland. We were close to escaping their clutches. They’re not going to allow us another chance to get away. If we are fucked now, we are fucked forever. I’m not prepared to concede that. We still have a small and rapidly closing window of opportunity. But it requires some bold, brave, defiant, assertive action by the Scottish Government. Nicola Sturgeon is capable of leading this action. But is she willing? Is she prepared to make the necessary sacrifice? That remains to be seen. But it’s a question which must be answered very, very soon.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I completely agree with your comment. Delay is not a no cost option. We have very little time, because the more we delay, the more the handcuffs will tighten. Our leaders may be incapable of moving forward at speed, but, if it’s needed, Johnson will take action in the blink of an eye and worry about the political consequences later. After all, there’s always the army if it comes to the worst. Considering they’re already killing 1000s with UC, what’s a few more?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. 1. ‘In a “few years” the British Nationalists will have secured their grip on Scotland.’

        As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

        2. ‘Nicola Sturgeon is capable of leading this action.’

        No, she’s not.

        3. ‘But is she willing?’

        No, she’s not.

        4. ‘Is she prepared to make the necessary sacrifice?’

        No, she’s not.

        5. ‘…it’s a question which must be answered very, very soon.’

        See above.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Because Nicola is unwilling to make a decisive move. It leads me to the conclusion that it’s already too late.

    So essentially we are going to end up as we were going into Holyrood 2021. I agree it’s a fecking disaster. It’s dangerous and stupid beyond belief.

    It’s 50/50 whether Holyrood gets shut down. But unfortunately thecrealist in me concedes that Nicola is playing games with us. It’s going into mid March for fecks sake. There isn’t going to be a referendum this year.

    Nicola and Murrel have nothing left to offer us. I sincerely hope our next leader does.


  16. Yep we’re fucked but NEVER totally. Reset to zero, we’ve been there before. Its not the Lions who have let us down it’s the Donkeys that have led us here. Some of us have been telling people that for years now and been shouted down for it. I am disgusted by the party I have supported for 56 years but its not the party thats important its the freedom of our country. Lets all get back to that. Fuck there free fanny pads and Baby boxes


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