Ghost teacher

People who, for some inexplicable reason, think now is the right time to claim that independence can’t or won’t be achieved under the current SNP leadership.

Caitlin Logan: Infighting must not get in the way as independence nears

There is nothing “inexplicable” about the reason people are coming to the conclusion that “independence can’t or won’t be achieved under the current SNP leadership”. The reason is simple and obvious and has been set out countless times by numerous commentators – myself included. Either Caitlin Logan is too blinkered to have seen these explanations or she is being downright dishonest.

Nor can she sensibly claim that she is ignoring the explanation on account of it being unworthy of a response. Because the reason I and others doubt independence can’t or won’t be achieved under the current SNP leadership is that the current SNP leadership has declared that it will not or cannot play its role in achieving independence. (Independence is not an ‘achievement’, by the way. But that’s a whole other scolding.)

The current SNP leadership has declared an unwavering and uncompromising commitment to the Section 30 process. That process cannot lead to the restoration of Scotland’s independence. (See! Not ‘achievement’!) Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable for anyone to assume that the present SNP leadership is not genuinely intent on the restoration of Scotland’s independence. In fact, you’d have to be pretty stupid not to harbour doubts in the face of the current SNP leadership effective declaring that it can’t or won’t do the job we put it there to do.

Caitlin Logan is correct about many things. She is correct to maintain, as is implied, that independence will only be restored by an SNP administration. But there is no rational reason to believe it will be an SNP administration wedded to the Section 30 process. That means there must be either a change in the personnel or a change off the personnel. And if that is too blunt for some delicate SNP sensibilities then I have to tell them that I do not give a proverbial for their silly sensibilities. My priorities are evidently not theirs.

Caitlin is also correct about the list party nonsense being nonsense. But I don’t think she understand’s why people are resorting to such nonsense. People resort to magical solutions when they no longer have confidence in the people and agencies that are supposed to implement real-world solutions. That does not justify them putting their faith in mumbo-jumbo. But it is an explanation. The explanations are there if you choose to look for them, Caitin!

People have lost confidence precisely because the current SNP leadership doesn’t have a plan other than planning to wait and see how things turn out and if they turn out well pretend that’s what they planned and if it turns out badly use that as an excuse to wait a bit longer in the hope that things go right and they can claim that their ‘plan’ is back on track.

Nicola Sturgeon’s greatest asset is not her leadership skills or her abilities as a communicator but her luck!

Caitlin Logan would have us believe there has been a plan of action for the past five – nearly six – years. Don’t tell me! Show me! Show me the plan! and don’t give me that slippery drivel involving metaphors about chess or poker or medieval Japanese warfare or the dubious ‘wisdom’ of dead European emperors. Those metaphors evaporate under the slightest scrutiny. There may be a potentially infinite number of unique chess games but there is not an infinite number of moves available at any given point in any game. Good chess players know what moves are available. And so do their opponents. So unless Nicola has invented a new chess piece and is keeping it hidden under the table, STFU about politics being like a game of chess!

Want me to destroy the other specious rationalisations for their being no evident plan? Maybe another time. I’ve a final point to make.

Caitlin Logan does what many apologists for the SNP leadership are doing at the moment. She presents Nicola Sturgeon’s unquestionably superb handling of the public health crisis and the resultant blip in the polls as ‘proof’ that there is a plan and that it is working. I’m not fooled by this. Nor should you be. The coronavirus crisis is only tangentially related to the constitutional issue at the very most. But however large it may loom in our lives right now, the present crisis is a passing issue. The Union and its severely and increasingly deleterious impact on Scotland is an abiding issue.

In a month or two and certainly before a new referendum the public health crisis will have slipped off the rolling news and out of public consciousness. Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of it won’t be forgotten. But it will have rapidly diminishing value as a campaigning gambit. Banging on about it may even become counter-productive as it begins to prompt the question, “Aye! But whit huv ye done fur us lately, hen?”

I thank and congratulate Caitlin on avoiding the ‘never closer to independence’ ordure favoured by certain of our elected representatives. (I’m not going to say who he is. But am I the only one who has a tendency to put the “y” in ‘Smyth’ rather than in ‘Alan’?) She skirts close, however, in her final paragraph.

As it stands, things are looking up for Scottish independence. If there’s anything that can shatter that momentum, it will be a refusal to learn from the ghosts of politics past

Things are not “looking up for Scottish independence”, Caitlin. There is no momentum to shatter. It was smothered long since by the inaction and inertia of the current SNP leadership. To deny this is to refuse to “learn from the ghosts of politics past”.

13 thoughts on “Ghost teacher

    1. There will be two ‘strands’ to the campaign to have the SNP change its stance on the constitutional issue. One strand will work within the party. The other will (hopefully) bring together the Yes movement to apply pressure from the grassroots. That is what White Rose Rising is about. It’s just a Facebook group with around 700 members at the moment. But we’re working on growing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sturgeon has to be the luckiest politician on the planet. The standard of her ‘local’ opponents, the utter incompetence of Westminster, the willingness of party members to allow her husband to run the party as a fan club and ‘events’ providing excuse after excuse.

    I checked back. In the year leading up to the 2016 election, there were no less than 12 polls that put SNP support HIGHER than the 55% the latest current poll suggests, including several in the 60s. As late as the end of February 2016, the polls showed the SNP at the mid-50s minimum (with one showing 60%).

    We all know what happened next. I have my opinions on why it happened but the point is that it DID happen and there is absolutely no reason to believe it won’t happen again. Polls are transient, the leaders and policies that drive them are transient and when it comes to the constitutional question doubly so. And, unlike 2016, this time there are some potentially very damaging known unknowns looming.

    I share some of your concerns about other parties competing on the list. However, I am utterly convinced that the threat of this competition is one of the forces that is needed to jolt the current SNP leadership out of its myopia and to deal with reality. Other forces are required, including increased pressure from parliamentarians.

    If given the option, my belief is that Sturgeon will dilute her commitment to another Indyref further in 2021. Everything she has done since 2017 has been about building a coalition of support on matters other than Independence. First Stop Brexit, then Stop Boris, now Stop Covid, next Fix Economy.

    The 2019 GE campaign was an absolute disgrace. If that is what Sturgeon thinks putting Independence front and centre looks like then it says everything about her priorities. (And, as an aside, I wonder what things would look like now if Sturgeon had not engineered that election which handed Johnston his outright majority? I very much doubt Brexit would be happening for starters.)

    This is not a recent phenomenon though. We need to ask ourselves why the mandate for another Referendum was tied to the prospect of Brexit in the first place when, at the time of writing the 2016 manifesto, nobody in their wildest nightmares imagined Brexit was going to happen.

    More and more, it looks like that commitment was simply a sop to the perceived fundamentalists and a strategy that was meant to allow Sturgeon to serve a full term as FM without having to even consider calling for a Referendum, leaving her to concentrate on what she and her cronies consider to be really important.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with most of Peter’s response to Caitlin however not his disparaging remark about voting for another pro independence List Party.

    I am a member of the SNP and will continue to hold my nose and bite for them despite my disillusionment.
    (I have beaten a drum elsewhere about the non appearance of an alternative to GERS, or the exposure of the fallacy of Barnett being fair to Scotland or the lack of an equivalent of Scotland the Brief being sent to every household to overcome the lies about Scotland’s assets that won the last referendum for Project Fear unionism.) I have no doubt that the SNP has been carefully and systematically taken over by the Wokerati newcomers fostered by Peter Murrell, the SNP’s answer to Dominic Cummings, to promote a specific LGBT agenda through funding lobbyist groups, bullying of opponents on social media and at Party Conference. It is also obvious that the British State Secret Service has infiltrated the Party. This is not new. The SNP is a threat to British national security.

    So we know this. We know that Nicola Sturgeon suffers from imposter syndrome. That she was formerly influenced by Salmond and is now influenced by Murrell who himself is in thrall to the LBGT agenda for personal reasons.

    However, I and others who canvass, fund raise and deliver leaflets for the Party, who have thriving local branches (who were not consulted about the GRA, and which did not appear on the SNP website consultations list although pro GRA lobby groups were specifically invited to respond, and double counted as the same people are on multiple groups)… we prefer to work to change the leadership when feasible.

    Meanwhile however I will vote ISP for my list vote. I support their policies on independence, EFTA and the GRA. The ISP seeks to protects the rights of women and children against groomers, drug companies and misogynists.

    (The Greens are even more Woke and pro GRA then the SNP. )

    Critically, if all the people who gave their List vote to the SNP were to vote ISP in 2021, we will have a Party with sufficient List seats to hold the SNP’s feet to the fire, ironically, in respect of the principal aim of the SNP Constitution… to restore Scottish independence.


    1. You should probably focus more on how your magic list MSPs are going to hold Jackson Carlaw’s feet to the fire. There’s a fair chance that when you magic fails disastrously he will be first minister. Of course, then you’ll just blame… well… anybody, really. The SNP. Me. Harry Potter.

      Meanwhile, I’ll stick with the grown-up politics where nobody imagines that there can be magical solutions.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Seems to all be about the EU for Westminster & England. They also got what most there wanted.

    2015 May – Scheduled UK election. The Conservative manifesto committed to “a straight in-out referendum on our membership of the EU

    2016 June – Brexit referendum. Scotland votes 62/38 to remain in EU. UK vote 52/48 to leave. PM Cameron resigns next morning. May elected as Conservative leader and appointed as Prime Minister.

    2017 June – Snap UK election called to secure a majority for tory Brexit negotiations.

    2019 June – PM May resigns after failing to get parliamentary support for UK EU leave deal. Johnson elected as Conservative leader and appointed as Prime Minister.

    2019 Sep – Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court. Judges said it was wrong to stop MPs carrying out duties in the run-up to the EU Brexit deadline on 31 October

    2019 Dec – Snap UK election called. Johnson could not induce Parliament to approve a revised EU withdrawal agreement. Tories gain 80 seat majority.

    2020 Jan – UK officially leaves the EU but retains EU rules for an 11 month transition period

    2020 June – UK government announces that from Jan 2021, relaxed controls will apply for goods coming into the UK from the EU for a period of six months.

    2020 Dec – UK leaves EU with or without any trade agreements.

    2021 May – Scheduled next Scottish election

    2021 June UK relaxed controls applied for goods coming into the UK from the EU ends.

    Since the Brexit vote, the UK government, to get their way have used snap elections twice, lost/ditched two leaders (and many high profile MP’s) along the way and also tested the courts when necessary. Their aim may be crazy for all but the very rich, but you can’t say that they haven’t been determined to do what needed to be done to get what they wanted.

    If the Holyrood government is serious about being part of Europe, maybe it can actually learn something from Westminster and start to do whatever is necessary to reach the goal that a majority in Scotland clearly want. And do it PDQ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A point I have made frequently when people dismiss Johnson as a buffoon. He undoubtedly is. But he is a buffoon fronting for some smart people. Smart and relentless. And they have Scotland in their sights. They are coming for us. Meanwhile, the Yes movement is crumbling under the weight of egos and idiocy. It’s a very trying time.


      1. Couldn’t agree more. Johnson for all his failings and despite lack of widespread support is ideologically triumphant. Sturgeon might be better at a daily brief to tell you one more person died overnight but she cant or wont lead Scotland to independence.

        Rather perversely I suspect the buffoon would have led Scotland to independence by now if he was our leader through sheer bluff. He has convinced England that self immolation is progressive- I suspect Nicola doesnt have the charisma to pull off that fete.


  4. She is going to wait until the economic fallout from Covid-19 is over. That will take 3 years, and then another crisis equally more important than independence will come along.

    I feel like screaming!


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