Waiting on word

On the anniversary of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath I will set out Alba’s Declaration for Scotland and the clear route to independence – a strategy for immediate action by the Scots Parliament following the achievement of an independence supermajority.

The momentum in this election is with Alba as people warm to our message that only a list vote for Alba can deliver the independence supermajority that will deliver independence for Scotland.

The National – Alex Salmond to set out ‘route to indy’ at Alba’s campaign launch

You need to be the government with a majority of MSPs to do what Alba is claiming it will do. A ‘supermajority’ is just political rhetoric. It sounds great. But if you aren’t immediately taken in by the superficial and think to examine the rhetoric you find that it’s empty. There is nothing that can be done with a supermajority unless the governing party (or formal coalition) has been elected on a manifesto committing to doing what the other part(s) of the supermajority want done. Even if all 32 Alba candidates are returned, there is nothing they can do but hope to piggyback on the effective political power of the party that has a mandate to govern.

Alex Salmond may well have “a strategy for immediate action by the Scots Parliament following the achievement of an independence supermajority”. That strategy may be exactly what’s required. It will be in Alba’s manifesto. But as things stand there is no possibility of such a “strategy” being included in the SNP manifesto. Nicola Sturgeon has already intimated the substanceless waffle which will form her party’s appeal to those who want Scotland’s independence restored.

Unless that changes; unless Nicola Sturgeon comes out with a strategy at least as bold as is to be offered by Alba, any supermajority would be a supermajority for two different things. So, not a supermajority at all. The larger part of the supermajority would be for Sturgeon’s ‘strategy’. The smaller part would be for Salmond’s ‘strategy’. Do the math.

There is a huge difference between a supermajority and a supermajority that is effective. A supermajority can only be effective if it is entirely focused on a single shared objective. AND a common strategy for achieving that objective. Does anybody looking at the Salmond/Sturgeon situation see potential partners in any cause?

I have high hopes of Salmond’s strategy. Those hopes cannot be matched by expectations, however, given what Alex Salmond has already said about his thinking on strategy – which is pretty much the same as Sturgeon’s. Nonetheless, I am hopeful that he will at least put the Manifesto for Independence on the table even if I know it will make no practical difference to Scotland’s situation unless Alba’s offer is at least matched by the SNP.

This may be the last time Alba will have any leverage with the SNP. If Alex Salmond announces a genuine Manifesto for Independence proposing “immediate action by the Scots Parliament” this puts pressure on the SNP to match that offer. It’s not irresistible pressure, by any means. But it’s the type of pressure which should have been applied to the SNP by the entire independence movement for at least the last year. It’s all come a bit late in the day. Probably too late.

But all of politics is in turmoil at the moment. It’s a fool who rules anything in or out. Even now, there is the faintest glimmer of hope that this can be turned around. Right now, whoever wins the election, Scotland’s cause loses. This afternoon could change that. Just don’t bet your pension on it.

Which reminds me. I’m meeting – virtually, of course – with my old friends at Edinburgh Pensioners for Independence at 14:00 today. So I’ll miss Alex Salmond’s statement. But you may be sure I’ll have something to say about it tomorrow.

21 thoughts on “Waiting on word

  1. In this respect then, don’t you think it’s a good thing that Alba with AS at the helm has appeared? If only to put Indy at the top of the list and, if she does nothing, will openly show her reluctance to make any kind of move. If AS can come up with a plausible way forward, won’t people start asking why she didn’t or couldn’t, after all her promises.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “If AS can come up with a plausible way forward…”

      That remains to be seen. But the point remains that this will not be enough in itself to generate the dramatic changes Alba is promising. Alex Salmond could just copy and paste the Manifesto for Independence and I’d still be asking the same questions. I’d still be asking what they’re going to do about it.

      Sturgeon MIGHT be under a bit of pressure to beef up the independence bit of the SNP manifesto. But it needn’t actually mean anything. Meanwhile, the attack dogs go all out to rubbish Salmond’s proposal. Nothing changes. Except that people’s minds have now been poisoned against the Manifesto for Independence. Which is bloody unfortunate as it’s our only chance.

      After the election, there will be no pressure at all. Sturgeon has spent years shrugging off attacks of various kinds anf from various quarters in the chamber. Alba’s MSPs will get few opportunities to speak. What they say won’t be honestly reported in the British media. The slap-down from Sturgeon will be reported widely. Sturgeon unaffected. Nothing changes.

      The claims being made for a supermajority and what it can achieve are unworthy of Alex Salmond. I’m very uncomfortable with the way Alba is being sold. Expectations are being raised. When that bubble bursts there will be shite enough to go around.


  2. I think you will be made to eat yer hat Peter. Alba already on for 6 seats. They have the yoons on the ropes already. You for scotland or the snp…Time to decide eh

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is NOT the point. But I’m increasing convinced that you are incapable of grasping the point. Which is that regardless of how many seats Alba Party might win, there is no way they can do anything to bring independence a day closer. No way they can bring about a referendum. No way they can do any of the miraculous things their devotees claim they will do.

      Unless, of course, you want to be the first to explain the process. I won’t hold my breath.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Because you can’t see a way its not possible eh. And you throw out insult after in insult to anyone not sharing your view. Youre misogynistic in your replies to women sharing why theve joined Alba and left snp. Think you need to wind the neck in a bit loon


        1. And there it is! The totally unfounded accusing of misogyny deployed as a club to beat down anybody who doesn’t immediately fall into line. Anybody who questions or challenges.

          I don’t even know that you’re a woman, you fucking turdwit! So I have said nothing whatever that relates to your sex. You are too fucking stupid to realise that by using accusations of misogyny in this way you devalue the terms and undermine efforts to combat this for of bigotry. You are truly an idiot.


            1. If you don’t like being faced with the truth of your inadequacies as a human being then you have the option to fuck the fuck off. It’s not as if your ‘contributions’ will be missed. And I am rapidly losing patience with your infantile trolling.


          1. What I expected. Youre a jumped up twit of a man. Not sure why you think you’re right to speak to people the way you do with no recourse. But there you go. Take yer hateful shite and fk off Peter a bellend


  3. No, it’s just something I’ve noticed since sturgeon and her nicophants have started the salmond hate fest. The way I feel is my loyalty lies to Scotland and the best way to free her. And I dont understand how people think a man with decades of experience of getting a small party to the point of gov and getting us a ref, won’t go out his way to ensure another ref happens sooner rather than later. Whatever your thoughts about his being found innocent etc, doesn’t take from where he got us in the past. Mistakes are made by most. And more guys in nightclubs are more sex pesty than he ever will be. And Peter annoys me. He always knows better eh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “And I dont understand how people think a man with decades of experience of getting a small party to the point of gov and getting us a ref, won’t go out his way to ensure another ref happens sooner rather than later.”

      Straw man alert! I’ve never said he won’t try. My entire point is that you and other members of his fan club believe that to be enough while I want to know how he might succeed. And neither you nor anyone else has been able to make a respectable pretence of addressing that point.

      The Peter you’re talking about exists only in your own head.


  4. It is one of the great tragedies of recent Scottish politics, that Salmond resigned when he did.
    Had he kept on a few more years, and then we had that Brexit vote, I am quite sure things would have been very different from today. We could well be Independent now.
    However things are what they are.

    I am also very sure Alex Salmond did not see Nicola Sturgeon throw away all the pro Independence gains, along with golden opportunity after golden opportunity.
    As it is, we are left with no choice but to still vote for SNP, as we cannot allow the others to take control.
    But many will vote ALBA for the List, and we can only hope it goes well.
    As to the First Minister and her desire to hang on another 5 years, somehow, I don’t see that happen for her.
    But we would also hope SNP members somehow manage to force the Party to go further on Independence, because if it doesn’t, SNP will be replaced sooner than it cares to imagine!
    But Scotland can’t afford to wait ’till Nicola Sturgeon changes her mind.
    It is already too late to a large extent.
    We need action here and now.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ” If Alex Salmond announces a genuine Manifesto for Independence proposing “immediate action by the Scots Parliament” this puts pressure on the SNP to match that offer.” Can you imagine how it would look if a motion was made in Parliament that it “issues a clear and unmistakable instruction to the Scottish Government to open negotiations with Whitehall on independence”. and the SNP voted against it? Would they dare to do that?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope there is such a motion early on in the Parliamentary term. I would be very interested to see the SNP try to wriggle out of that one.

      Voting against it would confirm that they are not the party of independence they claim to be and show the electorate that they will fritter away the next 5 years as they did the last 5.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Why does AS put pressure on the SNP?
      They will simply say “now is not the time”, and govern as a minority govt.

      What’s to stop them?


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