Betrayed

I have always voted. I cannot recall any election over the last fifty years or so in which I have not voted. I’d like to be able to claim that this determination always to use my vote was motivated by a burning sense of civic duty. It is a civic duty, of course. But I can’t say that I ever thought of it in those terms. Not in the early days, at least. In fact, it’s difficult to say what the reason was that I felt driven to put my cross on a ballot paper at every opportunity. The best I can come up with is that it was fun. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed political activism. It was like a hobby, I suppose. Which seems a bit trivial. The temptation is to embellish the account with noble motives. But way back when I started blogging I vowed that I would always be honest. I might be wrong. But they would be honest errors. So I have to admit, voting was part of something I did mainly because I found it personally rewarding.

It’s not fun anymore. It stopped being fun a while ago. If the fun element of politics was charted on a graph there would be an upward trend rising markedly more steeply over the years leading to the referendum in 2014 and, perhaps counter-intuitively, continuing to rise for a couple of years after the tragedy of the No vote until sometime in the latter half of 2016 – after the EU referendum. From then, the fun has been in steady decline. Lately, even thinking about Scottish politics has become painful. Writing about it has become a chore. Observing what is happening in Scottish politics is heartbreaking and infuriating. People with whom I felt something akin to a sense of community have become like strangers. People I once admired and respected I now despair of. Connections have been severed as folk I once stood shoulder-to-shoulder with have gone mindlessly wandering or militantly marching in various directions – all of them away.

The constitutional issue was always at the heart of my politics. It is the heart of my politics. Again, I can’t say that my nationalism has always been such as it is now. As a child, I thought as a child. In the early stages it was a rather crude, primitive thing. Very much an ‘anti-English’ thing. It is not that now. I am no longer a child. I have put aside such childish notions. My nationalism today is bound up with lots of other stuff in a moderately complex ideology. But one thing hasn’t changed. What I recall most vividly of my earliest awareness of what I now call the constitutional issue issue is the powerful sense of injustice. For me it has never been about some ‘vision’ of a better Scotland. Such visions’ belong with the socialist aspect of my personal political philosophy.

Yes! I wanted Scotland’s independence restored in order to better achieve this and that political objective or social reform. What I latterly came to think of as correcting maliciously contrived or innocently unintended but always avoidable social imbalances. But mostly it was about righting a wrong. The Union is a dreadful wrong that was done to our country. A wrong which continues to have a deleterious effect – directly or indirectly – on every aspect of or national life. The Union is toxic. Scotland cannot begin to recover its health until the poison is purged. That reason alone makes the restoration of Scotland’s independence essential. It is a matter of the most basic justice and simple good sense. It needs to no ‘vision’ to make it a worthy cause. Rectifying injustice is always the worthiest of causes.

I look at Scotland’s politics today and I can barely discern that cause. I hear talk of independence. But always and only in the service of some agenda or in the context of partisan tribalism. The constitutional issue used to sit separate from and overarching all the rest of our politics. For those who recognised the injustice of Scotland’s predicament and weren’t prepared to accept it as a ‘price worth paying’ for something they value more highly than justice. The matter of ending the Union was the unifying aim because it was distinct and discrete. It was distinct and discrete not because it served as a unifying aim. It served as a unifying aim because it could exist alongside all and any other political ideals and objectives without modifying or qualifying those ideals and objectives or being modified by them. The nationalism I espouse is the same for everybody regardless of their other political persuasions. It can be a common, shared, universal thing because it is an uncomplicated thing. It has but one ingredient. It is made entirely of a desire for justice.

I no longer detect that in Scottish politics. The constitutional issue has been absorbed by ‘ordinary’ politics. It has been subsumed into the generality of political preoccupations – from the pathetically petty to the vitally important. Independence is now on a list along with health, education, housing, climate change and refuse collection. It is a variable priority. It is page 16 of the manifesto. If it’s in the manifesto at all. It is an item to be ticked off when writing speeches. And item which all too often is forgotten. It is something to be emphasised or played down according to the audience being addressed. If it is talked about at all it is hedged around with caveats and conditions and provisos and disclaimers and clichés and bromides and platitudes and carefully (or clumsily) crafted sound-bites – until it is barely visible and quite unrecognisable as the primary issue facing the people of Scotland. The issue which rightly should subsume all others, not be subsumed by them.

I have resigned my membership of the Scottish National Party, some 58 years after first joining what was then the party of independence. I shall not be joining Alba Party, which is no more the party of independence than the ‘New SNP’. I doubt I shall be missed by the former. I know I wouldn’t be welcomed by the latter. It’s of no consequence. Neither represents Scotland’s cause. The cause that is now as it always has been, the unfalteringly beating heart of my politics. The cause of ending the injustice of the Union. The cause of rectifying a grotesque constitutional anomaly. The cause of restoring Scotland’s status as an independent nation.

I have also cancelled subscriptions to blogs and am in the process of leaving a host of Facebook groups. I’m undecided as yet what to do about this site. I intend to continue writing. But I don’t want to write about Scottish politics anymore. There is nothing about Scottish politics that I can comment on without being overwhelmed by impotent anger and a despairing sense of the futility of protesting the betrayal of Scotland’s cause by Scotland’s political class. History doesn’t repeat itself. The present does harshly ironic impersonations of the past.

I am still engaged in a heated debate with myself about whether I shall vote in the coming election. Voting at all necessarily involves voting for a politician or party that has betrayed Scotland’s cause. I’m uncertain as to whether I can justify this to myself.

I stress that I am not abandoning the cause of restoring Scotland’s independence. It’s just that at the moment Scotland’s politics offers me no way to pursue that cause.

63 thoughts on “Betrayed

  1. Your thoughts and analysis will be missed by more than you realise. I have rarely read anything you have written which I could disagree with

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You have echoed so many of my own thoughts in the above although luckily I haven’t lost friends/family as we decided a good while back that since our politics were at different ends of the spectrum that was a topic we’d avoid. (I hasten to add that no-one I care for or love has what I would describe as totally abhorrent ideas/opinions.)

    Please continue your blog even if you decide to avoid politics as I find your writing very eloquent and I am sure there are many other topics you could write about.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. At last you have come to the same conclusion as me, and many others, that have been instrumental in the heydays of the SNP. Better late than never, Pete.

    The SNP leadership is beyond redemption, and is pushing the party the way of BLiS.
    Our effort must be aimed at counteracting the surreptitious support the BritNazi Establishment is giving to the SNP’s faux leadership via their compliant and complicit media.

    While the vehicle is still roadworthy, we can still use it as long as we unseat the drivers and eject them from the running bus. Brutally and mercilessly, if it’s required.

    It NEVER pays to betray Scots.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I sense your despair Peter A Bell, because I feel my own acutely.
    I have always looked forward to reading and listening to what you have to say , so thanks for your eloquent and knowing words.
    Don’t stay away too long.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter, I appreciate your blog posts and your comments in The National. I think you express much wisdom. I’ve voted in elections in Scotland, Canada, and Wales. In Canada, I never settled on supporting a particular party. I voted according to the character of the individual candidates. So I’ve voted Liberal, New Democratic Party, and even Conservative. While living in South Korea I joined the SNP in 2011 when I thought that there was a chance of them leading Scotland to independence. I returned to Scotland in 2013 and I volunteered for the SNP in the independence campaign. In 2016 I moved to Wales because my family moved here from South Korea. I retained my membership in the SNP and voted Plaid Cymru. I quit the SNP when they expelled Gareth Wardell. That injustice incensed me. I did not want to be a member of a party with a Gestapo-like discipline committee. I joined Plaid Cymru.

    After receiving their manifesto a couple of weeks ago, I quit. The manifesto is imbued with the philosophy and ideology of Critical Theory. As a Christian I cannot support that. I felt bereft of my party. My political vision is formed by my vision of the Kingdom of God and the values of its King, the Lord Jesus Christ. So I cannot fully support Socialism or Capitalism. I don’t think politics or political action will bring in the Kingdom of God but I choose from Left and Right policies which come closest to promoting the Kingdom values of love, peace, justice, mercy, forgiveness, care for poor and disadvantaged people, and the limitation of the authority and power of the state. I’ve decided to vote for an independent candidate and support Yes Cymru because it’s non party, and promotes the cause of the independence of Wales.

    I’m asking myself why I ran off at the mouth and wrote all the above. It’s because your article rang a bell with me and made me examine myself afresh about my political vision and values. I hope you don’t feel preached at. That’s not my intention. I’m simply expressing who I am.

    Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The only vote I am interested in now is a vote for independence. The only party I will support is a party that has independence as its first priority which over rides all others. I don’t see one at the moment and perhaps the SNP will need to take a hit at this election to make members want to press the reset button. I didn’t vote in a number of elections and funnily enough when I looked at the results my vote wouldn’t have made any difference to it either way. I subtracted it from the party I voted for and added it in turn to each of the other parties, absolutely no difference so I don’t feel bad about not voting. I do however think that the great influencers in the debate over independence do make a difference and I’d hope to see you continue blogging Peter, however in a democratic society (however flawed the process might be) we always get what other people vote for whether we like it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry to hear how you feel, although it’s fairly understandable. I would however like to know what arguments you have against supporting Alba, since they seem to be serving a very much needed purpose in calling out the SNP’s faults and weaknesses which have lately become so apparent.

    In any case, I wish you all the best for whatever future you choose.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Peter, I beat you to the door of the SNP by about a week in the wake of the manifesto launch. I joined the ALBA party on the same day and my experience so far tells me that independence is way out there at the top of its priorities. I figured it was better to work for ALBA than to resign from the fight which I’m not ready to give up, now, or ever.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Peter like you I resigned from my membership a few weeks ago. I have since joined the Alba party only because they need to be given a chance to prove themselves. As you have said in previous blogs are they bringing anything different or new to the independence cause? I think you showed stay around because after this mess of an election somebody has to be around to pick up the pieces.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Certainly the operative word is ‘betrayed’ and myself, along with thousands of others all feel a sense of betrayal.
    You have had a hard time recently and my own view is your articles are based on cold, hard logic but in the process you deprive people of hope…hope that is borne out of desperation that something could change.
    Once people lose hope, what is there?
    I look at the Alba party as the foundation as something to build from. Yeah, it might be all too late and Scotland might disappear up the arse of Johnston but we should not just disappear into our own bloodied heart and wallow in our own pain. We have to keep going.

    Your articles are important to me and a lot of other people. Although, you have to take some stick along the way. Only you can decide if it is worth it or not.

    Anyway, Sturgeon will be gone within 6 to 12 months of the election.
    No logic or rationale just plain old intuition on my part.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. I just wanted to say, Peter, that I have come to see you as a friend – the type who tells you what you don’t actually want to hear, but are the better of it. Like you, I left the SNP after years of loyalty, unable to tolerate it any longer. Like you, I have not joined Alba – yet – although I support Alec Salmond and always have. My sense of loss and betrayal is just too great to put trust into another party, but I do know that he will put independence first, even if Alba cannot achieve all it sets out to do. I know that he will try, and I know that he will force a reckoning in Scottish politics that has been a long time coming, and which may, in the end, open it up to release the poison that is killing us.

    I hope that the young pseudo ‘wokerati’ and trans warriors are happy at what they have done in pushing minority, unwanted and unsolicited policies at the expense of the independence we all need. And I mean, need. Like you, I feel that we are slowly being poisoned by the Union; we are a dying people. I hope they don’t understand what they have done, just as I hoped that NO voters did not understand what they had done – because, to understand that you are deliberately killing a people through selfishness and sheer stupidity is a heavy burden to bear once you grow and come to your senses. Look after yourself, do, whatever the future holds.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Yes I believe Alex will put Independence first and be a force to be reckoned with. I have pledged support to ALBA and will vote for them. The SNP left me long before I left them 6 weeks ago. I could stomach no more and agree we are slowly being poisened not just by the Union but by the party and leader we trusted. . Please don’t say we are a dying people – if we think this way we are done. . Somehow we have to continue the fight .. Peter Bell I hope you will return and maybe be able to support ALBA after reflection .. We can’t lose the stalwarts like you … I do wish you well whatever lies ahead

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I feel very much the same. And I will also miss your contributions here; always I am impressed by your writing. Here today, your remark about the burden of knowing that by indifference and stupidity others are made to suffer. This resonates with what psychologists call cognitive dissonance, but it is much more profound than that. It has given me pause to thought. I hope Peter does continue so you can too. Thank you.

      Like

  12. Shame you feel this way. I hope you continue to write as you have much to offer. Playing the hermit is up to you of course but I don’t see how that will help the cause of independence. Maybe you just need a break Peter?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Peter, I can empathise with what you have written here – it much expresses my own thoughts. It is a sad sad place we find ourselves in. I feel stupid for having been sucked in to the lies told by the SNP for too long. I left the party a while back, more for local issues, but they were just part of the wider malignancy within the party.
    I think you are right when you say you will not be missed within the SNP. The party has totally lost its way and is no longer recognisable in any way to most of its now ex members. I do think you are wrong when you say you would not be welcome in Alba though. The party welcomes all who want independence as soon as possible. I’m not sure why you think that, although I do understand you don’t agree with their plan. Who knows if it will work or not.
    I had fully intended to spoil both my ballot papers this time around, but I will vote Alba on the regional list. Before anyone hits me with the ‘you must vote SNP on the constituency and Alba on the list for it to work’ I will say this. I am in NEFife – Willie Rennie’s seat. The SNP don’t hold this seat now have no sitting list MSPs in Mid Scotland and Fife, so me spoiling my constituency ballot is not going to lose the SNP a seat. I cannot vote SNP and live with myself.
    I hope you keep blogging. Write about lighter things and who knows? None of us can see into the future.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am also in NEF. You are right about Wee Willie, particularly since he receives informal support from the Tories. Rhuaraidh is a lovely chap and I shall probably give him my vote for the same reason you intend to spoil yours. It will make no difference.

      Like

  14. I have always voted SNP in the knowledge that not only were we capable of running our own country but that it could be actually run fairer and more honestly: that it could be both more efficient and indeed more compassionate.
    We merely needed to take ourselves from the leaden hands of corrupt Westminster and its dishonest voting system, the BBC, the senile empire jingoism and above all the class elitism that permeates England.
    Like you I feel its not that I have left my country but that it has left me: or rather the politics of it has.

    The SNP elite clearly have moved towards making Scotland merely more of the same: following Westminster accordingly in jingoism and suffering likewise from the same venality and corruption. In effect the exact antithesis of everything I ever wanted for my country and I suppose congratulations are in order. They indeed have achieved so much of that in such short order and without even the need for Independence: imagine if such energies were put to the good?

    But there’s the rub: is it this way because we are indeed as inherently corrupt and dishonest as our neighbours when given the reigns of power: as so many of my disillusioned friends have mooted or is it this way because those reins are mere ersatz? Have we actually misunderstood the mechanism by which “Power devolved” is indeed “Power retained” thinking of it more in legal terms and not taking into account the psychology of that umbilical cord?

    Giving Nicola Stugeon the benefit of the doubt that she was indeed at one point interested in Independence she must have seen her job on taking power as that of turning the remaining percentage of Scots still bound to Britain (recte England) by that cord towards Independence.
    I was always been disappointed but not surprised at the refusal of the SNP leadership to take the lead in the marches and walks by the AUOB having put it down to her not wanting to be seen as an “emotional” Nationalist because she was playing to that section of the voting public.
    There was after all a part of the polity who were never going to really volunteer to become Scottish and thus needed convinced that a vote for the SNP was defacto the same as a vote for British elite policy but perhaps with a kinder face.

    -This I suppose is the true reality of that “power retained”. It is not by statutes and reserved powers but the psychology of Devolution itself which has created a political system in which there is need to “normalise” or indeed pander to recognisably British / English politics in order to take power. Thus Sturgeon has formed the SNP into a mere simulacrum of a Westminster party.

    This in turn subverts the drive to Independence near completely: not only through the party’s own process of subduing the issue in order not to frighten the horses, but by effectively debasing the currency of Independence itself: after all, why bother if all we are going to be is a little England ?
    So in effect Devolution is itself the means by which power is retained and the politics of Independence negated.

    On Alba, I share your scepticism because of the time factor and as above the perennial loop of political appeasement that is inherent in the machinery of the Parliament, but there is nothing to lose by voting for them and the next five years are, as we all know, likely already wasted under the SNP.

    It is said that when Harold Macmillan was asked what was the most difficult thing about being Prime Minister he replied: ‘Events, my dear boy, events…’
    -Our future isn’t written yet: “events” are surely to come.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Hi Peter, you cannot stop writing
    With your scalpel pen, sir!
    You are up there and ahead of the game.
    You give up we all lose.
    Onwards and upwards.
    🐼🐼

    Liked by 1 person

  16. LOL.
    You Scotch folk are dumb.
    Where is the Rev Stuart Dumb Bell at?
    You Scotch voted SNP at the last election. You dumb Scotch voted for the manifesto of the SNP at the last election. You dumb Scotch voted for the SNP agenda of trans-rights and gender therapy for children. You dumb Scotch voted for all of that.
    You dumb SNP voting Scotch are just hypocrites.
    YOU VOTED FOR THE THINGS YOU SAY YOU ARE NOW AGAINST..FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS, FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS, FOR THE LAST 50 YEARS>
    You Scotch folk are dumb.
    Lovey bye, xoxo
    Boris J.

    Like

    1. Sorry, but “Scotch” didn’t vote for any any of what you say.
      SNP leadership imposed that stuff upon us.
      And in any case, who do you think we should’ve voted for 5 years back???
      The fact SNP has betrayed its voters, is not the fault of the voters!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You are frequently a complete pain in the neck, but also often tediously astute

    It takes a long time to give up on an organisation one has given decades to. It hurts. It feels like shit. And it passes, eventually

    I for one hope you don’t stop writing. Take a temporary break maybe

    Integrity matters. For without it we have nothing

    P.s.

    ISP.Scot

    Liked by 1 person

  18. “I shall not be joining Alba Party, which is no more the party of independence than the ‘New SNP’.” This may be dismissed as your usual bitter, self-opinionated, arrant nonsense. The purpose of the Alba Party is independence, you do not deign to explain why you boringly allege otherwise. “I know I wouldn’t be welcomed by the latter.” Really? have you asked, or is this merely the self-referential assumption of a stupendously pompous narcissist?

    Like

      1. I do not speak for the Alba Party. You have now questioned what it proposes to do; this is set out in its manifesto, the purpose of which is clearly stated as “Delivering independence for Scotland” with negotiations with the UK government to be commenced “Immediately the new Scottish Government is formed” whereupon “Alba will lay a motion before parliament to deliver this instruction” (timescale). Therefore, as I reasonably commented, it behoves you to explain your curious allegation that it is “no more the party of independence than the ‘New SNP’”. You mentioned the prospect of a supermajority; I did not. I did ask why you considered you “wouldn’t be welcomed” by Alba whose campaign is relentlessly positive. Perhaps you feel that your particular brand of negativity or renowned crabbit and somewhat pompous approach would be unwelcome. I would guess that Alba would welcome you with open arms.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There is no such thing as magic. Just writing something in the manifesto doesn’t make it possible. As less childishly bedazzled people will have noticed, nowhere and never does Alba explain exactly how they propose to do what you imagine will just magically happen the moment Alex Salmond is carried back into Holyrood on the shoulders of his devotees. Here in the real world, one need only be moderately well informed about parliamentary procedure and the terms of the Scotland Act 1998 to realise that the claims are not credible.

        What happens, for example, when the Presiding Officer rules the “motion” incompetent? As may very well happen. And that’s just the first of numerous hurdles that Alba just wishes away. There is no such thing as magic.

        Like

  19. C’mon Peter, you can’t not vote. Or your non-vote will be another vote in favour of the unionists. You can’t give up now. Many of us are holding our noses until after May 6th. Then the real fun will start.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Know exactly how you feel, Peter. To be honest I’m surprised you didn’t reach these conclusions a few weeks ago. That said, we need a suitable result on 6 May as the launching pad. The real fight starts on 7 or 8 May when the people will speak out. Your input will be required then more than ever. Stay cool, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Take care Pete, as much as anyone and more than most, you’ve earned the right to have a break.

    I don’t always agree with you, but I never doubt your integrity.

    Anyway, its not over, till its over.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Not surprised by your decision to leave the SNP, though it must be a terrible wrench after so many years and so many dashed hopes, having entrusted so much in the party.

    Yet don’t let disillusionment silence your voice forever.

    Keep on proclaiming the injustice of the Union.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I chucked the SNP in 2017, convinced by then that NS couldn’t strategise her way out of a wet paper bag. I didn’t want to feel obliged to follow the idiot section 30 party line. Since then we have all learned, where Sturgeon is concerned, being an inept leader is the least of it.

    I can only imagine the pain you must be feeling right now. 58 years!

    But there is no need to despair. There would be if there was NO alternative. But thankfully there is. Get over yourself about Alba, get behind them.

    Take a wee break and then get writing again. Quite simply, we need you.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I left the SNP after 32 years.

    Like you I am totally unmoved and bored with the current politics engulfing our country.

    We have lost our way. The election has become like a box ticking exercise for the SNP. They aren’t offering anything. I fear a repeat of 2017s low turnout is likely. That was caused by the SNP not offering the movement any incentive to vote.

    Nicola isn’t even talking about independence. What have I to vote for. 5 more years of frankly bland or dangerous SNP policies.

    No thank you.

    However I have joined Alba , and will definitely vote Alba on the list.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. If the SNP don’t get a majority and it’s a Unionist coalition, killing Indy for 5, 10 years or forever, you’d not forgive yourself for being a part of the cause of that. You should still vote.

    Anyways, as far as being part of a party is concerned it does give some restrictions. After all, you’re supposed to behave yourself or they’ll discipline you, send you to a corner with a dunce’s hat, even fine you. Or so they said in 2017 in the Herald. Naughty members! I didn’t renew, mainly though because party politics aren’t my thing. Like 100,000 I had joined in 2014 after the Ref, to keep Indy alive. Greens trebled, SSP trebled in membership. It was a great GIRUY to the Union after the NO vote. And then 56 SNP MPs, just 1 each left for the unionists.

    But you are a bit inhibited, and expected to support policies you don’t support. Nope. No can do. During Indy Ref 1 I could say the SNP were great and people would say “Your dear cult leader” to which I could reply “Never been a member of any party”.

    It’s great being non-aligned, you can justifiably criticise the whole lot of them. Bloody politicians. And of course that puts you more in tune with the 90 odd percent who don’t belong to a party either. YES needs us non-members.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Peter, I think you are just a wee bit weary. Find yourself a cave and a spider then return to the cause of independence reinvigorated and raring to go. As a political party ALBA is where the SNP was so many years ago. It is raw and there will be many twists and turns before in takes its rightful place as the only legitimate party of protest in Scotland. Take a week or two away from politics. Sign up to Netflix, and catch a series on the Royal family. I expect to be browsing your thoughts before May 6. Best wishes.

    CaltonJock

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Very sorry t hear you have resigned from SNP. Tho, I am not surprised.
    But I am also sorry to hear of how you fell about it, and how unsure you are of continuing writing, etc.
    I do understand the predicament, and also, the reservations on ALBA.
    Many of us will have no choice but to vote SNP for the constituencies, and ALBA on the List.
    We have no alternatives.
    But as I have said previously, SNP is in real danger of betraying Scotland.
    And if they do (and they already have to an extent), they will be swept away in due course.
    Our very great problem being, that will be in a few years time,and we don’t have that time left!
    That makes it all the worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. “ I have resigned my membership of the Scottish National Party, some 58 years after first joining what was then the party of independence. I shall not be joining Alba Party, which is no more the party of independence than the ‘New SNP’. I doubt I shall be missed by the former. I know I wouldn’t be welcomed by the latter. It’s of no consequence. Neither represents Scotland’s cause.”

    I used to follow you on both Twitter & Facebook, My sister & I sought you out up Calton Hill at one of our great March & rallies, I enjoyed your posts, learned a lot from you. I was losing faith in the SNP from 2016, but you kept insisting there would be another referendum in 2018. I believed you. I always copied and pasted your posts, especially about your conviction of there being another ref in 2018.

    That of course never happened, & my dislike of Sturgeon grew & grew, obviously becasue I felt she had in her hands the power every SNP leader could only have dreamed about, a majority in HR & 56MPs in WM.. And yet, all we saw were photo shoots of her with her gang of Mps. We watched as they were sneered & jeered at week after week. Yet we never heard from our great leader that this just wasn’t on, being the THIRD largest party in WM, surely gave her some clout. But obviously not.

    Then the sexual harassment brought against Alex Salmond was the end of the line for me in regard to having any respect for her at all now, & just like Alex, I had once admired her as our leader. But the nastiness I saw her display towards a supposedly dear friend of 30yrs. Made me question there ever was that special friendship..

    Here was a man, a politician who fought Scotlands corner every day he stood in WM, & a politician who was the most scrutinised in the U.K., if they (WM) could destroy him, they would have done, especially in the run up to the Ref in 2014. That could have been their trump card. Even the Scottish media were hounding him while FM attacking him constantly so terrified were they he might actually break up their precious union. But they had nothing on him, & oh how they must have tried..

    When 700 police officers interview 400 people to get something on him & still can’t. Then from within the SNP cabal, we have 13 women come forward with the silliest of accusations. We know from the what’s app tweets that they really wanted to destroy him, MURREL & EVANS could not hide from that.

    I left the party then, disgusted by Nicola Sturgeons determination to destroy the only man that ever gave Scotland the chance of being INDEPENDENT. When you got to know who these women were, & how in truth they were being used by EVANS in particular but signed off by Sturgeon. I knew then that Sturgeon was not interested in INDEPENDENCE, because she was FEART of Alex Returning to push that on her…

    Alyn Smith actually revealed in an article in the Herald in 2017. Saying we had our chance we lost, it was time To move on, (meaning forget INDEPENDENCE) adding ENHANCED DEVOLUTION, is the way to go, and he included that was also agreed by the very top of the SNP..
    No wonder she had to get rid of Salmond..

    I started to post my dislike about Sturgeon & the part in general especially about the way SNP was treating long time members like Gareth, Joan McAlpine. And how I believed she was. Ot interested in INDY. YOU disagreed with me, I was called a lot of expletives, & told how STUPID I was.. Your argument was always the SNP are our only route to INDEPENDENCE.

    You still praised Sturgeon up, she would get us there.

    We went our separate ways, but I have still been reading your blog, NEVER commenting, I no longer saw things your way, but I still enjoyed your writing..I know you are a far clever person than I could ever be. So I gave up arguing with you.

    You did berate me for leaving the SNP, said I was EFFING stupid, as there was no way I could want INDEPENDENCE if I could not support the SNP..

    So to read that YOU have taken that same step yourself, has come as a huge shock. I wondered if you would ever see what so many of us were seeing. Sturgeon enjoys power, she was Never going to risk losing that, (As Alex Did) by holding a ref she COULD maybe lose..

    But what I don’t get is, why after leaving your party of 58yrs, ( I was 54yrs, and it hurt I can tell you.) You say that you are considering not voting at all in May.

    When just a month ago, when ALBA came on the scene with the very man that DOES want INDY more than life himself, you dismiss the ALBA party.

    My years of despair turned to jubilation at the thought of Alex Being back.. I actual feel we have HOPE again..Ok! I know we might not make the BIG break through we would hope for, but just getting Alex Salmond back in HR even with a handful of MSPS.

    He will mention INDEPENDENCE every chance he gets everyday he stands to speak. He will do what the greens have never done nor ever will do. He will PUSH Sturgeon on INDEPENDENCE.

    And although I do believe it might be too late. For this term..

    ALBA led by Alex could be the FORCE for Independence in 2026. I still want to see us take steps the day after this election, but it took the SNP many many years to even get to where they are today.

    I think with Alex showing Sturgeon up for her lack of interest in INDY on a daily basis, he will win over some of the people Sturgeon has turned against him, especially once he gets his court case against Evans, where he can at least produce the evidence they refused him to produce in the trial they hoped to send him to jail for life.

    I agree with you on one other thing, you won’t be missed in the SNP none of us are, but on the bright side it is not a party we would join today anyway as it is now. But you COULD be very helpful to the ALBA party, you have a strong following yourself. And I am sure you will find a new political home a very welcoming new political home. If you were to join.

    But at the very least DO consider voting ALBA, you have lived and breathed INDEPENDENCE for way too many years of your life, to NOT vote for a party that HAS INDEPENDENCE as it’s first priority. And ALBA releases it’s manifesto today. It does have other policies, so a LOT to offer.. But INDY is there main priority.. Think About It..Another blogger like you writing about ALBA as the way forward, would mean a LOT.. It should to you too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “I wondered if you would ever see what so many of us were seeing”

      I saw perfectly well. As others are now discovering, there’s a compromise to be made. Knowing that the SNP were, and remain, crucial to the process of restoring Scotland’s independence I was prepared to accept a lot of shit. So long as I had cause to hope that the SNP would fulfil its role as the ‘party of independence’, I had no choice but to actively support the party.

      As I have already explained repeatedly, I did not resign from the party due to having my eyes opened with regard to what the SNP has become under Sturgeon. I was always perfectly well aware of what was happening. What has changed is the credibility – and perhaps the viability – of the SNP as the ‘party of independence’. This was as much to do with the Yes movement (including SNP members) as with what was happening inside the party. The real turning point for me was not the realisation that the SNP had ceased to be the lever that would prise Scotland out of the Union, but the realisation that the independence movement was not prepared to use the tools it had if using those tools required compromise and effort.

      Scotland’s cause has been betrayed by the ENTIRE independence movement – politicians and activists. We had all the pieces in play. We failed to make the obvious moves. History will not be kind to any of us.

      Folk are flocking to Alba like jilted lovers on the rebound. I see that perfectly well too. The party is using Alex Salmond and Alex Salmond is using the party. Both are using their supporters. In all of this, ‘independence’ is no more than a marketing device. You will learn that in due course. But not in time. anybody who’s talking about the 2026 election as another opportunity for Scotland’s cause really doesn’t understand Scotland’s predicament. If 2026 were to offer the same opportunity as now then the 2026 election won’t happen.

      We bought a dud in the SNP – or, more precisely – in Nicola Sturgeon. Some of us aren’t about to be sold a pup by Alba. For those of us committed to Scotland’s cause there are no options in the 2021 election because the options were squandered – by us. In 2026 there will be no options for us because the British state will ensure that there are none.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can only hope that you are wrong Peter. My own opinion & hope is that Alex will do again what he did in 2014, but this time do it better, he too is older & I hope wiser.

        Like

    2. Peter Bell never said there would be another Referendum in 2018.
      He did say there should be one then.
      That’s not the same thing as saying there will be.

      Like

      1. I know he could not have said there WOULD be one, but he insisted that there HAD to be one. EVERYTIME someone questioned WHY there was no action from the SNP. I may have worded it wrong, but Peter was convinced that there was going to be a ref in 2018. I followed Peter, read all his posts and honestly believed that he might be right, he being more knowledgable than myself. But just as we had the wheesht for INDY Peter was shutting everyone up that spoke out
        about Nicola.. Insisting that it HAD to happen..That is what I meant by my comment.

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      2. I was never convinced that there was going to be a referendum in 2018. I said there SHOULD be a referendum no later than 2018. I said that if there wasn’t the independence campaign would start to face a whole new set of problems. I wasn’t wrong. Wanting to make something happen and being convinced that it will are quite different things.

        I’m sick of people telling me – and others – what I think.

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      3. What Peter was saying was that late 2018 was the most appropriate time it had to happen, which was his own view.
        He never said SNP would actually make it happen, tho.
        But also, his view was that if it didn’t happen by that date, it might never happen. Everything would be too late after then, especially as far as the EU was concerned.
        He was correct in that viewpoint.
        Also, he was always wary of Nicola Sturgeon.
        But at same time was being realistic, that we had no alternative but to vote for SNP, and to stick with them, at that moment.
        I also understand the utter frustration of everyone with how the SNP leadership has allowed things to get to this situation.
        They seemed to have morphed into a newer version of Labour, as far as Independence goes.
        Ok, with the slight difference they would like Independence, but not wanting to do anything about getting it.
        I have long argued for another pro Independence alternative to SNP.
        But the pity being, this has only now come about in the past few weeks.with Alex Salmond leading ALBA.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. I voted SNP 1 Alba 2 because I though i’ll give Sturgeon her majority and lets see what SNP and Greens do with it, I would have given the Alba Party both votes because there making all the right tunes on Independence or alternative routes to Independence, 7yrs of Sturgeon has left me and a lot of others thinking what is the point of the SNP one thing is for certain the goal of Independence isn’t even a priority of the SNP or the Greens. We need as much support behind the Alba Party and your presence would be greatly welcome along with your vote to the Alba Party but of course that your choice, I hope you don’t give up your blog Scotland need as many voices today as it did during the 2014 referendum or where going no where without the ordinary guy but good luck what ever you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “let’s see what SNP and Greens will do with it” I think we already know, with IndyRef2 being delayed for at least 2 years, but a commitment to move on trans rights immediately. In any case, the Greens are not an independence party as Lorna Slater has made clear in interviews.

      Like

  30. 58 years is some shift. What a journey:

    Pre-Hamilton, Winnie & Stop the World, Margo, It’s Scotland’s Oil, Devo 79, Thatcherite 80s destruction of Industry, Claim of Right, poll-tax downfall of Maggie, Salmond I, Devo 97, Scottish Parliament, Salmond II, Scottish Government, Scottish Majority Government, Indy Ref 14 …

    It’s appropriate to stop there, as the Cause has been stalled for the last 6.5 years.

    Which means the trip is not yet over.

    And, therefore, yer country still needs ye.

    So, haste ye back!

    Liked by 5 people

  31. Keep in mind that there is a massive vote suppression campaign running by the British State.
    It is working on us subconsciously at all times, and we need to be aware of it.
    Keep on blogging Peter, as we need critical thinkers.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I must say this does not surprise me. Your tireless deconstructions of party inanity have been an inspiration to many, including myself. But there must be a point after which it simply makes no sense to support that which is lying in bits on the floor. I have noticed over the last months levels of vitriol and sheer bewilderment to be increasing to the point it has been difficult to discern from your analyses any purpose to the SNP at all, other than a vessel, a campaigning organisation that will have to be cleared out big time if ever it is to bring about Scottish autonomy.

    Having written two blog posts on the matter of the forthcoming elections, I also do not intend to write much more about it (there might be another inside, but maybe not) for it is a filthy business, and because of the progression of my disease, I am concentrating my mind on other work. So I understand your decision.

    If I may be frank and honest. Over the years I have been reading your work, I have often felt that you hold onto a hope that I abandoned years ago, that democracy does what it says on the tin. It doesn’t. It’s a game that power plays to give the appearance of benevolence. Not that I believe your are naive or unaware of this; rather that you have faith in rationality and the common sense of others. I do not share this faith. Often when reading your work I have been exasperated by your reasoning but with one or two significant exceptions I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusions. Which is fascinating 🙂

    For me the point of politics is always strategic. It is not about formulating reasonable policy over which there is vigorous discussion before agreement and implementation. Power is always there. We have to jump into it and move as we can. Always looking to improve our strategic advantage.

    I reckon you would be welcomed by Alba. Your forensic mind would be an asset to any organisation.

    Whatever you do next, I wish you well. If you write again I will read again, for you have a way with words.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Peter Bell is the epitome of that very Scottish trait of “if its not perfect I,m not having it”.
    That kind of puritanism has cost Scotland many defeats in the past.

    Nicola Sturgeon has to deal with the politics of the real world where there are many Scots who dont want independence,she has to cajole such into voting for independence and run a Govt at the same time. In short she has to deal with Scottish politics as it is and has done a great job.

    She is standing the heat in the kitchen and carrying on, it appears Peter cant stand the heat of the kitchen and is getting oot.

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    1. You don’t know me. Imagining you do is just part of your foolishness. It is not a matter of whether this thing is perfect or imperfect. It is a matter of whether it is or it isn’t. whether it exists at all. In fact, like most people I’m sure, I’d settle for pretty much anyone as First Minister if they were willing to fight for the restoration of Scotland’s independence. Not being nearly as stupid as you imagine, I don’t suppose perfection to exist in any human endeavour. If Nicola Sturgeon was, as you imply, too busy with other stuff to be bothered with the constitutional issue then fooling people into thinking she was going to do what is required.

      You are wrong. I would settle for less than perfect. Just not as far short of the mark as Sturgeon.

      There is no kitchen and there is not heat. I was there when there was a kitchen and I’ve been there through the hottest times. But you wouldn’t know that. Because you don’t know me, fool. You don’t know me at all.

      Now fuck off. I’m done dealing with stupid people.

      Like

  34. Liberty and independence, two words so vital to mankind. To walk away now is not only a betrayal to your ideals, but will give comfort and security to your enemies. The death of an idea comes from silence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve walked away from a political party, not the cause. If I’m doing nothing much at the moment it’s because there’s nothing to be done. If I’ve little to say it’s because it’s all been said. If I’m making little effort it’s because all effort to date has been spent for no reward.

      Like

  35. I suppose one may not see the forest for the trees, but your cause is not isolated to Scotland. The farmers in France, see their government as the enemy. Never looking beyond one’s borders is a weakness and lack of awareness that surely leads to failure. This tyranny despises nationalism and individuality. I wish you luck in your endeavors but in my mind to secure Scotland’s independence your country has to escape the European Union.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. “but in my mind to secure Scotland’s independence your country has to escape the European Union.”

    What a great priority! Even better than the idea of escaping our gender tyrany eh?! Why bother fighting for silly Independence when we can focus on something of more consequence…like being Brexiters after the fact!…All we need to do is load up with Little England chauvinism to go with the SNP’s Chatham house Russophobia and Sturgeons Transatlantic neocon love affair: see! we are already half way there! …then pretend that the UK wasn’t either prime mover behind or biggest supporter of every right wing EU policy ever made….that in fact England will be Scotland’s true friends when we are Brexit allies…and that we can be a strongly delusional country together!…

    -Forest and trees? Phhhh….

    Like

    1. I have always voted SNP in the knowledge that not only were we capable of running our own country but that it could be actually run fairer and more honestly: that it could be both more efficient and indeed more compassionate.
      We merely needed to take ourselves from the leaden hands of corrupt Westminster and its dishonest voting system, the BBC, the senile empire jingoism and above all the class elitism that permeates England.
      Like you I feel its not that I have left my country but that it has left me: or rather the politics of it has.
      Sir your words above resonate in my soul and I am not Scottish, but I fear I did not make my point clear enough. To escape the clutches of Britain is the final goal and only acceptable outcome. The forces working against you are not only British was what i wanted to convey.
      Today is the anniversary of John Paul (Jones) attacking Whitehaven, England .

      Liked by 1 person

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