A calculated act of desperation

On the afternoon of Tuesday 31 August 2021 I shall be standing outside the Scottish Parliament to greet MSPs returning after summer recess with a demand that they immediately initiate the process by which Scotland’s independence shall be restored. It is, I freely admit, an act of desperation. Daily I read of the various ways in which the British Nationalist ‘One Nation’ project is advancing. Daily I read of fresh moves by the British state designed to eliminate the Scottish Parliament as the locus of Scotland’s politics and impose on us an unelected ‘shadow’ administration answerable only to the British executive and in no sense to the people of Scotland. Daily I watch as our democracy is eroded and along with it the power to prevent the further, greater and more rapid erosion of our democracy. Daily I watch as not only the prospect of restoring Scotland’s independence fades, but the very possibility.

Daily I watch all this happen while the government elected by the people of Scotland to defend our interests and protect our democracy does nothing to prevent this dismantling of our democratic institutions. Literally nothing!

I am constantly assured by SNP/Sturgeon loyalists that there are things going on behind the scenes and plans for dealing with the situation. But what use is whatever might be happening unseen if it is having no visible effect? If Sturgeon and her government are indeed beavering away in the background in an effort to halt or hinder the British Nationalist juggernaut then their efforts are self-evidently to no avail. Whatever it is that they are supposedly doing out of our sight we can all too plainly see the way the British Nationalist ‘One Nation’ project is progressing.

If there is some plan to actually intervene in such a way as to rescue Scotland from the British Nationalist onslaught can someone explain why part of that plan involves delaying implementation of the plan while the British state is permitted to degrade the ability to implement the plan? Because that is precisely what is happening. In plain sight!

I am assured by the terminally naive and recklessly complacent that this is all just scaremongering. That things are really not as bad as I say. That the Scottish Parliament is not in any immediate danger. But we know that it will be! Even if we suppose that our Parliament is not close to being crippled or killed only the most blinkered fool would deny that this is the intention. The British Nationalists long since ceased to bother pretending otherwise. So why delay? And how is it possible to portray the British Nationalist project as a real and imminent threat for the purposes of getting elected while simultaneously denying the reality and imminence of the threat for the purposes of rationalising inaction?

The ubiquitous answer to that question about the reason for delay is “THE PANDEMIC!!!”. I am the last person to minimise the seriousness of the public health crisis. But when we look at the growing list of things that have proceeded and are proceeding despite Covid, Scotland’s constitutional issue starts to stand out as an exception. Ask why, and you’ll be told to have faith in Nicola Sturgeon. I don’t do faith. And how can the restoration of Scotland’s independence be both crucial to the effective management of recovery and something that must be postponed until after recovery? It makes no sense!

So, what can I do about it? I daily watch as the ruination of my country proceeds while my government does nothing. What can I do to change things? Before I can begin to answer that I must first settle upon what must be changed.

The action required to initiate the process of restoring Scotland’s independence can only be taken by the Scottish Government working through the Scottish Parliament. That’s why the erosion of our Parliament’s power and denial of its status is such a threat. There is bound to come a point where our Parliament is so diminished as to be incapable of serving its function as the true democratic voice and agent of Scotland’s people. That point is almost certainly closer than most people think. And there is nothing to prevent the British state accelerating its final solution to the ‘Scottish problem’. The only logical conclusion is that what must be done is to force the present Scottish Government to act and to do so immediately.

There is no way to effect a change of government in time to save Scotland so the only choice is to change the behaviour of the government we have. Anything else is pure fantasy or woeful defeatism.

How might we change the behaviour of Sturgeon and her administration? Again, there is only one way. The only force with the potential to change the behaviour of the government is the people. Only the combined strength of the people has the remotest chance of making something happen. The trouble is, we’ve forgotten how to combine. Or we’re convinced that the only time we can combine is formal democratic events such as elections. Or we’re content only to make the effort to combine for the purpose of elections. Effortful combination over, we return to the cold comfort of powerlessness.

But the question was what can I do about it. Not what can we do about it. I’m just a blogger with a relatively tiny readership. Notwithstanding the demonising diatribes of buffoons such as Pete Wishart, bloggers such as myself have vanishingly little influence. It is for certain that we have no actual power. Spittle-flecked Wishartian rants about how ‘The Bloggers’ are destroying the entire independence movement are the stuff of insanity. If I had the power to do that then I would surely also have the power to heal the independence movement. I would have the power to rid the Yes movement of the cancer of factionalism. I have no such power. Wishart and his ilk are talking the awfiest shite when they try to blame bloggers such as myself for a situation over which we have not the smallest control.

I cannot effect the popular combination that the situation calls for. I cannot meaningfully influence the actions of others, far less command them. I have control over my own actions and nothing more.

Combination can be formal. It can be planned and organised and managed. Or it can be spontaneous. It can just happen. In either case, combination requires that individuals be prepared to do alone that which they hope will be done by a combination of people. We cannot stand as many if we are not prepared to stand alone. Combination occurs when the cause for which we are prepared to stand alone is a cause worthy enough to be shared by others.

The individual may not have an effect. But the individual always counts.

On the afternoon of Tuesday 31 August 2021 I shall be standing outside the Scottish Parliament. I am content to stand alone. The cause for which I stand is worth at least that. I choose to do this now because I am firmly persuaded that action on the constitutional issue must happen immediately. That is to say, before the next Parliamentary recess early in October. I take the view that I would be derelict in my duty as a citizen of Scotland if I failed to take a stand.

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32 thoughts on “A calculated act of desperation

  1. “Daily I read of fresh moves by the British state designed to eliminate the Scottish Parliament as the locus of Scotland’s politics and impose on us an unelected ‘shadow’ administration answerable only to the British executive and in no sense to the people of Scotland. ”

    Where do you read about this daily onslaught?

    It strikes me that your recent articles are escalating in hyperbole, which plays well with a certain audience, but detached from reality.
    Anyone who wants independence should be marching on Bute House and asking WTF but exaggerating the actions of Westminster hides the failings of Holyrood.

    Incidentally, one of the most regular complaints – direct funding of projects in Scotland rather than giving the funds to Holyrood – is exactly what the SNP has done to our councils since they took office.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All the same, given the nature of the present WM government (whom I wouldn’t trust further than I could throw the lot of them), surely it may be prudent to prepare for the worst … ???


    2. Regards funding, etc, It is the duty of the Scottish Government to fund projects in Scotland.
      It is not fr London to all of a sudden get involved, and solely for the purpose of undermining that Scottish Parliament, to try “unite” the UK together!
      That is what this London funding project is about, and it is a very sinister move, and openly setting itself up as a challenge to the legitimate authority of Edinburgh.
      Apart from the many comments from London based politicians making their views clear, that Scotland has no power to do this or that.
      Then we have the Scottish politicians who go there do their own bit to reduce the Parliament power.
      And all the while, as we have been taken out of Europe, the SNP administration lets all happen.
      They complain most bitterly, like Labour MPs of older times complaining about the Thatcher/Major yeas, but did nothing abut it, like walk out of Westminster and end the Union by so doing.
      No,they allowed all those things to happened to Scotland when they had the power to stop most if not all of it.
      But the Union meant to much to them, and if things at harmed Scotland, that was their price worth paying!
      SNP MPs could have, and should have walked out Westminster in June 2016, but they didn’t, and nothing happened for the better as far as EU and Scotland goes.
      Those 56 MPs had the power to do something, but they did nothing!
      It is way past time SNP did something now, and as Peter Bell says, not simply try repeat 2014,either.

      I would hope a good few of us can make it to Parliament for August 31.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Here, for example, is a short article describing one of the latest in a long line of anti-democratic actions by the Westminster Regime.

    “Law Society sounds warning against judicial review bill”


    Stephanie Boyce, president of the Law Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, said: “There is a great deal here that should ring alarm bells for people who come up against the might of the state.

    “The MoJ suggests the bill may set a precedent for government to give itself the power to remove certain types of cases from the scope of judicial review, which would effectively spawn a new breed of ouster clause. There are rare, exceptional circumstances when it is appropriate for the state to circumvent the courts, and only with strong justification. Parliament will need to think very carefully about the potential impact of any such proposals on the rule of law.”


    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have suggested on various forums that AUOB should not be thinking of marching all over Scotland at weekends but should be holding regular vigils outside Holyrood when Parliament is sitting. If every available Yes supporter did this even once a month we could have a constant vigil. Twitter and Facebook are echo chambers for the already convinced and marches make the participants feel good but I don’t think they are having any effect on SNP Headquarters.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Agree with all that, Ian. I would also suggest a ‘ban’ on all non-independence-related banners, placards etc. Especially the anti-Tory ones. Not that I am pro-Tory, of course. Only that it would be good to maintain focus on the single issue of restoring Scotland’s independence.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t know if I’ll be with you at the Parliament; at the moment I’m so down about the whole business that I’m not sure if I’ll have the will or the energy to do so, but thank you for all your efforts.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “there is nothing to prevent the British state accelerating its final solution to the ‘Scottish problem’.”

    there is nothing to prevent the British state accelerating its final solution to the ‘British problem in Scotland’.
    There you are. Fixed that for you!

    It’s not the “Scottish problem” and it’s not the “Irish problem”

    It’s the British problem in Scotland, just as it’s the British partition/border in Ireland and the British problem in Northern Ireland and thus Ireland


    1. You misunderstand. From the perspective of the British state there is a ‘Scottish problem’. They have always regarded Scotland as a problem. The Union was imposed on Scotland in the hope that it would be the final solution. Evidently, it wasn’t. Devolution was attempted as a solution. Evidently, it wasn’t. From that British perspective again, devolution has been a disaster. The ‘Scottish problem’ persists. Only now there is a government in London that will do literally anything to bring Scotland under control. They will do in the blink of an eye the things that previous British governments might have hesitated over. They have to be stopped. Our government has to stop them.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Much as I would like to join you in person, I will have to be at work at school on that day and it promises to be a busy and stressful time for the teachers I support, so I’ll have to offer moral support from here and aim to write to my MSPs & (SNP) MP on these matters, albeit less fluently articulate than you are.
    I share your concerns about this, also a feeling of dismay when I hear the FM tying a verbal snare for herself by making statements like “when the pandemic is over”… (much like “once in a generation ” in my opinion), which at the very least lead to time-wasting explanations and parrying of attacks based on these pronouncements and add to the long grass growing around the ball…
    Best wishes..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I suspect gatherings at Holyrood will become an almost constant feature over the next two or three months. Perhaps you’ll have an opportunity to join us on one of those occasions. Meanwhile, tell those teachers to buck up and get on with the job. That should do the trick!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. i would love to be with you too, but unfortunately i will at work. I am an auld bugger tho still young at heart but i fear i will not see independence in my lifetime. I don’t do faith either but i do still hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Us auld buggers have to stick together. I’ll have to figure out something folk can do on the day if they can’t get to Holyrood. Perhaps contact MSPs by email with the same demand to #DissolveTheUnion?


  8. Will this current SNP leadership listen ? Or will it be brushed aside . Marches / Gatherings which I have been on many does boost my flagging heart ….but I wonder if it dents the unionist resolve to keep us shackled to this corrupt Union. The Opening of various British offices and the prospect of free ports and direct funding to councils my Tory HQ is apartheid in nature and the inaction by Scot Gov is deafening. So would not be better attacking these obvious British fortresses, if enough fuss was made the SNP would have to address this and in so acknowledge this act of wearing down SCOTLAND democracy.


    1. The point is not to give them a choice about listening. To shout so loud that not listening is impossible. And pretending not to hear profoundly ridiculous. The point is to demonstrate that it is possible to make our voice heard. The point, ultimately, is to be a total fucking nuisance.

      Liked by 1 person

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