I didn’t hear Ian Blackford’s address to the crowd gathered on Glasgow Green at the end of the Yes march in Glasgow on Saturday (9 October) and I have been unable to find a full transcript of his speech. It might be more accurate to say that I couldn’t hear Mr Blackford’s address. My hearing is quite badly impaired and the PA was not the best so I was totally unable to hear. To be honest, I wasn’t much troubled by this. I didn’t anticipate that there would be anything new or particularly meaningful from the leader of the SNP Westminster group. The significance lay in the fact that he was there. Ian Blackford is the most senior SNP politician ever to address a rally organised by the grassroots Yes movement. There can be no doubt that this was intended to send a signal. Or perhaps it was just another placatory gesture. Either way, what he said was unlikely to be as important as the context in which he said it.
The bits of his speech which have been reported confirm that I was right to keep my expectations low. It was the same heavily caveated not-quite-a-promise we’ve been hearing since the last heavily caveated no-quite-a-promise of something maybe being done on the constitutional issue at some undefined point in time.
Our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been very clear that the responsibility that the Government has, that she has, is to lead Scotland through that pandemic.
But I can assure you that the bill for a referendum will be coming in front of the Scottish Parliament, and the First Minister has indicated that if we have dealt with that pandemic, we will be having that referendum in 2023.
Then there was the stuff intended to inspire and motivate and blah! blah! blah!
The job for all of us is to win the hearts and the minds of the people of Scotland. The job for all of us is to go door to door, street to street, village to village, town to town, city to city and to make sure that the people of Scotland are ready to cast their votes for Scotland becoming an independent country.
By all accounts, the response from the assembled Yes activists was lukewarm at best. A scattering of cheers from those whose faith in Nicola Sturgeon is undiminished despite seven years of inaction. Heckling from the increasing numbers who are no longer content with insipid gruel of the kind served up by Ian Blackford. I understand and sympathise with the latter. It is right that people should be disappointed and frustrated and even angered by the failures and failings of the SNP. It is perfectly fitting that Yes activists who have been doing exactly what Ian Blackford urges them to do for ten years and more should feel somewhat aggrieved at being lectured by the party which has been so woefully derelict in fulfilling its part of the informal bargain struck with non-SNP independence supporters.
The largest part of Ian Blackford’s audience was likely to be people who are not now, never were and all but certainly never will be members of the SNP. Nonetheless, most of these people entered into an unspoken pact with Alex Salmond at least ten years ago in which they undertook to supplement the party’s own campaign army and help the SNP win elections in return for the party acting as the political and parliamentary arm of the independence movement. Salmond kept his part of that bargain. His successor has not. So it’s hardly surprising if those non-SNP Yes activists are a bit peeved. Ian Blackford should have been apologising to them rather than delivering a patronising pep-talk.
Some will be more than just a bit peeved. Some will be quite angry. Again, this is understandable and forgivable. Far less so is the unreasoning antipathy towards the SNP to which some have descended. Not anger, but rage. Blind, unthinking rage. That, I do not understand and cannot forgive.
The extent to which some in the Yes movement have succumbed to mindless rage was brought home to me by a comment made on Twitter by what appears to be a member or at least a supporter of the Alba Party. I stress that I have no way of ascertaining whether this individual is associated with Alba. And, besides, it is not only Alba members/supporters who evince this bitter antipathy towards the SNP. Nor can I testify to the words quoted actually having been spoken by Ian Blackford. As I have stated, I was unable to hear his speech. But regardless of any of that, the comment still serves to illustrate the degree to which some in the Yes movement feel alienated from the de facto political wing of Scotland’s cause. It reveals the depth of resentment and even hatred of the SNP that has been allowed to grow like a noxious cancer.
Listen very carefully because after Blackford’s comment on Saturday”the SNP will get more involved with the Yes Movement”the very movement they fragmented in May turning friend against friend we are grassroots and they can stay away from us!
I have disguised the identity of the person who posted this and have chosen not to link to the Tweet because I have no desire to provoke the kind of ‘pile-on’ that is among the less edifying features of social media. It is not the individual I am condemning but the attitude. The SNP under Nicola Sturgeon may not have been the Yes movements best friend or greatest ally. But if we start to regard something so essential to Scotland’s cause as the enemy then Scotland’s cause is surely doomed. Regardless of the justifications for being angry at the party we must never allow that anger to become the kind of rage that blinds us to political reality.
It is a simple statement of fact to say that you can be non-SNP and pro-independence but you cannot be anti-SNP and pro-independence. This has always been the case. The SNP didn’t drag the Yes movement along on a quest for power. The Yes movement pushed the SNP to the vanguard of the fight to restore Scotland’s independence because that fight cannot be won without the effective political power that only the SNP is in a position to provide. It is in that position because we put it there. To tell this essential component of the machinery which will end the accursed Union and restore Scotland’s independence that “they can stay away from us” is little short of madness.
When a part which is critical to the functioning of a machine becomes defective and no suitable spares are available, what kind of warped ‘logic’ dictates that the part be wrenched from its place in the works and discarded? Surely good sense dictates that the only logical course of action is to repair the part. To patch it up somehow so that it is at least functional and the machinery can start to turn again. If anything makes even less sense it is wrenching the part out of the machinery and smashing it beyond repair.
If frustration at the failure of this vital component to work as it should becomes destructive rage then the individual concerned will tend to reach for any rationalisation for their vandalism. They might, for example, insist that the machine doesn’t need the part now lying broken because they have an alternative. They need an alternative in order to make their behaviour look slightly less irrational. So desperate are they to identify such an alternative that they may well point to a little heap of old odds and ends raked out of the bottom of the tool-box and proclaim this mismatched assortment to be the makings of a replacement for a highly sophisticated piece of kit. Like saying you can build a carburettor out of the stuff left over from previous adventures in flat-pack furniture construction.
Or like the belief that a party with no elected representatives, derisory polling and neither power nor influence can be a substitute for the party of government with a host of elected representatives, an unassailable lead in every poll and all the power and influence that these things entail.
The need to present their behaviour as something other than deranged destructiveness may prompt denial of all political reality. Time ceases to be a factor. As does the known and anticipated actions of opponents. The belief in this alternative exists in a little bubble of a reality of its own making. An endlessly malleable reality wich can be adjusted in any way necessary to make the supposed alternative look like a shiny new machine part rather than a heap of rusting junk.
Have you guessed what I’m referring to? Aye! Alba Party!
Let me make it clear at this point that I have absolutely nothing against Alba other than that it is falsely presented as an alternative to the SNP – despite the fact that it is quite impossible for Alba Party to be a source of effective political power or to become such within the time left before the British Nationalist assault on our democracy and identity gets to be unstoppable. It simply cannot happen – absent a magical intervention. I have great respect for leading figures in Alba such as Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill. I am broadly in agreement with the party’s policy platform. I admire that it appears to have the kind of member-led structures and procedures which used to be a feature of the SNP. I even gave my regional vote to Alba in May – although this was not in expectation of the party actually achieving anything but because the people topping the SNP and SGP lists were such that I simply could not endorse.
Everything about Alba Party could be absolutely perfect and tickety-boo. That doesn’t alter the fact that it is not the party of government right now, and right now is all that matters. If you are talking about any future Scottish Parliament election then you are indulging in fantasy politics every bit as much as if you suppose Alba to be an alternative to the SNP in the present. There is no alternative to the SNP! This remains true no matter how much you may hate the SNP or to what extent that hatred is justified or how adept your are at rationalising it. The cold, hard, undeniable-by-other-than-the-seriously-deluded reality is that if we don’t ‘get independence done’ by the SNP+SGP/Scottish Government that we have now then it is highly probable that we will never get it done. It is certain beyond dispute that if action is not taken by this SNP+SGP/Scottish Government then the fight to restore Scotland’s independence is set to become very much more difficult.
The reality plainly visible to rational, pragmatic assessment of Scotland’s predicament is that Alba has nothing to contribute to Scotland’s cause beyond what it could contribute as an ‘ordinary’ Yes organisation without the pretence of being an alternative to the SNP. That the SNP may be almost entirely to blame for people seeking an alternative does not justify Alba’s pretence. Indeed, to the extent that this pretence is diverting Yes activists from the only task that matters – getting the SNP back on track – then the party is a serious impediment to Scotland’s cause.
Alba’s leaders could perhaps have prevented the tribalism evident in that Tweet taking hold. The potential for it to develop as soon as the disaffected were presented with the illusion of an alternative must have been obvious to a man of Alex Salmond’s experience. Kenny MacAskill must have recognised the danger. Even now, Alba’s leaders could do something to mitigate the harm being done to Scotland’s cause. They will never stop the tribalism altogether. But they could do more to distance themselves from the mindless hatred of the SNP evident in that Tweet and countless other social media messages. They could puncture the delusion of Alba Party being an alternative to the SNP in anything other than the most trivial sense. They could set aside partisan prejudice and political expediency for the sake of Scotland’s cause.
I can point to nothing which suggests they are prepared to do this. On the contrary, as I read articles written by senior figures in Alba I gain the distinct impression of a struggle between not wanting to be seen to encourage the tribalism and not wanting to actually discourage it. Personally, I am no less pissed-off by them than by Ian Blackford.
I could count on my fingers the individuals among Scotland’s political elite who aren’t immediately relegated to the ranks of those failing Scotland’s cause – and still have enough fingers to type this article. To say that I am frustrated with and annoyed with our political leaders would be a considerable understatement. I am angry. Of course I am. But however much Blackford’s patronising bloviation may irk me, I will not allow myself the false comfort of facile hatred and directionless rage.
I am very, very wary of the SNP seeking to be “more involved with the Yes Movement”. I am realistic enough to recognise the SNP’s way of absorbing and neutralising the voices of dissent and/or the organisations which facilitate those voices. But I do not let emotion blind me to the fact that the SNP and the Yes movement are both essential components of the machinery that will bring an end to the grotesquely asymmetrical Union and restore Scotland’s independence. That the SNP is in conflict with any part of the Yes movement (or vice versa) is probably the most disturbing development afflicting Scotland’s cause. It is a symptom of a tragic failure of political leadership. But so is the increasingly virulent enmity of Alba Party towards the SNP.
The people of Scotland are beset from all directions by failure of political leadership. Not for the first time, I suggest that arses need to be kicked.
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26 thoughts on “Multiple failures of leadership”
Agreed, there is little or no possibility of independence absent the SNP. . That seems to be Jim Sillers’ position , still a member of SNP but doesn’t vote for them .The SNP is so well established , with all the infrastructure of an efficient political machine that trying to replace them is tilting at windmills. Your call to moderate the flighting against the SNP under present management is timely . Much of the “debate” on both sides is mere venting of frustration . Hopefully that phase will pass and give way to a more productive stage . Folk need to cool their jets .
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Dear Peter A Bell,
Thanks for your article and perhaps like-minded’ people in Scotland will agree with your comments? This includes me, an ex-SNP member until very recently! Yesterday, I discovered: ‘Scottish Sovereign Research Group’ and the discovery felt like one of the answers to my growing dissatisfaction and dismay!
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Alba could indeed “set aside partisan prejudice and political expediency for the sake of Scotland’s cause.”
But then so could the SNP – it was they who disregarded the “SNP 1 / Alba 2” approach for the “Both Votes Nicola/SNP”.
Regardless of whether you agree with “SNP 1 / Alba 2” the SNP’s dismissinging of this, and the leader’s continued and on-going smearing of Alex Salmond, has left a bitterness among Alba supporters that is unlikely ever to be assuaged.
The sniping and nastiness cannot be condoned but it does take two to tango and if there is to be any chance to at least agree a ceasefire.
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Why would the SNP NOT “disregard” the whole SNP1/Alba2 thing? It was all nonsense. Unless you were daft enough to fall for the hype. And you’d have to be seriously daft to suppose the SNP could or would campaign for a party that was competing with them for electoral support. The Alba campaign for the May election was totally dishonest.
It may or may not have been a nonsense but the point I’m making is that this, together with the highly personalised attacks on Alex Salmond, have left a bad taste for those on the Alba side. I’m not condoning their reaction but there it is.
Reconciliation by its nature requires compromises on both sides.
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If the SNP put country before party they would have backed the “whole thing”.
The last thing NS wants is a pro-opposition party in Holyrood, she has a hegemonic grip over the independence voters as things stand. It is this current situation that allows her to push through her extreme policies, none of which would have seen her re-elected if they were front and centre of her manifesto.
Who exactly do you envisage doing your suggested arse-kicking Peter?
I long since ran out of patience with fantasy politics. Even if by some massive stretch of the imagination, we picture the leadership of a massively successful political party campaigning for a new, untested and almost completely unknown political party without the members taking said leadership out and stringing them up from lamposts, this would have required that there be some benefit which outweighed the normal self-interest of the successful political party – given that it would be risking so much. You CLAIM because you ASSUME that it might have been for the benefit of the country. But that would have required Alba’s ‘ideas’ to be something other than the pile of shite that they were – and remain.
If you want to claim that those ideas were not and are not the shite they are then you better be prepared to offer a detailed rebuttal of the two articles I wrote explaining exactly why they are a load of shite. If you do that, you will be the first. Because those articles were published months ago and the best brains Alba has at its disposal have failed to even attempt such a rebuttal.
If your next comment isn’t that detailed and reasoned rebuttal, you can fuck off and stop wasting my time. If it is, I will happily publish it as a guest article.
You are right, Peter, why would the SNP not disregard a party that was competing with them for power – except that ALBA isn’t competing with them on independence. It is the other way round. On reality, yes, it is competing. What most of those who left the SNP feel – at least as far as I can ascertain – are angry at is the dismal track record of Nicola Sturgeon and her cohort of pseudo woke warriors, the sniping and biting that has gone on re Alec Salmond and the flight from reality that now marks the party’s policy. The SNP parliamentary party has descended into madness. ALBA may not be the answer, but the SNP as is, is no longer the question. The total disintegration could happen tomorrow – or the SNP leadership could bow to pressure and ramp up the independence issue instead of jam tomorrow… and tomorrow… and tomorrow… into infinity. It may be that it will not be re-elected in 2024, and Unionist parties are, changing the whole dynamics. What is certain is that this stasis, this inertia, this collaboration, this Vichy-style government cannot continue for much longer. Something is going to demolish the dam and let the roaring waters through – and it is going to be sooner rather than later. We only need to look at Ireland before the Free State as set up. The party of independence was replaced almost overnight because the rumblings against inaction and inertia sot to the surface and caused the necessary eruption. It might not happen here like that, but it will happen because the disillusionment and the rage against the quite unnecessary foot-dragging in favour of a form of insanity never seen before – insanity in politics is fairly routine fare, but never before like this, in Scotland. Something will give, Peter because it always does, one way or another.
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Only a couple of sentences in and already what looked like it was intending to be a rebuttal of my contention that Alba brings SFA to Scotland’s cause has turned into a bog-standard catalogue of endlessly repeated complaints about the SNP. Complaints that countless individuals have recounted on countless occasions. But complaints which continue to be offered up as if they were novel insights or original observations.
When are we to be told what Alba can actually DDO for Scotland’s cause. WE KNOW ABOUT THE SNP! WE KNOW! WE DON’T NEED TO BE TOLD AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN….
That is NOT the question. The question is, what fucking use is Alba? Although an equally good question might be why are otherwise intelligent people so absolutely determined to believe something that they cannot even begin to explain?
Peter: I was careful to say that ALBA might not be the answer in itself because I’m not sure either. I have more or less the same misgivings as you do. What I did try to say was not meant as a diatribe against the SNP: it was a comment to show that history is always hanging around to tell us that those political leaders who take their people for granted will always come. cropper eventually if they don’t deliver. All that the ALBA p[arty can be at the moment is a pressure on the SNP that things could change for them very rapidly. It might not at all. If not, something else will bring them down because their downfall lies largely within their own incompetent inertia and insane policies that the majority of the people neither want nor even begin to understand. Remember Thatcher? Headlines everywhere stating how popular she was – outside of the UK. Same with Nicola Sturgeon. I’d take a bet that she is extremely popular in England and that is where the headlines come from. Up here? Not so much. Many are starting to see through the mendacity and self-righteousness even as they see that nothing is actually happening at all on the independence front. Those two realizations will begin to seep in to even the most adulatory mind. She has been very lucky thus far. I do not, and have never thought, that ALBA will be the saviour some believe it will be, but it will almost certainly be part of it, and downfalls happen very quickly albeit their fomentation takes place over a period of time beneath the surface. What has always exercised my mind is that the longer the mendacity and foot-dragging goes on, the longer the fomentation takes, the greater the pressure and, ultimately, the greater the eventual reaction when it does blow. I simply do not want to see my country torn apart by conflict as happened in NI, but I am afraid that this is precisely what might happen, and the SNP leadership and its cohort of reality deniers will shoulder much of the blame if it does.
So where is this pressure from Alba? What effect is it having?
It may be that “political leaders who take their people for granted will always come [a] cropper eventually”. But the word “eventually” is the worry. I’m not even sure it’s safe to say taking people for granted “always” proves fatal for political leaders. Of course, history isn’t finished yet. But successive leaders of various British parties have been taking the people of Scotland for granted for a few centuries now. Their “cropper” is not yet in sight.
However quick Sturgeon’s downfall is it is as close to impossible as makes no difference for it to happen in time to save Scotland. I can also guarantee that if Sturgeon does fall it will be nothing whatever to do with Alba. Continuing to eschew fantasy politics, I still maintain that if independence doesn’t ‘get done’ by THIS Scottish Government in THIS Parliament, it’ll be a dead issue in terms of frontline politics for several decades. Silly notions about Alba being an alternative only give folk an excuse for not doing the hard thing – getting on their hind legs en masse and battering the politicians into line.
But for Alba, we might have stood a better chance of nailing the Manifesto for Independence to Nicola’s forehead. But that would have required the entire Yes movement focused on that one task. Far to many were too busy farting about with futile projects like Alba.
Alba DID set apart their “prejudices”, or do you not recall Alex Salmond’s continual endorsement of SNP for the constituency, and Alba for the list?
Get back to me after you’ve read the article.
Reblogged this on Ramblings of a now 60+ Female.
Allow me one thought, Peter, perhaps of little significance (indeed perhaps close to none) when made in the context of your overall assessment.
There are two Alba Members of Parliament. There appear to be SNP Members of Parliament – how do I phrase this – who are maybe not in perfect step with the strategy of their party. I speculate they may sometimes chat.
Perhaps, just a very teeny weeny perhaps – events, yep, “events dear boy” may yet unfold where those factors should not be entirely, I do stress entirely, dismissed.
One thought – no more than that!
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Same question as ever, Mike. The question that is NEVER answered by Alba fantasists. HOW? If you are implying that Alba is somehow going to acquire the influence of which it currently has none whatsoever, then I would like to know how they are going to do this. Never mind the nods and winks and nudges as if there is some arcane process by which this can happen as yet unknown to anyone but yourself. There are only the processes that we know. So which of these processes is going to suddenly catapult Alba into a position of discernable power?
If I read your less than subtle nods, winks and nudges aright, you seem to be hinting – while assiduously and very wisely avoiding actually saying – that there may be further defections from the SNP Westminster group to Alba. As massively unlikely as this is, what would it achieve, in any case. Even if as many as a dozen made the switch – and that is an idea so ridiculous that I’m embarrassed to state it even as a wild hypothesis – what would change?
I’ll tell you! For Alba, nothing would change. They’d still have zero power or influence in the british parliament because the Union is so designed as to ensure that even if every MP from Scotland was from the same party and even if that was a British party and even if that group didn’t disintegrate immediately under the internal pressure created by its brief glimpse of power, those MPs from Scotland would have no effect. Because the whole of the rest of the british parliament – including their own party – would unite to ensure that they could have no effect.
Alba is not any kind of exception to the iron laws of British politics which dictates that Scotland shall ALWAYS be subordinate in all things and in all ways to England-as-Britain.
For the SNP, it would mean diminished status. Since whatever status any Scottish party has in the British parliament stems from the number of votes they control, controlling fewer votes inevitably implies lower status. The status the SNP Westminster group has and has enjoyed for some years has meant precisely nothing for Scotland’s cause. So how would diminished status be progress?
Those imagined defections would be an excellent way of weakening the already all but meaningless representation of Scotland’s cause at Westminster while keeping the same number of nominally pro-independence MPs. Which, I would venture to suggest, falls somewhat short of a work of stunning political genius.
You were right about one thing. It was a thought. But an incomplete one. Unless I’ve got something wrong here. In which case, I’d love to know more.
Lmao Peter, you have taken a thought on some journey! Not the one intended by me in any way – specifically as it applied to Alba – see below..
It is your heading – “Multiple Failures of Leadership”. which was central to my thought. based on:
1) We are currently witness to what I will call the day to day ups and downs of politics, not humdrum, not inconsequential, and each of us will form our opinions on the success or failure of political leadership when it is on display. Brexit, and the aftermath we are witnessing is a perfect example. Each passing generation will have examples in their time for their time – and will witness – the birth and death of political parties,from none through Whigs, Labour, National party of Scotland, Scottish Party, SNP, SDLP, New Labour, Reform UK, Alba.
2) History also teaches us that there can be random and unprepared for events which arise – Pearl Harbour, perestroika, 9/11. Often it is these events which determine the success or failure of political leadership – but usually, and importantly, they fall outwith a definitive party political context.
3) The regaining of Scotland’s independence falls into its own utterly unique and wholly different (geopolitical) category, where political leadership should/must be central, and where both the strategy and the tactics to be adopted cannot but prove both pivotal and vital.
Are we heading for (a) a referendum, or will it be (b) a plebiscite, or will “events” conspire (c) to lead to a withdrawal of MPs (both SNP and Alba- thus my reference to Alba) from Westminster, to the creation of a Constitutional Convention and a Declaration that Scotland withdraws from the Treaty of Union?
The threats, past – current – and future, facing Scotland are such that we should not be able to even speculate on those options, and the fact that we can and do is the proof of “Multiple Failures of Leadership”.
As those threats become daily more and more evident and destructive to Scotland,
… as the options for (a) may diminish or disappear entirely,
…as the timescale for (b) is deemed too far distant given the growing destruction of Scotland, and the impoverishment of its people.
… option (c) may prove to be an inevitable future – “events, dear boy” will be the determinant, and it may prove to be that it is the Sovereign people who adopt the mantle of leadership, if none can be found elsewhere.
OK. You appear to have accepted that Alba plays no part in any of this. But you haven’t actually explained HOW any of this might come about. You refer to “random and unprepared for events” as if absolutely anything could happen at any moment. But that is not so. There are constraints. What “events” could conceivably conspire to bring about your option (c) for example. Who is going to withdraw MPs from Westminster? It would have to be the present Scottish Government. But that assumes you’ve already solved the root problem of this government not being prepared to be so bold. Your solution assumes the problem has already been solved.
I’m afraid hoping “events” occur and are favourable to Scotland’s cause doesn’t sound like much of a strategy. Something will turn up? It well might! But who is to say that the something which turns up is the something that suits your purposes. If asked what were the most likely “events” I would have to place at the top of that list all the things the British state might do to thwart Scotland’s cause. Pretty much every one of those “events” would be way ahead of any of yours in terms of probability.
Circumstances are working AGAINST the kind of “event” which could retrieve the situation. Circumstances are mitigating against the unity of purpose in the Yes movement which is all that might drive “events” in a direction different from the one in which they are tending at present.
Peter: precisely that happened in Ireland at the turn, and into the early 20th century. Everyone thought Sinn Fein/IRA was a waste of time, as Parnell’s and Redmond’s independence party dithered, unable or unwilling to break out of its inertia, largely created by pandering to the British State. As Mike says, events, dear boy, events. If there is any rule in politics, that’s it.
The only “event” that fits is Nicola Sturgeon doing a sudden and very determined U-turn on her approach to the constitutional issue. what is going to prompt that? Not Alba – no leverage. Not the people – no unity. Not her party – no political will. Harry Potter’s wee magic stick? What else is there?
I don’t know, Peter, but, then, neither do you, that it won’t happen? All the guff about Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity is just that. Reflections of Margaret Thatcher before she fell. Angela Merkel? Hillary Clinton? Popular elsewhere, not at home. Which also reflects the English perception of Nicola Sturgeon.
There is no magic. If the process cannot be described, it’s magic. There is no magic. Any scenario can be imagined. But imagined scenarios rarely survive the application of real-world rules. Instead of speculating about what MIGHT happen to retrieve the situation might it not be an idea to focus on the one thing that can retrieve the situation? It may be too late even for that. But as there’s nothing else to be done then it’s a simple enough choice between doing our utmost to make that one thing work, or giving up.
Peter A Bell: I am not sure if your comment at 08.06 today (13th Oct) is addressed to me?
It was in reply to Gordon Currie. But it is relevant to any Alba fantasist.
Out of sequence – I don’t seem to be able to reply to replies to keep them related – just for the moment I will say Leo Varadkar and his comments today are the example of an “event” from which repercusions flow. – don’t trust the UK to act in good faith – who knew?
If acceptable Peter – back with more later – based on a long ago contact with you and an initiative called “The Decaration of a Sovereign Scot” and ongoing contact with the UN as Stage 1 of that initiative.
Meanwhile I got a ladder to climb and a roof to fix.
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* Declaration *