By invitation only

That Toni Giugliano is an idiot has already been established. But it seems that his earlier remarks fomenting division in the independence movement by defining exclusive and excluded categories was not as I had supposed an utterance born of careless idiocy, but a statement of quite deliberate idiocy. In this report from The Sunday National, he is totally explicit in setting out his intention that the ‘official’ Yes movement shall henceforth be an exclusive club from which are excluded all those parts of the original Yes movement which are not approved by the SNP leadership. Which means any individual, group or organisation so much as suspected of being capable of questioning the Sturgeon doctrine and the SNP+SGP/Scottish Government’s approach to the constitutional issue.

There has always been a deal of control-freakery about the SNP. I didn’t necessarily disapprove of this. I certainly understood it. When your political opponents are backed by close to 100% of the media you must be a bit fanatical about protecting your image and controlling your message. That is just political realism. But as with so many things, there is a line that when crossed takes control-freakery from the territory of tactical necessity into the realm of unreasonable repression. Whether Toni Giugliano can still see that line when he looks over his shoulder is of academic interest only. For those of us stubbornly refusing to forsake reason he appears as a figure marching boldly in the opposite direction.

Taking the Alba/SNP schism as symptomatic of the fractious fragmentation afflicting the once solid Yes movement, Toni Giugliano’s ‘solution’ to the tribalism is to formalise the division by creating an ‘us’ of the SNP+SGP/Scottish Government plus those parts of the Yes movement under its control while othering the rest. That’s a lot of ‘other’! But the SNP and those the party has captured need not be concerned as there is barely a vanishingly small chance of that ‘other’ coalescing into a single force capable of challenging the hegemony of the new ‘Yes Club’. The SNP – for which read Nicola Sturgeon – will dictate the agenda with nodding dogs such as Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp (in his various guises) lending a veneer of popular support.

There are some who will totally approve this hijacking of the Yes movement. SNP/Sturgeon loyalists have been informally othering those who decline to embrace the partisan dogma for a while now. It is safe to assume they will welcome Toni Giugliano’s formalisation of exclusivity and exclusion. So long as they get to be the ‘us’ and not the ‘them’ these sad souls will be satisfied. There are also those who will ask why it matters. There has long been a thick spreading of shallow thinkers who imagine tribalism to be something which can be switched off like an electric lamp. They are to be found all over social media pleading for an end to the “in-fighting” supported by a reminder that “we’re all after the same thing”. Less shallow thinkers question the truth of this. Those who think at all can hardly avoid wondering whether we are indeed “all after the same thing”.

There was a time when it was safe to assume that everybody who identified with the Yes movement was working towards a common objective. There were disagreements about the detail and regarding what was entailed by achieving the common goal of restoring Scotland’s independence. There were different thoughts as to how we should best proceed. But always there was the kernel of fully restored sovereignty around which the Yes movement coalesced. And there was broad if often very grudging acceptance of the SNP as the party of independence. The Yes movement’s source of effective political power. Even if with great reluctance it was generally accepted that a vote for the SNP was a vote for independence and that it was essential to vote for the SNP in order that restoration of our independence should remain a possibility.

All of that has changed. Now, when the SNP or its puppets talk of a “Spring indy push” it is reasonable and necessary to ask what exactly we’d be pushing for. Would it be independence as we understand it?. Or would it be something else? Something that Nicola Sturgeon finds expedient? Some compromise that sells Scotland short?

When Nicola Sturgeon or members of Toni Giugliano’s ‘Yes Club’ (membership strictly by invitation) talk about a referendum, should we suppose them to mean a free and fair referendum entirely made and managed in Scotland under the auspices of the Scottish Parliament? Or should we be mindful of what I’m sure was not intended as a warning from The Sunday National.

The Scottish Government have [sic] promised to hold a second independence referendum by the end of 2023 so long as the pandemic is over and want to reach agreement on the vote with the Prime Minister, as was the case in 2014.

This being the case, we are certainly not being asked to “push” for a free and fair referendum as such a thing must be entirely ruled out the moment there is talk of involving a foreign power. For the purposes of Scotland’s constitutional struggle the British state must be regarded as a foreign power. And a hostile one into the bargain.

Is it not a sickening summation of where we are with Scotland’s cause that it is now to be managed by an elitist clique who would include the British political elite in the process while excluding many (most?) of those who made the Yes movement a glorious democratic phenomenon? Scotland’s cause – the cause of restoring Scotland’s independence – is to be in the hands of an exclusive, secretive and ever distrustful ‘Yes Club’ with Toni Giugliano as its membership secretary. The rest of us are being asked to lend our support without having any input or influence and without knowing exactly what it is we’re campaigning for.

I am reluctant.



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13 thoughts on “By invitation only

  1. I ddn’t vote for Toni Giugliano to be the SNP candidate for the last Scottish Parliament although when he was selected I did (reluctantly) think that he might be the best to take on Jackie Baillie. As it happened, she got so much support from the Unionist camp (Lab, Lib Dem and Tory) that she got in easily. Having seen some of TG’s recent pronouncements I wonder if we had a lucky escape!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I agree. I campaigned for him in 2017(?) but was glad he had moved elsewhere by 2019, though the woman candidate who replaced him in Edinburgh West was obviously one of the woke.
      It’s now at the stage of judging who it is safe to vote for. Last May there was no-one safe for the constituency!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks the reunification of the Labour Party and the reunification of the United Kingdom are proceeding according to plan.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a shoddy bunch of little Hitler’s are now running the SNP. That they have more or less ruined the chances of restoration of Scotland’s statehood for the foreseeable future by their actions on things not related to the constitution and inaction on anything to do with the constitution over the last 7 plus years is unforgivable.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s ‘Mission accomplished’ as far as they’re concerned. They set out to render it difficult, and surpassed expectations.

      For those who think NS is bad leader, she’s managed to split the SNP, cast out dissenters, turn her part into a closed shop, turn the police and COPFS into arms of the State with the full support of the Scottish media and the British State while repeatedly fooling a significant proportion of the electorate.

      If you think – as I do – that was her plan all along, she’s done a helluva job

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just like the carrot was burnished with the eleven point plan in advance of the Holyrood elections, this ‘Spring Push’ looks to put a further shine on said carrot in time for the Council elections. It’s as simple as that.
    More smoke and mirrors.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. I think the US and Them attitude has been prevalent within the SNP for a while now, the US being Sturgeon and her clique and her way of doing things especially when it comes to independence, and them, the bloggers and dissenting voices who are frustrated that there’s been no movement whatsoever on the indy front since 2014.

    The “Them” as I imagine that we are called in the inner circles of Sturgeon’s clique have been subject to the forces of the law, such as Craig Murray, Mark Hirst, Marion Millar and David Lewellyn, they and we don’t adhere to Sturgeon’s agenda, an agenda that doesn’t include Scottish independence.

    In the SNP’s business for 2022, there is no mention of independence.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. A problem with Indy Ref 1 was that there was this unofficial officlal policy line that other Indy supporters were reluctant to step over. It was mostly to the left, and that left a lot of middle and right-middle ground basically uncovered. And some of us really don’t lose sleep over Trident for instance, including those like me who live on the Clyde and were used to the Yanks and Holy Loch.

    But there was supposedly an official YES campaign – YES Scotland – and Jenkins basically endorsed such as no nukes, this nebulous “fair and just” Scotland, and YES Scotland material was widely recognised as being bland and useless. If ever there was a report from say the IFS you’d go to the website and sure enough there would be a paragraph saying “This is a great report about Independence”, without anything else, while the MSM was saying that the IFS were saying that iScotland would be an economic basket case. Well, most of us had to do our own thing, and of course there was the wee blue book which a lot of SNP members actually used apparently.

    So from this point of view, having an official wad of material from and for what is after all the Scottish Government and the two parties that have MSPs and run Scotland, does ensure it will be cohesive and hopefully positive – as the National article says, not knocking the Tories or Westminster which will funnily enough, cramp GMK’s style a little as well. That’s good. It means we can point people to an official version of what could be Scotland’s opening policy – if the SNP with or without the Greens, form the first Independent Government.

    But it does make it easier for us who are outside the tent to piss into it, and THAT puts us closer to those who we hope to move from undecided or NO, as they, too, have criticisms of the SG policies. Like, for instance, that intrusive survey where they are asking 14 year olds how often and with what parts of their body, do they have sex, and please put your candidate number on the survey so we can name and shame you.

    No longer will we feel slightly obliged to stay mum, or similarly , hold our peace as so many did with Salmond cosying up to Trump as the MSM had it he did. We can leave party behind totally as the likes of me don’t belong to any party, and likewise uninvited parties like ALBA and perhaps the former xyz for YES groups don’t have to kowtow to whatever “that lot” come out with. In fact we can agree with people that their material about some things is a heap of poo. But it doesn’t stop us using any of the material we agree with.

    It also doesn’t stop AUOB for instance – if it can get rid of the idea it’s all under one Alba umbrella and anti-SNP which deters maybe 96% of us from attending marches, as we read its twitters.

    I don’t neccessarily agree with myself, by the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. In quoting “something that Nicola Sturgeon finds ‘expedient’?” and endlessly being puzzled at what’s happened to what had been a very meritorious political party! Scotland REGAINING its Independence IS something that a growing number of Scotland’s people are finding much, much more than being just “EXPEDIENT!”

    Presently, a calm and unbiased observation of Scotland’s political situation is NOT easy to do… Is there any wonder that many politically minded people talk about “the British SNP”? How will the uneasiness about what had been a strengthening independence movement be addressed by today’s politicians, in Scotland and England’s London? Surely this is the most important topic regarding the supposed UK?

    Like

  8. The “spring Indy push” of course just happens to be the run up to the cooncil elections, Expect many indy mentions, no dates, no action and it all to be forgotten once the Indy carrot has once more done it’s job and got them votes again

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If the Referendum Bill doesn’t start wending its way through Holyrood before the Council Elections, the SNP will get hammered. Losing a few SNP councillors doesn’t remove the pro-Indy Holyrood majority without which there will be no referendum. I’d think large parts of the YES movement would abstain as protest.

      Like

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