Delusionalba!

At last! Fully a year after I started asking questions about how Alba Party intended to honour the terms of its 2021 manifesto – far less live up to the overblown rhetoric of its more ‘enthusiastic’ devotees – someone giving the impression of speaking with some authority for the party has attempted some kind of response. But let’s not get too carried away. It’s a truly pathetic effort by James “Creepy” Kelly which doesn’t answer any of the pertinent questions. Other than the one about whether Alba devotees are delusional. A question which James answers loudly and clearly in the affirmative.

Disappointingly, the ‘Scot Goes Pffft’ blogger makes no effort to address the points raised in two articles published here and here in April 2021 – just prior to the Scottish Parliamentary elections in which Alba was duly relieved of the need to do any of the things it had promised to do by an electorate which mostly just ignored them. Doubtless, many voters simply didn’t hear the good news of Alex Salmond’s ‘second coming’. Many more were surely put off by Alba’s appalling election campaign strategy. Which was basically to stridently insist that anybody who didn’t vote for them was either too stupid to understand the voting system or they were closet British Nationalists. More than a few voters, I suspect, ignored Alba Party because they’d worked out for themselves what a skipload of dishonesty, deceit and delusion the party’s offering was. As described in those two articles. The ones which still haven’t been rebutted by any Alba Party representative.

Reading James Kelly’s purported attempt to explain the point of Alba, I was first struck by the amateurish way in which he sets up a straw-man misrepresentation of my views – while dishonestly claiming to know me – using fake quotes. Just to be clear, I have never said any of the things the lying wee shite claims I said. As anyone who actually reads my articles knows, I am not in the habit of using absolute terms – such as ‘impossible’ – absent caution and qualification. The same goes for terms like ‘never’ and ‘only’. When you encounter someone quoting me as having stated “Alba will never be in government!” (my emphasis) you may be certain that you are dealing with a liar.

It would be a very much greater fool than I who might make such a statement. It is not impossible that Alba might one day be the party of government in Scotland. It is perfectly possible to imagine this. The difference between myself and delusional Alba devotees is that I don’t suppose a thing must happen just because I can imagine it happening. A thing may be theoretically possible if one makes all favourable assumptions, yet be effectively impossible if one makes only the most reasonable assumptions. The point about Alba Party’s 2021 election offering was that it was possible only if one assumed things were other than they are. Alba’s plans and promises are credible only if one disregards hard reality. Again, I refer you to those earlier articles in which I go into specifics on this matter.

The aspect of reality that James Kelly chooses to disregard as he refutes claims not made by me is time. This blithe discounting of time is a ubiquitous feature of Alba Party rhetoric. He also denies political reality. But that may be a matter of perspective. Not so time. Time is real. The electoral cycle is real. That elections to the Scottish Parliament happen only every five years – other than in extraordinary circumstances – is an inescapable fact. I should say almost inescapable. Because it is a fact that Alba devotees escape with apparent ease. What this means is that when considering the matter of Alba Party becoming the party of government we must work in multiples of five years. As the miracle Alba ‘calculated’ as being readily realised didn’t happen last year, the countdown on them taking power does not start until 2026. After which the clock ticks once every 60 months.

It is not impossible for a political party to go from zero to hero in the space of a single electoral cycle. The question is whether it is sufficiently possible that we might proceed on the basis of it happening. Would it be rational to proceed on the basis that Alba Party will achieve the aims it set out in its 2021 election manifesto? That is what they want us to do. What they most certainly don’t want is for us to question how realistic those aims are. To do so elicits from Alba devotees the same vituperative denunciation as would be expected from SNP loyalists if anybody expresses doubts regarding ‘Nicola’s Great Secret Plan’. Delusion sits beside fantasy like the proverbial peas in a pod.

According to James Kelly at least, Alba Party has retreated somewhat from the more grandiose assertions and notions contained in its 2021 manifesto. Although to the best of my knowledge that document continues to be the definitive official statement of the party’s policies and positions. Where a year ago the talk was of a ‘supermajority’ and forcing an extraordinary election and making that election substitute for a referendum, now the aim is rather more modest.

Alba doesn’t need to become the largest party or even get anywhere close to that. All it has to do is gain a significant enough percentage of support – which could be as little as 4% or 5% of the vote – to force the SNP to start looking over its shoulder and consider what it needs to do to get those votes back, or to prevent any further slippage. Almost inevitably, any action taken would have to involve greater radicalism and urgency on independence. And as soon as we have a Scottish Government that is coaxed into serious action to bring independence about, Alba’s primary objective is achieved.

Alba absolutely *can* help to achieve independence – but not in monastic isolation from other pro-indy parties

That’s all it takes! That’s all! We may be thankful that James didn’t tack a “Simples!” onto the end of that paragraph. The problem, of course, is that it is not that simple at all. Even this toned-down version of the Alba miracle doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Which is why Alba devotees work so hard trying to deter such scrutiny. It fails on the two counts previously mentioned – time and political reality.

Alba Party’s ‘plan’ assumes we can afford to wait until the next Holyrood election in 2026 before acting to dissolve the Union and restore Scotland”s independence. Or maybe the election after that. Or perhaps the one after that. Or whenever Alba achieves the level of electoral support which James Kelly theorises will be sufficient to force the hand of the SNP. Assuming the SNP is the party of government. Which in relation to the earlier of those future elections is among the safer of the assumptions we might make.

What James takes absolutely no account of is what the British state will be doing while we wait for Alba to gain enough electoral support to have some influence. Perhaps the safest of all assumptions is that the British state will be doing everything in its not inconsiderable power to ensure that the Union is preserved and that Scotland’s independence is never restored. My view, as opposed to what James Kelly asserts as my view – is that we cannot afford to proceed on the basis of an assumption that there will ever again be an election to the Scottish Parliament as we know it. I am firmly persuaded that we must expect that the British will act before 2026 to ensure that all democratic routes to the restoration of Scotland’s independence are permanently closed. The Union affords them the power to do this. We should proceed on the basis that they will, rather than on the dangerously naive assumption that they won’t.

I can hear the chorus of Alba devotees screeching that I’ve forgotten the imminent local elections. I haven’t, of course. But I don’t expect miracles. Looking at the situation rationally we must first of all question the likelihood of Alba Party gaining the “4% or 5% of the vote” that James Kelly hopes for and considers adequate. The answer to that is who the hell knows? They might. They might not. It is not impossible. In fact, it is a far from unrealistic prospect. Especially if there is a significant amount of tactical voting by Unionists trying to keep the SNP out.

The second question we must ask is whether gaining 4% or 5% of the vote might have the effect that James Kelly and other Alba devotees hope for. A hope I would happily share. Contrary to what some might imagine, I harbour no particular antipathy towards Alba Party. If they could force the SNP’s hand on the constitutional issue I would be delighted. It’s not that I wouldn’t want them to do this. Far from it. The problem is that they have utterly failed to convince me that they can do it. Nobody from Alba has persuaded me that their ‘plan’ is feasible. Given the nonsense of their ‘supermajority’ myth, I have absolutely no reason to have any confidence in them. James Kelly isn’t doing anything to allay my doubts. Or, for that matter, to address my actual concerns. Although he does a fair to middling job of hacking down his own straw man.

I ask the questions James Kelly neglects to ask. Why would the SNP be troubled by Alba taking four or five per cent of the vote in the Council elections? Why would this bring about the change in Sturgeon’s approach to the constitutional issue when all else has failed to do so? How would Alba translate that relatively tiny vote in the almost wholly irrelevant (to the constitutional issue) local elections into a lever with which to move the Scottish Government?

We have the strange situation at the moment where the SNP is simultaneously less powerful/secure than we need it to be and more powerful/secure than we want it to be. Not so powerful as to have no excuse for failing to challenge the British state. Too secure to be susceptible to any pressure. As Jonathon Shafi is reported to have observed,

Influence campaigns on the SNP leadership have failed. No matter what the party conference votes for, the organisation is so centralised that those kind of influence campaigns, generally speaking, don’t deliver in the end.

What rational reason is there to suppose that the SNP leadership would buckle under the weight of a 5% vote for Alba in the local elections? Does Nicola Sturgeon look like she might be impressed by this?

My assessment is that it would have no effect whatever on the issue at hand – restoring Scotland’s independence. The SNP would sail on like a super-tanker rammed by a dinghy. James Kelly would no doubt retort that the SNP would be bound to worry that they might lose 5% to Alba in the next Holyrood election. Again, I ask the question he neglects to ask. Why would they worry? The results of local elections imply little or nothing for voting in general elections. Besides which, the SNP has a trump card to play that will put Alba right out of contention. A referendum! Something Alba cannot sensibly promise. A certain success for Alba in the council elections might even suit the SNP. If the British parties end up with control of more local authorities then we can be sure Alba will be blamed. Whether they are culpable or not is irrelevant. If they can be portrayed vividly enough as the culprits then enough of the mud will stick to do some damage to Alba’s prospects in the 2026 Scottish Parliament election.

The SNP will not be unduly concerned about any potential threat from Alba in 2026. In part because of the polling which puts the SNP in an almost unassailable position. But also because of the constitutional issue. The SNP leadership knows that one way or another, the constitutional issue is going to be off the electoral table by 2026. Alba will have lost its principal raison d’etre. The constitutional issue will be off the table either because the British establishment has knocked it off or because the SNP has taken it off. To all appearances, the SNP leadership is as oblivious to the British Nationalist juggernaut bearing down on Scotland as Alba is. In one breath Alba tells us independence is a matter of the greatest urgency. In the next, they tell us we have to wait until they’re in a position to actually do something. Which might well be never! The SNP, meanwhile, evinces no sense of urgency whatsoever. They tell us effectively that we must wait until there’s nothing else of any significance happening anywhere in the world. Even then, we have to wait until they’ve concocted some magical ‘message’ which will clinch it for Yes. Meanwhile, we wait while the British government does all the work for us – in theory!

That’s a helluva lot of waiting for something that is supposedly regarded as urgent. And neither Alba nor the SNP is offering anything other than waiting. A pox on both their tribes!

The main reason the SNP is confident that the constitutional issue will be off the table by 2026 is that they fully intend to take it off the table themselves before then. They intend to have a referendum in late 2023 or maybe early 2024. The trouble is that in order to be seen to have kept her promise of a referendum while avoiding the confrontation with the British state to which she is so strongly averse, Nicola Sturgeon will grace us with some kind of ‘consultative’ referendum that decides nothing but which means the issue is off the agenda for at least a couple of electoral cycles.

For all James Kelly’s huffing and puffing and waffling, there is still no credible explanation of what Alba Party might do to bring independence so much as one day closer. To those of us who examine the matter closely and dispassionately, Alba Party remains an irrelevant distraction. It remains a fact that action is needed now. It remains a fact that only the Scottish Government can initiate the process in the Scottish Parliament by which Scotland’s independence is restored. It remains a fact that only the SNP is and can be the party of government for the period of time which matters. In all of this, Alba Party is nowhere to be seen. Nor are they likely to be. Realistically speaking.



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36 thoughts on “Delusionalba!

  1. We can only hope that the truth comes out about the persecution of Alex Salmond, the SNP cabal is destroyed (preferably by jailtime!).

    Come the next general election, Alba and the SNP have made their peace and the SSRG have come up with a realistic way to force a plebiscite based on the election result (one can but dream……)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ll say it again. There will never again be an election to the Scottish Parliament as we know it. If you are thinking in terms of an electoral cycle timescale then you really don’t understand the situation. Our chance was last year. We blew it. Alba played a significant role in that. But the entire Yes movement is culpable. It was clear what had to be done. Most people decided not to bother.

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        1. Scotland’s independence will NOT be restored by Westminster. The Union will NOT be dissolved by Westminster. In relation to the constitutional issue, only the Scottish Parliament is relevant. The Scottish Government will have had its referendum before then anyway. If at all. Either way, the constitutional issue will be off the table come 2024. If there’s no referendum NOBODY will believe SNP promises on that score. If there is a referendum it’ll be a pretendy wee thing that decides nothing but allows the British to say we’ve just had a referendum so there can’t be another one for X generations and actually sound reasonable when they say it.

          If Alba stands candidates at the UK general election – which I expect they will – that’ll split the independence vote and probably end up by reducing the number of pro-independence MPs. This will allow British Nationalists to claim interest in independence is declining rapidly.

          Other than through the distorting prism of delusion there’s no way to look at the situation and see anything except catastrophe in the making.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. ‘James “Creepy” Kelly’ and ‘the lying wee shite’ and ‘Scot Goes Pffft’ … . OK, we get that you resent being challenged, Peter, but this kind of hate (because that’s what it is) for a fellow blogger is unworthy of a self-declared ‘thinker’. Please stop it. You don’t need to agree with James, or he with you, for both of you to maintain a civilised discourse. It really is too depressing to read angry rants such as this. FFS.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Give the calibre and quality of your recent posts, it was a complete waste of your time hitting the publish button on this one. By all means give Alba a beating but leave the likes of James Kelly out of it. That only blunts the point you’re trying to make.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rather a stupid comment given that I was responding to an article by James Kelly. Those who have read my piece will know that there’s a lot more to it than having a dig at Kelly’s lies. Strange how so few people have anything to say about the analysis of Alba’s ‘contribution’ to Scotland’s cause. As with the two blog articles I refer to, nobody can argue that I’m wrong. But nobody wants to admit that I’m right.

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    2. Peter is responding to James Kelly’s lies and about what he has written on ALBA.
      He has every right to directly refute such clearly deliberate misinformation.

      As a person prepared to vote for ALBA, I am not too impressed with the Kelly version of anything to do with the Party. Nor do I think it a good idea to both misquote something that is written, or to turn it around to make it say something it doesn’t say.
      It doesn’t help much, to be honest.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I already have voted for Alba. Alba Party got my vote on the regional ballot last year. Although this was mainly because the people heading both the SNP and Green lists were people I could not bring myself to vote for.

        This is part of the problem with tribalism. Those afflicted see only the tribes. Their ONLY response to criticism of their tribe is to immediately assign the critic to the other camp. Thereby obviating the need for any more thoughtful response to the criticism. Neither tribe can comprehend the possibility of someone being in neither camp. They simply cannot get to grips with it.

        The result is that there can be no debate. The criticisms are never addressed. Questions go unanswered. Concerns are left to fester. There is no cure. Tribalism once set in cannot be eradicated. It is self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing.

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  4. Wild boys (wild boys) never lose it
    Wild boys (wild boys) never chose this way
    Wild boys (wild boys) never close your eyes
    Wild boys always shine

    Mmm, blog wars, as the Indy movement eats itself in indygestible (sic) frustration.

    Wild boys
    Wild boys
    Wild boys

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    1. I shall take the opportunity of the mention of Jonathon Shafi to mention he has started a newsletter.
      -the substack platform allows one to subscribe via email.

      https://jonathonshafi.substack.com/p/independence-captured?s=r

      and as it happens he can also be heard discussing the issues with Craig Dalzell here:

      Episode 117 of the Common Weal Policy Podcast
      https://commonweal.scot/podcast/the-common-weal-policy-podcast-episode-117/

      A productive use of their time, I thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. James Kelly is creepy yet you look like a melted plastic bag mate. Sit down. You’re full of shite.

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  6. Politics is an odd sort of a beast. You make interesting points about the electoral cycle and Westminster blocking off all routes to independence. Yet minionly parties always speak in grandiose terms of what they would do in power, regardless of how remote a prospect that is, and given that the SNP stands for corruption and fantasy biology these days, Alba at least gives people a chance to hope, to keep independence front and centre in debate and to light a few sparks in the council chambers and at Holyrood.

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        1. If clichés could win campaigns we’d be independent already. Let’s just wait and hope something turns up doesn’t strike me as a viable strategy.

          Things happen when people act to make them happen. Scotland’s independence will not be restored unless those who want it restored make that happen. It isn’t happening because half the people who want it think it’s “inevitable” and will happen without them having to make it happen while the other half think it’s impossible to make it happen in the way the first half assume it will happen so they’re not acting to make it happen but are pinning their hopes on magic and miracles.

          I despair.

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          1. Are you not aware of the activity that has been going on with SSRG and the Claim of Right? Alba is actively seeking routes to independence, and if one falls down they’ll find another. Alba doesn’t have to be the majority party to get these through, it can find a route and pressurise the SNP to take action.

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            1. Fantasy politics. Describe even one of these ‘routes’. Tell me how Alba gets to be even a minority party in the Scottish Parliament when there is no election. Be more specific about how Alba would put pressure on the SNP even if by some magical process it became a minority party at Holyrood.

              That pressure needs to be applied NOW. But the people who might apply it aren’t doing so because they’re all wrapped up in fantasies like yours.

              Read. And THINK!

              https://peterabell.scot/2021/04/29/the-observations-of-mr-buzzkill/
              https://peterabell.scot/2021/04/17/fantasy-politics-and-problematic-arithmetic/

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              1. Peter your role as a critical friend is much valued! Alba currently has a few options under consideration, and I am sure you will appreciate that they are taking up the work that should have been done by the SNP over the past 7 years. In late Q3 they should have fine honed a solution for which they will seek the backing of the entire independence movement, including the SNP rank and file. This can then be used to turn the heat up on the SNP leadership.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. SNP loyalists tell me to have faith ‘cos Nicola has a ‘Great Secret Plan’.
                  Alba devotees tell me to have faith ‘cos Alex has a ‘Great Secret Plan’.

                  Both are claiming to have a “solution” that nobody else has thought of.

                  It’s all shite. There is only one way Scotland’s independence can be restored. And it is not at all secret. So, why is it that neither of these parties is saying they actually intend to do what needs to be done? They’re obviously lying about their ‘Great Secret Plans’ because no such thing can exist. There could only be a ‘Great Secret Plan’ if there were a near-infinite number of options – some of which are known only to those claiming to have a ‘Great Secret Plan’ and a unique, novel “solution”.

                  With my rational head on – because it’s the only head I have – I ask myself why these politicians are feeding this shite to the terminally gullible. The answer is not hard to fathom. When politicians are talking this kind of shite it’s because they are trying to avoid saying something else. Something true. What they are trying to avoid saying is that there is only one way Scotland’s independence can be restored. What they don’t want to tell you is that the only way they can differentiate themselves is to declare their intention to do what is necessary. They don’t want you to know that neither of them is actually prepared to do what is required.

                  It’s not a “solution” they’re taking so long to come up with. The “solution” is already there and obvious to anybody who takes their head out of their arse long enough to have a wee look at the real world. What they are trying to contrive is something that they can make look like a “solution”, even though it isn’t. Something they can sell to the terminally gullible as a “solution”, even though it isn’t. Alba has the added problem that their fake “solution” has to be different from the SNP’s fake solution. Tricky! Because there are only a small number of credible options. And an even smaller number of viable options.

                  Alba party is the greatest gift Nicola Sturgeon could have hoped for. It has taken the heat off her completely. There’s less pressure on her because the people who might put pressure on her have all devoted themselves to reviving Alex Salmond’s political career. It’s a sad and tragical spectacle. Never in the history of political movements has any political movement so comprehensively fucked itself.

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                  1. Your passion for independance is outstanding Peter! I wish you would share this obvious solution you have with us all! In contrast to the SNPs ask Boris very nicely Section 30 approach, Alba has been quite openly exploring the plebiscite route and the Claim of Right as publisted on lain Lawson’s site. As it’s all so easy, perhaps you’d care to join in and add your obvious solution, or lend your strengths to getting one of the others ready for takeup by all Yes supporters? SSRG is a good jumping off point if you feel like doing some reading first, all out there in the open, no great secrets!

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                    1. I didn’t say it was easy. I said there is only one way it can happen. Easy or not, that is how it must happen if it is to happen at all. You would recognise this if only you cleared your mind of silly notions about pretend referendums and a statement that carries no legal or constitutional weight.

                      I stopped visiting Ian Lawson’s site when he censored a couple of questions I very politely asked about Alba. He couldn’t answer. So he just deleted the questions. This is fairly typical behaviour for Alba devotees. The party will no more tolerate scrutiny than the SNP. But I hardly need Ian Lawson to inform me about the Claim of Right. The problem with such statements affirming the sovereignty of Scotland’s people is that we should be proceeding on the basis that this is an established fact, not arguing for it to be accepted as fact.

                      The problems with the “plebiscite route” – by which I take you to mean a plebiscite election – are manifold. Not that it is impossible to have a plebiscite election. Only that it is massively improbable that such an exercise might produce the decisive outcome that is required. Not to mention the fact that Alba Party has signally failed to explain how they could contrive to bring about a plebiscite election. If you have read those two articles I keep referring to then you clearly haven’t understood them or you wouldn’t still be talking about a plebiscite election. It is an effective impossibility. As I have pointed out. And since no Alba representative has even tried to rebut my arguments after almost a year, I’m going to assume they cannot do so.

                      What Alba has done is simply ignore those arguments. Just as they ignore or censor all queries, criticisms and concerns. Remind you of anybody? That is EXACTLY what the SNP does! Alba and the SNP aren’t nearly as different as devotees and loyalists like to pretend.

                      Neither of these parties has acknowledged the indisputable fact that there is no route to the restoration of Scotland’s independence that does not involve confrontation with the |British state. Neither has shown the slightest indication of being prepared to deal with that confrontation. Both are intent on avoiding the confrontation and so cannot possibly come up with a “solution” that is effective.

                      I don’t ask much. Only that people acknowledge the reality of Scotland’s predicament and proceed accordingly. But this exchange nicely illustrates how unlikely it is that this will happen. I give you all the solid arguments establishing that Alba Party is a total waste of effort. You respond completely ignoring those arguments and continuing to insist that Alba will do something. Although you can’t say what or how or when. Like SNP loyalists, you ask that I disregard all evidence and just have faith.

                      That will not ever happen! I don’t do faith! I don’t do fantasy politics!

                      For clarity, I repeat for the umpteenth time – Scotland’s independence can only be restored by the Scottish Parliament. Only the Scottish Government can initiate the process by which Scotland’s independence is restored. That process necessarily and inevitably involves confrontation with the British state. There is no way to avoid this as there is no way the British ruling elite will willingly let go of Scotland. The Scottish Government and the Scottish people must be prepared for this confrontation. The Scottish Government cannot avoid the confrontation but it can choose the ground on which this confrontation occurs.

                      Nothing can happen until and unless the primacy of the Scottish Parliament is asserted. Everything that must happen absolutely requires that the Scottish Parliament exercise all competencies relating to the constitution. The Scottish Parliament only gets that competence by taking it. THAT is the point at which confrontation should happen. The Scottish Government acts through the Scottish Parliament and forces the British state into being obliged to react. By asserting the primacy of the Scottish Parliament the Scottish Government forces the British state to deploy all the arguments it would very much prefer not to argue in the open. They would have to argue that the Scottish Parliament does not have primacy. They would have to argue that Westminster has greater democratic legitimacy than Holyrood. They would have to argue that the people of Scotland are not sovereign. It would be disastrous for them.

                      So disastrous in fact that there is a high probability that they would choose not to argue at all. There comes a point at which the imperative ceases to be holding on to everything and becomes salvaging whatever can be salvaged. So long as the Scottish Government does not waver and shows no weakness, the rational move for the British political elite is to seek the best deal they can get.

                      Meanwhile, the Scottish Government proposes to the Scottish Parliament that the Union be dissolved subject to the agreement of the people of Scotland. This resolution having been adopted by the Scottish Parliament we then proceed to a referendum entirely made and managed in Scotland in which the people are asked to respond Yes or no to the question of dissolving the Union.

                      That’s a brief outline of what I am persuaded is the only process by which our independence can be restored. If anybody wants to argue that I’m wrong, they better be ready to explain in at least as much detail what their alternative is. And it must be a credible alternative. NO MAGIC! NO FANTASY POLITICS! Only things that can actually happen in the real world.

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                    2. Her’s some more of the fantasty politics you are so scathing about – though perhaps the Convention of Estates might fit your appetite for confrontation?
                      You’re right about the inevitability of a showdown, but avoiding confrontation as much as possible makes sense, not only in terms of subsequent trade with our neighbour, but consequences for our own citizens

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                    3. I don’t know what that is because the Tweet is not accessible. Somebody else referred to this person’s speech at Alba’s conference. But as I don’t have a transcript I can’t comment.

                      So, that’s another prolonged exchange with an Alba devotee which has answered none of my questions. It’s like we’re not even talking the same language. Which is EXACTLY the same feeling as I get when talking to SNP loyalists. I’m watching Scotland’s cause being flushed down the pan and I can do nothing about it. Tragic!

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                    4. As Alba members go Peter, I’m a complete lazyarse, so perhaps another will be able to answer your questions better. The way I see it there is no clear answer at this point as to how we get to there from here, but there are some obvious do’s and don’ts, like Section 30 is a dead end, the SNP leadership is out to lunch, and the Yes movement needs to rebuild with a clear focus on independence. So no, I can’t give you a date for your diary, but I’ve picked my vehicle and I think it’s the best going.

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                    5. Alba is just as committed to the Section 30 process as the SNP. So I ask again, what’s the point? A rhetorical question, of course. There’s absolutely no point expecting answers.

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  7. You can write some bangers, Peter, but it truly is a waste of effort to keep pouring out words about Alba. They are finished. 2% in the polls and planning to contest less than one third of wards means they’re probably going to limp home with about barely 15,000 votes in May, forfeiting two-thirds of their voters from last year who simply won’t see Alba on their ballot papers.

    I think they don’t have enough money to contest a Westminster election, not with the deposits they would need to put up(and likely lose). So a few spoiler candidates here and there in the most marginal SNP seats? That’ll go down well with real Yes supporters.

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    1. I take your point. But the danger Alba poses is that they have persuaded a lot of the core Yes movement that they offer a viable alternative to the SNP in terms of restoring independence. Somebody has to challenge this nonsense lest more people succumb to the lure of fantasy politics.

      A year ago, if all the energy and resources that went into launching Alba and fighting an always hopeless election campaign had instead been bent to a united effort to force the SNP to adopt a Manifesto for Independence, we would be free of the Union by now. If we’d been aiming for an achievable supermandate instead of a mythical supermajority then we would not be in the dire situation we are in now.

      Alba didn’t create the divisions in the Yes movement. But Alba’s creation supplied the rallying point which polarised those divisions. In terms of Scotland’s cause, it was probably the worst thing anybody could have done.

      I can’t help but be frustrated and despondent when I think of the opportunity that was squandered at the 2021 Holyrood election. Such an opportunity will never come again. Not that it would matter if it did. It seems most Yes supporters are no better at recognising and exploiting opportunities than the SNP leadership.

      Like

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