Ceci n’est pas une fenêtre

Some of us have questions, concerns, complaints and serious doubts about what others are hailing as Nicola Sturgeon’s brilliant ‘plan’ to take forward the fight to restore Scotland’s independence. I would have hoped for better from Ruth Wishart than that she dismiss us and our misgivings with a smart-arse remark about being unable to “see any partially supped glass ­without loudly declaring it half empty”. (Ruth Wishart: We must work to convince the switherers – whatever their generation) It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Ruth that maybe the glass IS half empty. It appears that she is disinclined to look closely at that glass in order to ascertain the level of the content.

Ruth is not alone, of course. By far the bigger part of what used to be the Yes movement has similarly bought into the First Minister’s ‘plan’ without so much as a moment’s scrutiny. Like Ruth, none of these enthusiasts has even attempted to address the evidence and arguments that there is nothing in the glass at all. They don’t even acknowledge that there are such arguments. They certainly make no more effort to respond in a mature and reasonable manner than Ruth has.

Perhaps I’m being unfair. Maybe Ruth Wishart genuinely believes that those of us who haven’t gotten into a lather of excitement over Nicola’s inspired strategy are just pessimists. Maybe she seriously supposes that we are motivated by no more than a perverse desire to see doom and gloom everywhere. Or maybe it’s just easier to dismiss us thus than to actually listen to what is being said.

Stu Campbell (Wings Over Scotland) has written a piece arguing that the proposed referendum can’t happen. I myself have published an article explaining why the proposed referendum would be quite useless even if it did happen. Both Stu and I have presented detailed, reasoned arguments based on facts where these are known and credible assumptions where they are not. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has even attempted to refute any of this.

It’s a strange kind of debate where one side simply pretends that no opposing arguments exist. They hold their preference to be so obviously superior that there is no need to examine it at all. It has dropped out of Nicola Sturgeon’s head fully formed and perfect in every way. Let’s not spoil the celebrations by pointing out flaws. Let’s not dampen the mood by mentioning the defects. Let’s not think about it too deeply. Or at all!

Not all of us are so complacent and trusting. Some of us are firmly persuaded that no politician is above scrutiny. We prefer that everything our political leaders so and say should be minutely examined and any faults exposed. The more important the issue, the more crucial it is that we should be assured that the solutions proposed by politicians are fit for purpose. We have eschewed the dancing and cheering to take the time and trouble to analyse Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘plan’. We have found it wanting.

We could be wrong. If so, no harm is done. Speaking for myself, I am a minor player. A blogger with a readership measured in hundreds rather than thousands or tens of thousands. Nothing I write is going to have a measurable impact. Unless, of course, something I’ve written strikes a chord with enough people for it to gain currency. That’s how the alternative media works. If we are right, however, Scotland’s cause is in serious trouble. One would have thought that those who purport to be supporters of Scotland’s cause would want to be aware of any potential threat or problem. But no! They just don’t want to know. The messenger will be disparaged and abused. The message will be ignored. That too is how the new media works.

Ruth Wishart urges us all to “use this upcoming window of opportunity”. She wants us to jump through that window without looking. Some of us have looked anyway. What we see is not a window but a crude trompe l’oeil daub on the wall.

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13 thoughts on “Ceci n’est pas une fenêtre

  1. Unfortunately drowning men and women don’t take time to examine the straw and assess it’s utility – they just grab it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “To the best of my knowledge, nobody has even attempted to refute any of this”.

    Hello ….. (waves arms in the air) …. hello …. I have 🙂

    Caught in a lie straight away Peter. Tut Tut!


    1. I disproved the timetable in Campbell’s article, and Peter even replied to it parrot-fashion, twice, linking to the article I’d already shown was wrong, so he can’t say: “To the best of my knowledge, nobody has even attempted to refute any of this.” unless he’s very forgetful.


      It can be put through as an emergency bill through Holyrood, the 3 stages can be done in one single day not months, and even the Queen’s Assent can be accelerated from the usual 28 days. The whole Referendum Bill could be done and dusted in less than 1 month.

      The proving URLs are on that link above.

      Some people sadly ignore inconvient facts that don’t support their agenda.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If it was a lead pipe it wouldn’t be floating! What I find odd about the entire debate is what actually happens if the vote is for Yes. For me the transition period may take some years to disentangle and would also include elections. None of this is explained in any shape or form – it is a blank.


    1. I can tell you exactly what will happen if the vote is for Yes. Nothing!. Sturgeon told you this. It’s a “consultative and non-self-executing” referendum. In other words, it’s not supposed to do anything. It’s not supposed to have any effect. And it won’t.

      Metaphorical lead pipes can be buoyant until the metaphor requires that they cease to be buoyant.


  4. “… It’s a strange kind of debate where one side simply pretends that no opposing arguments exist. They hold their preference to be so obviously superior that there is no need to examine it at all… ”

    100% accurate, Peter. It is precisely the non-debate that women have been having with the ‘trans’ obsessed Scottish government for several years now. Are they all Queer Theory converts? Maybe. What they are not is independence converts or they would have chosen a different route. None of the SG proposals will work. I like both Chris McEleny and Angus Brendan, but remember who boo-ed them? The youth wing, under the tutelage of Daddy Bear.

    A plebiscitary election could work only if the SNP welcomes all parts of the independence movement to the party. I doubt that they would. They want to be re-elected if we fly too close to the sun again. If they make it a vote for the SNP, many will simply give it a body swerve. 2023 is impossible. They must know that or they are happy to bring forward another route that is hastily cobbled together out of cobwebs and will unravel at the first tug.

    I agree with you about Ruth Wishart, whom I admire. I, too, was horrified to read her piece. It has nothing to do with glass half-full, it has everything to do with SNP sleight of hand and political reality. We had better prepare for yet another rainbow-coloured mandate. Sturgeon’s plan should have been dismantled and questioned and then put together again before it was accepted by any part of the independence movement that is not the SNP, and the Scottish media should be ashamed.

    We all know that times are tough and that the SNP is bankrolling privately-owned newspapers with taxpayers’ money, as they bankroll the private charity, Stonewall, and its Scottish arms, with public money, but to not even question any of this or to put forward the Unionist stance without even scrutinizing the plan is a dereliction of duty. Almost every policy produced by the SNP suffers from a lack of scrutiny and either a lack of awareness of pitfalls, legal and political or they know perfectly well, but plough on, anyway. Read so many letters in The National describing how clever Nicola Sturgeon has been, and even some comment from Unionist sources saying the same. I wish I could be that sanguine. It will be a mess, and, finally, I think, the turning point for Scotland: to disappear into a Greater England or to come out fighting. It will not be the SNP leading us in either case. A betrayal too far.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. The problem is that too many folk who support Scottish independence still take Nicola Sturgeon at her word. “We’re having an indyref whether that bad man Johnson like sit or not” hurray we’re on our way and Oor Nikola will win it fur us.

    Sadly when you look behind the curtain as you and the Rev have, we see not only is a possible indyref virtually impossible, its also a dead end. The depth to which Sturgeon has wooed the Scottish indy masses, and they still vote for her, is to her credit a sign of what a shrewd if utterly deceitful politician she is.

    A form of UDI as Peter says is in reality the only real way out of this union, but it won’t happen on Sturgeon’s watch that’s for sure, maybe when she stands down as FM and moves onto pastures new her hypnotic spell that she seems to have over the majority of indy supporters will wane, and common sense will return, and maybe then UDI will come to the fore.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I see that The (Glasgow) Herald has an article on pro Independence misgivings.

    “Iain Macwhirter: The SNP are beginning to realise that Nicola Sturgeon’s legal route leads nowhere fast”.

    And having read the article, tho some valid points made, ones that have already been raised, by Peter Bell, Wings, and others, I’s say it falls into the sceptic’s view of Independence,

    The Herald has become quite notorious in recent years for its bitterly anti Independence approach, and especially those who comment on its discussion forums.
    Since they went subscription only. I now don’t write anything there.
    I refuse to give them a dime due to their anti Scottish stance.
    For anti Scotland is what it is.
    Most days, I merely scan the headlines for the various stories, etc.
    And there’s not a day goes by without some spin against both SNP, First Minister, and Independence.
    So when there is a thing that is worth criticism, say the ferries, it simply becomes just another “SNP bad” story, and genuine criticism gets lost in all of this.
    And again, any little thing that is critical of Independence is blown up out of all proportion.

    So we wonder if this column from Iain Macwhirter is another part of that.
    He comes over as more a supporter of Devo Max, but would accept Independence.
    Precious few writers at The Herald are totally pro Independence.
    Lesley Riddoch perhaps being the most well known.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anyways, as far as this is concerned from Wishart’s article:

    Though in truth there was also an ­unhelpful dose of misanthropy from those alleged independence campaigners who can’t see any partially supped glass ­without loudly declaring it half empty.

    it isn’t helpful, it’s divisive, it’s smug, and I’m sure if people could be bothered they’d find in her repertoire of articles very similar “glass half empty” comments and even articles.


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