AUOB March & Rally Glasgow 26/11/2022

Notes for speech

Check against delivery

I’m not quite sure why I’m here. Usually, for events like this, they want speakers who’ll tell the crowd what they want to hear. That’s certainly not me. I tell it the way I see it – good or bad. Right now, there’s more bad than good. They usually want people up here who’ll tell you thing like “We’ve never been closer to independence!” Which may well be the most stupid thing ever said by any politician.

Which is remarkable, given that it was up against competition from the likes of Douglas Ross.

They want people who’ll tell you the UK is on the verge of collapse. Despite the fact that there is no evidence for that whatever.

They want people who’ll go on about how the British government’s position is “unsustainable”. Despite the fact that the British government has sustained that position without apparent effort for a very long time and continues to do so.

Everything that supposedly weakens our opponents when looked at through the eyes of a realist actually seems to have made them more entrenched in that supposedly unsustainable position.

Be honest! Have you seen the slightest indication that the British government’s opposition to Scotland’s cause might be weakening? Have you?

Or like me have you only seen them grow more determined to cling to their northern annexed territory the longer we continue the fight to restore Scotland’s independence.

Don’t be fooled! We are not closer to independence than we have ever been. The reality is that we are no closer than we were ten years ago. We could even be said to have gone backwards.

The UK Supreme Court judgement on Wednesday is held up as being yet another blow to the Union. Once again, the British government’s position is declared unsustainable, while the British government continues to sustain its position.

There has been a lot of anger directed at the judges. I don’t know why. All they did was state the truth of Scotland’s status under the heel of the Union.

Think about it! Essentially, what the judges said is that we cannot have an independence referendum without the consent of the British state.

Nicola Sturgeon has been telling us the same thing for years. She calls it the ‘gold standard’ of democracy. But when these judges say it, all of a sudden, it’s an insult to democracy.

It is an insult to democracy. It has always has been. It is an insult to democracy when the UKSC judges state it as their answer to a question put on behalf of the Scottish Government. It is an insult to democracy when Nicola Sturgeon presents it as the ‘gold standard’.

Put a question to a British court and you’re going to get a British answer. Why should we be shocked and angry at what the judges said when all they’ve said is what a British court was bound to say?

Referring the draft Referendum Bill to the UKSC has been portrayed as a deft bit of politicking on the part of Nicola Sturgeon. But does that claim stand up to scrutiny?

Hasn’t it given the Unionists exactly what they wanted? They now have a Supreme Court judgement to use as a weapon against us.

If you think it was a really clever move, consider this one point. Prior to asking the question, the Scottish Government could have introduced a Referendum Bill at Holyrood and taken it all the way up to Royal Assent. Now, it can’t. That possibility has been squandered.

Why? What did we get in return? We get told something we already knew. That the Union is inherently anti-democratic. The judgement was unjust because the Union is unjust.

We were told that it was inevitable that a Referendum Bill would end up being referred to the UKSC and that it was better to get it done and dusted. Does that claim stand up to scrutiny?

Think about it! The way it was presented, the Referendum Bill being referred now by the Scottish Government or later by the British government were treated as if it was six of one and half a dozen of the other. We were told that the British government was being wrong-footed by this clever ploy of getting in there first.

Did it look to you as if the British government stumbled? Did they appear unduly troubled by this cunning tactic? Forget what the headlines in The National said. Just think about the way the British government reacted. The reality is that they were completely untroubled by the referral.

The reality is that it was a win/win/win situation for the British government. There was no judgement the court could give which caused the British government any difficulties. Even if the proposed referendum had gone ahead, it was written into the legislation that it would have no effect. So why would the British government be bothered?

How much better would it have been to take the Bill through Parliament and put the British government in the position of wanting to challenge it but knowing that doing so would force them to argue that Scotland is not a nation; that the people of Scotland are not sovereign; that we do not have a right of self-determination; and the Westminster is more democratically legitimate than Holyrood.

The truth is that referring the draft Referendum Bill was an act of clumsy political ineptitude done for no purpose other than to look like something was being done. It was an act of political folly such as a government can only get away with if it is not subject to proper scrutiny.

And it was not an isolated mistake. The truth is that, while Nicola Sturgeon has been highly competent as a First Minister, as the leader of the independence movement she has been an abject failure.

I know there are a great many people who don’t want to hear this. They refuse to accept any criticism of Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership. They will not tolerate any scrutiny. Well, these people need to wake up.

Whether they like it or not, they need to hear the truth. We need Nicola Sturgeon. We need the SNP. She is the First Minister. The SNP is the party of government. We absolutely need them because only they can act to save Scotland from a British Nationalist onslaught that is about to get massively more ferocious.

We need them. But we need them to do better. We need them to do more. We need them to do different.

Nicola Sturgeon’s whole approach to the constitutional situation has been a failure. It continues to fail.

We cannot afford to fail! Everything that we think of as Scotland is at stake. All our aspirations for the future are on the line. We MUST do better. We must rethink every aspect of our cause and our campaign. And we must do so now.

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30 thoughts on “AUOB March & Rally Glasgow 26/11/2022

  1. Great speech, especially this bit:

    “Nicola Sturgeon has been telling us the same thing for years. She calls it the ‘gold standard’ of democracy. But when these judges say it, all of a sudden, it’s an insult to democracy.

    It is an insult to democracy. It has always has been. It is an insult to democracy when the UKSC judges state it as their answer to a question put on behalf of the Scottish Government. It is an insult to democracy when Nicola Sturgeon presents it as the ‘gold standard’.”

    I wasn’t there – what kind of response did you receive from the audience?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fairly muted duncanio. I dont think its because they largely disagree with Peter’s analysis – I think its because he hasnt identified or endorsed a holy grail to get us out of this mire.


    2. Not nearly as hostile as I anticipated. All the other speakers were saying similar things. There is the makings of a serious backlash here. But as with all such backlashes there is always the danger that it turns into a mindless scalp-hunt.


      1. I have certainly noticed a strong reaction to the recent Mhairi Hunter & Toni Giugliano statements about any ‘victory’ in the proposed ‘de facto referendum’ leading to … a Section 30 begging request for a British Government sanctioned referendum.

        Some of the usual suspects in The National who generally support anything that comes from the SNP leadership, or those close to it, seem to be spitting blood over this.

        However, some of them seem to think that Hunter and Giugliano may have gone off message and that is not what the FM meant.

        However, I do not believe that Mhairi Hunter, the FM’s Glasgow SNP branch manager and close ally, or Toni Giugliano, SNP Policy Development Convener, would have said what they did without Nicola Sturgeon’s say so.

        They are clearly the FM’s outriders checking to see what the reaction is and whether they can get away with committing to do the absolute minimum with respect to Scotland’s Cause.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sturgeon has wedded herself too firmly to the “gold standard” Section 30 process to be able to easily walk away from it. Dong so would be an embarrassing U-turn. Oor Nicola’s no fur embarrassin’ hersel’.


    3. Indeed it is an “insult to democracy” but I believe it is a greater insult to OUR intelligence that Sturgeon ever thought that HER “Gold Standard” would be blindly accepted as the only legal means by a thinking Scottish public.

      Colonised we may be, beggars we are not!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. From Tickell in the National:

    Perhaps the most curious aspect of last week’s Supreme Court judgment is that Lord Reed felt it was necessary to say anything about self-determination.

    Some constitutional expert said the UKSC should find against the ScotGov, BUT tell the UK Gov off for being undemocratic.

    Perhaps the contradictory reference to self-determination is exactly what Reed, a Scot, was doing here. Drawing attention to it, and pointing out that that is the clear path out of the Union.

    Always look, on the bright, side, of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Most of this was correct untill he got to the bit where he said “we need Nicola sturgeon “ which contradicted all the truthfulness in the rest of the piece


    1. Of course we need Nicola Sturgeon ─ if she is the First Minister. And she IS the First Minister. I just checked to make sure. I deal with political reality. The political reality is that Nicola Sturgeon is First Minister. I can IMAGINE a situation where she ISN’T First Minister. But I am mindful that this situation exists only in my imagination. Which is to say, it is not real.

      The further reality is that there is no credible process by which Nicola Sturgeon ceases to be First Minister within the relevant tome-frame. Which is not the same as saying it is impossible for this to happen. Only that it is so monumentally unlikely that no sensible person would devote much time to considering it. And only a complete fool would build a plan around such an unlikely turn of events.


      1. To say in one hand that Nicola Sturgeon is the cause of the situation at present and then say that she is absolutely the only one that can rectify it is patent nonsense Peter


        1. Not if you understand the politics. Put it this way, who do you think will be First Minister in, say, 3 months time? Or 6 months. Or a year.

          Or is it that you imagine the necessary action can be taken without the FM being on board? Let’s delve into your thinking on the matter.


          1. Who is first minister in a few months is completely irrelevant except for the case in which it is Sturgeon as all that will
            Mean is that it is a continuation of the incompetence she has shown over the last 8 years. There gets a point where you have to stop digging, get out if the hole and start again. Continuance of proven failure is only an option for the hard of thinking


            1. FFS! Follow the fucking logic! If Nicola Sturgeon is bound to be the FM and the SNP is bound to be the party of government, then either we force them to do what is required or we give up. Those are the options. I’m not ready to give up. Since you evidently are, just try not to get in the way.


              1. Peter I have been warning about sturgeon for years in fact since shortly after she was made leader of the SNP, remember those days, when you were firmly up her arse? It looks like your are now keeping your options open by being partially up her arse. You really need to read your piece again and make up your mind where you stand. I have been in business for 60 years and discovered long ago that when someone is making a mess of things they very rarely improve and she has had 8 years of a chance during which almost every thing she has touched has gone wrong. That is why I say we need to start again and I am right


              2. Nobody is “giving up” Peter. What is absolutely clear is Sturgeon in “giving up” Scotland’s future to be decided in an English Court has demonstrated her cowardice in front of our Nation for all to see.

                Sturgeon will have to be removed from office if we are to progress. The SNP to date clearly have no appetite to clip her wings which then leaves it to those genuinely seeking Independence.

                As First Minister, Sturgeon played a major role in the politically motivated botched conspiracy which could have led to the incarceration of former First Minister Salmond and which in many other jurisdiction’s would already have seen herself placed behind bars.

                The stench of corruption around her stewardship is palpable and if her own party are imbued with the same cowardice in removing her from office they will be more than culpable for Scotland’s condition when her deeds are finally exposed.

                Liked by 1 person

  4. IndependenceLive broadcast the event on youtube.

    Peters contribution is at 32:42 or t=1963s

    I thank you for your efforts Peter.

    Some number (775 views plus those present) of people who don’t visit your blog will have been given something to think about there, beyond the usual stuff.

    Well done sir.


    1. I was hoping there wouldn’t be a recording online. I made an arse of the speech. I’d numbered the pages of my notes wrongly. I did page 4 before page 3. Horrible!


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