Unity for failure?

Given that participants are being vetted by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, and that a ‘code of conduct’ is being prepared for those who are approved, there doesn’t seem to be much possibility of any fresh thinking coming out of this Scottish Independence Congress. If there is one thing Scotland’s cause desperately needs it is fresh thinking. Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, for all his other qualities and attributes, is hardly known for his openness to fresh thinking.

Apparently, the provisional agenda includes “discussing the route map to independence, considering questions such as where the campaign is now and how to get to a Yes victory”. I seriously doubt that anyone will be permitted to offer an honest and objective assessment of where the campaign is now. While the SNP/Scottish Government and its apologists wave a favourable poll and chant “We’ve never been closer!” and party loyalists believe with the fervour of religious fundamentalists that Nicola Sturgeon has overseen an increase in support for independence, any honest analysis of polling figures over the period of her tenure indicates that support for Yes has not risen at all.

Can you envisage anyone attending this Congress pointing out the rather salient fact that Scotland’s cause has been left like some old car resting and rusting on breeze blocks in an unkempt front garden for eight whole years and counting? To do so would be to condemn as failures all those who claim to have been continuing the campaign over that period. I really don’t see anyone being permitted to do that.

There will be much talk of ‘routes to independence’ at this Congress, as everywhere else. But in order to plot a route it is essential to know as precisely as possible not just where you’re going to, but where you’re starting from. But with the possible and rather tenuous exception of Alba Party, it is not in the interests of any of the likely participants for it to become generally known “where the campaign is now”.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s thinking on the form of the Yes campaign is firmly fixed and very much aligned to that of Nicola Sturgeon. Any discussion of campaign strategy and tactics is sure to be overwhelmingly dominated by those who are committed to basically rerunning the campaign for the 2014 referendum. It can hardly be otherwise given the list of invitees.

In a referendum, the form of the campaign is determined by the question on the ballot paper, I’m not aware of anybody among those so far mentioned as potential delegates to this Congress who has demurred at Nicola Sturgeon’s insistence that the question in a new referendum must be the same as that which was put to voters in 2014. Any serious discussion intended to produce fresh thinking on the form of the Yes campaign would start with the question. But that has already been decided without any discussion at all.

Uniting the Yes movement is essential. If we think no further than that, this proposed Congress is a good idea. But surely not if the purpose is to unite the Yes movement behind a failed and failing approach to resolving the constitutional issue. We must be honest with ourselves if we are to be honest with the electorate. If Scotland’s cause is to make progress we must break away from old thinking and allow space for new ideas. At first blush, the Congress seems designed to further entrench the thinking that has seem the independence campaign becalmed for the best part of a decade for want of the breeze that stirs when critical analysis meets open minds.

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19 thoughts on “Unity for failure?

  1. GM-K says “There will be an “exhaustive” discussion on every option to achieve a second referendum”. Why? The UKSC finding ruled that out. Unless its Section 30. Why? The last 4 UK PMs ruled that out.

    Meanwhile Michael Russell says “I am sure with the right approach, most Yes supporters can find ways of co-ordinating their activities in order to make a success of the campaign and deliver what we must have – a winning result from a plebiscite election.” So its The Pleblection then? Confused, I am. Or maybe they are.

    I do find GM-K’s reference to agree “behaviours” and MR’s mentioning of “mutually respectful dialogue” a little bit ominous. It does sound a little bit like control and censorship of participants – I hope that this is not the real objective of the iniative.

    We’ll see.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have to say my very first thought was that this was another attempt to draw the non-SNP part of the Yes movement into an organisation controlled or powerfully influenced by the SNP. I might not have thought that if the SNP didn’t have form on this.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes duncanio ‘control and censorship’ the hallmarks of the nuSNP endorsed by their ‘mutually respectful dialogue’ allies in the Aberdeen Independence Movement who apparently hold Mike Russell in high esteem.

      Perhaps when Believe in Scotland and their hinger’s oan find true belief they might be convinced to join those serious in campaigning for an Independent Scotland.

      As Peter makes clear “we MUST be honest with ourselves if we are to be honest with the electorate”. We are not so much becalmed now, more in grave danger of being driven on to the rocks by Westminster for want of somebody at the helm wi’ the guts to see this through.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. ” GM-K says “There will be an “exhaustive” discussion on every option to achieve a second referendum”. ”

    That’ll be ” every ” option except the only one that has ANY chance of success ..ie..direct confrontation with the Brit State by instigating a Holyrood-based Plebiscite Election / TRULY de facto Referendum .

    Genetically Modified – Kemp , Russell et al can ram their proposed policing of ” behaviours ” . Wheeshting For Indy has brought us nothing but mind-numbing paralysis . Wheeshting for Rainbow-Coloured Candyfloss would be the final intelligence-denying insult ; and likely end any hope of extracting even minescule advantage from what’s being proposed by SNP High ( on hubris fuelled kites ) Command .

    Damn ! there I go again , wantonly spreading gloom and despondency .

    Maybe I should apply for a place in a GM-K approved Re-Education Facility

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for confirming my suspicions about GM-K, I am vindicated in my decision not to contrbute to his ‘double your mondey’ fundraiser. I do not think that money will be well spent!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t doubt that Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp means well. But I know him slightly having been present at many of his presentations. He has very fixed ideas about how the Yes campaign should be conducted and is not open to any new thinking on the matter. As far as I am concerned, financing a strategy that has failed in the hope that flinging even more ‘information’ at people in even glossier leaflets will somehow be effective is just throwing good money after bad. That approach achieved all it can ever achieve in the first referendum campaign. Gordon simply can’t get it into his head that people don’t vote what they know, they vote what they feel.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. And here we are again on the unmagic roundabout , honest guv these are newly picked fresh carrots what a load of old cobblers, as duncanio rightly points out even the arse licking sycophantic nicophants don’t have a fuckin clue what they are punting, is it a sect 30 neverendum , or a plebiscite election for a mandate for a neverendum , or a plebiscite election for a declaration of independence , or a plebiscite election for another 5 years on the gravy bus where sturgeon can further destroy all our services and blame those BAAADDDD tories in wm

    Ehh a congress gordy to discuss the way forward , FFS are you serious this is like the betrayer sturgeon saying we will hold a MEETING sometime NEXT YEAR to discuss the sc decision , while OUR people are starving and fucking freezing , but never mind we have a snp woke arsehole earning £80,000+ £200,000 expenses posing on twatter telling the great unwashed how difficult it is to pay heating bills

    BTW Gordy whatever happened to the sturgeon PROMISED constitutional convention , or the sturgeon PROMISED energy company

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I looked recently at various uprisings, revolutions, etc. throughout history, because I wanted to know, as far as I could, why the movements had descended into conflict. The answer was always the same: a) because the authorities did not take seriously enough the grievances that were held widely; b) the people who led the movements were invariably kow towers to some perceived ‘best practice’ (such as the behaviours frowned upon by the SNP and others, and which was never returned); c) by the time the elite realised what was happening, it had all run away from them, and they could not stop the momentum that had built up a head of steam; in other words, had they acted sooner, and understood that they would have to compromise or even give up their course, they could have headed off the full-blown uprising/revolution. Of course, people in that situation never learn till it’s too late. They always appear to believe that their actions and non-actions are consequence-free. I genuinely fear that both the independence movement and the anti GRR movement will now become very much more militant.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Lorna I very much hope that that is the case , people have been so badly treated with contempt by ALL the politicians and the political parties , the levels of incompetence and corruption are immeasurable , these disgusting self serving carpetbaggers are an affront to dignity and integrity,

    I would join a rebellion in a heartbeat my only concern is it would be used by the establishment as an excuse to bring in the army , we have evidence of their superior attitude and exceptionalism in the miners strikes of old , at 71 a heated prison with 3 meals a day and medical care doesn’t sound like such an imposition


    1. “we have evidence of their superior attitude and exceptionalism” – in Northern Ireland where the British Govt relentlessly kept on keeping on and on and on . . . for 30+ long years.
      Wouldn’t want that for Scotland.
      Just the other day justice was obtained for a young sportsman who was shot by the British Army at one of their checkpoints in NI. After 34 years a soldier was found guilty of manslaughter

      Here’s the ballad of Aidan Mc Anespie. Notice how it recounts the Aidan’s story fixing him and his death in time, place, history etc etchttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9mINXMLJ6s

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes Ben I noticed that during the week , that it has taken 34 years for brutish justice to eventually even move forward with a trial shows the contempt they have for ordinary citizens , IMO these killings were covered up hoping they would go away but due to the dogged determination of family they eventually were FORCED to do something

        I think the brutish government knew they were giving young impressionable people a license to kill and the mindset of the time encouraged people to take that risk believing that they would not be held to account , but as ever when you are of no longer use to the establishment or you become an embarrassment you are thrown to the dogs

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Indeed, Westminster is now trying to pass a law to give immunity from prosecution to soldiers who served in NI – amidst objections from human rights organizations like Amnesty International and the Council of Europe etc,
          History shows England has always dealt with “insurgency” wherever it occurred – in one of the “4 home nations” or in a far-off colony, by sending in the army and giving it a free hand to murder and torture at will

          Liked by 1 person

  7. If permission (not that it should be needed) for reclaiming the independence of Scotland was going to be given, it would have happened long ago. Now, when England has cut Britain off from the money tree in Europe, it will never willingly let Scotland go, because without it England is an overcrowded patch of land with no means of sustaining itself without massive upheaval. There is no place for polite, deferent Scots like GM-K at this point (if there ever was). The belligerent, the awkward, the outright rude that need to come to the fore – not without thought, but, ultimately, if independence is to be gained, it will be out of the hands of committees and in those of the people.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Postcolonial theory indicates the direction of travel…..

    “The party machine shows itself opposed to any innovation (because) Inside the nationalist parties, the will to break colonialism is linked with another quite different will: that of coming to a friendly agreement with it.” The independence movement, which after being led up several blind alleys is now rapidly becoming a liberation movement – “is confronted with leaders who are terrified and worried by the idea that they could be swept away by a maelstrom whose nature, force or direction they cannot even imagine” (Frantz Fanon)

    Gordon M-K and the ‘Believe in Scotland’ space-cadets dinnae ee’n yet unnerstaund that independence is decolonisation, ditto the SNP’s hale ‘front bench’. Our struggle for national freedom is way beyond the ken of this Anglophone bourgeoisie masquerading as ‘nationalists’. Hence “the party’s lack of ideology and the poverty of its tactics and strategy” for which some “analysis of the true nature of colonialism” is necessary.

    Click to access The-Socio-Political-Determinants-of-Scottish-Independence.pdf

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Peter stated (without a hint of self awareness);
    ” MacIntyre-Kemp, for all his other qualities and attributes, is hardly known for his openness to fresh thinking”.

    You have to laugh – “O, wad some Power the giftie gie us. To see oursels as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, An’ foolish notion.”

    The nonsense on polling has been shown to be demonstrably disingenuous and the suggestion the “Question” should be changed to make the Union the contention rather than independence is a gift to unionists. Peter’s own linked site on independence polling (see “Doldrums” article) demonstrates the lunacy of that as “remaining” in the Union wins very comfortably EVERY time. But perhaps that’s why Peter wants it changed.

    But, speaking of “foolish notions”, how do you make a campaign about people’s “feelings”? We apparently have to eschew informing people of the advantages of independence and, instead, concentrate on giving them warm, fuzzy feelings about it …. somehow. A tall order given the nature of the online malcontent gloom factories that are determined to stamp out any outbreak of joy expressed by Indies.

    So, in a nutshell, we win independence by declaring a UDI without the democratically expressed will of the Scottish people – but not real independence, just a place holder UDI till we make our minds up in a future referendum (we assume that Scots and the World, not to mention the UK, will be fine with this). Then, in preparation for the future referendum, we change the question to a format that evidently favours the Union and run a campaign that ignores boring “facts” in favour of “feelings”.

    And malcontents have the gall to say its the SNP that are not serious about independence.


  10. So true to form of the dominant ‘co-operative’ national party in a colonial setting, as Fanon states: “The official leaders, draped in their years of experience, will pitilessly disown these ‘adventurers and anarchists’. The party machine shows itself opposed to any innovation”. Hence the same referendum strategy and question is trotted out amidst the same level of ignorance and (still) in the absence of any reasoned analysis of the ‘colonial condition’.

    Fanon, a specialist in psychiatry in colonial environments, also described independence/decolonization as ‘a fight for a national culture’, and defined the psychological condition we knows as the ‘colonial mindset’, which does of course reflect the ‘feelings’ (beliefs etc) of a people as to their national identity; and here the confused ‘British or Scottish’ identity is in fact how the constitutional vote splits, according not least to the post-indy survey by Edin Uni.

    For the ever-dwindling number of Scots among the voting population in Scotland this relates to Prof Tom Devine’s ‘dual-persona’, though more accurately Dr David Purves’ ‘false-persona’ as reflecting Dick Gaughan’s ‘illusion of culture’. These ‘feelings’ and ‘mindset’ and resultant ‘values’ are of course determined by the forces of ‘cultural/colonial assimilation’ (‘English Studies’, education, msm etc), an outcome which Albert Memmi described as a ‘manufactured’ culture in the colonial environment. Here we are reminded by Thiong’o of life in colonial Kenya in that: “the language of my education was no longer the language of my culture”, with bairns punished in schuil for speaking thair ain mither tung.

    Political science also tells us that people tend to vote on the basis of their (cultural) values (i.e. their ‘feelings’), and not necessarily what is in their best interest – as evidenced by the 2014 indyref and Brexit ref outcomes where immeasurable self-harm was inflicted.

    Liked by 4 people

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