Nothing to lose?

Our focus, I think, rightly needs to be on holding the UK Government to account and promoting the brilliant work of the Scottish Government where possible, but making that case for Scottish independence.

Now walking out of the chamber on a weekly basis will not achieve any of those aims. It just means there’s going to be nobody there to stand up for our constituents and to speak out for Scotland.

Stephen Flynn: Stunts every week will not achieve the SNP’s aims

I am no longer sure what the SNP’s aims are. I remain as firmly anchored to the rock of Scotland’s cause as I have been all my life. Daily, I watch the ‘party of independence’ drift further and further away. When Stephen Flynn, quoted above, inserts a mention of independence into his list of those aims, it looks very much like an afterthought. Even if I accept that the restoration of Scotland’s independence remains an aim of the SNP, I am uncertain as to where it stands among the party’s priorities. The new SNP Westminster group leader has thus far neither said nor done anything to reassure me that the constitutional issue has not slipped down the agenda.

The irony of Flynn talking of “promoting the brilliant work of the Scottish Government” at the very moment when that government is disgracing itself as never before does not escape me. Others have said all that need be said about the shameful episode in the Scottish Parliament when SNP and Scottish Green MSPs voted down an amendment to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill which would have prevented those convicted of sex offences from taking advantage of the ludicrous self-ID proposals. I intend to keep my focus on the constitutional issue. I know they voted for other amendments that had a similar effect. But the optics on this are just dreadful.

There are those who take the view that Nicola Sturgeon has ‘gone over to the dark side’. That the SNP is no longer interested in independence. That it has become at best, the party of devolution and at worst, an agency of the British state. With the possible exception of the bit about the SNP becoming the ‘party of devolution’ I do not subscribe to these notions. I will allow that there may be a sense in which the party has grown overly comfortable with the status quo. But I reject completely the more extreme takes on the SNP’s conduct over the past eight years.

That those have been eight years of failing Scotland’s cause is surely now beyond doubt. We may be seeing an upward blip in the polling for Yes right now, but over the period of Sturgeon’s reign the polls have flatlined. If increasing support for independence was among the aim that Stephen Flynn had in mind, then the SNP/Scottish Government has achieved precisely nothing. And it’s the same story elsewhere. After eight years under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership the party still has no proposal or plan to progress Scotland’s cause. Instead, they stumble from one ill-thought ploy to the next with not a hint of any strategic thinking. The overall impression is that the party hasn’t given any thought to the matter of how it should proceed. From the announcement of a date for a mock referendum and the clearly daft notion of a de facto referendum using a UK general election, through the referral to the UK Supreme Court of the draft Referendum Bill to the calling of an ’emergency’ conference four months hence, it all looks as if it was cobbled together over coffee and sandwiches the previous evening. There is no evident prospect of the years of failure ending with 2022.

All of which I have said before many times. Just as I have said that I will always vote in the way which I think best serves Scotland’s cause. But I have also reserved the right to alter my stance as circumstances change. Where I previously insisted that we must be prepared to vote SNP no matter how much we had to grit our teeth as we did, I am now less sure that this is the case. My view has long been that we simply had too much to lose by withdrawing electoral support for the SNP. And that threats to take our votes elsewhere therefore seemed empty as surely no independence supporter would risk losing the pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament and among Scottish MPs. I am now beginning to wonder if we have anything to lose at all.

I started this article a week ago, but didn’t finish it because I was not ready to reach the conclusion towards which it was tending. I am still reluctant to take the position that we have nothing to lose by withdrawing support from the SNP. Or, more precisely, that what we lose is not of sufficient consequence to be worth compromising a conscience which recoils from the thought of being seen as supportive of a party which has so catastrophically failed/betrayed Scotland’s cause.



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69 thoughts on “Nothing to lose?

  1. We have everything to gain if we stand behind AS and Alba. Why give up because we have a treacherous party and leaders. We will be freet without the perverted SNP.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I don’t do fantasy politics. I have never done fantasy politics. The fantasists are those who imagine the SNP can be replaced as the party of government within the next six to twelve months. Although delusion might be a better term.

          Between SNP loyalists and Alba devotees there is little else but fantasy politics on offer. I don’t do fantasy politics. So, a pox on both of them.

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          1. The SNP have no honest commitment to the next 6 to 12 months. Why should those who think they are not the best party to deliver independence? Indeed, if the SNP are going to fuck up a ‘de facto’ referendum by failing to mobilise, never mind galvanise, the full inclusive spectrum of yes support, or put forward a coherent case for independence, I’m inclined towards setting the whole thing aside until the movement finds a party coalesce behind, and there is a Scottish convention driving matters both internally and internationally. Even if it means I myself will not see the day.

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            1. Great! I assume you have some kind of assurance from the British government that it will cease operations while you get yourself organised. Are you sure they can be trusted?

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  2. The next time we can actually affect events is the UK election , some time away , fortunately. We have to get our ducks in a row for this soon , if SNP are not worthy of our votes then who is? Are Alba or ISP going to run to give us an easy answer or is the prospect of splitting the Indy vote going to scare them into doing nothing and leaving us angry and frustrated again.
    Leaving the discussion until Sunak calls for an election is leaving it far too late.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Perhaps the first thing to consider is that there is no ‘one bound and the scots were free’/magic solution. We are not, in fact, where we were eight years ago, we are considerably further back, because we cannot now achieve the aim without a dramatic and time-consuming change of course.

        We won’t get a referendum in 2023, or 2024 or 2025, and realistically, it could be 2028/9/30 before circumstances align if not worse. That is a brutally unappealing reality, but its lack of appeal doesn’t alter its reality. Sturgeon was given a far more favourable scenario than Salmond, post 2016 and she has spectacularly blown it in a mad attempt to protect England from its own mistakes. It can’t be walked back.

        So given where we are, what are we looking at – a Holyrood SNP that has gone, frankly, bonkers, riddled with entryists pushing unpopular agendas, and dividing their own support. Not for a single second do I believe they prioritise independence. I don’t think many of them could care less.

        So the question becomes, given we are tactically snookered, what becomes the strategy? and I cannot see any workeable strategy that doesn’t involve the more-or-less replacement of the SNP, which as I’ve said is riddled to the point of destruction. A vote for ALBA or ISP will not immediately bring Indy closer, because nothing will – but the beginning of the defenstration of Sturgeon and her motley crew appears to me to be not sufficient, but a necessary beginning.

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        1. Time is real. Your assessment is otherwise accurate but appears to assume the British won’t do anything at all while Scotland sorts out a replacement for the SNP. This, of course, is nonsense. The British will be busy on various fronts forging new chains to bind Scotland into a Union solely on their terms. It is all very well saying we can’t have a referendum until 2028 at the earliest. But while you correctly recognise that we are “not, in fact, where we were eight years ago, we are considerably further back”, you seem to suppose we will slip no further back between now and the end of the decade.

          That is foolish. We cannot, of course, know precisely what the British will do. But we have to assume the worst. Which means that we must behave as if we know with absolute certainty what they will do. Politically, they must be looking to make independence an effective impossibility. and they will be looking to do this as soon as possible. To assume they will not have achieved this aim ─ or have make significant progress towards it ─ while you are busy defenestrating Sturgeon is to take a huge gamble with Scotland’s future.

          If you genuinely want to be realistic then you need to revise your timescale for replacing the SNP with Alba. This is because, as I have argued elsewhere (http://simp.ly/p/tV1bRb) the timeframe must be calculated not in years, but in electoral cycle ─ multiples of five years. This adds another decade at least to your estimate of 2028/29/30 for the form of democratic event which is required. Given what we know about the imperatives driving the British state and what we must assume will be the continuing fragmentation and polarisation of the independence movement, the prospects for a formal exercise of our right of self-determination look increasingly grim with every passing day, never mind every turn of the electoral wheel.

          Bear in mind also, that while half the independence movement is busy trying to shove Sturgeon and her party out the window, the other half will be just as busy trying just as hard to prevent this happening. I am not denying any of what you say about the way the SNP has gone under Sturgeon’s leadership. I am merely being realistic in recognising that whatever you and I think there is still a huge part of the independence movement and the electorate which believes the sun the shine from Sturgeon’s arse.

          Sturgeon and the SNP have the political advantage in any effort to oust them. Being the party of government bestows that advantage. Defenestrating Sturgeon will be no simple task.

          Look at the picture just painted! What do you see? I see the independence movement totally engaged in an internal power struggle with nothing left with which to fight Scotland’s cause or defend us against the British Nationalist onslaught on our democracy which we have very good reason to suppose will come with the next UK general election and whatever follows regardless of the outcome of that election. This is NOT a pretty picture. For anyone concerned about the fate of our nation, it is a horrifying picture.

          This is why I say the SNP is the only tool we have. Not because I fail to see the problems which this implies; not because I fail to see what the party has become; certainly not out of any loyalty to the party or to Sturgeon. I maintain that the SNP is the only tool we have because I see not REALISTIC prospect of being able to replace it within what plain good sense tells me is a timeframe which doesn’t even stretch as far as the first electoral opportunity to start chipping away at their dominant position. If you are thinking in terms of anything beyond the next UK general election, then you have to take account of what that election will bring. All the evidence we have is that it will result in a British government with both the will and the power to reshape the constitutional landscape in such a way as to put independence out of reach FOREVER!

          If you want to gamble on that not happening; if you want to gamble on the next UK government being LESS intent on preserving the Union at any cost than UK government over the past few decades, then go ahead with a ‘plan’ that is critically dependent on you being miraculously lucky. I simply don’t feel that lucky. And while I allow that chance will always play a role, I would prefer to keep that role to a minimum rather than make it our sole hope.

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        1. I am saying precisely the opposite. I know with as much certainty as I need that the SNP CAN’T be relied upon to take the necessary action. But because I am not stupid I also know that if the SNP/Scottish Government DOESN’T take that action nobody else will. Because nobody else can. Because nobody else is in a position to do so. It has to be the Scottish Government which initiates the process. of restoring Scotland’s independence. This has to be done very, very soon. So it has to be the SNP. The logic of that is inescapable. Unless you fantasise that time doesn’t matter. Or that the British state is about to undergo some massive transformation. I don’t do fantasy politics.

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  3. The SNP leadership clearly have no plan to confront the British government. Hence Flynn’s pathetic call to continue “making the case for Scottish Independence”. Without a stated end-point there is equally clearly no plan to take on the Brits.

    Similarly Alyn “Don’t Let Scotland Down!” Smith is now talking about the “next move” (https://www.thenational.scot/politics/23215307.scotland-must-put-disappointment-aside-get-set-next-indy-move/#comments-anchor) … without defining what that is.

    If all the other ‘moves’ to which Smith refers such as S30 requests, Brexit watching, Covid hesitation and UKSC deferral have been part of some kind of elaborate chess game then clearly neither he nor any of Sturgeon, Flynn, Blackford and assorted other SNP high heid yins are grand masters.

    They have all betrayed the very reason for being members of the Scottish National Party.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. Peter Bell said: “My view has long been that we simply had too much to lose by withdrawing electoral support for the SNP” – “I am now beginning to wonder if we have anything to lose at all?”

    Exactly how I now feel, and I have asked myself the same question for a long time

    Liked by 8 people

  5. On 19.03.23 will be the final act of sabotage by the SNP and it’ll be presented as if God thought of it him/her self. The SNP has no intention of restoring Scotland sovereignty today and certainly not tomorrow or any other day, when Sturgeon met Theresa May is the day Scotland became part of little England and sturgeon went from a leader to a poodle for the English state.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. “Where I previously insisted that we must be prepared to vote SNP no matter how much we had to grit our teeth as we did, I am now less sure that this is the case”

    An astute observation, Peter. As Frantz Fanon well explained, the pampered native bourgeoisie running a dominant national party and colonial regime ‘behaves like a gang’, it ‘feathers its nest and builds up its pensions’, it plots against the the so-called ‘radicals’ in the independence movement, and works only to further its own interest and that of the colonial power, becoming ‘an instrument of coercion’ in the process. Hence the ‘rupture’ in the independence movement and delay in independence.

    Why indeed would any nationalist vote for such a gang?

    Liked by 8 people

    1. The logic is, of course, Alf, that they will not change or return to their raison d’être. I think the SNP, itself a self-serving organisation, really saddled itself with the Greens. Personally, I do not believe that it can survive the GRR. Supposing it was the only party in Scotland, I would not vote for it.

      For me, a female, the logic extends to my existence in a putative independent Scotland under such a regime. Should I be asked even to lend this Scottish Taliban my vote on some vague promise that it will all change in a free Scotland? The Afghan women believed the British and the Americans, and look what happened. I would far rather be setting up a new independence party in those circumstances.

      However, we already have ALBA/ISP/other independence parties, so we do not need to start from scratch. Since we are going nowhere anyway, with the SNP/Greens, we should, perhaps, be looking to the near future, as Sinn Fein did until 1918 when it shot ahead after the demise of the Irish Independence Party. The circumstances are almost identical, except, of course, Scotland is not looking to start a war between Scotland and the British.

      We have excellent people putting in the hours in trying to find a new route to independence. They probably have found it; it needs to be pushed and balanced against and with political independence through the ballot box, but that cannot be achieved as long as we continue to vote for the SNP/Green coalition.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. As usual Lorna you are correct and to be quite honest ANYONE even thinking of giving this scum snp a vote after what they have done to our womenfolk should be ostracized from any decent society , any Father , Grandfather , Uncle , Brother , Nephew voting for these paedophile and rapist enablers should be ashamed of themselves as they are throwing OUR REAL FEMALES to the wolves

        Liked by 5 people

  7. I think it’s taken a lot of us to get to this point Peter. Voting SNP was the lesser evil to not voting for them. We are, however, reaching the end game. The FM committed to a de facto referendum. If she holds to that – and that’s still a big if – we can all vote SNP knowing we’re actually voting for independence, regardless of the practicalities. If the FM resiles from a de facto referendum we can all not vote SNP. There would be nothing to lose. The SNP would prove as useful as the ‘Feeble Fifty’ of Scottish Labour MPs of yore. We would still have an SNP Government.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. But would we still have an SNP (nominally pro-independence) government? If enough people come to be as disaffected as myself, there is always the danger of the British parties uniting to take control of our Parliament.

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      1. So basically what you are saying Peter is that we should vote the Scum Nonce Party because they are less SHITE than the unionist parties , the ironic thing is Peter THAT has been the reason they have won the last couple of elections , THAT and the fact that Alex Salmond asked voters to give the scum another chance and give them the constitutional vote and ALBA the list vote in order to create a supermajority of indy MSP’s in HR .
        BUT surprise surprise sturgeon the BETRAYER the paedo and rapist enabler who isn’t interested in independence and who deliberately tried to jail an innocent man insisted that scum party members vote snp 1 and 2 to block Salmond’s plans and let the unionists back in to HR

        So you carry on and join the rest of the DELUSIONISTS and give this paedo and rapist enabler another 5 years to DESTROY Scotland and turn it into a PAEDOPHILE’S paradise and tourist attraction , US normal people have too much integrity and love and respect for our females to BETRAY them to a shower of DEVIANTS and PERVERTS

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Its offensive, conservative, right wing bullsh*t like twathater’s that convince me the malcontents are more likely to scupper any chance of Scottish independence than an allegedly “unionist” (aye, right) SNP.

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          1. MBP As I have told you before I only interact with genuine REAL independence for Scotland supporters , I do not interact with sycophantic apologists for deviant , perverted Paedophile and RAPIST enablers

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Ah twathater. The gift that keeps on giving. I see no evidence of you being a “genuine REAL independence for Scotland supporter”. All I see is the kind of anti-SNP rhetoric, bile, lies and nonsense that wouldn’t look out of place in the comments section of the right-wing, unionist press. “O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us”.

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            2. You only destroy your own credibility with that “perverted Paedophile and RAPIST enablers” pish. That’s not anger. It’s rage. Rage is useless at best and self-destructive in most cases. Stop it!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. So Peter my words offend you , what words would you use to describe the actions of politicians who vote DOWN amendments worded to PROTECT our females from reviled dangerous predators , and before you start quoting the amendment put forward by one of the scum nonce party enablers that is only a diversionary tactic to put the onus and responsibility on to someone else

                You denigrated and demeaned anyone who pointed out sturgeon’s betrayal and incompetence for years then all of a sudden the thunderbolt hit you that sturgeon was doing everything BUT fighting for independence , you started calling her out on that but still maintained she was a good FM and all will be alright if we just carried on voting snp, mike russell and others would get the train back on track , you avoided ANY mention of the GRA as indy was the priority and when it was pointed out the damage it would do to REAL women you still carried on prioritising indy , you still demean women by ignoring their concerns and talking down to them
                YOU have the audacity to call others like mbp deluded when you are still pushing the mantra that the scum nonce party can be saved , yes let’s give them another 5 years in power they are the only ones who can get us our independence, MAYBE but will they do it , looking over the last 8 years a hae ma doots

                Instead they will use the additional 5 years in power to push through more reviled legislation starting with non gender GRA inclusion then move on to relaxing MAP’s laws (Minor Attracted Person’s) laws or just old fashioned PAEDOPHILE LAWS ,laws that Scotland’s chief constable included in a report and specifically named them as MAP’s and when the outrage started a spokesperson said that he only used the european terminology but the correct terminology will still be PAEDOPHILE

                So Peter you carry on pushing the vote snp for independence narrative , some of us love and respect our Grandmothers, Mothers, Wives , Daughters, Nieces and we will not desert them or Sacrifice them to a shower of deviant perverts and rapist paedophile enablers , INDEPENDENCE no matter the cost , NO THANKS

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                1. “…. some of us love and respect our Grandmothers, Mothers, Wives , Daughters, Nieces and we will not desert them or Sacrifice them to a shower of deviant perverts and rapist paedophile enablers ….”

                  I can only assume you are referring to the recent passing of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill (GRR). A Bill that does nothing to endanger anyone and simply reforms the already existing Gender Recognition Act 2004. Neither of which deals with access to women only spaces, with that being covered by the UK Equality Act 2010. The GRR specifically states;

                  “For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Act modifies the Equality Act 2010.”

                  So any threat faced by women from any of this legislation would have manifested itself in 2010 …. and it didn’t. Just as it didn’t in any of the many countries, states and jurisdictions around the World similar legislation has been enacted.

                  Unless I’m mistaken, women in Scotland are not required to carry around papers proving they are what they say are, to be presented to an official (who doesn’t exist) outside every women only facility in the country should they wish to gain entry. Predators have no need of a certificate to gain entry to these spaces and their existence for transgender people in no way makes things “easier” for the predators.

                  In short, your scaremongering here is baseless. Ironically, despite your claims of caring for women, you must be praying for a rise in assaults to justify your opportunistic, anti-SNP nonsense or be proven an arse.

                  And you are again opportunistically jumping on the use of a technical term in a report to build a fantasy of the Scottish Govt intending to pass legislation to “help” paedophiles. You are quite despicable.

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          2. You really have some neck , My Little Nikla-Loving Pony , floating the utter bollocks of * Malcontents * ” scuppering any chance of Scottish Independence ” when anyone with a grain of intelligent perception KNOWS the people responsible for potentially wrecking the chances of Indy are comfortably ensconced in Bute House & Holyweird along with the brainwashed Cultists – like you – who continually seek to justify their unrelenting failures . Get help .

            I understand it’s been a long , hard road for you to arrive where you are now Peter . I’ve never been an SNP member , so the journey to total disillusion has been shorter and less arduous . Yes , withdrawing our support for the SNP could lead to the Unionist Parties taking Holyrood , but , I know I could NEVER vote for them as long as the current regime is in situ . TBH , I don’t see how we would be much worse off if that did happen than we are now . At least the enemy would be in plain sight , rather than , as now , concealed under layers of bad faith , bad * tactics * and * leadership * that makes a mockery of the concept

            Liked by 4 people

            1. I’m hardly a “brainwashed Cultist” Mr Hughes. Just a realist who knows the only chance of achieving independence anytime soon is by backing the Scottish Govt’s road map …. whoever is leading it.

              The most telling bit of your reply was the point when you said ” TBH, I don’t see how we would be much worse off if that did happen” in respect of Unionist parties taking over at Holyrood. At last a malcontent says what many of them have refrained from admitting …. they hate Sturgeon more than they support independence. They would prefer a Unionist Scottish Govt than a SNP one. Bizarrely, despite complaints of SNP foot dragging on independence, they would rather put Indy off for decades, perhaps forever, than take the chance they will deliver it in the next couple of years. In effect, they are unionists.

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            2. As you are well aware Robert being a REAL independence supporter Me Buggered Pony REFUSES to face reality , or maybe it is nicky nacky noo under a fake name

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            3. As I’ve said elsewhere, I know there are those who have come to detest the SNP so much they are prepared to sacrifice Scotland’s cause for the satisfaction of punishing the party. I remain to be convinced that this is a good bargain.

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              1. Not sure if yr referring to me here , P . If so , I can only say ” Scotland’s cause ” is being systematically destroyed by whatever that is masquerading as an SNP . If there’s a way to save the Party , return it to it’s definitive purpose , without getting rid of Sturgeon and her ovine flock , I’m very keen to know what it might consist of

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                1. I quite purposefully didn’t specify anyone knowing that they identify themselves.

                  There is only one way to get the SNP back on course ─ a massive, coordinated campaign by the Yes movement. But it would require the efforts of the entire Yes movement. Every activist there is and then a few more. The days when the Yes movement could put 100,000 people on the streets of Edinburgh may be gone. But we need something on that scale. Not an anti-SNP campaign. A campaign demanding a change of approach to the constitutional issue.

                  This should have happened before. I’ve been nipping Neil Mackay’s head about this for years. The marches and rallies tend to be attract a range of piggy-backing campaigns. It was never very clear whether pro-independence events or anti-Westminster or anti-Tory or ant-Israel or whatever. They always addressed the British state. The British payed not the slightest attention. If that Edinburgh march had ended at Holyrood with 100,000 people demanding action, we might be in a different position today.

                  If you’re saying Sturgeon must go first then nothing is going to change. Because she’s going nowhere unless she chooses. She’s not going to quit. But a huge campaign demanding a different approach ─ a reframing of the entire issue ─ would put Sturgeon in the position of heeding the campaign for change or having to quit because she’s not prepared to change.

                  I don’t know if it is possible to get the kind of support such a campaign requires. The Yes movement is split between those who want no truck with the SNP under any circumstances, those who imagine they’ve found an alternative (they haven’t), and dumb loyalists like MPB who are convinced Sturgeon is a political genius despite all the evidence to the contrary. Few if any of these will participate in the kind of campaign that’s required. So, it almost certainly won’t happen. Sturgeon will continue to fail. The British will do their thing. Scotland will be forever fucked.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. ” But a huge campaign demanding a different approach ─ a reframing of the entire issue ─ would put Sturgeon in the position of heeding the campaign for change or having to quit because she’s not prepared to change. ”

                    Not trying to be deliberately contrary , P , and I agree – in principal – with what you propose , I’m just not confident ANYTHING we done along those lines would pressure her into changing course or resigning . I’d be very much up for trying nonetheless .

                    BTW . I just read your exchange BLT @ the Notional ( sic ) , brilliant replies to the usual brainless Cultists , yr like a lion toying with gangly , weak-in-the-knees newborn zebras ; it would be fun to observe if what was being discussed wasn’t of such importance . Good to see there were some there agreeing with you .

                    Hope yr having good festive season compadre 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

      2. So what? Think the unthinkable – what if this bizarre coalition of the irreconcilables which share only their unionism, got a small majority?

        In its current state, what great loss is that? How is the SNP/GP majority at the moment – a majority that’s been there now how long? – advancing indy. And if, as I state, it isn’t, how would a temporary unionist cabal of diametrically opposed parties be worse? They’d be able to agree nothing of substance, and they’d crater their own parties reputations, and unionism, within a cycle.

        God help me, but such a shambles, counterintuitively, might SPEED UP indy!

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        1. The possibility of a ‘Grand Alliance’ of British parties taking power is one which no sensible Scottish nationalist should view with the complacency you evince. We know ─ or must assume, which comes to the same thing ─ that the British state will be making moves to impose a Spanish-style constitutional arrangement on Scotland. This will be difficult enough with a (nominally) pro-independence Scottish Government and a pro-independence Scottish Parliament. Put the British parties in power in Edinburgh and what are they going to do other than cooperate with their political masters in London. Sure! They will demand compensation for this cooperation. But it will be compensation for themselves, not Scotland.

          It is vital that we prevent the British from taking control of Holyrood. The only real gain for Scotland’s cause in the whole history of the accursed Union is the Scottish Parliament becoming the locus of our politics. To shift that back to Westminster would be disastrous.

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  8. You said it yourself: ” for Flynn , independence is an after thought”. He thinks being mocked by his masters in Westminster, is better than direct action.

    There is nothing that can be achieved in Westminster , that would progress the Scottish cause.We are outvoted 10 to 1. What does Flynn think he is there for?

    He is there for his party and for himself!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. “What does Flynn think he is there for?”

      Among other things, to represent the people of the constituency that voted for him. You know …. the people …. the forgotten element in the malcontent’s thinking.

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  9. “Where I previously insisted that we must be prepared to vote SNP no matter how much we had to grit our teeth as we did,”
    YES you surely did and derided and besmirched anyone who argued otherwise, and that is precisely the problem , the length of time it has taken snp loyalists and sycophants to realise the treachery carried out against independenistas is why we are where we are today , MOTIONLESS , and yet there are still those people who are so entrenched in their membership of the snp and their belief that sturgeon gives a Flying F++k about independence they will still vote for these treacherous barstewards
    FFS we even have people posting on your blog that sturgeon maybe just maybe will carry out on her FAILED PROMISES and hold a de facto referendum and WE have to vote for the snp knowing we’re actually voting for independence
    BREAKING NEWS , Keith Brown and other troughers have stated CATEGORICALLY that we will NOT be voting for independence , we WILL be voting for a mandate for a sect 30 order to PLEAD WM pretty please can we have a sect 30 and WM will say again “NOT at this time”
    Nae wonder the betrayer sturgeon and her taliban arseholes have remained in power for so long when VOTERS REFUSE to SEE the lies and BETRAYAL

    Liked by 5 people

    1. twathater sputters;
      “BREAKING NEWS , Keith Brown and other troughers have stated CATEGORICALLY that we will NOT be voting for independence , we WILL be voting for a mandate for a sect 30 order to PLEAD WM pretty please can we have a sect 30 and WM will say again “NOT at this time”

      Any evidence for this? The “de facto” referendum (which malcontents have been pleading for for years now) is to by-pass the need for a S30. If the UK govt want to authorise one before the “de facto” referendum then …. fine. If not …. “de facto” referendum goes ahead. What would the “sainted” Alex and Alba do that is so different?

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      1. You are, as ever, entirely wrong. If you bothered to listen to what the SNP is actually saying you’d know that the party remains wedded to the Section 30 process. The ‘de facto’ referendum ─ which this proud malcontent has NEVER pleaded for ─ CANNOT constitute the formal exercise of our right of self-determination. It CANNOT lead to independence. The SNP’s deluded idea is that victory for Yes in a ‘de facto’ referendum will force the UK government to grant a Section 30 order. Firstly, that victory is massively unlikely. Secondly, it would not have the slightest effect on the British government. Thirdly, it would be disastrous for Scotland’s cause if it did result in the granting of a Section 30 order.

        And NO! I will not offer any further explanation or point to the ‘evidence’ you will surely demand. If you haven’t grasped the truth of the matter by now then it is unlikely that you ever shall. And if you are unaware of the ‘evidence’ that is in plain view then it can only be because you really, really don’t want to see it. That is all.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. A determined refusal to provide evidence for your assertions leads me to believe what you are saying is either deliberately untrue or merely a subjective opinion.

          “The ‘de facto’ referendum ─ which this proud malcontent has NEVER pleaded for ─ CANNOT constitute the formal exercise of our right of self-determination. It CANNOT lead to independence”.

          Yes it can. It would be the democratic event that leads either to immediate negotiations to effect the decision of the people, or a “real” UDI. I find it strange that you, of all people, would dispute that.

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          1. The evidence that has been put before you numerous times. You can’t even see it never mind understand it. There will be no more. If you had the wits of the average mollusc you’d check the facts BEFORE shooting your ignorant mouth off here.

            Mhairi Hunter

            If Supreme Court finds Scotland Act prevents Scotparl legislating for an indyref, and if there is no movement from UK Gov & allies (including Labour), pro indy parties will campaign in next GE for a mandate to start indy negotiations with UK Gov. It will be a de facto referendum.

            A successful outcome will not lead to a declaration of independence. There is no route to independence that does not involve the agreement of UK Gov. But it would be politically impossible to continue to deny a mandate for a second referendum in the face of a Yes win.

            12:40 pm • 29 Jun 2022 • Twitter for Android

            Liked by 1 person

            1. She contradicts herself (assuming she is responsible for writing both paragraphs). The second paragraph makes no sense in light of the first paragraph. It is the first paragraph that is the SNP plan and has been declared as such on many occasions.

              You choose to concentrate on a couple of “mis-speaks” by people who should know better. Fair enough when you have a narrative to push. And if it concentrates minds within the SNP, all the better. However, surely, as the surest and fastest path to an independent Scotland, maintaining pressure on the SNP to ensure the “de facto” referendum is THE referendum is the way to go. Nothing else credible is going to present itself anytime soon.

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              1. You may well be the most blinkered party loyalist fool I have ever encountered. And if you’d seen some of the morons I’ve had to deal with you’d realise just how bad your affliction is. Mhairi Hunter was clarifying SNP policy. You may be the only person who has totally failed to comprehend what she said. Or the fact that the FM said much the same thing. Or the fact that the same has been said by, among others, Keith Brown. And don’t you dare ask for ‘evidence’ of any of this when you provide no evidence whatever that what you imagine to be the “SNP plan” has “been declared as such on many occasions”.

                The second part of your comment is yet another demonstration of your idiocy. You say “maintaining pressure on the SNP to ensure the “de facto” referendum is THE referendum is the way to go” yet you spend all your time attacking those who are doing this while you do nothing else but make excuses for the SNP’s failure to do what you say it should be doing. You don’t put pressure on a political party by cheering them on whatever they do and trying to shout down everybody who demands that they do what you say they should be doing.

                You make absolutely no sense. But I suppose it’s my own fault for reading your ill-informed ranting.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. “You say “maintaining pressure on the SNP to ensure the “de facto” referendum is THE referendum is the way to go” yet you spend all your time attacking those who are doing this …. ”

                  Who is “doing this”? Certainly no one on your blog, including yourself. All we have here are malcontents desperate to destroy the SNP, no matter the damage to the Indy cause, while offering nothing in the way of a counter proposal to the SNP’s preferred route to independence.

                  All they offer the likes of me, people who want independence sooner rather than later, is unending union with the Indy cause reduced to a marginalised group of fractious zealots more interested in defending the “purity” of their own opinion than in actually winning independence.

                  You yourself are “wedded” to your own bonkers “faux” UDI process that would be doomed to chaotic failure even were the Scottish Govt daft enough to take it on. “Wedded” to such an extent that you are utterly and aggressively blind to any other process that presents itself.

                  You offer no hope Peter. The malcontents offer no hope. Just self absorbed “perma-squabble” over who’s the biggest poopy pants in the Scottish Govt.

                  I will use whatever minuscule pressure on SNP policy I can muster to ensure the “de facto referendum” is THE referendum. And in so doing will be doing exponentially more to advance the Indy cause than all your blinkered rants, all Alf’s philosophical musings and all the malcontent’s narcissistic, self indulgent whining combined.

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            2. Decided to look into your claims here over who said what about SNP policy. And, as I suspected, you have been less than truthful. Her statements above were made prior to the SC ruling and referred to a “successful outcome” in the Scottish Govt’s case. What Hunter said after the SC ruling was;

              “An agreed referendum is the SNP’s preferred option but if UK Government continues to say no then the next opportunity to achieve a majority of votes for independence will be the General Election.

              With a successful outcome the Scottish Government will open talks with the UK Government on achieving independence. The UK Government might agree to start negotiating terms or they might say they wished to see an agreed referendum take place. I don’t think anybody can predict exactly what would happen.”

              She expressed a personal opinion, NOT SNP policy. What Deputy Leader Keith Brown said was;

              “We will now go to the highest court in the land, the people of Scotland, who will take the decision, and if they vote for independence, then that’s what we will have”

              That is the policy. Shame on me for taking you at your word when making my previous post.

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  10. It took you long enough Peter. Many of us have been saying this for a long time now. Sturgeon’s carrot dangling and the GRR bill she has been so intent on pushing through made many women (in particular) reach the point of being unable to vote for the SNP again. I certainly cannot and will not vote for any party willing to throw women under the bus and the SNP have proved absolutely that they will do that and have done it. I would not trust them with anything anymore. They aren’t even proving to be competent administrators now never mind effective legislators.
    You say those who mention Alba/ISP are talking fantasy politics. Pretty sure those who argued voting for Sinn Feinn rather than the IPP in Ireland would have been accused of fantasy politics too. All it takes is for voters to wake up in sufficient numbers and move their votes.
    Voting Alba/ISP is certainly a better option than voting for unionist parties. The Greens have proved themselves even more fanatical re GRR than the SNP with Harvie and Chapman both saying ‘this is just the beginning’. We need to vote them and the SNP out.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Are Alba standing for election at the next WM elections? Now that the SNP have successfully rid themselves of the pesky nationalists and their notions of nationhood , who will pick up the baton and give a home to the Scots who want a country of their own.
      If they are then they’d better get on with it , there’s heap of fund-raising and politicking to be done in a short time if they want to make any impact.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It is simply impossible to replace the SNP as the party of government within anything like the relevant timeframe. This is true even if we discount my contention that the relevant timeframe runs from early 2016 to the announcement of the date of the next UK general election. Even if we suppose that the British state will not to what it has clearly indicated it intends to do and no new constitutional settlement has been imposed which makes independence vastly more difficult to achieve, what sort of timeframe are we talking about for Alba to replace the SNP as the party of government. Because for Alba, or any other party, to be in a position to take the action required to restore Scotland’s independence, it would have to be more or less where the SNP is now, in electoral and parliamentary terms, or better.

        When estimating how long this might take, bear in mind that we are not counting in years but in electoral cycles. That is to say, multiples of five years. Because it is only at Holyrood elections that Alba (or any ‘alternative’ party) can improve it’s electoral/parliamentary standing both in absolute terms and relative to the SNP. No sane person would suggest it’s going to happen at the 2026 Scottish Parliament election. For a party to go from zero to a working majority in a single bound would require something far beyond a mere miracle. I can hear the voices already insisting that “Nothing’s impossible!”. Which is shite, of course. A great many things are totally impossible. A massively greater number are effectively impossible – the chances of these things happening or being made to happen are so infinitesimal as to be indistinguishable from things that are actually impossible. Certainly so remote that you would be mad to gamble your house on it, far less an entire nation.

        So, it’s not happening in 2026. So, what about 2031? (Remember that we are pretending the British state is doing nothing in this speculative scenario.) As things stand, it is highly unlikely that Alba will gain so much as a single seat at the 2026 Holyrood election. I know Alba devotees were wetting their pants over a recent poll which suggested the possibility of significant gains. But only a fool would assume this to be a realistic prospect on the basis of a single poll. But even if Alba (or another blah blah blah…) did get a handful of candidates returned, they wold have absolutely no leverage with what we must assume would still be an SNP government. Because if it wasn’t an SNP government then it could only be an administration formed by one or more of the British parties. At which point, we might as well bring down the curtain on this wee bit of speculation and on Scotland’s cause.

        That takes us to 2036, and this is starting to look like the distant future where speculation starts to lose its grip on plausibility. But we soldier on. Is it reasonable to suppose that Alba might at last overtake the SNP and become the party of government after the 2036 Holyrood election? Hardly! It will be argued that they are starting from a higher base having gained a few seats in 2031. But is this a safe assumption. That handful of Alba MSPs will have spent five years at Holyrood doing one of two things ─ supporting the SNP government, or opposing it. Either of which will alienate some part of the party’s voter base as well as some part of its potential voter base. Having had powerless MSPs might actually be worse than having had none as far as making further progress at the 2036 election. There is a strong possibility Alba could actually lose seats. Even if that isn’t how it pans out, the likelihood of them securing the largest number of seats hardly seems worth considering, far less that chances of them getting a working majority.

        We are now up to 2041, and it’s time to call a halt. It’s a bold commentator who will make confident predictions about the state of affairs two weeks hence, never mind two decades. The point is made, in any case. To pin our hopes on Alba we would have to define a reasonable timeframe as no less than 25 years and no more than the remaining lifetime of the solar system. But that is discounting a great many factors. Taking account of those can only narrow that timeframe. I would contend that it would narrow it to six months. Maybe a year. And it is genuinely impossible to replace the SNP in that time even if, as some propose, the SNP was to cooperate in its own demotion.

        This is the great dilemma. Like it or not, the SNP is all we’ve got. We gave it effective political power. We have stood by and allowed it to squander that power. When the only hope for Scotland’s cause was ─ and remains ─ forcing the SNP to take the necessary action, nobody could be bothered. For the most part, they seized on the first excuse to walk away from the SNP and thus turn their backs on Scotland’s cause as they went in pursuit of a donkey poorly disguised as a unicorn.

        We are where we are. And where we are is sitting on the very jaggy horns of a vicious dilemma. That the SNP has not earned our support and does not deserve our votes is beyond question. But for those committed to the restoration of Scotland’s independence there is no alternative. No VIABLE alternative. There are other options ─ such as supporting Alba and voting for Alba candidates. But there is absolutely no way that can help Scotland’s cause in time to prevent the British from putting the goal beyond reach. The SNP deserves to be electorally punished. SNP arses aplenty are long overdue a hefty kicking by Scotland’s voters. But there is no way to punish the SNP without harming Scotland’s cause. Possibly, doing very serious harm.

        There are those who appear to have concluded that the satisfaction of giving the SNP an electoral kicking is worth it even if it means restoring Scotland’s independence becomes EFFECTIVELY impossible. Which it surely will if we don’t act before the next UK general election. That is their democratic choice. Me? I remain firmly and painfully impaled on the horns of that dilemma. But at least I am aware of the dilemma. Far to many others are proceeding on the basis of the deluded notion that we can throw away the only tool we have and still get the job done. They see no dilemma. Declining to think things through, they see only the simplest of choices. They are disinclined to let realism intrude on their fantasy.

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        1. The tool that is the SNP , that gizmo that gets us to independence as you would have it , is out on hire for the foreseeable future. It’s current renters are using it very effectively to boost their incomes and are unlikely to give it back until it’s past using.
          The only way to regain an SNP that wants independence would be through entryism at the branch level , ie the same way it was lost , but now that the branches are hotbeds of gender fanatics the prospect of week after week of screaming arguments about GRR would leave even the most fanatical Indy supporter cold.
          Times have also changed in that the SNP politicians and their entourages have salaries and the power of patronage, a cohort of salaried people dedicated to protecting their salaries and positions against what would be ill-funded and unsustained attacks by enthusiastic amateurs , we’re not on the horns of a dilemma , we’re knackered.
          I agree with you that Alba can only be a protest but it is all we have at the moment , which brings me back to whether Alba will stand against the SNP at the next Westminster election , no list there to hide behind , because that battle has to be started soon for any kind of decent outcome , the splitting of the Indy vote might just concentrate enough minds in the SNP Westminster group. It would be a start.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. If you want to present Alba as a viable alternative then you’ll have to come up with a better sales pitch than ‘Vote Alba because the SNP is shite’.

      Like

  11. Well said, lilou57, and while it has taken a painfully long time for many of us to realise that today’s version of what was the most respectable Scottish political party, has entirely changed since some time after Alex Salmond ceased being our First Minister…
    All politicians can make mistakes, but the honest and honourable ones will apologise as soon as possible; if not, they betray their voters’ respect and those very politicians prove that they are incredibly fraudulent people who should retire from politics immediately!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Clearly, this site has become a mere satellite of WoS and the “allegedly” pro-Indy (really???? – certainly not all of them – least of all the Rev)) denizens of it. Another symptom of the malcontent sickness gnawing at the roots of the indy movement. Loads of Mail/Telegraph/Express inspired anti-SNP rhetoric (and downright lies/fantasy) with no credible alternative to the Scottish Govt’s plans (have Alba got a plan – they’re not divulging it if they do). Not even an explanation as to what the SNP WM contingent should be doing that differs from what they are doing, bar a pointless walk-out. Its a shame.

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    1. Once again we need only refer to postcolonial theory to explain where we are and where we need to be, in relation to the psychological effects of the colonial condition and the only cure, i.e. liberation. This from Albert Memmi:

      “”They are all sick”. So goes the drama of the man who is a product and victim of colonization. He almost never succeeds in corresponding with himself (and) the painful discord with himself continues. In order to witness the colonized’s complete cure, his alienation must completely cease. We must await the complete disappearance of colonization……… “

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Pointless pseud-wank Alf. It gets us no closer to independence. It just strokes your own ego as you attempt to parade your intellect before us.

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        1. A clearer understanding of the colonial situation is necessary to bring a people ‘closer to independence’. We have to remember that the colonized “is not only defined by the colonizer, but his situation is shaped by colonization.”

          Why do you think some Scots identify as something else, i.e. British, and the ‘No’ vote was and remains dominated by those among us who consider themselves to be ‘British’? Was this not also the case with the former colonized peoples of India, Kenya, Ireland etc etc?

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I’m reminded of a time when a Tory politician (don’t remember who off hand) tried to explain away the North’s (England) disaffection with Tory policy by getting all philosophical and claiming Northerners had lost their “raison d’etre”. Which led one comedian to deliver the line (paraphrased) “Oi Syd, you seen me raison d’etre? Yeah Fred, its ower there beside your joi de vivre”.

            Your obvious fascination with Post Colonial Theory (which specifically excludes Europe as it is the source of the colonialism) may get some interested murmurs amongst the chattering classes at cocktail parties, but your average Scot going about their day to day lives with nary a thought of politics, never mind philosophy, just does not care. At best, your musings will have a negligible effect on the few who may stumble across them (and fewer still who actually read them) …. but that’s it. People “care” about the cost of living, the economy, their jobs, their families and their friends. They do not care about the historical opinions of Fannon or Memmi concerning countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean and your attempts to shoe-horn them into Scotland’s constitutional situation. You should channel your efforts into something that will actually impact ordinary people’s lives in a real, rather than philosophical, way. Just sayin’.

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            1. “Post Colonial Theory (which specifically excludes Europe as it is the source of the colonialism)”

              Not quite.

              Professor Edward Said noted that England’s colonial exploitation began and continued in Ireland for over 700 years, and whose people were regarded by the oppressor as “an inferior race”. Scottish and Welsh ‘internal colonial’ exploitation is re-written for us by the colonizer’s educationalists as some form of ‘union’; believe that if you wish.

              As for the European bourgeois generally, Aime Cesaire reminds us of: “the humiliation of the white man, and the fact that he (Hitler, and others) applied to Europe colonialist procedures…”. Not forgetting also: “The modern barbarian. The American hour. Which means that American high finance considers that the time has come to raid every colony in the world.” Europe is hardly immune from this even today as ships carrying US arms head eastward across the Atlantic and US capital expands.

              Heard some rumour US money/influence may also be behind NuSNP’s ‘mystification’ policies on: GRR, blocking independence, lay off Faslane, pro-NATO stance, pro-offshore capital/funds, anti-Trump rhetoric, pro-Clinton rhetoric, possible FM exit to UN position…..

              Say it aint so Joe.
              https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=say+it+ain%27t+so+joe&view=detail&mid=73285BAE7BFF50B039D873285BAE7BFF50B039D8&FORM=VIRE

              Liked by 1 person

    2. Your partisan loyalism grows more blindly fanatical with every comment you make. It is, as any rational person will recognise, those like you who are harming Scotland’s cause by enabling those who have failed and continued to fail that cause and by frantically obstructing those who would have the SNP become the actual ‘party of independence’. But, of course, being blindly fanatical, you will be oblivious to the harm that you do.

      You do serve a purpose, however. Your comments are quite useful when one wants to illustrate the dangerous idiocy of putting party before nation and the lethal folly of exempting favoured parties and politicians from proper democratic scrutiny. In your mentality we see the seeds of totalitarianism. Or maybe fertiliser would be a better analogy.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I no more put the SNP before independence than you do Peter. We both recognise they are the only political means by which Scotland’s independence can be restored any time soon.

        If, by some impossible miracle (that will never happen), Alba and the SNP were to instantly swap political fortunes, making Alba the Scottish Govt and the SNP a marginalised “pressure group” that barely registered in the polls, I would be backing Alba. Because I want Scottish independence.

        And who is exempting any party from scrutiny? I will scrutinise any party that does stuff I don’t agree with. However, I find myself in opposition to a clique of malcontents who see nothing good in anything the SNP do, for a multitude of spurious reasons, that will pigeon-hole me as a “Sturgeonista loyalist” simply for disagreeing with their often nutty opinions. And I wont agree with them just to “fit in”.

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  13. Peter, I sense your depth of feeling about being on the horns of this particular dilemma. Hamlet wrestled with his dilemma and came to a decision to live rather than die. Scottish independence for people of advancing years seems an unlikely prospect during their lifetime, whichever horn they choose to impale themselves on.
    I will watch with interest how you resolve your dilemma.

    Liked by 2 people

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