The healing properties of Ash

Tommy Sheridan makes a powerful point, which The National and most commenting on the report seem to have missed. This isn’t about him personally joining the SNP if Ash Regan becomes leader. It is about the fact that Ash being leader will make the SNP once again the party of independence and so make it attractive to all who put Scotland’s cause before uncritical party loyalty or mindless celebrity cults or self-indulgent personal animosities.

I didn’t quit the SNP because of Nicola Sturgeon as a person but because of what the SNP became under her leadership. In many ways, I still like and admire her. Until relatively recently I continued to hope that she would change and become the leader I first took her to be. I am now obliged to acknowledge that this is not going to happen.

Nicola Sturgeon finds herself trapped on a path that takes her ever further from Scotland’s cause. A path I’m sure she chose – to whatever extent it was of her choosing – thinking it but a temporary diversion and that she would be able to re-join the independence path at a later time. She now finds that there is no way back.

So, what chance is there for Scotland’s cause if the party elects a new leader determined, for their own reasons, to follow the same path as was taken by Sturgeon?

Ash Regan is not the solution to the SNP’s problems any more than independence is the solution to Scotland’s problems. We want Scotland’s independence restored not because that in itself will make everything right but because it enables us to at least work on making things right – which the Union prevents us from doing because it forces us always to do what is right for the British ruling elite rather than what is right for Scotland’s people.

Similarly, Ash Regan as party leader at least makes possible the changes which are needed in order that the SNP should once again be the natural home for those of us who regard the restoration of Scotland’s independence as both right and urgent.

Ash Regan doesn’t have all the answers. I’m sure she would scoff at the notion that she might. But she is prepared to listen to ANYONE who might have answers. It is this readiness to engage with the whole independence movement which persuades people like Tommy Sheridan and myself that Ash Regan has the potential to be the catalyst for a process of healing. A potential that the other candidates simply do not possess.

The others talk about unity. Ash Regan talks about doing what is required in order to make unity a reality. The others see themselves and their immediate circle at the centre of the Yes movement, owning and controlling it – much as Nicola Sturgeon did. Ash Regan sees the SNP at the centre of a revivified national independence movement fulfilling its purpose as the people’s instrument – the lever which empowers the people to extricate us from the Union before it destroys our nation and with it all our hopes of bequeathing a better Scotland to our children.

Tommy Sheridan sees this. I see it. We can only hope that SNP members see it.

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43 thoughts on “The healing properties of Ash

  1. I see it, I hope Ash gets the position.
    One problem NS and her apparatchiks are still there!!
    It’s like having an engerlish Scottish office within an independence party .
    Oh ! wait a minute.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I agree with what you say.

    My worry – and I’m sure many others too – is that if Ash Regan is not elected (as does seem likely) we will be left with another vacuum where leadership should reside with respect to Scotland’s Cause.

    I suppose it is possible that, if Kate Forbes takes over, she could delegate the ‘Constitution brief’ to Ms Regan. (There has not been the same personal animosity between them as between Forbes and Yousaf. Indeed, I am led to believe that they have a cordial relationship). We’ll have to wait and see I suppose.

    However, after over 8 years of stasis (at best) another 5 years of stagnation on restoring Scotland’s independent statehood could be fatal with Westminster and their lackeys in Scotland operating in the background to bind this country ever tighter to the British Union.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Aye duncanio, my fear would be that delegating the ‘Constitutional brief’ to Regan would be a sleekit way o’ keepin’ her otherwise occupied while business as usual continued. Cannae help mah cynicism but ah huv seen too much o’ Forbes tae think otherwise.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Where Forbes and Yousaf plead for unity, it is within the SNP. Nowhere and at no time within this ‘hustings’ process have either of them called for a constitutional assembly which would bring on board all sectors of the Independence movement rather it is an exercise to ensure control and continuity of process remains firmly in the grip of the SNP.

    As has been reiterated many times by the author of this blog, TIME is not on our side, particularly when both of those candidates are beholden to the Section 30 process and will in a blatant show of subservience duly sub contract Scotland’s right to choose to an English Parliament at Westminster.

    Regan must weave the Independence narrative into each and every answer she gives without fear or favour and call on the SNP membership to give her full support in order that Scotland can progress to casting off the chains of our colonisers.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Yes, Robert McAllan, I fully agree with your saying ‘Regan must weave the Independence narrative into each and every answer she gives without fear or favour’ and leave no doubt among those who are eligible to cast their votes for the next First Minister; after all, Scotland’s political situation is very far from being a clear one!

    Nowadays, a growing number of us who are closely following these hustings are ex-SNP members and may have a wide range of feelings and/or opinions to consider. However, that enlarging number of Scots includes the youth who will eventually be our future electorate, and that fact alone makes this particular process extremely important to everyone living here in Scotland… And this is a very sobering reality!


    1. Agree to a point Ewen however as this is an election process confined to existing SNP members who it has to be assumed are electing a leader to actively prosecute Scotland’s pursuit of Independence they MUST elect the only candidate who is ‘actively’ promoting Independence at these hustings.

      If that position is not established NOW then it becomes very much academic if future Scots youth will ever have the opportunity to vote in a parliamentary election in an Independent Scotland.

      ‘A very sobering reality’ indeed!!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I posted this elsewhere and rather than waste it will here too. The most relevant part here I’ve put in bold, and maybe some Regan supporter could pass it on.

    The SNP supports and is proud of its youth wing, and rightly so, young people are our future but also have the raw energy to chase issues, open minds to consider all views. And if there is a burning issue for some, there may well be more apparent for that issue than you’d expect proportionately – for instance, for trans issues and the GRRB. That’s the way activism works.

    But it’s obvious to me that that’s not all they are about, there are plenty of others who have other issues they care about. For that reason I think Regan made a big mistake not replying to a survey from them, and one she should rectify as soon as possible. THIS comment from the National article shows that they are well able to make general assessments:

    Forbes was, however, deemed to have given “genuinely good answers” to questions

    the article is interesting, as always the National headline writer should be told that they are losing subscribers and are dooming the National:

    Just as an aside by the way, if you fart in church you should get a pew.


  6. “… thinking it but a temporary diversion and that she would be able to re-join the independence path at a later time. She now finds that there is no way back… ”

    It was never a diversion, Peter. Never. This has become an obsession for so many, trying to make ‘wokeism’ the diversion. The ‘wokerati’ were well-established by early 2015. Independence for too many in the SNP WAS the distraction. Never, ever was Sturgeon going to create the conditions to bring about independence. She quite deliberately eschewed every opportunity. It was not a case of being scared of taking on Westminster because she never intended to take them on. It was ‘steady as she goes’ and ‘don’t rock the boat too much’, two cliches from which we should all have deduced the truth much earlier.

    What we need is realism. What we need is to answer the question: what is it going to take to achieve independence; what requires to be done. The first thing we should have done long since was to establish that we have an inalienable right to independence, and to act on that. The second thing was to challenge the ‘wokerati’ and work to oust them. Their agenda was always to change society according to their template, not to give us independence. They are cultural Marxists and Queer Theory followers. These people do not do independence. The point, if there is any, of their existence is to destroy all societal cohesions.

    Totalitarianism was always the cul-de-sac awaiting us. It beggars belief that some still do not get that. It shows a woeful lack of intelligence in the SNP now, and it shows just how easy it is for an infection to take over a party if that party is not solid on its core principles. I am not saying that because I am female. I am wearing two hats here, and, if the infection is not rooted out, they will simply do it all over again because no one has stood up to them. Not saying it only as a woman or as an independence supporter (my whole life), but as someone who has studied Marxism and Queer Theory (as far as that is possible). Marx got a lot right, but he also got a lot wrong. The theory is fairly sound up to a point, but it is riddled with misogyny and inequality from the ground up. Marx himself treated his own wife like an indentured servant, and equity is an impossible goal in any technological society. Queer Theory sounds kind of nice for everyone, but, again, misogyny built in, and children and animals reserved for ‘sexual freedom’ – just not theirs.

    If Sturgeon thought that they could be her allies in establishing an independent state, she was sadly mistaken, but I don’t believe she ever was intending to establish an independent state. I voted for her and Salmond as a duo, because of Salmond, but I always wondered why he chose her over other more independence-minded candidates. The answer is that she would have stood against him and diluted the vote. From her earliest days in the party, she was ambitious in a way that was wholly personal. Too much me and not enough we. But, hey, what do I know?


  7. Ash Regan is trying to unite the indy parties, and the SNP, and she has said she’ll work with any party for the benefit of Scotland, she has a plan to rid Scotland of this rancid union, and that’s why the hierarchy of the SNP doesn’t want her to win

    I’d say its mainly, if she did win, that Sturgeon and Murrells dirty little secrets might come spewing out, so Murrell must make sure Forbes or Yousaf wins, why else would a supposedly indy party call in an enemy of independence in the form of GCHQ (Russian interference my arse).

    Also Westminster cannot afford to lose Scotland and all that entails with it, from assets to a nuclear sub base. Regan is the future, a bright future for Scotland, but the SNP hierarchy and Whitehall will make certain see never becomes the leader of the SNP or FM.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not too sure that Regan is the future given her current performance but some of the policy she espouses may well be. Regan needs to come out of the traps forcefully condemning current Scottish Government policy toward begging for permission from Westminster, that WOULD be a turning point very much in her and Scotland’s favour!


      1. Robert.

        I’ve watch the husting at every event so far, and Regan has on several occasions said that Scotland needs to stop going with cap in hand and asking Westminster for a referendum, she (Regan) also chastised Sturgeon in the first hustings I think for allowing the UKSC to decide when Scotland should hold an indyref.

        As for condemning, I think Regan is trying to unite the party as much as possible though if she wins and I doubt she will with some SNP MSPs being demoted and eventually shown the door because they won’t get behind whatever Regan has in mind. Regan has also been a busy wee bee, approaching and from what I’ve read uniting all the other indy parties, something Sturgeon would never dream of doing.

        On her current performance she’s stated as clear as possible the route out of this union whilst Forbes and Yousaf want to build more support then ask for a referendum, and we all know they’ll be no more indyrefs Sturgeon made sure of that.


  8. Whatever her views on achieving independence, Regan is no leader of either the SNP or the Yes movement at large. She is out of her depth and clearly struggling/failing to hold her own in debate. If she’s struggling against Forbes and Yousaf, how is she supposed to face down the hostile media and Westminster Govt?

    Forbes was a clear favourite before a word was spoken but has alienated too many since with her right wing, conservative agenda and “friendly fire” statements. She has no credible route to independence, which is moot as she will splinter the Yes vote anyway, for the reasons above, making it unachievable.

    Yousaf was always second favourite but has gained ground due to Forbes “shortcomings”. He will not splinter the Yes vote, which is moot as he has no credible route to independence.

    Regan was never going to win due to her anonymity and clear inability to cope. She will splinter the Yes vote but has a credible route to independence, which is moot because she will never get the opportunity or support to implement it.

    I have no one to vote for that fills the brief I think is necessary. The perfect candidate would have Forbes’ intelligence and debating skills, Yousaf’s progressive agenda and Regan’s route to independence. The only Indy politician I know with those credentials is Sturgeon. The malcontents got what they wished for though, and we will all have to suffer the consequences of it.

    As it stands I will have to vote for Yousaf and I never thought that would be a thing in my life. He is the only one that can keep the wide spectrum of Yes voters together, at least leaving the door open for the Regan/Sturgeon (as it was her plan too) route to independence to be adopted with some hope of achieving it.

    PS On a more personal note, how come when I put forward the idea of getting a positive Yes result in a democratic event before demanding immediate negotiations on enacting the result I get abuse etc …. but when Ash Regan puts it forward, and now the English Constitution Party , (see previous Peter article) she is lauded as the new messiah and Peter suggests he might adopt the ECP plan? Just saying like.


    1. What you promote is Sturgeon’s “route to independence” – about which you are totally deluded as it isn’t a route to independence at all, as has been explained to you repeatedly. Ash Regan is proposing something quite different. As several commentators have noted, she needs to flesh-out her proposal. But the fact that she is even open to considering ditching the failed Sturgeon doctrine makes her a very attractive prospect for people committed to the restoration of Scotland’s independence rather than the perpetuation of SNP rule.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. MBP – “Have a positive democratic event followed by immediate negotiations to enact the result”.
        Sturgeon – “Have a positive democratic event followed by immediate negotiations to enact the result”.
        Regan – “Have a positive democratic event followed by immediate negotiations to enact the result”.

        Not seeing the difference. Wishful thinking about “fleshing out” doesn’t make it any different to what Sturgeon was offering.

        And it has never been “explained to me”. You would just go on one of your signature opinionated, abusive rants and hoped that would be enough to either intimidate me or impress your “friends”. Can’t speak to the latter but the former failed miserably.

        Thanks to you and your malcontent friends, I have recently started going to SNP Branch meetings after nearly ten years since the last one I attended. Party policy under Sturgeon, prior to her resignation, was what Regan (and now you) advocates. Had she not resigned, the Special Conference would have set it in stone. But the malcontents got their first wish, and now their second (alleged) wish has been put in doubt. Congratulations.


    2. Yousaf … will not splinter the Yes vote

      I agree with you, he won’t splinter the Yes vote he’ll smash it to bits.

      The National 2050: LIVE – Yousaf gives his state of the Union speech.

      “I will fight yet another S35 and lose in the courts to protect, errr, thing”


      1. Yousaf is the only one wanting to continue courting the Green vote (not Party) and promote the progressive agenda that has brought the majority of the “young” vote (not activists) towards Indy, that has given Yes a distinctive identity in opposition to a conservative UK. Both Regan and Forbes would put a stick of dynamite under that “coalition of Yes”. The malcontent echo-chamber might have convinced themselves its a good thing. More rational minds would disagree.


        1. Yousaf has a popularity rating of -12 compared to Forbes of +9 with the voters. People think he’s sleekit. And the young vote was always more in favour of Indy than the older ones, nothing to do with the Greens or Yousaf. All the Greens brought was extremes, division and ideas that could bankrupt Scotland, and many small businesses.

          With hindsight, Salmond did better by wheeling and dealing with all the opposition parties – the people of Scotland were so impressed they did the impossible – gave Scotland an overall majority SNP Government. Sturgeon meant well with the Coalition – it’s been a disaster, with Indy largely swept under the carpet with an excuse of “progressive”. Well, Indy is the most progressive policy of all and under Yousaf it will never happen. The SNP will disappear into the morass they disappeared into in 1979 and all of the 80s.

          The Greens are a millstone around the SNP’s neck.

          And personally, I voted SNP in 2021, NOT Green.


        2. Regan wants to reassess the partnership the tail wagging the dog under her leadership is not on, the Greens led by Harvie and Co are a perverse bunch, and this recycle scheme led by Lorna Slater is a disaster in the making.

          Both Forbes and Yousaf want to spend hundreds of thousands of Scottish taxpayers hard earned cash fighting the S35, when the majority of the public don’t want the unamended GRRB in the first place. Regan doesn’t want to waste huge amounts of taxpayers cash on something the public of Scotland doesn’t want in the first place.

          Regan is the only not even Sturgeon did it, she’s uniting the indy parties and she wants to give the grassroots movements room to express and create and promote the benefits of independence. Sturgeon on the otherhand, subdued them, ignored them and tried to imprison them.

          MBP, if you’re not for Regan, then your not for independence


          1. That’s incorrect, Forbes has NOT said she’ll waste time and money fighting the S35, she’s said she’ll look at the legal advice. She’s the most likely to want to amend it first rather than that stupid court waste of time, or scrapping it. It needs reducing to the SNP Manifesto 2021 which was reasonably sensible, not extreme.

            As for the stupid deposit scheme at a time when most of us are really struggling, at the moment you can get 2 x 24 tins normal Coca Cola in Farmfoods for £25. Barely achievable for most of us. Just over 50p per can, compared to having to pay, say, £1 as a single.

            It’s not just 20p per can for the moronic unsupportable deposit scheme, you have to add at least 10p by the time costs are passed on and doubled and doubled again before they hit the shelf, so that’s 80p per can and more like 90p, for a total outlay of about £45 from Farmfoods for those that don’t want to poison ourselves with aspartavilepoison.

            Well done Greens, on yer bikes, you rich uncaring dudes.

            No wonder it’s supported by just 25% of producers, and the incentive for them is to put all the small producers out of business. Again.


            1. “That’s incorrect, Forbes has NOT said she’ll waste time and money fighting the S35, she’s said she’ll look at the legal advice. She’s the most likely to want to amend it first rather than that stupid court waste of time, or scrapping it. It needs reducing to the SNP Manifesto 2021 which was reasonably sensible, not extreme.”


              I’ll give you the above, however, in hindsight its neither here nor there for Forbes wants to build support and then ask for an S30, in effect a vote for Forbes is a vote to remain trapped in the union.

              “As for the stupid deposit scheme ”

              Yes its not thought out properly, and not only that I’ve read that when you return your empty vessel (no not MBP) that you then receive a voucher to spend in store instead of getting your cash back that you’ve forked out in the first place, also I’m sure that Slater said that the returned empty vessel needed to be in good condition.


            2. “That’s incorrect, Forbes has NOT said she’ll waste time and money fighting the S35”


              I knew I’d seen Forbes say she would go to court over Section 35 if need be.


        3. You have to ask yourself this, MBP:

          “Do I really want the SNP to have its policy determined and its leader decided by Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, co-leaders of the Greens?

          Well, do you?


    3. “As it stands I will have to vote for Yousaf ”

      No need to be so apologetic, you will have plenty of time for remorse as I am sure he also has a very lengthy blind alley awaiting, plus some even more draconian laws with which to oppress our people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is no rational alternative given the choices Alf. Not seeing what these “draconian laws” are. I think you are getting mixed up with Westminster. If not, perhaps Ms Forbes might be a better fit for your “laissez faire” views.


        1. Well, his hand appears to be on catch-all laws on ‘domestic abuse’, hate crime, GRR, next it may be taking away jury trials. He seems awfu quick to bring in the law against others. Scotland having the highest prison population rate per head in Western Europe tells its own story about the law and how it is applied here.

          However, you don’t see any effort far less laws protecting the rights of indigenous Scots tae oor ain cultur an langage, nor e’en oor richt tae sel-determination. Naw, yer man isnae interestit in leeberation o us Scots, mair in doun-hauden o Scots.

          Mandela and other liberation movement leaders warned about the propensity of the state’s social institutions to oppress the people rather than to serve them, especially within a colonial society.


    4. .”If she’s struggling against Forbes and Yousaf,”


      The only ones that are struggling is Sturgeon and Murrell, struggling to make sure Regan doesn’t win and rid Scotland of this rancid union, they are so desperate to hide their dirty little secrets that they’ve even called in an enemy of Scottish independence in GCHQ.

      Any SNP member who has a vote in this leadership race and doesn’t vote for Regan (the only candidate with a viable plan on independence) isn’t interested in Scottish independence and wants the status quo to remain.

      I had to laugh when in the recent Channel 4 hustings the host told the three candidates that both the Tories and Labour at Westminster had said that they’ll never grant another referendum on independence, he then asked what the candidates plans for indy would be.

      Both Forbes and Yousaf said (in a serious fashion) that they would build support for independence and then asked the Westminster government of the day for a S30…enough said.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Huv you been at the water trough agin powny? Whit a load o’ pish ye spout, aw at the wan time! Mair nan ten pailfu’ rinnin doon the stank effter that lot!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And it’s not just that, it’s the steady dribble of MPs and MSPs thinking we’re all buttoned at the back, coming out on a daily basis to support Yousaf and grabbing the headlines making it look like he’s the best. That’s even more lacking in integrity, as clearly they are too.

      And the opinion polls show that it’s fooling absolutely nobody.

      And your favourite Ash Regan is catching up. I’ll shut up now.


  10. Is this how Sturgeon and Murrell, along with the help of GCHQ will cheat us out of Ash Regan winning.

    “(It’s just four days since Wings suggested to you that the real membership was 75,000 plus or minus 5K, so we’re claiming a point there. Although the really revealing number in that story is that while the SNP have given Mi-Voice 78,000 names, they only expect the oddly specific number of 54,000 to vote, which in conjunction with other evidence suggests that 24,000 may be “ghost” members whose departure hasn’t been properly recorded. We can only hope Peter Murrell doesn’t get hold of their votes.)”


  11. ”In many ways, I still like and admire her.”

    So you admire a woman who would happily see an innocent man go to prison possibly for the rest of his life just to satisfy her own personal vendetta



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