If Mike Russell was genuinely interested in engendering an “atmosphere of mutual trust” conducive to the creation of a “new Yes movement” then his first gesture should surely be an apology to all those who have for some years been calling for the kind of review of the SNP’s governance that he now offers as if all of the party’s current tribulations were something that had just happened to the SNP rather than the consequence of the long-term mismanagement he colluded in trying to conceal.

For at least the last five years, constructive, comradely criticism of the direction in which the party was being taken has been curtly snubbed and roundly condemned by Mr Russell and his colleagues while they did nothing to discourage the virulent abuse of these critics by SNP members and supporters. An acknowledgement that those critics were right all along would not go amiss. Otherwise, how can we possibly take seriously all the recent talk of review and reform? Absent that acknowledgement, all the promises and assurances sound like the emptiest of platitudes.

After years of denying that there was any problem and branding as traitors to the cause any who suggested there was, we now have to listen to Humza Yousaf saying,

Whatever else transpires in this case, it is very, very clear that the governance of the party was not as it should be. It was not at its best standard.

First Minister Humza Yousaf says governance of SNP ‘was not as it should be’

He talks as if he just arrived on the scene to find this situation that he must now deal with. There is no hint that he is even aware of his own role in creating and perpetuating that situation. How might we suppose he is the person to repair the damage when he shows no indication of having any appreciation of what the damage is or how it came about. Nor does he appear interested in finding out what harm has been done or how it came about or who was responsible or why it was allowed to continue. All I’m hearing from Yousaf and Mike Russell and the rest of the SNP leadership is a desperate desire to have everybody ‘move on’.

It’s just not good enough! It doesn’t go nearly far enough. Apart from anything else, Yousaf, Russell and the rest need to recognise that a large part of the SNP’s membership is still in denial about the party’s woes. Do a quick trawl through social media and you’ll find all manner of conspiracy theories based on the notion that this is all something that is being done to the party by malign agents of the British state. The ridiculous fuss about the scale of the police operation is just one of the devices by which these fools convince themselves that the ‘issues’ within the party are not real but something concocted by ‘the enemy’. The enemy being defined as anyone who acknowledges the issues as real.

Why are senior figures in the party not putting any effort into correcting this denial? Unless and until they do, it is bound to look as if it suits their purposes to have people so deceived and deluded as to suppose there are no real issues at all. Is this the attitude of people with any intention of resolving these issues? I don’t think so.

There will be those who say that because I am no longer a member of the SNP, the party’s internal workings are none of my business. This is shite, of course. The SNP’s status as the country’s largest political party and the party of government as well as its crucial importance to Scotland’s cause makes everything about the party the rightful concern of every Scottish citizen – particularly those who care enough about the nation to support the fight to restore our independence.

We need to be assured that the SNP is fit for purpose, both in its role as the party of government and as the source of the effective political power without which Scotland’s cause cannot progress. I listen to Humza Yousaf and Mike Russell and I am just not convinced. Not by a long way. I realise that nobody in the SNP leadership is much troubled by the fact that they’re not persuading such as myself of their serious intent to fix what they have broken. And that is precisely the problem.

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37 thoughts on “Unconvincing

  1. Michael Russell should know that the horse has already bolted from the box on wheels he keeps at the end of his garden.

    He was part of those who dismissed, chided, traduced and abused dissatisfied pro-Independence critics of the SNP under Sturgeon.

    I detect no contrition in his tone for his part in that, far less an apology.

    Until he expresses some kind of humility Michael Russell he will just look and sound like what he is:

    A representative of the Ancien Régime and, therefore, part of the problem.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. On Humza Yousless.

    As if there was any doubt whatsoever where Yousless priorities lay.

    “Humza Yousaf will NOT attend the AUOB independence rally on May 6 – with a spokesperson confirming he will be at the coronation of King Charles in his capacity as First Minister of Scotland”

    The SNP are finished as a party for Scottish independence you know it, I know it, the dugs in the street know it.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Correct. Pity so many people are in denial about its demise, and are still looking for ways to resuscitate the corpse.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are consequences associated with abandoning the SNP rather than trying to fix it. Some seem oblivious to this fact.

        The Yes movement still requires a political arm to give it effect. At the moment, the SNP is the only viable option. Which is all the more reason to condemn those who have brought the party to its present condition.

        There is no realistic possibility of Alba or any other party replacing the SNP as the party of government in anything like a relevant timeframe. Discounting the possibility of an electoral miracle in 2026, it will be 2031 before there is even a remote possibility of Alba having significant parliamentary influence. (And only if the party makes itself electable.) The British will have secured their ‘precious’ Union long before then.

        Again being realistic, abandoning the SNP pushes the restoration of Scotland’s independence to mid-century and beyond. We have no option other than to make it fit for purpose. The other options have been squandered. A referendum in 2018 would have pre-empted the party’s descent into the mire. The 2021 election was the best opportunity to fix the party.

        On both these occasions, the Yes movement chose to ignore the warnings and advice. We all now pay the price. I suspect no lessons have been learned. There is a greater price yet to be paid.


        1. The SNP has become the equivalent of Johnson’s famous turd. Fiddle about with it as much as you like, it is still a turd, and it is the major cause of Scottish political constipation, and needs flushing away.

          There is no chance of ‘mea culpa’ from Russell or any of the other troughers and grifters who have benefited from the monster they created. Let the monster die. The vacuum will be filled, and there is more chance it will be filled by genuine independence supporters than the existing useless rabble in the SNP.

          It is beyond ‘fixing’.


        2. “There are consequences associated with abandoning the SNP rather than trying to fix it. Some seem oblivious to this fact.”

          Really Peter?

          When only 11.1% of the membership voted for the ONLY candidate (Ash Regan) that had a plan to leave this rancid union.

          When very few SNP MSPs/MPs spoke out about the eight wasted years under Sturgeon’s tenure, when very few of them even questioned Sturgeon sending Holyrood’s competence to hold an indyref to the UKSC via Bain the LA, who collapsed quicker than a Partick Thistle goalkeeper.

          Of course they’ll be consequences to ditching the now fatally damaged SNP brand, which has very little credibility left, but when is enough, enough, five more years ten more years? Yousless is now FM he was placed their by Sturgeon and Murrell with the help of GCHQ and their (SNPs) clique of MSPs/MPs.

          Unless by some miracle the contest is rerun and Ash Regan wins, then nothings going to change. Alba will win seats at the next Holyrood elections, even the unionist Professor John Curtis predicts at least four Alba MSPs in 2026, and the one or two half decent SNP MSPs that are left in the SNP could find it that little bit easier to cross the floor so to speak to Alba.

          There’s no quick solution getting back on track, but continuing to vote for a party that has no intentions of delivering independence is madness. Unless of course Peter you have other ideas?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Peter Sturgeon has done terrible damage to the SNP and Scotland as a whole it will take years to fix just some of it, and that’s if Ash Regan replaced Yousless tomorrow, there’s no quick fix the Britnats will ultimately get some benefit from this.

              Time is now firmly against older folk who want independence, unless the SNP can purge itself and install Ash Regan, do you believe in miracles Peter? that what we need right now.


        3. Peter, It is difficult to see how the party can be resurrected with most of those currently seat warming in WM and Holyrood. Their focus is not Independence and never has been and they were not recruited/selected for anything other than their belief in gender ideology, one of the reasons for the lack of calibre in the party. NS had her sights set on that a along time ago, we just didn’t realise it.


          1. I hear all these voices telling me the SNP is a lost cause. I don’t hear any of them explaining how we keep the Brits out without electing an SNP government.


            1. Eh? How many SNP governments have we had? How many more do you want doing the same thing? The SNP are not the answer. For too long they have been, and will contnue to be the problem.


              1. It’s not about the SNP, FFS! It’s about the party of government. Try thinking dispassionately for just a second. Set aside the blinkered partisan attitude and just THINK. Follow the fucking logic. The fight to restore Scotland’s independence goes nowhere without the active support of the Scottish Government. The SNP is the party of government. The SNP is going to be the party of government for as long as it matters. Follow the fucking logic! It’s not a matter of choosing the SNP over some other party. We don’t have that choice. I wish we did. The REALITY is that we are stuck with the SNP. If people in the Yes movement had been mature and sensible enough to recognise this in 2020 then we might have been in a very different place now. But the biggest part of the Yes movement just didn’t care.


                1. You ask how we keep the Brits out without electing an SNP government, and then say it’s not about the SNP. ?

                  You also say the SNP is going to be the party of government for as long as it matters. Whatever that means.

                  The SNP are finished, they have had their chance(s). They have been exposed for what they are: users of independence as a figleaf for keeping themselves in office.

                  You may want the present lot of them to be in government, but you are on the wrong side of this argument.

                  If you think we are stuck with the SNP then you have given up on independence. They will not deliver it. Mature and sensible people know this. The poison runs deep within the SNP and they have destroyed themselves.

                  Flog away if that makes you feel better.I hope one day soon you will accept that this horse is dead.


                  1. It’s not about the SNP. Try thinking outside that we partisan box. It’s about the party of government. It just happen that the SNP is the only viable party of government there is in Scotland. The electorate is more than just Yes activists. Look at the polls. The electorate is going to return another SNP government in 2026. Maybe a minority government. Maybe some kind of formal or informal coalition. But it will be an SNP-led government.

                    More to the point, it is an SNP government NOW. And NOW is the time that matters. The 2024 UK general election is going to create the most British Nationalist government we have ever seen. It will have a mandate to put the uppity Jocks back in their box. And that is precisely what it will do.

                    That is why it is so immensely frustrating for those of us analysing from outside the SNP/Alba bubble. We see all the squabbling factionalism and all the people pursuing pointless ‘initiatives’ while this BritNat juggernaut is bearing down on us at an accelerating pace. If we don’t get our act together so we can force the Scottish Government to get its act together, we are fucked. Independence is slipping away from us and we are doing fuck all to stop it.

                    Liked by 1 person

            2. Peter.

              How we keep the Brits out, its the SNP under Sturgeon who let them in with her both votes SNP, in 2026 its inevitable that the Brits will gain a few extra seats Sturgeon/Murrell and their clique has made sure of that, all we can hope for is that along with the SNP retaining some seats that Alba gets attains seats as well.

              To give a majority in the chamber against the Britnat parties if the SNP membership can’t be bothered to save the party and the SNP MSPs can’t find the will to do what’s needing done, then why should we waste more precious time trying to save the party.

              i have a feeling Alba will grow and take seats from the SNP, as you rightly say it will take time, time many folk who support independence don’t have. But how can you save a party that doesn’t want to be saved.


                  1. We don’t have options. None that you or I would like, anyway. Given that the SNP is the party of government and that it will almost certainly be the party of government until at least 2031; and given that Scotland’s cause cannot proceed without the party of government providing the necessary effective political power; and given that time is very definitely NOT on our side, we have only one ‘option’ and that is to force the SNP to do what we want it to do. They only way to do that is with tens of thousand’s of people uniting in a single coordinated campaign with just one objective ─ to get the SNP to adopt the #ManifestoForIndependence.

                    That’s it! That’s all there is. Alba adds nothing and changes nothing. It COULD have been the game-changer if the leaders of thee party weren’t just as obsessed as the SNP with winning elections. Alba could have been the core of the kind of mass campaign I’m talking about. The leadership threw that away because they are basically just SNP with a different colour rosette. They cannot see beyond elections. They think only in terms of elections.


                    1. “They only way to do that is with tens of thousand’s of people uniting in a single coordinated campaign with just one objective ─ to get the SNP to adopt the #ManifestoForIndependence.”

                      That it, that in your opinion is our last hope ,to try and force a party that didn’t vote for the only indy candidate to be leader to somehow do a 360 and do what we elected its MPs/MSPs to do and that is to obtain independence, and you think that mass marches/demos will do that.

                      You do realise that the SNP has dropped at least 50,000 members and Yousaf hasn’t blinked an eye.

                      In my opinion Peter the only way the SNP can be saved and independence (with the SNP in mind) obtained is if the leadership contest is rerun and Ash Regan wins it, there have been calls for this, but I don’t hold out much hope of it a happening.


                    2. Part of the problem here is your evident inability to separate dispassionate analysis from a partisan perspective. I state the cold hard fact that the SNP is the party of government and all but certain to remain so for at least the next eight years. What you hear, however, is me cheering for the party and urging everyone to support them. This, as one would expect, makes pragmatic, dispassionate discussion of Scotland’s politics quite impossible.

                      In addition, you evince a child-like conviction that as things are, thus must they always be. Because the SNP is in dire straits at the moment, you cannot imagine it being any other way. I have been a political campaigner at some level all my life. For me, the whole point of political campaigning is to effect change. If we all just shrugged our shoulders and gave up then nothing would ever change. It took decades of work by thousands of people to shape the SNP as the political arm of Scotland’s independence movement. Now, as soon as things go wrong, you throw your arms in the air and declare it all over. We must discard this tool we worked so hard to form regardless of whether or not we have anything with which to replace it. The need to strike out at those who have so grievously disfigured the party outweighs all other considerations.

                      My own attitude is that when something goes wrong, you strive to put it right. You don’t get all emotional about it so that your only thinking on the matter is of the wishful variety. You coldly and calmly assess the situation and look for practical, realistic solutions. That is what I do. But it is not what you see when you look at what I do. Communication becomes impossible. I’m talking in binary code and you’re listening in Elvish.


                    3. Peter.

                      Sounds an awfy lot like your plan will take time, time you said we don’t have, getting Regan into the hotseat is the only real plan that will save time.


                    4. Then you don’t understand the ‘plan’. It could be initiated right now. Although a few weeks preparation would be advisable. But we are talking weeks and maybe months as opposed to the years and probably decades before Alba MIGHT be in a position to make a difference. That’s a big ‘MIGHT’. Because at present it is difficult to see what they would do differently supposing they were in a position to do anything.

                      Ash Regan is another of the missed opportunities for which the SNP is famed. And it makes the point that I’ve mentioned a few times. Namely, that is is not only the SNP bosses who miss these opportunities. The membership of the SNP and the wider Yes movement are almost guilty of squandering chances.


    2. I’d think as First Minister, he has little choice but to go to the Coronation.
      I think even if it was Ash Regan or Kate Forbes, they would still go to this event.
      But at least with the others, Regan especially, we would know,we had someone more committed to Independence.
      As for Micheal Russell, I am totally appalled at his recent comments, that Scotland is not ready for Independence just now.
      If he really, really thinks that, then why the hell was he getting votes from folks who thought he wanted Independence?
      He has never publicly said this so far.
      It smacks of an outright betrayal, which in fact it is.
      He’s now openly saying it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Russell ‘s 11 point plan was the point of no return for him. Credibility shredded. He is part of the problem and it’s time to go.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Russell is a lifelong machine-politician, able to lie and dissemble without even thinking about it. The party needs to show a bit of humility now if it is to survive at all. I’m all for a “Truth and Reconciliation” process between the SNP and the wider independence movement, but the “Truth” part , an admission of wrongdoing, if not an outright apology, needs to come first. Then we can talk about the “Reconciliation” part. If that does not happen , and continuity is the course taken, then the whole party will surely cease to exist, maybe quickly, maybe just a slow lingering demise.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I often disagree with you, Peter, but you’ve hit the nail on the head, here. The first step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging its nature. The SNP’s alarming propensity for groupthink in the Sturgeon era has rendered any of her acolytes (i.e., those still running the show now) incapable of the self-direction and critical thought necessary to begin unpicking the party’s woes. Will they survive or will they wither on the vine?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I suspect the party leaders’ inability for critical thinking and self-direction will render the SNP a failed party by the time of the GE in 2024, if not before. The wrong person is leading it and most of those currently in the party have their focus on gender ideology rather than Independence. Hence the very foolish suggestion by Humza Yousaf to challenge the WM Government’s section35. We can now see just how good a job Nicola Sturgeon did on keeping MSPs silent and compliant while she removed every possibility of anyone contradicting or challenging her or members having a say in decision making. The only way out of this major difficulty is re-education therapy for living in the real world for all those who have been exposed to the cult-like atmosphere of being a member of the SNP.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Ms Sturgeon will no doubt be off to her retreat in Portugal afore long to work on her lucrative book project. Some suggested titles:

    So Long Suckers!’
    Fend For yourself, Gullibles!
    Feel Free To Idolise Me.
    Memoirs of a Pushcart Peddler.
    Address Me In Superlatives.
    My Too Too Devine Power Trip.
    My Life as a Sweetheart.
    Free and Yodelling La Traviata.
    Fooled Ya!
    I Can’t Remember.
    It Wiznae Me Gov.

    Feel free to make up your own titles…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The great new wave of SNP transparency has resulted in the SNP not disclosing whether or not Peter Murrell’s party membership has been suspended.

    I guess that membership/accounting is still an Official Secret. They will need a bigger overdraft because a fraud case against Murrell would be a de facto fraud case against the SNP.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. All this would be a divine comedy, (after Dante), if it were not so serious. Dante wrote of the afterlife and I wonder what the afterlife of this political earthquake in the SNP will be for the future of Scotland. If fraud is proven, as Mr E writes, then the SNP as whole may come under the legal spotlight. Also, any fraud investigations may throw up other potential legal minefields. We live in interesting days…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “All this would be a divine comedy, (after Dante), if it were not so serious. “

    La Divina Commedia is very serious indeed – and not just the first part. Dante’s imagined journey from Hell through Purgatory to Paradise is set, symbolically (and topically), between Good Friday and Easter Day.

    Early In his journey through Hell the narrator encounters three Biblical creatures, one of which represents Fraud and Malice. No, it is not named Pietro Murrello.

    Liked by 2 people

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