What disturbs me most about this GRA contretemps is the role it has played in creating the very deep fissures within the SNP alluded to by Richard Walker. The nature of the issue; the way GRA reform has been handled by the Scottish Government; the manner in which the reforms have been influenced and defended by a particular clique, all seem designed to polarise opinion. Indeed, it may be impossible to separate cause and effect. But whatever is assigned the status of cause, the effect on the party has been sufficiently deleterious to prompt the question of whether any cause is worth it.
From the political perspective, anyone looking to take renewed hope and revived spirit away from this event was bound to feel let down. But few among the more politically aware entertained such ambition. The height of my ambition was that the conference wouldn't be a total disaster. It wasn't. It was only 'nearly hopeless'. But was it dire?
Never in all the decades of SNP conference resolutions have so many words been used to so poorly disguise such a woeful lack of substance or effect.
Nothing changes unless lines are crossed. The comfortable and complacent sit on their side of the line condemning as dangerous and heretical reformers who dare to cross the line in search of new and better. Lines must be crossed if there is to be even the possibility of change. In every area of human endeavour … Continue reading To the edge of the world
Every moment of every day is a struggle not to succumb to the hopelessness that threatens to overwhelm and extinguish even the anger at the way members are being treated by party leaders and senior managers.
It is absolutely impossible for a movement as massive and diverse and unstructured as the Yes movement to make common cause on matters of policy. Such common cause cannot be achieved even within political parties. How could there be any hope of unifying a movement entirely without internal cohesion or a common ideology or discipline of hierarchy?
The Conference is scheduled. For the next few weeks talk will be of little else. As is the way with these things, most of that talk will be pish, varying only in concentration and pungency. I shall, as ever, endeavour to keep this site as pish-free as possible.
The people decide! The people considering Plan B must first decide who is referred to by the "self-" in "self-determination".
The trouble with saying that this isn't what it looks like is that it induces people to think about what it looks like rather than what it's being presented as. A bit like telling someone not to think about a pink elephant. Deferring the spring conference looks very like a pink elephant. The problem wouldn't … Continue reading The dilemma of conflicting imperatives
This is the perfect time for Nicola Sturgeon to do something bold and decisive. But it is far from being the first such occasion. The difference now is that, where previously she had considerable leeway - people across the independence movement were prepared to cut her some slack and trust her judgement - this is no longer the case. or, at least, it is no longer as true as it once was.