I believe in unity, just not with ‘them’

This week saw the most post-election independence activity ever from Nicola Sturgeon, perhaps pushed into it by the enormous success of the Wee Alba Book, with crowded venues at every event organised to discuss it. However, several important questions, such as the date, the currency and the borders, were either not addressed or were glossed over. In particular, there was one very important aspect of any campaign that Sturgeon refused to address, even when directly questioned.

One thing that all Independistas agree on is the need for a united campaign. Without unity, there won’t be a campaign, there will be several different campaigns. Without unity, there will be disagreements between the campaigns, there will be arguments about the correct way forward, there will be different points of view on all of the questions that damaged Yes in the 2014 referendum. Without unity, voters will think that independence is all about arguments and confusion. Without unity, independence will not happen.

Despite the obvious disadvantages, Nicola Sturgeon has consistently refused to allow the SNP to have any contact with Alba and ISP and the other independence supporting groups and parties. In fact, the opposite is true as she has encouraged her followers to describe the other independence supporting parties in the most unflattering of terms, describing them as enemies, not friends, as if trying to ensure that pro-independence voters have only one realistic option, rather than trying to maximise the independence vote.

A recent reply from an MSP to a query from one of his constituents pretty much confirms that there is no possibility of a collaborative relationship between the SNP and Alba. Typically, the SNP puts the whole blame on Alba.

Sturgeon gives the impression that she believes the SNP owns the Yes movement and there’s no need to discuss policy options with other groups. Recent events have shown how true that is. Last Tuesday, following the presentation of the first in a series of papers highlighting the advantages of independence (a bit of a damp squib considering how it was announced), Sturgeon was asked if she saw a role for Alba in the independence campaign. She refused to give a direct answer.

What then could be the reason for Nicola Sturgeon to rule out SNP collaboration with any other independence group? What could be the reason for her to do the one thing that all independistas agree will assure a No vote?

Two possible explanations occur to me, neither great, but one worse than the other.

First, it could be that Sturgeon believes that she knows all the answers and that independence can only happen if she calls all the shots. Based on her behaviour as First Minister and leader of the SNP, it is obvious that Sturgeon needs to be in charge. She allows no dissenting opinions. Nothing happens in the Scottish Government or in the SNP without her say-so so it wouldn’t be a shock if she acts the same way about independence. Her policy of my way or the highway can be seen from the swift action she takes to sideline any party members with their own opinions. Those promoted are those who agree with her every statement. Whether that leads to better government and whether it would lead to a winning independence campaign is in some doubt.

Second, and much worse, it could be that Sturgeon is making decisions to sabotage the independence movement, and she could be doing it deliberately (© George Foulkes). Could that be the explanation for her strange and counter-productive infatuation with GRA reform and Hate Crimes legislation which are obviously creating division in the Yes movement. Could that be the explanation for the otherwise astonishing decision to sell off Scotland’s wind energy future for buttons. Could that be the explanation for her ignoring all the earlier opportunities to advance the cause of Scottish independence, particularly in 2016 with the Brexit vote.

If Nicola Sturgeon is serious about independence, she will have to accept that any campaign is not just about the SNP. There are other parties with other opinions whose views will have to be discussed and accommodated within any campaign strategy. Can she do this? Will she do this?

The Gemme’s a bogey? Correction

The gemme’s a bogey if we don’t all make the effort to change the current situation.

No doubt, you may already have seen loads of analysis following the Scottish local elections, now just about three weeks ago as I write.

Well, here’s more.

I’ve looked at the voting figures for this month’s elections and compared them to the last local elections in 2017.

Most of you will have seen that the SNP proportion of first preference votes increased, from 32.3% in 2017 to 34.1% this year. The turnout was lower, 47% in 2017 and 44% this time, that in itself an indictment of our government’s efforts to keep the electorate enthused, but what about number of votes.

The number of SNP first preference votes increased from 620,820 to 636,950. That’s an extra 16,130 voters who, on a reduced turnout, decided that the SNP was the party they wanted to support. At a time when independence options not available in 2017, like Alba and ISP, were on (some of) the ballot papers, and when more and more adverse comments about the government’s current performance are appearing in both mainstream and social media, more people are voting for a party which almost certainly won’t bring independence. Won’t even try. They’re also voting for a party with an increasingly poor reputation for good governance. And don’t tell me that local elections are not about national issues, because we all know that most voters vote for the party, not the individual.

How can you explain that the more obvious it becomes that the SNP doesn’t see independence as a priority (some would go even further than that), the more people are voting for them. How can SNP support increase when so many have seen through their charade around the independence question and are providing the evidence for everyone to see.

I believe that there are two groups of people who now feel able to support the SNP.

Firstly, there may be lots of people in Scotland who are frightened of independence but are too embarrassed to admit it, even to themselves. Their concern about independence may be down to fear of the unknown, fear of losing what they have, be it little or not so little, or just fear of having to stand on their own two feet after years of leaving all the big decisions to their bigger neighbour. I suppose this is a change from several years ago when some independence supporters were too embarrassed to admit their support of what, at the time, seemed like a way out idea.

Secondly, there are those who see themselves as British and want to remain in the United Kingdom, but see the SNP as a better option for the government of Scotland than the English controlled parties, who admittedly, don’t present a very high bar. This is hardly a new group. In the pre-SNP days of Labour majorities, many would vote Labour for Westminster and SNP for Holyrood, thinking they were the best parties for each parliament.

What connects these two groups is that their vote for the SNP is because they know full well that independence will never happen with the current SNP in charge. These additional votes come from people who don’t favour independence, either because of the fear mentioned above or because they still want to remain part of the Union, but they all realise that there is now no danger that the SNP under Sturgeon will ever seek to promote independence. They vote for the SNP because they know in their heart of hearts that the SNP will never deliver independence.

Are there now tens of thousands of voters, maybe even hundreds of thousands if you include the apathetic who didn’t bother to vote this month, who would vote for the SNP because they don’t want change. Voters happy with the illusion that devolution suits Scotland very well. If this has always been the SNP’s plan under Nicola Sturgeon, it has worked out beautifully.

How long can this continue. There may be little we can do about the unionists, despite the SNP telling us to concentrate on convincing the ‘soft Unionist noes’, whoever they are, but is there anything we can do about scared voters? Can we get scared voters to love the idea of independence? The answer to that may be no as well, unless we change the SNP into a party that shows everyone where independence can take us. Impossible? Maybe not. Maybe there is a way.

Well, we’ve heard many independence supporters say that if there’s no referendum in 2023, they won’t support the SNP again. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you’re the SNP, many of these people said a similar thing in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021. Many may actually keep their word and stop supporting the party, but despite the thousands of members deserting the SNP, their votes keep rising, leading me to think that leaving the party and not voting for the party are two unconnected actions, the second not necessarily following from the first.

In 2007, Alex Salmond knew that demonstrating that the Scottish Government could govern competently would encourage more folk to believe that Scottish independence was worth pursuing. And who can say it didn’t work. The period from 2007 to 2014 has been called the Golden Age of SNP government, because most of the advances the SNP boast about today came from that period. The voters saw this as well and their reaction boosted the SNP from minority government in 2007 to a majority in 2011. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option open to us now, as Nicola Sturgeon has taken a diametrically opposite approach, governing so incompetently, encouraging more folk to dismiss the whole idea of independence.

To improve the chance of change, we can always try to replace Sturgeon, though that would be pretty difficult as too many modifications have been made to the party’s internal processes to prevent ordinary members having any say in the running of the party. It’s a more likely possibility that she’ll be nominated for the UN job of her dreams and she’ll just go anyway. Off to pastures new, leaving behind her shattered country as her legacy.

My suggestion is a mass campaign of contacting your local SNP MP/MSP/Councillor telling her/him that you will only be voting for the MP/MSP/Councillor concerned at the next Westminster/Holyrood/Local Authority election if, and only if, the SNP have begun to cooperate with all other pro-independence groups and parties to create an agreed plan to deliver independence and to answer the questions unanswered from 2014, such as borders and currency. Of course, this would only have an impact if they received a whole load of contacts and if the writers were those likely to vote SNP, those, for example, who had voted SNP at the last election. So not Alba members, I suppose.

Would they pay attention? They might if it was going to affect them financially. We must all know that the continuation of their income is probably the only real motivator of today’s elected SNP politicians. If there were enough letters/emails, and they believed their job and therefore their income were threatened, they would pay attention, but it would take action from a large number all over the country, every region, constituency and ward. Just convincing a few MPs/MSPs won’t be enough and they’d be too scared anyway to do anything for fear of getting into Sturgeon’s bad books. There’s safety in numbers.

How many of you really want independence? How many of you are up for telling it as it is? How many of you think the chance of independence is worth a letter/email? How many?

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who can be critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please share this and take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

The Former National Party of Scotland

The SNP. The party of independence. The party that will lead us into the promised land of an independent future; independent from England; independent from what must be the most corrupt government ever in the history of the UK. Or, at least, the UK government least concerned about hiding their corruption.

Is that still the SNP? Does today’s SNP still have a laser-like focus on independence, where every action is judged on whether it takes Scotland closer to independence, or, at least, no further away. Or has today’s SNP simply settled for being the party of devolution, waiting to see how things work out, only doing what they have to do to keep enough independence supporters onside, happy to accept whatever crumbs are thrown at it by Westminster, even when the crumbs seem to get fewer and fewer every year.

Or is it even worse? Are the leadership of the SNP actively trying to prevent independence ever happening? Are they so comfortable with the situation as it is now that they have abandoned independence as it constitutes a threat to their current status and their current incomes? Is independence just a carrot to keep voters onside when elections loom?

Well, there must be an election coming because the SNP are talking about independence. Note the key word “talking”, because you can be sure, just like in the run-up to all elections since 2015, there may be talking, but there will be very little doing, and what little doing happens between now and May will be stopped immediately after the announcement of the results.

So what do their recent actions tell us about the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon?

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to accept the changes to the devolution settlement being made by Westminster without consultation or agreement, but with no more than a whimper of opposition from the Scottish Government. We can do no more they say, or at least, they would say if they didn’t just keep their collective mouths shut in the hope that no one will notice. But is there a way which allows them to do better? To have more control over all aspects of policy? I wonder if there is one.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to transfer our natural resources to England only to have them sold back to us at an exorbitant markup. We know it happened to the revenue from Scottish oil, which Thatcher, and those who came after, used to fund London improvements. We know it’s happening to low cost Scottish renewable energy, transferred via the National Grid to England, with Scottish consumers then facing huge increases in energy costs to pay for the increased cost of fossil fuel generation, increased cost meaning increased profits for the energy multi-nationals. We know that plans are in place for it to happen with water.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have millions of Scots living in poverty while Westminster arranges for the very rich to become very richer. Now, the top 1% of households own 23% of the UK’s wealth, a figure that has increased by around 20% during the pandemic, while the rest of us have suffered.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to sell off-shore wind resources on the cheap, doing a deal that means all future profits go to multi-nationals and none comes to the people of Scotland. A deal which impacts on the viability of an independent Scotland.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have our government concentrating on policies that very few like or want, policies that restrict freedom of speech, policies that benefit a tiny number of people while disadvantaging over 50% of the population.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have people who disagree with any of the government’s policies, many of them independence supporters, arrested, charged and sometimes jailed on spurious grounds.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have the SNP, the self-described party of independence, refuse to work with any other independence supporting parties (please don’t tell me the Greens are an independence supporting party), allow some of their members to conduct a campaign of abuse directed at other independence parties, but instead say openly that they want to ally themselves to The Labour Party, a Unionist party.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland.

“By their deeds shall you know them”.

And by these deeds, can the SNP under Sturgeon’s leadership still be considered the party of independence?

Beat the Censors.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who can be critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please share this and take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

The Return of the Slave Trade – Part 2

I wrote the following blog just after the 2016 Scottish election, though now, five and a half years later, almost nothing has changed. Everything I wrote then still applies, but it has become apparent that I missed out one aspect of modern slavery that has particular relevance in the independence debate.

The Return of the Slave Trade

Now the election’s over, we can get back to business as usual on social media, with most postings slagging off the Tories for the latest round of austerity cuts (or proposed cuts), cutting the incomes of the poor and disadvantaged, while, at the same time, boosting the incomes of the deserving plutocrats.

But how can they do that?  How can they sleep at night?  Have they no conscience?  These and other similar questions are often asked, but what surprises me is that the obvious answer to all of these questions is being ignored.

But first, a history lesson.  Let’s go back a few hundred years to a time when the European nobles got a bit fed up fighting amongst themselves.  Problem was, wars too often resulted in an effective score draw and many of the peasants who formed the bulk of the armies got killed.  This meant that there weren’t enough left to tend the animals and grow the crops used to feed the plutocrats of the day.  Jolly inconvenient, eh, what!  To solve the problem, they started looking  further afield for people to fight and that’s when they discovered Africa.

In Africa, they found a land populated by strange animals you didn’t see in Europe, lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes and many more.  But best of all was an animal that looked almost like a human.  It stood on two legs, just like a human.  It had opposable thumbs, just like a human.  It could use simple tools, just like a human.  But best of all, they discovered it was able to look after crops and animals and could be used to replace the peasants with no need to pay them beyond a few drinks of water and the odd bowl of gruel.  But they weren’t really human.  I mean, they didn’t wear proper clothes and they couldn’t speak even one European language.

That was the viewpoint of the early European invaders.  The slave trade developed partly because they thought they were dealing with some sort of sub-human species, so treating them like animals was quite acceptable, because they were animals.  Europeans considered Africans were put on the world to provide a means of generating money and food for real (i.e. rich) people.  This was an attitude that persisted right up to the middle of the last century and, in some places, still exists today.  Even many of those who campaigned to end the slave trade did so on the same basis as we would today campaign to improve the conditions of pigs or chickens.

Now, of course, in most developed countries, people views have changed and such thinking is not considered appropriate.  People are no longer identified by their race or colour.  But it is in human nature to seek to differentiate.  There has to be an us and a them.  So how are people differentiated today?  The answer is, of course, money.  There are those who have lots and those who don’t.

So what’s this got to do with the slave trade, I hear you say.  Well, while 15th century Europeans thought Africans were inferior because of their colour, 21st century rich toffs think poor people are inferior because of their poverty.  They believe superior people will find a way to become rich and only inferior people will remain poor because they’ve not got the capability to become rich.

Do rich people think poor people are some sort of sub-human species?  A step up from cattle, pigs and sheep, perhaps, but still only fit for tending crops and looking after animals (or whatever the 21st century equivalents are).  Might that explain why Tories don’t seem to be overly concerned about the impact of the cuts on poor people?  After all, if you decided to (e.g.) reduce the amount of grazing your cattle have, you might be worried if it impacted the profit to be made, but you wouldn’t be overly worried about the impact on the cattle’s quality of life.

There are still a few quite significant differences between poor people and animals.  Two of the more significant are poor people can vote, animals can’t and poor people have human rights, animals don’t.  Until this changes, there is always the danger that some poor people might get really annoyed about something and prevent the plans of rich people going ahead.  However, alive to the danger, we’ve seen the Tory government take the first steps to resolve these two problems by firstly changing the voter registration system, resulting in large numbers of poor people losing the right to vote; and secondly, proposing to replace European Human Rights with a British version, which will undoubtedly provide fewer rights than the European one.  And who will bet against this being only the start of a significant program to remove even more rights from poor people.

But surely that can’t be right, I hear you say.  Surely our government doesn’t really think of the bulk of the population as some lower form of being.  Well, just think of what has happened since the Tories (effectively) took power in 2010.   Their rhetoric has been to demonise the unemployed (shirkers don’t contribute to the wealth of rich people) and to describe the disabled as a drain on society (many of them don’t contribute to the wealth of rich people).  Their actions have added to the misery of the poor and disabled by cutting ESA, introducing the bedroom tax (though the fact that this was first introduced by Labour is a timely reminder that not all rich people are in the Tory party) and Work Capability Assessments, and freezing other benefits or making them much more difficult to claim.  All actions which further disadvantage the already disadvantaged.  Would normal human beings do that to fellow humans; to people they considered as their equals?  I think not.

All the actions of the government point to the inescapable conclusion that rich people (remember the government are nearly all rich people) consider themselves a higher class of being and, by inference, consider the poor as a lower class who don’t deserve the same level of consideration.  Who then can argue that poor people are not the slaves of the 21st century?

In the earlier posting, I said that, generally, people are no longer differentiated by their race or colour, but in this modern United Kingdom, there is still one active differentiator – nationality.

The view of the rich English, and some of the not so rich, is that those UK citizens who hail from one of the other three countries, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are a lesser class of human, fit only for doing the jobs beneath your true (i.e. rich) English person, working to provide them with the money that keeps them in the style they’ve become accustomed to, and taking part in their wars of personal enrichment (as cannon-fodder, of course), only able to survive due to the largesse of their English masters.

Of the problems (as the English see it) caused by lesser humans being allowed to take part in normal society, solutions needed to be found, and were found.

They have solved the voting problem, not by preventing the Scots, Welsh ans Northern Irish from voting, but by putting those whom they vote for into a parliament where they are collectively outnumbered, so the English always get their own way.

They have solved the human rights problem, as I mentioned in 2016, by replacing EU human rights legislation by a UK version which can be summarised as:

You can have any rights you like as long as they don’t interfere with the right of the true Englishman to make as much money as possible by making sure the rest of humanity works only for them.

Already the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will place restrictions on gatherings and protest marches, unfortunately an idea enthusiastically taken up by the Scottish Government. The Internal Market Act gives Westminster the power to decide what food you will be allowed to eat and what you will pay for it. If that means some Scottish producers (and the jobs they support) are priced out of the market, then so be it. Do you think Westminster will care?

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill (informally known as the Licence to Kill Bill) makes it legal for any member of the security services to execute, without trial, anyone they suspect of acting against the best interests of the state, and that includes the state’s political and financial interests. Arguably, anyone supporting Scottish Independence is advocating an action that will damage the UK both politically and financially. Just think about it.

If you think that is too extreme an interpretation, remember Willie McRae, a senior SNP politician who was alleged in 1975 to have committed suicide by shooting himself twice in the head and then throwing the gun away, just when he was about to expose a bunch of rich, politically-connected child abusers. He was being followed at the time by members of the security services, but, allegedly, they had nothing to do with his death.

Even if not formally ackowleged, few would argue against the relationship between England and Scotland being that of coloniser and colonised. The dictionary definition of colonialism is:

The policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.

Is that not exactly what has happened to Scotland over the last 314 years.

England has full political control through a parliament in which they have a large majority over all other countries combined. Most major decisions are made for Scotland by an English dominated parliament, made by English MPs who know very little about Scotland. Even the decisions the Scottish Government is allowed to make are subject to scrutiny by Westminster, so any they don’t like may be struck down.

The last census held in Scotland was in 2011 as the 2021 census was postponed by the Scottish Government, allegedly because of the pandemic, though the census was held in the remainder of the UK. I wonder why Sturgeon didn’t want the answer to be known? In 2011, approximately 15% of those resident in Scotland were settlers, i.e. they originated from another part of the world. By far, the largest number of these, about 10% of the population, were from England. With an estimated 50,000 new immigrants moving to Scotland every year, over half from England, the proportion of English ‘settlers’ is set to increase.

Of course, the number of settlers is in itself not significant. More significant is the number of settlers who occupy senior positions in government and government sponsored and cultural organisations. Look and see how many public bodies in Scotland are led by someone who’s experience is in a different country and in a different area of business, with little knowledge of Scottish environment, culture and history. Ask yourself whether the decisions these people make are likely to be influenced by their largely non-Scottish background and ask yourself why there’s rarely a Scottish candidate considered for the position.

The ways in which Scottish resources are exploited by Westminster are almost without number.

The revenue from Scottish oil was used by Thatcher to enhance the attractiveness of London as a business centre and to destroy the Scottish manufacturing base, effectively paying for the Scottish unemployed with money stolen from Scotland. An act of deliberate economic vandalism.

Now the same thing is happening with the energy produced from Scottish wind and water, transferred to the National Grid at a cost to the producers, then sold back to Scots consumers at a much higher price. Scotland get very little benefit from their own energy.

Water will be next as plans are in place to build pipelines to transfer Scottish water to England. Just like oil and wind, there will be no benefit to Scotland.

The biggest irony in the scandal of the exploitation of Scottish resources for English benefit is the annual production of the GERS figures, supposingly describing the Scottish economy, produced by the Scottish Government but based largely on estimates supplied by Westminster. If you think there’s any chance of these numbers representing an accurate statement of the Scottish economy, bear in mind that the report was first produced by Tory Scottish Secretary Ian Lang as a way of preventing devolution. It was, and still is, a way of making the Scottish economy look bad.

So we can see that Scotland’s relationship with England fits the definition of colonialism exactly. England has total political control. English setttlers occupy many senior positions in Scottish organisations and their numbers are sufficient to sway the results of elections and referenda. Scottish resources are removed from the Scottish economy for the benefit of England, with little or no benefit accruing to the Scottish people.

We’ve seen that the relationship between Scotland and England fits the definition of colonialism. So what’s the connection between colonialism and slavery. One definition of slavery is:

A civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty and fortune.

Just change the wording slightly andyou get a perfect description of Scotland’s current position:

A civil relationship whereby one group of people has absolute power over another and controls their life, liberty and fortune.

And then, from a paper on Afican slavery by Songhikenjou Bama at Penn State University:

Colonization is like enslaving an entire area.

Can anyone deny that Scotland, despite its long history as a free nation, has been colonised by England and that England’s control over Scotland is effectively slavery?

For Scotland’s future, will you choose freedom or slavery?

For a much better explanation of the effect of colonialism on Scotland, why not read the excellent series of papers by Professor Alf Baird available on the Yours for Scotland website. This is a link to the synopsis. The whole series is also available in paperback or kindle form from Amazon (and no doubt from other booksellers) as Doun-Hauden: The Socio-Political Determinants of Scottish Independence.

Beat the Censors.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please share this and take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

Devomax – it’s the final betrayal

In Wednesday’s National, we saw this.

Indyref2: Ex SNP policy chief backs three-option ballot paper to break ‘logjam’

Former SNP policy chief backs three-option referendum to break indyref ‘logjam’.
THE SNP‘s former policy chief has called for three options – including “devo-max” – to be put to voters in a second independence referendum. Chris Hanlon, who is a member of the party’s policy development committee, said the move could help break the current constitutional logjam with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wanting a new vote and Boris Johnson repeatedly failing to agree.

It’s been talked about for some time, but now the SNP have come out of the closet. They have finally admitted they are considering a third way. Well, they call it a third way, but is it? Is it in reality just a different description of what the modern Nicola Sturgeon led SNP have always wanted, but knew they could never go for? They don’t want independence, but they couldn’t say so outright. They could never campaign for a no vote, no matter what the terms were, because it would destroy their carefully constructed carrot plan, where they say they want independence, but never do anything to achieve it. But now, here’s a supposed ‘half-way house’, not quite what anyone wanted, but just about acceptable to both sides. It can be passed off to the independence supporters as a stepping stone on the way to full independence, but the unionists will know what it really is, a more acceptable description of the status quo.

Chris Hanlon SNP
It’s a think-piece intended to stimulate debate. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read it in full but I don’t think re-entering the EU or single market would be impossible with the same powers the Faroes have…

Already, we’re seeing the SNP plan. Get a nonentity who can be described as important to float the idea. If it sticks, it will become a party suggestion. If it doesn’t, it will be a “silly” suggestion by an individual that the leadership can disown. If it doesn’t go down well, how long will it take for Nicola Sturgeon to disown it?

Surely most of you remember 2014 and the last minute Vow, signed by the leaders of the three main unionist parties. It did its job. It persuaded enough voters to change from YES to NO in return for a set of promises that the unionists never intended to keep. It was a sham, a fraud, a lie. They knew in advance that Westminster would never pass laws to match the promises, and they didn’t. Every single proposal put forward by the SNP at Westminster was voted down by English MPs. The SNP, and Scotland, got nothing.

So why is that relevant today? Because Devomax is just the Vow in different clothing. It’s a con. It will be a set of proposals that needs Westminster approval to become law and Westminster will not approve. We’ll be in the same position as we were in 2014. Nothing of substance will come from a vote for Devomax.

However, there is one significant difference between 2014 and now. Then it was the unionists, the parties of NO making the suggestion, knowing it would never happen. This time, it’s coming from the SNP, the so-called party of independence. The party of independence are floating a proposal, hoping to get the Scottish people to agree to it, but knowing full well it will be rejected by Westminster, knowing full well that it will result in the status quo, or worse.

What has become of the party of independence under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon when they are floating proposals which require the Scottish people to give up on independence for generations, perhaps for ever.

Devomax is a con. Devomax will never be delivered. Devomax is the 2022 version of the Vow and should be rejected by anyone who has an interest in independence.

Beat the Censors.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please share this and take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

Will it be a Guid New Year?

This is the last blog of 2021 and my last chance to give my opinion on whether the SNP can still be considered a party of independence.

2021 was a year, like many others, that started with so much hope and enthusiasm. We had the Scottish Parliament election to look forward to, with the promise of progress on independence. There was the promise of an update of the independence prospectus. There was the promise of an independence bill being brought to parliament. There were so many, many promises. “Vote for me”, said Nicola and no one will be able to stop us: no one will presume to interfere with Scotland’s right to become independent. Of course, no one heard her mutter under her breath, “except me”.

So 2021 is coming to a close and we are no further forward in our struggle for independence. “Blame Covid”, said Nicola. “We can’t do any work on independence when we are in the midst of a pandemic. We can have an election to give us five more years leaching of the public purse; we can work on defining Hate Crimes; we can threaten to charge people for what they say in their own homes; we can turn men into women in the blink of an eye; but what we can’t do, what we can never do, we can’t do any work on independence in the midst of a pandemic.

The New Year is just around the corner. Will 2022 start with hope and enthusiasm? Will there be an independence bill? Will the independence prospectus be updated in preparation for the latest promise, a referendum in 2023. If it arrives, will the referendum be a simple yes/no to independence, or will Devo Max, or Home Rule be included on the ballot paper, virtually assuring that it will win.

If it is included, no one, least of all Nicola Sturgeon, will tell you that, like the infamous vow in 2014, the implementation will depend on the Westminster government agreeing to it and the chances of that happening, like 2014, are nil. In fact, the best we could hope for is the status quo, but the more likely outcome would be a continuation of the current Westminster plan to further reduce the powers of the Holyrood government, a plan that the current Scottish government seem to be reasonably happy to accept.

So does that mean 2022 will be another black year for independence supporters? Is there no way out? Can nothing be done to improve the prospects for independence?

Given that we have established that the biggest blockage on the road to independence is Nicola Sturgeon, then her removal would clear the road, but only if she was not replaced by one of her close associates, such as the odious and ineffectual Angus Robertson. No sense in getting rid of Satan, only to replace her with Beelzebub.

How do we do that? Is there a best way to convince Nicola Sturgeon that her time is up?

Can it be done from inside the party? What the last several years have shown us is that the SNP leadership have given up paying attention to the membership. If you’re an ordinary member, you play a disappearingly small part in the party’s plans or political strategy. Your part in this charade is to provide money, deliver leaflets and sing the praises of Nicola to anyone who’ll listen, to yourself, but mainly, on every opportunity you get, to Nicola herself. And remember, she’s always right.

So does it have to be done from outside the party? Fortunately, the SNP themselves have made plans to increase the numbers outside the party. They’ve made the Hate Crimes plan: they’ve made the Self-Id plan: they’ve made the Let’s jail everyone who doesn’t agree with us plan: they’ve made lots of plans, none of which involve independence, and as a result of their plans, thousands of previously active independence supporting members left the party.

There are just about four months left before the next test of people’s belief in the SNP’s capabilities and particularly their independence plans, the Local Elections. Of course, voting for Local Government has not the same impact on independence as voting for National Government. However, parties tend to campaign using party labels and voters tend to base their voting on their opinion of the parties, so it will still be a valid test.

So what can we do? In the four months we have to persuade the SNP that their election chances are under threat if they do not change their priorities and start making moves to bring independence closer. But it has to be actions. Talk of independence and promises of future action is no longer enough. Failing the success of that, and unfortunately I think it will fail, we need to encourage Alba and ISP and other truly independence supporting parties to stand candidates to allow as many of us from outside the SNP to show their displeasure by voting against them. If the SNP won’t listen to advice, perhaps they’ll pay attention to the electoral impact.

As a brief aside, I see that some remaining SNP supporters are starting to use the old Scottish Labour argument, which was if you don’t vote Labour, you’ll let the Tories in. That used to work in Scotland until Labour fell from 41 Westminster seats in 2010 to 1 (yes one) in 2015. Now we’re hearing if you don’t vote SNP, you’ll let the unionists in. Is this the SNP’s final conversion into a Scottish Labour lookalike? Of course, in the Holyrood election, votes for SNP meant the Unionists got in. Funny that!

I hope everyone has as good and as safe a time as possible over the New Year and comes back refreshed and ready to restart the battle for independence.

Saor Alba!

The SNP Walkouts

Remember the time (over 3 years ago now) when the SNP Parliamentary group walked out of the English Parliament (colloquially known as the UK Parliament) when they were effectively refused any time to discuss devolution, as a Tory member spoke for the entire 15 minutes allocated by the speaker? This is a BBC report at the time. Was that the last time when an action showed even the smallest sign of any interest in Scottish affairs?

Certainly, at the moment, the only event that causes SNP members walk out of the chamber is one of the Alba MPs standing to speak. Obviously, the last thing you would expect SNP MPs to be interested in would be the opinion of a fellow independence supporting MP. (Did I just accuse SNP MPs of supporting Scottish independence? Will washing out my mouth with soap and water absolve me of this heinous crime?).

It appears that the SNP have reinvented their own version of the Bain Principal. For those who don’t remember, this was the notion, named after a Labour MP at the time, Willie Bain, that the Labour party in Westminster would automatically ignore any proposal made by the SNP, no matter whether they actually agreed with it or not. Now the SNP in Westminster (with a couple of exceptions) are ignoring anything brought up by the Alba party no matter whether they agree with it or not. Just like the Labour party of 10 years ago, the SNP are allowing their hatred of Alba to define their policy decisions, rather than whether the policy would benefit the people of Scotland. Would that attitude be described as childish, counter-productive or just plain stupid.

But why the hatred? What is there about Alba that means that hatred is almost a condition of SNP membership. Is it (as many in the SNP will say) because of Alex Salmond’s connection with Alba? Alex Salmond, a man the SNP leadership tried so very hard to get found guilty on flimsy and invented charges. Or is it because so many Alba members were once SNP members? Perhaps the SNP should be more concerned about why they left rather than trying to smear them after the fact. Or is it because any success that Alba has will impact on the SNP’s strategy for electoral success, which is being unique, being the only credible allegedly independence supporting party. I say allegedly because, despite all the talk over the last seven years, nothing concrete has been achieved to advance the cause of independence since the coronation of Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the party. NOTHING!!!

Recently, Nicola Sturgeon told us that the only way to gain independence was for all parties to work together. Not surprisingly, few would disagree. One aspect of the first referendum was how all the independence supporting parties and groups worked together. However, the only problem with Nicola Sturgeon’s statement is, though she may have said all parties, it appears she meant only unionist parties, particularly the Labour party.

Why would the independence supporting head of an independence supporting party be so reluctant to talk to other independence supporting parties if a referendum (or other independence action) was on the horizon?

I’ll leave that for readers to decide.

Beat the Censors.

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SNP – The Scottish Near-fascist Party

Disagree with the headline? Then please read the following post by Grouse Beater and George Monbiot. https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2021/12/01/our-police-state/ via @wordpressdotcom. It should make you think. It might make you change your mind.

I humbly offer a few further words of advice to the Scottish electorate which, I believe, they should ignore at their peril. Continuing to ignore this message will just provide the opportunity for the combined governments of Westminster and Holyrood to complete their work to turn the UK, including Scotland, into a police state where virually any action by an individual citizen can be considered, if the government so chooses, as a danger to the state and subject to draconian punishment, punishment which will be the law of the land, so you won’t be able to use the courts to defend yourself. Remember, just because it’s the law doesn’t mean it’s right.

We have two measures we have to take if we want to retain our freedoms and to continue to live in a democracy.

First, we need to get as far away as possible, as fast as possible, from this evil, fascist Westminster government. That means independence. That also means ignoring the SNP’s constant stalling tactics and getting on with it, because we really don’t have much time left.

Second, following independence, we need to elect a Scottish government that isn’t simply going to copy the worst of Westminster policy and wrap a tartan ribbon round it. There’s no point losing one fascist government just to replace it with another. The government we elect shouldn’t include any of the current SNP dictators and devolutionists who mustn’t be given a further opportunity to recreate Westminster in Edinburgh, which is exactly what they are doing now.

I know many of you will consider this scaremongering with little basis in reality, but it really is impossible to exaggerate the urgency of our situation, Grouse Beater’s posting linked to at the beginning of this post lays out some of what’s going on and, as further evidence, I would also add a couple of my own posts, https://angryweegie.wordpress.com/2021/06/21/and-then-they-came-for-the-dissenters/ and https://angryweegie.wordpress.com/2021/07/30/will-2026-be-soon-enough/

Protest now, because there likely won’t be another chance later.

Beat the Censors.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

Does the SNP think Scots Law exists?

Or are they trying to make sure it doesn’t?

The basis of this blog is a comment made by Gayle, a reader of the site, in response to my blog “What authority does the Scottish Government have”. You can read my blog here. I think Gayle’s reply is worthy of a wider audience.

With the Scottish Government meekly accepting English Supreme Court rejection of two Holyrood bills, they are doing exactly what they should categorically be refusing to do; recognising its legitimacy. This is especially relevant as it refers to UK law. UK law is non-existent, there being only Scots and English law within the Treaty of Union.

What is worse though is their absolute silence on the fundamental breaches to the treaty which not only violate the treaty but change the very nature of it.

Take a look at the English Act of Union Bill (2017-2019) being discussed in the Lords and what it says in Part 1 Section 1 concerning the very name of the treaty. UK not GB. Now you may think but this is what the treaty is commonly referred to but legally the treaty should be in the name of Great Britain. Then read further on how they make themselves the sole continuator state and authority and give themselves the power to define which areas of life they will control and the power to change these at will without consulting the devolved parliaments, thereby granting themselves a veto over Scotland and the Scots. You can read the full act here.

Next, look at Clause 38 of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act, where they have written English parliamentary sovereignty into law for the first time. Carwyn Jones puts the point across very well in this video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNawcGqBWc4 though he incorrectly states that the Scottish Parliament was dissolved in 1707.

Then, look at Westminster’s Internal Market Act, paying close attention to the wording – again under UK not GB. And recently the motorist identification legislation which states that all Scots must cover up and/or replace GB identifiers with UK. You can read the full act here.

It won’t be lost on you why this fundamental change. Add to that to the paper commissioned by the English government and penned by Crawford and Boyle, particularly Part IV, which claims that Scotland was extinguished and subsumed into a Greater England albeit under the new name of UK and the significance of renaming the state UK becomes clear. As does the reason they enacted EVEL.

And what has the Scottish government done? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. They have capitulated to the English government every single step of the way. Did you know that they are actively writing into law all the aspects which have been mere conventions within the treaty of 1707? Such as the convention on ratifying treaties. Now ask yourself why the English government are writing this convention into English law. And to top it off they even have English government offices in the Scottish capital and in Glasgow. This and so much more has been happening right under their and our noses and there is silence. There is the constant “permission must be sought from England” from them not an assertion of Scots sovereign authority. And let’s not forget that they actively removed the Scottish nationality and replaced it with British which is against the law to do. As I have pointed out elsewhere, this is death by a thousand cuts and hardly anyone seems to notice.

What is also worrying is that any time Scots start to question why Scots authority is not asserted and seek to do so, as if on cue out come the “Scotland is a colony” chanters. Almost as if deliberately trying to undermine Scotland and its true status as a sovereign nation state and partner to the treaty.

My comment

I think Gayle is quite right when she suggests that the Tory government are trying to establish in law a unitary state called the United Kingdom, of which Scotland will be just a small part. It cannot have escaped the SNP’s attention that this is happening, so the question to be asked of and answered by the SNP and the Scottish Government is why are you doing nothing about it.

Beat the Censors

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What authority does the Scottish Government have?

And what are they doing to change it?

There have been several people commenting on the recent decision by the English Supreme Court, following action by Westminster, to strike down two Holyrood acts and the muted reaction by the Scottish Government to the decision.  Here’s mine.

Last week saw what could be the beginning of the end for the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and Devolution.  I say the beginning of the end, but there have already been a number of ‘hints’, strong hints, that this was coming.  Many of us warned that the Scottish Government’s inaction on the independence question could only end in tears, though I have the sneaking suspicion that only a few members of the current Scottish Government will be doing much crying. Perhaps the others will be too busy checking their bank balances and licking their lips thinking about the pensions still to come, or perhaps they just don’t care.

What the Scottish Government is unlikely to be doing is working out the best way to achieve independence.  They are more likely to be doing exactly what they have been doing for the last 7 years – nothing, nada, zippo, sfa.  No time spent by the civil service, no discussions or proposals from the NEC, no ideas from the ‘party of independence’, no action from our government.

Is that what it has come to?  Is the dream of Scottish independence that many of us have worked for and longed for for years and years going to fall because of the self-indulgence of a few individuals at the top of the SNP whose only interest seems to be remaining in power for as long as Westminster allows the Scottish Parliament to exist?  Perhaps after 14 years in power, they feel untouchable.  Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

But why the inaction?  The leadership of the SNP must know that the supply of electoral carrots is reducing and those still available are becoming a bit mouldy.  The number of unhappy Scots is growing day by day as more people become frustrated by the lack of progress and more people lose faith in the SNP as the vehicle to deliver independence.  So, with these obvious signs, what could be the reason for the delay.

Could it be what the SNP would like you to believe, that “now is not the time”, to quote a phrase the SNP seem to have borrowed from that well known supporter of Scottish independence, Theresa May; that we must wait until the polls consistently show Yes support at 60% plus; that we must wait until Boris Johnson finally and graciously agrees to grant a Section 30 order to allow the so-called “gold standard” referendum (© Nicola Sturgeon).  In that, the SNP seem to be in full agreement with the Tories, who also tell us we have to wait at least 40 years before the next referendum (© Boris Johnson) or, most recently, 25 years (© Union Jack, Scottish Secretary/Colonial Governor).  But is that option just an excuse for SNP inaction?  And as half a million (mainly) English people are encouraged to move to Scotland every year, will the additional millions of non-Scots voting in any referendum conducted using the same franchise as 2014 improve the chances of a successful outcome?

Could it be that Nicola Sturgeon is too scared of losing (again) and following the precedent set by Alex Salmond in 2014, she would be expected to resign if No triumphed, thus depriving herself of her 6-figure salary and expenses, something she has become used to since 2014 and no doubt wants to continue to enjoy for several more years.  In any case, failure and resignation wouldn’t look good on her résumé.  Would she still get a top UN post with that background?

Could it be that Nicola Sturgeon is just a Unionist plant; that she was taken as a teenager to a secret location and brainwashed to believe that the Union is best and independence is just a silly pipe dream?  Given her background, it seems unlikely, but there has to be some explanation for the change from the independence loving firebrand of 2014 to the do-nothing lover of the female penis of 2021.

Could it be that there is a skeleton or two in the Sturgeon closet or in the Murrell closet and that this has been discovered by someone with an association with Westminster and this is being used to encourage her to adopt a negative approach to independence?  There are certainly rumours going round about the relationship with her husband and talk of a super-injunction, but in these more liberal days, that hardly seems enough to be able to force such a reverse on the independence question.  Though it might explain the love of the female penis.

Or could it be that she always saw her step up to First Minister as the first step to world domination as World Organiser for Legalising the Female Penis (or Chief Walloper).  Could it be that she saw the female penis as the climax of her career?  The tool which allows her to thrust her name into the history books?  The opportunity to harden her reputation as Cock of the North?  Was it that which made her stiffen her resolve to push herself forward to snatch the chance? 

But will she go down in history as the dog’s bollocks or just a twat?

We may never find out the real reason for what is increasingly looking like a deliberate attempt to delay, or even prevent, Scottish independence. What seems more likely is that, unless there’s a sudden change of heart, Scottish history will not be kind to Nicola Sturgeon.

Beat the Censors

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.