The birth pains of a better country

Welcome to Tory Britain, you’ll have had your democracy. The Tories in Scotland came a distant second to the SNP, but they’re acting as though they’re the largest party. There was only one party which lost its majority this week, and it was Ruth Davidson’s. Theresa May has lost, but she’s acting as though she won the crushing majority she called the election for. Her speech on Friday morning was an exercise in denial. It was a remarkable speech, the speech she was going to deliver anyway. It’s a speech that called for unity without compromise, even though the electorate had stripped her of her majority. It was a speech that showed she has learned nothing, a speech that illustrated how unfit she is for the office that she clings to. Theresa May delivered her words but all she told us is how arrogant and out of touch she is. When Theresa May calls on the country to get behind her it’s because she means she wants us out of sight so she doesn’t need to engage with us or consider us.

May thinks she’s able to deliver certainty, but all she’s managed is to bring about the most uncertain future that the country has seen for generations. Theresa May is going to go on as before, hand in hand with the sectarian bigots, homophobes, and climate change deniers of the DUP, taking sides in the political crisis in Northern Ireland because there’s a political crisis in Westminster. A coalition of chaos with creationists and cranks. This was supposed to be a detoxified Tory party, but Theresa May is allying it to poison. The most inflexible and brittle politician who’s ever held the highest office of state is going to try to run a minority government as though it was a majority. It’s going to end in shattering tears.

This was the election that was supposed to be about Brexit, but we’re even less clear about what’s in store than we were before the election began, and even then we had all the light and clarity you get in a boarded up basement in an abandoned house. It’s hard to discern what’s in store for the country now. Even if Theresa May was capable of articulating a clear and sensible plan, you wouldn’t be able to hear it over all the laughter that’s coming from a Europe that thought that surrealism was a Belgian invention and dadaism was French. You wouldn’t be able to make it out over the plots and leadership manoeuvring on her own back benches. This was the election to bring strong and stable government, and all that’s happened is disaster, confusion, debacle and calamity. This is the election that everyone lost.

The Brexit clock is ticking and negotiations are due to begin in a few days time. There’s no policy, no strategy, no plan. May called this election because she thought that she needed a large majority in order to get through the negotiations, and now she doesn’t have a majority at all. Any small group of Tory MPs who are unhappy with her policies will be able to force concessions. What she does have is an angry and resentful party that saw her throw away their majority. The rumour mill is grinding, the manoeuvring is moving. The good news is that her hardnosed Brexit, out of the single market and out of the customs union, won’t enjoy the support of Parliament, the bad news is that the uncertainty and confusion now makes it more likely that Britain could crash out of the EU without any deal at all.

It’s now quite possible that we could be facing another election within a year. It all depends on whether the Conservatives decide that they’ll allow Theresa May to remain in place. It all depends on the progress of Brexit talks whose progress has now been made far more difficult than it already was. It all depends on whether this minority government will be able to govern. The only certainty we have left is that there is no certainty. Remember when the safety, security and certainty of Britain were major selling points for the Unionist campaign to keep Scotland a part of the UK? Those days are gone now. They will not be back any time soon. Britain is now the European country that offers its citizens the least certain, least secure and least safe future of all.

And that’s why I remain confident that despite the Unionist crowing today that the dream of independence is dead, that they’re very wrong. Independence has never been more necessary. It remains as close as it ever was and it is close indeed. Scotland needs an escape from the madness and self-inflicted destruction of the British state. In this general election, Scotland was the only part of the UK where voter turn out went down and that’s what allowed the Conservatives to perform well in Scotland when they did so poorly elsewhere. This was an election of despair, a vote in depression, a ballot of boredom. It was an election in which many on the left decided they liked the message of Jeremy Corbyn because he seemed to promise the social justice that they long for. That support was highest in areas where there was a high yes vote in 2014. Whatever the claims of the Labour leadership, those Labour votes are not necessarily anti-independence votes. They were votes despite Kezia Dugdale and Anas Sarwar, not because of them.

This was an election during which the people of Scotland gave one last chance to the UK to sort itself out, to deliver those things that they promise, to allow us all to get back to the day job. And now the Unionist parties have to deliver that stability and certainty, that safety and security. The signs don’t look good for them. They’re not going to be able to give us anything but insecurity and uncertainty, and the shadow of a chaotic and messy Brexit looms.

The independence movement is still here, still strong, still vital and alive. The SNP still won a majority. Scotland needs the independence movement now more than it ever did. I’ve always believed that independence will come about because of the failures and shortcomings of the British establishment and the Unionist parties, and it seems that is coming to pass. Today we’re experiencing the birth pains of a better country. Scotland will be an independent nation, Theresa May’s chaotic election and the uncertain Britain that lies ahead have only made it more likely.

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0 thoughts on “The birth pains of a better country

  1. Feeling a bit crushed at the moment, so will take an extra sip of your optimism. Thanks for the article.

  2. Excellent! Up and at ’em Scotland! 60% of Scottish MP’s are Independence enthusiasts so,by my reckoning, 40% are unionists. How do you like them apples westminster?

    The game is well and truly on!

  3. Pingback: The birth pains of a better country | speymouth

  4. Nail on the head Paul.

    I said some time ago that there was only one inevitable end for politics as it is practised in the UK, and well… here we are. A hopelessly and irrevocably divided populace. Politics from the public, progressive from establishment, left from right, tolerant from intolerant, north from south, east from west. You name it, there’s a divide in there somewhere. An artificial division. One orchestrated by a catastrophic political class serving their own short term needs and willingly sold to the public by a compliant and compromised media. Trust between politics, institutions, services and society is at an all time low.

    A political establishment which willingly put their own needs before the needs of the population. An establishment who in their selfishness, put their own populations in harms way without a second thought.

    So what do we have besides artificially generated division and mistrust throughout society? We have central government and indeed our wider politics in a state of chaos. Nothing was settled with this ill judged and idiotic election, indeed if anything, things have become incalculably worse. Brexit negotiations begin shortly and 27 nations who put their politics and economies on hold whilst the UK got on with its political implosion, nations who have prompted none of the above are pretty much looking to get on with their lives at this point. They aren’t the bad guys here and have been more than patient whilst the Tories and Labour have serially and systematically torn the fabric of our society apart.

    The UK economy is already showing disturbing signs of where it’s headed in the very near future and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do to prevent the hardships now beginning to spread across every sector. It’s not great wherever you look and it’s nowhere near the worst it’s going to be.

    We now have perhaps a two year period of this to go through before we get a slim and precious chance to put it right. A weakened Scottish government is going to find providing us with that chance more of an uphill struggle.

    Two years to decide if this is the kind of country we want to live in.

  5. Thanks, Paul. What a mix up but as you say should help us along the way to independence. Feeling better now!

  6. A sad loss of good MP’s to be replaced by placemen for the British state – and a right state it is.

    A deep breath and back into the fray. I will support Scottish independence so long as I draw breath.

    Thank you for your words.

    • Theres rumours the people of moray want angus Robinson back already yet Thursday they kicked him out things are not looking good at all and is the brexit negotiating supposed to be today i heard the eu brought it forward to today with may still in no10

    • Same here Arthur. I don’t think we will have to wait too long as this most dysfunctional Westminster Government is about to fall apart publicly when they find out that the 27 E.U nations wont entertain their demands, whatever they may be. I think May’s ” no deal is better than a bad deal” is about to come to pass. The consequences of us being forced out of the E.U against our will, and the subsequent downturn to a Scottish economy mishandled for many years by successive U.K Governments should, I hope, galvanise the forthcoming Yes campaign, and persuade former doubters of an independent Scotland to switch sides.

  7. I hope that you are correct with your analyst Paul as we need that hope for the future. Can anyone tell me what possible reason could it possibly be, that would stop a person from wanting to control his own country’s future, for the benefit of everyone with a little pencil in a voting booth?

  8. And Kezias explanation having lost her party seats in Westminster by urging people to vote tory will be ? , I wonder who in our media will press her for an answer , as to why Labour supporters voted tory and added to mayhem’s bunch at Westminster.and so depriving Jeremy a visit to visit Queenie today .
    35 is more that 24 for those of limited numerical ability , such as Ballie & Bird of BBC fame . I wonder if they might just accept that or continue to talk pish .

    • Labour was saved up here by corbyn and his snp copy of a manafesto dugdale can spin it anyway but thats the fact of labour saved from oblivion

  9. Was feeling down and despondent and desperately tired, having been out with the SNP polling station boards, delivering polling day reminder cards and staying up 24 hours straight till 5 am to watch the results come in.
    As always, your humour and positivity shine through in your writing and although I’m still desperately tired, I’m beginning to put it all into perspective, thanks to you!
    Never mind Irn Bru gets you through – you do a pretty good job of it too Paul!
    Thank goodness for your words of wisdom, keep doing what you do and I live in hope that your premonition comes true, that we will be living in an independent Scotland, in the lifetime of the Wee Ginger Dug!

  10. I don’t know about putting lipstick on a pig it seems more like the Tories and the Unionist ‘s are polishing one almighty turd in preperations to throw it the electorates they are pretending to represent.

    For the benefit of my new friend Jack on this site the news from the numptyland chronicle (no pinching that phrase please I have plans for it) in this part of the PRSY is our Blair cargo cult MP scraped through with around 1300 votes ( down from 6k two years ago). Given the Constituency membership is just over half that figure it does not take a great deal of working out to observe that without the massive increase in member over the past two years here there would be one more added to the dole queue from Westminster.

  11. Spot-on, Paul. The Unionist parties in Scotland made this election a proto-referendum.
    Result: SNP 35, Unionistas 24.

    Still wearing my glass-half-full hat, all the SNP has to do is sit back and await the inevitable
    backside outcome of May’s and/or her successor’s Brexit negotiations.

  12. 50 would have been awesome 40 good BUT 35 it is.

    I can live with that, 56 was a one off and with only 50% of the vote to get 95% of the seats……..come on folks did you really think that was repeatable.

    After TM’s TFU these 35 maybe in a more powerful position than the 56, for sure that looks likely.

    Sad to lose AS and AR But maybe without their MP duties they might be freer to get the SNP back on course and perhaps take off the gloves fight dirty {because that is what we need now} and let NS play good cop while they get stuck right into the unionists.

    With Rape Clause Ruth and the other Dug playing silly buggers it is time we went on the attack BIG TIME. just maybe these two AS/AR and others can take the fight to the heart of the unionists while not being members of the SNP Government in a more effective way.

    Time to think out of the box and truly get stuck in.

    FFS we ARE Scottish after all and we don’t give in until we are totally and completely defeated with no options but to surrender.

    Plus we need to reenergise the YES movement and start putting the positive case for an independent Scotland

    Last night WE WON so onwards and upwards.

    • ‘When the balle’s lost and won’…..

      I would agree- by any means the resutl, looking at the 59 seats in Scotland is a convicing win for the SNP.* (* but with much to do in many areas).

      I think we know from experience that even if you have say 56 out of 59 seats this is still not a win to some – but let’s restate the result

      SNP = 35 seats

      Conservatives = 13 seats -unlucky for them -they came … wellsecond beacuse 13 is a very small number compared to 35

      Labour Party: 7 seats

      Green = 0

      This vote (certainly by the Conservatives and other ‘Unionist’ parties fought very much on a ‘let’s stop a second Independence Referendum ticket’…. (whereas the SNP did not fight this primarily on Independence )….all Parties need to step back an consider this- as for the Conservatives especially (Labour and Liberals) if they genuinely believe they can simply have selective amnesia and conveniently ignore the very Parliament where Ruth, Kezia and Willie do their day job a vote that they attended-and lost is a very democratic way – 69 to 59 in favour of second Independence Referendum

      The vote itself is the ‘mandate’-on the back of an overwhelming mandate of SNP/Green MSPs returned in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections to enable 69 of them to vote-they after all represent those of us in favour of these Parties and their policies)-the result fo this letter/request (assuming was even looked at ( i mean properly looked by the Cabinet) – as the PM was likely walking her dog in Wales and the Cabinet never got to see it ?!now we have better insiht her ‘inclusive approach”- perhaps a Reminder should be sent just to remind the Cabinet of the mandate behind the letter.and restte the background-but ultimately to ‘ignore’ such a request casts a very dark shadow over any decision(s) comintg from the Scottish Parliament – i.e. Democratic means being ignored??

      If you take the approach that all votes for pro-Unionist Parties were pretty much on the basis of trying to stop Independence =the SNP alone yielded 977,569 votes in this General Election

      the Independence Election 2014 the Yes side got 1,617,989.

      It is difficult to get hold of ‘Scottish’ General Election data-but in Wikepedia (i.e. this figure m\ay not be correct) it says the Conservatives got 757,949 in their 13 seats- I have yet to do the arithmentic on individual Constituencies-but can anyone out there tell me what the

      a) the Conservatives 13 seats in Scotland got overall in terms of total votes ?
      b) the Labour Party 7 seats in total votes in Scotland?
      c) the Lib Dems in Scotland total in Scotland?
      d) the Greems vote total votes in Scotland?

      • Oh, but according to the UK MSM Independence is now “dead forever” and the “majority” of Scots have indicated that they do not want it! I actually had this thrown at me be a Scots woman in the Times comment threads. And they say Diane Abbot is bad at maths …

  13. It is up to us , all of us . I am slapping myself into believing that we are enduring the birth pains of a better nation.

    I am using your original mantra ‘we can do this ‘ – no matter on which word I lay the emphasis it sounds good.

    I am having difficulty with the obnoxious spin of the media , I really want that sorted before the next Indy ref – which I hope is not too far away.

  14. I find this election to be strange,.When I joined the SNIP in 1974,the result would have been a dream. However,I feel as if we lost,in spite of the fact that the evidence suggests otherwise.What is evident is that the future opportunities look good.What Davidson will soon learn is that as the results are declared another election begins and that results gained by tactical voting is temporary.I suspect that minority government and the challenges of brexit will result in new opportunities for pro independence people.

  15. This first past the post style of UK government is rubbish.
    One day we might all work together for the common good.
    (Now I really am dreaming…)
    On towards to a fairer society.
    Is that socialism? Community-ism?
    It sure the hell isn’t unfettered capitalism.
    Time to get out of the rat race.
    As Jimmy Red said, “we’re not rats, we’re human”.

    • Agree with the tenor of the article – whilst it might seem that Scotland has shot itself in the foot by propping up a corrupt regime at Westminster at the expense of some excellent parliamentarians – I think in time it will prove to be a necessary diversion, which will demonstrate once and for all that good governance of the UK is refractory with the current constitutional arrangements.

    • As I posted elsewhere:-

      As they file through the division lobby,
      DUP and Tories hand in hand,
      Will they “walk” as they do in Belfast
      To the Lambegs and flutes of the band?

      • There is an excellent meme in circulation which shows TM, in full Orange regalia, face screwed up (as it habitually is), playing a flute in the marching band. Unless this alliance is handled with a great deal more skill and diplomacy than the May-bot has at her disposal, I am very much afraid that there will be more “troubles” in N.I. What a complete and utter nightmare for the whole UK.

  16. Hi Paul

    Sandra here

    David Linden got in by 75 votes

    Our rooms overlook Abercromby Street Cemetery and on the pavement outside it are quotes cast into the pavement

    On one of them it says

    “They are unworthy of freedom
    who expect it from other hands
    than their own”

    This won’t make me popular to say this, but it really really needs to be said

    while approx 15,000 marched through glasgow for independence for 2 hours we would have bitten off your hand for just 150 – ie 1 % of them for 2 hours to deliver leaflets

    I don’t want them all to be SNP, I want people to have different views to test against to find the right path for our country

    but let me be real blunt about our own situation (ie I am not accusing people on here of not being active in making change happen)

    We increased our membership from approx 200 to over 1000 after the referendum, they turned up for 2-3 meetings and 99% of them sat back in their chairs to wait for someone else to deliver independance for them

    Huge thank you to those who have come back time and time again and to those who have spent ALL their life fighting for the SNP and this Country – too many to mention but ironically it would only take 30-40 lines to list their names, not much out of 1000 is it

    Well there’s your wake up call guys and girls………

    Paul could you possibly do a call to arms on some posts in the future, we really need some help if we are ever going to go for independance

    Your future now lies in your own hands, the SNP is weakened by this vote, and only you can decide to shape it or watch it be shaped by others

    I dedicate this post to the man who gave you this

    and who last night had to hand over to a Tory, and yet could still find it in his heart for this land to say, you aint heard the last of me yet

    there is no comfort to be found in any words………… if they do not breed action

    • Time to keep going…quietly amidst the noise and haste.
      Well said Sandra.

      We all have the same aspirations for our homeland.

  17. its a long game with ups and downs. I have been voting SNP at every election of whatever type since 1968. Yesterday was a check back from the artificially high 56 out of 59 last time round. The waves hit the beach and fall back but there is always another wave coming.
    We now have the prospect of Mrs May and a coalition of chaos with a weird Irish sect. Doubt if that will end well. Enjoy the show and enjoy the humiliation of Mrs May and the Unionist parties at the hands of the EU negotiators.

    • About that rumor is ruth davidsons wanting the scotland branch to break away from the uk hq because of some the dups policies on gay rights dont see the likes of murdo carlow and the others in Scottish tory branch going along there

    • WE are all feeling a bit sick because we only won by a mile, we only need to dust ourselves down sit back and watch them make an arse of the negotiations with the EU, and watch the Yes movement grow to 60% plus, my glass is always half full.

  18. I think that what we can look forward to is that Theresa will hit the buffers sooner rather than later with the EU. Tusk, Junker, Verhofstadt and Barnier will all play hardball with her because of the new found unity after the Dutch and French elections. They have no interest in weakening the EU position and numerous countries will want their own pound of flesh to attract the London financial interests to set up shop with them. The European Institutions are already migrating to the EU.

    With this election result the ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ trope is out of the window. May is in a very weak position and she will have to come back to Parliament for a final vote on its acceptability. Labour, SNP and the LibDems; not to mention the Anna Soubrys and Ken Clarkes of this world, all place jobs and the economy before immigration so I can see the backwoodsmen in the Conservatives being outflanked. May will also have to be more conciliatory towards the Scottish position ( Ruth the Mooth has staked out her position on free access to the single market) so I think there will be scope for a reappraisal of the SG’s compromise paper. I trust the EU side already have copies of that paper.

    While all this is going on Northern Ireland has to be put together again, I can’t imagine that Sinn Fein will take a back seat in all of this. Already there is talk of implicating some DUP figures in past connections with Loyalist terrorists.

    Things are getting very interesting in what was supposed to be a quiet year.

  19. Great post Paul. Scotland lost nothing, though a few too many excellent MPs will now not be standing up for Scotland at WM. We still have a majority of SNP MPs, the unionists will do their usual, the bbc will tell us we lost. We still have the SNP at Holyrood and a majority of SNP MPs, more than the unionist parties combined!

    The DUP/Tory thing is not going to go well, even many tories must be pretty damn scared about where that could take us.

    People in Scotland are being cushioned from UKGov austerity. The SNP government now might want to think about means testing, sadly. The very well off and rich and there are a lot of them, are enjoying many freebies, and many perks but voting tory and are anti independence. They benefit by having an SNP government, but at the same time would never support them. If they lived over the border, they would be paying much more, for houses, prescriptions, tuition fees, etc.

    The Scotgov have achieved so much against the odds, definitely not perfect as we know, but many things have improved in a few short years, infrastructure, youth employment and numbers at college, environmentally where possible. With limited powers, huge strides have been taken to repair the damage of 300+years of damage at the hands of the so called union. Nevermind the last 80 or so where people in Scotland religiously voted in Labour MPs! Scotland has been kept poor, begging bowl in hand, best way to control a people and a country isn’t it.

    The Scotgov have been chipping away at the damage left behind by Labour, and Tory in Scotland, it is going to take a bit longer to reveal the true worth of Scotland where it cannot be ignored. I just hope we get the chance.

    Time to look again at whether we can afford to keep the rich, rich in Scotland. Not a fan of means testing, but I don’t think we can, not now, not at the expense of the poor, and the disabled, and not at the expense of the success of Scotland as a modern, forward looking, 21st century country.

    I am sure that Nicola Sturgeon will be taking stock and looking at where we go next, and what we need to prioritise.

    The most well off, living off the backs of the poorest, most low paid, are not helping and not a priority, they can afford to look after themselves.

    • I agree wholeheartedly, Hetty. Under normal circumstances I would be against any form of means testing BUT these are not normal circumstances. Let wealthy, Tory-voting Scots pay for the privilege of undermining all that the rest of us stand for – and let Scotland continue to be the only place in the UK where the sick, those with disabilities, the elderly and the vulnerable are supported and cared for as they should be everywhere.

    • Hetty – means testing is expensive. Part of the funding for the essential service has to be hived off to pay for the bureaucracy which has to be set up to monitor access. Best use is made of public funding is if all goes into the essential service which is free at the point of delivery. The well-off contribute through paying more in taxation.

    • Lets start by reviving the Land Value Tax idea as that would produce more revenue from big landowners and is much better than the council tax which puts all property over £500,000 or so in the same category. Some landowners own estates worth millions.
      Also you cannot hide land in Panama or the Cayman Islands though it might be tricky to identify the owners at first. Solution – give them a couple of years to own up or confiscate the land.

  20. I can’t seem to shake off the feelings of despondency at Thursday result. Yes, the SNP still has a great contingent of MPs, but there’s no way that May’s cobbled together in a panic government is going to last so there will be yet another GE before too long. What if many more of our MPs go at that stage?

    I really feel that Scotland needs to make it clear that the independence movement is not all about the SNP and seriously start to work on organising themselves for the next indyref, even if it’s several years away. Whenever it comes, sooner or later, it will be last chance saloon this time and we have to be prepared to take on the better together lot effectively.

  21. i oppose udi for scotland because of the dangerous repercussions that would bring on future generations here, i also cringe every time we have to beg westminster for permission to be independent. but i do think we have a good case to end the treaty of the union legally, as there seems to be a few notable times in history’ie, the poll tax in scotland was one of those occasions i think.there are others that are debatable too. such as putting any armed forces in uk in times of piece within the uk.The treaty of union was only a treaty between the english and scottish kingdoms, not all the other parts of britain that have joined after the treaty was signed,bringing into question has the treaty of the union already been broken in th past by the english parliament.While checking news sources other than mainstream,i came across UKcolumn debating breaking of the treaty and declaration of rights,i cannot rememerber the exact date but it was in last two weeks and should be in their archive, i found it on youtube, if you can manage to get past their strong distaste for snp its well worth searching for.
    i have to fight to vote as i have been homeless for the last three years and have to proove connection to area, i also usually have to step aside while they try find my name at the polling station, i was out delivering snp leaflets the night before the election, if there is one thing i noticed that was different this time around compared to 2014 & 2015 is someone seems to have let the air out of the independence movements ballon.everyone was beginning to wear the cloak of doom that the main parties usually have. THAT is not how we won & that is not how we are ever going to win. pick yourselfs up & and keep the good fight with a cheery smile .I have to do it every day for myself, for the people i know, for the people i dont know and the people i have yet to meet.
    P S. using someone elses computer as i do not have one, nor do i have electric, running water, flushing tiolet, but i do have a scrappy caravan in the middle of a field and a smile on my face.because WE WILL to all.

      • Yep it can be pretty horendous,but on a windy winters night is when you wonder if you will wake up in the same place,so I have tied the caravan down to some old telegraph poles.I don’t stay in the caravan full time as the council tried making me pay full council tax for it,so I sleep on peoples floors,or in my car or sometimes at my new partners house.which causes problems for him with the council.their a mean council where I live cos their even charging a man for council tax that lives in bales of hay with a hap for a roof.Theres always someone worse of than if I can do this I can do anything including trying to change my country for the betterment of all who live in it

  22. Thank you for this post, Paul. It’s the one I was waiting for, much as it was on 9/19.
    This is probably the way we must view this situation.
    All the Tories have done now is set the house ablaze through their own hubris and incompetence.
    Right now, while sane Scots regroup, the best action for us is to step back, watch it burn and draw our rebuilding plans up because that day may now come sooner than we think.

    • With rape clause ruth wanting to breakaway from London because of the con/dup alliance in the news labour saved by corbyn alone and the eu talks today dark times ahead for us all me thinks

  23. I know i’m a bit late to add my views but I decided to do a wee bit checking. I urge everyone to look at the 2015 result on wiki. The SNP vote is down about 400k since then but more interestingly the hapless Ed Milliband only got 50K less votes than the Tories got this time round in Scotland. It demonstrates the power of Spin. One wonders why the rags aren’t carrying the headline the SNP secured their second greatest election result ever!

    • This is The power of the press for you. I did as you said and checked it out. Very interesting. You are correct.

  24. Extraordinary, the highest support for Jeremy Corbyn was in the big Yes areas. So they voted for Lab and not the SNP so reducing the strength of Yes.
    The Tories and other Unionists are not going to look at at that and say, Ah, I see what you intended, fair dos. They will just jump on the apparent reduction in support for the SNP.
    There are so many people trying to turn Scotland back to Labour because, not matter what the result, it makes them feel more comfortable. Results like Rangers at the top of the league, drunks on the terraces, Billy Connolly’s stories of tuff shipbuilders, sectarianism. Labour supporters saying the votes for Labour was about socialism, when Labour supports the House of Lords, and voted down every amendment put forward by SNP MPs to the Scotland Bill that would have brought more social justice to Scotland.
    When Norway became independent 98% voted for it, that didn’t stop them having different political beliefs and Parties. Here there is focus on the Parties first, though still not enough to realise that one of the smaller parties is running the country through its big counterpart in Westminster.
    I’m beginning to believe Scots can’t focus long enough to handle independence.

  25. In the light of this grossly mismanaged election by the SNP, current spearhead of the independence movement, time to think about spreading the cause beyond the narrow confines of stultifying party convention.
    For a time during indy1 the spirit of independence took flight, despite SNP efforts to cage it. Independence isn’t the SNP’s property. It isn’t political in the normative party sense. It belongs to all who care about our country’s freedom and development as a modern state.
    Independence = Renewal.
    Capturing the imagination of our people is now the task.
    Neo-Unionism à la Davidson is just caul kail het….we can do much better in our kitchen.

  26. Interesting reading today’s National. Many articles back up our sentiments above as does the many printed letters from readers. Basically it is FOCUS on Indepedence and stuff Westminster.

    I only hope that the work the SNP are doing behind the scenes for the next Indy campaign can cut the mustard. It must be positive, answer people’s fears and be delivered to everyone in an assertive manner.

    We need a new banner, maybe more than one. Things like ‘ a better place for all’, freedom from chaos etc. We could hold a completion for a slogan with the winner getting to tear up a copy of the act of union on Independance Day.

  27. Hmm. I can’t help but feel that a better record in government would have resulted in less of a swing to the Tories. In England and Wales the voters swung to the left giving JC a huge lift. Here, former SNP voters mostly went for the Tories which helped TM to hang onto power. If the SNP had not started talking about Indyref2 it would not have been taken up by the unionist parties and used as a lever. A few less Scottish Tories returned and JC would be moving into Number 10. Conclusion: SNP is responsible for TM squeezing into power. Sorry.

    • That was the unionist lot that banged about independence not the snp get your facts right rennie dugdale davidson where crowing on it not the snp people who dont want scotland to choose its own path or have a say on anything are the ones responsible for this but the union is worse off even more now which im going to enjoy while it lasts as the torys are killing it and 1 wrong move by mrs may and its dead forevermore

      • Oh yes it was indeed the unionist parties who took up the indyref2 banner, but it was NS who made the mistake of jumping on the Brexit fallout and using it to announce it within no time at all, even before the implications of brexit had even sunk in. When she actually thought about it, she realised that was a wrong move, so moved the goalposts and latterly used it against the unionists, having lobbed the ball into play!

        • Agree with you both, Robert and Di.

          The issue was that Nicola was caught out by the unexpected GE. This cannot however be said of the recent council elections. Nicola does not have a crystal ball regarding the GE.

          This is also the first council I can remember that the issues in the election were national and constitutional not what they should have been. The SNP manifesto’s for both elections were focussed on what the election was about and not independence. You need both in my opinion.

          I feel that for all future lections a large part of the content from the SNP must be independence whilst not forgetting the related issues for the specific election. This must be done very quickly just incase we get more GE’s before 2022.

          The EU was I feel part of the issue for those people who voted Yes and Leave. A difficult one to resolve unless the SNP rethink its policy. I am pro EU and personally cannot understand why people do not understand how it works or what its purpose is.

          I know that the fishing communities in the NE hate the EU as they see it as their actions (the EU) that causes huge job losses, damage to communities etc. They are wrong I am afraid. The EU got involved to protect fish stocks from over fishing. This caused the pain.

          I grew up in a fishing community. Away back in the 50’s and 60’s fishermen used the seine net and had to stay away from the reefs as this caught their nets. Most fishermen then understood that you needed the reefs to protect the young fish. Then came the trawlers. Fishermen now ploughed the sea going over reefs and everything. The reefs are gone in the North Sea so there is knowhere for the young fish to safely grow.

          Eyemouth (Berwickshire) like many other harbours in the 60’s had a huge number of boats, the harbour was full, it had five pubs and lots of work locally. Now there are no fish, they have one pub and it is a depressing place. Only about five boats. This damage was caused by the fishermen and not the EU. Remember the herring and all the jobs that had, over fished by fishermen. Same with the great banks off Newfoundland, over fished. You shat on your own nest.

          The EU restrictions quota restriction, which did, I agree, hurt fisherman was and is necessary to protect fish stocks.

          Even two months ago when there was restriction placed on scallop dredgers in a sea loch to protect reef damage local fishermen went up in arms.

          So fisherman in Scotland be honest with yourselves, it was you and only you that damaged the fish stocks. The EU was protecting fish stocks. That was what Iceland did in the 1970’s with the Cod war, to keep UK fisherman away to protect stocks.

    • Indy ref2 had to come out.

      Otherwise all of Scotland’s assets would have been secreted under the umbrella of brexitorydom and used for bargaining with.

      Out, for the EU public knowledge in the interests of Scotland.

      Not tory assets to use and abuse in her demands of being a bloody stubborn woman.

      She wants thron, think we Scots do thron, excuse the cliche…better together.

  28. At least with a referendum it’s clear what the question is, it’s there on the face of the ballot paper.

    With a FPTP election it can all be much more confusing. In the UK as a whole people are split at least two ways, over Left vs. Right and over In or Out of Europe, so there are potentially four boxes that a voter can fall into. But in Scotland we have in addition Yes vs. No over Indy. So that’s three divides giving eight ‘boxes’ although obviously some will contain more voters than others, but all are possible and valid viewpoints.

    Which of these pressures will come to the fore in any election and for any given part of the country is not easy to either predict or to analyse after the event, hence the present muddle. E.g. why vote SNP in a UK election where even with almost every Scottish seat, as previously, the party has no real effect on WM policies? Socialists might well be forgiven for backing Corbyn’s reawakened Labour? But equally a Labour Unionist might be persuaded to ‘lend’ (I could think of stronger words!) their vote to the Tories just to block Indy. It seems both these movements happened, leading to a growth in the Tory vote, at the ultimate expense of the SNP, with Labour mediating and gaining about as many votes as it lost.

    Then the unexpected unforeseen consequences start to kick in. Those extra Scottish Tory seats are enough to block a Labour government, but have forced TM to go cap in hand to (OMG!) the DUP. I wonder if a C. of E. clergyman’s daughter has the faintest glimmer of an idea of who she’s dealing with? She will indeed require a very long spoon to sup with that devilish crew.

    Wonderful cartoon over on Wings, BTW. The Duck is lame from shooting itself in the foot. Not shown are the Chickens coming home to roost. They’re gathering in the trees around the farmyard and in the fading light of the Tory day are starting to look very vulture-like.

    Just need to hang on in anticipation of the eventual dawn …

    • I agree, Annie! It’s no good taking the high moral ground and fighting a clean fight while your opponents will use any dirty trick in the book. I applaud Nicola’s desire to “do the correct (I can’t bring myself to say ‘right’) thing” but I believe it is time to start fighting fire with fire.

  29. What is happening to the independence movement is the inevitable result of being part of the UK. This has been clear since 2014 and I’m beginning to think heretical thoughts that the grip that the Union has on Scottish perceptions is more like a stranglehold which is slowly strangling the impetus to independence.

    We are trapped by the fact that we live in close proximity to the dominating country in this so-called union. One important trend which caused the tremendous growth in SNP membership and attraction to independence was the awareness of many former Labour voters of the democratic deficit. Their motivation and mine, was to escape from the Westminster system which had become dominated by neo-liberalism. I am firmly of the belief that the so-called attachment to the Union is because of the same awareness of on the other side and right wing voters are firmly committed to keeping the democratic deficit and keeping us trapped in the Westminster system which delivers governments constantly to their taste because they can depend on English voting. Union Jack flag-waving conceals this much more materialistic determination based on the perceived economic self-interest of the more affluent part of the electorate. These interests are cross-border and depend on that Union.

    The other inevitable effect of being stuck within the Union is the insidious and relentless media attack on anything which threatens the suffocating consensus subtly infiltrating the thinking of the population. (Think of Catalonia and its widespread enthusiasm for independence due in large part to having its own media.) I was buoyed up by the GE election result last time because at last there seemed an upswell, albeit belated, of a realisation of the democratic deficit which denied Scotland a different future.

    But, it was a false harbinger of a new political undestanding, as was the EUref result in Scotland. I think that we were waylaid by the very circumstances I mentioned at the start of this comment. All the unionist parties were motivated by one goal – to keep us inside the UK, even at the expense of EU membership. They were able to focus the right-wing vote on that one goal as being what best served their economic interests. ( That might well prove to be short-sighted of them, but we are where we are.)

    Unfortunately, left-wing voters were, at the same time, lured by the promise of a left wing upsurge in the rest of the UK. That was always going to be the danger for the SNP, that a seemingly genuine promise of a Labour revival down south would capture former Labour voters, particularly the young, who have necessarily limited experience of the Westminster system’s false dawns. There appears to have been a UK-wide grass roots drive, partcularly in England appealing to the young vote, which has been cross-border. Again the UK trap.

    I am becoming more and more pessimistic as to how we contend with this cross-border effect which clouds the essential message of independence and I’m beginning to think that it is inescapable.

    (Sorry for the long post. You are perfectly entitled to avoid if you hate long posts. Anyway it was mainly a therapeutic exercise for me because I am still down about what is happening. You are also perfectly entitled to disagree of course.)

    • Don’t apologise for the long post. I think you are feeling the way many of us do after Thursday. However, I do believe that we CAN still turn this around, in spite of the MSM and our proximity to the rUK. The gutter press are already a spent force in EngWales. Look how hard they worked at destroying Corbyn and yet he only polled 2,250 votes less than the Tories!

      I don’t know who “gave the Kool Aid” to the voters in those 12 Scottish constituencies who so far forgot themselves and their history as to vote Tory but I do know that once the realities of another 5 years of Tory dictatorship, and the hardships that will inevitably follow ‘Brexit’, kick in, they will start to wake up and smell …. whatever the rotting remains of self-respect smell like!

      “Rise like lions after slumber
      In unvanquishable number
      Shake your chains to earth like dew
      Which in sleep had fallen on you.
      Ye are many – they are few.”

      And that applies doubly when those lions are of the rampant, Scottish variety.

      • Thanks for that ocklety – and thanks for the Shelley! One of my favourites.

        It’s the ability of the few to be able to frustrate change by co-opting just enough of the many which bothers me though. They have been doing that for generations. Some of the electorate are more like sheep than lions I’m afraid.

      • Fishing folks and big moneymen farmers. Estate owners would have had a hand in the tory manipulation too.

    • To paraphrase..’it’s the Union stupid’. Too many are psychologically in thrall to Britishness. We will not be free until we commit Britishness to the trash. It wrecked our country, almost destroyed our cultures, decimated our population, divided and ruled. We owe it zilch. We owe its supporters no respect. They are foot-licking slaves to their own and our political subjection. This ‘uncharitable’ message needs to get out. Hold up the mirror Scotland….and be shocked at what has been done to you, with your slavish collusion. A horror movie indeed.

  30. Three parties acted as one and were ably aided by our ever willing meeja.

    Every election, every ballot of any kind is now a referendum so far as they are concerned. They campaign on one single policy only and with the media providing cover have no need of creating new policy for the Scottish electorate.

    They do not owe their allegiance or respect to Holyrood or the needs of Scotland’s electorate. Their respective head offices create policy for the UK (such as it is). This allows them to focus all of their attention, all their monies, all their energies on one opponent and one policy. They can pick and choose the Scottish government policy or institution of the day to attack and again the media will provide them with a compliant and unquestioning soap box to get the narrative of the day disseminated.

    They don’t need to come up with alternatives. They don’t need to come up with solutions. They can spend 24/7 365 days a year attacking their opponent safe in the knowledge they won’t come anywhere near being under the same level of scrutiny media wise as their opponents.

    They have all the big cannon on their team. Central government, corporate power, extremely deep pockets and a unified political strategy. Cosy, isn’t it?

    Except… except for the internet and the pro indy new media. The one big thorn in their side. Our ability to communicate and our grass roots structure, which makes the indy movement hard to target has proven problematic for the poor dears t’boot.

    The clock is ticking down on Brexit, social division, the economy, our democracy and politics as we know it. In short, the smelly stuff is about to hit the fan and after all of the above which they have in their favour. After everything they’ve thrown at us over the past few years, we’re still here. All mandates are still in place across three ballots and a referendum bill has been passed by Holyrood.

    We may only get one chance at this at any point in the next two years. Now more than ever, we need to be focused on the prize and on what we have in common, not what others will use to divide us.

    Worth a thought.

    • “We may only get one chance at this at any point in the next two years. Now more than ever, we need to be focused on the prize and on what we have in common, not what others will use to divide us.” Absolutely! Starting today, it is incumbent upon us (sorry to quote the May-bot, but these are “les mots justes”) to redouble our efforts, to make all the noise we can in those media that are not closed to us, and to ensure that there is simply no excuse for any Scot to say they didn’t understand. There is SO much more which unites us than which divides us – we need to make certain that everyone knows it.

  31. I’ve deliberately stayed away from the debate for a day or so, guys.
    We are now being asked to buy in to a Coalition of Terror.
    I give it until the summer break, then a re-run in October.
    I hope Dugdale’s pleased with herself.
    Davidson conned her into giving Tories a free rein in Scotland, and lost Corbyn the chance to lead a Coalition of Consensus.
    Now they are proposing that the political wing of a terrorist organisation governs us Scots.
    Dugdale, the victims of rape, the disabled, the poor, the lowly paid zero hours workers, the pensioners, the ill and infirm, thank you for your utter stupidity and political naivete.
    Still £1200 a week is nice money for bone-headed stupidity.
    The SNP won the FPTP Election convincingly enough.
    When it comes to Indyref 2, which is more inevitable now than ever, there is no way for Davidson Dugdale and Rennie to meet behind closed doors and hammer out wee Better Together deals.
    The MSM are having a field day of course.
    Davidson for PM? Aye, right.
    What chance her being allowed to book a double room in Arlene’s constituency when she hops over for the Walk in July?
    England is now controlled by the DUP.
    Literally, you could not make this shit up.
    Onwards, mes braves.

    • Aye, Jack. The May-bot did warn us about a “coalition of chaos” … she just omitted to mention that SHE would be leading it! Yoons are crowing everywhere that “Independence is now dead” because a few selfish and historically blind voters in 12 Scottish constituencies “drank the Kool Aid” and voted in Tories.

      Everyone on the Unionist side of the argument is baying that the results of the GE were based solely on Independence and indicate that the majority in Scotland do not want it – go figure! Point out to them at your peril that this was a General Election and NOT a single-issue referendum! I am still toiling “womanfully” in the online comment threads trying to point out the flaws in their position … uphill work, especially as the Trolls have been emboldened to come out from under their bridges en masse.

      As for this marriage made in Hell with the DUP – you really could NOT make it up! All those who were baying and howling about Mr Corbyn’s tenuous connections with terrorism are strangely silent on the subject of a fringe group of tinfoil hat creationists who are supported and politically endorsed by the UDA, the UVF and the Red Hand Commando. It seems it’s OK to do business with terrorist supporters, provided that they are Unionist terrorist supporters.

      It is now more important than ever that we extricate ourselves from this increasingly ludicrous “union”.

      • Oh, Wendy, it’s comin’ yet for that.
        I see that back tracked on breaking the triple lock on pensions.
        Latest poll shows Labour with a six point lead.
        There will be a rerun in October. By then we shall probably know that we are out of the single market, the customs Union, and noises will be mad about the medical bills for the Silver ‘ex pats’, Why are they not classified as ‘immigrants’ to Spain and Dordoigneshire?
        There will be a collective shock to the system the first fortnight in August when England empties to fill the continental beaches.
        By then one pound will probably buy 75 cents euro.
        Remember the days when you could get a bottle of plonk for a pound? will be the lament.
        I see Dublin is already advertising thousands of jobs in Finance and IT. I wonder why?
        The Brexit is about to hit the ‘turbo charged’ fan.
        Meanwhile the Deputy Prime Minister may believe that the Universe was created 4000 years ago.
        Scary or what?

  32. Pingback: Some Home Truths For The SNP – and Scottish Unionists – from #GE2017 – Radio Jammor is on the air…

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